Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014: Ian McClellan

You're reading Books, Beer and Blogshit! It's the only blog that's playing a double header! I am your second string blogger, Mr. Frank!

It's two-fer week on The Blogshit to wrap up the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014. So for today's second feature we present to you the zombierific, Ian McClellan. So don't go to bed yet becuase we aren't quite done. Grab another cup of coffee or a multi-hour energy drink and burn the midnight oil (or mid-afternoon) with Mr. McClellan!

Books, Beer and Blogshit:  Are you a survivor or one of the undead?

Ian McClellan:  I’m a survivor, or I’m eating a bullet, but I’m definitely not one of the undead.

The Blogshit:  What is your latest piece of zombie fiction we should be concerning ourselves with?

Ian McClellan:  My latest is One Undead Step which was published by Severed Press. It tells the story of how the U.S. faked the moon landing to avert the zombie apocalypse. It’s my second book and it’s been amazingly well received. Being a truck driver and a high school dropout, it’s kind of wild to see the reviews people have written that have gushed about my work. It’s surreal.

The Blogshit:  Do you feel you are a classic or progressive type of zombie fiction writer?

Ian McClellan:  I’d never really thought much in those terms, but I guess I’m sort of progressive. I did have some zombie animals in my first book, and my stories are far from traditional, not that there’s anything wrong with traditional.

The Blogshit:  What makes your zombies different from all others?

Ian McClellan:  I haven’t read every other zombie book out there, but I don’t recall zombies that start out like mine. When they first turn, they’re a little slow and clumsy, almost like they’re in an infancy stage. I don’t see how they could just start right out as fully coordinated killing machines the way they do in some books and films.

The Blogshit:  What makes your living different from all the others?

Ian McClellan:  I drive a delivery truck for a living, which isn’t all that uncommon. Oh, you mean the characters in my book. I try to just write regular people. I’ve read a few books that have that super hero main character and just can’t get that into them. I’m a regular, flawed person and just don’t relate to that. Also, most of my characters are really snarky.

The Blogshit:  Do you think it's important, in this climate, to run with the pack or really try to reinvent the wheel in zombie fiction?

Ian McClellan:  As a reader, I like zombies, and I like a good story with good characters. If you can give me that, I’m happy. It does seem like everyone is trying to create the next big thing when it comes to zombies, which is fine, but not really necessary, to me. As far as the market, though, I think what you really need is to be good at marketing, above anything else. I’ve read a good number of books that have sold well, but were mostly drek. It wasn’t because the authors reinvented the wheel, it was because they’re tireless promoters.

The Blogshit:  Zombie fiction seems heavily dependent upon working within the construct of a series. Do you feel that is the way that makes it work best for you or do you think there is still room for stand alone stories?

Ian McClellan:  I hope there’s still room for stand alone stories, since I’ve written two of them. I guess I’m not the average consumer, but I really don’t get the series craze. I enjoy them, but no more than I enjoy a single book with no sequels or prequels.

The Blogshit:   Are you ever afraid of being pigeon-holed in this zombie fiction genre?

Ian McClellan:  Not at all. It’s what I enjoy. I don’t know that I’ll never write anything else, but that’s fine if I don’t.

The Blogshit:   For your next zombie story, stand alone or series, do you think you will need to go sicker or smarter to keep it going?

Ian McClellan:  I’m going snarkier. It’s just who I am, I think. I wanted to make One Undead Step completely serious, unlike my first book. My good friend J. Cornel Michel, who wrote the awesome book Jordan’s Brains: A Zombie Evolution, beta read One Undead Step and said it was hilarious, among other things. I told her that wasn’t really what I was shooting for, and she said it was just natural for me and I shouldn’t fight it. She’s very talented and went to one of those fancy learnin’ schools, so I usually take her advice on these things.

The Blogshit:  On last year's tour, we asked about what to put on your zombie sandwich. This year, we want to know: What special ingredients would you use to pickle the pickles on your zombie sandwich?

Ian McClellan:  I like spicy, so I’d definitely throw some jalapeƱos in there.

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