Exclusive Author Interview: Mikhail Lerma
Recently we had a chance to review ‘Z Plan: Blood on the Sand’ and now we’re happy to bring you an interview with the author!
Can you provide a brief summary of your novel, Z Plan: Blood on the Sand?
A tale of an American Soldier in the Middle East when a zombie apocalypse strikes. Now he desperately fights to get home to his wife and child amidst the collapse of society.
What was your motivation(s) to write this particular story?
It was just something that came to me when our convoy stopped in a very uninhabited area while deployed in the Iraq. I started writing it to entertain myself and my friends.
What did you find difficult to accomplish within your book? The research, character development and arcs, regional locations, etc?
The most difficult? I’d say it was character development. I’d never even attempted to write a short story before writing Z Plan: Blood on the Sand.
How was the experience of seeing your work move from an idea to a rough draft to the finished product?
Very surreal. I hadn’t planned on doing anything with the story I’d put together until one day my wife dug it up and said, “You need to finish this.”
When you sit down and write what is your perfect writing environment, i.e., quiet, music, a specific room in the house?
What helps get you in the mood? Watching classic horror films or…?
Any really. I find I do my best stuff on rainy days while listening to Linkin Park, Deftones, etc.
Who are 5 people, besides immediate family and nearby friends, that you would want to be stuck with or in a group with during an apocalyptic event not exactly a zombie outbreak but something that would affect life as you know it on a global scale? Why?
First, since it wasn’t specified fiction/nonfiction. Tony Stark. He built a suit of armor with scrap metal while captive in a cave. He’d have the engineering and electrical situations under wraps. Second, Chef Gordon Ramsey. I’ve seen the stuff he makes professionally and I’m willing to bet any meal he’d make would taste fantastic. Third, Mark Wahlberg. Because he acts and raps. He’d provide quality entertainment for the whole group. Fourth, Benedict Cumberbatch. His accent makes me feel safe. Fifth, John McClain. Because he’s a super cop.
In a hypothetical apocalypse, what would be your preference; viral outbreak, extraterrestrial event, zombies, natural disaster, etc, and why?
Zombies. Hands down. Low intelligence. Bites would be necessary to become infected. And even though it sounds horrible, they’d thin out the human population.
What advice can you impart to authors just starting out who want to break into the horror/apocalyptic genre?
Write what you know, and what gets you excited. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there as an author on sites like goodreads. You will meet some really nice people, and you may find other authors can be a great support system.
Who do you feel is directly responsible for your entry into the field of writing and specifically the inclusion of zombies into your work?
My wife encouraged me into writing. Zombies just kind of came to me naturally.
What and who are your favorite authors and books not in the zombie/horror genre? Tell us a little bit about them and how they may have affected your work.
I’ve always been a fan of Agatha Christie. Her murder/mystery novels were something I read through multiple times in high school. ‘And Then There Were None’ was definitely my favorite. I loved the way she told her story. Making you feel like you knew what was going on but completely misleading you. Something I’ve attempted within Z Plan: Blood on the Sand.
If you had to do it all over again, the research, the writing, the search for a publisher, etc, what would you do any differently?
The writing. I’d definitely take more time with the writing. There was so much I wanted to do and I took it out because I thought it would deter from the main plot.
Do you have any plans to continue writing when you finish your current project? Will there be other projects in a different genre?
I think so. I’ve already got an idea for another series completely void of zombies.