Chewing Braaiiinns with… Stephen A. North

On the day after the premiere of The Walking Dead, I am joined by none other than Stephen A. North. Before we welcome Stephen, let’s get to know him a little bit.

Stephen A. North is a former Army Reservist and has a BA in English Literature from USF.  He is the author of four novels, one novella and several short stories.  He has a daughter and resides in the Tampa Bay area on Florida’s West Coast. 

Welcome Stephen! Let’s get right into it – why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?   

The original Dawn of the Dead movie made a big impression on me.  Saw it several times at the Midnight Movie Express (Tyrone Mall in St. Petersburg) with my friends back in the early eighties when I was still in high school.  The dual threat of trying to survive while fighting living and undead monsters was gripping.

Plug your latest project; published or otherwise.

My latest project is finishing the third book in the Dead Tide series.  They are stories of the zombie apocalypse in a Florida setting.  Each chapter is from a third person viewpoint of  different people.  The first two books are currently out of print, but a new publisher is in the works.

Oh! That means you’ll have to come back when Dead Tide and Dead Tide Rising are re-released! We’ll have a nice little launch party or something… What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

My zombies aren’t different, but I think my use of the present tense keeps the action fresh and thrusts the reader right into the story.

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

Hmmm, guess I will go with (in no particular order): Twilight of the Dead by Travis Adkins; Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies; Eric Shelman’s Dead Hunger; Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth; and Comes the Dark by Patrick S. D’Orazio.  Wish I could have included more.

Well I’m sure you could have included more but I like that you stuck to the number. That makes it so much harder in my book. What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

My favorite zombie films are the original and the re-make of Dawn of the Dead and Planet Terror.  I actually prefer zombies in the Romero tradition, but the re-make of the DotD and Planet Terror are exceptions.

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 think The Walking Dead has increased the popularity of the genre.  That show has converted many people I know into fans.  The focus is on what happens when the veneer of civilization is ripped away and how people react.  Fascinating stuff!  So many people are dissatisfied with their lives that I can’t help but wonder how many of them would like to have their problems reduced to such a basic level.  Life is more clear cut in fight for survival.  Fight or flight?  Live or die?  Personally hope we never have to face living in such a world, though!

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 am a big man.  Just about everything in the room I’m in could be wielded by me!  Anything from the table lamps to the end table or even pieces of the entertainment center all have potential as weapons!  Hmm, that is only three…think, think, think.  Could also use my computer chair and the pedestal world globe!

Thanks for answering my questions, Stephen. Interested in learning a little more about Stephen’s work? Here’s a peek at Beneath the Mask:

There is just a thin veneer of civilization that masks the savagery that lies within us all… Sergeant Alexander Cray built his life around a code that set limits to what he would and would not do. This code provided a framework that gave value to a promise or meaning to a commitment. Of course, sometimes people don’t hold up their end of the deal or something else intervenes. Sometimes forgiveness comes far too late… Is MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa really just a glowing crater? Rumours claim the whole earth is under siege. Is it an alien invasion or terrorist attacks? All that is sure is that Tampa, Florida is quarantined and Cray’s Military Police unit is called up for the crisis. Follow him on a patrol that begins with a deadly encounter at an interstate truck stop to a trek across a panic-stricken, lawless metropolis.

Sounds good huh? Click on the cover and it will take you straight to Amazon!

Join me next week when my guest will be J.P. Kurzitza!

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