Today on Days with the Undead we’re featuring something that’s near and dear to our hearts. Days with the Undead started as an online experience, something for readers to enjoy each day as it was released. What you can purchase online and in stores is an expanded version of the story, the stuff I couldn’t write while on the crazy schedule I was keeping. But enough about me… I have the pleasure of featuring an interview with Scott Scherr, author of Don’t Feed the Dark which is an online serial novel featuring zombies. The story started on February 10th, 2014 and new episodes are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So now that we have all that out of the way, let’s get to know Scott a little bit before we begin…
Scott Scherr is an aspiring fiction author and poet that currently lives in Northeast Ohio with his wife and five children. His ultimate dream job is to be a screenwriter for “The Lost Chronicles” which he hopes J.J. Abrams will green light one day so that Scott’s favorite television show will return to answer all our mind-boggling questions. But until then… Zombies!
Scott works full time at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant and served in the United States Navy for 5 years.
To date, Scott has written and published four books either under his given name or his alter-ego name, John Ecko.
Scott has written numerous flash fiction and short stories as well as a variety of poems from traditional to free verse. He also lets John Ecko loose on occasion, who dabbles in experimental concrete poetry that can be found at his website, Eckovision.
While Scott is enjoying his journey into the zombie apocalypse, he is also working on a collaborative work with author, Michael J. Raymond, titled, Inn Situ: A collection of stories centered around a strange bar in the middle of mysterious Sedona, Arizona.
Scott has won a handful of online poetry contests and has been featured on several websites. He has also been published in several anthology collections.
Welcome Scott! Now let’s get these questions…
Tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?
The characteristics of the undead in Don’t Feed The Dark manifest themselves in various ways. At the start, the reader will be introduced to four major types:
There are the classic re-animated dead (a.k.a. slow zombies) that most readers familiar with the genre will immediately recognize.
Next, are the yellow-eyed “Haters” that initially are the result of what survivors later refer to as “The Change”. At the onset of the mysterious outbreak, men, women and even children are struck at random, turning into blood-craving maniacs with no apparent rhyme or reason as to who “changes” and who is spared. This is part of the ongoing mystery of DFTD.
Another manifestation of the outbreak appears in the form of animal-human hybrids that are believed to be caused by infected animals preying on humans. Some distinguishing characteristics are their hideous physical mutations, reddish eyes, and their nocturnal nature. They are sometimes referred to as “Nightwalkers”.
Lastly, there’s what is sometimes referred to as the “Half-Deads”. These are survivors that become infected by “Haters” that slowly devolve into monsters over time, retaining parts of their humanity while slowly being eaten away within by their zombie sides that desire to take over. Half-Deads are generally considered madmen with a hunger for human flesh and their eyes are a metallic grey. They are despised and hunted by the dead and the living alike because of their dual nature.
I intend to explore this ever-evolving zombie process over the span of the entire book series where much more will be revealed about the outbreak, and its effect on both the dead and the living.
Now, as far as standing a chance if the dead were to rise up, I believe if the initially “panic” doesn’t get me killed and I could keep my wits about me, then yes, I could survive… for at least a few days. I do know how to shoot a gun and have a working knowledge of the fundamentals required for taking effective “head shots”. That’s got to count for something…lol.
What was your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience what drew into writing the genre?
My first experience with zombies was the classic “Night of the Living Dead” (still one of the greatest zombie films, in my opinion). There was just something about each of those characters in that film that struck a chord with me as far as personality types and how different people would react together if forced to fight off the dead, trapped in a secluded farm house. I always thought that it was their differences that killed them long before the undead got inside. And of course, let’s not forget the insistent dead that could care less about all those differences as they attacked with more united purpose to take out the living, than the living could muster to stay alive. I discovered that a lot of my fascination with zombies had more to do with the survivors than the dead. It makes for compelling drama and great late night “what-if” conversations. This inevitably drew me into writing a zombie novel of my own.
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?
Okay, if the item to my left is the only weapon I can have during the zombie apocalypse then my answer is: Someone I can trust (You didn’t say I couldn’t grab a person). Two heads are better than one and a good companion is the most reliable and sharpest weapon you could have, in my opinion. All the weapons in the world won’t matter much if you’re outnumbered in a tight space that you can’t flee from. And honestly, no one can survive alone. Who’d really want to? And that goes along with my answer to the second part of the question. My survival longevity would ultimately depend upon the people I’m with.
List your five favourite pieces of Zombie media:
The Walking Dead (TV show)
Night of the Living Dead (original movie)
World War Z (novel by Max Brooks)
The Signal (movie)
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?
People are Strange, by the Doors (Don’t ask me why… it just happens)
Don’t forget to check out Don’t Feed The Dark at: http://freezombienovel.wordpress.com/