Joe: Before we dive into your backstory, tell us a bit about your upcoming release?
Eric: Beyond Night is a very special book to me. Not only did I get to work with Shrews, whom I have known for years, it’s my first ROMAN book. Growing up a David Drake fan and reading books like Ranks of Bronze, Killer, and others, I had always wanted to write a novel in that time period and thanks to Shrews, I have finally been able to do that.
Joe: Tell us a bit (or a lot) more about your childhood. Primary school, High school, etc. How do you think your experiences benefited or influenced your career?
Eric: I’ve been a geek basically since I was born. I started collecting comics at age 4 and that led into loving SF and horror, as well. It was reading things like Weird War Tales and the works of Lovecraft that made me want to be a writer. Reading David Drake’s work though was what taught me how. No one can write action like Dave does.
Joe: Can you recall a moment where you had to choose between being an author/artist and another career? A decisive moment where you decided to go all out?
Eric: No. I never had that moment. It was the second grade when I first just said, I am going to be a writer someday but I was 26 when I sold my first story. Up until then it had only been a dream. My wife forced me to start sending out my work when we got married and two different magazines accepted that first story I sent out at the same time. I let the larger one have it and wrote another story for the other magazine which they took without hesitation. I became a full time writer by day when Simon and Schuster asked for the rights to War of the Worlds Plus Blood, Guts, and Zombies. That advance gave me the money in the bank to focus much more on writing. Writing has been my full time job ever since.
Joe: How did you respond to your very first success as an author? Was it just rewarding, or did it motivate you even more? Or, did it perhaps feel underwhelmed, which motivated you to even greater heights?
Eric: Writing is a marathon not a sprint and one has to realize that. Each success leads into the next one. Even after a deal with Simon and Schuster, several movies adapted from my work, and even Takeshobo, Japan’s largest publisher, picking up the rights to re-release Kaiju Apocalypse over there, I still don’t think of myself as successful. As long as I can pay the bills with money left over to buy comics, I am happy and that’s enough for me.
Joe: How has your career as an author affected relationships with friends and family?
Eric: Not really. My friends and family think some of the things I get to do are “cool” but it’s not a big thing in our relationships.
Joe: Which author most influenced your early career? And who still does?
Eric: David Drake made me the writer I am. No question about that. However, Bill Mantlo (The Micronauts, Rom), David Robbins (Endworld), and Chuck Dixon (Alien Legion) have also greatly influenced me, as well.
Joe: Instead of just focusing on your most successful work, which story are you the proudest of, a story that managed to capture a piece of who you are?
Eric: Bigfoot War. I think sometimes it represents the high point of my writing career. That book I wrote solely for the FUN of it and to escape all the zombie apocalypse stuff I was writing during that time. It changed my life with the success it had from spawning nearly a dozen sequels, its own fanzine, and a studio-produced movie that was carried around the world in stores like Walmart, etc.
Joe: How do you feel when you don’t make your target words for the day?
Eric: Like I’ve finished a decent day’s work.
Joe: What do you do to distract you enough to actually relax a bit? Or do you always think about writing?
Eric: I collect comics. Always have. I couldn’t imagine my life without Wonder Woman, Daredevil, the Flash, etc. I am also an avid comic reader and have been since I was 4 years old.
Joe: What is your life-long goal as an author?
Eric: To one day write the comics I loved so much growing up as a kid and still love as an adult even now. I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to but that’s the dream.