Interview and Giveaway with Bowie Ibarra, author of Down the Road!

Today on the blog I have the awesome Bowie Ibarra, author of the zombie thriller Down the Road (and more), and a super nice guy! Please welcome him to the blog!

Bowie is also offering a copy of Down the Road: The Fall of Austin to one winner, so please check the giveaway details at the end of the post!

Bowie, I’m so happy to have you on the blog today! Since we’ve cleared the air between us, let’s clear the air for the readers. A month or so ago, I did a guest review for Urban Fantasy Investigations on your first novel, Down the Road. I didn’t like it much, and felt so terrible at having to write that review that I thought about it for days.
Seriously, don’t even worry about it. In truth, you did me a favor. As my first book, and having been out for so long, I give myself some space in regards to reviews. That’s how you felt, you were honest with me and that’s not a bad thing, at least, not with me.

Then you contacted me and I was so pleasantly surprised at how you approached me, that I just had to write you back! It’s a rare person that can take a “negative” and turn it into a positive, or “lemons into lemonade”.
Man, you gotta be able to do that when you’re in the arts. If you can’t do that, then the art you practice and life, in general, is going to give you a hard time.

I realize that rejection is a huge part of the publishing process for every writer. Is this always how you dealt with it on your road to publication?

My artistic roots are deep in theatre. Writing has always been there, but theatre, performance, and directing is where I learned the elements of telling a good story. And in theatre, especially acting and auditioning, “rejection” is commonplace. So I learned to deal with criticism way before writing. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Good acting instructors and theatre directors were always able to tell me what I did good, and what I could improve on. When you are in this kind of environment day in and day out, you learn to deal with rejection and find the good in it.That’s why good, honest reviews are important. They help you look at what worked and what didn’t so you can improve.

I adore local writers, and you’re super local for me, in Austin, and Down the Road takes place in that area. Was there ever any question as to location in your book?
In a playwriting workshop, a pearl of wisdom was to always “write what you know”. There was no sense in me putting my stories in New York, LA, Louisiana, or any other place I’ve never visited because I don’t know those places. So it was clear to my works should take place in and honor the great republic of Texas.

Let’s talk about zombies. Why zombies?
One word: Romero. Romero is what God looks like. His “Night of the Living Dead” really affected me, as well as his subsequent films.

Why not, say, ghosts, demons, werewolves…?
Those will always be possibilities. In fact, I have some fun with ghosts of the Alamo in the upcoming “Alamo Rising”.

I noticed that you gave a shout out to George A. Romero in Down the Road. Any other huge influences?
There’s this creative fire in me that I know I need to share, want to share. I believe that if a person feels something in their heart artistically, whether it’s writing, singing, painting, acting, whatever art form a human chooses to express themselves in, it is important that they share it with the world. The world needs to hear it. Wants to hear it. If they have something that burns in their heart and soul so intense, that person owes it to the world, to humanity to share it. If they don’t, they do a great disservice to humanity.

Why? Because good art inspires more art. If it wasn’t for Romero and a bunch of other knuckleheads putting it all on the line for one little movie, I know we wouldn’t be having this discussion right now.

That being said, artists also owe it to themselves to find the best means to share it with the world and present it in the best form possible. The can do that by studying, listening, observing, working and working and working and working, always working, on that craft. Then, work some more.

And then, Kristin, the heart of true artistic growth, have the artistic pelotas to ask for and accept criticism, no matter how harsh it might be. Don’t get me wrong. I love compliments. Love them. It keeps me moving forward and writing.But it’s the criticism that will help me grow and improve, humble me and put me in check. It makes me realize that no matter how good me or others think my work is, there’s always room for improvement, growth. To be the best artist you can be, criticism is necessary for growth. Doesn’t mean every bit of a criticism is right. But 90% of a criticism is always helpful.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Nope. It was always there, though. For the longest time, I wanted to be an archaeologist, a parapsychologist, and a stand up comedian. Then it was an actor. I’m still acting, but I am also writing. So it worked out.

Is there anything in particular that helps you write? I know that some authors use music. If that’s the case, what’s your playlist?
Totally music. On a perfect writing day, I grab a cup of coffee, sit in a booth at Whataburger, plug into the iTunes, and write. It always starts with Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver”, then the Broadway Musical “Cats”, then its off to the races on random.

However, the recent Permuted novella “The Cruel Fate of Dr. Brewster McGill” had me thinking of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Mr. Crowley” from the first word. When that comes out, you’ll understand! For the upcoming “Code Name: La Lechusa”, it was funk songs. It even made me base the character around funk, with such songs as “Boogie Oogie Oogie”, “You Dropped the Bomb on Me”, and “Ladies Night”.Music is a total influence on my work. There’s even a musical instance in “Down the Road” when George travels on I-35 for the first time, Albinoni’s Adagio. Down the Road: On the Last Day was inspired by a church song, “Bread of Life”. The Pit Fighters come out to entrance music. Music finds a way into a lot of my works. I consider it to be one of the greatest art forms out there, if not the greatest. Perhaps.

Can you give us the scoop on any upcoming projects? Any other news you’d like to share?
As you mentioned, Permuted Press’ “Down the Road: The Fall of Austin” drops May 28th. “Code Name: La Lechusa”, an action/horror story will be out later this summer. “Big Cat” should be out later this year as well. Also, “Pit Fighters: Double Cross”. “Room 26” and “Alamo Rising”, as well as a line of short stories and collabos are on the way. It’s a privilege to be a part of a Pill Hill Press flash fiction anthology for 2012, and “Wish you were Undead”, an amazing anthology from Wild Wolf Publishing packed with over 600 pages of zombie horror from some of the best zombie scribes in the world. Also, “Down the Road: On the Last Day” is on the way in Spanish.Folks can keep up and network with all my facebook groups, twitter, YouTube, blog, etc, at http://www.zombiebloodfights.com. It’s going to be a great 2011 for me, and an even greater 2012 into the future.Also, hit up http://www.permutedpress.com for great zombie and apocalypse stories on the market.
**GIVEAWAY DETAILS** 

*Please note: Blogger was down on May 12th, when this post was originally made. If you commented on the 12th, I have your entry, so don’t worry if you don’t see your comment! Thanks so much!

1.Giveaway is for 1 copy of Down the Road: The Fall of Austin to one winner
2.Please leave a comment to enter along with a way to contact you.
3. I LURV my followers, so please let me know if and how you follow this blog (GFC, Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc) and I’ll give you an extra entry!
4.Must be at least 13 to enter
5.Giveaway is open to US ONLY
6.Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on  May 27th, 2011

16 Comments:

  1. Thanks again! You can never! go wrong with zombies 🙂
    gfc follower

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  2. You had me at zombies. Also, very neat interview. Thanks for that. Please enter me in this giveaway! I follow on GFC (Erika) and Twitter (@erikareading)!

    erikadlugoAT yahoo(dot)com

  3. Midnyte Reader

    Wow. All I can say is wow, wow, wow. First of all, I hate writing reviews on books I didn't like either. The fact that Bowie is so gracious & receptive and contacted you has made me an instant supporter. I have nothing but admiration for anyone who is like that.

    Thank you for the giveaway. I follow you via GFC & FB. midnytereader(at)gmail(dot)com.

  4. Mare/TommyGirl

    Count me in!

    (Also follow on GFC, email, twitter)

    Mare
    tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. I love the interview 🙂 Thanks for the great giveaway! edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom and I am follower Krystal Larson

  6. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Tore923@aol.com

  7. This looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

    GFC follower

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  8. Stacy (Urban Fantasy Investigations)

    DONT ENTER ME..

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed your interview. =)

  9. The giveaway looks great!

    Twitter, Facebook, and GFC follower

    starlightgirl678 at aol dot com

  10. Offbeat Vagabond

    I am also a Romero fan, so I definitely share the love. I love that you wanted to be an archaeologist, a parapsychologist, and a stand up comedian. And you also act and you write. Another modern day renaissance man. I am amazed by your choices, that and the music. Kudos! Amazing interview and giveaway guys. You know I am a zombie nut. Thank you 🙂

    GFC Follower: drharleyquinn87
    Twitter: @harleyquinn0887
    Email (subscriber): drharleyquinn87 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Shared link:
    http://twitter.com/#!/harleyquinn0887/status/69605795167350784

    http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/
    (on the right hand side bar)

  11. I would like to be entered, too!
    I follow you by way of Twitter, GFC, email, et al.
    jwitt33 at live dot com.

    Thanks for a great giveaway and a really great blog 🙂

  12. Count me in. anovelidea2011@gmail.com
    I just found your blog and I will follow via email

  13. Sweet! I love zombie books…would love to read this one. Please enter me.

    heykiddego (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. Oh, and i follow the blog and twitter.

  15. katklaw777 at yahoo dot com
    GFC follower
    email subscriber
    twitter follower w/ katklaw777
    Great giveaway, thanks.

  16. Those covers are a bit creepy!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com
    GFC follower

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