CLICK HERE FOR FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES, LINK BUTTONS AND MORE! »

Monday, September 29, 2014

Interview: Cemetery Highway by Hamish Robert Johnson



Tell us a  little about the upcoming release.          

 Cemetery Highway is a rather funny novel set in a world where zombies are the corporate elite and humans are the underclass. The zombies are fast-talking, slick, suit wearing salesman types, and the humans are more like hipsters who ride their 10-speed bike to the Laundromat to wash their torn jeans. In short - zombies have all the money, and humans have all the fun.

 In this world people have the option of becoming a zombie if they so desire. Often in their early to mid 20s people toy with the idea, as this is the point when they generally begin to want to elevate their lifestyle.

I am also in pre-production on the movie, which is scheduled to shoot in December.

Are you a parent?

I am the proud dad of a spirited four-year-old girl. And we have another on the way in February. I guess it is because of this inevitable event that I am choosing this as the time to give my big push.

Do you find it hard to juggle being a writing parent?

I thought I’d find it more of a challenge to be a writing parent, but in reality it has made me more focused. I can get way more done now in a two-hour block than I used to. Honestly, before I had kids two hours would be barely enough time to check my hair and get a coffee.

Is there a message you would like readers to connect to?

Yes. Go at your own pace, and don’t get distracted by what those around you have or are doing.


Is there something that reader would be surprised to find out about you?

I came to America from Australia 10 years ago and landed in New York. I had no job lined up, no friends there and nowhere to stay. Oh yeah, and I had only $1,000. Everyone said I was crazy for going, but I figured, “They don’t seem to work too hard on Seinfeld. How hard could it be?” What an idiot!

I soon ran out of money, but instead of going home with my tail between my legs I hopped on the Greyhound and got as far from JFK airport as I could. I figured that if I couldn’t afford to get back there, I would have to tough it out and make it happen. The bus got me as far as Austin Texas, where I lived happily for the next three years. Funnily enough, I’d never even heard of Austin! Talk about landing on your feet…


Which of your creations are your favorite characters?

Max Enfield is my favorite character in Cemetery Highway. He is dry, droll and jaded. Which is a perfect combination for a comic relief character. In the movie he is being played by Andrew WK, who we are sure will deliver a knock out performance.


Cemetery Highway
Hamish Robert Johnson

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

ISBN:1499520247
ASIN: B00K7JUAA4

Number of pages: 187

Cover Artist: D. Thomas Magee

Book Description:

Cemetery Highway is a rollicking tale of fame, friendship and falls from grace, set in a world where zombies are the elite and humans are the underclass.

Best friends Dexter, Michelle, Penny and Cakes have started a group called the Anti Zombie Alliance and plan on sticking it to the zombies once and for all. But when zombie big-wig Max convinces the suave Dexter to trade his standards for stardom, things get ugly.

Available at Smashwords    Amazon    Kobo

Excerpt Max
It was supposed to be a proud day for this hard working zombie. I’d slogged my way up from the bottom, and managed to carve out one hell of a career for myself. I stood in the ballroom of a luxury hotel - the finest in all of Industry - and the spotlight was on me. Finally me. I was about to be announced as the King’s Number Two, and I had ocially made it!

The emcee smiled my way as he said some kind, slightly roasty words about yours truly. I pretended to laugh in all the right places and took the ribbing on the chin, but honestly it felt like something was missing. I was achieving my dream, a dream I’d worked at for decades, but here I was having second thoughts. It felt like I’d finally reached the top of a huge ladder, only to find I’d leaned it against the wrong wall.
“Zombies, let me introduce to you, the King’s new Second in Command, the incomparable Max Enfield.
I walked out and accepted my trophy, and robotically began my acceptance speech, thanking this zombie and that, and telling several mildly amusing anecdotes. All was going well, until I noticed my reflection in the window. ‘Who is this zombie?’ I thought. Then I looked through my reflection to the world outside, and saw a group of young people milling around the front of a bar across the street. They were drinking, laughing and doing something I hadn’t thought to do in years. They were living their lives. All at once I knew what I’d been missing. Humanity.
Honestly, being a zombie is a pretty hard slog. To become one sounds easy, or at least that’s the sales pitch. You see, zombies really do have everything. We get paid crap loads of money to work for Zombie Corporation, drive nice cars and live in killer condos. And you should see our suits! Dapper is an understatement. All we have to do in return is be obedient and not drink alcohol, or take any intoxicants for that matter. It sounds simple, but the rub is that when you become a zombie, you get the career of your choice. I know that sounds great, but you literally have to do it forever. Or as our sales team says, “You get to do
it forever.It doesnt leave much room for spontaneity, so my advice is choose your career wisely.
After my presentation I made a flimsy excuse, ducked out the back door and headed straight across the street. I had to remind myself what carefree socializing looked like, and maybe give myself the chance to feel it again. I had no expectations, I just knew I needed something fresh in my life, and thought that maybe I could find it there.
When I walked into the bar that night the first thing I saw was a banner reading, Anti-Zombie Alliance. Then i saw two girls standing behind it handing out ridiculous fliers extolling the virtues of self-defense against zombies and some counseling services for folks who had lost people to Zombie Corporation, and stickers with the slogan, Life, it’s always worth the wait. I’d heard that they think our lifestyle is shallow and based on instant gratification, but never had I had it shoved in my face like that before.
Oended, I was about to turn right around and go back to my swanky party when something grabbed my attention and would not let go. It was a sound unlike any I’d heard before. Wavering, pulsing music, devoid of structure and limitations. It was daring. It was beautiful. It was the sound of freedom. I turned to see where it was coming from to find a young guy poncing around on the stage, dancing between various pieces of electronic equipment, while strumming an electric guitar and singing sporadically. He looked like an Egyptian god, but shorter. He was cool as hell too, like he knew himself completely and was just doing his own thing. And let me tell you, people really bought into his thing. He had a swirly, girly kind of dance that really shouldn’t have worked, but every time he moved girls screamed. Actually screamed. He had the crowd eating out of his hand, and his music was totally unique. It sounded like it came from another planet, and I wanted to go there. I wanted all of us to go there, or for him to bring it to us. So without hesitation I called the Head of Recruitment.
“Charlie, yes, it’s Max. I know about the award, I got it already. No, just stepped out for a bit. Anyway, I need permission to sign a new recruit. Oh yes, he’s the realest deal I’ve seen for a real long time. This kids got soul, and Lord knows we need some of that. Perfect, Ill be right over to pick up the Package.

About the Author:

I grew up in Melbourne Australia and was fortunate enough to have a relatively unexciting childhood. After high school I attended film school at Deakin University, and while making the requisite pretentious art projects I discovered I had a knack for writing dialogue. In short, I wanted to be the next Quentin Tarantino.

After film school I put my passion asside and began an hilarious and relatively short lived culinary career. Quickly rising up the ranks, I found myself cooking in some of Australia’s finest restaurants and finishing a 3 year apprenticeship in 18 months. It was in these hellish kitchens that I rediscovered my love for quirky, dirty, flirty characters, which again stoked my desire for writing and the arts.

Upon hearing The Strokes for the first time, and with absolutely no preparation whatsoever I moved to New York City in 2003. I was once more surrounded by a bevy of interesting folks, inundating me with stories of hardship, romance and hope. How one cannot find inspiration in this city was beyond me. What was also beyond me was the ability to generate an income, so I hopped on the Greyhound with the little money I had left and got as far away as I could.

Austin Texas was my next port of call. Upon arriving I had a mere $40 to my name, but coupled with the attitude of a fearless traveler I was invincible. I quickly finagled a job, a room in a Revenge of the Nerds style college housing situation and the prominent position as lead guitarist in The Handsome Charlies.

I wouldn’t say I was a great guitarist, but I certainly knew how to act like one, and as we were sharing bills with The Black Angels and Ghostland Observatory I could be excused for thinking that I too would make it. But after a particularly ghastly SXSW performance I found myself standing in the parking lot listening to The Strokes perform “Is this it?” across the road. “No it is not”, I answered, and declared that I would return to writing and not continue to get distracted by flashier pursuits.

I commenced writing screenplays, pilots and web series like a madman and have not slowed down since. I now have multiple screenplays in various stages of development, and have completed my first novel. And I am here to stay!


Connect with the Author at Smashwords   Wattpad  Twitter



September 29 Interview
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

September 29 Spotlight
Books Direct

September 30 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.  

October 1 Spotlight
Book Purses & Reviews

October 2 Spotlight
Sizzling Book Blog   

October 3 Guest blog and review
Fang Freakin Tastic Reviews.  

October 6 Guest blog
Mythical Books

October 7 Guest Post
CBY Book Club

October 8 Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!  http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com

October 9 Spotlight and review
SBM Book Obsession

October 10 Review
IndieWritersReview 

October 10 Spotlight
Mom With A Kindle

October 13 Spotlight and review
Deb Sanders

October 13 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books




No comments: