Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014: Robert Chazz Chute

You're reading Books, Beer and Blogshit! It's the only blog that is both Loonie and Toonie. I am you extremely southern Canadian blog host, Mr. Frank, eh!

It's time to take the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour to the Great White North. We are talking about zombie moose, zombie beavers and maybe even a zombie maple tree or two. Well, okay we aren't talking about any of those things. It's much worse. We are talking about the one and only Robert Chazz Chute.

One of the most prolific writers on the tour, Chute writes both horror and crime fiction. In addition, he wields his pen with deadly precision on his own blog, followed the world over by both aspiring writers and seasoned vets (and also Armand Rosamilia.)  If that's not enough for all you're multi-media needs, he also conducts a podcast that's nearly as good as Books, Beer and Bullshit Podcast. Links to all points of interest will follow the interview.

Chute is a highly regarded writer and we are honored to be able to present our silly interview with him, here, on Books, Beer and Blogshit.  So sharpen those skates and make yourself a bowl of Kraft dinner becuase it's time for the opening salvo in today's double header, Mr. Robert Chazz Chute...

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

Robert Chazz Chute:  I like lattes and Wi-fi too much, so I choose Door #3: Suicide by cupcake orgy and a Call of Duty/Lawrence of Arabia marathon followed by quick cremation.

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

Robert Chazz Chute: This Plague of Days Season 3, if you’ve been reading along or This Plague of Days, The Complete Series, if you’re into global plagues with an autistic hero at the center of the zombie apocalypse.

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

Robert Chazz Chute: My approach is quite different from all the zombie versus fortress fiction, so progressive, I guess. I like to play with expectations. It gets meta and metaphysical in a fun way. The story starts with a linear concept but, across the books, you’ll find yourself in The Matrix. Stranger in a Strange Land is another inspiration.

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

Robert Chazz Chute: They don’t rise from the grave, so they’re of the 28 Days Later variety. However, the virus and the beasties keep evolving.

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

Robert Chazz Chute: There are paranormal elements, but it’s the humans that get strange powers. My protagonist is on the autism spectrum, of course, but readers will find a lot of odd perspectives in my books. This Plague of Days is a survival story, but there are a lot of questions raised about what we should do with that survival.

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?

Robert Chazz Chute: I enjoy the pack, but I’m genetically engineered to reinvent. With all my fiction, I have to do something different or I won’t write it. I don’t think my work is experimental, but twists and surprises that go where the reader doesn’t expect often lands us both in strange territory.

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?

Robert Chazz Chute: Mine started as a serial and that got a lot of attention. In the end, I broke mine into three books because I had a huge story to tell. I could have made it four books, but I worried that could be perceived as a cash grab. I’d rather read a good stand alone than feel, as a reader, that stories were unwinding too slowly and keeping a series going artificially.

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

Robert Chazz Chute: I write suspense. I don’t see most readers of one genre going to another genre just because I wrote it. I understand. I love Stephen King but I’m just not into his Dark Tower stuff. I’m coming out with a lot of different books so I won’t be put in a box. Series in one genre is a better business decision, but I’m not built that way. Can’t settle for one genre or one series.

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?

Robert Chazz Chute: I do gross out stuff occasionally to satisfy the hardcore gore folks, but it’s really a sprinkling not a splatterfest. I’m always interested in how to make the context smarter.  Smarter makes everything in the story more powerful.

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?

Robert Chazz Chute: I’ll go with the Buddhist monk solution: cow urine.

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Have you read This Plague of Days yet?
It's the only suspense thriller that pits an autistic kid against the zombie apocalypse and teaches you fun Latin proverbs. Guaranteed!

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