Erik Williams is a Defense Contractor, former Naval Officer, Iraq War Veteran, and former Kenpo Karate instructor. He is the author of BIGFOOT CRANK STOMP, PROGENY, GUARDIANS, DEMON and numerous short stories.
NAW- Tell us about your book, ‘Walking Shadows.’ How did you get the idea for it? How long did it take to finish the book? What is it about?
What’s it about? Here’s the quick description:
An ex-cop with a dark past… A heroin addict looking for redemption… A hit man with a God-complex… All on a collision course in a forsaken land. Without warning, an outbreak strikes viciously. The people infected regress into primal killing machines. Crazies, zombies, abominations. The names don’t matter because the results are the same: the infected kill indiscriminately with their hands and teeth. The survivors are few and they soon learn the infected are the least of their worries. In this forsaken land, there are normal people willing to take advantage of the situation. Willing to declare themselves god. And God help any who stand in their way.
If you can’t tell from the description, ‘Walking Shadows’ is my version of the post-apocalyptic zombie tale. I got the idea shortly after reading Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’. In his book, we have a very human story about a father and son trying to survive in a blasted wasteland. It got me wondering about what a very human story in a post-zombie wasteland might look like.
I wanted to take all those zombie tropes, play with them, and then toss them out the window. I wanted to show very flawed people not only dealing with the why the zombie apocalypse happened but also why all the zombies died off. And why they were left to live, what few remained, in a forsaken world.
How long did it take to write? Geez. Probably about six months. Should I have spent more time on it? I’ll let you be the judge. I will say, people either love it or hate it. I pissed a lot of people off who were looking for a straight zombie novel.
NAW- What’s your most favourite scene from the book, Walking Shadows?
My favourite scene comes about halfway through the book at, without giving too much away, at a point that involves all three main characters going through a complete role reversal almost simultaneously. The strong one becomes a heap of despair. The weaker one becomes the source of courage and conviction. And the bad guy suddenly starts contemplating the importance of life. It was tricky not only to tie together but to maintain the break-neck pace. Their reversals are all due to external catalysts, new found truths, with hardly any introspection. Not easy but very gratifying once it was done.
NAW- Tell us about your other works.
Well, my most recent novel is titled ‘Bigfoot Crank Stomp,’ which is about a Bigfoot that’s addicted to meth and happens to go on a drug-induced rampage. Yes, it’s just as crazy as it sounds.
I also have a novel out there titled ‘Progeny’ that’s a supernatural noir tale set on the U.S.-Mexico border. It involves a tough-talking P.I. type, a femme fatale, and death cults!
NAW- How much research did you have to do for your books? How did you go about it?
I do just as much research as I have to and if I don’t know something, I use writer’s sleight of hand. I will never reveal where, of course. However, I will say I owe debts of gratitude to Doctor Google and Professor Wikipedia.
NAW- Which authors have influenced you?
Ernest Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, Norman Partridge, Laird Barron, James Lee Burke, Thomas Tessier, Jack Ketchum, Chuck Palahniuk and Some cat named Stephen King.
NAW- Tell us about yourself. What do you do when you are not writing?
I have three daughters age five and under. A five year old and twins about to turn three. So I work really hard to stay sane.
NAW- Name you five favourite authors.
William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, James Ellroy, Flannery O’Connor and The Divine Author.
NAW- What are your upcoming projects?
My novel ‘Demon,’ a supernatural military thriller, will be released as an e-book original from Harper Voyager Impulse in the fall. The sequel, ‘Guardians,’ will hopefully follow sometime next year. And I’m hard at work trying to sell the screenplay for my novel ‘Bigfoot Crank Stomp.’