Today I have the pleasure of featuring an interview with author Elaine Pascale. For those of you who don’t know Elaine yet, let’s take a moment to get to know her…
Elaine Pascale has been writing for most of her life. She took a break from fiction in order to give birth to two children and a doctoral dissertation. She lives on Cape Cod, MA, with her husband, son and daughter. She teaches a variety of courses at a private university in Boston: from English Composition and Communications to a Vampire Seminar. Her writing has been published in several magazines and anthologies. She is the author of If Nothing Else, Eve, We’ve Enjoyed the Fruit, and the nonfiction book: Metamorphosis: Identity Outcomes in International Student Adaptation–A Grounded Theory Study. She enjoys a robust full moon, chocolate, and collecting cats.
Who doesn’t love collecting cats?? Welcome Elaine! Now let’s get to the questions. Tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?
Zombies: Shambling through the Ages is an anthology of zombie stories that take place during different historical eras. The wonderful editor, Steve Berman, put it all together, and his stipulation was that the stories be historically accurate.
My story, “Dead Reckoning” explains what really happened in Roanoke. It is a short story that I have continued tweaking and adapting into novella form which may or may not be published soon (a long story with publishing glitches more horrific than zombies). In Dead Reckoning, the women of Roanoke get the short end of the stick–socially, economically, spiritually–and they turn to a Native American chant to find solace. Instead, they become zombies. In my novella, a military experiment is the cause; again, it affects women due to neurological differences. I guess my zombies are feminists.
Zombies interest me because of their cannibalistic compulsion. I feel that women tend to be obsessed with food: with starving themselves, with diets, with equating food with love and acceptance, so I am interested in what happens when the lust for food (in this case, human flesh) overrides the social norms to watch what we eat.
I could probably outsmart a zombie, but if one had me cornered, I would be in trouble.
What was your first experience with zombie media (movie, book, comic, etc)? Was that experience was drew into writing the genre?
I was weaned on horror fiction. I have always loved horror. I did not read many zombie stories growing up, but I did watch zombie movies. I think that “Night of the Comet” was my first real zombie film. It was so 80s—big hair, valley girl jokes; but I loved it anyway. I don’t think this film influenced my writing—it did have an impact on my childhood fashion sense, though.
Pop Quiz: The item to your left is your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival?
My “crazy cat lady” coffee mug. Oh, Lord, I think I’m doomed. I could always break it into sharp, porcelain pieces and slash my way out of trouble. But, I’d rather not live in a world that no longer contains my “crazy cat lady” mug.
Man, you are doomed! Tell me about your five favourite pieces of Zombie media.
1. The music of Rob Zombie (editor’s note: I’m not sure this counts…)
2. Goya’s Saturn Devouring his Son. I realize that Saturn had political reasons to eat his children, but he really looks like a zombie to me.
3. Night of the Comet—the cheesy 80s backdrop really enhances the zombie experience
4. Shaun of the Dead—cute, cute, cute and a nice spoof
5. I recently reviewed Tim Waggoner’s The Way of All Flesh. This is an interesting zombie book that looks at a zombie apocalypse in an existentialist manner. Waggoner went in an unexpected direction and it was very entertaining.
Great choices! So now comes the hard question… We all know that we sometimes have bad luck. Keeping that in mind, what song do you think would get stuck in your head, playing over and over again on an incessant loop?
Something by Taylor Swift or Katy Perry. I have fantasies about those two becoming zombie food during the Grammys. Actually, it would be really cool if zombies attacked the Grammys or the Oscars or some other self-congratulatory Hollywood mess…
Now let’s take a look at Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages… Don’t forget to click on the link to be taken to Amazon!
It’s a wonder humanity ever survived into the twenty-first century. Even Neanderthals knew to bury the dead beneath stones to prevent corpses from rising. Ancient civilizations feared slain warriors would return from battlefields, medieval physicians worried that bodies would rise from plague pits, many cultures buried the dead at crossroads to prevent the dead from walking. In Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages, editor Steve Berman has collected stories that reveal the threat of revenants and the living dead is far from recent. From the Bronze Age to World War II, this anthology guides us through millennia of thrills, chills, kills, carnage, horror, and havoc wreaked throughout history by the walking dead.