Chewing Braaiiinns with… Joshua Cook

Today I am joined by Joshua Cook, author of the Zombie A.C.R.E.S. series and AiZ: Alice in Zombieland. If you don’t know anything about Josh, it’s time to get you folks acquainted beginning with a few words directly from the man himself…

Writing has always been my passion in life. It has always been a hobby to me though. Thanks to some unfortunate luck in my life, I am now able to focus full-time on my writing, and this is the result of the fruit of that labor.” ~Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, late in 1977. This where he spent most of his life. There have been short bursts throughout his life where he has spread his wild oats to other parts of the United States, though.

Briefly Josh lived in Arizona and a brief – dark – time in Indiana and Ohio. Finally he landed in Washington State. He now calls Seattle his home where he lives with his beautiful cocker spaniel – black lab mix, Sam Dogg.

This is where he created the growing fan favorite web site ZombieACRES.com, which spawned its first book in 2012. After many years of writing non-fiction, news, and various other articles, Josh decided to poke around in fiction – and loves it.

Well Josh, readers are dying to know… why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Dead things, of course. Seriously, though, I have loved zombies since I first watched Night of the Living Dead as a child. I have always been a ‘blood and guts’ horror fan, so the dead rising to feast on the living was just a perfect match. The older I got, I learned to appreciate the survivors sides of the stories, though.

Most zombie stories are basically the same – the dead rise (or get infected), eat the living, people with big guns come in and take care of them all. What really separates the good from the dead are the survivors and their stories. Who are these people and how did they get sucked into this new hell hole that has become their life?

That is one of the things I focused on when writing AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) – the people. There is some blood and gore, of course, but the true driving force of AiZ is the emotional journey each character goes through. Where they have been is important, but when the crap hits the fan, it is who we will become that really matters.

One of my characters Sam Ashe, has been a zombie lover his whole life. He thought he would be ready when the undead called. When they did show up, though, he realized watching and reading about zombie attacks was completely different from real life. I think this is typical of many of us, no matter what we say now. You just never know until death is knocking at your door.

Now is your chance to plug your latest project; published or otherwise.

The story of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) is as follows:

William Lohman, a recently deceased man, held an interview that was seen by the entire world. In this interview, he told of how the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Roslun Global, has been conducting secret experiments meant to revive the dead, among other atrocities. Mr. Lohman was taken quite seriously seeing as how he was obviously one of these experiments, what with the decay and all.

This interview knocked over the first domino in a long series of setbacks for Roslun Global, and the company’s greedy CEO Richard Roslun. Richard was not known for being subtle or calm, but he was known for getting results…at any cost.

Nine years have passed since that historic interview changed the world forever. People have learned to live with the idea of zombies, much the same way they learn to live with many modern diseases; it’s a terrible thing, but it doesn’t affect them. Until it does, that is.

Georgia ‘Gee’ Marie is a typical college student. She enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends, smoking a little weed and going to work. Her life is pretty mundane, until she returns one day to visit her father. Gee finds her younger sister being attacked by her mother, who has just finished feasting on the rest of the family. Gee and Alice are about to begin the greatest trials of their lives. Not only will their will to survive be tested, but the bonds that hold them together as family and loved ones will be pushed to their limits.

The paperback version of Alice in Zombieland will be available in a month, but here is your chance to grab your signed copy before anyone else can even begin ordering any. For a limited time, pre-orders will be available for two different versions of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) in paperback.

This special edition of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) is limited to less than 100 copies ever made and only available through ZombieACRES.com. The limited edition paperback features different artwork than the regular version, is larger than the regular edition (8×10) and contains Bruce Campbell vs The ACRES. This eleven page comic featuring the artwork of Donovan Scherer pits the great Bruce Campbell (star of The Evil Dead trilogy) against an undead film crew on the set of a new film. The only way to see what happens is by grabbing this limited edition paperback today. Along with cool new artwork from Timothy Brand and Donovan Scherer, each copy of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) Limited Edition will be hand signed and numbered by Joshua Cook, author and creator of Zombie A.C.R.E.S. Each copy comes with a FREE digital copy of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga).

For those of you that cannot wait for the August paperback release of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga), now is your chance to pre-order your copy today. Not only will you get a copy before the official release date, but it will also be hand signed and personalized however you like by Joshua Cook, author and creator of Zombie A.C.R.E.S. Each copy comes with a FREE digital copy of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga).

Whoa, lots of information, but I think we got it all. Thanks! Is there anything that makes your Zombies different Josh?

I have seen the same zombie story more time than I can count. I love the majority of them, but it has become just more of the same. I wanted to bring something different to the genre. Instead of placing the reader in the middle of a zombie apocalypse with just cryptic hints at the cause, Zombie A.C.R.E.S. and AiZ take place at the beginning of the apocalypse.

In Zombie A.C.R.E.S., it is a pharmaceutical company that triggers the zombie apocalypse. The creation of the Second Birth Serum will allow people to become medicated zombies after they die. While this serum is not complete, some experiments are able to talk act almost like the living.

Now get prepared for the hardest question; what are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead (2003) – Max Brooks

The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead (2010) – Roger Ma

World War Z: An oral History of the Zombie War (2006) – Max Brooks

The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology (2010) – Various Authors

X Factor Zombie Massacre (2012) – Stewart King

Great choices Josh! What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Re-Animator (1985)

Awesome, Josh! Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is definitely tops my favourites list! Moving into television, 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?

There has always been a growing underground fanbase for the undead. The mainstream appeal of zombies always seemed to be cyclical. When pop culture was slammed by the popularity of the Resident Evil games and movies, Dawn of the Dead remake and Shaun of the Dead, there was no way the mainstream could avoid being infected. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and show are examples of how good zombie fiction can be and have definitely helped fuel this latest craze, but us freaks have always been here.

Pop Quiz: 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?

I could break apart a bed for wood to make into possible weapons (and tools). Luckily there is a hammer in here to help with the wood breaking, and also as a weapon if need be. Truthfully, that is all I would trust to defend myself with. My first choice would be escape as I am kind of trapped in a corner room of a basement apartment (easy same floor exit, though).

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Josh. If you would like to connect with Josh, you can find him on his Amazon author page, his Smashwords author page, or on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest. Josh also runs a website that lists free Kindle and Nook books at FreeBookDude.comAiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) now available on Kindle, Nook and multiple formats. Two paperback versions are being released soon and you can reserve signed limited edition and regular edition paperbacks at ZombieACRES.com today. Get the perfect gift for that zombie fan in your life at the Zombie A.C.R.E.S. merch store and LIKE Zombie A.C.R.E.S. on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Join me next week as my guest will be Todd Brown – Author, President, and Editor at May December Publications.

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