years living in northern Virginia. He has authored several short stories, including “Dead Water”, “Rednecks Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”, “Cruise of the Living Dead”, “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly” (an alcoholic mall Santa battles zombie reindeer), and “Denizens.” His two latest short stories – “The Last Flight of The Bismarck,” about steampunk zombies, and “The Hunger,” a tale of cannibalism during a zombie outbreak – will both be released later this year in anthologies being published by Knighwatch Press.
Scott’s first zombie novel, Rotter World, which details the struggle between humans and vampires during a zombie apocalypse, was released by Permuted Press in April 2012. He has also authored The Vampire Hunters trilogy, which has been published by Pill Hill Press and received excellent reviews from Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria, among others. Scott has finished his fifth novel, Yeitso, a homage to the monster movies of the 1950s set in northern New Mexico, which is currently with a publisher, and is wrapping up his sixth novel, Hell Gates, the first in a series of young adult novels set in a world in which the realms of Hell and earth have merged.
When he is not busy writing, Scott can either be found relaxing on his back deck with a cup of iced coffee, or doting on the four house rabbits that live with him.
Please visit the author’s website at http://scottmbakerauthor.blogspot.com.
After being hidden away for centuries, the Vampyrnomicon, the Book of the Undead, is finally unearthed, and with it the terrible secret of the vampires’ origins. The discovery of the Vampyrnomicon gives Drake Matthews the means to defeat the Master and eradicate the vampire threat, but it also provides Chiang Shih with the knowledge she needs to make her masters immortal.
Now more powerful than ever, Chiang Shih raises an army of the undead and creates a vampire nation in Washington D.C. Her attempt to assassinate Drake and his colleagues nearly cripples the hunters, but fails to kill them all. Driven by vengeance, and with his band of hunters swelled by unlikely allies, Drake leads the group into the infested city.
With the fate of humankind hanging in the balance, hunters and vampires wage the final epic battle in the streets of the nation’s capital to determine who will hold dominion over the earth.
Like the other two books in the series this book is action packed to the brim. Hard to put down once you've picked it up. The plot continues to develop and get better as the series continues. Dominion is by far the best in the books.
The characters feel like real people. They're way easier to relate to. The unbrittled evilness of the main villain is beyond compare. I wanted to hide in the corner, wearing a helmet, and sporting a bat to protect myself from her. I felt sorry for the heroes and rooted for them the entire book.
Overall, an improvement upon the other two books. I'd recommend this book for lovers of action, Walking Dead, and anyone that loves that sort of stuff.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Since I was old enough to write. When I wasn’t reading, which was rare, I was writing. I began when I was about ten years old, jotting down stories in notebooks or creating my own monster magazines. I loved doing book reports in elementary school because it allowed me to explore my two passions. My favorite class in high school was creative writing. And I was one of the few in college that actually enjoyed term papers. I didn’t start writing professionally until I was out of grad school. I would say that I’ve spent forty years reaching this point in my writing career, but that sounds depressing. [chuckles]
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me up to a year from first developing the idea to getting the manuscript ready for submittal, and that’s because I do this as my second job. I spend a month planning out the novel and developing the characters so that, when I actually sit down to write, everything flows quickly. It takes about five to seven months to complete the first draft, depending on the size of the book. I give my beta readers a month to comment. Then it takes another eight weeks to incorporate the feedback into the final draft and review it one last time. Once I retire and devote all my time to writing, I hope to cut that time in half.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I usually write for about ninety minutes a day when I get home from work, and try to fit in two- or three-hour marathon sessions on the weekend. If I’m on a roll, I can easily crank out 2500 words a session.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I include a lot of action in my novels, more so than in your average horror/urban fantasy. When I write, I imagine how the story will play out if the novel was ever made into a movie. I like to have blockbuster endings that go on for thirty or more pages and keep the readers engrossed. My favorite compliment is when fans tell me they stayed up late finishing my book because they couldn’t put it down.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Mostly from a warped and over active imagination. Seriously, though, I conducted a lot of research while preparing to write The Vampire Hunters trilogy, mostly on vampire history and the origins of the various legends. I then picked which aspects I wanted to include in my mythos (for example, my vampires are immune to religious symbols and garlic but are horribly scarred by holy water). I’m also a historian by training, which is one of the reasons I included so many flash back sequences in my books. Those scenes were fun to write, and it finally gave me an opportunity to put six years of college and grad school to good use.
You would also be surprised at how many people are willing to be interviewed by writers. For The Vampire Hunters trilogy, I was able to arrange tours of the Washington D.C. sewer system and a local funeral parlor, which greatly helped the realism of those scenes. For Yeitso, I spent an entire morning with an entomologist for the National Archives who answered all my questions about insects. I have as much fun researching my novels as I do writing them.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first novel while in graduate school, when I was twenty-nine. It was an espionage thriller, and it was amateurish and pathetic. But I learned a lot from that experience, and my next novels were much more professional.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I spend what little free time I have reading, watching monster movies, and playing with the four house rabbits that live with me. I also enjoy video gaming, but have not had a chance to play anything in over six months. I’m still stuck at a boss fight on Dead Island.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family and friends are very supportive. And my colleagues at work think it’s cool that they have a horror novelist in their ranks.
My mother is the funny one, though. She used to be a nurse’s aide and is a gorehound in her own right. When I get feedback from her it’s usually, “There’s not that much blood in the human body” or “That’s not what intestines really look like.”
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How great ideas seemingly come out of nowhere. Once I started writing The Vampire Hunters, the plot for the next two books in the trilogy just came naturally. The entire concept for Hell Gate developed while watching an episode of SyFy Channel’s Face Off. A lot of my short stories came from passing news reports or stories someone related. My friends are becoming careful to watch what they say around me otherwise out of concern I’ll turn whatever they say into a novel.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have four books currently in print: The Vampire Hunters trilogy and Rotter World, which is about a small band of vampires and humans putting aside their distrust for each and trying to survive a zombie outbreak. My fifth novel is currently with a publisher for consideration. It’s called Yeitso and is my homage to the giant monster movies of the 1950s that I grew up with as a kid. I’m putting the final edits on Hell Gate, which is a young adult novel dealing with a sixteen-year-old boy coming to age during an apocalypse caused by his mother. And I’m about to start work on my seventh novel, a sequel to Rotter World. I’m proud of all of them, but I’m partial to The Vampire Hunters: Dominion because I think it has the best character development of all my novels, and I love the spin I put on the vampire legend.
I also have an impressive selection of short stories: six published in anthologies or on line and two that are scheduled for publication this fall. Of those, my favorite is a zombie Christmas tale titled “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly.” An alcoholic mall Santa battles zombie reindeer. You can’t get much campier than that.
Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers to become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Write every day, even if you don’t feel like it or are not inspired. Like any skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll become at it. And don’t give up, no matter how discouraged you get. No one who has stopped writing has ever been published.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
So far I’ve gotten only positive feedback. A few reviewers have become devoted fans. And several readers who picked up one of my books have written me to tell me how much they enjoyed it. Several have even provided feedback, which I always listen to. I’m writing for them.
I have one fan in particular who is very special. She reached out to me in March 2010 after The Vampire Hunters was published and complimented me on my book. In the course of our chats, I discovered that she also wrote vampire novels, and volunteered to read her manuscript. Her first book is being published later this year, and we’re about to celebrate the anniversary of our first date.
Do you like to create books for adults?
I do. I can get away with things in an adult-oriented novel that I can’t in other genres. However, I am experimenting with new formats. Yeitso is the first book I published in which I don’t use the “f” word and I keep the gore and sex to a minimum. And Hell Gate is my first attempt at a young adult audience. Someday I want to try my hand at a children’s book based on one of my pets. It’ll be called Ruby, the Rude Rabbit.
What do you think makes a good story?
The most important element to a good story is well-developed characters. The story itself is important, but if the reader isn’t emotionally invested in your characters and doesn’t care what happens to them, the novel will fall flat.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a horror movie star like Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi. All my friends told me I’d be a natural. I used to think they were being supportive, but now I realize they were just being mean.
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Chiang Shih turned to face the rose window. Picking up the Vampyrnomicon, she opened it and began to read.
“Fortunate are the evil in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Hell. Fortunate are those who hate, for they will be avenged. Fortunate are the strong, for they will dominate the earth. Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for wickedness, for they will be satiated in their lust. Fortunate are the merciless, for they themselves have been shown no mercy. Fortunate are the dark of heart, for they will know Satan. Fortunate are the warmakers, for they will be called sons of Satan. Fortunate are those who persecute the righteous, for theirs is the kingdomof Hell. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Hell.”
A rumbling emanated from outside, similar to thunder but deeper and prolonged.
“Praise Satan! Oh Dark Lord, you are very great; you are clothed with cruelty and ignominy. You wrap yourself in darkness as with a garment. You undermine the earth’s foundations; it can never be stable again.”
A small black cloud three feet in diameter formed out in front of and just above the cathedral.
“How many are your works, Oh Dark Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. We all look to you to give us our human food at the proper time. When you give them to us, we gather them up; when you open your hand, we are satisfied with evil things. When you send your Evil Spirit, we are created, and you renew the face of the earth in Hell’s image.”
The cloud expanded rapidly until it dominated the sky above the front lawn.
“May the infamy of the Dark Lord Satan endure forever; may the Dark Lord Satan rejoice in his works, he who looks at the earth and the earth trembles. May the righteous vanish from the earth and the humans be no more. Praise the Dark Lord Satan!”
The cloud began swirling, forming a vortex. The rumbling grew increasingly louder until the cathedral trembled from the noise.
“The Dark Lord Satan said, ‘I am the resurrection of death. He who obeys me will live as the undead. Whoever obeys me and lives as the undead shall never die.’
“Dark Lord Satan, make us immortal like you!”
A thunderous boom rocked the cathedral. The rose window shattered outward, covering the humans below with shards. Walker watched in fascination as the black cloud deepened in density and its swirling increased in speed. A brilliant beam of sunlight emanated from the vortex and shone through the frame, illuminating Chiang Shih. She stiffened. Her body glowed until she seemed almost as bright as the beam. When she turned to face her masters, her eyes burned bright yellow.
Without warning, sunlight flowed from her eyes and filled the interior of the cathedral, washing over the masters, the vampires huddled in the corner, and the corpses scattered around the nave. Walker closed his eyes and crouched, expecting death. Instead, he felt a sensation he had not experienced since his days as a human. Warmth.
Walker opened his eyes and stood. Sunlight bathed his body. Rather than peel off and crumble, however, his flesh tingled. He looked back down the nave toward the crossing, excited to see his shadow extending away from him. Raising his hand in front of his face, he noticed that his shadow did the same.
Chiang Shih had done it. She had made them all daywalkers.