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…
John 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…
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.