I had the honor of interviewing Bill author Rick Gualtieri today, look forward to his new stuff-

Me: So my first question is, for those that aren’t familiar with you, you’re an author, tell us about your latest/current book
RG: Technically speaking, my latest release was for a pen name I maintain. Let’s just say it was an interesting mashup of D&D and some more risque fare and leave it at that. My latest release under my own name is Half A Prayer, book six in my Tome of Bill series. It’s an Urban Fantasy series with a comedic bent to it that focuses on Bill Ryder, a gamer/geek who gets turned into a vampire. Most of the vampires in Bill’s world are more of the traditional dark, brooding, and alluring variety so he immediately stands out like a sore thumb.  More than anything, it’s his attitude which doesn’t particularly endear him to a supernatural underworld where the elders are used to their minions carrying out their orders no questions asked. The series focuses on him trying to survive this ordeal, while slowly being dragged deeper into the larger picture to the point where he might just the only one who can save the world from the darkness that threatens to consume it.

Me: Why pen names on some books?
RG: In my case the reasons for writing under a pen name are twofold. Firstly, the genres don’t really match. My main novels are targeted at adults, but they’re typically heavier on action than on things sexual. When people see a familiar author’s name on a book, they tend to assume that new book will be similar in nature, which isn’t always the case. I write both Urban Fantasy and Horror under my real name. I’ve gotten dinged in reviews for my Horror  novel Bigfoot Hunters by some people expecting the comedy from my Urban Fantasy books. So in the case of my pen name, the genres are far enough apart that it could potentially be culture shock for someone picking them up while expecting something else.

The second reason is that writing under a pen name allows me to be a bit more experimental. I can branch out, try new things, use different tones, adjust my style etc.  If I’m successful at that, then I can build those two brands alongside each other.  If I’m not, then I haven’t run the risk of damaging my other brand.

Me: So to keep them separate for fans?
RG: It’s not so much to keep them separate for fans as it is to make sure that those books are aimed at the right audience. For example, I often share interesting looking books or series with my readers, but typically I like to make sure it’s a good match with what they might like.  Folks who are on my page are probably Urban Fantasy fans so it makes sense to push books to them that would fall under that umbrella. Whereas saying “Hey, guys, here’s a great new romance I just picked up” might not appeal to them as much.

Me: I see, so alot of books are turned into movies, any plans for yours?
RG: I talked to a producer up in Vancouver last year about turning Bill The Vampire into a movie. It was a neat experience, but nothing really came of it. That’s pretty much the end result of the majority of inquiries of this kind. It’s the rare book that gets optioned and the even rarer one that makes it all the way to film. That being said, personally I’d love to see Bill end up as a series on one of the pay channels, somewhere they wouldn’t have to censor the language or violence. For now, though, I’m concentrating on finishing the series. That’s my main focus. Following that I’ll consider my options.

Me: But once you finished it, you’d love to see it become a TV show on HBO or showtime?
RG: Definitely. Heck, I’d love to see it become a series now.  My efforts are just more focused on writing than on submitting to agents. 

Me: I see, so you’re working on finishing the Bill series, what else are your current/recent projects?
RG: That old saying about there never being enough hours in the day is so true it’s painful. I have enough on my plate right now that sometimes I need to pull back from the multi-tasking and shelve a project until later.  Aside from working on The Wicked Dead, book 7 of my series, I just finished a side story from that same world for a superhero-themed anthology later this year. That was a lot of fun to write because it’s pretty much pure action and comedy, nothing too deep. I also have several works in various stages of progress on my hard drive including: a new book for my pen name, a sequel to my horror novel Bigfoot Hunters, a sci-fi story called Reign of Giants, and I’m working on an outline for a post-apocalyptic comedy that popped into my head the other day, tentatively titled Skating the Apocalypse. We’ll see where that one goes. 

Needless to say, I’m not too worried about running out of material anytime soon.

Me: Well we definitely look forward to what the future brings!, the book for your pen name is coming out this year?
RG: Most likely. It’s called No Honor Among Thieves, but when all is said and done it’ll probably be a fairly short novella. Maybe a hundred pages at most.

Me: What’s it about?
RG: It’s book 2 in a potential series. It’s an erotic fantasy involving a group of college-aged gamers. Their game master possesses a “magic book” that allows him to transport them all into the fantasy world of the D&D-like game they’re playing.  Not to go into graphic detail, but some of the monsters in this world want to kill the players while others want to do slightly different things with them. All in all it’s pretty lighthearted. Lots of geek humor abounds.

Me: I see, so other than books and possibly a TV show eventually, is there anything your fans would be interested in?
RG: Definitely. I’m pretty interactive with my readers. I chat with a lot of people via social media. Two areas I’ve got my eye on, where I’ve seen interest shown, are merchandise (t-shirts, hats etc) and graphic novels. That latter especially has me excited as I’m a lifelong fan of comic books. It’s going to be a lot of work to bring Bill The Vampire to life as a graphic novel, but I have a feeling the end result would be worth it.

Me: I see, for the Bill series?, that will be awesome!
RG: Yes, for Bill’s series. Agreed, if I can find the right artist this could be a lot of fun.

Me: Are there any artists that you’ve been looking at?
RG: I really love Tradd Moore’s style, especially in The Legend of Luthor Strode. That being said, it might be wishful thinking to hope I’m going to get an established comic artist on a project like this.  I’ve sent out a few feelers, but so far nothing concrete. It’s probably not something I’m going to put too much time in until at least my next book is finished.

Me: I see, well we definitely look forward to what the future brings!, thank you so much for this interview!
RG: My pleasure!

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