Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Peter Meredith

I’m honored to have Peter Meredith back on this year’s Halloween Extravaganza, his second appearance. If you haven’t read any of his work, you should definitely pick something up. He is a truly talented guy, and one of the nicest authors I’ve met.

Meghan: Hi, Peter. Welcome back to my Halloween Extravaganza, and at the same time, welcome to the new blog. It’s been awhile since we sat down together. What’s been going on since we last spoke?

Peter Meredith: Mostly just knocking out the books. I’ve been to Vietnam a couple of times, found my wife’s birth family, escaped terrorists bent on changing my autograph to something legible, but mostly a lot of writing.

Meghan: Who are you outside of writing?

Peter Meredith: Husband, father and grandfather… mostly grandfather now that my five-year-old grandson has moved in. Tired grandfather, that is.

Meghan: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Peter Meredith: I’m all for it, but after doing this for eight years, I never expect it. The same friends always say: “I have to read your book!” I just smile now, knowing it probably won’t happen. When one does that’s great, but I don’t nag or follow up with what did you think? If they liked it, they’ll tell you.

Meghan: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Peter Meredith: It’s completely, totally a gift, except when I don’t hit my word count for the day, then the curse strikes, which involves night sweats, a racing heart beat and it hurts when I pee. I am sort of addicted. On the plus side I write four books a year and make a good living. I tell people I could go anywhere and write, but I don’t. I stay locked away in my cave.

Meghan: How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

Peter Meredith: I was the middle child of seven kids, in a military family that moved around every couple years. Saying it makes it sound torturous but in retrospect, it was a great childhood that allowed me to see a great variety of people and places.

Meghan: What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Peter Meredith: That’ll be up to the prosecutor to decide. I’ve looked up how to make so many improvised explosives that I’m sure the FBI is reading this as I type. Hi fellas. Maybe lay off the doughnuts.

Meghan: Which do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Peter Meredith: Always the beginning. Since I don’t plot, I generally don’t know what my book is going to be about at first. I just keep writing until it starts to gel around me, but those first few days I walk around sort of muttering to myself.

Meghan: Do you outline? Do you start with characters or plot? Do you just sit down and start writing? What works best for you?

Peter Meredith: Usually I start with an idea—what would happen if— sometimes the idea comes with an ending that I shoot for and sometimes not.

Meghan: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline/plan? Usually I can feel when they start to come off the rails and I gently nudge them over. Sometimes I like the evolved state better than the original and so I keep it.

Peter Meredith: What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write? I look at my credit card bills. Since I don’t have another job, money has to be a prime consideration. Also I am addicted. I don’t know what stopping would be like.

Meghan: Are you an avid reader? I used to be. Before I started writing I read all the time. Now I write all the time.

Peter Meredith: What kind of books do you absolutely love to read? I love well written fantasy, but if there’s a sparkly vampire I will burn the book.

Meghan: How do you feel about movies based on books?

Peter Meredith: They’re getting better. It used to be I hated them, but now they’re trying hard to stay true to the story. And sometimes they’re straight up better. World War Z is a fine example. Hollywood liked the title and the fact that there were zombies in it but threw out the rest and for that I thank them.

Meghan: Have you ever killed a main character?

Peter Meredith: Why isn’t the question: Have you not a killed a main character? Yes, is the answer. A hero can only hang from the edge of a cliff so many times before readers yawn and think “He’ll escape from those dragons and the machine guns wielding guards, even if he is surrounded by a lake of lava.” A death here and there keeps the readers on their toes.

Meghan: Thanks, Peter. I’ll have to take that question change under advisement. Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Peter Meredith: Yes because I want my readers to feel the pain of the characters. I want them emotionally attached. I want them to cry. And that won’t happen if there ain’t no ants at the picnic.

Meghan: What’s the weirdest character concept that you’ve ever come up with?

Peter Meredith: Jillybean—a 6 year old in a 16 book zombie series. Normally a child in a zombie book is there only to do something stupid to drive the plot along. Jillybean is different in that she’s insane. She’s spent the first year of the apocalypse utterly alone. Her mom is a decaying corpse upstairs in the master bedroom and all her neighbors are eaten one by one outside her living room window. She’s cracked and yet she develops into a latent genius as way of a survival mechanism. I describe her genius this way: If you threw a million children into the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they’d all drown. All except one. One would figure out how to make a raft out of the corpses of the rest. Perhaps she might even skin a few for sails. Who knows?

Meghan: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever received? What’s the worst?

Peter Meredith: My mom thinks that I am AWE-some.

My dad is like: Ehh. Why have anyone guarding a lake of lava?

Meghan: What do your fans mean to you?

Peter Meredith: Cha-ching! A-hem… I mean they are my every thing. My sun and stars. Also I like it when they say I rite gud.

Meghan: If you could steal one character from another author and make them yours, who would it be and why?

Peter Meredith: This is the toughest question so far. I’m going with Stephen King’s Barlow from Salem’s Lot. To me, the perfect vampire. I would love to explore that unhappy business.

Meghan: If you could write the next book in a series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?

Peter Meredith: I am doing that currently. The story is set 150 years in the future after every nuclear weapon in the world’s arsenal had been lit off in an attempt to stop a zombie apocalypse that exploded out of no where. Half the world is a desert and the other half has to contend with fallout storms, technological regression, famine, and an interesting catch-all disease called slag that eats the flesh from its victims. And BTW, not all the zombies were killed. They’re hiding among the slags and its up to nothing-left-to-lose bounty hunters to root them out. Fun.

Meghan: If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?

Peter Meredith: I hear that is a horror. The answer is Stephen King. One book and I’d be set for life. I’d be able to write sheet music for crickets like I’ve always wanted. There’s more than two notes people, er insects.

Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?

Peter Meredith: Dead-eye Hunt should be completed by mid October. I shall rest up for half a day and begin Dead-eye Hunt book 2.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Peter Meredith: Website ** Patreon ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Instagram

Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview or the last?

Peter Meredith: Just thank you for having me, Meghan, and thank you to my fans for inviting me into your heads. Eventually, you come to realize what a mistake that was, but you’re smiling now and that what counts.

Peter Meredith is the multi-genre author of thirty-six novels including: The Undead World, a 10 book series, Generation Z Series, The Trilogy of Void, The Hidden Lands Series, The Sacrificial Daughter, A Perfect America, and Sprite.

Peter has written drama, horror, fantasy, apocalypse, and post apocalypse novel.

He is proud to have served in the U.S. Army for four years, serving in the 82nd airborne division and as a medic during Gulf War 1. Also having tried his hand in real estate, and a CEO of a national lighting company, he has come to find that his true addiction is in writing and been blessed to make it his full-time career.

Peter resides in Colorado with his wife, Stacy, of 27 years. They have two grown children and a a grandchild who also live in Colorado.

May you find an unforgettable adventure among my writings!

The Undead World 1: The Apocalypse

Money, terrorism, and simple bad luck conspire to bring mankind to its knees as a viral infection spreads out of control, reducing those infected to undead horrors that feed upon the rest. 

It’s a time of misery and death for most, however there are some who are lucky, some who are fast, and some who are just too damned tough to go down without a fight. This is their story.

The Undead World 2: The Apocalypse Survivors
The Undead World 3: The Apocalypse Outcasts
The Undead World 4: The Apocalypse Fugitives
The Undead World 5: The Apocalypse Renegades
The Undead World 6: The Apocalypse Exile
The Undead World 7: The Apocalypse War
The Undead World 8: The Apocalypse Executioner
The Undead World 9: The Apocalypse Revenge
The Undead World 10: The Apocalypse Sacrifice
The Undead World 10.1: Jillybean’s First Adventure
The Undead World 10.2: Jillybean & the First Giants

Generation Z 1: Generation Z

It’s been twelve years since the undead hordes swept over the earth forcing mankind to the brink of extinction. We now live like rats, scavenging in the ruins of our fallen civilization as the dead hunt us night and day. 

There is little left to scavenge, however. Grocery stores were emptied ages ago, gas tanks have long been dry and bullets are so precious that a man is lucky to have two to his name. 

Still, we survive. 

But for how much longer? Instinct and love have combined to turn Darwin’s theory on its head. The strongest didn’t survive in this world. They were the first to die, leaving behind a generation of orphans. 

It’s a generation that’s never had a full belly. It’s a generation that has no idea what an Xbox did, or what algebra is for. It’s a generation of children who never laugh out loud, and who have learned to cry softly because the dead are always near and the dead are always so very, very hungry.

Generation Z 2: The Queen of the Dead
Generation Z 3: The Queen of War
Generation Z 4: The Queen Unthroned
Generation Z 5: The Queen Enslaved
Generation Z 6: The Queen Unchained

Trilogy of the Void 1: The Horror of the Shade

When Commander William Jern and his wife Gayle are given an opportunity to move into one of the spacious Colonial homes on the Village Green, they jump at the chance. But the Jern’s new dream home quickly becomes an icy nightmare, as death stalks them relentlessly. It comes unheralded out of the night, and like all of us, they are dreadfully unprepared. But regardless, William Jern must face terrors beyond imagination in order to save his daughter whose body had become a frozen vessel for The Horror Of The Shade. With the help of his son Will, a boy struggling to find the courage to be a man, and an old woman, who has foreseen the terrifying manner in which she will die, William undergoes the ultimate test to see how far a man will go to save his child.

Trilogy of the Void 2: An Illusion of Hell
Trilogy of the Void 3: Hell Blade