E.M. MacCallum Gives Us Some Fresh Blood
She’s new on the scene and ready to make a splash. She likes zombies, which is a good sign and she’s not afraid of any stinkin’ publishers… well, okay, maybe she is just a little, but this young lady has a bright future. Enjoy this conversation with the young and talented E.M. MacCallum…
AJ: Who is E.M. MacCallum?
EM: E.M. MacCallum is a writer. She grew up with a warped imagination and a pen. Writing was etched into her DNA somewhere along the way and she’s always enjoyed it. Though, it wasn’t until 2009 that she decided to try out the publishing world and found out it wasn’t so scary.
That’s a lie; it was scary as Hell at first! I think I checked my e-mail six times a day to see if there was a reply to my short story submission. That first time really put me on edge. I can’t say it’s the same now. I’ve learned a lot—still am—and my confidence isn’t nearly as fragile. Since that small success (the short story was accepted, phew!) I managed to succeed with a few other short stories along with my novella “Zombie-Killer Bill”, which will all be out in 2011 with Sonar4 Publications.
AJ: A pen and a warped imagination… yeah, that’s everything you need for this business. And a thick skin… Let me see if I have this correct: you’re a relatively new individual to the publishing world and you’re no longer scared?
EM: By, “no longer scared” I should say, “not as much.” What happens, happens. I’ll keep writing, promoting what I have and having fun while I do it. That first go was terrifying though. I’m sure I lost hair and chewed my fingernails to nubs.
AJ: I need some of what you’re drinking. I hope it’s in your blood–when Herbie finishes we’ll test that DNA to see just where the writing was etched.
EM: Test away, Herbie! That would be a fascinating find indeed.
AJ: What helped you decide to dive into the vast ocean of the publishing world?
EM: That vast ocean of the publishing world started with Northern Frights Publishing. The editor, JW Schnarr, encouraged me to try something out. There was no guarantee I’d get in, but the worst that could happen is a “no.” I can think of a lot of things worse than a “no!”
AJ: Was that first publication The Perfect Fit?
EM: YES! My first publication was The Perfect Fit for The Shadows of the Emerald City anthology through Northern Frights Publishing.
AJ: I read the excerpt to The Perfect Fit over at the Northern Frights website. Very interesting read. I’d love to read the rest of it.
I know the first time I was accepted for a story I did the Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy dance. Any dancing when you got your acceptance?
EM: I didn’t do a happy dance, but I did a rather high-pitched squeal before jumping up and down. I did a very similar display when I got the book, but only when I was out of sight. I try to keep my “crazy” contained. I’m certain people are already suspicious.
AJ: What nonsense is this you speak of? Keeping your crazy contained? I’ve never heard of something so… so… so crazy.
Herbie’s giving me the evil eye at the moment so I guess I better ask another serious question.
You have a novella coming out: Zombie-Killer Bill. Tell me a little about that, if you don’t mind.
EM: I don’t mind at all!
Zombie-Killer Bill is hired to kill the Illegal zombies of the Wild West.
The Illegals—raging, flesh-eating monsters—spread the infection more than their zombie counterparts—the docile Slave or coherent Legals. Bill’s new job however, is bigger than just a routine zombie slaying. Dozens of Legal and Slave zombies have been brutally murdered on the Hansen Zombie Farm. Leaving only the suspicion that a single crazed scientist was behind it all.
To solve the murders Bill teams up with an unlikely partner and hits the dusty trail. Together they risk life and limb before the west is changed forever and the madman hurts the only person Bill has left
AJ: Unique concept. Where did you get the idea for this?
EM: For the initial concept I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down everything I knew about zombies. I admit, it wasn’t much at first. I did some online research and realized I wanted more than one version.
I wrote a short story about Zombie-Killer Bill for Sonar4 Publications’ Throw Down Your Dead anthology. They said they liked the idea and wondered if I’d be willing to write a novella about him. I had never written a zombie story before, but these creatures are addictive! I haven’t quite figured out what it is about a walking corpse that’s so appealing. I just know I’m reading and watching them more and more lately.
AJ: Zombies are indeed addictive, not so much appealing, but addictive for certain. A few folks you may want to check out are David Moody and Eric S. Brown, both of which have written multiple zombie titles. Eric’s a great guy and very approachable as well.
EM: Yes! I did get to speak a little with Eric S. Brown. Really nice guy. I already picked out one or two I’ll be buying of his in the new year. David Moody I’ll look up for sure. Thanks for the tip!
AJ: He’s a great guy. So tell me about Bill. Did you pattern the character after anyone?
EM: As for creating Zombie-Killer Bill, There’s a few people in my life who keep their cards close to their chest. They’re not talkative, emotional or even very approachable at times, but having known them for years I have the greatest respect for them. They’re the strong, silent, logical-thinking type. I certainly had this in mind while creating Bill, as well as watched enough spaghetti westerns to make my head spin. So, there’s definitely a Clint Eastwood feel to Bill. I couldn’t help myself.
AJ: I knew there had to be a Clint Eastwood type in there somewhere. I think we all have a character based off of him.
So, tell us where can we find Zombie-Killer Bill?
EM: You can find Zombie-Killer Bill on Amazon, Sonar4 Publication’s website and Barnes & Noble for sure. It’ll be up and ready to go in the summer of 2011. There will also be a few books in some of the local bookstores here in Alberta.
AJ: How about E.M. MacCallum? Where can we find out more about you?
EM: Stop on by my Facebook page!
When in doubt, facebook has everyone.
I also have a blog: E.M. MacCallum on Blogspot
The internet has paved a whole new road when it comes to networking. It’s pretty awesome.
AJ: Yes, the internet has changed the world of writing and publishing in so many ways, plenty of them positive, but there are those negatives as well.
One more thing E.M. MacCallum, now that the publishing bug has bitten you, are you excited about your future in writing?
EM: I’m very excited. I don’t know what will happen, so I’ll just go with the flow. I’ve been learning so much lately that sometimes it is overwhelming. Just have to keep writing, reading and learning what I can. If it weren’t for independent press I may never have been bitten.
AJ: That’s great to hear. You keep writing and working hard at it and I’m sure we’ll see more of you in the future. Thanks for the blood and we look forward to watching your career blossom.
EM: Thanks again and happy 2011!
(Herbie’s Note: Keep an eye on this zombie crazed lady… her future is bright… but don’t worry about putting on the shades. You’re going to want to see this with blinders off.)