Monday, March 5, 2012

The Same Six Questions - Sean Van Damme

Welcome back to The Same Six Questions! Please welcome today's guest, Sean Van Damme!

Hi there, Andy! I'm a 27 year old TV news video editor who has always loved writing and movies. I grew up moving all over the country in a military family before finally settling down in Richmond, VA. I met my lovely wife while in school, and have now been drawn into her dog sports world. When not writing I'm playing too many video games or watching TV mostly sci-fi, we named our dog Gaius Baltar. I had wanted to do movies for a long time, but couldn't get into film school which is what led me to working in TV and lucky I love it so things do work out. Now, I'm hoping things will work out again.

The Same Six Questions

1. Have you published a book yet?

Yes. The Long Night came out in October 2011 and is my first novel. I have it up right now on Amazon and B&N. Darkness has fallen over the land, unleashing maddened monsters from the depths of the earth and raising the dead. A group of heroes must come tighter to fight the evil, while at the same time trying to put their past prejudices behind them and work together.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew I wanted to become a writer in Middle School, even though I had been writing shorts since I was a child, little books with horrible illustrations about pirates and space men. I have always had stories bouncing around in my head, and would just zone out while riding in the car as they played in my head like little movies. Once I started sitting down and writing the stories I became hooked on writing and knew that was what I wanted to do. That and a big handful of loose leaf paper or a screenplay tucked under your arm is a great conversation starter. It wasn’t until early in 2010 that I knew for sure that I wanted to do novels, even though that is what I started with back in the mid 90’s, scripts are a very addictive thing; easy to write hard to prefect.


3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

My first long piece of fiction was a story that I still haven’t finished, that haunts me to this day. In school I used to draw space ships all over my school work. One day, during a practically dull lecture in health class, I started writing a story to go with those ships. I kept working on it for the rest of the school year, tucking the sheets of loose leaf in my binders, and pulling them out every time I was bored in class which, sadly, was often. I left the story alone during the summer and started working on a sequel during 8th grade, and I kept working on it for the rest of the year, amassing quite a collection of paper covered in my chicken scratch. That story still, to this day, hasn’t been finished, even though I have started and stopped work on it three or four times with a few rewrites. In High School, I outlined it breaking the story into a massive four-book cycle. The last time I worked on it was early 2011 starting from scratch again and blitzing through 40,000 words before being scared again, but I will finish that book, mark my words.


4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

For years, I was afraid I couldn’t write a complete novel. I had failed with my sci-fi and gotten into screenplays where I struggled to reach the 90 page minimum to be a real script. After a long drought of not writing, partially because of depression, but mostly because I was completely addicted to World of Warcraft. When I decided I was going to write a novel again, in the fall of 2009, I set an end date for myself and just started working, writing and writing. I didn’t look back. I didn’t stop when I crossed the one hundred page mark in word. That is when I realized that I could do this. I attribute my inability to finish a novel in high school to a lack of maturity, which I have built up over time now so that I can see the end of the road and know roughly how long it will take to get there.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

I don’t know if I really would want to meet any of my characters. The people from The Long Night are grumpy and broken from the get go, and Hobbs is a complete cynical basket case. I have learned that I can only stand one grumpy person at a time, and that person is usually me. This question just illustrates the fact that I need to write a cheerful witty person that I would want to get a drink with.


6. It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

A zombie scratching at the door, moaning for brains, out of everything in this world, real or imaginary, zombies are the one thing that scares me more than anything else, because they are plausible, and they trigger an utterly unwinnable situation.

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Mmmmm...brains. ;-D Thanks for sharing with us, Sean! For more of Mr. Van Damme and his writing, be sure to check out his Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog.

Thursday, my guest will be Jim Bruno! See you then!