Please welcome Jeremy Wagner to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.
TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Jeremy: I think the fact that I need caffeine and music while I’m writing. I don’t know if those count as quirks, but my dependency on having a latte nearby and music playing while I write has become somewhat silly. But I NEED them! Haha.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Jeremy: I’d say Stephen King, Peter Blauner, and Thomas Harris hold some heavy influence in certain ways for sure. The following list of authors have all inspired me in profound ways…these authors have hit me like no others: Stephen King, Peter Blauner, Colin Harrison, Peter Straub, Peter Benchley, Michael Crichton, Nic Pizzolatto, Elmore Leonard, Mario Puzo, Jack Ketchum, Dan Simmons, Richard Preston, Gillian Flynn, David Morrell, and Marquis de Sade.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Jeremy: I do what I call a “partial plot.” I start with an idea for a story I want to write, and then I scribble down rough notes that kind of outline the story from the beginning to end. Perhaps I’ll note some specific details here and there for important scenes I thought of beforehand. That’s it for any plotting for me. Once I start writing the story, the characters, events, and the whole damn thing all start taking on lives of their own and I find myself surprised by what happens. That’s the fun part!
TQ: Describe The Armageddon Chord.
Jeremy: THE ARMAGEDDON CHORD a “heavy-metal thriller” featuring a guitarist who finds himself caught between the forces of good and evil. It’s kinda like Indiana Jones with a rock star hero. A historically-tinged tale about an ancient and evil song written in strange hieroglyphics, which is discovered in a long lost pyramid beneath the Egyptian sands. Once transcribed, this song has the power to unleash the Apocalypse, and guitarist/protagonist, Kirk Vaisto, finds himself caught between the forces of divine good and monumental evil. It’s also the first thriller about an actual guitar hero faced with saving the entire world from annihilation.
TQ: What inspired you to write The Armageddon Chord?
Jeremy: I was writing new songs for my old band, Broken Hope, and I was always laboring to write the heaviest guitar riff ever. At that time, I was thinking, “what if” some metal guitarist wrote the heaviest, most powerful guitar riff or chord known to man…a riff so devastating, it could literally cause worldwide destruction. So, on that idea, I began formulating a story…a story you now see as my novel, THE ARMAGEDDON CHORD.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for The Armageddon Chord?
Jeremy: Most of the music stuff I didn’t have to research too much. It was the historical stuff that I really had to dive into thoroughly—all the Egyptian history, Biblical history, the Holy Cross history, World War II, and a little bit of fact-finding about modern business, corporate figureheads.
TQ: In The Armageddon Chord, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?
Jeremy: The most difficult character to write may have been the protagonist, Kirk Vaisto. I say that because I could relate to him so much, I didn’t want to inject all me and my musical back-story into him. I needed to make him original. Also, I didn’t want to make him this “point-blank” superstar…I wanted him to have humble beginnings readers could relate to. All that took some doing.
The easiest character was Helmut Harkopff. I say that because I love villains and downright evil bastards you love to hate. Helmut triggered my dark side and his character just flowed from me. I guess I was meant to write horror…and pen tales of horrible people. smiles
TQ: Do you and Kirk Vaisto have anything in common?
Jeremy: Kirk Vaisto. Well as a recording artist/guitarist, I found myself relating to Kirk on a personal level and put some of my own touring and recording experiences into him…band experiences, too. But again, I didn’t want to make him like me…I worked to make Kirk his own character, his own person with an original personality.
TQ: What's next?
Jeremy: I have 2 new novels completed right now. I want to see them published in 2012. The 2 new books are unrelated to THE ARMAGEDDON CHORD or music. All my books so far are “stand alone” novels. The newer books are horror/dark fiction and I can’t wait for readers to get into them!
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Jeremy: Thank you so much for the interview!
About The Armageddon Chord
The Armageddon Chord(kRP, August 22, 2011)
Deep beneath the Egyptian sands, an ancient and evil song written in hieroglyphics is discovered in the long lost and buried pyramid of the demonic pharaoh, Aknaseth. It is written, that if this song is performed for the world to hear, it will unleash the Apocalypse upon the world of man Satan will reign and grant immortality to the chosen.
With the help of abominable Egyptologist, Helmut Hartkopff, nihilistic multibillionaire, Festus Baustone the Third will do whatever it takes to bring the song to life at any cost- even if his only daughter is to be sacrificed.
Kirk Vaisto, dubbed the "God of Guitar" by his millions of fans, soon finds himself caught between the forces of divine good and monumental evil. Vaisto begins a musical journey that takes him from an unholy chapter in ancient Egyptian history to the very remains of the Holy Cross, to the concert stage, and beyond all this, to the very edge of Hell itself. Will Kirk give the performance of a lifetime and either deliver our world from evil or will he annihilate us all with the stroke of his hand?
What will happen when Kirk Vasito strikes The Armageddon Chord?
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Writing short stories based on his lyrics, Wagner’s stories began to be published. In the mid-'90s, Wagner started writing his first unpublished novels. Combining his writing with his knowledge of music, Wagner came up with the basic idea for THE ARMAGEDDON CHORD (kRP; September 6, 2011).
Wagner has written lyrics to more than 70 published songs along with recording six albums, two MTV videos, and touring in 16 countries with his bands, Broken Hope and Lupara. Wagner has been published in RIP, Terrorizer, Metal Edge, Microhorror magazines and works of short stories through Perseus Books, St. Martin's Press, and Ravenous Romance.
Wagner's most recent published works include the short story, Romance Ain't Dead, which appears as the first story in the zombie-romance anthology Hungry For Your Love (St. Martin's Press), and the short story The Creatures From Craigslist in the anthology, Fangbangers: An Erotic Anthology Of Fangs, Claws, Sex And Love (Ravenous Romance Publishing). Wagner is an active member of the Horror Writers Association and sponsors HWA any chance he can.
For more about Jeremy Wagner, please visit www.jeremy-wagner.com
For more about THE ARMAGEDDONN CHORD, please visit
Jeremy on Facebook
Jeremy on Twitter
What: One commenter will win signed copy of The Armageddon Chord provided by Jeremy and kRP plus a signed postcard of Jeremy and some oversize The Armageddon Chord guitar picks.
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
What is your favorite musical instrument?
Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.
You may receive additional entries by:
1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.
2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.
3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.
There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.
Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.
Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*