TDWS: Tell us a little about you. Hobbies, schooling, favorite teams , etc.
William Rose: Well, I've always been fascinated by science and am somewhat of an armchair scientist. Especially, when it comes to astronomy. I have two telescopes, a reflector and refractor, and steal away to use them any chance I get. I also enjoy a lot of outdoor activities such as camping and hiking, but have never really been into sports. The closest I've come is when I was in my die-hard Battlebots phase. My son and I actually had plan to build our own robot so we could join in on all the destruction and fun but, sadly, that never materialized.
TDWS: What inspired you to become a writer?
William Rose: It was partly from writing stories when I was a kid. I've always had a pretty vivid imagination but really got bit by the author bug when I was in elementary school. Our school library let students write these little mini-books, which would then be placed on the shelves for other kids to check out. I loved seeing my books on those shelves. It was like a drug to me. I definitely had more up there than any other kid in my school and I could tell other people were checking them out by looking at the cards in the back where people had to write their name when the book was borrowed. After that, I was hooked. But the fire was really fueled by my English and Creative Writing teachers. They gave me the encouragement and guidance necessary to ensure this dream never lost steam and for that, if nothing else, I am eternally grateful.
TDWS: Why write a zombie book?
William Rose: I love zombies. They're unlike any of the other archetypal monsters out there. All the other ones require a little down time. Vampires sleep through the day, werewolves turn during the full moon, and serial killers don't strike every day of the week. But a zombie? It doesn't matter what time of day it is, what the weather conditions are, or anything like that. A zombie will just keep coming. And coming. And coming. Which lends itself to another reason I love the undead. When you take a group of people who have witnessed their entire reality collapse, there's going to be some psychological damage there. Nearly everyone they've ever known or loved is dead. Cities are in ruins and the infrastructure is gone. These people have went from being masters of their world to nothing more than prey. And, on top of this, the walking dead are a constant reminder. If they live long enough, they'll eventually become desensitized but the level of detachment and callousness would have to carry over to the living as well. Every person you meet could potentially become a threat at any given time. They're living in a constant state of paranoia and fear that never lets up. And that is a perfect recipe for interesting characters.
TDWS: What is the title of your most current book and what is it about?
William Rose: My latest novel is The Seven Habits of Highly Infective People and is published through Permuted Press. The plot is split between two time lines, the first of which is set in the present and centers on a character named Bosley Coughlin. Through experimentation with drugs and the occult, Bosley has inadvertently opened a portal called The Eye of Aeons which causes his consciousness to spontaneously travel through time and space. On one of these trips, he shares the mind of a fourteen year old girl named Ocean who lives in a world that has completely collapsed due to the undead apocalypse and ensuing food wars. Ocean was born into this environment and has never known any other type of life. Her story makes up the second time line and is set entirely in the wastelands of the future. While sharing her mind, however, Bosley forms an emotional connection with the girl and vows to do anything he can to prevent the suffering awaiting her. Upon returning to the present, Bosley meets Clarice Hudson, a woman who is beginning to display the seven symptoms of the infection that will level the world. Through Clarice, Bosley realizes that he may very well be able to stop the coming apocalypse, but only if he is willing to challenge every notion he's ever held about right and wrong.
TDWS: Would you put your book more in the action, science fiction, comedy, or horror category? Is there another category you would add?
William Rose: There's a little bit of all those things in the book, but if I had to classify The Seven Habits I would say it's a blend of horror and science fiction, as is a lot of my work. The scifi aspect isn't hardcore. I don't, for example, go into detail about how the Eye of Aeons scientifically enables Bosley's consciousness to travel through time, partly because Bosley doesn't really understand the process himself. It's just something that happens which he's come to accept. Most of the science in the book stems from his theories about the emerging disease in his timeline that eventually reanimates the corpses who define Ocean's world.
TDWS: What sets your book apart from the thousands of zombie books out there?
William Rose: As far as I know there's not any other zombie novels out there featuring drug induced time travel, so there's that. But there's also not really a lot of zombies in the book. It's a story about characters who continually have to make some very difficult decisions in the name of survival, so my protagonists might not be what most people would think of as heroes. They operate in moral gray areas and in essence are very flawed individuals. Their weaknesses, failings, and justifications put them into some horrific situations and the tale is more about surviving in a zombie infested world rather than surviving wave after wave of undead attacks. This had led some reviewers to suggest that even people who don't generally enjoy the zombie genre would like The Seven Habits.
TDWS: What if anything do you want the reader to take from your book?
William Rose: What I want people to take away from the book, and the series as a whole, is that right and wrong are not necessarily always clear cut choices. Most people don't simply wake up and think, "Hey, I believe I'll commit an atrocity or two today!"; consequences often dictate the course of action and people have their reasons for what they do. They might not always be good reasons, mind you, but these decisions are usually justified in their own minds in some way. And that's truly the underlying theme to The Seven Habits.
TDWS: Where is your book available?
William Rose: It's available from all major online retailers in both ebook and print versions. The audio book version is available on Audible.com and, of course, links for buying a copy can be found on the Permuted Press website.
TDWS: Where can you be contacted?
William rose: More information on my work, including a link to download the free novella Apocalyptic Organ Grinder, can be found atwww.williamtoddrose.com I am also on Facebook and Google+ and love hearing from my readers, so anyone can feel free to hit me up there as well.