Advice from IRDA Winning Author Zachary Cormier: “Continue to write because you enjoy the process itself.”


Indie Reader Discovery Award

They Are Only Men was the winner in the Paranormal category of the 2019 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Zachary Cormier.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

They Are Only Men; published December 2018

What’s the book’s first line?

“Senior and Jean sat at the kitchen table in the quiet of the early morning.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Senior (Samuel) and his son Beau are sheriffs in a rural New Mexico county out in the middle of the sprawling desert lands. They Are Only Men first follows Senior as he sets out to see if there is anything to a report about a hitchhiker being snatched off into the dark out on the highway by something unseen. Senior’s story is of his epic struggle to try to capture, transport, and cage the evil being he discovers out in that desert. A man driven beyond fears and limits by obligation. They Are Only Men then follows Senior’s son, Beau, as Beau later finds this caged being in the midst of Beau’s life unraveling from the consequences of a terrible decision he has made. Beau’s story is of the destruction that comes from him setting this being free in an attempt to avoid his just consequence. A man driven to save his own skin. They Are Only Men is a hell-on-wheels thriller which chases, and then is chased by, this being – all in examination of the truth that people should be most afraid of what lives within themselves.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

There was a stretch where I read a number of Cormac McCarthy’s epic narratives occurring along the Mexican border (Border Trilogy, No Country for Old Men, Blood Meridian), which was not long after I had gone back and read Dracula and Frankenstein (classical horrors). Something of a Cormac McCarthy-style epic with a supernatural element began cooking…

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

Senior has an unwavering commitment to what he believes his duty to be, or what he believes “must be done,” even if painful and terrifying.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

It draws the reader to consider the conclusion that, even in a narrative with a terrible monster running about, the scariest thing about any story is the “monster” that every person is capable of being when put to a choice between self or sacrifice.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Senior = Tommy Lee Jones.  Beau = Christian Bale.

When did you first decide to become an author?

In 2014, when I finished Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.

Is this the first you’ve written?

This is my first novel.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I’m an attorney and part time law professor.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

When actively writing, 10-15 hours per week.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

Best = absolute control of the story; hardest = getting people to notice the book.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Continue to write because you enjoy the process itself.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

Sure, if I thought it a good fit, and if the publisher seemed legitimately able to allow for more people to enjoy the work.

Is there something in particular that motivates you?

Nothing much more than really enjoying the process of writing, and those moments when someone connects with my work.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Cormac McCarthy.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men.

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