Chewing Braaiiinns with… James Friesen

Today we will be talking all things Zombie with author James Friesen. Welcome James! For those of you unacquainted with Mr. Friesen, let’s have a quick look inside his brain.

Jamie Friesen was born in Lahr, West Germany while his father was serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He attended the University of Alberta where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History, and followed it later with a Masters of Arts in Communications & Technology. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree, Jamie went abroad and taught English in Japan and Taiwan.

He now lives in Edmonton, Canada with his wife and daughter, working in the Public Relations field and writes in his spare time, which usually translates to early mornings and lunch time. Zombie Night in Canada: First Period is his first novel.

Now it’s time for the questions. Why Zombies, James? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

The thing about a zombie apocalypse that attracts me is the post-apocalyptic nature of it. While I think if it ever were to happen, it would have the possibility of wiping out large parts of humanity (maybe as much as 90%), I don’t subscribe to the extinction level events some other authors and fans do.

Series like Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry and Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth are more my speed than David Wellington’s Monster series or Brian Keene’s Rising series. Don’t get me wrong, Wellington’s and Keene’s books were still good, but are not amongst my favourites.

The things I want answered in a zombie book are what happens after the situation stabilizes/all the zombies are wiped out.

What kind of political system will emerge? Will it still be democracy? Or will we revert to feudalism as people turn to warriors for protection from the undead hordes? Or maybe they will revert to a more collective/tribal system? What kind of economic system develops? Does the merchant class maintain their relevance or do they fade into the background like in the Middle Ages? What about science and innovation? Is it strictly military (weaponry) or medical (cure/antidote) driven or will general inventiveness still rule the day? Will society become like Mad Max, where Darwin rules, or will people still have compassion for those less fortunate?

Open invitation – plug your latest project; published or otherwise.

I have two projects being released shortly. The first is that Zombie Night in Canada: First Period is now available in paperback from Createspace and Amazon.

The other is a short story from the Zombie Night in Canada universe; The Saga of Micky Wheeler. It is an expansion of one of the minor characters story lines and follows the life and times of a career criminal during the zombie apocalypse.

Awesome news James! What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

The key difference is that the characters in my series faces MILLIONS of zombies, not a dozen or a hundred like in most other books. Well, that and the weather plays a serious role in my series.

What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

Patient Zero – Jonathan Maberry

Dying to Live – Kim Paffenroth

Morningstar Strain – Z. A. Recht

World War Z – Max Brooks

Monster Island – David Wellington

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

Zombieland

Resident Evil

Dawn of the Dead (2004 Zack Snyder remake)

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

I think there has always been interest, but it was almost a sub-culture, hidden from the mainstream.  The Walking Dead has certainly changed that. I can think of several of my own friends who weren’t zombie fans until it started to air.

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?

Odds are if I was forced to fight a zombie apocalypse with only the contents of this room, I’d wind up a zombie. The best I can find here is a pair of scissors. If I can get downstairs however, I can get to my folding shovel, a dozen hockey sticks, a baseball bat, and a large number of knives and other bladed weapons.

For those of you looking to take a little peek into Zombie Night in Canada: First Period, here you go!

Tokyo. Sydney. Beijing. Cairo. Paris. Rome. New York. Los Angeles. One by one, the world’s great cities fell to the zombie plague. What chance does a small, non-descript city in Canada like Edmonton have?

The world as we know it is finished. Civilization has collapsed and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Billions of people are dead, victims of a horrific plague. 

Bi-weekly paychecks, Tim Horton’s double doubles, men’s league hockey and cheap winter vacations to Cancun. That was the life Xander Barnes had known for years until a pandemic swept the globe. Efforts to slow its spread or develop quarantine zones, in many cases were too little, too late. 

Nowadays, life consisted of avoiding the plague victims, ghouls who had an insatiable appetite for human flesh and finding enough food to survive day to day. How long can one ordinary man survive in a world gone mad?

I want to thank James for being my guest today and for agreeing to answer my questions. If you’re interested in connecting with James, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or on his blog.

Join me next week when my guest will be David Wellington, author of the Monster Series!

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One thought on “Chewing Braaiiinns with… James Friesen

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