Monday, July 28, 2014

Andy Cormier

Back in June the Rodgers Memorial Library in Hudson, NH, hosted a bunch of local authors as part of their anniversary celebration. Among them was Andy Cormier, author of The Great Deceiver, Shamblers: the zombie apocalypse, and The Winds of Change.  With only a little prodding, he agreed be interviewed on this blog. Andy is an avid reader, an author and songwriter, and graphic designer.  Welcome, Andy!

Tell us about your latest book, Shamblers. How did it come about? Did it change as you wrote and researched?

My latest novel is a zombie apocalypse book. It mixes horror and action. It came about due to the popularity of such titles. I decided it was a great idea to do a spin on the typical zombie plot, and I mixed it with a lot of treachery and betrayal amongst the main characters. It was just released on July 16th number of stellar reviews already.

The Great Deceiver is kind of a cross-genre blend. It started in 2002 as a short story. 
People liked it so much I decided to expand. The idea was very original and I planned to do a few things I have never seen in literature or movies before, so I knew I had to write it. I originally had a totally different ending, which wouldn’t have worked, and I added an alternate as an afterthought. It turns out many people prefer the alternate.

Do you have a favorite character? Why?

In The Great Deceiver I loved the main character (he is unnamed due to his heavy symbolism). He’s the focus of the entire book: it is kind of his memoir. I love how 
dynamic he is as the book moves on.

Who/what influences or inspires your writing?

I don’t know anymore. I think I inspire myself, I am driven to succeed and I enjoy doing it.

What authors do you return to again and again, if any? Where do you find new authors to read?

I haven’t been reading as much lately, but in the past I found myself grabbing as many of R.A. Salvatore’s books as I could. I usually find new authors by word of mouth or on the writing groups I belong to.

Do you have a writing routine/ritual? What distracts you when you’re writing?

Yes: I wake up, write as much as I can, and break once my head starts to hurt. I then repeat. Lately the HBO series Boardwalk Empire has been distracting me. I started it a few weeks ago and am compelled to see what happens next.

What do you like best/least about writing?

The best is when you finish putting an awesome quote in a book, or write a scene that is just mind-blowing. The least favorite part is the editing.

Advice for newbies?

Keep writing. Your first few stories are going to probably be really bad. Or at least need a lot of editing. Even with natural talent you will grow a ton the more you write.
Where has writing taken you that you never expected to go? Funniest/most exciting/most memorable?

I found out I am a “real sick person,” according to friends and family. I guess I have a macabre sense of humor, and some of the women in my stories get a bit mistreated. The funniest thing I did was a scene near the end of The Great Deceiver …I won’t ruin it, but I laughed for two days when I put it in.


Plotter, definitely: though I believe characters ultimately drive a plot. Memorable characters are more important than the plot. I wrote a fantasy series from the POV of 13 characters as it shifted, and 3 interweaving plots. The outline alone was 19 pages.

How do you deal with dry spells?

I find other things to do.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers? How do they help?

Yes, I have a few people whose opinions I rely upon and trust. They tell me where the dog died, so to speak. I learn more about my books from them than I do myself, and their input is critical.

Do you remember the first book you ever read or had read to you? First story you wrote?

It was so long ago I can’t. I was probably in the 2nd or 3rd grade. I remember a book about a teacher who was replaced by an alien/monster. I also remember a book about a magic ring that turned a kid into a dragon or something. I wish I could recall the titles, they’d be interesting to revisit. The first story I wrote was about a serial killer, though I spelled it “cereal” because I didn’t know any better. Lol. It also was more a guy running around committing random violence, so made no sense at all. I think I was in the 4th grade.

Thanks for answering all my questions, Andy. Readers, find Andrew Cormier’s novels at Amazon. Learn more about Andy Cormier and follow his blog at