Interview with Ace Hall
Ace Antonio-Hall was first published in 1998 in an Adelphi University publication called Luna, with a short story titled “1936.” After earning his BFA degree from Long Island University, he taught middle-school English for over ten years.
He now lives in southern California, and was the Vice President of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (2009-2011), and still holds an executive position in the organization which gives him a huge platform to market, sell, and promote his work through the many conferences, meetings and book fairs that GLAWS holds each month. He is also a member of LASFS and the International Thriller Writers.
His first novel, a coming-of-age YA zombie story, The Confessions of Sylva Slasher, was released April 2013 by Montag Press. It is part of a series with the next book Skateboard Xombies, expected for release early next year.
About the writing life, he says: “I harmlessly dream in Technicolor nightmares, watch a ton of horror flicks, eat more donuts than I should, and refuse to stop reading Spider-Man. All of those combined give me a sweet tooth to write about the suite life of zombies.”
Ace’s true labor of love is writing fast-paced fiction with character-driven plots featuring female protagonists. He continues to write short stories and build on the world of teen necromancer Sylva Slasher as she reigns as Princess of the Undead.
You can find out more about Ace, including his music and screen acting credits, and his involvement with the Hollywood Actors Academy as part-owner, Acting Coach and Creative Director, at the IMDb Biography website. For skateboard, zombie and teen tees, including swag and other cool stuff, visit his store HERE.
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- Where did you get ideas for your books?
Many of my ideas come from my strange and disturbing dreams, but also, I’m inspired by everyday life. If I get lost down the wrong street, I start looking for anything unique or uncommon. Sometimes, it’s the name of a street, the color of a house, the way a girl is playing hop scotch with her friends, or the rivalry of teens riding their skateboards. I’ll sketch a house or building, sit and listen to interaction between people, or just people-watch, and much of what I experience goes into my writing. My virtual mentor award-winning author Alexandra Sokoloff (Screenwriting Tricks for Authors, Huntress Moon, Blood Moon) once suggested that I get on Pinterest, that it was ‘picture crack’ and she was right! I’ve now made a collection of reference images that serves as ideas for my settings and characters.
- Out of all the books you have written which is your favorite and why?
I’ve only had one book published, but the second book in the Zombie Pop series that I’m writing now, has to be my favorite. It’s called Sk8board Xombies and I feel after going through the publishing process the first time, working with the editor, characterization, marketing, etc., this book is more polished. Not only that but the concept is something that has never been done before, and I’m pretty excited about it.
3. What people do you think will love your book the most?
It’s hard to tell. From the reactions of the first novel, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback regarding the pace, and the cliffhangers at the end of each chapter which makes it a page-turner. I also hear from nearly everyone that it’s a fun read, which I love to hear because I wanted readers of all ages to really enjoy the story.
4. What kind of TV shows do you like and do you find that as a Sci-Fiction/Horror Writer that you gravitate toward Sci-Fiction/Horror Movies and Television such as Lost in Space or Stargate?
My favorite shows are a mix of detective and science fiction such as Twilight Zone, Fringe, Rockford Files, 24, the British show Misfits, the Original Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica—the one with Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck. I absolutely, 100%, totally loved her in the series. She’s totally badass and was the one actor that made me watch it episode after episode. Anyone who worked with me knows that I love Meryl Streep so much, I’d drink wine out of her shoe, same thing for Katee Sackhoff, except instead of wine, fill Katee’s shoes full of the Rosé Collection of Maison Veuve Clicquot champagne. Every drop—I’d drink every drop, baby.
5. If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author what would it be?
Read everything you can in the genre you want to write so that you build an innate feel for what’s paying homage to the genre, what’s become satirical or cliché, what’s part of that world’s rules and after absorbing all that, it allows you to know what rules to bend or break. I also recommend taking classes and attend workshops to continue to polish your craft, and go to as many writing conferences as you can. Listen, even Michael Jordan had a coach; Bruce Lee had a teacher. Writing is a life-long process, and as an author goes through many different experiences, his outlook changes, so does his writing. Success can also channel all those energies that an author used (before success ) to think, and contemplate ideas, into a rush for the many demands that success brings in the form of interviews, appearances, etc. Taking classes and workshops hones their skills and keeps an author’s writing polished and fresh. Also, joining a strong critique group and a good writer’s society helps tremendously. The beast of sloppy writing is no respecter of persons.
6. What projects do you have up and coming?
Between my stand-in actor gigs in Hollywood, I’m working tirelessly at completing the second novel in my Zombie Pop series. As I mentioned before, it’s called Sk8board Xombies and will be action-packed, hella-scary and full of surprises, twists and turns. In this book, I introduce my readers to the new world of Sylva Slasher, which will be featured in the following books.
7. Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?
Yes, yes, yes! Join me on my virtual tour February 17th – March 14th brought to the web by Juniper Grove Book Solutions. There will be a really cool giveaway that I know everyone would kill to get their hands on. Also, I’ll be appearing at ConDor in San Diego on March 21st – March 23rd, WonderCon in Anaheim on April 18th – 20th in the Greater Los Angeles Writers (GLAWS) booth, and the Creative Writing Conference at the University of Pacific in Stockton at a date still to be announced, in June.
8. Finally, If you could pick one actor to play a character in your book in the movie version, who would it be?
Are you kidding? Katee Sackhoff! She would be the perfect Anya! As far as who could play Sylva Slasher: Brenda Song. Her appearance in Wendy Wu, Homecoming Warrior makes her a shoo-in, just throw a blond wig on her. Jamie Chung would be great, although she’s two inches taller than Sylva at 5′ 6″, her roles in Sucker Punch and Samurai Girl would make her a great pick for the action scenes with the kukri knives and the zombies. Model/Actress Devon Aoki may have been born to play Sylva Slasher. She’s more than proven she could play the spunky Hawaiian necromancer with her roles in 2 Fast 2 Furious, DOA: Dead or Alive and Sin City. And of course, having met this drop-dead gorgeous actress at the Stunt Awards a few years back, I’d have to say the multi-talented actress Kelly Hu would be perfect, just perfect, as Sylva’s mother, the tough-as-nails Kaila Fleischer.
Summary: A spring break trip on a cruise presents a new problem for Sylva. Passengers on the ship turn into flesh-eating zombies, unlike the harmless ones she’s used to raising from the dead. She and her friends are trapped on the Pacific Ocean, and their only escape comes from a guy Sylva had a crush on she thought was dead, named Brandon. Sylva doesn’t normally hold grudges, but when someone plays with her heart they have to pay. However, with the fate of the human race on the line, Brandon convinces Sylva to join him in a secret mission, yet she can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something.
It didn’t take long for her suspicions to hold true when it’s revealed that Brandon has been romantically involved with the very enemy he now wants her to destroy. This villainous female would rather kill Brandon than let Sylva have a chance to patch things up between them. Sylva is not the kind of girl to walk away from love without a fight, but with a strange virus threatening extinction of human life, she shoves her own feelings in her back pocket to face her greatest nightmare, and that nightmare starts with something that is eerily growing right inside of her own mind and body.
Excerpt from the Confessions of Sylva Slasher:
Brandon’s face softened, and he took my hand in his. At first, I resisted, but his eyes insisted.
“I’ve been a fool for a long time.”
I just stared, intently.
“We’ve…we’ve always had a connection—more than just friends.”
“More than just friends?” I echoed.
He sighed, and dipped his chin, swallowing. “What I—what, um, what I felt for you, what I still feel goes beyond friendship, beyond any word, in any language, in any poem, any piece of art that may have captured passion—”
I tried to interrupt him, but he quickly leaned over and placed his index finger to my lips. Tears began to form in my eyes. He was really about to come clean with his feelings.
“Sylvie, oh Sylvie, don’t you understand?”
I shook my head, slowly.
“From the first time I saw your parents registering you in the main office, your freshman year, I knew there would never be anyone for me. Never.”
I pressed the talk button absently, and somehow manage to squeak out a word. “Really?”
“When you looked back at me and a smile came from those beautiful lips of yours it warmed me like the sun rays of the first spring day, and I knew, I knew, Sylvie that nothing would stop me from meeting you.”
I feel the same way.
“You see, it was like my soul was suddenly driven with the sole purpose to branch out of my body and touch yours. I don’t know, it probably sounds stupid to you, but I swear it was like our spirits were made in heaven. Yeah, as one entity and somehow when they came down to Earth, were separated until that first moment our eyes met—mine and those precious silver eyes. That day my whole life made sense, the reason why I was the only senior in ROTC that was still a virgin, why I’d hang out at the cemetery talking to my grandpop’s grave all the time, and thought nothing of it being around the dead so much. My whole existence was complete when you came into my life.”
“You were the only person I was supposed be with. And, yes, I felt like a complete jerk when I kissed for the first and only time at your locker, your freshman year, and thought that maybe I was moving too fast—which is why I’ve never tried anything since.”
“That’s why? I figured you hated kissing me or felt like there wasn’t any spark.”
“No spark? Are you kidding me? I couldn’t sleep for days after that—all I could think of was how much I knew you were right for me.”
“So what’s up with the buddy-buddy routine. Every time I tried to bring up that kiss, you would change the subject.”
“I didn’t want you to think that sex was the only thing I wanted.”
“Well, if that was your goal, you certainly accomplished that. I thought you didn’t find me attractive and just wanted to be friends.”
“Believe me, you are the most beautiful jewel I’ve ever laid eyes on…”
He paused, and leaned closer to me. “And sometimes precious stones aren’t to be played with, but cherished and handled carefully. I missed you more than you could ever know.”
He unbuckled his seatbelt, and kissed me on my nose.
Wow. He did care for me.
I glanced up toward Spindoctor, and held back the tears that wanted to flood out of my eyes. For a long moment, I couldn’t even speak. Like always, Brandon showed me patience—in his smile, his eyes, and his tone of voice. He leaned back, and clicked his seat belt around his waist.
Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, Sylva.
“It just killed me being away from you for so long, Brandon.”
“Sylvie, that time away from you, killed me, too.”
I couldn’t speak. I just looked at him, and when he looked back, I quickly looked away, outside of the window, into the dark night, and pinched the wetness out of my eyes, sniffing.
He waited. Brandon’s hands came together, as if he were about to pray, and he brought them up to his lips and closed his eyes. He slowly turned his head with his eyes still closed, and when he opened them, stared out of the window. We both sat in a swell of engine noise consumed by a million thoughts. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. No one had ever said anything like that to me.
Wow—wow—wow. So beautiful.
His eyes spoke of only the memories we shared. I saw it. I could always tell. Something about the way his face softened and his gaze got all glassy-eyed. God, I think I loved him.