Today my guest is TL Decay, a poet and author who has a great and varied love for the Undead. If you haven’t come across any of his work, or him for that matter, let’s take a moment and learn a little bit more about him.
T L Decay began writing during a deployment to Afghanistan. He has been published in poetry and stories in Collaboration of the Dead anthologies as well as pending anthologies for other publishers. His readers graciously voted him to be the Predators and Editors reader’s poll winner in the Poet category in 2011.
Welcome TL, let’s jump right into this. Why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?
I’ve always enjoyed zombie themed horror, but I began writing about them during my last tour in Afghanistan. Movies like 28 Days Later, I am Legend, and The Walking Dead series brought zombies to the forefront. While these movies were circulating so were conversations involved in watching them. I ran out of movies that were available on my base so I moved on to reading the stories on Kindle. From there I decided it would be fun to bring my own story ideas out and began writing for myself and my deployed buddies.
Tell us about your latest project.
I am currently working on a non-poetry story that I plan to publish that involves a twist on regular zombies. As part of the infection the undead also grow claws. These claws are the primary means of spreading the infection. I really look forward to finishing the edits and seeing how I can get this story into reader’s hands.
That sounds very interesting and practically pre-empts my next question. I’ll ask it anyway: what makes your Zombies different, if anything?
I don’t stick to one zombie type. I try to have zombie fit the story.
What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?
My first pick would be Tim Long’s Beyond the Barriers. This story involves what amount to be human collaborators that intentionally get infected and control the purely undead hordes. I also enjoyed After the End by Bonnie Dee. I had no idea she had been a romance writer when I read her book. Her follow up book, Dead Country was also very entertaining. After I read DA Roberts book Ragnarok Rising, I became pretty good friends with him. His story took place near where I grew up and it involved a different character perspective. That would bring me back to Tim Long. In Among the Living, he dares to make his survivors hero’s that shouldn’t be. He uses a sword wielding serial killer mixed with some journalists and even a metal band singer.
Great choices! What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films? Of course The Walking Dead makes the top of my list. Zombieland just kicked butt. Who does not love a geek teaming with a country boy competing with scheming women on a cross country getcha-backathon that includes Bill Murray? I know it is probably sacrilege to say it but I also loved the remake of Day of the Dead. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the original but I really like the 2008 version.
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?
This show definitely has led to an increased popularity. Going to see a zombie flick is no longer like taking a trip to the theater for The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It is not just a cult following that is only shared with a select few. I think it helped bridge the social and age gaps of fans. Of course the slew successful movies in the same time period using main stream actors and actresses helped as well.
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?
Well I just got back from the range with my family so I actually have 3 pistols and a lot of ammo beside me. But I don’t think this is the idea of the question so I will tell you what would normally be beside me in my living room. I have a survival style knife for each person in my family sitting on display on our book shelf. There is a floor lamp that would work to bludgeon a couple zombies before being bent into a pretzel. I would also be able to use my coffee mug as a brass knuckle substitute. This would help in two ways; obviously it would damage the zombie, but if anyone gets between me and coffee then there will be a price to pay.
If you’d like a sneak peek at So Long, and Thanks For All The Brains, here it is…
In a world where the living struggle to survive…
In a world where Munchkins fight alongside flying monkeys…
Those are just some of the things you will find inside this mammoth book of zombie fiction by writers from Michigan to Malaysian, from Austin to Austria.
So, pull on your bibs and prepare to sink your teeth in. There’s plenty of brains for everyone!
With stories by Bint Arab, Robert Forrester, Michael C. Dick, K. A. Masters, T. Fox Dunham, Kenneth E. Olson, Jason Papke, Richard Jay Goldstein, T. L. Barrett, Theresa Derwin, Joe Sherry, Jack Bantry, Bruce L. Priddy, Jonathan Wood, Gary Madden, Nicky Peacock, Douglas J. Moore, Iain Rob Wright, Dale Elster, Rebecca Snow, T. L. Decay, Philip Harris, Annie Neugebauer, Jamal K. Luckett, Marc-Anthony Taylor, Michelle Ann King, Suzanne Robb, C. Douglas Birkhead, Anne E. Johnson, Indy McDaniel, Bryan Vogt, Paul S. Huggins, Stef White, Jim Gadsby, J. Rodimus Fowler, Golda Mowe, Mihai Boc, Jessica A. Weiss, B.E. Scully, Scott Lininger, Katie Young, Allen Jacoby, Kelly Evans, S. Wayne Roberts, Alyn Day, R. S. Pyne, Kristal Stittle, Theresa Derwin, Pembroke Sinclair, Justin Sharples, Vince Liberato and an amazing cover by Gary McCluskey.
Thank you TL for taking the time to answer my questions!
Don’t forget to come back next week and check who I interview next!