Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he spends the day complaining about the heat but doesn't miss the snow. His short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies, notably Unquiet Earth, Undead Tales, State of Horror: Massachusetts, Bleed, Daily Bites of Flesh 2011, and more.
Free eBook giveaway: To celebrate the release of his new short story collection, Skulls, Armand is giving away one free eBook, his zombie novella, Dying Days. To win, simply leave your name and email address in a comment below. The winner will be announced on The Demon Stole My Pencil on Sunday, October 9, 2011. If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email, just make sure I can contact you through your profile to get it from you. Otherwise, no book!
Dying Days are upon us... The Undead Roam the Earth... Searching for the
Living... To Eat... To Feast... To Rip Apart... Extreme Violence... Extreme
Sexual Situations... Extreme Undead... To win
You may purchase a copy of Skulls, Dying Days, and his other work on Amazon.com.
1) How long have you been writing?
Since I was a little kid… I always wrote these goofy tales that made no sense to impress my mother, because she read so much and still does. I'd read her Koontz and King books and every horror paperback she had. I guess if you were a psychiatrist you'd say I'm still trying to impress my mother… great, now I need therapy. Great start to an interview, Nora!
2) What was the first story you had published? Is it still available for purchase?
Funny you should ask! The first official 'sale' I ever had was "Beastie", which is actually reprinted un-edited in my Skulls horror short story collection, and the reason for this blog tour. That's the story that got me firmly on the path to serious horror writing. I'll let you know which story puts me firmly on the path of serious horror money, if that ever happens.
3) What three books are you reading right now?
I have this weird thing were I always have two or three books being read at the same time, a trick I learned from my mother. In the car right now is The Harvest by Scott Nicholson, on the living room coffee table is Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney, and my Kindle is right now turned to Flashes From The Grave by Lisa McCourt Hollar.
4) What authors influenced your writing?
I think people in my age bracket - 40's - tend to stick with the tried-and-true King and Koontz, and you can't go wrong with that. I also read a ton of Robert E. Howard as a kid and any horror paperback that my mother was done with. Later, when I started reading more of the 'current' breed of horror authors, authors like Brian Keene, John Everson, Graham Masterton, Douglas Clegg, Scott Nicholson and Robert Dunbar were inspirations.
5) You’re also an editor for Rymfire eBooks, in addition to writing for them. How did you land your current position with Rymfire eBooks?
By accident. I met David A. Rose online and then in person, since he ended up living close to me. We hit it off, he had money and big ideas about publishing, and he started Rymfire on more of a whim than anything else. When it didn't immediately turn a profit like 99% of his other ventures, he bailed, handed me all the paperwork, website, e-mails, etc. and told me it was mine and good luck.
6) Can you tell us a little about Rymfire eBooks?
I tried not to let it just become an outlet for only my releases. I was doing my horror stuff and my nonfiction series Metal Queens and decided to carry them over to Rymfire eBooks as well as do a bunch of cool anthologies I'd always wanted to do. Vermin was the first official release, and I followed that up with a slew of ones I'm proud of, especially the continuing series called State of Horror, with another State featured in each book. I'll also be branching into erotica with a horror element, with an upcoming Rymfire Erotica anthology, and erotica newcomer K. Lee Thorne and her series of erotic shorts.
7) Which do you like better, editing or writing?
Writing, no doubt about it. I hate having to read and re-read something over and over and making it look pretty. I like the feel of raw words slapped onto a screen and worrying about polish later. I'm lucky enough to have three really solid readers of most of my work, who help with the grammar, plot holes and will tell me if it's just crap.
8) What editors do you look up to in the horror genre? Are there editors outside of the horror genre that inspire you to be a better editor yourself?
There are some solid small-press guys/gals out there, but for me the name that I would aspire to be like and would love to work with is definitely Don D'Auria, now with Samhain but formerly with Leisure. He's been the editor on some of my favorite books over the past few years, and guys I've talked to that worked with him tell me only great things about him.
9) If you had one piece of advice for aspiring writers, what would it be?
Write and then write more. Realize that your first hundred stories will be crap, but they'll get better as you find your own unique voice. And if you don't read the genre you're writing in, you'll use every cliché there is without realizing it.
10) If you had one piece of advice for aspiring editors, what would it be?
Be fair and realistic to the authors you work with, something I didn't do years ago. I had these huge dreams of making a ton of money and being rich and famous and promising huge sums of money for stories and I couldn't deliver. I burned quite a few bridges and there are still some authors who won't ever work with me again, people I was friends with. Just look at the current state of publishing, find your niche and be realistic.
11) The first short story in your new collection, Skulls, is Memorial Site. Where did you get the inspiration to write it?
I actually wrote a nice, concise blog about it on this tour, but I'll give you the quick of it: Casey Anthony and the circus that followed the trial, every minute detail of her life and her families, and every newscast that showed us the same footage over and over. The footage of the memorial site for her daughter caught my attention and from that planted seed rose "Memorial Site."
12) Which is your personal favorite in Skulls?
They are all my favorites; that's why I chose them. They all have different reasons for being in the collection, and I didn't use a score of other stories because I thought these six flowed. Or short answer: "Stairs To The Ocean" kicks ass.
13) Are there any shorts you wish you included in Skulls? If so, why?
Like I said, I had about thirty stories to choose from that weren't zombie-related. Some had been published and others had been sitting for years or weeks. I just read through everything and decided on the six chosen as a good jumping point for reading my short stories. I imagine when I put together my short story zombie collection, it will be much tougher, since I probably have over fifty zombie shorts, and about fifteen are currently in print.
14) You’re a big fan of zombie fiction. You’re trapped in an abandoned elevator shaft with a horde of hungry zombies. What is the one thing you want with you?
A ladder to climb up and escape through the roof. Or, a machete. I'd probably die, but when they found my body, they'd think I was pretty cool. Unless, just zombies found me; then they'd think I was lunch.
15) Who do you think would make a better zombie, Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie?
Johhny. Much more depth to him, and I imagine even in death. Besides, she already looks dead… way too skinny for my tastes. I'd gladly be trapped in an elevator with zombie Peg Bundy.
16) Samuel L. Jackson and Ed Norton star in a zombie apocalypse flick together. Who would survive and why?
Sammy will die in a blaze of bullets, profanity, and that smirk on his face, but Ed will survive, bloody and shirtless, with dirt on his face and his eyes sparkling. I'd prefer John Cusak, though.
17) Tell us one thing your readers wouldn’t expect to find out about you.
Where to begin? Even though I'm a big guy and people think I'm a biker or a pro wrestler, I watch way too many romantic comedies for a dude. Jennifer Aniston movie? I'm there.
18) Can you share any information about upcoming projects you’re working on personally or for Rymfire books?
I've been working on a horror novel titled Chelsea Avenue for a long time, and I'm almost done with that. I will be putting out that zombie collection I mentioned, called Zombie Tea Party, with really cool cover art. For Rymfire eBooks: State of Horror: California is being finished and Rymfire Erotica will be following that. There's always new anthologies coming up, but my own writing takes up much of that time right now.
19) In closing, is there anything else you wish to share with your readers?
I'm just grateful to have readers! There is nothing better than getting an e-mail or a post on my website or on facebook from someone you've never met, telling you they liked your work. It's humbling to have someone gush over you in a review, or point out your story in a great anthology you're a part of. It keeps me going. That and Jennifer Aniston rom-coms.