Interview with Chris Okusako

What are Heirloom Books?
Heirloom Books are words I cooked up to describe books written with family members playing the key roles. I'm a grandpa, and I don't want to leave my kids and grand kids a bunch of junk that has to be dusted and placed behind glass. How much nicer it is for them to pick up my Zombie books every so often and read about their adventures during the Zombie Wars. Not only that, these books will transcend my kids and grand kids for generations and make them and my wife and myself immortal. I love the thought that some day, a wide-eyed great grandchild might ask with awe, "Did great grandpa and great grandma really fight Zombies?"
Were you really a captain?
No, I am a Captain in the story though, and since I am in the book telling the story and acting a part, I figured my author name should reflect my rank: Captain Chris Okusako.
How do you approach cover design?
I do not. My daughter, Rita, is an accomplished artist. She figures everything out and does it for me. All three covers in the series are her unique designs.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love to read and can not get enough. I must have a hundred favorite books by many many authors that I feel are special. In the western genre, my favorite authors are Zane Grey and Louius L'Amour. In science fiction: Edgar Rice Burroughs and Doe E.E. Smith. Favorite fantasy authors are Robert E. Howard & Sprague de Camp (Conan Series). Historical fiction should be on everyone's list. I include Sam Barone (Eskkar series), Bernard Cornwell (many great series), Christian Cameron, Elizabeth Chadwick and Howard Pyle (Knights), and David Gemmel's Troy series. Wilbur Smith wrote River God, a tale about Egypt that is bloody and excellent. Spy and detective novels: give me Stephen Hunter, Lee Child, and Agatha Christie.
What do you do for pleasure?
For pleasure, I take care of my grand children, play golf, ride Harleys, go shooting, attend operas: particularly Mozart and Rossini. I keep dogs and turtles. I'm crazy about dogs. In my opinion, the best first person shooter game ever made was Unreal Tournament 2004. UT99 Game of the Year was excellent too. Day trading on the stock exchange is fun too, although I have been burned a few times. Wachovia bank comes to mind! I'd play ball again if I could find a group of senior citizens willing to play.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I used to like the ipad because of the color and size, but then my fingers got sore reading in bed because of the weight. Not only that, if you fall asleep while reading at night, that heavy e-reader will smack you in the face. So now my favorite e-reader is the Kindle paper white. It's light weight and you can read in the dark. Not only that, I can hook the thing up to my Mac computer, and save or back-up all the files on Kindle.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I became an Indie writer because going through a publisher is a big pain. Like the Captain Okusako in the series, I don't fiddle with problems very long. I just go over them or around them rather than trying to deal with them to someone else's likes and dislikes.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There were two great joys. The first was to get my family into a Zombie series. The second joy was to be able to call myself an author. (LOL) I used to think that only smart people could write. Now I know that isn't true.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love my fans and keep all their comments in a scrapbook. I do the same with the reviews I received at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. I find that what they say is... touching. Of course, I have a few bad reviews too, and they hurt when the tone is disrespectful. That perhaps is the scariest thing about writing. When you write a book and put your work out there for the public, you open yourself up to criticism. Anyone can take a pot shot at you, and you have no choice but to sit there and take it. Many fans have been critical but also helpful and have led to me making changes to my stories. I always reply to fan mail because those persons have taken the extra step to show me their appreciation.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on my father's autobiography.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The stock market makes me leap out of bed each day. Every night I have Buys and Sells set to go off at opening bell. Here in California, opening bell is 6:00 I think, but I'm out of bed around 8:00. The first thing I do is run to my computer to see if I've been wiped out. Then I check my email and feed and walk the poor dogs who have been waiting impatiently.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story three stories I ever read were David and the Phoenix, Follow My Leader, and Jules Verne's the Mysterious Island. I remember being in the fourth grade. They were great books but got in the way of playing so I stopped reading until the 7th grade when a friend of mine stuck John Carter of Mars in my hand and told me it was a good book. That was when I really began to enjoy reading.
Why are your books inexpensive? Are they that horrible?
Don't get nasty! I didn't write to get rich. I just wanted to be able to call myself an author, get my family into an adventure series, and make a lot of people happy. I thought to myself, can I make more people happy selling at $5.00 or $1.25? So when I get my share of the profits, around forty cents a book, I look at it this way. That forty cents just bought me a diet Coke, and you treated me to a drink in return for my giving you a few hours of enjoyment. Besides that, I have a conscience. If you buy my book for $1.25 and don't like it... well, you didn't lose much. If you did like it, you're going to feel good and so will I.
How have your books been received?
Amazon reviews rates all three of my books at 4.5 stars or better. That may be because I have a profiler that steers people away that probably wouldn't like my books. You see, my Zombie books end happily. People get married, dogs don't die, the good guys have hope and success. There are no F-Bombs, and none of my heroes have emotional baggage, addictions, or long rap sheets at the police station. My people are wholesome people intent on winning, staying alive, finding a little love, and making the world a better place. I also try to teach people a little history while they read. My books are meant to be fun so that when the reader finally puts the book down, a smile will be on their face.
How are the three books in the series different?
Zombie Spring #1 was written for my family. I believe it to be a good book, but I admit to having to contrive things a little to get everyone in the story. Furthermore, I had to be careful what I said because I didn't want to make anyone upset. I think I succeeded... mostly. Zombie Spring's Trooper Tyree was written for the public. It is more straight forward that the first book and is standard fare for Zombie books. The fans at Amazon were more consistent with their reviews on book two: mostly 4 and 5 stars whereas book one was was all over the place between one and five stars. Book three, Zombie Spring's Roland Thomas Type IV was written for me. I wanted to be imaginative and go places where other authors have not gone before. The third book is broken into three parts. Part one is all about a NEW kind of Zombie. The second part has a healthy dose of sci-fi, fantasy, and weird science. The third part delves into the future. So far, folks at Amazon have rated book three a straight five. In response to one fans comment or request, someday I plan to revisit the book and add to the third section.
Published 2014-01-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Zombies Vs. Aliens
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 158,680. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Horror » Undead
What will happen when the aliens meet the Undead on the field of battle? Will a sentient childlike computer make a difference? Who is the alien Watcher, Larissa? Why does Major Collins dress up like a chicken? Helen of Troy, Jack the Ripper, and Leonardo Da Vinci are linked to the original Zombie Apocalypse? Impossible—or is it? Zombie/Sci-fi/Weird Science/Fantasy all here in this one book.
Zombie Spring's Roland Thomas Type IV
Series: Zombie Spring, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 140,650. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Col. Thomas was killed in the Battle for LA. He rose from the Dead but in the process, changes occurred in him that elevated his mental and physical strengths far above those of an ordinary Zombie. He is Undead, but he serves mankind in their war against extinction. Meanwhile there is another that is hostile to life. Years of war preparation lead to a climactic battle in the swamps of New Orleans.
Zombie Spring's Trooper Tyree
Series: Zombie Spring, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 91,930. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
In the series opener, Zombie Spring, Trooper Tyree and Hettie Younger were gravely wounded and cut off from their infantry unit during the Battle for LA. This sequel continues their story as they rally other surviving military pockets of resistance and fight for their lives against staggering numbers of Zombies swarming the California's southland.
Zombie Spring
Series: Zombie Spring, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 161,380. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Adventure » Action
(4.00 from 1 review)
General Jones must cleanse LA of the Zombie contagion. Arrayed against him are hoards of Undead & millions who may turn at any moment. No general attacks while forgetting his rear, but he needs his vets at the front. What’s left is the band, the company of actors, a green 2nd Lt, and his cowboy friend. Two mammoth battles on two fronts, the Battle for LA & the Battle for Joyous Gard.