05 November 2012

Interview with Alex Granados, author of Cemetery Plot!



Holly: Hi Alex! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Alex Granados: I was born in Baltimore, grew up in MorgantownWest Virginia, but spent most of my life in RaleighNorth Carolina. Until I moved to Raleigh at about age nine, I spent my entire childhood in a Christian Elementary School. I was too scared to say the word “shit,” so I would say “shet” instead. Then I moved to North Carolina and went to public school.

Culture shock would be a mild description of what ensued. I was confronted with a meanness, vulgarity and a casual blasphemy that was shocking to my ill-shaped sensitivities. That first year was hell. Going from the sheltered confines of a Christian Elementary School where talking too much earned you a trip to the principal’s office, I was not prepared for public education.

I eventually adapted and learned how to be a normal, functioning member of society -- you know, the kind of person who can get along with others even when they’re not particularly nice. So, in the end, I was glad that I was able to get a wider exposure to the world. It certainly prepared me for a lifetime of enthusiasm for horrible and
weird alternatives to reality: Stephen King, science fiction, Freddy Krueger. That sort of thing.

Anyway, that primer on my early life might give you some indication of where I’m coming from. I’m a sheltered Catholic boy who has renounced Catholicism and jumped head first into an existence where there are no rules or true requirements except those that you pull bloody from the stomach of a threatening world. Or something...

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Alex Granados: Yes! Thank you so much for reading my book. I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I was in fourth grade, and the publication of Cemetery Plot is the fulfillment of something I had stopped believing was possible. I spent years writing bad short stories and half finishing novels until I finally got down to business and completed Cemetery Plot. So each one of you that is reading this novel is an assistant along that path.

Holly: Your life is an action/suspense novel; your stuck on a ship and it’s about to blow. If it was just you, you would jump overboard and get away fast, but there are a few people that were being held captive on the ship too. What do you do?

Alex Granados: I’d like to say I’d look for them. That would make for a good movie, novel or story to tell your friends. After all, who doesn’t want to be the hero? And I think that’s what I would do. I would skulk back to where the terrorists were hiding, creep up behind them, dispatch them with a careful twist of their spindly necks and untie my fellow captives just in time for all of us to jump ship and swim clear of the explosion.
           
That’s the dream, and faced with the situation, I hope that’s exactly what I would do, but you never know until you’re there. The sad truth is that I would probably get away as quick as I could. Save myself.

Holly: When did you realize that you would like to write and publish a book?

Alex Granados: I’ve known since the fourth grade that I wanted to be a novelist. I wrote a short story, about zombies coincidentally enough, for a Halloween writing contest. We had to read our stories out loud to the rest of the class. When I read mine, the other students hung on my every word. It was the moment where I realized I could gain peer respect for doing something well academically, and it was the start of my desire to be a fiction writer.

Holly: Can you tell us a little bit about your book Cemetery Plot?

Alex Granados: Cemetery Plot is set in what is basically a future or parallel reality where the world has become overrun with cemeteries. A plague embedded in the flesh of human bodies made it impossible to cremate the dead any longer, so cemetery space is at a premium, and everything else is given over to providing space for the dead.

In that setting, our protagonist, Mark, finds a woman in a graveyard who turns out to have been resurrected from the dead. She’s in great health, and the bad guys of the story will stop at nothing to see how that is possible. They want to utilize whatever mechanism brought her back to life to clear the graveyards of bodies so that they can keep their cemetery business alive.

This setup intertwines with a story from the future where zombies have risen from the dead and taken over the world. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave it at that, but there is a connection between both sides of the story that you won’t want to miss.

Holly: Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?

Alex Granados: The plot came first. I was walking my dog Zoey alongside the Oakwood Cemetery near where I live. It’s full to the brim with the deceased, and mostly, only the rich or prominent get to be buried there anymore. Looking at it, I wondered if it would be around forever. Then I started to think about all the people who had died and would die, and thought, “If people keep dying and needing to be buried, eventually wouldn’t the whole world be a graveyard?” And that was the genesis of my story.

When you really think about it though, the whole world is already a graveyard. It’s just most of it doesn’t contain markers memorializing the dead.

Holly: Where can we purchase Cemetery Plot?

Alex Granados: The first place you should check out is my publisher, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. We should have order availability through our website soon. Also, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble’s website are a good bet. 

Holly: Are you reading anything interesting at the moment? If so, what is it?

Alex Granados: I’m reading a book called “People of the Secret.” It’s basically a treatise that argues that world events have been controlled by a secret directorate of higher level human beings and more sophisticated intelligences that are steering human evolution towards a specific goal. Fascinating stuff.

Holly: Can you tell us a little about your first publishing experience?

Alex Granados: My publishing experience has been great. I sent my novel out to many publishers before hearing back from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly publishing. My experience with them has been trouble free and encouraging. It really is a great publishing company for the newly published. I wrote the book and they did everything else. It’s exactly how I hoped it would be.

Holly: How much of you or people you know do you think make it into the characters in your novel(s)?

Alex Granados: The people I know or meet are the inspiration for many of my characters. That’s not so much true of Cemetery Plot, though I make it in there at some points, but especially in my more recent novels, my old friends and acquaintances have become an integral part of my worlds.

Holly: Is this the first novel you ever wrote or just the first published?

Alex Granados: This is the first novel I ever wrote. I started it for National Novel Writing Month in 2011. I got halfway done with it, gave up and started another novel. I got halfway done with that one, gave up and despaired of ever actually writing a novel. Then I realized that the subject matter of the two books was pretty similar and that I might be able to combine them to form a novel. Cemetery Plot was born.

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Alex Granados: Yes! Thank you so much for reading my book. I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I was in fourth grade, and the publication of Cemetery Plot is the fulfillment of something I had stopped believing was possible. I spent years writing bad short stories and half finishing novels until I finally got down to business and completed Cemetery Plot. So each one of you that is reading this novel is an assistant along that path.

Holly: What is the hardest part of writing in your opinion?

Alex Granados: The hardest part about writing is rejection. It’s constant. Nowhere in my life have I become so immune to negativity than in writing. You send out manuscripts to publishers and literary agents, and even if someone accepts, many reject you first. You have to really get past the idea that rejection is personal or says anything in particular about you. You have to learn to maintain your confidence in the face of constant criticism. You have to really believe in yourself.

Random Quickies!

Holly: Vampires or Werewolves?

Alex Granados: Vampires.

Holly: Favorite book?

Alex Granados: Anything by Kurt Vonnegut

Holly: Favorite movie?

Alex Granados: Trainspotting

Holly: Favorite book to movie?

Alex Granados: Trainspotting or Clockwork Orange

Holly: Cats or dogs?

Alex Granados: Both



Cemetery Plot
Alex Granados
Vanessa Hawthorne is a zombie. . .at least that was the plan. Miserable with her life, she agreed to participate in a fatal ritual that would transform her into one of the Living Dead. Instead, she wakes up decades later alive, unaged and living in a world overrun with graveyards.
But when a real estate tycoon finds out about Vanessa, he will stop at nothing to discover how she cheated death. He hopes that this knowledge will give him the power to resurrect the dead. The money he stands to make is incalculable. And he is willing to do whatever it takes — kidnapping, assault and even murder — to get the job done. Luckily for Vanessa, she has Mark Nimocks and his friend Emily to protect her. . . but at what costs?
A zombie apocalypse is in the works, and it will take a medium from the future to find a way to undo the end of the world. But can he actually help change the past? Or is the world fated to be destroyed no matter what?

Excerpt:

“Hi. My name is Nathan Mickels. I guess I could tell you about the end of the world, and being one of the last remaining humans on earth or some of that apocalyptic crap. But the truth is that the world hasn’t changed much since it ended. Sure, the dead are walking and people are dying. But there’s still money to be made.
“Take me for instance. I specialize in a particular trade. You see, these Living Dead, they’re not the brightest creatures. Any mother hoping that her little Annie was going to come back and sit at her knee had a rude awakening. Little Annie was much more likely to bite her and turn her into a zombie than give her a hug.
“Nevertheless, people find out that the dead are coming back to life, and they just got to see. That’s where I come in. It’s my job to hunt down the Living Dead. Specific ones. If your uncle Andrew died last year, you might hire me to find him and bring him to you. Of course, if you were smart, you already checked out the graveyard. You probably only come to me if you find a hole where your uncle should have been.
“So out I go, and I track down your uncle. But what good is he going to be to you as a grunting hulk of shit for brains? None, that’s what. I have a unique talent that I get paid for. I’m kind of like what people used to think mediums were like. You know, they figured they could talk to the dead and all that crap. Well, I can talk to the dead. It takes some doing and some concentration, but leave me alone with a walker for a good six hours, and I can start getting something intelligible out of them.
“Mind you, it’s not what you’d think of as intelligible, but it’s a language of sorts. Some kind of guttural, grunting and wheezing that resolves itself into meaning in my head. Well, you don’t believe me? Ask me anything? How old was Uncle Andrew when he lost his virginity? What did he really do to lose that sales job? Was he really just being friendly with his niece that time you caught them together in the bedroom? (Here’s a hint. No. You ought to kill that bastard all over again.)
“Anyway. That’s me. The Living Dead medium.”

1 comment:

  1. If anybody is willing to give an honest review of my book on Amazon, I have a free ARC copy. Email me at agranadoster@gmail.com

    Alex Granados

    ReplyDelete