Monday, January 30, 2017

Interview With Anthony J. Stanton Author of Once Bitten Twice Die

 Tell us everything about Once Bitten, Twice Die!

My name is Antony J. Stanton. I am the author of the exciting new bestselling post-apocalyptic gothic horror series, 'The Blood of the Infected'. Book one from the trilogy, "Once Bitten, Twice Die", was released on Amazon in Nov 2015. Book three is due for publication in time for Halloween 2016. I am a long-term fan of dark literature, but I am also keen on realism in literature and film, good story telling and intelligent writing. I believe the audience should not be treated like a fool. If the author takes short-cuts then he is insulting his readers. Hence I came to the genre with a different angle, breathing a new lease of life into it and turning it on its head. It's hard for me to know if I got it right, but results so far seem to suggest that I did. I'll let you be the judge, if you dare.

"Once Bitten, Twice Die", was released on Amazon in Nov 2015. Book three is due for publication in time for Hallowen 2016. I am a long-term fan of dark literature, but I am also keen on realism in literature and film, good story telling and intelligent writing. I believe the audience should not be treated like a fool. If the author takes short-cuts then he is insulting his readers. Hence I came to the genre with a different angle, breathing a new lease of life into it and turning it on its head. It's hard for me to know if I got it right, but results so far seem to suggest that I did. I'll let you be the judge, if you dare.short-cuts then he is insulting his readers. Hence I came to the genre with a different angle, breathing a new lease of life into it and turning it on its head. It's hard for me to know if I got it right, but results so far seem to suggest that I did. I'll let you be the judge, if you dare.

I love many aspects of horror and have long wondered why vampires are frequently combined with werewolves, The Mummy, even Frankenstein's monster, but rarely ever with zombies. I asked myself, what might happen if a typically lone, suave vampire was confronted by a horde of crazed zombies? How many zeds might it take to bring a vamp down? The vampire, used to being top of the food chain, for once having to avoid being bitten himself - oh the irony! And with this premise I have created a new sub-genre of horror, based on as much realism as the subject permits and combining these two evil creatures of myth. The survivors in the bleak post-apocalyptic landscape must make some decisions and make them fast. Is the enemy of my enemy my friend, or should I totally annihilate them both?zeds might it take to bring a vamp down? The vampire, used to being top of the food chain, for once having to avoid being bitten himself - oh the irony! And with this premise I have created a new sub-genre of horror, based on as much realism as the subject permits and combining these two evil creatures of myth. The survivors in the bleak post-apocalyptic landscape must make some decisions and make them fast. Is the enemy of my enemy my friend, or should I totally annihilate them both?

Book one was only released in Nov but has already spent several months at the top of Amazon's list of best-selling vampire books. I have just returned from the States where I had a meeting with a Hollywood producer and financier to discuss the imminent adaptation of the series for TV and / or film. Many a slip twixt cup and lip but it looks very promising so far. If you like a thrilling page-turner that does not treat you like an idiot but transports you to a dystopian world that could just be possible, then read this book. And read it before everyone else sees it on TV.lip but it looks very promising so far. If you like a thrilling page-turner that does not treat you like an idiot but transports you to a dystopian world that could just be possible, then read this book. And read it before everyone else sees it on TV.idiot but transports you to a dystopian world that could just be possible, then read this book. And read it before everyone else sees it on TV.

What keeps you writing on days when writing is the last thing you want to do?

I've got to be honest, I have been writing this horror series for the past 6 years. In all that time there has not been a single day when I have had to force myself to write. I love reading, and I love watching films, and for me, the joy of writing is similar. Similar, but more intense, somehow. This isn't like the chore of creative writing at school. This is probably more akin to the self-employed person whose job is also their passion. I am writing for myself, because i love it, and I am writing for my readers, hoping that they get as much enjoyment from it as I do.

What I love about reading a really good book is being transported into the world that the author has laid out. If they are good at their craft then there will be no moments of doubt in my mind that this world could really exist. The premises he or she has used are faultless and I read their novel as though it is factual, rather than fiction. It is the same with writing. I found myself becoming emotionally attached to my characters. I invested time, a heck of a lot of thought and energy into them, and so when it came to a moment to kill one of them off, or more, I was genuinely upset. More than I could have believed possible.

The American poet Robert Frost once said, "No surprise author, no surprise reader. No tears author, no tears reader." When I started I did not understand what he meant. I did not appreciate how an author can actually be 'surprised' by the tale he himself (or she herself) is writing. And how can one possibly be moved to tears by one's own story? That's surely nonoesense. Now, however, I completely understand. I knew roughly where I wanted my story to start, and vaguely how I wanted it to end, with a few of the twists and turns that it would take. But as the tale grew, I would suddenly realise that, if this happens, then surely that must happen also. Shock! And if that is the case, then presumably this person dies - tears. So when you are so emotionally involved with your own story and when you are being taken on such an unexpected journey yourself, it is very hard to not want to write. I just could not wait to find out what happened next...

What do you do to contribute to the production of a horror movie?

Well this is a very good question, and certainly the most topical. The first two of my books are published, I am just doing a final edit of book three before releasing it shortly. In the meantime a Hollywood producer has read the first two books and seems to think it will make for an excellent TV series, and possibly also a film. Think 'The Walking Dead' meets Dracula, and you are part way there.

In fact I flew to the States and had a meeting with the producer and a financier only two days ago. It still seems to be unreal, way beyond my wildest dreams, but they assure me that shooting should commence in early 2017. I will be involved with the screen writing to a large extent. Don't get me wrong, I have no experience of actual screen writing, but in order to keep the adaptation true to the books I will be intimately involved at all stages. There are various parts of the book that allude to events but do not elaborate. I will also be largely involved with fleshing these out for the screen. The small details of how else I will be involved are yet to be decided, but one thhing is certain - I am determined to have an acting part in the series too, whether that is just as a small walk-on (stagger-on) part, or as an actual speaking role, yet to be decided. Basically, watch this space...thing is certain - I am determined to have an acting part in the series too, whether that is just as a small walk-on (stagger-on) part, or as an actual speaking role, yet to be decided. Basically, watch this space...

Are there any characters in your novel that you wouldn't kill off? Or are there any characters that should have died but didn't? Why or why not?

I like to think that my books are extremely true to life. The reasons behind the zombie-like epidemic are just about as realistic as you will have read anywhere, and I have tried to maintain this realism throughout. If there were ever to be such an apocalypse for real, then surely nobody would be safe. Anyone may well die, and this is the ethos througout my books. I have necessarily got a large cast of characters. There are a few who are obviously the predominant ones. Some of these do, however, come a cropper. I think this is more believable, and keeps the reader guessing. There is no one cliched hero who will obviously survive. Survival of the fittest is, after all, never guaranteed!througout my books. I have necessarily got a large cast of characters. There are a few who are obviously the predominant ones. Some of these do, however, come a cropper. I think this is more believable, and keeps the reader guessing. There is no one cliched hero who will obviously survive. Survival of the fittest is, after all, never guaranteed!

What did you learn about yourself while writing Once Bitten Twice Die? What might readers learn about themselves?

I have learned everything about the art of writing. When I startedd I knew nothing. I have learnedd everythhing along the way: how to write, hot to edit, formatting, publishing, marketing, etc. I have also learned, to my regret, that I need as few distractions as possible. I would love to be able to write in a cafe, drinking copious coffees and feeling like a proper author, but alas that is not for me. I can not even have music on in the background.

Who is your ideal audience? How do you plan to scare them?

My novel is not a child's book. By the very nature of the subject it involves a fair amount of blood and death. I have actually tried to minimise this, to an extent, as I am not writing a slasher book. I am writing a page-turning horror story which happens to have a lot of killing, and so I have treated this aspect carefully. I think that my novel will appeal to late teens right up to mature adults. Anyone who likes to be gripped, who doesn't want to read a book filled with cliches and who wants to be surprised and someties shocked.

Many of the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads allude to the fact that readers have read the books, thinking they were not going to like it - "not their normal genre", but then they actually loved it. I have paid attention to character development and the relationships between them, and there are a couple of interesting females amongst the males, so I think that it is not specifically aimed at men. Basically anyone who likes a thrilling page-turner, and doesn't mind being a little bit scared. The scares are there, after all. By transporting people into my world, making them associate closely with the characters and making that world believable, I hope I have created something that will get your pulse a-thumping.

Is horror more likely to appeal to male readers? Why? Is horror an anti-feminist?

I do not think that horror is gender specific. I have done a fair amount of research on this already and found that women seem to flock to certain genres of horror. In particular, there is a large female fan-base for gothic horror. Something about the clothes, the element of danger in an evil yet handsome vampire, able to do whatever the hell he likes with his female victims, etc. These are not my words, but a summary of some of the replies that I have had to my interviews. A little blood and gore does not turn women off, as long as it is done properly and does not turn into a ketchup-fest.

Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?

At the moment I am running a competition that should appeal to any true fans of horror. The winner will have a character in part three of the series, due for release Oct 16, named after them. Forever when you read the books or watch the TV series you will know, that character is named after YOU. Details are on my website: http://www.oncebittentwice.com on the #WIN tab. Best of luck and enjoy immortality.

Where can readers go to find out more about your writing?

My website: http://www.oncebittentwice.com My books are on sale as paperback and ebook on Amazon: amzn.to/1MrY3AW and at: http://bit.ly/1rxUuHk

No comments:

Post a Comment