Q & A With Joe Mynhardt

Children of the Grave-
An Unusual Zombie Collection


Children of the Grave is a collection of zombie short stories- but not like any collection you've seen before. 

Joe Mynhardt is teaming up with Joe McKinney, Ian Woodhead, Armand Rosamilia, and Ryan Miller to create Children of the Grave.

I was so happy that I got the opportunity to discuss this upcoming book with Joe. It's always interesting to get a glimpse into the early processes of creating a book- especially one with such diverse collaboration... and such an unconventional concept.

Can you share a bit about the guiding concept for Children of the Grave?
We’re basically going back to the old ‘Choose your own adventure’ novels, where the reader gets to choose between different character actions, then goes to a certain page to continue the journey. In this collection, however, each journey will be written by a different zombie author, each with his own unique style and fan base. 
The book will start with an introduction into the world and main character, and then each writer will follow that character to a different end.  

This collection of short stories will have some specific "rules"...Could you share a little bit about how that will work?
The entire collection follows one character through a purgatory-type world where there are set world rules. A quick scan through the rules include stuff like, although everyone is dead and fighting for a chance to be reincarnated back on earth, not everyone are zombies, only those who ran out of time or were killed. Each person has a few months to fight their way out of this world, fighting each other, zombies and a few surprise enemies I don’t want to mention right now. After you’ve proven yourself worthy, by killing a certain number of humans, hunters or zombies, you’ll earn yourself a spot on earth once again. Hopefully then the person will make sure he or she will go straight to heaven. It’s almost like Death Race meets a sadistic version of Survivor.
Will there be some rules that will stay constant throughout all five stories?
There will also be a few set things like the setting, a flat plain surrounded by mountains, and a few settlements with set characters that will appear in more than one story. There are also caves in the mountains, but no one would dare enter them. Then again, perhaps someone will.
So basically, the choices each reader will have will be something like joining a settlement, become a hunter and kill humans or only zombies, or just kill everyone in your way and go for the big guys in charge.
Will each of the authors be contributing a single story?
Two of the writers are busy with the opening story, up to a point where the choices are revealed. From there the reader will then choose not only which direction to follow, but which author. Each of the 5 stories will have its own unique ending.
Are you willing to reveal some of the titles yet?
There are no titles yet, as everything is still in the plotting stage.
We will, however, push to have the book out before the end of the year.
What drew the five of you together to work on this project? Have you worked together before?
I’ve only worked with Armand in the past. He’s also a contributor for Crystal Lake Publishing’s For the Night is Dark anthology.
The other writers are basically guys I met through either their work or Facebook. But, I looked at a lot of other writers before I made my final decision for Children of the Grave. These guys will give you an amazing and diverse take on the journey the will each write.

This is where my inexperience as an interviewer intruded... I asked a ridiculously long question. :-) But Joe's answer was really great, so I'm keeping it as-is, and putting the authors in alphabetical order

Let’s take each of your colleagues one by one. Can you describe the first time you met each of them? Is there anything in particular that stands out to you as unique about each one? Are there any amusing anecdotes that come to mind when you think of these folks?

Joe McKinney?
I read Joe’s work first, and found him on Facebook the very next day. He’s a very likeable and friendly guy. I took a big chance inviting him to join our team, and was over the moon (or lake) when he accepted.
I love it when Joe puts some of his police photos on Facebook. He’s one of the only
writers I know who still enjoys his day job.
Ryan Miller?
Ryan contacted me about contributing to an anthology, but since there was nothing planned at that stage, I kept his bio and researched some of his work. I was very impressed with his work and quickly became friends. He was one of the first guys I asked to join the team.
Armand Rosamilia?
Everything started with me and Armand. I met Armand online after he read and commented on one of my zombie stories. He then went on to publish that very story in Undead Tales 2.
Armand’s a very busy man, but an amazing friend and writer. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think this project would be happening right now.
Ian Woodhead?
I’ve also read a lot of Ian’s work before, and we had a few online conversations before the project started. He’s also a hilariously guy, and brings lots of experience as well as weight to this project – he’s got some hard-core zombie fans.
Thank You, Joe Mynhardt. Zombie-Authors appreciates your contributions!

There's more to this Q & A- look for the second installment in the coming months. The next installment will come a bit closer to the time of publication for the book.

About Joe Mynhardt

Joe Mynhardt is a South African horror writer, publisher, editor and teacher with over fifty short story publications. He has appeared in dozens of publications and collections, among them DARKER MINDS with Gary McMahon, Stephen Bacon and many others. He will also appear in THE OUTSIDERS alongside great authors such as Simon Bestwick, Ray Cluley and others. Joe is also the owner and operator of Crystal Lake Publishing. His editorial debut, FEAR THE REAPER, will be available in the second half of 2013. 

His own collection of short stories, LOST IN THE DARK, is now available through Amazon.

Read more about Joe and his creations at www.Joemynhardt.com, www.Crystallakepub.com or find him on Facebook at “Joe Mynhardt’s Short Stories”.