1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
My name is D.A. Roberts and I was born in the town of Lebanon, Missouri. I am a full-time Corrections Officer with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office in Springfield, MO. I reside in Springfield. I’ve been married to my wife, Annette, for almost 20 years and we have 3 teenaged sons. They are Nathan, Nicholas and Noah. We have an English Mastiff named Xander.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my family, Geocaching, reading, hiking, bike riding, camping, listening to music and cooking. I love watching scary movies with my wife. I especially love it when we can gather all of the kids and watch a movie together. With teenagers, it’s tough to get everyone together and liking the same thing.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
I can’t say that I have an actual routine. Working full-time as a CO, I write when I have time off. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. I try to write as much as possible, on the days that I have free. I’ll research my subject, make notes and outline the story. I like to visualize the story in my mind before I start to put it on paper. From there, it seems to just flow. Some nights, I’ll sit down and only write a thousand words. Then there are other nights when I’ll do ten thousand or more. When I get on a roll, the time just flies by.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Some come from everyday conversations, like the idea for Ragnarok Rising. I was having coffee with a few fellow officers and we started talking about horror movies. When the subject of zombies came up, my friend Chris asked “what would we do if it happened here?” The story really took off in my mind, from there. I couldn’t look at my hometown in same way.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
Since my two published novels are in the same series, I would have to say the second one…Ragnarok Rising: The Reckoning. I loved writing book one, The Awakening. Book one was a major learning experience for me. I learned so much about writing novels and publishing, and I applied it to the second novel. I think the experience made book two a much better book. I can’t wait to see if the fans of the series agree with me.
6.Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
When I was a kid, I had a very active imagination. We lived on a farm and I would play outside, imagining all sorts of crazy adventures. Our neighbor, on the farm next to ours, started telling me tall tales of a creature he called a “Bob-Wolf.” It was supposedly half Bobcat and half Wolf. The wolf half would supposedly chase the Bobcat half around. Well, Mr. Reeves had me convinced that they were real. I became so convinced that they were real that one day my mother saw a paper sack that had blown up against our barbed wire fence. She told me it was a “Bob-Wolf” and I refused to go outside for fear it would get me. I was terrified until my dad came home from work. He went out and removed the sack and everyone had a good laugh about it. I finally outgrew “Bob-Wolves” when I started kindergarten, but my imagination never stopped.
7. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
I have based the stories on real places, but not real events. I have taken my real-life experiences and used them to paint a broad picture of the people in my stories. Being a Corrections Officer, I meet all sorts of “interesting” characters. Inspiration comes from many places, but my stories are original. Since I write Zombie Horror, it’s good that it’s not based on real life.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
I’d have to say my wife is my muse. Annette isn’t afraid to tell me to get back to work, when it needs more work and when she just doesn’t like something. She’s also the first to encourage me when I get discouraged or distracted. She keeps me focused.
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
I love horror, so I will most likely write more of it. I have plans for a Werewolf story and a Serial Killer story. I also like Fantasy Adventure, so I may dabble in that, as well. Who knows where the future may take me.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
Wow…that’s a tough question. I love so many different authors from different genres. I love Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, almost anything by R.A. Salvatore, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels are fantastic. Jack Higgins is an all-time favorite, too. There’s Clive Cussler, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Harry Turtledove, Z.A. Recht, J.L. Bourne, Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Steinbeck, Frederick Forsythe, Earnest Hemmingway….I could keep going. I love to read. There are so many amazing writers out there, I doubt I will live long enough to read all of them.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
My favorite female character from my books is Chrissy “Spec-4” Wilder. She’s a fantastic character. She’s smart, brave, loyal, tough, skilled and confident. She’s one of those characters that it’s easy to like. She’s so key to the story, I couldn’t imagine telling it without her.
My favorite male character is Wylie Grant. The series is told from Wylie’s point of view. He’s an every man kind of guy. He’s a family man who is torn between his family and his own sense of duty. When the dead arrive, he steps up and takes charge when things are at their worst.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Hmm…I’d have to say….Editing. Editing is work. It’s more work than I ever thought it would be. It took me many rounds of editing before I was satisfied with it, then I had to do it again for publishing. Yeah, editing is my least favorite part of the process.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Do your research. You can write the best story ever, but if your facts aren’t right your readers will tear you apart. Know your material and it will show through. I’d also recommend that you read…a lot. Reading great books shows you how it’s done. It broadens your viewpoint and allows you to become familiar with what works for other writers…and what does not.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Well, as I said…I’m a full-time Corrections Officer. I hope to one day turn in that title for the coveted title of full-time Writer. I’d love to be successful enough that all I had to do was my writing and publicity for the books. That would be a dream come true. Until then, I’ll be content to be a CO.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
For me, it would be a cabin in the woods with a warm fire. I like the quiet and solitude of the woods. No traffic noises, no loud neighbors. Just me and my wife, a warm fire and good food. I’d cook for her on the fire and share coffee made from my old percolator pot that you set in the coals. Shelves of books read by lantern or candle light. Cool night air that makes the warm covers on the bed all the more inviting. To me…that’s paradise.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
Initial reports of rioting and chaos begin to appear in the news, slowly spreading east from California. As the unusual “riots” come closer and closer however, the first hints of the truth begins to emerge. Internet videos show rioters eating those they overtake.
When the disturbances finally reach Missouri, all law enforcement officers are called to field duty, and Officer Wylie Grant finds himself manning a remote checkpoint. The true nature of the “rioters” becomes terrifyingly clear at this point, and only Wylie and Corporal Chrissy Wilder survive the revelation. Their new goal becomes to survive the trip back to the Nathaniel County Sheriff’s Office, where the few remaining officers are attempting to regroup.
Thinking ahead, Wylie and Corporal Wilder attempt to rescue as many survivors as they can and gather as many resources as possible along the way. Upon their arrival, Wiley finds himself the leader of the rescue efforts, as many officers are stranded throughout the city.
During his repeated forays into the zombie infested streets, he discovers that the zombies are not the only enemy humanity is facing. In some cases, they are the lesser evil. As he struggles to cope with the loss of friends and innocents, he discovers that the Evacuation Centers that had been their last hope are part of a government “containment protocol”. No one is being evacuated. Refugees are summarily executed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Wylie and his team are faced with the realization that no one is coming for them, and the government that they had thought to be their ally has become yet another enemy in an increasingly hostile world.
My second novel will be out in March of 2013. It is called Ragnarok Rising: The Reckoning.
Ragnarok Rising: The Reckoning picks up where Ragnarok Rising: The Awakening ends. In the roller-coaster events of book one, the survivors of the Nathanael County Sheriff’s Office dealt with hordes of undead as they tried to rescue comrades and other survivors. In order to save his family, Wylie Grant was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
He didn’t expect to survive the final events of The Awakening. When he finds himself alive and alone in zombie infested territory, he starts making his way back to the Nathanael County Jail. Through miles of dangerous ground, Wylie returns to find that nothing is as it was. Betrayal rocks the survivors as they are forced to fight against some of their own in order to pick up the pieces.
New faces as well as familiar ones join in the struggle to survive in the days that have come to be known as “The Reckoning.” Struggling with the loss of friends and loved ones, they must make some harsh decisions that will take them back into the fray among the living dead. Danger looms from every direction as each step they take brings them closer to destruction.
Wylie discovers that other survivors may be a bigger threat to their survival than the zombies ever were. Finding their lives in jeopardy, they must decide if they will find a new place away from the others or if they are willing to go to war with a group known only as the Freemen. In the darkest hour of the Zombie Apocalypse…there is a storm coming. Who will survive the Reckoning?
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