5 Questions with Elaine Pascale

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…

me officeElaine 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  It is a short story that I have continued tweaking and adapting into novella form which may or may not be published soon (a long story with publishing glitches more horrific than zombies).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…

That would be interesting! Thank you Elaine for stopping by and answering my questions. If you’d like to connect with Elaine, you can find her on Twitter, her website, or on her Amazon Author Page.

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.

 

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5 Questions with Megan Ralston

Today I have the wonderful pleasure of featuring an interview with Megan Ralston, author of Preppers. If you’re not familiar with Megan, let’s take a moment to get to know her better…

HeadshotMegan Ralston is a Vocal Performance major at Cal State University Fullerton who in addition to singing has been obsessively reading and writing all her life. In the end, she thought she had chosen singing, but apparently she couldn’t decide. Her first and only novel, Preppers, was written during the National Novel Writing Month challenge of 2012, and published on a crazy whim.

Welcome Megan! 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?

My zombies are not super zombies by any means—they’re your average shufflers and groaners that are mostly effective because they come in such large numbers. Do I think I’d stand a chance? Well, a couple summers ago, my dad and I had what we call our “Zombie Apocalypse Preparation Summer” (Or ZAPS for short). We took a bunch of classes we would never take otherwise—archery, rock-climbing, and tae kwon do—and went shooting on a regular basis to get our aim up. My dad and I even ran in The Walking Dead Escape in San Diego, and took a trip to Las Vegas to shoot machine guns and see “Evil Dead: The Musical.” It’s the most active I’d ever been (I’m an opera singer—my only toned muscle is my diaphragm), so if you asked me that summer, my answer would definitely be an enthusiastic YES. That was my family’s summer of being honest-to-god preppers, and it was great fun. There were matching t-shirts and everything. Now, since I can’t remember the last time I exercised or practiced shooting any sort of weapon, I’d probably have to say no. But if I’m with my dad for the end of the world, that would probably turn into a maybe.

So you really are a prepper – awesome! What was your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience was drew into writing the genre?

I honestly have no idea. My dad’s been into zombies way longer than I have, so I was subtly exposed to them for a while. I think probably my first real active experience was watching the Resident Evil movies, or Zombieland. What really inspired me was our whole ZAPS experience, and deciding to do the NaNoWriMo challenge the November directly afterward. When fishing around for a plot, zombies were fresh in my mind. In the end, though, I wanted to do something that was different from all the zombie media I had immersed myself in during ZAPS. I wanted to write something that was about zombies, but first and foremost more in line with what I usually read and write, YA fiction. I also wanted it to be a lot more introspective and more about the emotional reactions and inner monologue of a survivor than about having gruesome zombie-fighting scenes (which I love reading, but would have had more trouble writing). So I think what mostly inspired me to write the genre was being an unlikely (a dainty singer and lover of YA lit) in the middle of zombie media and a prepper lifestyle. So in a way, I think it’s kind of part of but still separate from the zombie genre… at least, that’s what I tell myself when I read my scathing reviews on Amazon. 😉

Scathing reviews happen to everyone – even Stephen King so we really can’t take them personally. Now it’s time for a 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?

It’s a book, and it’s fluffy chick lit no less. (Kim Gruenenfelder’s Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink, if you’re curious, which I highly recommend if you’re in the exact opposite of a zombie novel mood.) I’m thinking I’m doomed.

Yeah… You’re doomed! Tell us your five favourite pieces of Zombie media.

  • Zombieland
  • All the Resident Evil movies
  • Monster Hunter International, by Larry Correa (which isn’t strictly a zombie novel, but there are definitely zombies in it)
  • Warm Hearts (It’s just quirky and adorable, what can I say?)
  • Shaun of the Dead

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?

Ah, well, like I said—I’m an opera singer, and I just learned my first truly impressive coloratura aria. As a result, it’s all my teacher has let me sing for anything (competitions, workshops, masterclasses, performances, auditions, everything) for the last 5 months. So I have had the German aria “Spiel ich die Unschuld vom Lande” from Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus stuck in my head for about as long. As such, it’s not really a great zombie apocalypse soundtrack, but it’s probably the only thing I’ll have stuck in my head for ages.

Thank you Megan for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to keep in touch with Megan, you can find her on her Amazon Author Page, on YouTube, and on her Tumblr Blog.

Preppers_Cover_for_KindleNow let’s take a closer look at Preppers

Skylar Anderson and her family have been preparing for the zombie apocalypse for as long as she could remember. But when it finally happens, she finds that nothing could really have prepared her for the reality of a world over-run with the undead—Especially when her parents are arrested as suspects for creating the first zombie. Trying to keep her friends, family, and a hodge-podge group of survivors safe without the guidance of her parents turns out to be a much more difficult task than Skylar could ever have anticipated.

Don’t forget to click on the cover to be taken to Amazon!

5 Questions with catt dahman

Today I have the pleasure of presenting an interview with catt dahman, author of the Z is for Zombies series. For those of you unfamiliar with catt, let’s take a moment to get to know her better…

catt1catt dahman is currently with Severed Press and J Ellington Ashton Press and is in 2 other press anthologies.

catt dahman has been writing for more than 30 years, has taught in public schools, private schools, and college. Her degrees are from A & M. A native of Texas, she has lived all over the US, but is currently back in the Fort Worth, Texas area where she lives with her husband, son, 4 cats, 1 dog and a ferret. She has also been a public speaker, director for a charity, dabbled as a PI, and more. She now writes full time, working on horror, thrillers, and more. She is published with Severed Press (9+ books of a zombie series: Z is for Zombie) as well as other books of horror. Other novels are available as well.

Welcome catt! 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?

It depends. If I am still in Dallas, then my odds go down. On the other hand, my Zs are slow and follow George Romero’s rules and those types I can out wit, I think. I want a good baseball bat and want to weight it on the ends. I also am good with a rifle and handguns. I am generally calm in dangerous experiences and think I could handle the Zs. The other people…they may be impossible to deal with and may need the same treatment if they get bullish and pushy and stupid.

Tell us about your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience was drew into writing the genre?

I saw Night of the Living Dead (original) and a few others  and I read a few books (one was Dan Williams) and other than his and one by Kody Boye, I thought most were dull, silly, super-hero-type, redundant, poorly written junk. I knew I had a series that was sitting in a box and yanked them out. 7 months later, Severed Press acquired all nine of my books and asked me to writer several more, which I am doing.

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 box of cheezits,. I am so screwed.

Thanks for having me here but now I am about to be munched up while I toss crackers at them.

Yes, you are screwed… List your five favourite pieces of Zombie media.

  • The Walking Dead (Andy Lincoln, Rooker,Reedus, and Riggs rock the show.)
  • Bowie Ibarra’s books
  • Rhiannon Frater’s Trilogy
  • Planet Terror/ Machine gun leg rocks
  • Dawn of the dead original and remake

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?

It would be a song by REO Speedwagon which I can’t stand.” I just can’t fight this feeling… (I would cut my own head off right then).

I’d like to thank catt for taking the time to answer my questions! If you would like to keep I touch witth catt, you can find her on her website or on her Amazon Author Page.

Now let’s take a look at catt’s George’s Terms – Z is for Zombie: Book 1

covernameIn Northeast Texas, the epic adventure of a group of survivors begins as they take refuge in a hospital, waiting to see if the world-wide Red Infection can be stopped before all humanity is wiped out. As victims awaken from a coma, they now have the basic need to attack loved ones, to spread the infection, and to feed on warm flesh. Only rage remains. In days, the dead outnumber the living, and the US turns to the ultimate weapons to stop the infection.

In a world filled with zombies, survivors find that the living can be far more inhumane and cruel than anything they have ever imagined, as raiders scavenge for supplies and lawlessness and hatred are the norm. Both outlaws and zombies crave meat. In this time of hopelessness and horror, a bullet to the brain may be the kindest action. 
George, an older, retired police officer, sets his own terms: fight and survive or go the way you want, but don’t let the zombies win. He explains that everyone is responsible for his own fate, and if that means going out on unpopular terms, then so be it. Len, a retired Marine; a quiet cowboy, Kim; a hot-tempered Hispanic woman, Julia; and a compassionate young woman, Beth all begin their terrorizing journey, not only to survive, but also to establish a new society, find love and joy in a barren, bloody landscape, and to face gathering enemies.

The first of the compelling series, George’s Terms, introduces a memorable cast of characters and a terrifying vision of a world, burned to rubble and filled with flesh-eating adversaries. As each person faces inner fears and new roles, he finds law and morality must be redefined. Zombies are used as the vehicle, but the story is all about what humans will do to survive when the odds are stacked against them; luckily, for the survivors, George has given them the terms that may keep humans from becoming extinct.

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

5 Questions with Mike Kloran

Today I have the wonderful opportunity to interview author Mike Kloran. Let’s take a few moments and get to know him…

zombieMikeMy name is Mike Kloran and I’m an Educational Designer and teacher living in Japan. Most of my design work focusses on cute flashcards and worksheets for teaching English and helping people master languages. It’s a lot of work but also a lot of fun. Doing that sort of work is really satisfying but it’s important to have a little variety in my work and stay playful.

In this case I decided to take my love of zombies and turn it into this fun little comic and now this blog. Making the comic is a real experiment for me. I’ve made comics before and certainly drawn lots of zombies, but I wanted the look and feel of the comic to be a bit of a break from the other things I’ve made.

It’s also giving me a chance to play around with and learn Photoshop a bit. I’m not really a Photoshop fan and generally work in traditional media. So if you think my Photoshop skills are crap, you’re probably right, but lighten up. It’s a learning experience after all.

Welcome Mike, tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

My vision of zombies is one of ravenous hunger. They will eat anything, cats, dogs, rats, plants, bugs, food, and people and possibly each other. They are like a plague. Indiscriminate and unyielding. They simply move and eat. Freshly turned zombies are about as strong as the people they were in life and older ones start to break down. When I think about them in a realistic sense they terrify me. We like to think we could reason with an attacker and make them see that we aren’t so bad or they don’t want to kill us. But these things could never possibly be reasoned with. They would never be dissuaded or tempted or biased.

The trick is that my own vision of what they’re like is way too brutal for children’s literature. So when writing for kids, I make the zombies more of a bugaboo or a boogieman. It’s not that the zombie is actually in the room. It’s that the kids think the zombie is around the corner or hiding under the bed or outside in the bushes. Then their own reaction to their perception of the monster plays out sort of comedically. And since I write for kids, I think we end up with a bit of a surprise happy ending.

That’s an interesting dichotomy. What was your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience was drew into writing the genre?

I was terrified as a kid by a TV ad for the Return of the Living Dead. I remember it very vividly giving me nightmares. The one thing I always remembered was Tarman in the basement looking up the stairs saying “More brains!” It was that shambling, wet horror that stalked my nightmares for years.

It wasn’t until high school that I finally saw the movie and was thrilled with it. That always sort of stuck in the back of my mind and I’ve always had a love of horror comedies like Evil Dead and Dead Alive. That definitely had a big effect on my desire to actually tell zombie stories.

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 iPhone 5 with its solar charger. I’ve got it loaded up with survival books and other little tidbits on how to get by. I’d like to think that an AK-47 or a bat with a nail in it would get me through. But those things run out on you. One of the real threats in that situation would be trying to find drinkable water or food or keeping warm if it’s winter. You can have a great crossbow and loads of guns but if you can’t keep warm or get water you’ll be dead in a few days. What really gets people through is their brains.

List your five favourite pieces of Zombie media.

There’s SO much zombie media out there now it’s amazing. Fortunately it’s pretty easy to spot the good stuff. As far as movies, Evil Dead 2 is the king. Or rather, Bruce Campbell is the king (and hail to the king baby.) I could never get tired of that movie. It’s not strictly a zombie movie per se but it’s kind of perfect.

The original Biohazard (Resident Evil) game is one of my favorites. That’s partly because of the awesome experience I had playing it for the first time. It’s a bit of a relic compared to games today but at the time it was a real masterpiece and had a huge impact on the industry.

I think Frank Frazetta did some amazing black and white drawings of zombies over the years that still hold my attention. There’s so much wonderful volume and detail in his line drawings I could just look at them forever.

I’m a big fan of the zombie runs that seem to be getting so popular all over America. I love the whole obstacle course race idea anyway, like Tough Mudder. Add some zombies in there chasing people and holy hell! That looks fun!

If I had to pick one other thing I guess it would probably be the makeup effects on the Walking Dead. I think they’re the main reason I’m still watching the show.

Awesome choices! Now 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?

The only thing worse than the undead walking the earth, that Spice Girls Song where they go, Tell me watch want whatcha really really want I wanna I wanna I wanna. Kill me now.

Thank you Mike for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with Mike, you can find him on a few different sites: www.kloran.com, www.myenglishimages.com and http://survivingthedead.wordpress.com

Now let’s take a look at Giler and Saru’s Zombies

ZombiesThis kids’ book is the story of Giler and Saru, a cat and monkey team and their unlikely run-in with some zombies.

One Halloween night while reading spooky stories, Giler and Saru hear a strange noise. Saru is sure it must be zombies, but Giler’s never even heard of them before. He quickly gets a crash course in what zombies are and how to be prepared in case they attack.

Best read in a funny voice this e-book is filled with loads of gross, stinky monsters and two good friends willing to do anything to make it to the dawn.

You can download Giler and Saru’s Zombies on iTunes.

5 Questions with Chris Philbrook

Today I’m pleased to feature an interview with Chris Philbrook, author of Adrian’s Undead Diary. Before we get to the questions, let’s get to know Chris a little better…

IMG_0986I am the creator and author of A Dragon Among Us as well as Elmoryn and Adrian’s Undead Diary. Elmoryn is a decade old game setting and system I developed for commercial sale and development that I am now sharing on the internet, and through the publication of The Kinless Trilogy. As the books set in the Elmoryn universe are released, hopefully interest in the game will grow as well, and that side of Elmoryn will come to light.

A Dragon Among Us was inspired by decade old Role Playing sessions with my friend Alan MacRaffen, and has been percolating ever since. It’s currently online, and once completed will be farmed into publishing. Not sure if I’ll submit it to a big house, or keep it my own. Time will tell.

Adrian’s Undead Diary is my mammoth zombie epic that more than likely brought you here. Originally published online AUD grew to almost 10,000 active registered users before I decided to publish it. Adrian Ring’s story of survival and humanity in a world gone mad has been critically acclaimed and been an unbelievable success online, so seeing what it’ll do in print is exciting for me.

I’m also the owner of Tier One Games LLC, my old game development company. If you buy something from AUD, Elmoryn, or A Dragon Among Us, you’ll likely see the sale credited to Tier One Games. Don’t worry, it’s legit.

I’ve gone to a LOT of college. I’ve got a Business degree as well as a Psychology degree, and I’ve done the full program at the school of hard knocks. I’ve been a printing press operator, bouncer, purchasing agent, bodyguard, customer service representative, mental health counselor, and more. I can write about weird shit because I’ve done weird shit. Trust me.

I call the wonderful state of New Hampshire my home, but I love to travel. I love to read, write, play role playing games, miniatures games, video games, and Magic: The Gathering. When I find the time to be active, I like to hike, play basketball, and play football. I’ve got a lovely girlfriend right now, and two Devon Rex cats, Gilbert and Marvin.

And now it’s time for the questions. First up, tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

Ah, the quality of the dead.  That’s the real question isn’t it?  It establishes all the rules of the game.  How hard would it be to survive, what skills are relevant?  Can I walk, or must I run?  The undead (and they are dead, very dead) in Adrian’s Undead Diary are slow shamblers.  Think very Romero movie, and you’re in the ballpark.  My zombies have a fairly unique trait as well:  They are entirely silent save for the sounds of their shuffling feet, or when they bump into things.  They don’t moan, speak, or breathe in any way.  They’re like sharks, circling, closing in, biting and tearing until you’re dead.

What was your first experience with zombie media (movie, book, comic, etc)? Was that experience what drew you into writing the genre?

Easily the first was an old VHS copy of Night of the Living Dead I talked my mother into buying me at an old Ames department store.  I watched that tape until it disintegrated and took a VCR with it.  I don’t think that single movie experience moved me into writing, but meeting George twenty years later surely was the experience that sealed the deal.

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?

Hm.  My cellphone is immediately to my left, and to my right is my cat Marvin.  I’m not sure which one would be more useful.  If the cell networks are still operational…  I’d go with Marvin.  He’s an awesome cat.

You’re going to use your cat as a weapon? Not sure how I feel about that… List your 5 (five) favourite pieces of Zombie media.

Five top zombie media things.  In no particular order, I’d say the following:  Romero’s original zombie movie trilogy (Gonna count that as one item, because I tend to watch them right in a row), The Walking Dead books, Return of the Living Dead, World War Z, and probably Patient Zero.

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?

Lady Gaga, Paparazzi.  AUD fans will clearly know what I’m talking about.

Well for those of us who haven’t read Adrian’s Undead Diary, we’ll just remain in the dark about it. I suppose we could all check out the book though, right?

AUD1eBookCoverBeheading a zombie isn’t easy in a world where you’re more afraid of the living than the dead.

Adrian Ring’s simple life is thrown into chaos when the world is ripped apart by a plague of undead and legions of desperate survivors. Retreating to Auburn Lake Preparatory Academy, Adrian attempts to rescue friends and family on the way while dancing around his impending insanity over who and what he left behind, and evading maniac survivors. He saves his cat Otis, but shoots his mom. Pretty successful, all things considered.

Dark Recollections is the first part of Adrian’s own story of how he survived after “That Day.” Told through his eyes as he talks to his laptop, affectionately named ‘Mr. Journal,” and through short stories that entwine with his tales that bring forth dark visions of a world being eaten alive by an unimaginable evil. Adrian’s Undead Diary is an eight part epic about a solitary, guilt stricken man that didn’t think he deserved to live, but realizes very soon that he survived, and suffered for a reason.

If you’d like to keep up with Chris, you can find him on Twitter, Facebook, his website and his Amazon Author Page.

5 Questions with Simon Neilson

It’s a new year and a new set of interview questions. First up in this author-centric series is Simon Neilson. So let’s take a few moments and hear from Simon himself as he tells us a little bit about who he is…

SimonNeilsonBorn: South London, U.K.

Lives: Hertfordshire, U.K.

Been writing since the age of 13 but only decided to take the plunge into publishing approximately 5/6 years ago.  Has 3 novels, 1 novella and 1 audio drama already in the world and is currently working on 3 film scripts and an audio drama.

Thank you Simon and welcome. Now let’s delve into these questions. First up, tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

The zombies I write about are the raging virus style, the ones that move quick.  I find them scarier and harder to predict than the slow, shuffling kind (although I also use these at certain points).  I’d like to think I’ve done enough research to try and keep myself out of trouble

Interesting stance Simon – you’ve admitted you use the fast zombie archetype and still think you’d survive? Hope you’ve done your cardio!! What was your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience what drew into writing the genre?

The first zombie movie I ever saw was Dawn Of The Dead (1978), as a book the first one I read and still a massive favourite was I Am Legend and with comics I remember being given issue of Tales Of The Zombie from Marvel.  With any zombie media I am just fascinated with the apocalyptic style and the survival instincts of the characters involved in the stories.

Okay, now it’s time for a 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 pen.  Well someone once said the pen is mightier than the sword, so why not lol

A pen? Against your fast zombies?? I don’t think you can write yourself out of this one! Tell me about your five favourite pieces of Zombie media.

I Am Legend (book)

28 Days Later (film)

Day By Day Armageddon (series of books)

Resident Evil (first 3 films and the games)

World War Z (book and the film – even though the film is nothing like the book)

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?

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead (Wizard Of Oz) – don’t ask me why I just find myself singing it all of a sudden at times (must get that looked at).

Thank you Simon for taking the time to answer my questions. For those of you who would like to keep up with what Simon has going on, you can find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Now let’s take a look at Chronicles of the Apocalypse

ChildrenoftheApocalypseA virus hits England. Spreading quickly it soon sends the country into chaos. Dr. Marco van Breukelen is the man who is given the responsibility for collating the information as the virus happens.

What he uncovers is chilling.

These are the documents from those who saw the apocalypse up close and personal.

These are the Chronicles Of The Apocalypse

Darlings of Decay: Chewing Braaiiinns with… Chantal Boudreau

Recently I joined 32 other women who wrote in the Zombie genre and we released a fantastic compendium of undead treats for lovers of the genre! It’s called Darlings of Decay and the best news is that it’s a FREE download on Amazon! What a great way to try samples of some of the greats writing in the genre! Click on the cover and it will take you straight to Amazon.

Today I welcome fellow Darling of Decay Chantal Boudreau and ask her a few Zombie related questions. But before we do, let’s get everyone a little more acquainted…

ChantalBoudreau_blogpic-headshotAside from being a long-time fan of the zombie genre via books, movies and now TV, Chantal Boudreau began her existence as a published author with a zombie short story named “Palliative” in an anthology called “Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts – Oh My!” published by Notreebooks. This was followed by the publication of several other zombie shorts: “Just Another Day,” “Waking the Dead,” “Escarg-0,” and “Life and Undeath on the Chain gang” in the May December Publications anthologies “First Time Dead, Volume 1”, “Hell Hath No Fury,” (all women writers) “Zero” and “Zombie Lockdown” as well as “What a Man’s Gotta Do” in the anthology “Undead Tales” from Rymfire Books. She also has a stand-alone zombie digital novella published: “Shear Terror.” She completed extensive research for her blog series “Chantelly’s Field Guide to Zombies” and published a non-fiction article on Zomedy – the dark humour in zombie fiction, in Zombie Writing from Rymfire Books. She hopes to find a publisher for Sleep Escapes Us, a zombie novel set in Ancient Thrace involving the myths surrounding the death god, Zalmoxis.

Chantal, an accountant/author/illustrator, lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.  A Horror Writers Association member, she writes horror and fantasy, with several non-zombie short stories published to date as well.  Fervor, her debut dystopian novel, was released March 2011 followed by sequels, Elevation, Transcendence and Providence, and two novels in her Masters & Renegades fantasy series.

Welcome Chantal. So tell me: why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I’ve been a horror fan in general since my pre-teens and one of my first exposures to horror films…I think I was thirteen at the time… was the original Dawn of the Dead.  I loved it.  Zombies stuck with me after that as one my favourite parts of the genre.

Tell us about your latest project.

Dead North_CoverMy latest project has nothing to do with zombies, actually.  It’s Endeavor, the fifth book in my Fervor dystopian series.  The last zombie short I wrote, Dead Drift, is scheduled for release in October as part of a Canadian anthology, Dead North.  It is already available for pre-order online (see photo and link).

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

Well, for one, I don’t have a standardized zombie type.  I play with elements of the genre and origin stories and I love to have science or legend to back these stories up.  I’ve written about runners, shamblers, modern infection and supernatural-sourced zombies that come from a range of initiators from parasite-infested snails to GMO coffee beans to divine curses.  I also like to include an element of humour, be it ever so slight.

Has there been a Zombie novel or short story that has inspired you to write in the genre? If so, tell us about it and why it inspired you. 

I know this may sound strange, but Pet Sematary by Stephen King was probably the first zombie novel I read and one of my favourites.  I think I liked it because it wasn’t your run-of-the mill zombie apocalypse tale, and had its basis in Native American legend

What is your all-time favourite Zombie book that you didn’t write?

I really like TW Brown’s Zomblog.  His Dead series is good too, but I particularly enjoyed the character development in Zomblog and some very unexpected twists in the book.

Do you feel that gender plays a part in getting noticed in the genre? If so, why do you think readers are more comfortable reading Zombie works written by men?

I try not to concentrate on the fact that gender plays a role, even if it does.  But the truth is, I’ve been in more than one zombie anthology dominated by male writers.  I think the zombie sub-genre tends to involve dehumanizing people and women are seen by society as nurturers.  The two concepts tend to conflict, so the idea of female zombie writers makes some people uncomfortable.

Have you ever thought about using a male pseudonym to sell more books?

Absolutely not.  I was raised to be proud of the fact that I’m a woman and I’m not about to let outside influences devalue that.  Besides, the only way we’re going to make headway in the genre and gain more acceptance is by promoting the fact we are female zombie writers.

Characters or gore – what do you spend more time writing?

Characters – definitely.  But I don’t skimp on the gore in scenes I feel I need it.  I have a “tide of gore” scene in my yet to be published cross-genre zombie alternative history novel set in ancient Thrace, Sleep Escapes Us, that is probably one of the goriest scenes I’ve ever written.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films? 

That one’s really tough.  There are probably at least 10 or 11 I’d rank as my favourites without having seen the latest ones out.  If I had to label them in three categories, I’d say my favourite classic Romero-style is Dawn of the Dead, I’d call a tie for infection/runner movies between 28 Days Later and I Am Legend and a tie for zomedies between Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.  But there are many others I’d rank up there, like my favourite indie Canadian zombie flicks like Pontypool and Fido. They have a quirkiness and originality you won’t find in the typical genre movies.

One of my all-time favourite Zombie films is Pontypool so I’m glad to see it made another Canadian’s list! 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 has moved the genre out of niche audiences and into mainstream ones, sure.  But there’s also a socio-psychological element to the current genre popularity.  Its popularity tends to rise with public discord and there’s a lot of turmoil and flux out there right now.  I think it goes with the heightened level of social anxiety.  People draw comfort in the idea of fighting for survival against all odds – and winning – if the world went to pot.

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?

LOL – Nothing in here is all that dangerous.  I’d have to resort to bashing it in the head with my coffee mug, DVD player, or laptop or stabbing it in the eye with the scissors or a piece of broken picture frame glass.

Well Chantal, they say the necessity is the mother of invention but I don’t think you stand a chance against the zombies in this case…

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Chantal. If you would like to stalk Chantal on the internet, here are a few good places to start: her website, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Scribd and Goodreads.

Darlings of Decay: Chewing Braaiiinns with… Laura Bretz

Recently I joined 32 other women who wrote in the Zombie genre and we released a fantastic compendium of undead treats for lovers of the genre! It’s called Darlings of Decay and the best news is that it’s a FREE download on Amazon! What a great way to try samples of some of the greats writing in the genre! Click on the cover and it will take you straight to Amazon.

Today I have the pleasure of presenting an interview with Laura Bretz, co-author of the What Zombies Fear series. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Laura, here’s a little information about her…

Laura_Bretz (1)Laura Bretz has been immersing herself in fantasy lands, apocalyptic settings and all things impossible since she was a child. Pretending to survive in a post-apocalypse world set fire to her imagination and teaming up with Kirk Allmond and “What Zombies Fear” finally gave her an outlet to express and bring her characters to life. Graduating with a focus in interior design has given her an excellent eye for detail. Combining her love of painting and attention to detail is what allows Laura to create vivid pictures with words. When she is not obsessing over tenses and punctuation, Laura is usually spending time with her dogs Marty and Teddy, painting, or singing with her local Sweet Adeline’s International chorus in south-central Pennsylvania.

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

For me, it’s much more about the characters in the zombie setting than the zombies themselves.  It’s amazing how you can really identify with the characters in a story when they’re stretched to their absolute limit.

Tell us about your latest project.

Currently, I’m continuing working on The Book of Kris (http://www.thebookofkris.com) which is set in the same world as my short story in Darlings of Decay.  I’m also working with Kirk Allmond on the next book in the What Zombies Fear series which is coming along really well.  We’re also working on a serial story called “Will of the Dead” under the pseudonym Laura Kirk.  All of our stories are available on Amazon and Smashwords.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

In my universe, the zombies are caused by a brain parasite. The more parasites the host is infected with, the more areas of the brain the zombie can control. In a strong infection, the zombie can regulate cellular regeneration (they don’t rot) and even speech. In the most severe infections, the parasite can control areas of the brain that humans don’t use. (Because we only use 10% of our brain.) In those “super zombies,” they can run at extreme speed, regenerate in seconds, and sometimes it’s even worse.

Has there been a Zombie novel or short story that has inspired you to write in the genre? If so, tell us about it and why it inspired you.

Yes and it’s also what really got me interested in the genre in the first place.  Kirk had already written the first What Zombies Fear novel and was about a quarter through the second when I read the story.  I ended up loving it so much that I began writing a new character with her own “back story” in the same universe.  That’s where The Book of Kris came from.  I gave the few chapters I had at the time to Kirk and he loved it so much that he asked if I would write with him.  Of course I said yes.  And the rest is history!

What is your all-time favourite Zombie book that you didn’t write?

Oh heavens, I have to pick just one?  Well, I’d have to say The Zombie Chronicles by Mark Tufo.

Do you feel that gender plays a part in getting noticed in the genre? If so, why do you think readers are more comfortable reading Zombie works written by men?

I absolutely do.  I think that any story that has a lot of gore or violence people will automatically assume that it’s written by a man.  There’s an entire stereotype about being female (as we all know) that women are just “not meant” to write about gore, violence or things that go bump in the night.  We’re “supposed to” write sweet, lovey stories not stories about zombies eating your brains out.  On average, the zombie genre attracts males ages 18-35 and typically, books that attract men are often written by men as well.  We’re at a huge disadvantage in this field which is why Darlings of Decay is so exciting.  All of us in one place is such a rare thing and it’s awesome to be able to strut our stuff.

Have you ever thought about using a male pseudonym to sell more books?

Hasn’t everyone? J But honestly, I only think I would if I had suddenly become a massive success over night.  I’d probably try to write something completely different and pull a J.K. Rowling.  (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/07/18/203434193/london-law-firm-indirectly-leaked-j-k-rowlings-pseudonym if you’re wondering what I’m talking about)

Characters or gore – what do you spend more time writing?

Characters without a doubt.  In my opinion, you can only describe a shambling corpse so many ways before the reader gets bored.  I love delving deeply into a character and figuring out what makes them tick.  It’s insanely gratifying when I can feel a character go through every single emotional rollercoaster, fall to their knees in defeat and then find courage they never knew they had as they smash in the head of a zombie that’s going to consume them.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

28 Days LaterDawn of the Dead (both of them).  Zombieland.

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 no doubt that it’s increased its popularity but zombies have always been popular in their own way.  The Walking Dead has just widened the market and made zombies cool instead of quirky or bizarre.  People that would never even consider watching something zombie related are suddenly tuning into AMC which is great news for us zombie authors.

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?

Two TV trays.  Floating Shelf.  A big lamp stand and Kirk Allmond.  We got this.

TBOK2I’m sorry Laura, but I’m not sure Kirk would be all that helpful… The lamp stand might give you a little advantage however – you may well make it.

Thank you Laura for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’re looking for some additional information regarding The Book of Kris, you can find it online. You can also find Laura online on her Amazon Author Page and her Facebook Fan Page.

 

Darlings of Decay: Chewing Braaiiinns with… AR Von

Recently I joined 32 other women who wrote in the Zombie genre and we released a fantastic compendium of undead treats for lovers of the genre! It’s called Darlings of Decay and the best news is that it’s a FREE download on Smashwords! What a great way to try samples of some of the greats writing in the genre! Click on the cover and it will take you straight to Smashwords.

Even though I’m a little late, I have the biggest of treats for you today! Fellow Darling of Decay AR Von has answered my probing questions! For those of you unfamiliar with AR, or Ava as she likes to be called, let’s take a moment to get you all acquainted…

me-AR-_author_picHello there! My name is Ava, also known as A.R. Von. I’m a mother of two entertaining teen boys (as well as a fun and lovely fawn Chihuahua, whom I consider my furry daughter.) I’m also a wife to a delightfully handsome and amazingly funny man-beast. I’m an avid reader of many genres which include (but are not limited to) erotica, paranormal, ménage, fantasy, YA, NA, western (I have to have a hot cowboy, or two, here and there) and some historical. I also love to exercise, listen to music, hike, cook, dance and write. I write to free my mind of its constant wondering and brain clogging dreams. I love the fact I can share it with readers that have the same passion for a great story. I also write reviews for Romance Book Junkies, Satin Sheets Romance and my own blog A.R. Von DreamZ of Dragons. What can I say, I love writing.

Any aspiring authors out there? Don’t hold back! Set your zombies free. Share that wonderful imagination of yours with the world.

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

I’ve always loved and enjoyed anything frightening and gruesome (the only one in my household growing up that did actually. Made it quite fun!) Zombies were just always cool. They never had/have much to say and were/are awesome! I’ve not met an annoying zombie yet. You?

Tell us about your latest project.

My latest release is titled Wunder (0.5 Dreamz) and is the prequel of the Wunder series. This series is intended for readers 18+ (due to sexual content and language). Stay tuned for more information, including the blurb a little later!

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

My zombies are “fresher” then your average zombies out there. They are also smarter (ex. They know the best way to take down a human is to go for the heel/Achilles area). They are also stronger and faster than your average zombie making them even harder to kill and more terrifying (eeek!)

That is more terrifying! What is your all-time favourite Zombie book that you didn’t write?

I’ve only read a handful of zombie books. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series rocks it for me. I know it’s more vampire than zombie, but LOVE the way they are raised and portrayed!

Do you feel that gender plays a part in getting noticed in the genre? If so, why do you think readers are more comfortable reading Zombie works written by men?

I’m honestly not certain. I read from both genres. Stephen King ROCKS as does Laurell K. Hamilton. Two different genres, but two incredible authors in my eyes 🙂

Have you ever thought about using a male pseudonym to sell more books?

No. I’ve actually just heard recently about males using a female pseudonym and visa versa.

Characters or gore – what do you spend more time writing?

Characters. I want them a realistic as possible. Even if they’re just in the story for a minute.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Return of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead & Shaun of Dead.

Love all of those movies! 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 feel there has always been interest. The Walking Dead just brought all the zombie lovers out to play 🙂

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?

Hmm, great question. I’d say one of my pointiest and heaviest dragon statues (I’d hate to see any of them broken, but it’s me or them and I can’t glue myself back together) lol. My three-pound dumbbells, And my 2 metal tree/art wall hangings (they are heavy and could definitely do some major damage). And last my entire desk!

You may well make it through Ava…

And now it’s time to take a sneak peek into WUNDER (0.5 DreamZ)…

Wunder_cvr-FINAL-_PREQUELA World of Turmoil and Yearning

Wunder may have a normal life now…well, as normal as a freak of nature could have. Half zombie while her job is to hunt bloodthirsty creatures to protect the innocent. It’s the dreams that haunt her and they aren’t nightmares. Wunder dreams of a man, a man made just for her. Is he real, can he be the one she‘s yearned for?

Pete’s world is a lonely one as he wrestles with the reality of being part zombie. His hatred for the creatures that killed his parents drives him to patrol the streets and wipe them all out. His life would be stark, but for the dreams he’s been having; of a woman, so sensuous, so sexy. These alluring visions have become erotic and consuming. He feels as if he made her up to keep from going crazy. Is this life of hunting the walking dead, all there is? Or is she out there, waiting…just for him?

Don’t forget to click on the cover to be whisked away to Amazon!

If you’d like to connect with Ava, you can find her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook (Author Page, Blog Page, and Personal Page), Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads, or via her Amazon Author Page! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Ava!

Ava has also sent along a link for the book trailer to the WUNDER series! Make sure you check it out too!!

Darlings of Decay: Chewing Braaiiinns with… C.A. Verstraete

Recently I joined 32 other women who wrote in the Zombie genre and we released a fantastic compendium of undead treats for lovers of the genre! It’s called Darlings of Decay and the best news is that it’s a FREE download on Smashwords! What a great way to try samples of some of the greats writing in the genre! Click on the cover and it will take you straight to Smashwords.

Today I have to distinct pleasure of welcoming fellow Darling of Decay C.A. Verstraete to Days with the Undead. For those of you unfamiliar with C.A., let’s take a moment and get everyone acquainted…

verstraete-smChristine Verstraete is a big Halloween fan who enjoys a good scare or two. Her short fiction has appeared online and in anthologies including Timeshares and Steampunk’d from DAW Books. Her new YA book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie releases August 1. Stop by her website at http://cverstraete.com or blogs, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com and http://candidcanine.blogspot.com.

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

Besides all the blood and gore? Hmm… Well, I admit I do turn away at the gruesome parts in movies, but zombies are fascinating in their own way. They can symbolize so many things, and mean different things to different people beyond just the classic horror image.

Tell us about your latest project.

My book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, comes out in August, but is available for pre-order. It’s YA with zombies, yes, but features a girl who turns part-zombie. The book focuses on her life as she copes with a new physical and social reality while searching for her and her cousin’s lost mothers.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

I do have the typical, icky, attacking flesh-eating zombies in there, but the part Zs (zombies) like Becca are mostly still human but have to cope with physical, emotional and health changes. Oh, and different eating habits. (No, not “that.”)

Has there been a Zombie novel or short story that has inspired you to write in the genre? If so, tell us about it and why it inspired you.

I tried not to read any zombie books until mine was done. But the books that impressed me were Jonathan Maberry’s Dead of Night for the detail and idea of a serial killer coming back to life; I enjoyed Belinda Frisch’s Cure, for the creepy premise and intriguing hospital setting (still finishing that); Dana Fredsti’s Plague Town had a great female lead; and I’m super intrigued by Raising Stony Mayhall, yet to be read. In a similar vein, Dave Zeltersman’s Frankenstein has a new take on the classic and is beautifully written. And that’s just a small portion of the list.

What is your all-time favourite Zombie book that you didn’t write?

Maberry’s Dead of Night still leads the pack for me. So far. And I love Angela Scott’s idea of a zombie western.

Do you feel that gender plays a part in getting noticed in the genre? If so, why do you think readers are more comfortable reading Zombie works written by men?

Is it that society overall expects men to be more violent or is more accepting of that still? Zombie books do have their fair share of violence unless they are written for very young children (you’d hope). But gender really shouldn’t play a role as shown in TV and films. Women can kick butt as good as the guys.

Have you ever thought about using a male pseudonym to sell more books?

I used initials on my book, but I make no secret of my identity. I did it really for convenience (my name is too long. ha!)

Characters or gore – what do you spend more time writing?

I like to show my characters and their world, but I guess it’s kind of fun writing icky, gory stuff. You can’t help but laugh when you get creative with it. (I tend to try making some of it humorous.)

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Zombieland, Night of the Living Dead, and I haven’t decided on a third.

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?

The show really seems to have hit a chord in society, probably because people already feel they are fighting a battle with the continual economic, financial and moral strife and concerns in our society in the past few years. They can relate to people who are fighting for their lives or feel that there hopefully is, or maybe isn’t, a way out.

Pop Quiz: If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, five things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

I’m dead meat, I guess, ha! But I’m in the kitchen, which is some help, so I choose: scissors, knives, flashlight, a lighter, and skewers. Darn, the dog moved to the other room.

You may well survive C.A.!

Now let’s take a look at C.A.’s GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

girlz1-mdThis book is a Young Adult (YA) science fiction Zombie book called GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie … Life can suck when you’re sixteen. It can suck even worse when you’re not- quite- dead. Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager’s biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead. Becca’s life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret he’s becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch. The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for. Then she meets Gabe, a good-looking part-Z like her, and fears falling for him. After all, how can he, who shows hardly any Z symptoms, be interested in someone like her? But time is running out … Becca needs his help as she and her cousin Carm search for their missing mothers and fight off hungry Zs. Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late…

Clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon where you can pre-order a copy of GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie!

Thank you C.A. for taking the time to answer my questions! If you’d like to connect with C.A. you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, her website, or either of her two blogs: Girl Zombie Authors and Candid Canine.