Author JEREMY WAGNER has written lyrics to hundreds of lyrics and songs spanning several albums with his international death-metal band, BROKEN HOPE.
He has a following of rabid fans worldwide, yet aside from his music career, Wagner writes dark fiction novels and other works full time.
Wagner’s novel, THE ARMAGEDDON CHORD, peaked at #4 in Barnes & Noble’s TOP 10 “paperback” Bestseller List and peaked at #9 on B&N’s TOP 100 overall Bestseller List in the first week of release. TAC also earned a Hiram Award, a first-round ballot Stoker Award Nomination, and received critical acclaim in Publisher’s Weekly and Rolling Stone magazine among many other worldwide publishing magazines, television, and popular culture entities.
Wagner’s new novel, RABID HEART will be published in OCTOBER 2018 via the AFRAID imprint of Riverdale Avenue Books.
AFRAID will also re-release a revised edition of THE ARMAGEDDON CHORD in DECEMBER 2018 with new cover artwork and more.
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
I’m the founding member/chief-lyricist/main riffer for death-metal band, BROKEN HOPE.
I write dark fiction novels and other writings full time. My published works include the debut novel, THE ARMAGEDDON CHORD, the story, Romance Ain’t Dead, for the anthology, Hungry For Your Love (St. Martin’s Press), the story, The Creatures From Craigslist in the anthology, Fangbangers: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and Love (Ravenous Books), the seasonal bio tale, When I Scared Myself Out of Halloween (Shock Totem Books), my horror writing essay-exercise in the Now Write! edition of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror (Bantam Books), and most recently, a short story, Pit Stop, in the A Tribute Anthology to Deadworld (Riverdale Avenue Books).
My new novel, RABID HEART was just published via the AFRAID imprint of Riverdale Avenue Books.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
Outside of writing books, I like to play guitar, write music, travel for leisure, try new restaurants and pinot noir, and see movies.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
WHERE the WILD THINGS ARE.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
It’s hard for me to pick one favorite album—there’s so many I worship from a variety of genres. If you talk metal specifically, Slayer “Reign In Blood” is a favorite specific to metal.
And also, YES—music absolutely plays a role in my writing. I MUST have music playing when I write. It helps me on some level…it’s an actual writing tool.
KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?
I’d say John Carpenter for sure.
KR: What are you reading now?
I’m reading Jack Ketchum’s “The Girl Next Door.”
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
Stephen King, Peter Straub, Mario Puzo, Jack Ketchum, Peter Benchley, Dennis Etchison, Gary Brandner, and William Peter Blatty among others.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I usually have a “loose blueprint” of how the story is going down and who the main characters are. That said, once I start writing, every story takes on a life of it’s own and goes places I never expected!
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I do a TON of research every time I write a novel—not so much with short stories. I can spend weeks doing research on my own. I also get consultation from other professionals depending on the subject. I actually LOVE doing research!
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
I try and get up by 8am and immediately go and get coffee…from there I start writing. I try and put in at least four hours. I try and keep my afternoons free so I can catch up on paying bills, answering mail, running errands and all that menial stuff.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
I have a brand new novel that I’m editing right now that is probably my personal favorite thing I’ve ever written. I don’t have a title to offer yet, but it’s pure horror and it’s fucked up in big way. That’s all why I love it so much. I embrace and unleash dark fiction. I really hope this new one gets published in the next year or two so you can read what I’m talking about!
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
I read some of them. I tend to read verified/legit reviews on Amazon as they’re honest—even the bad ones. I stopped reading reviews on Barnes & Noble years ago because trolls were on there just writing the most malicious reviews that didn’t help any consumers—and were there to try and hurt me. Other than that, I’ll read one of my book reviews if it’s in a serious publication. I’m not that scared (LAUGHS).
KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?
Yes…I love giving advice and encouraging fledgling writers. To that end, I say this: Don’t listen to naysayers. Don’t get discouraged. Let the passion for writing take charge and take you away. Write your ass off and read your ass off. Take rejection and persevere. Avoid anyone who wants you to pay them for advice—there’s good people out there who are published and will give you advice and encouragement for free. Go to writer’s conferences and network with other writers. Work on your craft daily and only do it if you love it.
KR: What scares you?
Anything in the ocean that could pull me under and eat me. Crabs also freak me out…I love all animals, all creatures…but crabs just give me the willies!
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
I’m a solid fan of the Hardcover for my personal reading use. Love them more than any other format. That said, I have a deep love for vintage horror paperbacks and I collect many of them…
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
RABID HEART kicks off six months after the Necro-Rabies pandemic has turned the world into hordes of rabid undead known as “Cujos.” The virus was created by the government and in typical fashion, got out of control. In comes the protagonist—21 year-old Rhonda Driscoll, and she discovers her zombified fiancé, Brad, in her old hometown. Rhonda has PTSD and more complications from everything she’s been through—and now the return of Brad makes it worse.
On top of this, Rhonda fears that her Marine Colonel father will kill undead Brad, so she flees, stealing a Humvee and takes a road-trip through hell with Brad in tow. She hopes of starting a new life and living happily ever after—not easy to do in a frightening and uncertain terror world filled with numerous perils, pure horror, joy, heartbreak, and unconditional love.
KR: What are you working on now?
There will be two new novels next year, and I’m doing my first ever biography right now on a famous chef name Curtis Duffy. If you watch Netflix, check out For Grace. It’s a documentary on this chef Curtis Duffy, who is a famous Chicago chef who had a three-star restaurant in Chicago called Grace. So when you see that documentary, that’s the book I’m writing on him. I’m just focused on writing full time. I want to keep the Wagner novels and stories and books going consistently as long as I live.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
You can choose…
a) One fictional character from your writing.
I’d choose Rhonda Driscoll because she is tough, resourceful, and I’d need a girlfriend.
b) One fictional character from any other book.
Quint from JAWS because he’s a good fisherman and could keep us fed on that deserted island!
c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.
Ronnie Van Zant from Lynyrd Skynyrd (RIP) because he was a great storyteller and could keep us entertained.
KR: Thank you very much Jeremy.
You can visit Jeremy’s author page here
Jeremy’s Facebook page can be viewed here
Please follow Jeremy on Twitter @jeremyxwagner
The Jeremy Wagner Instagram page can be found here
To find out more about Broken Hope please visit their Official website www.brokenhope.com
Broken Hope’s Facebook page can be viewed here
Please follow Broken Hope on Twitter @BROKENHOPEBAND
The Broken Hope Instagram Page can be found here
How far would you go for love when all you love is DEAD? Six months after the Necro Rabies pandemic has turned the world into hordes of rabid undead known as “Cujos,” 21 year-old Rhonda Driscoll discovers her zombified fiancé, Brad, in her old hometown. Fearing that her Marine Colonel father will kill undead Brad, Rhonda flees, taking a road-trip with Brad in tow in hopes of starting a new life in a frightening and uncertain world complicated by numerous perils, pure horror, joy, heartbreak, and unconditional love.
You can buy Rabid Heart from Amazon UK & Amazon US
Deep beneath the Egyptian sands, an ancient and evil song written in hieroglyphics is discovered in the long lost and buried pyramid of the demonic pharaoh, Aknaseth. It is written, that if this song is performed for the world to hear, it will unleash the Apocalypse upon the world of man Satan will reign and grant immortality to the chosen. With the help of abominable Egyptologist, Helmut Hartkopff, nihilistic multibillionaire, Festus Baustone the Third will do whatever it takes to bring the song to life at any cost- even if his only daughter is to be sacrificed. Kirk Vaisto, dubbed the “God of Guitar” by his millions of fans, soon finds himself caught between the forces of divine good and monumental evil. Vaisto begins a musical journey that takes him from an unholy chapter in ancient Egyptian history to the very remains of the Holy Cross, to the concert stage, and beyond all this, to the very edge of Hell itself. Will Kirk give the performance of a lifetime and either deliver our world from evil or will he annihilate us all with the stroke of his hand? What will happen when Kirk Vasito strikes The Armageddon Chord?
You can buy The Armageddon Chord from Amazon UK & Amazon US
LOL I love it. “Cujos!” Several of my friends are reading this and I expect I’ll jump on the wagon next book budget. Thanks for the fun interview.