An Interview With Kevin Walsh

The Way Of All Flesh by Kevin Walsh

The Way Of All Flesh by Kevin Walsh – Cover Image © Danielle Tunstall

We are thrilled to reveal the cover for Kevin Walsh’s upcoming novel, The Way Of All Flesh. The cover was created by the wonderfully talented horror photographer, Danielle Tunstall. You can find more of Danielle’s amazing work here. The brave model is Kev Bicknell, who deserves a lot of credit for putting himself through such an intense shoot. The Way Of All Flesh will be released later this year, but in the meantime here is an interview with the author, Kevin Walsh.

Hey Kevin. So, tell us a little about yourself, where you were born and where do you now call home?

I was born out in the boonies of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. I was raised in a small hick-town called Low, population 400, (and most of those were bears and cougars), and I attended a high school with 84 students. Our town was so hick, our carpentry class built gun-racks, no joke. I later moved to Prescott, Ontario for a change of pace; truth be told, I just wanted to get away from the French-Canadians.

When did you first start writing and how long was it before you were published?

I started writing when I was 15 years old. I lived in an area that bordered on poverty and the only thing I could do that didn’t cost me anything was writing. I completed my first novel by the age of 17, a 120,000 word whopper; although looking back at the book now, I recognize how awful it was, so I have absolutely no intention of publishing and it makes a good dust collector in my desk.
I was first published at the age of 18, mainly poetry and short stories.

It’s Friday evening, about 8pm, what are you doing?

Either writing, reading, working or lurking about the alleyways of Prescott with my trusty–yet slimming–trench-coat.

Why horror?

There’s something beautiful about the horror genre. Even though you won’t see very many horror novels on the New York Times bestseller list, horror is probably the first genre of storytelling, ever. Cave(wo)men huddled together in caves because they feared what lurked outside in the darkness, predators on the prowl. Together, they spoke stories of monsters and the things that go bump in the night, and it was here that society started its slow formation, and the glue to hold them together was fear of the things outside, and horror was their unity.
I write horror because it helps me deal with the horrors of reality and society. Horror stories and society are closely woven on a subterranean level. We may not have true monsters per say, but people still gather about to discuss threats of war, virus outbreaks and political turmoil; hell, to most people, the monster outside the cave is the government itself, leaders of their society. (That’s a paradox that still baffles and intrigues me every time I think about it, considering the caveman thing) My monster outside the cave is poverty. I am trying my best to thwart away the poverty-spectre and writing horror is a great way for me to unite the best qualities of myself (even though they may be few and far between) in order to be the best I can be for the ones I love, the people I work for and to appease that little voice in my head telling me, “You can do it.” Writing horror is my medicine, without it, I’d be bouncing off padded walls.

Who is your biggest inspiration, professionally?

I am Legend by Richard Matheson has been a huge inspiration for me, it was one of the books that inspired me to write. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (basically the original Hunger Games, except better) was another big inspiration. But probably the biggest inspiration for me, is my Grade 7 class picture on my desk, a picture where I’m dressed in rags, pants specked with dirt and grimy hair.  That is by far my biggest inspiration.

You are in bed, a bump in the night wakes you, you have to go investigate. Using only implements from your bedroom, what is your weapon of choice?

I’d grab a copy of The Stand by Stephen King. Because no matter how big the monster or intruder, they won’t recover fast from getting hit by an unabridged, hardcover edition of a King classic.

Tell us a little about your forthcoming release, The Way Of All Flesh?

Well, there’s not much to say about it It began as a short story, then it evolved into a novelette, then a novella, and finally the story matured to be a full length novel. The funny thing is that right near the dead-center of the novel’s plot, the gas station scene, was the original short story.
I’ve been a book reviewer for Buyzombie.com for a while and I have read a truck-load of zombie fiction. But while reading these books, I found that little of them were truly dark, the kind of stories that make you really cringe and feel scared for the characters. Also, the characters seemed to be the “Chuck Norris with a Mother Theresa soul” types, and it was pretty annoying. I wanted to see real characters with flaws, people I can actually relate to.
The main point of The Way of All Flesh was to produce a story that was edgy, dark and crossed a few lines, with real, flawed characters. The plot might not be the most ground-breaking, it was not intended to be, but it’s a story that has certainly crossed a few lines, something that a lot of zombie authors never had the gumption to do. Writing this story taught me a lot about how to not follow what everyone else does, and to cross the lines that many people dare not to. That’s one of the reasons why I adore the cover art for the book, the artist nailed the tone to perfection. The Way of All Flesh is most certainly not for the squeamish, nor the faint of heart.

What projects are you currently working on?

Right now, I’m working on publishing my other zombie novel, Death Defying, with a new up and coming press. I’m also working on 3 other zombie novel projects. The first one should be completed around March or so if I remain at a steady clip.  I’m also working with a co-author on a military zombie novel project with an insane spin on the genre. And finally, I’m going to be writing Death Defying 2 during the summer/fall. My goal is to have those 3 novels written this year. I would say fingers crossed, but that would make typing very difficult.

You are stranded on a desert island. Before the ship went down which 3 books did you rescue?

I am Legend by Richard Matheson
One by Conrad Williams
Boatbuilding by Howard Chappelle

Do you see dead people?

I try not to stare at them for too long, it’s better to just keep shovelling.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

It depends on the story. So far, my two zombie novels (discounting the one I wrote when I was 17), Death Defying and The Way of All Flesh started out as short stories which eventually bloomed into full length novels. I rarely outline any projects I’m working on. I find that outlining–for the most part–disallows for the author to include parts of the story that he/she comes up with on the spot. Most of my plot ideas and characters come to me as I am writing. However, the current novel project I’m working on will require a broad outline because the plot is more intricate and complex than with any of my other projects.
I’m not a huge fan of formulas. Formulas are good if you’re trying to establish a writing regime, but as for plot or character development, formulas don’t work for me.
But, that being said, there is a pattern with my characters, but not necessarily a formula. For a lot of my zombie novels, I plan on having reoccurring characters be part of different stories; although, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they lived throughout the other stories, the universes are different. I decided to do this because some of the characters I really enjoyed developing, and I think it’s a great way to see how the characters react to different situations and how things will end different for them based on their personalities within a different gauntlet of conflicts. This doesn’t mean that I will be using the same cast of characters for EVERY book, but each book may have a character or two that have appeared (or will appear) in some of my other projects. A character or two from The Way of All Flesh appear in Death Defying, (and some of them are in Death Defying 2) and they also appear in the current zombie novel project I’m working on.

Have you ever suffered writers’ block?

I’ve suffered from laziness before. I hate labelling it as writer’s block because to me, that sometimes feels like I’m not accepting responsibility for my lack of discipline. Currently, I’m trying to fight off some laziness towards my current project but I’ll eventually get over it, I’ll bite down and get the damn thing on paper, but I will never call it writer’s block–it’s just out and out temporary laziness.

If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?

Never underestimate a poor man, they have nothing to lose.

Chocolate cake or fruity cheesecake?

Chocolate.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world on a novel, who would it be and why? What’s the story about?

To write a novel with my grandfather, Russell Walsh, about the life of a hard-working Irish family who immigrated to Canada during the famine–a tale displaying the Irish immigrants’ role in the younger years of this nation. My family came over to Canada for a better future and just like a lot of Irish families, they worked hard — many also died fighting overseas–for the right to call this place home. It’s a an honourable part of Canadian history ignored for the most part, and that’s mainly due to the French-Canadians. (One of the reasons why I left Quebec)

Finish this newspaper headline: “Kevin Walsh is….”

Kevin Walsh is undead, disturbed and on the loose.

Thanks Kevin.

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~ by crowdedquarantine on January 24, 2013.

3 Responses to “An Interview With Kevin Walsh”

  1. Great interview, and congratulations!

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