Today my guest is D. Alexander Ward, an author of Zombie fiction among other things. For those of you unacquainted with D., let’s take a moment and introduce him.
D. Alexander Ward lives with his wife and daughter in the Virginia countryside near the city of Richmond, where his love for the people, passions and folklore of the south was nurtured. While he works a straight job by day, he spends his nights and weekends penning stories of the dark, strange and fantastic.
Welcome D., tell us why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?
Historically, I haven’t been a huge fan of the zombie genre. For a long time, I just felt the zombie-as-monster was a little too simple and uninteresting. But in recent years, I’ve definitely found more that I like about it. Seems like the genre itself is evolving. I tend to cotton towards anything with a unique take on zombies, which is what I wanted to do with “The Red Delicious” in the A Quick Bite of Flesh anthology from Hazardous Press.
Tell us about your latest project; published or otherwise.
Well, I have a story in the forthcoming Historical Horror anthology from Hazardous Press and another slated to appear in The Midnight Diner IV: Wastelands Under the Sun when it comes out. I am shopping a novel around called Pound of Flesh, which concerns a mother and her son living in a remote mountain home who lead a life trapped between an abusive husband/father and a malevolent spirit that torments them. Also, I’m looking for a publisher for a novella which is the first in a series I call The Blackguards and centers around a group of southern superheroes who aren’t always particularly heroic but are nonetheless pretty bad-ass. Those projects are completed but there are other things I’m writing as well.
What makes your Zombies different, if anything?
Well, mostly they’re pigs. And I don’t mean that metaphorically. I don’t reckon that’s a real spoiler if you haven’t yet read the story, is it?
Pigs, you say? Interesting! What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?
Honestly, I don’t know that I have read five. But I would say: Lovecraft’s Herbert West: Re-Animator, Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (zombie status is arguable) and The Walking Dead comics. Otherwise, there are stories from various writers that I have enjoyed.
What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?
For me, Deadgirl is #1 hands-down. That is one hell of a disturbing film that really gets under your skin. Again, not the typical zombie story, though. Others would be The Serpent and the Rainbow and then Zombieland.
Great films! 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’s no doubt that it has increased the popularity of the genre and deservedly so because I think it’s brilliant. Clearly zombies have always had a place in our culture and in the human psyche but The Walking Dead is a shining example of how zombies can really be made relevant and compelling.
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?
A fireplace poker, an oil lamp, a ram’s horn letter opener, two bottles of Irish whiskey and a The Sound of Music DVD. Okay, admittedly the whiskey would be for me but The Sound of Music is no joke. That shit’ll make you wish you were dead even if you already are.
The hills are alive with the sounds of shambling… Okay, I couldn’t resist that one *wink*. But in terms of the rest of your weapons, you just might have a chance!
Thank you D. for talking the time to answer my questions. If you’re looking to connect with D. Alexander Ward, you can find out more about him and what he writes at his website – WyrdTales.
Let’s take a quick peek at A Quick Bite of Flesh from Hazardous Press…
A Quick Bite of Flesh is an outstanding collection of 55 bite-sized tales of zombie goodness. Stories of terror, sadness, adventure, revenge and betrayal. Whether you like your zombie stories terrifying, humorous, or bizarre, you will find plenty to love in this collection.
Stories by Terry Alexander, Jason Andrew, Michael H. Antonio, Mary Ann Back, Rose Blackthorn, H.G. Bleackley, Rebecca L. Brown, Charles Colyott, Alyn Day, Mandy DeGeit, Deborah Drake, T. Fox Dunham, Kris Freestone, Aaron Gudmunson, Tara Fox Hall, Dane Hatchell, Janet Joyce Holden, David James Keaton, Ken MacGregor, John McCarthy, Fi Michell, Joe Mogel, Doug Murano, Paco, Jennifer Paquette, Lucy Pireel, Joseph Polega, Tori L. Ridgewood, Suzanne Robb, Armand Rosamilia, Cinsearae S., Mark Scioneaux, Matthew Smallwood, Rebecca Snow, Tony Southcotte, Cameron Suey, Emily Vater, Edd Vick, Steve Voelker, D. Alexander Ward, L.E. White, Sheri White, William Whorton, Jay Wilburn, Matthew Wilson, Robert S. Wilson, and Wol-vriey.
Don’t forget to join me next week when I will be joined by Franklin Wales!