One of the most frequent things people ask me is some variation of, “What’s up with your name?”
My name, if you didn’t notice, is Joshua Grover-David Patterson. And the questions range from, “Are you two people?” to “Why do you list your real name and your pen name together?”
So let me clear this up – Joshua Grover-David Patterson is my full name. You can find it on my birth certificate. It’s what my parents tagged me with, for reasons that are interesting to me, but probably not to you.
This leads to everyone’s next question: Why don’t you use a shorter version of your name professionally?
There are two answers there.
I grew up in a town where another kid shared my name. Same age, same grade, different schools.
Sometimes it got weird. Once I got a call because “I” was late to a science fair. That call came at seven in the morning on a Saturday. I was displeased.
More recently, I got drunk-dialed at by someone who wanted to catch up with “me.”
Then there was the time Entertainment Weekly went to a Star Wars convention, and talked to a guy with my name, who lived in my town, who was wearing a homemade Boba Fett costume.
Because of all this confusion, I started using my initials along with my name whenever possible. I wrote my name as Joshua G-D Patterson. Then someone asked why I didn’t put an O where the dash was, and I stopped doing that.
After graduating college, I started writing screenplays. You’d be amazed how many Joshua Pattersons there are in the movie business. One of them acted in “Children of the Corn IV.” Others produce. There’s even one fellow named, no lie, David Joshua Patterson.
So I decided to go all out, use my full name, and even if I confused a few people… at least I’d stand out.
Which brings me to my novel, “Mercy.”
Let’s face facts - there are quite a few zombie stories in the world. And with the advent of e-publishing, new zombie novels aren’t just coming out every week, they’re coming out every day.
So how do I make my novel stand out?
When I was sitting down to write “Mercy,” I knew that it was going to have to be a little different. Scratch that. I knew it was going to have to be very different if people were going to seek it out.
My favorite work of zombie fiction (as opposed to zombie fact, I suppose) is probably George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead.” There are a lot of reasons for this – great action, a fascinating premise – but most of all, there’s a profound moment where a character dies, and dies badly, and it’s surprisingly poignant. We are, after all, talking about a movie where LOTS of people die.
I decided to create an entire cast like that. Instead of putting twenty people on an island and letting them get picked off, one by one, I wanted to put five, or six, or seven on an island, and make the audience understand what they were going through emotionally.
I wanted the reader to root for everyone to live – and to mourn a little if they didn’t.
This isn’t to say my book isn’t fun. It also has zombie action, a plane crash, island survival, and other fun and exciting elements that I can’t tell you about, because it would ruin the surprises.
In a sense, my name and my novel are similar in that way. Both of us contain elements that are pretty common, and both contain something you don’t see very often.
That works for me.
I’ll be giving away one e-copy of “Mercy” (Kindle, nook, or PDF) – and to win it, all you have to do is offer up something that makes you unique in the comments.
You'll also get a copy of my new vampire novellette along with Mercy.
Be sure to mention which ebook format you would prefer to receive.
I’ll put everyone’s name into a hat and let my four-year-old pick a name.
She promises to be very unbiased, and I’m almost certain she knows what unbiased means.
When Georgina Fulci’s plane crashes into the Atlantic, her troubles have just begun.
Desperate to get home to her family, Georgina and a handful of survivors must find a way to escape an uncharted island… while fighting off hordes of the living dead.
“Joshua Grover-David Patterson writes in a style that will surely connect with many contemporary zombie fans. His use of tone and narrative structure are miles ahead of most who work in the genre.”
-Scott Kenemore, author of “Zombie, Ohio” and “The Zen of Zombie.”
“You expect a zombie novel to have brains, but you don't expect it to be this smart. You expect a number of internal organs to be on display, but you don't expect this much heart. MERCY is a kicka** zombie novel, but it's also a thoughtful, moving story about the joy and importance of being human and alive.”
-Seamus Cooper, author of “The Mall of Cthulhu”