S.G. Browne

10 Questions With Michael Boatman

Michael Boatman is the author of The Revenant Road, a dark horror comedy about a best-selling mystery writer who begrudgingly enters into the family monster-killing business and has to stop a supernatural killing spree while fighting off a hangover and trying to live up to his dead father’s reputation. Think Men in Black meets Shaun of the Dead.

I met Michael in San Diego, when we shared an author reading and signing at Mysterious Galaxy Books. A gifted actor as well as a talented writer, Michael has co-starred on Spin City and Arli$$ and is currently co-starring in the Lifetime television series SHERRI.

Tell us about your first zombie experience. How did you lose your undead virginity?
The first time I ever really became aware of zombies was during an episode of The Night Stalker, way back in the ‘70’s. Darren McGavin’s character, Kolchak discovers that someone has resurrected a dead gangster and sent him around to kill off a bunch of other gangsters by breaking their backs. This zombie was a more traditional voodoo-based zombie: a dead man sent by a sorcerer to exact horrifying revenge on the sorcerer’s enemies. The climax takes place in an old auto graveyard. To stop the zombie, Kolchak has to find it while it lies dormant inside one of the abandoned wrecks. He has to exorcise the zombie by filling its mouth with salt and sewing its lips shut. I guarantee you, the moment when the zombie opens its eyes is one of the scariest, and funniest moments in television horror history.

What’s your favorite zombie film?
Night of the Living Dead is still the greatest zombie film, and one of the greatest horror films of all time. It never ceases to terrify me and I’ve watched it every year since I was in high school.

It’s the zombie apocalypse. Do you use a gun, a machete, or a Louisville slugger?
I’m gonna go for the Louisville. It’s more reliable than a gun and I could use the workout.

If you were a zombie, who would you eat first?
George W. Bush. A close second would be Maxim model/actress Sophia Vergara, but for completely different reasons.

What’s the first thing you ever had published?
My first published short story was called “The Drop.” It’s a story about a mentally retarded but unusually well endowed man named Cyrell Biggs. Cyrell plots to murder his abusive cousin/boss at the behest of the woman they both love. That story contains rude alligators, a homicidal black mermaid, Southern family dysfunction and a beatdown by crowbar. (I’m still proud of it.) It was published in Horror Garage magazine.

Who’s your favorite author?
I have so many favorites, but two guys tie for my number one spot: Stephen King and David J. Schow.

What’s your favorite book?
The Road. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I didn’t expect it to. It sets the bar for post-Apocalyptic survival stories and is simply the most horrifying, heartbreaking novel I’ve ever read.

Name your favorite guilty pleasure.
Doritos. I can eat an entire duffel-bag of Doritos. Afterward I can sit there in my car, listening to my arteries clogging and still think, “Damn…that was good.”

Other than your favorite author/book, name something that inspires your writing.
Anger. I’m from the Midwest: Therefore I am deeply repressed. I’m the married father of four children: Therefore I spend a lot of time being wrong. Therefore I do my best writing when I’m pissed. I’ve written two and a half novels, dozens of short stories, six screenplays and a million un-mailed death threats. People see me on television and form one sort of opinion about me. Then they read my stories or follow me on Twitter or Facebook and they all write the same thing… “But you seem so nice.”

If you had a theme song that played when you walked into a room, what would it be?
“The Six Million Dollar Man.”

Shameless self-promotion bonus question: What’s coming up next?
I’m working on a novel about God, which is tough for an atheist. I’m also writing a short story about wizards in a post- apocalyptic Chicago.

Michael Boatman is the author of The Revenant Road and the short story collection, God Laughs When You Die: Mean Little Stories From the Wrong Side of the Tracks.

If you’d like to keep up with Micheal’s writing and acting endeavors, you can follow him at Twitter.com/MichaelPBoatman.

Filed under: Interviews,The Writing Life — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 12:11 pm