Today I have the pleasure of presenting an interview with Rachel Aukes, author of the Deadland Saga. For those of you unacquainted with Rachel, let’s take a moment to get to know her a little better…
Rachel Aukes is the bestselling author of 100 Days in Deadland, which was named one of the best books of 2013 by Suspense Magazine and one of the best zombie books by the Huffington Post.Rachel lives in Iowa with her husband and an incredibly spoiled sixty-pound lap dog.When not writing, she can be found flying old airplanes and trying (not so successfully) to prepare for the zombie apocalypse.
Welcome Rachel! Let’s get into the question shall we? Tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?
If the outbreak happened at a time I could get to one of my staging sites, then I think I’d stand a pretty good chance at riding out the zombie apocalypse (ZA) and fending off small hordes. If the outbreak happened when I was at my day job, many miles from home, it’d take a miracle to survive. (Note to self: start working on a day job bug-out plan).
Interesting answer – location does play a huge part doesn’t it? What was your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience what drew into writing the genre?
My first experience with zombie media was likely Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. I love his stuff, but it didn’t draw me into writing the genre. I think because we have such very different styles. Romero’s movies have a shock-horror feel to them (lots of screaming, a zombie ready to jump out from behind every corner), and I prefer my horror to be less “in your face.” Through the years, I’ve had some ideas for a ZA tale that focused on the human element, e.g., how far would we go to survive in a zombie apocalypse. But, it wasn’t until Dante’s “Inferno” popped into my brainpan that all the pieces finally came together. And so 100 Days in Deadland was born. With that said, Romero is still lord of the modern zombie, and as homage, the zombies in my tales are very similar to Romero’s in both their abilities and behaviour.
Now it’s time for the 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?
A stack of paper. So, unless I can finish a zombie with a “death by a thousand cuts”, I’m screwed.
Yes, you are definitely screwed… List your five favourite pieces of Zombie media:
Limiting to just 5 faves is really tough! But I’ll try…
Zombieland: Just an awesome, fun movie.
The First Days by Rhiannon Frater: the first ZA book I read where women were more than helpless, screaming bimbos.
The Walking Dead tv show: I have a love/hate relationship with this show. They do great at building up characters (even if only to kill them), but the writers’ lazy use of obvious plot devices drives me nuts.
Joe McKinney’s books: Yup, pretty much any of Joe’s ZA books. He knows how to blend ZA with badass action heroes (both male and female, yay!) in a way that each book stands out on its own.
Comes the Dark by Patrick D’Orazio: The beginning pages of this book are so freaking intense and visual that I still have flashbacks months later.
Great choices! 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?
I listen to rock like Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold, and Rise Against. With my luck, the last song on the radio that I’d hear before the ZA would be something by Jason Bieber. If a pop song got stuck in my head, dying early in the ZA wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Oh god, that would be awful… Thank you Rachel for taking the time to answer my questions.
If you’d like to connect with Rachel, you can find her on her Website, Amazon, Facebook, or Twitter.
Now let’s take a look at 100 Days in Deadland… Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon!
In one day, the world succumbed to a pestilence that decimated the living. In its place rose a new species: vicious, gruesome, wandering zombies with an insatiable hunger for the living. There is no government. No shelter. No hope.
Still in her twenties, Cash has watched her friends die, only to walk again. An office worker with few survival skills, she joins up with Clutch, a grizzled Army veteran with PTSD. Together, they flee the city and struggle through the nine circles of hell, with nothing but Clutch’s military experience and Cash’s determination to live. As they fight to survive in the zombie inferno, they quickly discover that nowhere is safe from the undead…or the living.