October 4th, 2019
I asked Zachary where he would like to chat:
“We’re on an outdoor patio bar on the beach. It’s fall weather, but nice in the sun. I’m still in a button down & slacks because this is still a classy place for an outdoor bar. The sounds of the waves imply we’re on the west coast, but the scent of the ocean says east. Sounds like a mystery, but I’m just sipping my Macallan on the rocks wondering where this place has been my whole life.”
Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?
Zack Codso: I’ve always been the type to just live in my head all day. It starts off as “I wish my life was more interesting. Maybe it would be if _______ & then _____”. This happens for about a week or two & I eventually decide “Hey, that would actually be a good story. Let’s put it to paper”.
L: How long have you been writing for?
Z: Lol, about second grade. We had a subject called “Writing Workshop”, and I was like “Finally, something that encourages me to be creative”. It wasn’t until I was about 10 years old that I realized I wanted no limits, and wrote edgier stories for myself.
L: What are you currently working on?
Z: Well, I recently released “The Hole In My Hand” about a guy who was schizophrenic until he became a vampire. I just finished “The Spider Gates” about a group of friends who start a business taking paranormal cases, but I’m waiting on the book cover. Right now I’m working on what I suppose could be considered a NA Murder Mystery, Called “Is That A Bentley”, about 4 groups of 20 somethings that all come across a mysterious Bentley Continental and take it for a joyride to all the big parties in town.
L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?
Z: Back in high school, I was a very big fan of S.E Hinton. Her portrayal of the bad boy types & their narratives made me think I could really be a writer. That I didn’t have to be all proper & perfect like all the other books we read in school. I also discovered Robert Cormier & Stephen King back then, & their story telling had an effect on my writing as well. Now I’m a big fan of Joe Hill & Nick Hornby.
L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?
Z: I have a hard time with action sequences. It’s hard to keep them going, especially when you know your story calls for them. I’m actually dreading it in my WIP because anyone who reads it knows there has to be a big blow out to sum it all up.
L: What is your favorite writing trope? Least favorite?
Z: I don’t know if this qualifies or not, but I seem to use cars to symbolize something a lot. In “The Bus Stop Kids”, a character named Carter, drives a Porsche 911, and throughout the story it symbolizes someone getting what they want, even when their world is upside down. Whether it’s, recovery, falling in love, or just getting something off your chest. And “Is That a Bentley?” obviously revolves around a car. I was just thinking about in-depth conversations people have when they’re driving around, & how much that would be amplified if they were thrill seeking for a night. It’s not like I have this passion for cars or anything, I just find them as a fun way to separate fiction from reality for a moment. I’m not a fan of someone falling in love with someone just because they’re there in this dramatic situation. I’ve had conversations with other writers on Twitter about how that tends to happen in a lot of YA novels.
L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?
Z: Music has always been another passion of mine. I like to sing, I’ve sung in many bands over the years, but mostly just looking for a good karaoke bar these days lol. I also love to cook.
L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?
Z: I definitely released “The Bus Stop Kids” before it was ready. I remember reading it after I released it and being very embarrassed at how poorly I did with the editing. I can’t afford an editor, & the people who offer aren’t the most reliable, so I self edit (which is not always the best way to go, but I like to believe I’m getting better at it). I also think some of the dialogue was a little over the top. I may like to have dialogue that stands out, but still close enough to how people really are. Despite my own criticisms, I do feel I wrote a decent & original story worth checking out, but it was a huge lesson learned, & well, it was a first release. That’s usually what it’s all about.
L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?
Z: I self publish because I don’t know the first thing about being discovered lol. It just means you gotta work harder to be heard. The Writing Community movement on Twitter has been a great help for Indie Authors. I’ve really valued it for the past few months because I’ve been able to meet some incredible people, & find new ways to promote my work.
L: What element of writing do you enjoy the most?
Z: I find my strength is dialogue. I’m always talking to myself in my car, and thinking of what I wish could be my next conversation lol. It usually ends up being a conversation between characters.
L: What genre do you read?
Z: I love so many different genres, but I actually enjoy reading horror the most. That’s a genre that’s mindless for film, but in a novel, it just keeps you wanting more. When I’m reading a horror novel, I just can’t wait to pick that book back up.
L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you?
Z: Well, it’s usually on a Saturday, which means my dinner is cooking in the crockpot, I’ve listened to the right songs over my coffee, and once it’s time to open my laptop, I pour some kind of whiskey drink and start up.
L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?
Z: I actually make a playlist for every story I write that acts as a soundtrack. I listen to it in my car, and wait for a song to trigger something for the story.
L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
Z: Oh, so many little things will do that. A new song that I’m discovering will inspire a story. Hell, “The Bus Stop Kids” was actually inspired by an entire album, “White Pony” by Deftones. You’d be surprised how often having a crush on someone will spark a story, whether she’s in my life or on TV. An event in my WIP was actually inspired by a silly time I had with a friend. We spent all night drinking in the parking lot of his grocery store & slept in his car. The next morning, we had breakfast in the parking lot, waiting for his house to be empty so we could go there. All I kept thinking was “This seems like the beginning to a story about guys who are up to no good”. Things like that will spark something to write.
L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?
Z: Don’t be afraid to revisit an old idea. If you ever thought it might be a good idea, chances are it always was one. “The Hole In My Hand” legit took me 20 years to finally write. It’s obviously very different now than when I first came up with it, but sometimes that’s what makes it what you really want it to be. Never doubt yourself for being creative. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time if that’s all you need.
Zack Codso is a 32 years old bus driver from a small town in Central Massachusetts Called Winchendon. He claims he wrote The Bus Stop Kids long before becoming an actual Bus Driver. Ever since he was a child, he knew he had a passion for writing stories. From teens to 20s, he sang in rock bands while writing stories for leisure on the side. When he was 26, he released “The Bus Stop Kids”, which combines his love for writing & music by basing an entire story around Alt Rock album “White Pony” by Deftones. In 2019, he released his latest, a vampire novella called “The Hole In My Hand”.
The Bus Stop Kids: Inspired By Alternative Rock Album, “White Pony” By Deftones – In the mid 2000s, four childhood friends who grew apart throughout high school find themselves reconnecting when Ryan Sears, a serial killer known as The White Pony, is released from prison their senior year. Ryan, The White Pony, is a man who seduces young girls with his charm and corrupts them with his drugs, before he finally kills them. Billy, the good kid, is a honor role student and a star football player interested in going to Ryan ‘ s college next year. Taya, the sweetheart, is the girl everyone has a crush on, who wants to prove Ryan isn’t innocent. Nick, the cool cat, throws all the big parties in town and learns his younger sister is dating Ryan, and wants him dead. And Carter, the bad boy, is a recovering heroin addict turned con artist who is getting close to Ryan with mysterious intentions. Inspired by the Alternative Rock Album, “White Pony” by Deftones, is a heart wrenching story of Sex, Drugs, Murder, and of course Rock N Roll.
Buy it here!
The Hole in My Hand – Blake Sorrento was missing for six years, so when he returned to his home town to live with his family, they had two new things to learn about him. He was no longer mentally ill, and he was a vampire. Now he aims to rebuild a relationship with his family, make sense of his life, and find the mob of vampires that turned him.
Buy it here!