Having recently reviewed Apocalypse: Diary of a Survivor by Matt J. Pike I was delighted when the author agreed to answer some questions for an interview with Indie Bookworm.
Why did you write Apocalypse: Diary of a Survivor?
I have always been interested in the post-apocalyptic genre and have been drawn to write something in that space. In writing my first book, Kings of the World, I plotted the storyline and characters before I began, I also told the story in omnipotent third person. I wanted to try a completely different approach for Apocalypse, hence the journal format. I didn't really plan any of the story elements in advance either. I did a lot of research on what effects the catastrophe may have on society, community, infrastructure and weather and tried to transpose those elements into the lead character's life - how would event X impact Jack etc. The story grew out of that process.
What kind of reader would enjoy Apocalypse: Diary of a Survivor?
Apart from the obvious - fans of post-apocalyptic - I think at the heart of the book is a story of survival, moral dilemmas, dealing with change/loss and finding internal strength in the face of adversity. I hope readers will find some universal themes they can relate to set against a backdrop of global crisis.
How did you develop your characters?
I wanted the lead to be an everyday type of guy, someone who had the ingenuity and wherewithal for survival within him, but no real pre-prepared skill set or plan to cope with a survival situation. I wanted him to learn on the job. I was also very inspired for this story by my Great Grandfather's WWI war diaries - he experienced some horrendous situations including being gassed, shot and hit by shrapnel - but his diary was such a humble, engaging matter-of-fact read. One minute he was talking about the harshness of war, the next he was complaining about the food again! All told with an ample dose of humour.
Why did you decide to publish Apocalypse: Diary of a Survivor yourself?
A publisher actually had Apocalypse for several months before saying 'no thanks'. That was my second similar experience - and I've been very happy with the self publishing process. There's a lot to learn in terms of marketing etc, but I feel I'm starting to understand what it takes to get the word out about my work. I do know I won't bother engaging with traditional publishers again. I also donate part-proceeds of each sale to find a cure for Rett Syndrome - a neurological condition my youngest daughter, Abby, has - she cannot walk, talk or use her hands in a meaningful way. If I can develop and maintain a successful indie career I will be able to contribute more to that cause by being an indie author.
Are you working on any new writing at the moment?
I'm currently writing the sequel for Kings of the World (due out early next year) as well as developing an illustrated zombie series for younger readers (one of the lead characters has Rett Syndrome). Book 1 of the series, called Scared to Beath, yes Beath, is due out later this year. After Kings 2.0 launches I'll be penning the second Diary of a Survivor book.
Many thanks to Matt Pike for taking the time to share his thoughts about his writing. I'm unfamiliar with Rett Syndrome but found a clear explanation here on the N.H.S website.
There's a great book trailer for Apocalypse: Diary of a Survivor at http://youtu.be/VHxI7a66HDA
and you can get book links at Matt Pike's Amazon Author page.