Today I have a special treat for you as well as myself. Eric S. Brown is one of my favorite writers on the genre scene today. The only reason you don’t see more reviews of his books is because my reviews were getting too repetitive!! How many different ways can you write that an author’s books kick ass and are highly enjoyable with lots of violence, fun characters, and more action than you’ll find in the entire Indiana Jones trilogy??
Brown is the author of way too many books to list here but is known for his BIGFOOT WAR series. I lost count at the number of books in that series after ten!! If you’re not familiar with BIGFOOT WAR it takes place in North Carolina and shows the consequences of when Man tries to mess with Nature. A man seeks vengeance against the monster that brutally killed his family and in doing so starts a war between human beings and a race of Bigfoots. The series is graphic, gory, fast-paced, and so much fun that I burned through them as fast as I could buy them!! You can cheek out my reviews of BIGFOOT WAR, BIGFOOT WAR 2: DEAD IN THE WOODS, and BIGFOOT WAR 3: FOOD CHAIN.
But Brown is about so much more than just Bigfoots. He’s also about zombies, space aliens, Lovecraftian horrors, and gigantic Kaiju creatures. If you have a nightmare, Brown has probably written about it!! Enough of my babbling; here’s my interview with Eric S. Brown:
Me: How long have you been a professional writer, Eric? How old were you when you wrote your first story? Do you still have it? What’s it about?
Eric: I have been writing since around the second grade though most of it was fan fiction until I hit high school age. I got into writing from my love of comic books, Sci-Fi, and horror. I wanted to grow up and be the next David Drake or do something awesome like write Wonder Woman for DC Comics. Strangely though, the first story I ever sold, at the age of 26 when I started submitting my work, was a zombie apocalypse tale. Writing darker fiction came easy to me, especially zombie stuff, so I spent the early years of my writing career writing mostly horror.
By 2009, I had made a “name” for myself in the small press with zombies. SEASON OF ROT from Permuted Press is what I think of as my “breakthrough” book. The bookstore chain Borders picked it up to be carried nationally in their stores. That same year, I was also featured in Jonathan Maberry’s nonfiction book on the genre, ZOMBIE CSU. In 2010, adding zombies to classic works for fiction was the “in” thing. Simon and Schuster approached me wanting to release my book WAR OF THE WORLDS PLUS BLOOD, GUTS, AND ZOMBIES in the mass market. The next thing I knew I had an agent and I was a full time, professional writer. The advance on the Simon and Schuster and book allowed me to focus and not worry about the bills so much.
That same year, BIGFOOT WAR was released from Coscom Entertainment and after kind of just sitting around on the market for a while suddenly exploded into a massive cult hit. It garnered so much attention it put my mass market book to shame. Suddenly, despite all those years writing zombies, I became “The Bigfoot Apocalypse” guy. As BIGFOOT WAR grew from one stand alone book into a successful series, I was approached to write the novelization of BOGGY CREEK: THE LEGEND IS TRUE. Of course I said yes and in the process of working with the folks behind that film, BIGFOOT WAR got optioned for film as well. Life was fantastic. I was living the dream and paying the bills mostly with just writing. I even went back to writing a comic book news column for the local paper, rambling on about my favorite heroes and story lines. Publishers were coming to me for stories and I had so much worked offered to me, I no longer even needed to submit stuff anymore.
Then things got even better. In 2013, I got the call that the BIGFOOT WAR movie had been greenlighted. I had my contract for the movie the next day and got paid for the rights shortly thereafter. My wife left her job to be a stay at home mom and I kept right on writing not only scary stories but began to expand into things like writing Military SF and even scripting a few indie comic books as well. The BIGFOOT WAR movie was released in 2014 and the BIGFOOT WAR book series still continued to refuse to die. BIGFOOT WAR: REDNECK APOCALYPSE, a reboot of the first book, was released and in its wake came BIGFOOT WAR: AFTER THE FALL. The best thing that’s happened to me as a writer so far though is working with Baen Books. After meeting my childhood hero David Drake and signing at him (literally side by side, sharing the same table!) at a convention, I sold a story to The Grantville Gazette (the magazine of original fiction set in Eric Flint’s 1632 universe). Those two things opened the door to me selling my first story to Baen. That story was by far the coolest thing I have ever done as it was a sequel to one of David Drake’s. As for now, I am still writing. My book KAIJU APOCALYPSE, coauthored with Jason Cordova, became a hit for Severed Press spawning two sequels of its own and leading to three more stand alone Kaiju books including MURDER WORLD: KAIJU DAWN, KAIJU ARMAGEDDON, and ZOMBIE KAIJU APOCALYPSE. Currently, I am finishing up my first truly historical horror novel with Steven Shrewsbury which we hope to have finished up and in the hands of my agent by fall, 2015.
Yes, I have written other things but horror and SF are really the genres that I love and I think my love of them comes through in my work. As to what attracts me to them, well, frankly, they are FUN to write. I like to write the type fiction that I as a fan really want to read but just doesn’t seem to be out there yet.
You tackle everything from zombies to military sci-fi adventures to giant Kaiju creatures to Bigfoot. What has been your favorite creation?
When I look back at my own body of work BIGFOOT WAR is really the book that stands out for me. It was in many ways the first of its kind. Up until its release, Bigfoot horror wasn’t really a huge thing in the world of literature and there certainly (at least to the best of my knowledge) hadn’t been a truly apocalypse-centered take on Bigfoot before it. Even all these years later, new readers are still discovering BIGFOOT WAR and diving into the insanely long series of sequels and spin-offs (like the CRYPTO-SQUAD series with Jason Brannon) that it gave birth to.
If I’m not mistaken, the BIGFOOT WAR series is your largest series of books. Did you ever expect that first Bigfoot novel to be such a hit? Have you ever been contacted by a Bigfoot expert telling you you got it all wrong? How did you respond to them?
No, I never thought BIGFOOT WAR would take off like it did. BIGFOOT WAR was mainly a book I wrote for myself after years of doing pretty much only zombie stuff. It was my escape from zombies while staying true to the sort of “end of the world” writer that I am. And no, I have never been approached by experts telling me what’s wrong with the book because the first BIGFOOT WAR starts out with an intro I wrote explaining why the Sasquatch are the way they are in its pages. BIGFOOT WAR is love song to the apocalyptic genre with bigger, faster, and stronger monsters.
One the short stories from the BIGFOOT WAR universe was adapted into a short cartoon by the Walmart Corporation in 2014 as well. It aired on the Walmart TV network as a Halloween treat for the corporation’s employees. My book THE WITCH OF DEVIL’S WOODS has also been adapted into a low budget indie film as well by the Great Lake Artists group and is supposedly set for a 2015 release. Beyond that, I signed my first ever TV related option contract just this week so who knows what the future holds? I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
Tell your fans something about yourself that they may not know.
That’s a tough question. I have done so many interviews over the years, I am not sure there’s that much more left to know. I am a Christian. I’m a hardcore comic book geek who spends way more than he should on comics. I have a son who loves PACIFIC RIM and a little girl who is as a diehard Flash and Wonder Woman fan as is her dad. David Drake is my hero in terms of the writing world and I feel very blessed to have reached a point as a writer where I can write him up and say “Hey Dave, what are you working on now?”, chatting with him about various projects, the industry, etc. Rush is my all time favorite band and I listen to them a lot while I am writing. And something you may really not know is that after all these years, Stephen North and I are at work on a sequel to our space based, Military SF zombie apocalypse book, BARREN EARTH. Meanwhile, the original BARREN EARTH book is slated for a 2015 re-release from Grand Mal Press.
Obviously you’re an avid comic book collector and fan going back to your youth. How have comic books influenced your writing, if at all? Have you ever created your own superhero or written a superhero novel? And I must ask, who’s your favorite superhero?
Oh yeah, comics, along with David Drake, got me into writing. They’re a huge part of what I am and what I do. Both my A PACK OF WOLVES series from Grand Mal Press and the CRYPTO-SQUAD series with Jason Brannon are reflections of that. A PACK OF WOLVES has a very X-men in the old west feel to it. Think of a family of super-powered, mercenary werewolves trying to save the world in a very John Constantine sort of way and that’s what A PACK OF WOLVES is. CRYPTO-SQUAD is similar though set in modern day. One of the CRYPTO-SQUAD series’ taglines is “Only our monsters can save us!”. Mothman leads a team of government funded and controlled Cryptids against world ending threats ranging from the zombie apocalypse to the corruption of the government itself. As to my favorite heroes, well, I am a hardcore Legion of Superheroes fan and I also love the original Doom Patrol. I am also a fan of most of DC’s mystical characters like John Constantine, The Spectre, The Phantom Stranger, etc. But at the end of the day, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Captain Cold are likely THE heroes/villains of the comic world to me.
The second book of my Military SF, HOMEWORLD series entitled THE HAND OF GOD and coauthored by Jason Cordova was just released. Also Dark Silo Press just released a Lovecraft based zombie apocalypse book from me called THE TAINT. In addition, I have a centipede themed horror book, CRAWLERS, coauthored by a long time friend of mine, due out soon from Great Old Ones Publishing.
Thanks so much for taking time out of your crazy-busy schedule, Eric!! If you haven’t yet read any of Eric S. Brown’s books than you are in for a treat. His stories and writing style are addictive and the BIGFOOT WAR novels were damn near impossible to put down. I’ll make it really easy for you; here’s Brown’s Amazon Author Page.
I wanna hear from you … what books from Eric S. Brown have you read?