Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cemetery Highway by Hamish Robert Johnson


I grew up in Melbourne Australia and was fortunate enough to have a relatively unexciting childhood. After high school I attended film school at Deakin University, and while making the requisite pretentious art projects I discovered I had a knack for writing dialogue. In short, I wanted to be the next Quentin Tarantino.

After film school I put my passion asside and began an hilarious and relatively short lived culinary career. Quickly rising up the ranks, I found myself cooking in some of Australia’s finest restaurants and finishing a 3 year apprenticeship in 18 months. It was in these hellish kitchens that I rediscovered my love for quirky, dirty, flirty characters, which again stoked my desire for writing and the arts.

Upon hearing The Strokes for the first time, and with absolutely no preparation whatsoever I moved to New York City in 2003. I was once more surrounded by a bevy of interesting folks, inundating me with stories of hardship, romance and hope. How one cannot find inspiration in this city was beyond me. What was also beyond me was the ability to generate an income, so I hopped on the Greyhound with the little money I had left and got as far away as I could.

Austin Texas was my next port of call. Upon arriving I had a mere $40 to my name, but coupled with the attitude of a fearless traveler I was invincible. I quickly finagled a job, a room in a Revenge of the Nerds style college housing situation and the prominent position as lead guitarist in The Handsome Charlies.

I wouldn’t say I was a great guitarist, but I certainly knew how to act like one, and as we were sharing bills with The Black Angels and Ghostland Observatory I could be excused for thinking that I too would make it. But after a particularly ghastly SXSW performance I found myself standing in the parking lot listening to The Strokes perform “Is this it?” across the road. “No it is not”, I answered, and declared that I would return to writing and not continue to get distracted by flashier pursuits.

I commenced writing screenplays, pilots and web series like a madman and have not slowed down since. I now have multiple screenplays in various stages of development, and have completed my first novel. And I am here to stay!

Connect with the Author at Smashwords Wattpad Twitter


Cemetery Highway is a rollicking tale of fame, friendship and falls from grace, set in a world where zombies are the elite and humans are the underclass.

Best friends Dexter, Michelle, Penny and Cakes have started a group called the Anti Zombie Alliance and plan on sticking it to the zombies once and for all. But when zombie big-wig Max convinces the suave Dexter to trade his standards for stardom, things get ugly.


Available at Smashwords Amazon Kobo 

What inspired you to write the story?
I have always loved the John Hughes coming of age stories. I wanted to tell a tale about a group of kids who are approaching the point in life where they decide on a career, but as a zombie story. The zombies I chose represent the corporate lifestyle, in that they work 100 hours a week in high profile, yet inconsequential positions.

How long did it take you to write?
The book took me about six months to write. That may sound fast, but I prepared by spending the two years prior writing the screenplay. I know things are generally done in the reverse order, but who am I to go the typical route. Also, the film is in preproduction and scheduled to shoot in December.

What is your favorite thing about writing?
The DIY aspect is what appeals to me. Many other DIY creative activities require more hands on deck, or a certain amount of backing to pull off - film for example. But with writing it’s just me…or you. It’s like DI (all by) Y

What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Forgetting to speelcheck.

If you could be any famous person for one day who would it be and why?
Louis CK. That man is brilliant, and is the most captivating storyteller around today.

What is the oldest thing in the fridge?
A can of Sprite. It’s been in there for years. I just looked and was pretty surprised to find it. I’m pretty sure it won’t be there after lunch…

What can reader expect from you in the future?
Laughs a plenty. I’m planning on putting out a book and a movie every two years. 

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