Horror author Brian Keene has become more than a local celebrity. After 25 published books, two movies and numerous comic books including the “The Last Zombie” — just to name a few of his works – the writer is well-known far outside of York County.
True to his roots, Keene let me interview him at Baltimore Comic Con last weekend. Here was out conversation:
BRF: How did you get started?
BK: I started out writing crime and western novels in the ’80s and ’90s. I thought I would have better luck with books than comics, because comics were on their way out at the time.
BRF: How did this lead into comic books?
BK: I always wanted to write comics but at the time I jumped in, it wasn’t the most successful market. Once I got established, editors at Marvel and DC Comics noticed my work, were fans and contacted me, asking if I would write some stuff. (View a list of his published comics.) I have been reading Marvel since I was 6 years old.
Then I had an idea for “The Last Zombie.” It was supposed to be a novel but I thought it was just way too much information to fit in that format. The comic format fit. Also, now comics are making a comeback, whereas the book industry is going down.
BRF: So you are a local guy?
BK: I have been local all my life. I had offers to move out West, to move to Hollywood, but I didn’t take it. I would much rather raise my two sons here, and this is where all my friends are.
BRF: What are your plans now?
BK: Well, I am going to keep writing “The Last Zombie” until the story is finished. And the movie “Ghoul” will be released on DVD in January. (“Ghoul” features a literary version of York County.)
BRF: What advice do you have for up-and-coming writers and artists?
BK: You can learn how to write and learn how to draw, but it comes down to patience. Patience is something that can’t be taught. You have to persevere. Also, get used to hearing “no” a lot.