It’s impossible not to encounter @ruswriteszombie on Twitter or the blogiverse, and since zombies don’t write, I just had to ask him to speak in their name!
AM: I loved your novella Ushers, Inc -what inspired you to write such a funny/creepy story?
Rusty Fischer: It just seemed like such a fun “mashup” of genres. I was able to put my love of writing and reading YA together with the cheesy, late night, B-monster movies I love so much. I also got to add zombies, vampires AND werewolves in the mix and let these “geeky” kids use their movie knowledge to become a real strength when no one else – not the cops, the government, not even the Marines – can stop the monsters.
AM: The way you present yourself as a writer is quite astonishing: accessible, always helpful, and a huge zombie fan. What motivates you to have such a strong presence on the web?
Rusty Fischer: Two words: I’m shy! Like, painfully shy. But I’m also a former teacher and it’s very important for me to write YA and still try to foster reading in young adults. So promotion is very important to me, but can get difficult when I have to, you know, actually leave the house! But now I can do so much online, without standing around looking gawkish and uncomfortable. I can speak freely and share my opinions and blog about publishing advice and host giveaways or write guest posts and people can either respond or not. It’s great!
AM: That’s a great advantage to have been a teacher first, you know exactly what these kids go through – not that you’re old enough to not remember how it was when you were a kid, but times are changing so fast… Will you ever consider writing for adults and in other genres or will you stick to horror YA?
Rusty Fischer: I actually do write for adults. This year my first-ever adult contemporary romance comes out from Aspen Mountain Press. It’s a Christmas romance. So about half the year I spend writing YA supernatural horror-slash-romance and the other half it’s adult contemporary Christmas romance. So… try figuring that out.
Basically, after decades of chasing trends and trying to “fit” in here or there with this publisher or that, and getting rejected each and every time, I said, “You know what? No one’s reading this stuff anyway, so… why not write exactly what you want, have fun with it and maybe one day folks will read it?” So that’s what I did and, I like to think, that’s what I’m still doing.
Rusty blogs and give plenty of free goodies for authors, too!