Gregory Lamberson has published five horror novels and an additional book about independent filmmaking. He is a two-time winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror and a three-time Bram Stoker Award finalist. A member of the International Thriller Writers and the Horror Writers Association, he has a following as a cult horror film director and is best known for Slime City and Slime City Massacre.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I’ve written 95-page screenplays, 90,000-word novels, and a 100,000-word instructional filmmaking book, but I’ve never written a short story, and Carnage Road was my first novella. I wanted to write a zombie tale that was really a sprawling road trip about friendship, and I worried throughout most of the writing that I would be unable to accomplish my goal in the 30,000 or so words dictated by the form. I could have gone longer, but I would have ended up with a short novel, which would have defeated the point of the experiment. My wife and some of the advance reviewers cried after reading it, so I think I succeeded in what I set out to do.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish?
I wrote the whole thing in a few months, but I was working on other projects at the same time. I’m used to juggling screenplays and novels simultaneously, but writing a novella and a novel at the same time meant writing prose all the time, which was a new experience for me.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (if any)?
My first novel, Personal Demons, won a fiction contest with a small press publishing deal attached. The contest was judged by T.M. Wright, a hero of mine. I remember the book lost a previous contest, and the sponsor said, “But we’d still like to publish you – as an e-book!” This was back in 2004, when “e-book” was still a dirty term. I’m glad I held out for something better. So getting the book published as a small press trade paperback wasn’t too difficult, but getting reprinted as a mass market paperback was.
Carnage Road is published by Print Is Dead, the zombie imprint of Creeping Hemlock Press, but my novels are published by Medallion Press. After Personal Demons came out and disappeared, as small press titles so often do, I submitted it to all of the houses, and nobody wanted to reprint it; I doubt it was even read.