Interview with Zachary Koala Hardison

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I wrote as a writer was wonderfully chaotic. It was in a college workshop class and the professor had to diagram out the story because it had multiple plotlines and was not told chronologically.

I remember him saying how much he had to work as a reader to keep up; that it forced him to be an active participant. I loved being able to get that kind of reaction.

I chose a horrible title though...
How do you approach cover design?
I'm always looking for something unique that would stand out on a bookshelf, almost like the cover is a piece of artwork. I never understood all these books where the author's name and title of the book are ginormous and block the image.

You're about to read tens of thousands of words inside the book; let's tone it down on the cover, okay?
Describe your desk
I have a 1936 Royal Portable typewriter sitting on my desk--it actually works but I have nowhere near enough patience to write long-form on it. I also have a coffee mug that is designated to hold the specific kind of pens I like.

There's my headphones, which are a must have whenever I write anything, and my laptop of course. And then there's Alexander, my thriving Japanese peace lily.

There's usually half-filled moleskines and post it's lying about as well.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I got the basic idea in a philosophy class in college. I had to write a controversial paper and argue both sides.

On the one hand, I asked what would the world be like if we knew for a fact that Heaven and Hell were real? That is was just a given, proven thing?

The second half asked what would the world be like if we knew Heaven and Hell were fake? The jist here being, how many people are living good lives out of fear or to get a reward?

Curse the Day and The Unveiling series is an exploration of the first question. Would the world tear itself apart? Would people choose sides? I find the morally grey questions incredibly fascinating.
Where do you get your inspiration?
There are a few authors, mostly classic ones, that I would say gave me a foundation in storytelling. When it comes to my own ideas, I definitely lead toward modern mediums like video games, movies, animations, and podcasts.

If you can get me emotionally invested, regardless of how you're telling the story, then that's all you need in my opinion. Make me curious, pull me in, and let me come along for the ride.
How would you describe your writing style?
You know those authors that can take five pages to describe what the inside of a room looks like? I'm the opposite of that. Personally, I want to give you enough information to get an idea in your mind, and then let you fill in the rest. Here's a characters name, personality, and maybe a detail or two and then that's it. I just think it helps bring a reader in and let them add a bit of themselves to the story.

I also love stories where every chapter gives you something vital to the story; a new piece is unlocked or you learn something meaningful about a character. Not so fast paced that you get lost, but also not a leisurely read.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Absolutely not. I actually started college as a double major nuclear and mechanical engineer. Thankfully, I learned early enough that just because you're good at something doesn't mean you enjoy it.

So all that calculus, thermodynamics, and organic chemistry I took? Yeah that hasn't been very useful in my writing yet.
When did you first start writing?
Professionally, I started in college. Writing for ad agencies, marketing departments, and even sketch comedy. I quickly figured out that my talent (and interest) is best suited for creative writing.

It's like having your own personal world-generating machine where you get to decide pretty much everything. What's not to love about that?
What do you want readers to think and feel about your books?
Ultimately, I hope a reader of mine comes away asking curious questions about themselves due to the actions my characters take in a story.

How would I react? Do I agree with their reasons but not the method? What would happen if that were true?

If I can get you lost in thought then that's a victory for me.
Published 2016-12-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Curse the Day
Series: The Unveiling. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 99,180. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Urban, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
In this supernatural debut, a shadowy figure begins killing humans he marks as truly evil, while trying to ignite a war between the corrupt and the incorruptible.