Interview: Author Keith Melton + Giveaway

Filed in Interview , Keith Melton , The Geeky Lover Posted on March 4, 2011 @ 11:00 am 26 comments
We are very happy to have author Keith Melton here at Book Lovers Inc today. He’s the author one of the funniest books I ever read—The Zero Dog War was released last month and I still have to smile just thinking about it. Keith is here today to talk about himself, humor and his books. Please give him a warm welcome.
Book Lovers Inc: Keith can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Keith Melton: Typically I ride wyverns and fight against alien invaders while wearing a hat like Indiana Jones. That’s a bit of a hobby, though. When back on my meds, I write speculative fiction, mostly Urban Fantasy. And the rest of the time I spend chained to a cubicle, staring at a screen and muttering to myself—not about staplers, but about how no one ever cleans the microwave in the break room.

Good times, indeed.

Book Lovers Inc: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner, pantser or menopausal lemming?

Keith: It just so happens that I plot exactly like a menopausal lemming, which means there are sheets of outlines all over the place, sticky notes everywhere, and I race back and forth trying to remember which random plot arc I thought was best, but which is now lost in the mess. And then I run over a cliff.
Actually, I do a bit of both. I plot some stories, pantser-it on others. Yet, even while going the pantser route I usually plot ahead in my mind, trying to fit the pieces of the story together in the best way. There are few things more depressing for a writer than having to toss 20,000 words of a book because you took a wrong turn that looked tantalizing at the time, but ended up a heap of failure.

Book Lovers Inc: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?

Keith: Book Lovers talk to their books. They pet them. They look over them like proud parents. They have piles and shelves and hard drives full of books. They have comfort/favorite reads that they re-read again and again. And when a book misbehaves, they lovingly throw it at the wall. All in a spirit of love, of course.

Book Lovers Inc: What is it with you and the gelatin? Where does this hate come from?

Keith: Is gelatin not disturbing, how it wobbles? Before they invented seismographs, they used gelatin desserts to detect minor earth tremors. I’m pretty certain I read that on the Internet somewhere.
And out of the corner of your eye, if you pay very close attention, you can see it wobbling, just slightly, just the tiniest little gelatin mold jiggle, but only when you’re not looking right at it. That means it’s mocking you. It jiggles in your general direction. When did pie ever act so outrageously impertinent, yet slyly insidious? Never, I tell you. Don’t even get me started on the sound it makes if you drop it on the linoleum.

I’m tempted to go back and tone down the crazy in that last paragraph, but I decided against it, since it’s pretty much the kind of thing you’ll find in The Zero Dog War, and readers should be forewarned.

Book Lovers Inc: Why do you think Ninjas are the best fighters ever?

Keith: They are invisible. They throw metal in the shape of sharp stars that kill. They have swords that can cut through steel, stone, buildings, reinforced concrete, and never notch the blade. They get to wear pajamas any time they want. They can jump fifty feet in the air and use undefeatable martial arts powers. They can eat rice with only one chopstick. Seriously.
In truth, there’s a lot of debate on whether shinobi existed as a…I guess you’d say a specific class of fighter complete with secret ninjitsu skills…or were simply samurai on Special Forces-style missions.
Book Lovers Inc: While reading The Zero Dog War I sometimes forgot that you are actually a man (sorry I really hope your ego can take that) so I wondered: Was it hard for you to write a book out of a female point of view? And while you’re talking about woman tell us why you think we are the epitome of awesomeness?
Keith: My ego can take anything. It inflates like an airbag to protect my self-image.
It can be a challenge getting it right, yes. I mostly tried to be true to Andrea’s character first—her life as a warrior and her role as leader, but a little lonely—and then blend in other aspects to make her seem real and viable.
Women are the epitome of awesomeness because they put up with men. Actually, I could go on at length about how great women are, but I’ll just focus on a specific thing. I admire how far they’ve come in their struggle for equal rights, although this certainly isn’t the case yet everywhere in the world, and even in the U.S. we still haven’t achieved equal pay for equal work—a fact that shames me. What shames me more is the fact that this struggle was even necessary to begin with.
Book Lovers Inc: What can we expect of The Zero Dog War? Do you think your book would get the ISO 9000 certificate?
Keith: My book would utterly fail to be ISO 9000 certified. It would need hundreds of consultants working around the clock to get it in line. The fees would be horrendous. There is no hope for it, alas.
What can you expect of The Zero Dog War? Well, it’s wacky, a little crazy, and it has funny zombies. The paranormal mercenary crew is zany, but I think their interactions are fun. Basically, lots of wild action, and a tense developing romantic relationship/rivalry between Andrea (leader of the mercs) and Jake (Green Beret there to oversee the latest mission). There’s a necromancer who is trying to take over the world through the domination of the powdered gelatin market using an all-zombie workforce…so, yeah. This was actually all an excuse to use the words wacky, crazy, and zany all at once in a paragraph.
Book Lovers Inc: Andrea is a pyromancer and the boss for the rather unruly Zero Dogs. Tell us a bit about her and why she actually thinks that this position is something worth achieving?
Keith: Andrea is very driven. She wants things to be perfect, she wants to be an elite team, but unfortunately she has a crew that is a bit unprofessional (to say the least). She deals with it as best she can and she really deeply cares for them all, which makes her so protective when Jake shows up and starts to criticize and try to change things.
Book Lovers Inc: In contrast to Andrea we have the military hot shot Jake. His life is a lot more organized than living in the hellhole that is Zero Dog compound. What were his first thoughts when he set foot into this mess?
Keith: Well, you can only imagine a highly disciplined Special Forces commando was completely appalled by the disorganization and chaos. And he wants Andrea…and he’s used to getting the things he wants.
Book Lovers Inc: If you had to describe Overlord Jeremiah Hansen in 4 words- which would it be? (and we’re excluding Sex Ninjas here- sorry)
Keith: Aw, but those were the BEST WORDS. Hmm… Ambitious. Frustrated. Disconnected from reality. Evil, yet misunderstood. Okay, that was eight words. However, the man cannot be summed up in just four, such is his rich complexity.
That’s my official story, anyway.

Book Lovers Inc: Will there be more books in this series?

Keith: Of course! Well, that’s if people like them. If three out of four emails/reviews say something like: “Tragically unfunny! This author should be put out of his misery, stat!” then I’ll likely move on to something else before the mob with torches and pitchforks arrives.

Book Lovers Inc: What is next on your schedule? Could be that there will be another book in the Blood Vice world?

Keith: There are two books coming out in short order, both in the Blood Vice, Nightfall world. The actual sequel to Blood Vice will be out in July from Samhain Publishing. We continue on with Karl Vance and Maria Ricardi, but now the Order of the Thorn is using Karl as an assassin. Maria is trying to lock down control of Boston for her crime family in the midst of traitors and a growing investigation by the FBI. And then things really go wrong…
The other book is 9mm Blues. This should be out in March from Etopia Press. It follows a young Thorn knight in a battle against ghouls to save a little boy’s life. Action-packed. Dark. Intense. I’m really excited to explore this humans versus monsters aspect of the Nightfall world.

Book Lovers Inc: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?

Keith: I’ll try, although I’m a terrible salesman.

1) Action and suspense
2) Some of them might be amusing (referring to ZDW here)
3) Interesting characters w/romantic subplots, yet also explosions.

Book Lovers Inc: Usually we would ask you to describe your book twitter style but we thought we would love to see one of your paramount comics about your book!

Okay, just remember, you asked for it… 😉


Keith has generously offered a copy of The Zero Dog War to one lucky commenter! 

All you have to do is leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please leave us a way to contact you.
(Email in blogger profile or twitter name – no way to contact you – no entry).

This giveaway is open worldwide!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, March 19, 2011; and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!

About Caro The HEA Lover

Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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Join the Discussion
  • Keith Melton March 4, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Not quite as awesome as Charlie Sheen, but I tried my best. ^_^

  • laceyinthesky March 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Great interview! I would like to be entered in the giveaway.


  • GeishasMom73 March 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Since you have wild & wacky zombies in your book I would like to know which zombie movie is your favorite. Are you a fan of the slow moving dim-witted zombies or the fast and furious variety.

    The Zero Dog War looks awesome. I've read a ton of great reviews. Congratulations!

    GeishasMom73 on twitter

  • Robin K March 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    As always you are fantastic Keith. Why your books are not on my self yet is beyond comprehension!

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • Keith Melton March 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I'm all about the old school zombies. My favorite zombie movie is Night of the Living Dead, the original black and white one, although I did really love Quarantine. Shaun of the Dead was hilarious, very well done, and a fav.

    The zombies in the book are all slow moving zombies…which just strike me as more amusing than any other breed.

    Thank you! ^_^

    @Robin K
    I think it's because you said to yourself: "If he writes as badly as he draws, I never want to read him!"

    That's my bet, anyway. 😉

  • flchen1 March 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    ROFL! Keith, you are always the best interviewee (and um… quite a bit more awesome than Mr. Sheen!) How many books do you have in mind for the series that Zero Dog War is launching? And ah…. more is coming in your Nightfall world! Yay! (BTW, Nightfall also happens to be the title of an upcoming book by Ellen Connor [aka Aguirre and Lofty]–how do you feel about that? :))

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  • Estella March 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Slow moving zombies?

    I would rather read about you than Sheen.
    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  • Jackie March 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Oh my goodness. This interview is so full of win. I've never noticed before how jello mocks, but now that you mention it…and to think I was so keen on star shaped jello jigglers when I was but a wee lass.

    The Zero Dog War sounds totally awesome. I'm definitely going to snag myself a copy. The boyfriend and I have been on a zombie kick lately.

    jacqueline.c.goodman AT gmail DOT com

  • Birgit March 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    What a fun interview! Had to laugh out loud more than just once, especially when I read the part about gelatin 😀 !

    danaan at gmx dot at

  • Sullivan McPig March 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Zombie Mimes?! I so need to get this book!

  • draconismoi March 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    You had me the moment you acknowledged my continuing fight for equal pay…..

    cass at feministdracona dot net

  • Keith Melton March 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I think perhaps 3 or 6. If people enjoy them, I'll keep writing them. The goal with the ZDW books is only to make people smile.

    As for Nightfall, I maintain the hope that some of Ann Aguirre's awesome will rub off on me. I'm reading her Grimspace/Jax series now and loving it.

    Did I say slow moving zombies? I meant dancing zombies are my favorite. Who doesn't love Thriller?

    I know. They draw you in with appealing shapes and then before you realize it, you're eating jello. Such is its Machiavellian Madness. Or something… ^_^

    LoL, thank you. 😀

    @Sullivan McPig
    Zombie Mimes: The poor man's zombie clown, sadly lacking a clown car and a squeaky red nose.

    However, they do sport a dashing beret. So there's that.

    If someone would've told me in the 90s that this issue would still haunt us in 2011, I would not have believed it. It's disheartening how the practice persists, and it's an insidious type of discrimination.

  • JenM March 5, 2011 at 12:06 am

    This interview is full of awesomeness, but I must take issue with your hatred of jello. As a kid, I found its jigglyness endlessly amusing and how can you not help but like jello shots? However, I'd still love to read this book, it sounds great.

    jen at delux dot com

  • Keith Melton March 5, 2011 at 1:11 am

    LoL, I prefer my alcohol to be in a non-gelatinous state. Why ruin perfectly good vodka?

  • marybelle March 5, 2011 at 3:08 am

    "Women are the epitome of awesomeness because they put up with men." You have got to love a man who can face the truth & be unafraid. Loved this interview.

  • Tore March 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Thanks for the great giveaway and interview. Please enter me in contest.

  • Welzen March 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Great interview!

    Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

  • tetewa March 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I'm always looking for new authors to read, sounds good!

  • Keith Melton March 6, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Let's hear it for the guys too–put here to lift heavy things and squish weird bugs. Maybe open a stuck jar lid on occasion. All vital tasks. ^_^

    You are most welcome.

    I'd written a few stories here and there in grade school. I fell back in love with reading big time during my freshman year of high school, found an electric typewriter in a closet, and started writing.

    Thanks. ^_^

  • Vivien March 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Love that his ego can take a hit. I always find it very intriguing when a guy can write a females perspective.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  • winnie March 7, 2011 at 6:03 am

    The interview was fun to read and the books sound fairly interesting. I will be checking it out 😉


  • Keith Melton March 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

    @Vivien & @winnie
    Thanks for the interest. 😀

  • Misusedinnocence March 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I loved reading this interview! Definitely made me excited to read the authors book. =)

  • Keith Melton March 9, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Thank you!

  • Meredith March 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Keith sure seems to understand book lovers! Especially the petting part! rofl!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  • GeishasMom73 March 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Please withdraw me from the giveaway. I won The Zero Dog War on another blog. Good luck everyone!

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