Have you ever heard the expression "You don't mess with Texas?" Well tonight I talk with a Texan who backs up that creed with an extreme love of bare knuckled entertainment. Bowie Ibarra is Texas born and breed and he writes with the same combative edge as he lives.
1. What's typical for Bowie when you are not speaking ill of the dead? How did you translate you acting and theater experiences into your writing?
-- Man, when I'm not writing, I'm working. And when I'm not working, I'm writing.
-- Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. But the truth is when I'm not doing either of those, I'm spending time with my daughter.
-- As for the acting experiences, its brought me a lot. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a Masters in Theatre History. And I can say with absolute certainty that apart from understanding character motivation, the biggest gift my theater training bestowed on my writing is the dramatic structure. It's the heart by all great stories are told, and I use it to its full effect in my stories.
2. You have to be the biggest fight fan I know Bowie. Tell me how you take your poisons. Explain to us your love for The UFC and Wrestling. Who is you favorite fighter and wrestler? What do you think about Brock Lesnar returning to the WWE?
-- I absolutely LOVE all combat sports, bar none. It started with growing up with an appreciation for western boxing. I also thought Bruce Lee was the man. And pro-wrestling was a big part of my life. Being a Texan in the '80s, it was all about the von Erichs.
Pro-wrestling is really a release for me. A catharsis. I don't have to be nice. I can be mean to people. I can watch a match play out and let my inner anger and frustrations out at the people in the ring and how they made me feel. They are symbolic representations of our lives. Good vs. Evil. You ever want to cheer for the good guy? Support a pretty girl or call names at a mean girl? Call a douchebag out for being a douchebag. You can do it at a live pro-wrestling show.
So this love of boxing, kung fu, and pro-wrestling immediately provided an appreciation for the colorful Capcom game, Street Fighter. I first learned how to use Chun Li because of her kung-fu-style (and those legs! Yum!). Then it was Zangief, because he German Suplexed and Power Bombed motherfuckers. Eventually, I mastered them all.
Even to this day, people don't know how to handle me when I play them with Zangief, and I take great joy in throwing their characters around. Especially Ken. I hate that sonovabitch.
-- So when UFC II came out on VHS at the local video store, I immediately fell in love and have followed it ever since. This was truly street fighter come to life!
-- I have a huge list of favorite fighters:
Boxing - Mike Tyson, Pacquiao, Marquez, DeLaHoya, John Sullivan (old school), Ali, Foreman. The list goes on and on.
Pro-Wrestling: Believe it or not, 'The Red Rooster' Terry Taylor was the first wrestler I ever followed. What a mistake that was. But since then, easily Mil Mascaras, Santo, Dr. Wagner, Jr., Black Tiger 1 and 2, Tiger Mask 1, Kenta Kobashi, the late Mitsuhara Misawa, David von Erich, Missing Link, Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen (esp. Arn Anderson), Bryan Danielson. It's a huge list.
MMA - Gerard Gordeu, Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Bas Rutten, Ken and Frank Shamrock, Cung Li. Just another long list.
-- Brock needs a revenue source, so I'm okay with him coming back to WWE. It adds a great intense element to the show.
3. Speaking of your love of fighting. In "Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire" your fight scenes leave the reader almost punch drunk. Is it easier to write realistically about a subject you are well versed in? What finally spurred you to put you desire to write with your love of fighting. Any plans to revisit the world of "Pit Fighters" again?
-- It's very easy to write about fighting. Like any art form, and even life, when you approach it with love and great passion and without fear, its easy. When you love something, its easy to write about. In fact, all you want to do is write or talk about it, give it attention, you know?
-- There is a 'Pit Fighters; Double Cross' that has been completed. But to tell a ZBF.com secret, I'm doing some realignment of some past books into the ZBF.com library. Once those are back in order, you can soon expect more combat sport-themed books from ZombieBloodFights.com. My time table is to have all things sorted by January 2013.
4. I loved "Down the road: A Zombie Horror Story" first and foremost. Going back to the beginning with your first book "Down The Road.", which is now available from Simon and Schuster. What were the challenges of "Self Publishing?" Eventually "Down the Road" was picked up by Permuted Press. How did that plant the seeds for "The Down The Road" trilogy or was it what you had always envisioned?
-- The first challenge? Money. When I self-published, I think I put close to a grand down. It was up to me to make that money back. And I've certainly made it back in spades.
-- There was no real plan for a trilogy. But that's how it turned out, and I think it all played out well.
-- Romero. George A. Romero and his classic 'Night of the Living Dead' is my total inspiration for writing. Apart from that sacred spark, I draw inspiration from the world around me. Moments. Situations. Stories. Real world stuff. When I hear something and it sparks an idea, that's it. Game over. I start taking notes and plan to write it. I've got one lined up to write in the near future, too, that relates to the troubles on our Mexican border with those damn drug cartels. Drug cartels and zombies, you ask? Keep an eye out for that, perhaps next year.
-- I think its fun to play with what zombies can do. I don't know if they can learn 'new tricks'. But they are unpredictable, so that's always fun to play with.
6. Tell me about "Codename: La Lechusa." The story weaves folklore in with a thrilling modern storyline and fighting. What exactly is the story behind the name La Lechusa? What gave you the idea for the story? Why make your lead character a single mother?
-- I put a lot of love into 'Codename: La Lechusa'. It's the story of a single mother who's a hard worker by day, but a government-trained assassin by night. Supernatural mystery enters the standard action story when her neighbor, who is a curandera, bestows two necklaces for her and her daughter in order to protect them from a dark cloud she predicts is coming over their trailer house.
-- It was inspired by this thirty-something single mom I know that just stole my heart and crushed it under her patent-leather heel. One night, we were talking about our lives and the way she talked about guys, her daughters, and her work was inspiring. When she mentioned she always stood up late, I told her she's like an owl. A lechusa. And immediately the super hero idea hit me and I started writing.
-- The whole book, and series if I can get it moving again, is one giant ode of love to her. She was an amazing woman. She remains only in my memory, but I've immortalized my feelings for her in the book.
7. In your most recent book "Big Cat." You take your writing and subject matter in a different direction. You take a group of geeky friends and put them up against an unknown beast. What's the back story with "Big Cat?" In "Big Cat" will we recognize "The Beast" or is it and it's lore your own creation?
-- 'Big Cat' was inspired by an episode of 'Monster Quest'. They talked of people seeing these big cats on the prairies across the US and the UK. Ranchers said horses, cows, and sheep were attacked. It's not an uncommon story in Texas. But the way it was presented on TV lit that spark of creativity.
-- The Big Cat of the title might or might not be a natural cat, but its not a big plot element of the story. The reader gets to figure that out for themselves. Future books might reveal the truth to the big cat that hunted along the banks of the Nueces River near south Texas.
8. Now give me and the readers a sneak peak. What can we look forward to from the head ZombieBlood Fighter? What is coming down the pipe for you? Can we expect zombies, fighters or something new for the fans?
-- Truth is, we're months away from the release of another zombie book. It is a book about one of the lead characters in the nationally recognized fictional z-day podcast, 'We're Alive'. It will feature the back story for 'Burt', one of the podcast's main characters.
-- I'm moving to take control of some of my books that lost their publisher, but that shouldn't take too long. My plan is to go ahead and self-publish the rest of my future works through Amazon under ZombieBloodFights.com.
-- More stories are on the way, including a reboot of the 'Pit Fighter' series and its sequel. Then, an epic ghost story, a super hero story, a lucha libre inspired zombie story, and more great books. But all of this is contingent on me first re-securing some books to me and then working with editors/amazon publishers to get my work up and running. My plan is to hit the ground running in 2013. But I'm in no rush. I've got a 'second job' to pay the bills. Writing is my first job, after all.
9. Bowie where can my readers, your new and soon to be fans find you on the Internet? From Amazon to Zombiebloodfights.com what's in between?
-- ZombieBloodFights.com is the best place to network with me. You can find my Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, GoodReads, and blog. If you like Zombies, Blood, and Fights, this is the place to be. Especially check out the YouTube page. You'll find some of the best low (no) budget trailers on the Internet. The website has the links to purchase the books on Amazon as well.
10. Bowie tell us where you see The Walking Dead going during Season 3? What are your predictions who stays, who dies and who should die? Also do you ever think Carl will learn to follow parental directions?
-- I have absolutely no idea what's going to go down. But I certainly hope it will be good.
-- As for Carl? He might be the one who dies, perhaps. We'll have to wait and see.