It is my pleasure to introduce my first author for Writer's Wednesday... Norm Cowie!
1. Tell us a litte something about yourself.
Tell you a little something, huh? Okay, let’s see, after the economic disaster my 401 K retirement plan is little … the number of hairs on my head are little … my ego is little … no, wait, my ego is big. More like a super ego. Or that’s my Id … can’t tell them apart, ask anyone.
2. So I understand you have a book, Fang Face, that was just released by Echelon Press. What's it about?
Fang Face is my first immature, er, young adult book, published by Quake, an imprint of Echelon. It’s about time I wrote for an audience I can relate with. My wife swears she’s raising three kids, not just my two daughters. Anyway, Fang Face is the story of a teenaged girl who is bitten by a vampire that somehow got into the house. Then she’s bitten again. She learns that a third bite will turn her into one of the Undead, so she and her family have a choice …let her become fully vampire, or… fight the evil vampires. So the family whips out crosses, garlic and SuperSoakers and prepares to do battle with the biters. Oh, and there’s funny stuff, too.
3. What inspired you to write a comedy about vampires?
I didn’t really plan on writing about vampires. I planned on writing about teens. So I started a book about this ugly guy named Trug and some friends, and I decided I needed some girls in the story. Earlier on, I’d written a short story about a girl who was turning vampire and how her family got involved in stopping it and I really liked the interaction between the girl and her sister and parents. I just combined the two stories, and it went off from there. As far as making it humor, most stories about vampires are horror and romance nowadays. Not many authors approach it from the funny aspect of vampires, like you never see fat vampires since they’re all on the Atkins diet, do vampires get razor rash if they bite a guy who hasn’t shaven, what tastes better, type A or type O blood? What will you do if you’re a vegetarian and you get ‘changed’ into a carnivore?
4. Do you have any plans for a sequel to Fang Face?
Plans? Bwah-ha-ha. I have more than plans. I’m busy working on its sequel WereWoof. Yep, I’m getting into the ‘were’ world. There are funny things about werewolves that need to be explored, like what if you get turned into a werewolf, but you’re allergic to dogs?
5. Now. The Adventures of Guy. What's that about?
The Adventures of Guy was my first series, and won Preditors and Editors award for best Sci-Fi fantasy. Reviewers compare them to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. They are humor mixed with fantasy mixed with Betty Crocker’s cake mix. So not only are they a lot of fun, but they taste good, too.
6. I noticed you were also involved in both the Missing and the Heat of the Moment anthologies. Can you tell us about those and your stories in each?
Both of these books were written to benefit charities. “Missing” for the National Center for Exploited and Missing 401K’s, er, I mean Children. And the Heat of the Moment was written to benefit families who suffered losses in the California wild fires. Karen Syed, publisher of Echelon, has a big heart, and it’s wonderful she devoted time and resources to this project, not to mention trying to round up a bunch of authors which is kind of like trying to herd cats. My stories are short stories using the same characters from my Adventures of Guy series. Buy the books, people, they go to benefit worthy causes.
7. So, now that we know about your books, let's move back to the basics. How'd you get into writing?
One word: laptops. Or would that be two words, lap tops? Anyway, I’m a natural reader, storyteller and typist, and once they created cutting and pasting, I was off to the races.
8. Judging by your previous works, is comedy your genre of choice?
Actually, humor is my genre of necessity. I don’t have the patience to craft mystery, and whenever I try horror, the humor keeps popping out. You can forget romance, too (I’m a guy, we don’t get romance). Plus I find I do my best writing while sitting on a Whoopie-cushion.
9. What is your proudest achievement so far in writing?
Writing believable women characters. I get a lot of positive feedback about my female characters from females (Males generally just complain I don’t use the word ‘fart’ enough). Considering I don’t get women at all, I’m really proud women identify with characters in my stories. I’m still waiting for some feedback from vampires to let me know if I nailed them too.
10. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes, stop aspiring and start doing. If you’re writing your first book, finish it. And don’t bore your readers. Like Leonard Elmore says, ‘leave out the parts people skip.” Or something like that.
You can find Norm on http://www.normcowie.com/ and http://www.fangplace.blogspot.com/