Zombies, I’ve loved them since I saw ‘Night of the Living dead’. The overwhelming sense of dread at facing a swarm of the living dead is a rush. But they really became cool when they got fast, Dawn of the dead, 28 days later fast. Now single zombies were a threat where before it took a whole town to be scary.
I wrote ‘Gone Feral’ as a homage to all the zombie writers before me, but I wanted it to be real, I wanted it to make sense where sometimes some of the other tales left a little too much gap in the realm of plausibility. Watching CNN in a bar one night with some Marines, we saw a naked man going cannibal on another man on a freeway overpass in Florida. The story about bath salts was my inspiration for the series. You see every single aspect of the chemical poisoning of the population was ‘Gamed out’ at the Marine Corps EOC (Emergency Operations Center) at Camp Pendleton. I learned how many airplanes it would take to disperse a water soluble drug to 60% of the population. Throw in a little artistic license, and I was ready to go.
I did want to stay as close to the zombie “rules” as I could. So I made the chemical transferable through a bite. I also made the affected, immune to pain and hard to kill. Add in some rage and you are looking at as close to a zombie as I can realistically get.
The positive response from readers was quite a shock, and I immediately began work on book II at the behest of my small but growing fan base. I wrote ‘Barry’s Walk’ in response to that feedback and it turned out to be wildly popular with folks. Barry was a minor character in the first book that people said they wanted to know more about. I wrote it as a stand-alone novel and therefore had to include some of the story from the first book for continuities sake. I burned that sucker out in 30 days and had a blast doing it. I left a little cliff hanger there at the end just because I had another novel in mind. But I had another flight of fancy first and decided to scratch that itch.
‘The Other Side of Me’ is my homage to Jekyll and Hyde. I wanted to write about a really good person who through no fault of his own becomes a very evil monster, then I want that tortured character to face the challenge of reconciling his acts with the knowledge that it wasn’t his fault. Kind of a PTSD on steroids type of thing. Again the plot twist bug bit me, and I had to throw a few curve balls in there. The story is set in the ‘Gone Feral’ universe, and the drugs the terrorists use are the vehicle used to catapult this whole new cast of characters through a wild journey.
Did I mention I’m a Marine? Well I am, and we like challenges. So not only did I make my zombies hard to kill, and fast. I made sure that all mammals were affected by the drug, making Cats, Rats, Dogs, and Pigs (Especially pigs) susceptible to the effects of the toxin. This made the world exponentially more difficult to survive in. It also gave me more ways to herd, corral, push, or otherwise guide my characters into more trouble.
I can’t get through a day without some form of humor, so I have taken the task very seriously to introduce some form of off color shenanigans into my books. It’s what us Jarheads do to cope with stress, and I know it would happen in the real world. I have to confess that the kid humor is always taken from my devil spawn children. You’ll have to take it with a grain of salt (pun intended).
So thank you for joining us here on the Winter of Zombie Tour. I am humbled to be included with this very talented group of authors. I hope you enjoy our work, we enjoyed writing it for you.
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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!
Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!
#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!