“THE LAST INFECTION” Book Spotlight: Interview with Author Mike Garza

Michael W. Garza, author of the spine-chilling novel “The Last Infection” talks to us about how and when he started on writing hard-sounding gore, his take on publishing and so much more…

 

 

R C Bean

Thanks lots for agreeing to endure this chat over a cuppa virtual coffee, Mike

Michael W. Garza

Happy to be here.

 


 

R C Bean

First off, at the risk of sounding very mundane and cliche, I’d be very interested to know since when you’ve been interested in horror and gore…

Michael W. Garza

I think that’s something that started as a kid really. I grew up on horror films and a healthy dose of comics.

I enjoy a number of genres really including Fantasy and Science Fiction.


 

R C Bean

I see… I couldn’t help asking, as I felt darkness was a theme that’s been common to most of your writing – including Codex of Summons and The Elder Unearthed

Although they do not belong in the gory horror category

Michael W. Garza

My writing goal is to try and blend those genres in my works.

As an example, my next series is a YA Fantasy work coming out next year from Permuted Press.


 

R C Bean

how do you think writing YA fantasy differs from writing general fantasy or horror? and what would you think of as more strenuous?

Michael W. Garza

My process is the same but the stories come from very different places. My horror usually starts with a question of how I or someone would respond to something terrible. My fantasy starts with a more traditional world building concept.

The YA piece was a no brainer for The Last Shadow Gate series  because I based the two main characters on my kids.

 


 

R C Bean

hmm… so the horror has an element of sudden and shocking brutality…

Michael W. Garza

The is the central theme for my current book The Last Infection. I based the book on pace leaving the story development to dialog and character interaction.

I think it is a brutal story but realistic based on the situations.

To quote Stephen King you must “Kill your darlings”

 


 

R C Bean

It’s interesting seeing that Stephen King quote – would you think your works get inspired somewhat by his writing? who else do you think inspires you

Michael W. Garza

I think i get inspiration from a number of places. When it comes to other writer, horror in particular, I have always been enamored with H.P. Lovecraft. To me there is no one better. Most people don’t realize he was not only the grandfather of horror but there is a healthy does of dark fantasy to his work.


 

R C Bean

Ahh, I do recollect reading on your site that The Elder Unearthed series was inspired by Lovecraft!

Michael W. Garza

absolutely. Those stories were my best impression of Lovecraft’s work.


 

R C Bean

Looking at the general pattern of your books, I am rather intrigued to observe that there has been an interesting bend from the Codex of Summons which was a graphical fantasy to The Last Infection which is full-fledged horror – was this a conscious shift? to lean from fantasy more towards horror?

Michael W. Garza

Its a strange shift I know. The truth is it wasn’t planned that way. My first boo, The Hand That Feeds just happened to be the first book picked up by a publisher. 

I’ve written a number of fantasy and science fiction books, but it was the horror that broke me. 


 

R C Bean

That’s a good pun!

Michael W. Garza

My goal is to try and write in a number of genres but I realize its a difficult thing to do. 

The concern on the writers side is how many of your fans will follow you & are you stretching yourself to thin.


 

R C Bean

I see what you mean – it’s a fine line to tread between not wanting to let go of what you really want to write about, and not risking losing followers

Michael W. Garza

that’s it exactly

I think Ill get a better idea of where I stand when my next series is published next year

don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy writing horror. The Last Infection is something I think horror fans will love. I am already drafting the follow up.


 

R C Bean

right… i understand you do enjoy writing horror, but that’s probably not the only genre you enjoy writing

it reminds me of this blog post you had written – about contracts and negotiations… so can we say you’re much more adept now at looking for catches and hooks in contracts?

Michael W. Garza

absolutely. I’ve been through that process three times now and I’ve learned something new each time. 

It was important for me to keep a hold of certain rights such as film and movie rights for my books.

The truth is you need a lawyer but few writers ever do that.

 


 

R C Bean

whoa!

that’s a revelation

I had no idea that singing a contract with a publisher needed legal help at that level!

Michael W. Garza

that’s a fact. most writers are just so happy they got a contract that they don’t want to do anything to blow the opportunity.

But you have to realize that most “standard contracts” are terrible for the writer and strip you of basically all avenues of potential income.


 

R C Bean

Ahh, I wonder why authors seek out traditional publishing over self-publishing then?

In your viewpoint, what difference does traditional publishing make?

Michael W. Garza

its about reputation. There is still a very strong negative condemnation from readers and writers about self publishing. 

There is a level of credibility from traditional publishers that most writers are looking for.


 

R C Bean

hmm… In a way, that does make sense… I might come to a lot of criticism for saying this, but self-publishing does give anyone the power to get their books out, no matter what their level of writing competence is

but we cannot deny the fact that it has served to bring to light a lot of unhidden talent, which had gone unnoticed out of sheer misfortune

Michael W. Garza

That’s very true. The publishing industry is such a closely guarded thing. Writing a good book doesn’t really get you anything, I think most published writers will tell you that. That real challenge is getting it out for people to read it.


 

R C Bean

Right… the logistics make it hard for one to get the real joys of writing I guess…

Is that why you chose to start publishing the Friday short story series?

Do you find that as a way of writing for the pure joy of writing itself?

Michael W. Garza

The idea behind that was to try and expand the fan base and to have an avenue to show all of the different genres I write in. It does give me a great deal of freedom to write whatever I want and that is really something I enjoy.

 


 

R C Bean

that makes sense… having got a dose of nice fantasy and spine chilling horro, what can we expect from your works in the near future?

Michael W. Garza

Well my YA Fantasy is next. I’m very excited for the release of The Last Shadow Gate. I’m still waiting to hear from Permuted Press on the release date but its looking like next summer. They also picked up the rights to a science fiction book I wrote entitled Silent Invasion. Not sure on the release of that yet, we are still in talks. 

If that wasn’t enough, I’m looking to get the follow up out for The Last Infection some time next year as well.

 


 

R C Bean

Wow, that seems like a fabulous line-up

I surely look forward to reading them all!

Especially after having begun on the nice and interesting TLI

Michael W. Garza

It should be a great year


 

R C Bean

Well best wishes for your writing adventures!

Thanks lots for sparing some time for this chat!

Hope you didn’t feel too harassed!

Michael W. Garza

that was great! thanks for having me.


 

 

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4 comments

  1. A very good interview RCB and Michael W. Garza, seems a very interesting writer, though I have not read it yet. I must though. Thanks for bringing him to light.

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