This past week I got the opportunity to meet and interview someone of whom I am a fan, Christian B. Guyant. Christian is a long time author who recently released his first horror novella Hauss Vegas, the story of a young single father dealing with the zombie apocalypse in Las Vegas, Nevada. His unique style of cringe-worthy scenes broken up with humor (mostly dark) has been winning over several thousand fans over the last few months. I asked him about his switch to horror, his early success, and his thoughts on publishing.
TA: You have years of experience in writing non-fiction and instructional material, why make the switch to horror?
Guyant: I am a very pleasant person who enjoys life and is constantly smiling, but, like everyone, I have a dark side. I have been in love with horror since I was young, watching movies like John Carpenter’s The Thing and Friday the 13th series with my dad. I guess I have a weird fascination with the rush of being scared.
TA: I read and enjoyed your book Hauss Vegas, can you tell the readers a little bit about the story?
Guyant: Hauss Vegas is the first book in an upcoming series which follows a young father through his struggles in zombie infested Las Vegas. It takes place in modern time and all the characters have the mentalities that normal people like you and I would have in a zombie outbreak. They understand what zombies are, how to kill them, and what their strengths are, just like 90% of people would in the real world.
TA: Hauss Vegas has no hesitation of describing extreme violence in gruesome detail. Why was that important to you?
Guyant: As a fan of the horror genre it bothers me when authors start with a great premise then fail to deliver or develop the story in a realistic way. I wrote Hauss Vegas for fans of horror, not for everyone in the world.
TA: You take an interesting approach in Hauss Vegas, making the protagonist someone who is not easily rooted for. Why?
Guyant: If this were to be a real situation, Ricky (the main character) would be a broken man. Not everyone in the end of the world will want to work together, and not everyone will put their best foot forward. I simply tried to make him the most realistic I possibly could given the circumstances he was in.
TA: You have sold several thousand copies of Hauss Vegas despite being self-published and not marketing. Were you expecting the success?
Guyant: Not at all. I wrote Hauss Vegas as kind of a love letter to the horror genre. I just had this idea for a story and had to let it out and get it on paper. I wasn’t expecting the book to get any response and, frankly, it surprises me that people have taken such a liking to it.
TA: Do you think self-publishing is the wave of the future?
Guyant: Yes. Definitely. I can see the same revolution that is happening in the music industry happening in the printing industry. The rise of the internet age has created marketing and advertising options for those who self-publish and allows for the authors to actually get paid more for their hard work.
TA: When can we expect more books from the New Vegas series?
Guyant: That’s a good question. I am currently working on the second book which will be released late this year. If circumstances change, like a publisher comes knocking, then that would free up more time for me to write and I could finish the series quicker.