BIO: Allen Gamboa is a retired peace officer and ex AirForce Sergeant. He lives in the Redwoods with his lovely, former Navy and retired peace officer, wife. He loves all things horror and cake.
GJ: What do you find is the hardest part of being an independently published author?
AG: Actually I belong to Phalanx Press, an indie publishing house. Kind of like a writers co-op. There are a lot of great Authors there. The hardest part is getting the book to the audience, advertising. I think that’s probably the hardest part. I find myself thinking ‘I’ve got this,’ and then I really don’t. Facebook and word of mouth only go so far.
GJ: Other than writing, what is your favourite aspect of being an author?
AG: Definitely engaging with readers. Also being able to share my ideas with an audience other than my Mom.
GJ: You write zombie fiction. Can you describe the type of books you write?
AG: Blood splattered violence! Lol. My main series, Operation Zulu, follows a misfit group of security contractors as they navigate the zombie-filled wastelands of America . It’s a mix of military, police, fire and rent-a-cops.
The series spans ten years. From the beginning of the outbreak to the end and rebuilding of civilization. I always throw in humor . I try to make the characters likeable and relatable.
The second series I’m part of is Phalanx Press’s 5 Roads to Texas. It’s a collaboration between all the authors in The Press and there’s nine volumes so far. That one is a far reaching, conspiracy driven, flesh eating invasion story.
The newest zombie book I have out is Zombie Island. I was contracted by a Brit film company to write a novel based on an outline by Jason Wright. It’s a fun fast paced zombie fest. It takes place on Cockatoo Island off the coast of Australia. I was able to write some truly nasty characters in that story.
GJ: Should we expect a film you’ve written on the horizon?
AG: Fingers crossed!
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GJ: Do you write in any other genres or plan to in the future?
AG: I have several in the works. A sci-fi actioner and a straight up balls to the wall action story. I also have an apocalyptic western bouncing around in my head. Too many ideas in there. My brain is like someone herding cats.
GJ: Can you describe a typical day where you get chance to write? Do you spend long sessions into the early hours with a glass of wine or do you thrash out words at every spare moment?
AG: Well, I’m retired so I have more time to write than most Authors. But, I’m not disciplined and I have a two year old grandson that stays with us five days a week. Now that’s herding cats.
I try to write in the morning, armed with a pot of Death Wish coffee. I throw on the headphones and disappear into my computer or iPhone for a couple of hours. Social media really trips me up though. Imagine if Homer had Facebook? There’d be no The Odyssey just probably The Meander.
GJ: I’m trying to get the vision of Mr Simpson at a typewriter out of my head whilst telling myself off for being such an uncultured idiot when I first read your answer!
So you wouldn’t consider yourself to be a full-time writer?
AG: No. That’s for goal oriented folks.
GJ: If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice without breaking the time- space continuum, how old would you be and what would you say?
AG: 16 and ‘Don’t do it!’ That’s all I can say.
GJ: What’s your favourite ever book you’ve read and why?
AG: I would say The Stand. I’ve read it at least six times over 30 some odd years. But I’m really going to have to say James Webb’s Fields of Fire. It’s a Vietnam War novel that gets me teared up every time I read it. My Pop was a Vietnam War vet so it hits close to home.
GJ: What’s on your bucket list of things you want to do before the end of the world?
AG: Jet Ski the Mediterranean. Already done the Pacific. I’m a simple man.
GJ: What brought you into the world of writing post-apocalyptic fiction?
AG: Movies. Damnation Alley, Mad Max, Dawn of the Dead. Those flicks really grabbed me wanting a gritty, grimy, end of the world. Now not so much. I like warm showers.
GJ: How would you describe your style of writing and what makes your zombie books stand above the crowd?
AG: My style of writing? Ha. Caffeine soaked, panic driven Gonzoism! I use my experience in the military and law enforcement to pull from. A lot of conversations are those I’ve had or heard. I try to write short, cinematic chapters that keep the story moving at a fast pace.
GJ: So what can readers expect from you in 2020?
AG: My final book in the Operation Zulu series and another book in the 5 Roads to Texas series.
GJ: One for the authors in the group, what do you find is the best way you have found of getting your books in front of readers?
AG: Word of mouth by other readers or actually, readers posting on FB how much they enjoyed it. Plus and I can’t stress enough, reviews. Reviews definitely help sell a book. At least positive ones.
GJ: Thank you Allen for taking the time to talk with me today. You all can check out Allen’s great books by following these links: