Welcome to another blog post, and this time, I am pleased to introduce Zach Lamb, author of The Suicide Killer. Have I told you yet how much I enjoy getting to know the authors as much as reading their stories??
Zach's book, The Suicide Killer, released on October 20, 2020, and so far has received great reviews! It is on my TBR pile, Zach!!
Thank you for visiting today! I hope all is well with you. To start the questions, what is the first story you remember telling (not necessarily writing)?
I was a quiet child, so I can’t remember a time when I attempted to tell a story to anybody. I told them to myself in my head all the time, but never out loud. My first attempt at writing a story was in fourth grade. At the beginning of the school year, we had to fill out a questionnaire about ourselves and the teacher would write a few of the answers on the board and everybody would guess who they thought it was. The last question was to tell an interesting story about something you did over summer break. For whatever reason, I didn’t think I had done anything worth talking about, so I made up a funny story about me on an adventure and being scared by something, but it turned out to be rabbits. I didn’t think anything of it at the time because I didn’t care for school and she hadn’t used any of the stories in the guessing game. I was quite embarrassed when she got to the end of my turn and read my story for the entire class. They all got a kick out of it and I ended up making new friends, so I guess my lie turned out okay in the end.
Rabbits are rather scary, blood-thirsty creatures. I mean, I raise them and can attest to it. And, there was that Monty Python bit about the rabbit with great big teeth or something.
What was your favorite game to play as a child?
I loved board games as a child and played them all the time. Mostly against myself, but I always won. My favorite game was probably Monopoly and if I could play with anybody, I would choose my dad and both of my grandfathers. All three were very important to me and are all gone now. That’s probably a bit sentimental, so I’ll throw Ernest Hemingway in there for good measure.
Who inspired you to write your debut novel?
I’ve always been a voracious reader, but I can’t say that I’ve always wanted to write. I tried it once in sixth grade after I read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I only got a few pages in before giving up. As you can imagine, it was a bad rip off of Crichton’s story and full of a lot of purple prose. But my true inspiration for writing came much later in my 20s. I was reading a book, and it was horrible. The writing was bad and didn’t make sense in parts. The storyline and character motivations didn’t make sense. It was a mess. Anyway, I forced my way through it, and at the end of the book I said: “I can do this. It doesn’t look hard.” I was obviously wrong in that assessment, but after a failed attempt at writing a novel, I went to college and got a BA in English Literature with a concentration in creative writing and then went on to get an MFA. That’s a long-winded way to say that one bad book led me to trying and failing to write a novel. That small idea I had then looks nothing like The Suicide Killer, but that was where ideas were born.
There are over 1M paperback books and over 600,00 Kindle books on Amazon. While I haven't come close to getting through them all, I have read more than my share of books that turned me off. I agree wholeheartedly, writing a novel is quite a bit harder than one thinks. Having a wonderful support group of friends, family, and other authors, brilliant editors, and the backing of a publisher can help make the process much more rewarding.
You are asked what your least favorite color is, knowing that it will forever be erased from existence. Would you give your answer?
My first instinct would be to eradicate it, then I would think about all the people who love that color, and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for destroying anything that somebody enjoys and keep my mouth shut.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Spaceballs all the way. But if I had to pick between the two, I would probably go with Star Trek. It would be a hard choice because I like them both, but for different reasons. To me, Star Wars has better characters and character development. There’s a lot of soap opera stuff going on there. But Star Wars is basically two warring factions and a good versus evil story. Sorry to the Star Wars fans out there who believe I oversimplified the movies. Star Trek has better storylines. They’re more socially aware of the world we live in even though they take place in a world nothing like our own. The viewer who wants to look can find a deeper meaning in many of the episodes.
I'm a Spaceballs fan as well. I understand your views on both...but a more in-depth discussion must be held at a later time...
I'm a big fan of the force, mind-melding, and well, superpowers in general; let me ask you this. If you were to be gifted a superpower that you had to use continuously for 8 hours every day, what would it be?
I would want to be able to freeze time for eight hours a day. That way I could spend that time writing and still have a full day to do everything else when regular time resumed.
Good one! I think we all could be a bit more productive with time freezing, although imagine if many people could do that. Hmmm...
What are your hobbies (besides reading and writing)?
I also love to play guitar. When I was younger, I enjoyed playing in bands. I love all aspects of guitars, from playing them to taking them a part and rewiring them. I’ve been doing that for a long time, but recently started building my own effects pedals, so that’s been an interesting learning experience.
Very cool. *air guitar*
What is your favorite sport to play? To watch? Or, what is your least favorite to play or watch?
Growing up I played baseball, so that would be my favorite to play, but my favorite sport to watch has always been football. I’m a huge Green Bay Packers fan.
Ahh, man, my family -parents, siblings- are huge Packer fans! I don't watch much football now that I don't have to, sorry.
What is your favorite author/book?
My favorite authors are Stephen King and Ernest Hemingway. I go back and forth between The Stand and The Sun Also Rises as to which book is my favorite. They’re my favorites, but the author I wish I could write like is Barry Hannah. Nobody can craft a sentence the way he did.
The zombie apocalypse will happen in two days. You are fully stocked with food, water, and toilet paper. What is the one thing you will have stocked up on as your guilty pleasure?
It probably wouldn’t be a good idea during a zombie apocalypse, but I would be tempted to clear out as my shelves of Johnnie Walker that I could.
No harm in that!
If you could have authored a book, which one and why?
I would pick The Stand. It’s the ultimate good versus evil story, which I realize is funny given what I said about Star Wars. Even if you don’t like King’s voice or the endings to his books, it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t have great characters. I would put King’s character development up against anybody who has ever written. The Stand is also the only book where I hated a character so much and rooted for him to die, but by the end of the book he was my favorite character and his entire character arc affected me. That character is Larry Underwood.
That is one book of Mr. King's that I haven't read. And I don't think I will for a little while at least until the current descent of COVID-19 has upon my family has passed.
What movie sequel would you erase from history, and why?
I was tempted to say one of the Halloween sequels because there are some bad ones. Hello Resurrection? But the Halloween franchise has always done a good job of acting like certain sequels never existed anyway. So I would have to pick Friday the 13th part V: A New Beginning. I love the franchise, but nobody asked for faux Jason. It’s probably the worst decision made by a slasher franchise. And yes, I’m taking Halloween III into consideration, because that movie rules and so does Tom Atkins.
I'm not fond of scary movies much. I didn't want to go into the basement the other night after Urban Legends. Yep, I'm a wimp.
So on to fairytale critters. You won the mythical lottery and are granted the use of a magical creature for one week. What creature would you pick, and why?
I would choose the Kraken for the simple reason that I could yell, “Summon the Kraken.”
Nice! I hope you are close to water, otherwise seeing that thing come out of the bathtub...I'm just saying.
What is one food you could never bring yourself to eat, and why?
Definitely balut. I don’t think that needs an explanation.
Even though I should have known what that was, I had to look it up. I couldn't agree with you more, although I have friends who once insisted it was very tasty.
Cake or pie?
Cake. My favorites are carrot and Boston crème pie. It’s called pie, but I would consider it cake. Not sure how the people of Boston feel about it though.
19. Tell us about your latest book, The Suicide Killer.
I think it will make you check all of your doors to make sure they’re locked, even during the day. Might also make you rethink your spare key hiding spot. It took me two-and-a-half months to write it. I did four drafts of it before it was accepted for publication, so if you want to factor in that time, I’d say four months in total.
Do you have a favorite character that you created? Why or why not?
My favorite character I’ve created is Adam Blackwell. He’s the main protagonist in my, as of now, unpublished novel Dark Water Sacrifice. He’s my favorite because he’s relatable even though he doesn’t always do what I would do in certain situations, I can see why he reacts the way he does. His six-year-old daughter was his entire world, and after a tragic accident, that world is shattered and he leaves everything behind. He thinks his life is dark until he has to return home, and he finds out how dark things can get.
Thank you so much for hanging out with me today, Zach! Best of luck with your writing. I cannot wait to check out The Suicide Killer.
One soul for another. Two deadly secrets. A game begins. Bobby Cotton’s mundane life is interrupted when he finds a dead body in Rusted Lakes Park. He is drawn to the girl for reasons he doesn’t understand and decides to hide his discovery from everybody. When the dead girl speaks to Bobby, he sees it as his responsibility to protect her but ends up in an unusual love triangle. As she deteriorates, he must find new vessels for her to inhabit – or risk losing her forever. Detective Gregory Burns wakes to a routine murder investigation, but when the killer contacts him, promising there will be other victims, Greg realizes there’s nothing routine about it. Burns’ home and work-life blur as he tries to catch the killer and keep the secret phones calls from his wife and his colleagues. Bobby’s descent into madness and Greg’s quest to solve the case no matter the consequences collide in a game only one can win.
More about Zach Lamb:
Zach Lamb is a fictionist who creates thriller, horror and dark fiction stories. The characters that inhabit his stories are as broken and flawed as the people we see in the mirror every day. They jump the borders of a black and white world and swim in the grey areas where life is truly lived. Zach has an MFA in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University. He lives with his wife and kids in the non-fictional town of Ellerslie, Georgia, named after the fictional character Captain Ellerslie from the Waverly Novels.
Find more of Zach at www.zachlambauthor.com
Twitter - twitter.com/Zach_LambAuthor
Instagram - instagram.com/zach.lamb.author
Thanks, Zach, and the very best of luck!!