Chewing Braaiiinns with Stant Litore

My victim today is Stant Litore, talented author of The Zombie Bible series. If you haven’t picked up one of his books, you should… Given that some of you may not be well acquainted with Stant, let’s delve a little into what he has to say about himself.

Avid reader. Farmer’s son. Wife and two daughters as beautiful as the dawn is soft. I write about zombies. And the Bible. Well, actually I write about zombies IN the Bible. If you’ve ever wanted to see an Old Testament prophet in a life-or-death struggle with the undead at the bottom of a well, or a second-century saint pitched against an infested city, …now you can. Horror, exegesis, heroism, and tears.

Stant is the author of The Zombie Bible, which has been devouring the bestseller charts for the horror and fantasy genres on the Amazon Kindle. A dark retelling of biblical tales as narratives of humanity’s long struggle against hunger and the hungry dead.

Now that we know a little more about Stant, let’s starting chewing on his brain… Why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I’ve always found zombies chilling. It’s the irrevocability of their hunger. And it’s the eyes – that these are bodies that look at you and do not see you; they see only food. That’s a terrifying thing. It’s terrifying to the gut, and it’s terrifying in a metaphysical sense.

I couldn’t agree more. Tell us a little bit about your current project.

You must mean The Zombie Bible, a series of novels retelling the Bible as a record of humanity’s long struggle with hunger and with the hungry dead. You need to read this – it’s reverent, it’s intelligent, it’s gruesome, and I’ve been told that the “human drama” is so gripping that people find the last pages of each book haunting them for the rest of the week.

Is there anything that makes your Zombies different?

It’s not the zombies that are different, it is humanity’s reaction to them. I write about episodes in the distant past, episodes out of the Bible or early church history. How ancient cultures struggled to cope with the rising of their dead, shattering everything they believed in, everything in which they hoped. I write about whether people tried to burn the dead, or save them, or flee them. I write about who chose to stand against them and who didn’t.

My zombies are an ultimate expression of the hungers human beings face while they live, the hungers they never resolve, the hungers that pursue them, moaning, even after their deaths.

If you had to choose, what are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

Max Brooks, World War Z

Kim Paffenroth, Valley of the Dead: The Truth Behind Dante’s Inferno

Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Rhiannon Frater, Fighting to Survive

Garth Nix, Sabriel

Each of these pushes the edge of what can be done with zombies, each in its own way. You can read more of what I had to say about them in my post ‘Are You Hungry? My Top 5 Zombie Novels‘.

I haven’t read Nix’ Sabriel yet but it’s making its way higher up my list. Considering the cinema, what are your top 3 favourites in the Zombie genre?

Night of the Living Dead – the original – still enchants me and chills me to the bone. I’m not sure about the other two; it may depend on the week. 28 Days Later has a special place in my gut because I saw it while living in London. I could vividly imagine (or walk to) many of the locations in the first half of the movie. The scene in which one character describes the infected sweeping though Paddington Station? I went to that station every day. I could not sleep for a week.

This is going to get me in trouble but I’ll take I Am Legend with Will Smith for the third. That film is profoundly flawed. But there were several specific scenes that I thought were brilliant. I am thinking of those scenes, not of the film as a whole.

If you ask me next week, I will have changed my mind about two of the top three. Night of the Living Dead is going to stay put, though.

My opinion on I Am Legend is much the same as yours Stant, I found it flawed but full of cinematic value. Tell us, do you think the popularity of The Walking Dead and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

The interest has come in waves since Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in the 60s. Max Brooks sparked the current wave with World War Z, and AMC’s tv series adapting The Walking Dead has upped the ante. We’re high on the wave now. Readers are hungry, though; in fact, they’re starving. Too much of what’s out there merely imitates The Walking Dead. You can tell the post-apocalyptic plague narrative to death and then on to undeath, but readers want something new that still captures the best thrills of the genre. The vampire genre has been reinvented intelligently about once per decade since Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire came out; we’re looking for the next reinvention of the zombie genre. Jonathan Maberry and the others I mentioned above are all indicative at what more could be done with this fledgling but growing genre.

If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, 5 things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they? 

Who needs five weapons? That’s a lot to carry, unless they’re all knives. I’d be grabbing up the longsword there by the bed and the lid of the laundry hamper, which is a gigantic woven-basket thing, and the lid is heavy and it is more than two feet across; it would make a shield and buy me a crucial few seconds. Forget the rest.

Very interesting choice Stant – I’m not sure I wouldn’t make do with all of the weapons I could get my hands on!

If you’re interested in reading more of Stant’s The Zombie Bible series, here is what to look for (click on the covers in order to be taken to Amazon):

Yerusalem City is dying as the king, blind to the starvation and plague ravaging his people, obsessively plans for a Babylonian invasion. Only Yirmiyahu the prophet knows the truth; only he can hear God weeping behind her veil in the Temple. Yirmiyahu knows the barricaded city gates will keep no one out—they will serve only to keep the zombies in. For among the unburied and neglected dead are restless souls who continue to roam the earth, feasting on the living trapped within the city walls. 

Yirmiyahu’s pleas on behalf of the people only earn him the scorn of the king, who orders him tossed into a dry well. There he is trapped with his memories of the horrors he witnessed aboveground—and with the ravenous dead thrown into the well after him. Fearful that God has abandoned her city, Yirmiyahu wrestles with the hunger of the living and the hunger of the dead as he struggles to hold onto his last vestige of hope.

By turns harrowing and inspiring, the first book in Stant Litore’s gripping Zombie Bible series initiates a dark retelling of traditional biblical tales that will haunt readers long after the last page has been turned.

*****

Father Polycarp has a Gift. He can bring peace and rest to the restless dead.

At his touch, each hungering corpse lies still at last. But to do this, Polycarp must first look into each one’s blind eyes and find the remnant of the soul caught within the shambling corpse. He must witness its secrets, its suffering — all that it loved and feared and regretted in its brief life. Only then can he absolve that soul and set it free. Only then will it cease to walk and feed.

But Polycarp has more than the dead to worry about: second-century Rome is bitterly divided. The patricians hope to appease their ancestors by lavishing food upon the tombs of the dead, even as the city’s poor starve in the streets. Blaming the rising of the dead on Polycarp and his followers, they seek his death, certain his rejection of the old ways has left the ancestors restless and starving for flesh.

To save the Eternal City, Polycarp will have to stand against the might and corruption of Roman justice and the terrible moaning of the ravenous dead in this captivating installment in Stant Litore’s Zombie Bible series.

Tune in next week as I interview Adam Millard, talented author along with Owner/Editor at Crowded Quarantine Publications…

Chewing Braaiiinns with Miranda Doerfler

Today my guest is Miranda Doerfler.

For those of you unacquainted with her, Miranda is a bestselling story and script writer in the horror, mystery, thriller, suspense and espionage genres. She has been writing since she was seven years old. She publishes a new collection of short stories every three months, and an anthology every nine months. Her most recent projects include Shadows Come to Stay, Haiku of the Living Dead and Dead Inside. She currently resides in upstate New York with her parents, her younger brother and her cat, Baby.

Her work can be found on Amazon.com and her website: http://mirandadoerfler.com, and for events or conventions, you can contact her manager, John Tobin, at 518-227-8629, or by email at info@gloryhaunthounds.com.

Now that you know a little more about Miranda, let’s find out what she has to say about the living dead. Why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Believe it or not, I used to hate zombies…until I started watching The Walking Dead, which I think is one of the most brilliant shows on TV right now. I also started talking to Seth Peterson, an actor who’s become a good friend of mine, who is in love with zombies. His passion for them drove me to continue. I am more intrigued by the apocalyptic aspect that tends to go along with zombies than the zombies themselves, but I found it interesting to think about how a body decays and how that contributes to the look of a zombie while writing my novella.

Since you brought up The Walking Dead, do you think the popularity of the show and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

Haha! Well, yes, I do believe that it’s increased the popularity. I think zombies have always been a point of intrigue, but the brilliance of The Walking Dead put it at the forefront over so many other things in the horror genre. It’s really interesting to me to see how other people interpret and write zombies. I like watching the genre grow.

The genre grows daily as more and more people unleash their ideas on the world. Take a second, if you will, and plug your latest project for us, published or otherwise.

My latest project is DEAD INSIDE, my zombie novella. It’s the longest thing I have ever written and I am utterly proud of it. My manager is currently talking to commercial publishers, so I’m pretty excited about that. A brief synopsis: “This 33k+ word novella follows Daniel Flynn, the G2 Group and scientists at Hayter Industries as they explore the abilities of The Grief Gene and test a revolutionary virus called, ‘Mortoxin.’ They’re in for more than they bargained for when the virus falls into the wrong hands, and it’s up to everyone involved to put a stop to the threat before it’s too late…for all of us.”

Since Dead inside is not currently available, here is a synopsis of Miranda’s most recent release…

A collection of short stories to envelop you in darkness. Note: this compilation is more thriller/suspense than horror. Includes “Captive,” “Under the Cover of Night,” “Deception” and the seventh installment of the Kindle exclusive, “Black & White.”

Captive: When her car breaks down on a dead-end street, Venicia Acclest is just looking for a little help, but the friendly couple in the house nearby may offer more than she bargained for when they don’t allow her to leave.
Under the Cover of Night: A serial killer is on the loose and the D.C. police are scrambling to stop him. If Detective Robert Stanford only knew how close he was to the answer…
Deception: Something is killing senators sporadically, and although their manner of death is the same, their cause is an utter mystery, and they don’t seem to have any other connection, but Rick and Kate will piece it together. The only question is: will they be too late?
Black & White: Agent White is determined to hunt down Sanctimonia, to the point of staying at the station all night to find any clue in the case files. Little does he know, by the end of the night, he’ll have more reason than ever to find the killer and take him out.

When discussing Dead Inside, your (hopefully) soon to be released zombie novella, what is it that makes your Zombies different?

My zombies are smart. They think and know and can react to a situation more than just flinging themselves at a door. They also have a specific reason for eating humans, but I’m not gonna give that away just yet. ;]

Oh, I love a good tease! So tell us, what are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

Oh god. I haven’t read any commercially published zombie books, haha. The only thing I’ve read is Seth Peterson’s ZOMBIE MOVIE (available for download on Smashwords), which I loved. I’ve only recently gotten into this genre and have a lot of catching up to do, unfortunately.

Catching up is not such a bad thing, and please don’t forget the independently published ones as well! There are quite a few gems in the genre. Since you haven’t read a lot of Zombie Lit, what are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Again, haven’t really seen any. I saw Shaun of the Dead, and that was okay, but I’m not big into comedy horror. I want to see 28 Days Later at some point…

Hmmm, so you’ve done little research in the event the Zombie Apocalypse occurs… Things may not go well for you Miranda! Okay consider this next question a quick test: if the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, 5 things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

Guitar strings (great for severing heads, if you can get close enough!), this super strong lamp (perfect for bashing in skulls), a fire poker, the leg of a stool and…A KNIFE! Thank god we’re eating dinner right now…

Maybe, just maybe you’ll be okay Miranda – but let’s hope it never comes to that! If you’re interested in any of Miranda’s works, you can find links to them all on her website.

Tune in next week when I talk to Stant Litore, author of The Zombie Bible series…

Chewing Braaiiinns with Caterina Torres

The inaugural interview on Chewing Braaiiinns is with Caterina Torres!

Caterina is in her mid-twenties and graduated with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Humanities. She goes by Cat for the most part and loves to write about the apocalypse, but not in the biblical sense of the word. Any sort of dystopian, end of the world stories seriously interest her as they have a lot to do with being part of the rat race of life, trying to climb the great ladder of success.

Now it’s time for us to chew some braaiiinns!

So Caterina, why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I picked zombies because they are humanity’s greatest threat. It’s more of a possibility for a virus or pathogen to infect the nation and turn our neighbors into the walking dead, than for some monster to spring up and kill people. Plus, zombies could be our loved ones. What’s scarier than seeing a beloved try to eat us?

I completely agree with you – zombies are a huge threat to humanity. Let’s hope it never comes to that! Plug your latest project; published or otherwise.

My most recently published book is Zombie Whisperer, a tale about a woman who can mentally control hoards of zombies. It’s a psychic thriller that deals with terrorism and balancing the morality of our current economic turmoil.

She can speak to the dead. Only problem is, they’re still walking around.

After enduring a week-long flu, Jane Smith wakes to find out a terrorist organization has spread a deadly virus over the nation, changing anyone who’s infected into the walking dead. With no choice but to flee her home, Jane teams up with her boyfriend, Josh Williams, as they venture to find something better than the desolate land that was once called the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Driving across the country, Jane encounters some of the newly turned and finds she can hear their thoughts inside her head. Before she can understand her link to the undead, Jane and Josh are captured by the terrorists responsible for the virus because of one special reason: they know she can communicate with the infected and they want her to be a part of their fight to take down the rest of the world.

Afraid for their lives, Jane must decide if she should join the terrorists or use her new found powers to stop them.

Oh! Sounds awesome! How have I managed to miss this one?? What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

The main character shares a mental link with the infected, allowing her the ability to control them and do as she asks.

That certainly is different and something that I don’t believe I’ve encountered while reading the troves of Zombie treasures available. What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

Surprisingly, I don’t read a lot of zombie books. I watch them and play video games with them more often. But I have read a great zombie book recently, called Rot & Ruin, a tale about a fifteen year old boy trying to find his place in this new zombie-infested world he lives in.

I’ve read that as well – loved it! Since you don’t read a lot of Zombie lit, what are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

I love the latest three Resident Evil movies –  Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Resident Evil: Extinction; and Resident Evil: Afterlife. I’m also a huge fan of the video games too; I’ve played them all.

I’m a huge fan of the Resident Evil franchise as well and I’m super excited for Resident Evil: Retribution due out this fall. Switching to television for a moment, do you think the popularity of The Walking Dead and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

I believe the show has definitely helped spark people’s love for zombies again. There’s always been an interest, and I don’t think zombies will ever go out of favor, but the show helped reignite a mainstream media love for the undead because most zombie related videos were either movies or old shows. We needed something on TV, with current technology, and something that was believable.

Agreed! Now it’s time to test you… If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, 5 things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

Well, considering I’m in the kitchen, there are so many great items at my disposal. I have a butcher’s knife, a large rolling pin, vegetable oil (which I can use to slick my front entryway), fire (from the stove), and a dining table (to bar their path inside).

Thank you Caterina for an informative look into your life with Zombies. If you’d like to pick up a copy of Zombie Whisperer, you can find it on Amazon, Lulu, iBookstore, Nook, and in Print. You can also find Caterina on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. Check out her blog where she publishes a running short story that is a side story to Zombie Whisperer!

Tune in next week when Miranda Doerfler stops by for a snack…

Let Me Introduce…

Hello, hello! It’s been a while hasn’t it?

Starting tomorrow and (hopefully) every Monday after, I will be posting an interview with a fellow Zombie wordsmith in my new series entitled:

Chewing Braaiiinns

I hope that you will all tune in as I talk to some of the most interesting brains in Zombie culture! Stay tuned!

Zombies! Savage Chickens by Doug Savage – Check ’em out!

Days with the Undead

For those of you that may have noticed, my saga of the Undead is no longer available to be viewed on this blog.

It may be gone, but I am certainly not done! I’m hard at work with the second book which will follow the same story line as the blog, but include new material.

If you haven’t picked up the first book with its new scenes and bonus material, it’s available on:

Amazon

Smashwords

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Apple (you’ll have to search the books area)

CreateSpace (print)

Amazon (print)

Barnes & Noble (print)

What will this site become? You’ll all just have to wait and see…