Zombie Film Fridays: World War Z

I read Brooks’ World War Z and naturally I wanted to see the movie; not just for the fact I love zombies and enjoyed the book, but also because I wanted to see how they would morph what is essentially a collection of connected but separate short stories into a cinematic experience. I was blown away and my hat goes off to everyone that was involved in making it the awesomeness that it is. I know many of you out there will disagree with me, but the fact of the matter is this – that’s simply your opinion and this is mine 🙂 If you have a chance to see it in theaters – take it. I think I’ll go and see it again – there are so many details and nuances that you’re bound to miss it all the first time around.

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

My Rating: A+

Interesting Facts: Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard rewrote the screenplay in the middle of the production to create a whole new different third act, and Ed Harris and Bryan Cranston were originally cast in the movie, but both dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

And now it’s time for the trailer!

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour: Chewing Braaiiinns with… Bryan Smith – Special Edition

The Summer of Zombie Blog Tour is drawing to a close, but there are still two interviews left! Today. Bryan Smith talks Zombies and fiction, but let’s take a quick moment and introduce him to you first…

bryan smithBryan Smith is the author of numerous previous novels and novellas, including House of Blood, The Killing Kind, Depraved, The Dark Ones, and The Diabolical Conspiracy. Most of these were first available via mass market paperback from Dorchester Publishing. Some have since been reprinted by Deadite Press. A new novel, The Late Night Horror Show, has been recently released from Samhain Publishing in March of 2013. Bryan lives in Tennessee with a wide array of pets. Visit his home on the web at www.bryansmith.info.

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

Dawn of the Dead came out when I was 14.  I just enjoyed it on a very basic level, the gore effects by Tom Savini and that sense of lawlessness in a world gone to hell.

Tell us about your latest project.

My latest novel, The Late Night Horror Show, was released by Samhain Publishing in trade paperback and various ebook formats in March.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

I write about a lot of other things, but when I do write about zombies, the stories tend to be either comedic in nature, in the vein of the 1985 film Return of the Living Dead, or similar to the usual Dawn of the Dead.  I don’t try to do anything very unusual with zombies, because in my opinion the stories should be more about the human characters and how they cope with this radically altered world.

Is there a Zombie novel that has influenced you more than any other? If so, what is it and why?

I really haven’t read a lot of zombie novels.  Offhand, I guess the ones that made the biggest impressions might be David Wellington’s Monster Island or Brian Keene’s The Rising.  I also like another zombie novel by Brian, Dead Sea.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Dawn of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead remake, and Return of the Living Dead.

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 always been an interest in zombies, at least going back to the initial Romero films, but The Walking Dead has undeniably elevated it to a new level, bringing in hordes of new fans.  And, again, I believe a lot of these converts are drawn to the story because of the human element rather than the zombies.

As we all know, music and slaying the Undead go hand in hand. Given these headings, what would be your Soundtrack to the Zombie Apocalypse?

These songs choices may seem flip or irreverent, but that’s only because if I’m in a movie about the living dead, odds are it’s going to be more in the ROTLD/Zombieland vein rather than something like The Walking Dead.

1. Overall theme for the Apocalypse:  “Children of the Grave” by Black Sabbath

2. What plays when I kill my first zombie:  “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) by AC/DC

3. What plays when you’re chased by the horde:  “Zombie Dance” by the Cramps

4. When you have to kill a loved one:  “Last Caress” by the Misfits

5. When you find a group of survivors:  “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones

6. Meeting a new love interest:  “Hit It And Quit It” by Funkadelic

7. Making a Final Stand:  “Dyers Eve” by Metallica

8. You’ve survived it all:  “Beware Of Darkness” by Concrete Blonde

9. Then you discover a bite mark:  “Now I’m Feeling Zombified” by Alien Sex Fiend

10. End Credits:  “I Walked With A Zombie” by Wednesday 13

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?

Screwdriver, switch blade knife, chair, 9mm pistol, and…back scratcher.

You may well survive Bryan… But I don’t think they’ll want their backs scratched!

Now let’s take a look at Bryan’s novel Deathbringer…

DeathbringerAFrom the author of DEPRAVED, THE KILLING KIND, THE FREAKSHOW and THE DIABOLICAL CONSPIRACY. A rogue Deathbringer (as members of the global society of reapers are known) initiates an apocalyptic plot in order to gain ultimate power. As a night of terror and blood unfolds in Dandridge, TN, an unstoppable army of sentient living dead rises to destroy the living for the rogue reaper, who seeks to wipe out all of humanity.

Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will whisk you away to Amazon!

Thank you Bryan for taking the time to answer my questions. If anyone would like to connect with Bryan, you can find him on his blog and on Twitter.

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour: Chewing Braaiiinns with… Armand Rosamilia – Special Edition

As the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour continues, I have the pleasure of interviewing organizer and author Armand Rosamilia. For those of you that haven’t been acquainted with Armand, here’s a few words about him…

Armand_PhotoArmand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he knows the zombie apocalypse has already begun. And they are on the beach and driving too slow all around him. He is a prolific writer, with over 70 releases to date. He is also quite pleasing to the naked eye, and loves talking in third person. He also wishes he was rich and not so fat. Check out more of his insightful thoughts at http://armandrosamilia.com.

Welcome Armand. So tell us, why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I wish I had a big, intelligent and cool answer… but I don’t. Zombies just kick ass.

Tells us about your latest project.

I just released Dying Days 3, the third instalment of the series (and conveniently numbered for ease)… it progresses the story, as well as the zombie apocalypse world itself and the changes that are starting to take place.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

My zombies don’t want to just bite you, they want to violate you.

So, not the kind of Zombies I’d want to meet? Is there a Zombie novel that has influenced you more than any other? If so, what is it and why?

The Rising by Brian Keene started me on this zombie path, because it was a bit different and an amazing book.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Dawn of The Dead remake, Shaun of The Dead, and Beaches with Bette Midler.

I wasn’t aware of the Zombies in Beaches, but now that you mention it… 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 has always been a smaller but rabid fan base for zombie fiction. TWD brought more people interested in zombies, and I hope some of them stick around once the series is over.

As we all know, music and slaying the Undead go hand in hand. Given these headings, what would be your Soundtrack to the Zombie Apocalypse?

1. Overall theme for the Apocalypse: World Painted Blood by Slayer

2. What plays when I kill my first zombie: Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears

3. What plays when you’re chased by the horde: Run Runaway by Slade

4. When you have to kill a loved one: Love Hurts by Nazareth

5. When you find a group of survivors: Theme from Convoy

6. Meeting a new love interest: Fat Girl by Steel Panther

7. Making a Final Stand: Balls To The Wall by Accept

8. You’ve survived it all: Eye of The Tiger by Survivor

9. Then you discover a bite mark: Didn’t We Almost Have It All by Whitney Houston

10. End Credits: The End by The Doors

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’m sitting in Kokomo’s CafĂ©, so my coffee cup (after I finish the coffee, of course), a piece of six-layer carrot cake (my last meal, actually), these red chairs are heavy and will make a great weapon, the glass tops to the tables, and a fire extinguisher to bash some zombie braiinnnsss in.

You are screwed Armand – sorry… Now let’s take a quick look into Dying Days 3! Don’t forget to click on the cover in order to be whisked away to Amazon.

Armand_CoverFlagler Beach Florida is a wasteland of ruin and gore, looted and picked clean of supplies… and now, Darlene Bobich and the other survivors have an even bigger problem… What could be worse than a mindless zombie horde? They are about to find out. Continuing the zombie series, “Dying Days”… extreme situations, extreme violence, extreme undead.

Thank you Armand for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to find out more about Armand, you can find him on http://armandrosamilia.com.

Zombie Film Fridays: Return of the Living Dead

As Zombies movies go, Return of the Living Dead might be one of the creepiest but cheesiest ones around! I love it!

When a bumbling pair of employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to re-animate as they go on a rampage through Louisville, Kentucky seeking their favorite food, brains.

My Rating: A

Interesting Facts: Tobe Hooper was originally slated to direct and it was supposed to be filmed in 3-D, Linnea Quigley’s character was originally going to be called ‘Legs,’ but was later changed to ‘Trash’, the movie was shot in six weeks, and the two heroes of the movie are names Burt and Ernie, obviously an ironic reference to the popular Sesame Street characters, right? Wrong – turns out Dan O’Bannon didn’t know he was using the names of the two beloved children’s show’s puppets.

And now it’s time for the trailer!

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour: Chewing Braaiiinns with… TW Brown – Special Edition

Today as a part of the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour, I’m featuring an interview with TW Brown, author of the Zomblog and DEAD series. For those of you who need a refresher on Todd, let’s take a moment and tell you about him…

todd at timberline croppedTW Brown is the author of the Zomblog series and the Dead series.   He is deeply immersed in pursuing his dream of being a “full-time” writer while trying to balance the duties of husband, father, friend, and Border Collie owner. He keeps busy reading and editing the numerous submissions for a variety of upcoming anthologies and full-length titles for May December Publications.  He has had short stories published by Pill Hill Press, Living Dead Press, and others.

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

I saw the original Dawn of the Dead during its theatrical release in the 70s. I was fourteen and a girl two rows ahead of me puked into her popcorn during the opening scene in the low-rent apartments. How cool is that when you are fourteen. I was hooked.

Tell us about your latest project.

Well, I just released my first horror/comedy, That Ghoul Ava and The Queen of the Zombies. This is a spinoff from a short story that began as something fun for one of my first fans and supporters. Writing comedy is a challenge, but it is also where I got one of my first gigs – writing comedy material for a morning radio show.

On May 30th, I released the 6th book in my DEAD series, Dead: Confrontation. It is told in three rotating chapters; you get Steve’s Story – a first person account of one group’s struggle to survive; Vignettes – sort of like global snapshots of the zombie apocalypse. Some of them have been going since book one and are just a lot of fun to write; and The Geeks – which initially started as four zombie fans who thought that the apocalypse would be cool…and found out otherwise.

Then, in June I have the 5th Zomblog book, Zomblog: Snoe’s War. The story is set almost twenty years after the initial trilogy. This is a challenge in that I am writing from the perspective of an eighteen-year-old girl.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

I think I was one of the first to have the bite not be a guaranteed death sentence. Some people show immunity to the bite, but later realize that they are now carriers of the virus. Also, some of my zombies emit a noise that is like a baby cry.

Is there a Zombie novel that has influenced you more than any other? If so, what is it and why?

I would not say that it influenced me, but David Wellington’s trilogy (Monster Island, Monster Nation, Monster Planet) showed me that there were still stories out there that could be fresh and enjoyable.

David Wellington’s Monster series is one of my favourites! What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

The Original Dawn of the Dead. Hands down that is the movie that hooked e when I was young and never let go. Shaun of the Dead. Seriously, that movie is fantastic. Last, I have to go with Dead Set. I know it is a mini-series, but if you watch it all together, it is longer than your standard movie and so well done. I think it is very underappreciated.

Dead Set was fantastic! Gotta love how the Brits really get it done. 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 it took something that has always been on the fringe and, for better or worse, made it mainstream. The key is that it is being done exceptionally well and treated seriously and allows for some fantastic character depth often lacking in the genre.

As we all know, music and slaying the Undead go hand in hand. Given these headings, what would be your Soundtrack to the Zombie Apocalypse?

1. Overall theme for the Apocalypse: Dead Cities by Future Sound of London

2. What plays when I kill my first zombie: Teenage Wasteland by The Who

3. What plays when you’re chased by the horde: Mob Rules by Black Sabbath

4. When you have to kill a loved one: Exit to Heaven by Tangerine Dream

5. When you find a group of survivors: Look Who Walked in the Door by James Dean Kindle & the Eastern Oregon Playboys

6. Meeting a new love interest: I Melt With You by Modern English

7. Making a Final Stand: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica

8. You’ve survived it all: Never Gonna Stop by Rob Zombie

9. Then you discover a bite mark: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by Guns & Roses

10. End Credits: Man in the Wilderness by Styx

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? 

Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar pole from the floor lamp, a trowel (signed by Kyra Schon from Night of the Living Dead), shelf divider posts from my book shelf.

You may well survive Todd… Now let’s take a look at Dead: Confrontation:

ToddBrown_CoverSeveral months have passed since the dead began to walk. The first winter has taken its toll in more ways than one as humanity continues to struggle to survive. Not every threat to humanity comes from the undead as so many have discovered man’s ability to sink into depravity with the absence of law and order. Time and again survivors have fought, run. and regrouped. Yet, there seems to be no respite, and as winter draws on…things become more and more difficult to endure. A new threat seems to materialize even before the last can be dealt with. And if the physical toll was not enough, the hours of isolation and the time left with one’s thoughts can become just as destructive. How much more can you take?

Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you straight to Amazon!

Thank you Todd for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with Todd you can find him on his blog or his Amazon Author Page.

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour: Chewing Braaiiinns with… Kirk Allmond – Special Edition!

With the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour officially half over, we’re continuing our series of interviews with each of the authors on the tour. Up next is Kirk Allmond. For those of you that haven’t heard of Kirk or his work, let’s take a few moments and get everyone acquainted…

KirkAllmond_PhotoKirk Allmond takes on all aspects of zombies.  This isn’t just a vocation, it’s a passion.  In 2006, The Zombie Preparedness Initiative was formed as a global project to prepare the world for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.  Or, whatever disaster may occur.  The Zombie Preparedness Initiative, or ZPI, is unique in that it connects zombie literature, survivalism, and a dash of humor. The site provides a useful service with wit and wisdom.

On the site, there’s an article about creating a zombie plan. The article is a thoughtful and thorough discussion of what an ordinary person should learn about being prepared for any emergency or disaster, not just a plan for when the dead walk the earth.  Alongside this article are postings about gardening and food preservation, including the all-important topic “How to Make Bacon Post Apocalypse”, weaponry and supplies.

Kirk didn’t write all the articles, and gives the majority of the credit to his Advisory Board, a group of writers, survivalists, and zombie enthusiasts who oversee the content of the site. Many ideas are contributed by members of the large community of readers, who also participate in the discussion forums.

Allmond’s novels, the What Zombies Fear series are co-authored with Laura Bretz.  What Zombies Fear: A Father’s Quest has reached the number one spot on Amazon’s Horror, Paranormal, and Superhero best seller lists.  In addition to the books in the WZF universe, Allmond and Bretz also publish a serial called Will of the Dead, a completely different, much darker take on the Zombie Apocalypse.

You can follow Kirk on his blog www.kirkallmond.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WhatZombiesFear

Welcome Kirk. Why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I believe that zombies are humanities great equalizer.  There is something exciting to me about a world without the rule of law, where each man thrives or fails on his own merit.  It’s an enticing thought.  Living in a world where hard work is currency and your reputation and deeds define you, rather than your possessions.

Tell us about your latest project.

The 5th book in the What Zombies Fear series, Declaration of War is available now, with the 6th and final book, The Incarnation, due out sometime in late summer 2013.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

All zombie authors face the same basic trouble.  Once your main character has faced a single zombie several times, how do you keep it frightening? How do you keep the thrills going?  Rather than continuing to throw more and more zombies at the hero, I chose to make some zombies smarter, faster, or stronger than others.   Some of the zombies in What Zombies Fear are very different than typical “Romero” style zombies.  Of course, the majority of them are the rotting, shambling, flesh hungry type.  That’s what makes it so frightening to me.  Somewhere, hiding in those brainless flesh eating monsters is a clever, fast flesh eating monster.

Is there a Zombie novel that has influenced you more than any other? If so, what is it and why?

So many to count!  Of course, I read voraciously, I’m not just a zombie author, I’m a huge fan of the genre.  I always have to send a shout out to my friend and fellow zombie author Mark Clodi.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead, I love the mix of humor and horror.  I also have to give props to The Zombfather, George A. Romero, without whom none of us would be doing what we love.  However, those answers are kind of “pat”, so I’ll also add some more obscure zombie films.  I loved G.M.O. Extinction, World of the Dead, and Zombie Diaries 2 are fantastic low budget zombie films.

Thanks for the recommendations of lower budget 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?

It think that without the popularity there wouldn’t be a Walking Dead tv show.  I think it’s much more likely that the current global social and economic climate has more to do with their popularity.

As we all know, music and slaying the Undead go hand in hand. Given these headings, what would be your Soundtrack to the Zombie Apocalypse?

1. Overall theme for the Apocalypse:  Something soaring, since JJ Abrams is directing my zombie apocalypse, it would probably be something by Hans Zimmer.

2. What plays when I kill my first zombie:  Something by System of a Down, but NOT Down With The Sickness, because it’s so overdone.

3. What plays when you’re chased by the horde:  Anything by YingYang Twins.  It’s good running music.

4. When you have to kill a loved one:  Fix You by Coldplay

5. When you find a group of survivors: Black Eyed Peas’, Good Night

6. Meeting a new love interest:  Nine Inch Nails: Animal

7. Making a Final Stand:  Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

8. You’ve survived it all:  Destiny’s Child’s Survivor

9. Then you discover a bite mark: Mad World by Gary Jules

10. End Credits:  Love Bites by Def Leppard

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 own a website called The Zombie Preparedness Initiative.  Our aim is to make sure that the entire world is prepared for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.  Sitting six feet from me is my bug out bag, and on the shelf above is my shotgun, two pistols, a machete and a pair of fighting batons.  That’s kind of cheating though, so in the spirit of the question I’ll say, nail clippers, a paring knife, a long flat bladed screwdriver, a TV tray folding table, and an Xbox controller.  I think I’d last at least 18 minutes.

You’ll probably survive, but only time will tell Kirk… Now let’s take a look at Kirk’s latest release with co-author Laura Bretz – What Zombies Fear: Declaration of War

KirkAllmond_CoverIn this 5th book in the What Zombies Fear Series, Victor makes it back from California, but not after suffering some heavy setbacks. The team he has worked so hard to build is fractured. Just when things have started to calm down, Max learns some startling information, and overnight, things go from not so bad, to a Declaration of War.

Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you straight to Amazon!

Thank you Kirk for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with Kirk, you can find him on his website, Facebook, his Amazon Author Page, or on Twitter.

Zombie Film Fridays: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Last week, I featured the 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, so I thought the best way to follow it was to feature the remake from 2004. If you haven’t seen it, it’s fantastic! Not as good as the original in some ways, but better in others.

Ana, a young beautiful nurse finishes her day-shift at the hospital to return home to her beloved husband, they make love and sleep together. The next day, after her husband is killed by her neighbor next door, he suddenly comes back to life. She discovers the chaos happening in her neighborhood and escapes from her home. Soon after coming to her senses in the woods, she encounters a cop and other survivors, they decide to find safety in a mall. Soon more survivors come, and they learn that if they want to stay alive, they should stick together as the world is overrun by an army of undead. Can they survive the horror in this horrific global chaos? When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.

My Rating: A

Interesting Facts: The WGON traffic copter makes an appearance. The WGON traffic copter was the main transportation for the survivor in the original Dawn of the Dead, For the scene where Ana stitches Kenneth’s wounds, the director hired a real nurse for the close-ups. She misunderstood the director’s directions to go deeper and inadvertently punctured Ving Rhames’ skin and stitched the prosthesis to his arm. He didn’t say anything until after the scene was done filming and the director thought the blood was merely “a really good effect”, and although he had strong reservations about some elements, George A. Romero professed to be surprisingly impressed with the film.

And now it’s time for the trailer!

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour: Chewing Braaiiinns with… Joe McKinney – Special Edition!

We’re still going strong on the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour and today we have an interview with Joe McKinney! What? You haven’t heard of Joe? Impossible! But let’s get you all acquainted anyway…

Joe McKinney has been a patrol officer for the San Antonio Police Department, a homicide detective, a disaster mitigation specialist, a patrol commander, and a successful novelist. His books include the four part Dead World series, Quarantined, Inheritance, Lost Girl of the Lake, Crooked House and Dodging Bullets. His short fiction has been collected in The Red Empire and Other Stories and Dating in Dead World and Other Stories. In 2011, McKinney received the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. For more information go to http://joemckinney.wordpress.com.

Welcome Joe! So tell us: why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Zombies and ghosts are the only horror mainstays that I actually find scary, which is probably why I write about both.  I figure if it scares me that it will probably scare readers too.  Plus, I like to do writer-type tricks like metaphor and subtext, and zombies lend themselves a great deal of storytelling flexibility.  And really, they’re just a ton of fun to write about, and that’s why I write, because it’s fun.

Tell us about your latest project.

My next zombie novel, THE SAVAGE DEAD, comes out September 3, 2013 from the good folks at Kensington.  A U.S. Senator has just managed to pass a bill that effectively allows U.S. law enforcement the ability to seize the profits of criminal activity worldwide, and within a very short time it puts some serious hurt on Mexico’s drug cartels.  Angered by this, one cartel declares war on the Senator.  They try to assassinate her in Washington, and when that fails, they unleash a bio weapon on the cruise ship upon which she’s vacationing.  This bio weapon turns the passengers to zombies.  And, just for good measure, the cartel has sent along a beautiful assassin to make sure the job gets done.  Now it’s up to Special Agent Juan Perez of the U.S. Secret Service to unravel the mystery behind this terrifying new bio weapon and fight his way through a cruise ship full of zombies in hopes of saving the senator.

Sounds great! I can’t wait for it! What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

The zombies in my Dead World Series are actually living people who have been almost entirely depersonalized by the necrosis filovirus.  Shortly after infection, and for several months afterward, the infected behave much like the classical zombie from Night of the Living Dead, but as the disease charts its course in its host the infected begin to regain more and more of their intelligence, even if they remain driven by rage and the desire to kill the uninfected.

That is different! Is there a Zombie novel that has influenced you more than any other? If so, what is it and why?

I can’t really say a particular zombie novel has been a major influence on me.  I think if I had to point to one book in particular that has influenced both my decision to write in the horror genre as well as influenced my particular prose style it would have to be Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, an anthology edited by Phyllis Cerf Wagner and Herbert Wise.  From Thomas Hardy to H.G. Wells to Conrad Aiken to M.R. James to Oliver Onions and Algernon Blackwood, I love every story in that collection; and at this point, after having the book in my life for more than 30 years, I think I have read it cover to cover at least twenty times.  I fall in love with all over again after every read.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

You’ll get a different answer from me each time you ask me this question, so it goes for right now.  The original Night of the Living Dead.  That movie scared the ever-loving crap out of me as a young teenager and gave me my taste for zombies.  Next would be 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead.  I also really loved the short film Zombie in a Penguin Suit, if you’ve seen that one.  If not, go check it out on YouTube.

I’m back from watching Zombie in a Penguin Suit – fantastic! 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?

Look, if you write about zombies, you have The Walking Dead to thank for at least some of your sales.  I sometimes go to parties where perfectly proper people, people you’d never suspect of harbouring zombie love, will come up to me and in a stage whisper say, “Do you watch that show The Walking Dead?  Because I like that show a lot.”  It has gone a long way toward democratizing appreciation of the zombie genre.  It has done more than just about any other piece of zombie fiction to bring a small horror niche into the mainstream.

As we all know, music and slaying the Undead go hand in hand. Given these headings, what would be your Soundtrack to the Zombie Apocalpyse?

1. Overall theme for the Apocalypse: This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie

2. What plays when I kill my first zombie:  Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

3. What plays when you’re chased by the horde:  Jumper by Third Eye Blind

4. When you have to kill a loved one:  Your Song by Elton John

5. When you find a group of survivors:  Feeling Stronger Everyday by Chicago

6. Meeting a new love interest:  You’ll Accompany Me by Bob Seger

7. Making a Final Stand:  Bullet With Butterfly Wings by The Smashing Pumpkins

8. You’ve survived it all:  Come Running by Van Morrison

9. Then you discover a bite mark:  Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin

10. End Credits:  Lonesome Valley by The Carter Family

Excellent choices! 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’m set.  My gun cabinet is standing in the corner of my office, and inside I have a Mossberg 500 12 gauge, a Glock 22, a Smith & Wesson M&P 40, a Colt AR15, and a Smith &Wesson .357 revolver.

You may well survive Joe… Now let’s take a sneak peek into one of  Joe’s latest releases – Mutated: Dead City 4…

They outnumber the living 25 to 1. Those are the odds of being struck down – and resurrected – by the savage plague that’s sweeping the country, forcing survivors to band together against the dead. Even among the living, there is dissention. A new leader known as the Red Man has risen up and taken charge – and he’s nearly as dangerous as the hungry dead. Some, like Bob Richardson and his friends, strike out on their own. Because if the men with guns don’t get them, the zombies will. Fleeing the cities, Richardson and his crew find sanctuary in an abandoned farm. But their stronghold may not be strong enough. Something strange and terrifying is happening to the undead. They’re banding together. Working as a group. Hungering for a common goal: human flesh. And lots of it.

Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon!

Thank you Joe for answering all of my questions. If you’d like to connect with Joe, you can find him on his website, Twitter, and his Amazon Author Page.

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour: Chewing Braaiiinns with… John O’Brien – Special Edition

The Summer of Zombie Blog Tour is still going strong and today I’m featuring an interview with John O’Brien, author of the A New World Series. Let’s take a moment to get you all acquainted…

JohnOBrienJohn O’Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry starting two large casinos in Washington as the Information Technology Manager and becoming the Network Manager for the Washington State Legislature, the Northwest Information Technology Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Network Systems Manager for Hollywood Video. Currently, John is self employed with his own Information Technology consulting company consulting and managing various businesses with their information technology needs. He also volunteers for a local youth center managing their computer lab.

As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the Capital Forest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads.

Welcome John. First question: why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

For me, the advent of zombies, or night runners if you will – they aren’t technically zombies – created an additional element of suspense and danger in a post-apocalyptic survival story. They create an unrelenting, persistent force that isn’t easily combatted. The sheer nature of them drags down on the psyche due to the constant danger.

Tell us about your latest project.

I just released the seventh book in the series, A New World, titled A New World: Takedown. It is a continuation of the story of Jack Walker and a small band of survivors struggling through a post-apocalyptic world filled with a ferocious new species, the night runners. Not only does the group have to contend with this, but they also have to deal with other remnants of humankind. And, the night runner’s abilities are growing.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

Night runners are your typical zombie. Truth be told, they aren’t zombies at all but a genetically mutated species of humankind. They are stronger, faster, and more agile. Restricted to the night, they form into packs and hunt the streets and countryside in search of prey.

They sound positively frightening! Is there a Zombie novel that has influenced you more than any other? If so, what is it and why?

I can’t say that any zombie novel has influenced my writing to any degree. I truly try to not read any books within the same genre in order not to subconsciously take any ideas from the other great writers.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

28 Weeks Later

Dawn of the Dead

It may not count but I Am Legend

Personally I think I Am Legend counts… 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 that zombies have slowly been emerging from a niche genre into the mainstream for some time now and The Walking Dead is the result of such an emergence. Perhaps it was the 2012 apocalypse – bummer that didn’t work out – that spurred on the increased popularity. However, with that said, The Walking Dead did advance the genre more into the mainstream media.

As we all know, music and slaying the Undead go hand in hand. Given these headings, what would be your Soundtrack to the Zombie Apocalpyse?

1. Overall theme for the Apocalypse: Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden or Radioactive by Imagine Dragons.

2. What plays when I kill my first zombie: The Boys Are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy.

3. What plays when you’re chased by the horde: Still Counting by Volbeat.

4. When you have to kill a loved one: Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt.

5. When you find a group of survivors: Sail by AWOLNATION.

6. Meeting a new love interest: Come Away With Me by Norah Jones.

7. Making a Final Stand: They Fought as Legends – epic score.

8. You’ve survived it all: We Are Still Here – epic score.

9. Then you discover a bite mark: Veteran of the Psychic Wars by Blue Oyster Cult.

10. End Credits: Leave No Man Behind by Hans Zimmer – Black Hawk Down.

There are so many combos here.

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 SOG hatchet, five SOG knives, three Gerber knives, an assortment of other knives, a myriad of tactical flashlights, and a crowbar…wait, that’s more than five. I’ll take the hatchet, two knives, a flashlight, and the crowbar.

You may well survive John….

Now let’s take a look at John’s newest release A New World: Takedown…

TakeDownNovel_JohnOBrienThe Dice Are Cast…

     Death Watches and Waits

The sanctuary walls were breached and through them poured screaming hordes of night runners. About to be overrun, the survivors formed a last stand against the thousands that threatened to end their existence. Inexplicably, the night runners, who were on the verge of taking one of the last vestiges of humanity, departed, carrying the limp body of Lynn with them.

Communications with the compound failed as Jack was out searching for additional survivors, leaving him unaware of what was happening at home. A tragedy sends him rushing back where he learns about the attack and Lynn being taken. Not knowing if she’s alive or dead, he sets off in search for her.

A mysterious image is sent setting forth a confrontation with Sandra, the female night runner responsible for the attack on the sanctuary. Is Lynn alive or is this some elaborate trap? Jack will put everything on the line in order to find out.

When logical reasoning fails…

     Insanity must be expected

Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you straight to Amazon.

Thank you John for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with John you can find him on Facebook, his website, Twitter, and his Amazon Author Page.

Kickstarter – The Zombie Bible: Against the World’s Madness

Stant Litore has a dream – to write a 700 to 1000 page novel that is truly epic.

He needs your help as he plans the novel and has offered a number of prizes as reward for helping him.

Please consider supporting his Kickstarter campaign, every little bit helps.

More information can be found here:

Kickstarter – The Zombie Bible: Against the World’s Madness