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Interview with Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - October 18, 2012

Please welcome Rob DeBorde to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.  Portlandtown (A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes 1), Rob's fiction debut, was published on October 16, 2012.


Interview with Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - October 18, 2012


TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Rob:  Thanks. Nice place. I like the moon.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Rob:  That’s an odd question. Let’s see . . . I do have a dead man hanging in my office. Does that count? He watches over me while I write. Doesn’t say much. I do seem to include quite a few dead/undead things in my writing, so perhaps he does have an influence. Is that quirky or just creepy? I think I’ll stop answering this question now.


TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Rob:  Favorites? Jim Butcher, Warren Ellis, Sarah Vowell, Christopher Moore, J. K. Rowling, Matt Taibbi, David Simon, Matthew Weiner, and a bunch of other peoples. I like writers. I like books. Comics and TV, too. Where there are words there’s story and I’m all for that.

As for influences, everything I know about putting pen to paper I learned from reading Stephen King novels. Where else can a body find four decades of entertainment and education in one bibliography? Plus—dead things! Man, I love that guy.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Rob:  A plotter, definitely. I wrote an 80 page treatment for Portlandtown. That doesn’t mean I won’t revise on the fly, but I like to have a pretty good idea where I’m going. I can’t imagine writing a novel any other way. (I tried once. Didn’t go well.)

Oddly enough, the opposite is true when I write a short story. I usually have an idea or some ridiculous situation, maybe a character or two, but that’s it. I sit down and start writing until it’s done or I hit the wall. More often than not I hit the wall. This is why I have two dozen unfinished short stories floating around my computer at the moment. Plotter, definitely.


TQ:   What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Rob:  Page 7. I can usually get through first half dozen or so pages of any story on enthusiasm alone, but around page 7 things start to get real. I start to ask questions. What am I doing? Am I really going to write this? Will anyone want to read a story about a half-blind vegan ventriloquist and his tofu dummy? It’s at this point that I either shrug and go back to writing or start playing Plants Vs. Zombies.


TQ:   Describe Portlandtown (A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes 1) in 140 characters or less.

Rob:  If you like supernatural adventures about 19th century booksellers, undead outlaws, & zombies in the rain, Portlandtown is the book for you.


TQ:  What inspired you to write Portlandtown?

Rob:  The inspiration for Portlandtown was a love of zombies and a photograph of downtown Portland during the Flood of 1894. When I combined the two in my head it all came together: wet zombies. Awesome.


TQ:   What sorts of research did you do for Portlandtown?

Rob:  Not having grown up in the 1880s I had to do quite a bit of period-specific research on the city of Portland, revolvers, bullets, clothing, architecture, floods, Astoria, traveling circuses, language, steamboats, Native Americans, totem poles, the Oregon coast, horses, roads, rivers, and bridges. Trust me, I have extensive notes. This did not stop me from occasionally inventing details or adjusting the facts if it suited the story. Stupid writers . . . always makin’ stuff up.


TQ:   Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Rob:  The marshal was the easiest. Grumpy old man—how hard could that be? Actually, he’s a little more nuanced than that, but still a natural voice that came readily (steer clear of me when I’m retired, obviously). Much more difficult was Andre Labeau, the African American Shaman/cowboy who never uses contractions and always speaks truth even when he’s telling a lie. Tricky.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Portlandtown?

Rob:  Without giving anything away, huh? Okay. If I had to pick a favorite I’d say the Hanged Man’s return (think corpse on display, circus freaks, and a shootout). Takes a few pages to get there, but it’s worth it. I’m also quite fond of Andre’s memory of his mother and the twins first encounter with a living-challenged local.


TQ:  What's next?

Rob:  Next will either be the sequel to Portlandtown or an unrelated novel called Pumpkin Eater. The later is about ghosts, skeletons, and Halloween. Yeah, I know, more dead things.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rob:  My pleasure.




About Portlandtown
Portlandtown
A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes 1
St. Martin's Griffin, October 16, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - October 18, 2012
Welcome to Portlandtown, where no secret is safe---not even those buried beneath six feet of Oregon mud.

Joseph Wylde isn’t afraid of the past, but he knows some truths are better left unspoken. When his father-in-law’s grave-digging awakens more than just ghosts, Joseph invites him into their home hoping that a booming metropolis and two curious grandtwins will be enough to keep the former marshal out of trouble. Unfortunately, the old man’s past soon follows, unleashing a terrible storm on a city already knee deep in floodwaters. As the dead mysteriously begin to rise, the Wyldes must find the truth before an unspeakable evil can spread across the West and beyond.





About Rob
Interview with Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - October 18, 2012

Rob DeBorde is the author of Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes, a story of supernatural suspense, adventure, and zombies in the rain due October 16 from St. Martin’s Griffin. He also wrote a fish cookbook and a cartoon about an accident-prone octopus chef. Seriously. He lives upriver from Portland, Oregon and can be found online at www.robdeborde.com.

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Guest Blog by Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - Zombie 3.0

Please welcome Rob DeBorde to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Portlandtown (A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes 1), Rob's fiction debut, will be published on October 16, 2012.


Guest Blog by Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - Zombie 3.0


Zombie 3.0

I like zombies. Check that—I love zombies. I love the way they lurch. It’s both amusing and terrifying, usually at the same time. Sure, you can run, but a brisk walk is all you really need to get out of harm’s way. In that sense, the zombie experience is a lot like life: you’re going to die in the end, but if you’re smart and in reasonably good shape you’ll survive long enough to see most of the third act.

Given my fondness for dead things it should come as no surprise that my first novel prominently features more than a few perambulatory corpses. The primary villain, while not strictly a zombie, is definitely not a warm body. He has issues with the living. Go Team Zombie!

Imagine my concern upon hearing that zombies as a pop culture icon had recently been pronounced dead. According to those who track such things, the undead are well past their allotted 15 minutes and the time has come for a new monster to crawl out of our collective subconscious and onto a movie screen near you. While I can certainly understand the motivation to make such a claim, I’m not buying it. Bury them as deep as you want, zombies aren’t going away. They’re simply evolving.

The first wave of modern zombies arrived in 1968 with the release of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. That’s your classic zombie right there—pale, slow, relentless. It took a few years for the movement to get lurching (hey, they’re zombies), but by the time Michael Jackson was dancing in the street with a bunch of jazz-hand waving ghouls, the zombie menace had found its footing. And then a bunch of crappy movies made it go away.

The second coming of the undead was heralded by the release of the original Resident Evil videogame in 1996. Here were Romero’s foot-dragging slack-jaws returned from the dead, but somehow more terrifying (probably because they could actually kill you this time, albeit in pixilated form). Videogames led the charge with countless Z-rated titles, but the rest of pop culture eventually caught on giving us such seminal works as Shaun of the Dead, World War Z, The Walking Dead, and Plants Vs. Zombies. Zombies went mainstream and it was good. Until the media wonks decided record-setting television ratings and million-selling apps didn’t matter and declared them dead. Again. Welcome to Zombie 3.0.

Despite what you may have heard, the next invasion is already under way. The living dead are alive and well, they’re just no longer above the title. It turns out, you don’t have to make a movie about zombies to have zombies in your movie. Same goes for television, games, comics, and even books. You can write a story about an extraordinary family of booksellers living in Portland, Oregon in 1887 who occasionally do odd jobs that result in confrontations with the undead. It happens. And that’s good, because good stories are based on characters not calamity. As much as I love the lurch, my favorite zombie stories are those that put the heroes (or villains) front and center.

That’s zombie evolution, people.



About Portlandtown

Portlandtown
A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes 1
St. Martin's Griffin, October 16, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Guest Blog by Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - Zombie 3.0
Welcome to Portlandtown, where no secret is safe---not even those buried beneath six feet of Oregon mud.

Joseph Wylde isn’t afraid of the past, but he knows some truths are better left unspoken. When his father-in-law’s grave-digging awakens more than just ghosts, Joseph invites him into their home hoping that a booming metropolis and two curious grandtwins will be enough to keep the former marshal out of trouble. Unfortunately, the old man’s past soon follows, unleashing a terrible storm on a city already knee deep in floodwaters. As the dead mysteriously begin to rise, the Wyldes must find the truth before an unspeakable evil can spread across the West and beyond.
Preorder



About Rob

Guest Blog by Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - Zombie 3.0
Rob DeBorde is the author of Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes, a story of supernatural suspense, adventure, and zombies in the rain due October 16 from St. Martin’s Griffin. He also wrote a fish cookbook and a cartoon about an accident-prone octopus chef. Seriously. He lives upriver from Portland, Oregon and can be found online at www.robdeborde.com.

WebsiteFacebook : Twitter

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012


Announcing the four newest authors who will be featured in the Challenge - A. J. Colucci, Rob DeBorde, D.J. McIntosh, and John Park.



A.J. Colucci

The Colony
Thomas Dunne Books, November 13, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
A series of gruesome attacks have been sweeping New York City. A teacher in Harlem and two sanitation workers on Wall Street are found dead, their swollen bodies nearly dissolved from the inside out. The predator is a deadly supercolony of ants--an army of one trillion soldiers with razor-sharp claws that pierce skin like paper and stinging venom that liquefies its prey.

The desperate mayor turns to the greatest ant expert in the world, Paul O’Keefe, a Pulitzer Prize–winning scientist in an Armani suit. But Paul is baffled by the ants. They are twice the size of any normal ant and have no recognizable DNA. They’re vicious in the field yet docile in the hand. Paul calls on the one person he knows can help destroy the colony, his ex-wife Kendra Hart, a spirited entomologist studying fire ants in the New Mexico desert. Kendra is taken to a secret underground bunker in New York City, where she finds herself working side by side with her brilliant but arrogant ex-husband and a high-ranking military officer hell-bent on stopping the insects with a nuclear bomb.

When the ants launch an all-out attack, Paul and Kendra hit the dangerous, panic-stricken streets of New York, searching for a coveted queen. It’s a race to unlock the secrets of an indestructible new species, before the president nukes Manhattan.

A.J. Colucci's debut novel is a terrifying mix of classic Michael Crichton and Stephen King. A thriller with the highest stakes and the most fascinating science, The Colony does for ants what Jaws did for sharks.




Rob DeBorde

Portlandtown
A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes 1
St. Martin's Griffin, October 16, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
(fiction debut)

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
Welcome to Portlandtown, where no secret is safe---not even those buried beneath six feet of Oregon mud.

Joseph Wylde isn’t afraid of the past, but he knows some truths are better left unspoken. When his father-in-law’s grave-digging awakens more than just ghosts, Joseph invites him into their home hoping that a booming metropolis and two curious grandtwins will be enough to keep the former marshal out of trouble. Unfortunately, the old man’s past soon follows, unleashing a terrible storm on a city already knee deep in floodwaters. As the dead mysteriously begin to rise, the Wyldes must find the truth before an unspeakable evil can spread across the West and beyond.




D.J. McIntosh

The Witch of Babylon
Forge Books, October 16, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
(US debut)

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
Out of the searing heat and sandstorms of the infamous summer of 2003 in Baghdad comes The Witch of Babylon, a gripping story rooted in ancient Assyrian lore and its little-known but profound significance for the world.

John Madison is a Turkish-American art dealer raised by his much older brother, Samuel, a mover and shaker in New York's art world. Caught between his brother's obsession with saving a priceless relic looted from Iraq's National Museum and a deadly game of revenge staged by his childhood friend, John must solve a puzzle to find the link between a modern-day witch and an ancient one.

Aided by Tomas, an archaeologist, and Ari, an Iraqi photojournalist—two men with their own secrets to hide—John races against time to decipher a biblical prophecy that leads to the dark history behind the science of alchemy. Kidnapped by villainous fortune hunters, John is returned to Iraq, where a fabulous treasure trove awaits discovery—if he can stay alive long enough to find it.




John Park

Janus
ChiZine Publications, September 15, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
In the near future, Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus's colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. But they only leave him angry and disturbed and he begins to doubt the glimpses of the past the treatments reveal. Grebbel meets Elinda, an earlier arrival, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods, apparently brain-damaged. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth. Investigating Barbara's fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge, even as they begin to uncover the darkness at the heart of their world.




Interview with Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - October 18, 2012Guest Blog by Rob DeBorde, author of Portlandtown - Zombie 3.02012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012

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