Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An interview with Brandon Hale, author of the intense new monster filled book. "Day Soldiers". (May Monster Madness Day 2)

Author Brandon Hale as a Day Soldier
  I had the extreme pleasure of being able to interview an amazing writer and rising star in the world of literature, Brandon Hale. This born and raised Virginian has been writing for over 17 years with two novels currently available as well as a plethora of short stories. His latest book released in April of this year, "Day Soldiers", is a masterpiece of modern vampire/werewolf writing.

   If you have ever wondered, "What if Vampires and Werewolves were real and what if they banded together to take over the world?" this is the book for you! Brandon has really mastered the ability to give us old school monsters with an extreme modern twist and feel. There are no six pack abs or sparkles here! I had the good fortune to read this book, and once I started, I could not put it down. After a sleepless night, I found myself desperate for a book two!

Image courtesy of Stephen J. Phillips, monster makeup artists, philanthropist and all around hairy guy.

   From the beginning, this book grabs your attention, and holds it till the end. Here is an excerpt from "Day Soldiers" to give you a taste of the thrill ride within :
“I don’t know where to start, Lily,” Darren said. “I really don’t.”
“Good job killing those vampires?” Leo offered.
Darren pointed at him. “Back off, Leonard. I won’t hit my own daughter, so you’re in very real danger of getting my emotional leakage here.”
“Shut up,” Darren explained, “or I’ll kick your ass.”
“Oh,” Leo said.
Darren turned back to Lily. “You two have broken so many Laws the sheriff could throw you in prison for ten years.”
“No!” Darren yelled. “Just being out after dark could land you thirty days in jail. But actively seeking out and engaging members of the Legion? Holy hell, girl.”
“Well,” Leo said, “this isn’t the homecoming I expected.”
“What the hell did you expect, Leonard?” Darren asked.
“Daddy!” Lily yelled. “Shut up for one second, forget that I’m your daughter, and think about what you’re seeing here!” She held up both severed heads. “This is a vampire and a werewolf.”
Darren stared at the heads. He then looked at the heads in Leo’s hands. “How?”
“Careful planning,” Lily said, “and a little bit of luck. But how isn’t nearly as important as what. Sheriff Gifford was wrong. Vamps were living in these woods, Daddy. And we guessed right. It was three of them.”
“And a werewolf,” Darren said, awed.
“I don’t think so,” Lily said. “I think he was just in the area and they called him. It was luck that he was there and good preparation that Leo had loaded up some silver bullets.”
“The important thing, Darren,” Leo added, “is that Iveyton is safe again. We got em, sir.”
“I don’t know what to say,” Darren said.
Lily grinned. “You’re pissed off. I get that. But admit it. A little piece of you is pretty damn proud right now.”
“The only thing I’ll admit,” Darren said, “is that your mother is going to lose her mind over this. She won’t let this one go, kid. I’m going to be catching hell because of this for… well, forever.”

 I contacted Brandon about an interview which, lucky for me, he accepted. To get a small glimpse into the mind of a monster writing master, I asked him 13 wicKED questions. Here is the outcome of that interview:

1. What inspired you write “Day Soldiers”?

I think it was the fact that it’s getting harder to find the vampire and werewolf books I want to read. I appreciate what Ann Rice did for the genre. Her take was revolutionary… but now, her melancholy vampire has become the norm, and that’s not really what I like as a reader.

I’m a huge fan of the old “quirky horror” classic movies, like An American Werewolf in London, Fright Night (the original), and The Lost Boys.

I like it when monsters are monsters and the people that kill them are heroes. Flawed heroes, sure, but heroes.

These horror icons should be many things, but mostly (in my opinion) they should be fun. Day Soldiers was my attempt to deliver that to a market where vampires and werewolves are all too often portrayed in a way that is much too pretty for my taste.  

Again, I have nothing against that…  I’m glad there are different takes on the mythologies… but I personally wanted to bring the fun back… and I wanted to bring the monsters back.

Day Soldiers is the result of that desire.  The coolest thing about being a writer is if you can’t find the books you want to read… just write them.

2. What are some of the authors that you idolize or emulate in your writing styles?

I’m a fan of the classics. I love Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I’m a big fan of Stephen King’s early work, when his books felt more like pulp fiction and less like masterpieces. I’m also a big fan of Michael Crichton.

I don’t know if it’s emulation exactly, but I do try to make my work the modern equivalent of what Bram Stoker did with Dracula. He wrote for the people and Dracula wasn’t just about a vampire. It was an adventure book, full of heroes and villains. While my style of writing is isn’t like Stoker’s, I try to deliver the same emotional experience of adventure and mystery.

3. Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, and Werewolves are a hot media item in the world today. What sets “Day Soldiers” apart from the mainstream market?

Day Soldiers is not moody. It’s not about an apocalypse and it doesn’t follow the standard horror formula.

This book is about a full scale war on a global level. It’s about one soldier’s journey through that war. The vampires and werewolves aren’t hidden in shadows and none of them lament their own condition. They love what they are. It was very important to me that the first characters you meet are vampires… I wanted the reader to know up front that these guys don’t twinkle and they aren’t pretty.

This book is about humanity’s war against werewolves and vampires. One reviewer said the book gave him a “Starship Trooper’s vibe” (in a good way). I think that’s a good analogy. I’m not trying to scare you with Day Soldiers. Instead, I’m trying to take you on a ride.

It’s my hope that the feeling you get from reading Day Soldiers is the same feeling you get from listening to really good rock and roll.

4. I understand you have other published works. Care to mention them?

My debut novel is The Gods and the Builders. Its tone is dramatically different than Day Soldier’s, but I feel like it’s a fun read. This book is about alien visitation, but I deal with it in a very emotional and intimate way.

The reader response to it has been dramatically positive, so I’m pleased.

5. What are three of your favorite horror movies?

An American Werewolf in London, Fright Night, and Shaun of the Dead.  I like quirky, fun horror.

6. Your new book, “Day Soldiers” deals with an actual war with Humans against Werewolves and Vampires. If you could choose a side, which would it be and what role would you most like to fulfill?

I’d stand with humanity. It’s interesting that you asked this question. Whether or not humanity deserves to win the war is a running theme throughout the book.

For me, though, it wouldn’t be about who deserves it more. It’d be about survival. Most likely, I’d be a Sneaker (You’ll have to read the book to find out what a Sneaker is).

7. We are at the halfway point to Halloween; do you have any big plans for the holiday?

Too many to list here. I want to be involved in some kind of haunted attraction this year. As always, I’m on the lookout for a “zombie walk,” even if I have to plan it myself. Frightmare Manor in Knoxville is definitely on the list. My wife and I went last year and immediately knew that place would be a new tradition.

Last year, I ended up in full zombie makeup 7 times (for various events). I hope to top that this year.

8. What is the best Haunted Attraction you have ever visited?

I’d say it was Frightmare Manor. I just loved that place.

9. What really scares you?

Being totally honest, after quitting my day job and taking the plunge to be a full time writer, everything else seems like a step back on the fear scale.

Well, everything except spiders. I have the amazing ability to scream like a 7 year old girl when confronted with a spider.

10. Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

I absolutely believe in ghosts. They may not be what we think they are, but I’ve seen too much to think there’s nothing there.

11. What did you dress up as last Halloween and what are you thinking about for the upcoming one?

Last year I was a zombie for many different events. And I was one of the doctors that follows around Dr. House (we had a great House).

This year, my costume will really depend on what events I get myself into.  I’d love to do a nosferatu style vampire again.

12. What advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?


Finish something.

I know quite a few writers who don’t have a single completed work. The absolute best marketing strategy that exists is to have a library of work (even if it’s small at first).

I currently have two novels available, a good selection of short stories, and the second Day Soldiers will be available in mid-summer.

Don’t aspire to be a writer…. Just be one.

And you do that by writing.

13. Where can we find out more about your books and order them for ourselves?

You can go to to read my blog and check out the many short stories there (many from other authors as well as myself).

My books are currently available on, in paperback and for the kindle:

Day Soldiers

The Gods and the Builders

If you’re on Facebook, you can find me here:

   There you have it folks. For a truly great monster read, head on over and buy this book today! Thanks Brandon! I will be eagerly awaiting book 2!

Don't forget to check out these other great blogs that are chocked full of monster goodness!


  1. Congratulations on quitting your day job. So did I. Full-time writing is scary, but at least we're doing what we love.

    Jolie du Pre
    Precious Monsters

  2. Awesome interview! Some day, I hope I can do full time writing. That would rock.

  3. Great interview! That's my dream, to be a full time Writer. :D

  4. Great interview! I just ducked away and put 'Day Soldiers' onto my Amazon Wish List before leaving this comment... so I wouldn't forget to do it. :) It's so nice to see writers starting to move away from the 'Twilight' style vamp! I love the idea of a blend old-school and gritty modern.


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