Friday, September 14, 2012

Two Weeks!

Well, folk, I'll be gone for two weeks to visit Colorado. See you then!

Monday, September 10, 2012

John and Sean Speak of Diet!

John McCuaig and Sean Page are two more zombie authors. They've done work on their own, and now are going to work together on a project from Severed Press.

Today I ask each of them a very important burning question.

James Robert Smith: Do zombies eat anything other than human flesh?

John McCuaig- "Would the undead eat any other kind of warm flesh that they come across? Well, I believe if their food got scarce enough then yes, which I suppose isn’t good news for our furry friends Fido and Tiddles. However, I’d imagine it’s like the difference between cheap hamburgers and the finest tenderloin steak, by far their favourite snack is us humans, which of course isn’t good news for us.
This subject has been touched upon in several books and films and although the most common answer is a no-no, I can see a few pointers to a different answer. People trapped on wintery mountains have turned to cannibalism, dogs stuck inside houses when their master has died have eventually took to eating the cadaver in order to survive, and in the insect world it’s not uncommon at all for the weak to be consumed when food supplies run dry.
If zombies act on pure instinct, as we indeed suspect, then surely they would lower their expectations and take what they can until they can,and they always do, find some more of us.
Whatever the answer is we can only be sure of one thing- we are right on top of the menu."

Sean T. Page-"To date, the Ministry of Zombies in London has no confirmed cases of zombies eating anything other than human flesh. There has been a great deal of speculation in both the scientific community working with the walking dead and in fiction but for now, it is just that.
The closest case the Ministry has relates to an infected soldier found in Pakistan in 1947. He is known only as Patient 341. He was a former Indian solider who had deserted the army to join Pakistan and become lost in the mountainous wilderness of the north-west frontier. Several eye witnesses, including an aid worker and local Imam, witnessed the creature burrowing in the earth and ramming handfuls of soil into its mouth. One theory is that the creature was consuming insects and worms.
So, apart from the case of Patient 341, we have no other documented examples on file."

About Sean and John's new book:
“A visceral gore fest done right. The constant tension and suspense leaves you gritting your teeth. I loved it.”
- P. A. Douglas, author of Epidemic of the Undead

The year 2020 was a good one for the walking dead.

The initial reports of a mysterious plague reanimating corpses caused unbridled chaos and as the world descended into hell, nations turned on each other in the battle to survive.

Europe is devastated. The remnants of NATO managed to create safe zones within cities that still had the protection of medieval built stonewalls. Once again, these ancient bastions were a sanctuary from invaders, keeping back the dead legions.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Talluto Speaks!

Joe Talluto's zombie novels are among the most well-received these days. Here, I ask him one of the most important concerns in the world of zombie fiction.

James Robert Smith: "Zombies: Slow or fast? And why?"

Joe Talluto: "I personally prefer the slow kind of zombies. There is a lot more buildup and less instant violence. I like the thought of death moving slowly to get you, and even though you run, in the end they will get you. Of course, in my books, I decided to make the zombies a combination of the two. The younger they are, the faster they are. Excepting infants, of course. I can't tell you why, it just made sense at the time to make children fast.
"Fast zombies to me are just for movies, It is really hard to document fast zombies in a book, because the story line would read along the lines of "The zombies are coming! Oh, wait. They're here!" Besides, if you take into account decay and dead tissue, fast zombies would literally run themselves to pieces. Again, not much of a story if you could get them to chase a mannequin strapped to remote controlled car."
Joe Talluto's blog can be found here.

Talluto's WHITE FLAG OF THE DEAD series.

Friday, September 7, 2012

From A to Chemical Z!

Today, we speak to Ricky Kay, author of CHEMICAL Z.

James Robert Smith: What most influenced your desire to write a zombie novel?

Ricky Kay:  "For me, the seed was sewn when I watched Return of the Living Dead. I had seen other zombie films, although not enough to form a solid opinion on the genre, but Return had something really special - it had wit, something I don't remember experiencing with other zombie flicks. It was horror with quirky dialogue that injected timeless humour into the film. I've always liked comedy and had a penchant for horror, so combining the two was inevitable.

After seeing Simon Pegg's Shaun of the Dead I was determined to write a zombie story, which I did, halfheartedly and then very quickly dropped it.
Two years ago, one of my work colleagues gave me a loan of a book, Day by Day Armageddon. It was a great read, as were the many zombie books he let me borrow over the following months. However, one thing I noticed about the stories in these books was the availability of guns and explosives and all manner of incendiary devices. I wondered what would happen if the zombie breakout started in a small town like my own, where most people don't have immediate access to guns and ammo.

I toyed with the notion of a journal, and so started writing and building on that idea, adding a little bit a day at a time. I didn't want simply another zombie story about the living dead eating brains, I wondered how I would react, how I would change if at all, should an outbreak occur on my doorstep. I put myself in that position and created Chemical Z, a zombie tale with a believable character conveying real emotion and characteristics. If you like the Day by Day books and The Walking Dead series, then I imagine Chemical Z (and the imminent follow-up) will be right up your street...I know it was up mine."


CHEMICAL Z from Severed Press!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Brian Pinkerton Started It!

Brian Pinkerton was a new author to me. But he was recommended with much high praise. So I gave him a tough question!

James Robert Smith: What’s your opinion on the origin of the fictional zombie plague: supernatural or scientific?
Brian Pinkerton: "Zombies represent science at its most wicked. One of the harrowing realities of life is that we lose control of our bodies. Oh sure, we can pump iron at the gym, diet to shed unwanted pounds, or sign up for a nose job or facelift. But in the end, the body—not the brain—rules.
We get old and sick and fall apart. Our joints wear down, our posture curls. Our hair falls out, we sag, we slow down. Wrinkles, varicose veins and age spots spoil our appearance. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and other evils attack from within. We become horrified observers of our own decay.
Chaz Singleton, the central zombie of my new book, HOW I STARTED THE APOCALYPSE, is fully and painfully aware of the terrible things happening to his state of being. He smells bad. He has bad skin. His eyes are dull and bloodshot. He limps along. People hate him because he is a repugnant reflection of themselves.
Chaz also suffers from the zombie curse of flesh eating. He struggles with his obsessive appetite like an alcoholic battling with booze. The cruelty of addiction is just one more torment our bodies throw at us. Whether it’s alcohol, cigarettes, crack cocaine or heroin, the human species encounters physical cravings that can take control and not let go. Time and time again, the brain loses out to the temptations of the flesh.
Supernatural defines those things that exist outside the natural world. Zombies represent the natural world falling apart. We have seen the face of our worst nightmare, and it is us."

How I Started the Apocalpyse.

Brian's Author Site.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Len Barnhart, The First!

Everyone who reads my regular blog knows how much I admire Len Barnhart. The main reason I like him is that he pretty much had the guts to start the current wave of zombie fiction that fans of apocalyptic horror are now enjoying. Before he came along with his book REIGN OF THE DEAD there really wasn't anyone writing this kind of thing. Phil Nuttman may have preceded him a bit with his WET WORK novel, but Len is the guy who really put it on the line and got his book out there where everyone could see it.

And it's clear that the fans liked what they read, because REIGN opened up the floodgates. And now there are, quite literally, hundreds of decent zombie novels on the market. Even Max Brooks agrees with me on this one. Before Len Barnhart set the standard, nobody else was writing this kind of stuff!

James Robert Smith: What made you want to brave the waters and write what is arguably one of the very first modern zombie novels?

Len Barnhart: I actually just wanted to just see if I could complete the job. You know…writing a book. Most do not. "Reign" was my first attempt and my biggest fear was that I would be bogged down with a lot of research. I figured the best way around that was to write about something I knew. There were several genres I considered, but the competition was stiff. When I looked into how many zombie novels were out there I found nothing. The prospect of being one of the first to do it appealed to me.

      Now of course there are many books about zombies. I've had other writers email me and tell me I was their inspiration for writing their own book on the subject. That pleases me. It's quite satisfying to know you've done something that has influenced others in a positive way.

Len's website at REIGN OF THE DEAD!

Buy your copy of REIGN OF THE DEAD (Reloaded) from Severed Press.

The Zombie novel that started the wave!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mario Acevedo

Today's one-question interview is with Mario Acevedo. His adventures of vampire-detective Felix Gomez  is one of the most entertaining series around. Full of humor, these books are a great way to spend a day. While it's mainly werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural folk as the focus of the novels, he does toss in the occasional zombie. You have to love a book with a title like  JAILBAIT ZOMBIE.

James Robert Smith: What's so funny about zombies (and the undead)?

Mario Acevedo: Are you kidding? Rotting body parts getting detached in mid-copulation. That's comedy. And really, just because zombies are dead, doesn't mean they're stupid.

Mario's artist website
Mario's blog