by Jay Wilburn
Chuck Buda has risen quickly in the consciousness of readers and the writing world. His Son of Earp series has drawn attention online and at conventions. I became aware of his writing with the Debt Collector series and enjoy every adventure he has created across all sorts of fiction. His Zombie Lockup series brings readers of the undead to the Caged books.
He had an interesting reason for setting his zombie story in Caged within the environment of a prison. He admits to being very claustrophobic and when he sat down to think about the story, the thought of being trapped or confined in a finite space with zombies on the loose scared the crap out of him. Then the next thought became, “Oh my gosh, there has to be zombies on the outside too.” So, the chances of escape diminished for his cast of characters. Buda knew he had to write the story with the prison walls as a subtle, speechless character.
When I asked Buda about the wild diversity with his writing across various series, he said it is a necessary evil for him. He calls himself a flighty Sagittarius always distracted by the shiny new object. He thinks he might be ADD a bit in his writing too. So, jumping from zombie stories to occult horror to supernatural horror plays into his syndrome. He likes how it keeps the work fresh too. Buda never has to worry about getting bored writing the same types of stories every time.
I’ve seen substantial growth in Chuck Buda as a writer and asked him how he viewed the last year professionally. Tremendous growth, he said, since he stepped into the light with his prose back in 2015. Buda has much more confidence in his own voice and style. In the beginning, like many writers, he tried too hard to be like other authors he admired. Now, he just sets to work and tells the tales the way he believes they should be told. He injects humor at times amidst the darkness of the stories. He doesn’t worry as much about pleasing every reader. He knows the readers who enjoy his style will come to him once they discover what he’s created.
Buda speaks about the importance of the relationships he has made in writing. His professional connections have provided him with advice, confidence, support and encouragement to be himself as a writer. The community of authors, especially within the horror genre, has been extremely generous with their time and direction. He hopes to someday pay it forward because he could never afford to pay it back. The community of authors has been the biggest force behind his success, in his opinion. I happen to think his raw talent has played a big part as well, but Buda is too humble to say so himself. He goes on to say he could never have embarked on this journey without the support and love of his wife. She allowed him to explore this art without demanding a thing from him. She is the most important person in his life. Buda says he is only strong because of her strength.
Chuck Buda’s plate is overflowing with projects right now. The Zombie Lockup series is at the top of the list along with the final book in his Gushers occult horror trilogy. Then, some more Son of Earp books and a secret project with another famous author he’s not at liberty to discuss just yet. I tried to trick him into telling me more, but we’ll all just have to wait. He’s very excited to continue all the storylines he’s set in motion and we’re all happy to see the results.