There are few things easier than to live badly and die well. Oscar Wilde

Armand Rosamilia Interview Published on: 19, Jun 2018

You wife is very loving and supportive of your career choices. How did you two meet? How did you know she was the one?

We met on a dating site. Isn't that how all the kids meet these days? The first date we had I knew she was the one. She didn't laugh at all of my corny jokes and wasn't looking for someone to save or help her. She had her life together already, which was a nice change for me. Once she got involved in my career it took off. As a creative person I never worried about money or deadlines or the future. I just wrote. She really taught me about managing this as a career.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grow up? How successful do you think you have been and how long are you still to go?

When I was around twelve I read my first Dean Koontz book. From that moment on I wanted to be an author. I tell people I should've wished to be a rich and famous author. Maybe there's still time? About six years ago I was able to make enough money to go full-time as a writer and pay off all of my debts. I am truly living the dream, doing book signings up and down the East Coast every year and able to sit around in my pajamas while the rest of the world is out working, and create fictional worlds and characters for a living.

Did you enjoy reading as a child? Do you remember the first book that you read?

I loved to read as a kid. Obviously still do. My mother used to read several books at once. A book in the bedroom. One in the living room. Books in the bathroom. I started reading her Dean Koontz books because the covers looked ominous. From there I read every tattered paperback horror book in her collection, and there were hundreds. I remember really loving Watership Down as a kid, although I don't think my mother had read it and thought it was a cute story about bunnies.

You aspire to write good stories without caring about the genre labels. How important do you think it is for a writer to not tie himself/herself down to one genre of writing?

I think it's important to write what you want to read. I don't just read horror. In fact, I mostly read nonfiction books these days. When I started out I actually wrote a lot of fantasy stories. I really found my voice writing horror but added a few other genres into the mix because I wanted to see if I could write a crime thriller or contemporary fiction or even erotica. Readers have really been awesome because the group that reads everything I write tell me it's the voice they love. It doesn't matter what the genre label is. Write whatever you want and if it sells and readers love it, keep writing and experimenting with it.

What is your favorite genre of music? When were you introduced to it and how?

I am nearing 50. I know, old man. get off my lawn. I love 80's Metal. All of it. Death, Black, Glam, Thrash, Speed... in 1982 my buddy Erik played Iron Maiden's Number of The Beast and it literally changed my life. I still listen to a ton of 80's Metal, especially when I'm writing or in the car driving my wife crazy.

You own the Project Entertainment Network where you also run two podcasts of your own. When and how was the Project Entertainment Network born?

My podcasts were on a previous network but the owner was having trouble finding the time to manage it. I was talking with him on the phone about helping out more and some ideas to grow it when he stopped me and asked if I wanted to buy it from him. I said yes right away but then had to convince my wife it was a good investment. She saw the potential so we brought over the active podcasts and added some new ones. We're currently at 25 different podcasts with more to come in the future. Shows like The Horror Show with Brian Keene, Three Guys With Beards (featuring Jonathan Maberry, Christopher Golden and James A. Moore), and Monster Attack with Jim Adams are just a few of the many great podcasts under the P.E.N. umbrella.

You run two podcasts- Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast and The Mando Method Podcast with co-host Chuck Buda. Do these interactions teach you or help you grow when it comes to writing?

Definitely. I started Arm Cast because I not only wanted to help other authors get their new books out to potential readers, I wanted to pick their brain about things they were doing to be successful. With The Mando Method, I get to interact with Chuck Buda and get his fresh take on promotion and publishing, maybe things I stopped doing or never knew existed. It is all a learning experience for me. The goal is for writers, old and new, to find something they can use for their career.

You write in different genres and have written over 150 stories. What inspires you to write with such dedication?

I've always written. I had my first short story, "Beastie," published when I was 18. Crazy to think thirty years ago I 'officially' started in publishing. The love of reading and writing was what motivated me. Then as an adult it became the motivation to quit these horrible retail management jobs. Now, as a full-time author, the fear no one will read my work and I'll have to go back into retail management keeps me chained to my computer each day. Oh, and I still love being creative.

What else do you enjoy doing apart from writing?

I still read a lot. I watch a lot of documentaries. I eat way too much. My wife and I travel quite a bit for her work and mine. We are season ticket holders to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp minor league baseball team so go to about 70 games a year, too. I keep busy with writing and the podcasting but find time to do other things.

The main character in Dirty Deeds, does not even have a name in the first book, yet the the readers are so drawn towards him and his story. How do you achieve this?

He has a name, James Gaffney... but you find out early on it isn't his real name. I purposely wanted to write a mass market crime thriller series. I have a lot of humor in the books and most readers who know me tell me all the time I am James. When the first book was picked up by Kindle Press through their Kindle Scout program, they immediately started marketing it to Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiassen readers, which I think was a good fit. My goal is simple: give the readers a quick and fun-filled story each book.

The illustrations of the Dirty Deeds series are very quirky and interesting. Who worked on the illustrations? How important do you think they are for a book and its popularity?

The covers themselves are done by Jack Wallen. The original first cover my wife put together since we needed something for Kindle Scout. They asked us to change it slightly when we got the contract, which (looking back) made a lot of sense. We had blood and bullets on the cover but the story itself was much lighter than that. We had promotional items done and artist Thomas O'Briant did a baseball card for James Gaffney, which was neat.

Dying Days was a series of nine books. Did you originally plan to make it that long? How do you ensure that the readers stay hooked till the 9th book of the series?

I originally planned on writing one zombie book to see if I could do it. I had no intention of writing anymore, but the readers loved the main character, Darlene Bobich. She's an average girl who worked at a makeup counter in the mall. No special skills. No super muscles or military background. She was like you and me. Average. Once it started rolling I wanted to tell her story, and the story of the zombie apocalypse, until I thought it was finished. That ended up being nine books. I never wanted to keep writing them just because they were selling well. I thought that would cheat the readers.

‘A View from My Seat’ is your latest release that reflects on your passion for baseball. The book is non-fiction, different from what you have been writing before. How different and challenging is writing a non-fiction book from a fictional one?

It has challenges like writing anything else. I love baseball. I come from a baseball family. We'd spend all summer arguing about our teams and watching games. The challenge was getting the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp team to understand what I wanted to do and give me access to players, staff and anyone else I wanted to interview. Luckily, they were nothing short of amazing. They gave me full access and allowed me to write my book. I also got to do a book signing during a game in April and sold quite a few copies.

Which is the next story you are working on? What is its genre? Is it going to be another series?

I always write 3-5 different things at once. Right now I am starting Dirty Deeds 6 as well as another book co-written with Jay Wilburn. Not sure of the genre yet on this one. Working on a horror novella for a publisher. Will start Chelsea Avenue 3, the last part of a supernatural thriller trilogy for a publisher. I also add new chapters to two different books in my Patreon each month as well. Both are crime thrillers but one has a supernatural twist to it. Always working on something and adding short stories into the mix all the time, too! Again... fear of going back into retail management is a great motivation.

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