Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up splitting my time between Chicago, IL and Milledgeville, Georgia, talk about a culture clash! I write primarily post-apocalyptic fiction, so having grown up in a big city gives me understanding of what large population centers would be like after the fall of civilization. Spending my summers in Georgia, down 26 miles of dirt road to get to our house taught me to live off the land, hunt, fish, and grow food. That aspect of my personality is why I identify with zombie culture so well, and have trained as a survivalist.
When did you first start writing?
In 2009, I had a small child, and my wife traveled for work every week. Rather than turn on the TV in the evenings after the boy was asleep, I started writing a story.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm currently writing a book called "Pirates of the Strait". I was tired of the idea of dirty, disgusting "Pirates of the Caribbean" style buckaneers, and wanted to write a fantasy novel. "Pirates" has dashing pirate lords, Kings, political intrigue, and magic. It's interesting writing something that doesn't involve zombies, and it's something I've always wanted to do.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I never approached a publisher with my books. I wasn't interested in going that route. I published it myself, hoping that maybe 10 people would buy it. Who knew it would become a #1 best seller? Since then, I've had several publishers approach me, but as of yet I haven't reached a satisfactory deal with any publishing houses.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest part about writing, for me, is when I am sitting back in my chair with my eyes closed and my laptop on my lap. In my head I'm watching a movie, and my fingers are transcribing the action. That is writing "in the zone" for me. Sometimes it's hard to get there, sometimes I get a scene in my head and can't get rid of it until I write it. But that is the joy of being a writer.
What do your fans mean to you?
It's really weird for me to consider having "fans". I don't ever call them fans I call them readers. On our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/whatzombiesfear they have named themselves "The Maxists" after the cult that appears in the second book in the series. My readers are everything to me. They are the reason I am able to live my dream of being a writer, every bite of food I put in my mouth is because someone out there read one of my books. I am grateful every minute for every one of them.
What are you working on next?
In addition to Pirates of the Strait, and LEGION, the next book in the What Zombies Fear series, I'm also working on a 3rd novel called "Hell on Rails". "Rails" is a zombie book, designed to read like an action movie, complete with leather-clad harley riding, cigar chomping lead and his trusty sidekick.
Everything I'm writing can be sampled in rough-draft form on my website www.kirkallmond.com in the "books" section.
Who are your favorite authors?
Mark Clodi, Mark Tufo, Stephen King, and of course, the amazing Laura Bretz.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My son, Jack. And the joy of telling the stories that are stuck in my head!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Marketing, talking about writing, spending time with my family, hiking, and camping.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember a story I wrote in second grade, about a man on a far away planet. It may not have been the first, but I've been a story teller since I was little.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.
This is a short story (About 35 pages) set in the What Zombies Fear universe. It is a stand-alone adventure although a reader unfamiliar with that universe may have to take some things at face value, there are no important spoilers in this short.