Chewing Braaiiinns with… Jon Britton

Today I am joined my Jon ‘Double Tap’ Britton, Zombie enthusiast and author. Welcome Jon, take a moment and introduce yourself.

A little about me, I’m married to my lovely wife Sharon and have two adult sons, J.T. and Steven. I served in the United States Air Force and my current profession is that of a licensed plumber. I run a Facebook fan page called Z.S.A Texas, write articles for Brains Magazine and also help admin Cold Dead Hands which is a 2nd Amendment Advocacy page, not zombie related, but I manage to slip zombies into the conversation every chance I get. I also blog and forum moderate on CDH’s website http://colddeadhands.us where I tend to handle the zombie and ‘prepper’ forums. Somewhere in among all of that I work on my books.

Why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre, Jon?

The first zombie piece I ever wrote was on that very subject. I have always been a fan of the genre in movies, but not excessively so. A friend introduced me to the whole zombie subculture and I was hooked. I have actually written two pieces on the subject of ‘Why’. One can be found in my Facebook page notes here and the second which was a more in-depth exploration titled Rise of the Undead: Memetics and the zombie sub-culture is published in Brains Magazine issue #3. You can order the hard copy of the magazine or get a free digital download here.

Plug your latest project; published or otherwise.

My latest project is in the pipeline to be published in the near future, no date set yet. Through my Facebook page Z.S.A Texas, which is a regional site that is part of the Zombie Safe Area community, I met Samuel Garcia, author of Dead Air: A Zombie Novel and he had an idea for a follow-up anthology. He was looking for aspiring authors to write a short story based on the events in his original novel, but from their own perspective in whatever part of the world they lived in. Thus, Dead Texas was born. It will be included in the Dead Air Anthology with an option to extend it to its own full length book which I plan to do at a later date.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

I am just now writing my first book with my own story line and my own zombies. My goal right now is not to redefine what a zombie is, but rather to dabble in the causes and the survival aspects. Although, I do have a unique zombie-type that I am planning to write about in my next book. All I can say at this point is that it will have strong religious overtones and possible repercussions. How’s that for a teaser?

That certainly is a teaser! What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

Ironically, I’m not a big zombie book reader. Dead Air was the first and only zombie book I have read and that was strictly in research for my short story since I had to follow his story line. Sam is a gifted writer, but by not reading other peoples’ works, I’m not tempted to plagiarize, either intentionally or unintentionally.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

1968 Night of the Living Dead has to be #1, not because of the quality or the story, but simply because it gave birth to the entire genre that is still alive and thriving to this day. Zombieland would probably be my #2, the rules and the comedy aspect of the zombie apocalypse really resonated with me. #3 would be Dawn of the Dead (both of them, yes I’m cheating).

Great choices! 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 honestly believe the popularity of The Walking Dead is due to the popularity of the genre and it’s underlying sub-culture. The fact that the show is an excellent show, well written and produced may indeed bring in new zombie fans. The instant popularity I believe is due to the already existing fan base that is much larger than most people realize.

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?

Ah yes, this one never gets old. Considering the room I am in right now has a shelf full of tools right next to me, the choices are plentiful. Also being an avid knife collector and strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, let’s just say I will stand better than an average chance of surviving.

You may well survive Jon, you may well… Thank you for answering my questions and please come back when the Dead Air Anthology is released!

Join my next week when I interview Rose Blackthorn!

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Chewing Braaiiinns with… AJ Brown

Today I’m joined by AJ Brown, author of horror and a Zombie serial that you can find on Tales of the Zombie War. If you aren’t acquainted with AJ, it’s high time we changed that!

AJ Brown is a storyteller who pens emotionally charged/character driven stories that often include a touch of dark paranormal. His work has received such honors as a Pushcart nomination, and editor’s choice for Issue #12 of Necrotic Tissue. Bards and Sages Quarterly, Liquid Imagination, and Midnight Echo are a few of the literary zines where his stories can be found.

Above all else, AJ is a husband and father of two beautiful children who not only support his creative endeavors, but also provide inspiration (sometimes in rather unexpected ways).

If you’d like to learn more about AJ Brown’s life and work, visit his blog: Type AJ Negative. However, beware, AJ is a unique mixture of strawberry Kool-aid drinking redneck and traditional values Southern gentleman.  The only things he takes seriously are serious things and he isn’t one of them.

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

Honestly, I think zombies are almost the perfect monsters.  They have no remorse, feelings, and no fear at all.  They multiply with each person they infect.  They can get you one on one or as a group.  They are relentless—kind of like Jason or Michael Meyers in the slasher movies.  No matter how long or far you run, they are always going to give chase without tiring out.

There is also a palpable fear when it comes to watching a zombie movie—unlike any other horror flicks out there.  It is a hopeless feeling that one or ten people may be against a million zombies.  Think about this:  almost 7 billion people in the world and if 99% of them become infected with the zombie virus, that leaves about 70 million people worldwide to try and wipe out 6.3 billion.  The odds are almost insurmountable, making it that much more scarier.

Then there’s the whole mindset of this is my wife or child or husband or parent and I love them and now they are a zombie, but I just can’t kill them.  How many of those 70 million people are going to die because they still look at their zombie loved ones as people?

There is no escape.  No hiding.  Just running for the rest of your life.  That is terrifying.

I agree, that is absolutely terrifying! Tell us about your latest project.

Dredging Up Memories is a zombie series that I have been working on for the last couple of years.  It appears at the Tales of the Zombie War website and the first 10 or so installments currently reside there.  I’m also looking to turn the series into several novels by the time all is said and done.  The novels will have extra bits and pieces about characters and certain zombies as well.

I know all about publishing a saga online and then adding bits and bobs for traditional publishing. It’s a fun process. What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

I’m not so certain my zombies are so much different from others, but they can’t climb fences or tanks or drop down on their bellies and hop right back up, that’s for certain.  My zombies shamble, stumble, fall—all the things that I think a dead body would be capable of doing.  Nothing drives me crazy more than seeing zombies being able to navigate hilly ground without falling down, but then the living person falling down every few feet.

I think the one thing that sets Dredging Up Memories apart is the main character, Hank Walker, and his sidekick, Humphrey.  Hank has lost everything, so this little teddy bear (Humphrey) becomes his lone source of companionship and is the only thing that keeps him from going bat crap crazy.  There is a constant internal struggle that Hank has to deal with.  Are the dead really dead or are they trapped inside those rotting husks?  This plays on Hank and Humphrey is his outlet.

Tell us about your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

The Autumn series by David Moody is awesome.

World War Z by Max Brooks

Cure by Belinda Frisch

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

The Undead:  Zombie Anthology by David Moody

(Yeah, I have my favourites in the genre)

Don’t we all? That’s what makes the genre so great! What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Shaun of the Dead

The original Night of the Living Dead

Zombieland

All good choices as well! 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 strength of The Walking Dead has helped it, and by that I mean the character development, and story lines have brought people in that would have never watched a zombie movie or series such as this.  I think it has strengthened an already strong sub-genre of horror.

On the same token, it may have influenced people so much to the point of the market becoming saturated with zombie tales, movies and shows.  It could make those who love good horror tired of the sub-genre quicker, though I honestly think zombies will reign for a very long time as one of the most noteworthy monsters ever created.

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?

Ha!  I’m in luck.  My top desk drawer has fifteen very sharp knives in it!

There are two baseball bats in my closet—aluminum ones, so no need to worry about them breaking on me. . .

My tool box is in the closet.  Can I choose the whole toolbox with its various screwdrivers and hammers in it?

You may just survive the Zombie Apocalypse AJ… Maybe.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions AJ! It’s been a blast! For those of you that would like to connect with AJ, you can find him on his blog Type AJ Negative and on Facebook. His Zombie Serial – Dredging Up Memories – can be found on Tales of the Zombie War, and his books Along the Splintered Path and Southern Bones can be found on Amazon. Just to whet your appetite, let’s take a look at AJ’s Southern Bones:

Welcome to the South. Recognized for its traditions, beliefs and hospitality. The people are genuine and a helping hand and a home cooked meal are never too far away.

Welcome to the South. Where some traditions are better off forgotten. Where some beliefs are based, not on the Bible, but on what men want you to believe. Where behind the hospitable smiles are angry snarls trailed by the feral snaps of rabid people.

Welcome to the South. Where a house stands lonely on a hill, its owner a man deformed by life. Where children aren’t quite as naïve as they appear. Where the darkest secrets are found within its families, and where dying sometimes isn’t the end.

Welcome to Southern Bones, a collection of eleven short stories from the mind of A.J. Brown.

Exciting stuff, huh??

***

Join me next week when I interview John Britton!

Chewing Braaiiinns with… Belinda Frisch

Today my guest is Belinda Frisch, author of many novels; the newest of which is Cure. If you’ve yet to get acquainted with Belinda, it’s about time we fixed that!

Belinda Frisch’s fiction has appeared in Shroud Magazine, Dabblestone Horror, and Tales of Zombie War. She is an honorable mention winner in the Writer’s Digest 76th Annual Writing Competition and the author of DEAD SPELL, CRISIS HOSPITAL: TALES FROM THE WORLD, THE WARD, AND THE BEDSIDE and CURE, the first in the Strandville Zombie Series which is a runner-up in the 2012 Halloween Book Festival and has been recently optioned for film.

Welcome Belinda, tell us: why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Fifteen years in the medical community makes something about zombies, the undead and the viral aspects, intriguing.

Introduce us to your latest project; published or otherwise.

My most recently published work is a novel called, Cure which is available for Kindle, Nook, KOBO, and in print.

It won Runner-up in the 2012 Halloween Book Festival and was recently optioned for film.

Kirkus Reviews has called it “Creepy and claustrophobic, with enough gore to please any zombie-phile, Frisch’s book begins promisingly. Her omniscient narrator takes particular joy in the visceral details of horror, tweaking the reader’s senses with a bevy of bodily fluids and dismembered limbs.”

Welcome to the Nixon Healing and Research Center, playground for the maniacal Dr. Howard Nixon whose cancer research has him dabbling in the undead, and the women of Strandville disappearing. Unable to cure the lethal infection which turns its victims into mindless, flesh-hungry mob, Dr. Nixon discovers a medicinal use where the side-effects may be worse than terminal cancer.
 
Desperate for a fresh start after her painful divorce and the stillbirth of her first child, Miranda Penton accepts an unexpected job offer to join Nixon’s security team, but her recruitment is no coincidence. She holds the genetic key to Nixon’s cure. 
 
Nixon inseminates Miranda with a zombie fetus and holds her hostage, but her imprisonment is short-lived. A rescue team of locals led by her estranged ex-husband releases not only Miranda, but the infection on an unsuspecting hospital population. Miranda wrestles with the uncertain outcome of her pregnancy while trying to get away with her life.
 
The virus is spreading and must be contained. The center is going into lock-down. The group’s get away is threatened by a homicidal security guard and a raging storm. The town of Strandville is ground zero for the zombie apocalypse and Miranda must escape because the fate of humanity lies with her unborn child. 
 
In Strandville, there are worse fates than becoming undead.

Awesome news Belinda! Be sure to keep us posted on the movie! What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

I would say what makes the zombies in Cure different is that they’re more test subjects, at least initially, than they are free-range walking dead. Cure explores what would happen if mad science was able to hybridize humans and zombies via in vitro fertilization.

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

World War Z, Rot and Ruin, Flesh and Bone, Last Stand on Zombie Island, and Dust and Decay.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Resident Evil, Dawn of the Dead, and the 28 Days movies.

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 definitely think The Walking Dead helped increase the popularity of the genre. I love the show and find it to be an inspiration and a motivator.

I have to say I’m hooked on The Walking Dead myself. I’ve never read the comics or the books, so I love that unknown aspect factor of the show. Recent episodes have left me feeling completely drained and utterly devastated!

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 have these gigantic candle holders with spikes on the top to hold the candle in place. They’re about the only things that would be useful in this room which makes me very unprepared. I think we could probably drive them through a brain or two, but unless potpourri burners, furniture, sugar gliders, or Shetland Sheepdogs count as weapons, we’re basically screwed.

Unfortunately Belinda, I think I’d have to agree with you! The Shelties may offer a diversion, especially depending on how active they are, but in the end, your lack of weapons may be your downfall. Good thing this pop quiz has let you know you need some serious weaponry!

I would like to thank Belinda for stopping by today for a bit of a chat. If you’d like to connect with Belinda, you can find her on Blogger, her Facebook author page or The Strandville Zombie Series page, and on Twitter at @B_Frisch.

Join me next week for another exciting interview!

Chewing Braaiiinns with… Suzanne Robb

This wonderful Monday morning I am joined by Suzanne Robb, author of many Zombie tales and one that you should have heard of already. If for some odd reason you haven’t, let’s get you acquainted…

Suzanne Robb is the author of Were-wolves, Apocalypses, and Genetic Mutation, Oh my! published by Dark Continents, and the novel Contaminated published by Severed Press. She is a contributing editor at Hidden Thoughts Press, and co-edited Read The End First with Adrian Chamberlin. In her free time she reads, watches movies, plays with her dog, and enjoys chocolate and LEGO’s.

Welcome Suzanne! Let’s get this started with an easy question – why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Yep, they terrify and fascinate me at the same time. As a kid I watched Night of the Living Dead. I didn’t sleep for weeks and had nightmares, after that I was hooked. Scary movies, but especially ones about zombies caught my attention. I like the genre because it is so malleable. You can read depressing stories, action based, sci-fi, military, comedy, and so on. Zombies are quite a diverse bunch and are constantly being reinvented by people, I love it.

Tell us about your latest project; published or otherwise.

Hmm, I just finished a book called The Moonlight Killer, a sort of different take on the werewolf. I also have in print a new book, Contaminated, published by Severed Press. A lot of people have commented they wanted to know more after the story, which is good as it is meant to be that way as it is part of a trilogy, have to make people want to come back.

Leaving them wanting more is the best way to keep ’em coming back! What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

For me what makes zombies different is the most horrific thing is people’s reactions and not necessarily the actual zombie. A mob mentality arises and people tend to attack first and not bother with questions later. In a way, I find it ironic that people act in a similar fashion to the very things they consider nasty dead things with no conscience.

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

Hmm, that is a tough question.

I would have to say Zombie Wilson Diaries by Timothy Long, World War Z by Max Brooks, The whole of the Autumn series by David Moody, Breathers by S.G.Browne and the last one is the screenplay to Zombieland, I think that movie is genius.

Great choices so I definitely have to follow it up by asking you which 3 Zombie films are your favourites?

Zombieland, Night of the Living Dead (Romero version only), and Fido.

Great films! Speaking of another visual medium, 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 interest has always been there, but television was not paying attention. Movies always do well no matter how low budget. Take the Army of Darkness series, Fido, Night of the Living Dead remakes, Dead Snow, and so forth. Even some of the first movies around (silent) like I married a Zombi were hits in their target audience.

I do think that The Walking Dead has made it okay for people to say they like zombies, and even commercialized them to the point where people who would generally turn away from the genre actually give it a chance.

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?

Five things – Good thing I am working on renovations I suppose. A hammer, crowbar, baseball bat, dismantled light for the metal tube, and as a last resort butchers knife. In other words, I am not long for this apocalypse.

You may well survive Suzanne, especially with an arsenal like that! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and answer my questions.

For those readers out there interested in Suzanne’s book Contaminated, let’s take a sneak peek at it…

Dr. Arthur Covington may hold the key to the most important discovery in the history of humankind. He is, however, not the only interested party. 

If he is to survive treachery and attempts on his life in his bid to escape a secure, high-tech facility, he will have to rely on others – but who can he trust?

 Underground, an explosion rocks the facility. Someone drops a viral agent. 

In a new world where none can be trusted, Covington’s life hangs in the balance. It’s a race against time…and the end of the world…because it’s not just the living he has to fight against. The dead are rising. Dead men walk the halls below the earth, and the only thing keeping him from being contaminated is his gas mask…and it won’t last forever

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Clicking on the cover will take you directly to Amazon.

And don’t forget to join me next week when I’m joined by Belinda Frisch, author of Cure.

The Winners of Coffin Hop 2012

I am super excited to announce the winners from Coffin Hop 2012!!

Each day, anyone that left me a comment on a particular post was put into the draw to win a digital copy of my novel Days with the Undead: Book One. In addition, everyone that posted on any of the posts between October 24th and October 31st was in the running to win the Grand Prize – an autographed print copy of Days with the Undead: Book One and an autographed copy of Women of the Living Dead containing a story that I am incredibly proud of; The Living Dead of Penderghast Manor.

And the winners are…

Daily Prize Winners:

Jack Wallen (Day 1)

David Jon Fuller (Day 2)

Eric Tolles (Day 3)

Alex Chase (Day 4)

Marie Loughlin (Day 5)

A.F. Stewart (Day 6)

Georgina Morales (Day 7)

Bn100 (Day 8)

Grand Prize Winner:

John the Aussie!!

If you won a prize, email me – JulianneMSnow(at)gmail(dot)com – so that I can gather the appropriate information from you all! Congratulations!!