Friday, June 7, 2013

Author Spotlight: Armand Rosamilia

Writer, publisher, and heavy metal guru; Armand Rosamilia is an author who explores the dynamics of people who're forced to survive harrowing scenarios—Armand is not afraid to push his characters over the edge, especially in his zombie novels. To celebrate the latest episode in his popular Dying Days series, Armand stopped by the blog to share his thoughts about zombies and his beloved protagonist, Darlene Bobich, while showing us a glimpse of his maniacal imagination…  

Synopsis for Dying Days 3: 

Flagler Beach Florida is a wasteland of ruin and gore, looted and picked clean of supplies… and now, Darlene Bobich and the other survivors have an even bigger problem…

What could be worse than a mindless zombie horde? They are about to find out. 

Continuing the zombie series, "Dying Days"… extreme situations, extreme violence, extreme undead




VINCENZO: The fans love Darlene Bobich from your Dying Days books; what makes her stand out from other zombie fiction protagonists? What makes her interesting to you? Was there a specific character or person who helped inspire Darlene's creation?

ARMAND: I love writing about Darlene Bobich because she isn't superhuman. She is just a normal woman, late twenties, pretty but not a model, a little overweight and a bit emotional at times. She is pretty cool. After writing the first stories with her I realized she'd be pretty cool to hang out with, with or without the zombie apocalypse. She wasn't based on anyone I know but I guess as she progressed in later stories she became a woman I would like to be friends with, if that makes sense… and isn't too creepy…

The Dying Days series offers readers a chance to see the long-term effects of characters who survive for an extended period of time. What kind of role does the setting play in the stories development? 

Darlene is from Maine, so this is a totally different place for her. Even the characters native to Florida are not used to living like this, and some of them clearly handle it better than others. I enjoyed keeping each character's motivations intact even as the world changed around them, some adapting and some keeping focus (right or wrong). Just because the world goes to hell doesn't mean bad people suddenly become good. Or good people don't suddenly breakdown and act like selfish jerks. 

How often do you think about your characters? 

I am constantly 'writing' in my head, every time I meet a new person. I am at the point where something will hit me and I can see Darlene or John or Tosha doing that or saying that, and I make a mental note for later. A writer never stops writing, even when they aren't in front of a computer screen. 

Why won't you tone down the gore of your Dying Days series? There seems to be a lot of it…

I'm not interested in writing a happy or toned-down zombie story unless it's organic when I write it. I don't actually have too much gore and craziness, but I imply it quite a bit. I can only think of once or twice where I actually mention the zombies sexually violating someone, and it happened in the beginning of the Highway To Hell novella, the story that Dying Days really evolved from. 

How do you envision the evolution of your series? 

I have no reason to believe Dying Days will end anytime soon, because I have so many major and minor characters to tell their story about. For instance, the next release will be Dying Days: Origins, which tells the prequel tale of Tosha Shorb and then David Monsour (both featured in Dying Days 2). There are plenty of stories still left to tell. 

What was the most memorable moment you have, as a writer, while working on Dying Days Three? 

I remember about halfway through it I was stuck on a part during a beach scene and knew I had to move the story along and give the reader something interesting and move the story forward another notch. I took a break and when I checked my e-mail I saw the cover art Ash Areceneaux had put together and I loved it. A female zombie underwater, with one arm and her nose missing. I immediately knew it had to be incorporated into the story, and it's one of my favorite scenes. 

What's the craziest experience you've had with a fan? 

I had a fan send me a vodka skull, big boxes of M&Ms and TicTacs, and a bunch of other cool stuff. I became great online friends with her and help her with her own writing career. I've also had a couple of propositions for them to fly to Florida and get a room overlooking the beach and… yeah, I have had a few wild and crazy events because of this career. 

Are you reading any independent authors? If so, who? 

I mostly read independents. Bryan Hall, Tim Baker, Robert Chazz Chute, Mark Tufo… I could list another dozen. I am constantly finding new authors to read and getting recommendations from friends I trust. 

Which zombie movie is your favorite? Why?

My absolute favorite is the Dawn of the Dead remake. The fast zombies don't bother me. I love Ving Rhames in this, and anytime I see it on TV I will watch no matter what part it is on. I'm also a big fan of Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later. 

What's the biggest difference/challenge between writing a series and a standalone story?

With a series you have the freedom to really dive fully into the background of the character(s), and take your time telling their story. You can ease into what makes them do the things they do, and not have to worry about cutting scenes and quirks because you have to neatly fit it into one story. I have several characters in Dying Days that drop in and out like in real life. Some of these character threads might never be closed. And I'm OK with it. 

Describe the moment you discovered you enjoyed writing.

I knew at 12 I wanted to write, and write horror. It sounds cliché but it was always my career choice and nothing else. I just had no idea how to go about doing it, and 30 years ago the rules were so different. It was just a pipe dream of a pre-teen. Even in my twenties it was very hard to get published and get help. But I've always wanted to be a horror author. You can thank Dean Koontz for that. 

In your opinion, why is zombie literature a relevant genre?

The fan base gives it relevancy. There is a solid, small rabid fan base for zombie literature. After The Walking Dead and World War Z has come and gone, there will still be fans of zombies out there, and they will keep finding the better releases and word of mouth will keep certain authors writing and selling their work. 

As an editor at Rymfire Books, what has been the most rewarding part of the experience?

Meeting so many great writers and getting to publish some of their first stories, and then months and years later seeing them move up and get noticed and grow into an even more amazing writer. Mark Tufo comes to mind. To be able to publish his short, "My Name Is Riley," in Undead Tales and then see his career explode soon after was great. 

The world is ending, and the pantheon of music gods have sent three bands down from the heavens to Earth to put on one last concert the human race. Who're the bands?

Original lineup of Slayer, "Kill 'Em All" version of Metallica, and Steel Panther (as long as the chicks are with them).

You're standing on top of a hill and you're surrounded by zombies. You're the last person alive, and you have a weapon in your hands and a pair of headphones in your ears. What's your weapon? What're you listening to?

I have a five-pound bag of M&M's and I hope eating it will induce a heart attack, while listening to "I Hate, Therefore I Am" by Cyclone Temple (one of the greatest Thrash Metal albums of all time to me)

I have a feeling you'll survive… 

Your non-fiction projects are interesting; why is the "Metal Queens Monthly" series such an interesting project for you?  

I like writing not only horror, but expand my writing as much as possible. I'm a Metalhead and I've always been fascinated to find and hear new bands, and talk with fellow Metal fans. And I'm a guy, so I've always been attracted to women who also like Metal. I decided to combine my love of Metal, writing, and women into one neat package. I interview each female about their love of Metal, and there are plenty of pictures. 

Armand, you've got thirty seconds to tell us anything else about Dying Days we might have missed… 

I was getting tired of reading about stereotypical characters trapped in a building together fighting a zombie horde. I decided to write my own, and to set it in an odd place for zombie fiction: the beach. Plenty of sunshine, lots of sand and cool breezes and gore. After over two years of the Dying Days series being out, I think I'm still doing it right. Readers seem to think so. I hope you'll take a second to read the sample of one of my books on Amazon or Smashwords or Nook or Kobo, and decide to read the rest. And then get in contact and let me know what you loved and/or hated about it, because I love meeting new people. And eventually killing them in a future story. 


Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he's not watching zombie movies, the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music...

Besides the "Miami Spy Games" zombie spy thriller series, he has the "Keyport Cthulhu" horror series, several horror novellas and shorts to date, as well as the "Dying Days" series:
Highway To Hell... Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer... Dying Days... Dying Days 2... Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days... Dying Days: The Siege of European Village... and many more coming in 2013.

He is also an editor for Rymfire Books, helping with several horror anthologies, including "Vermin" and the "State of Horror" series, as well as the creator and energy behind Carnifex Metal Books, putting out the "Metal Queens Monthly" series of non-fiction books about females into Metal...

You can find him at
and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal: