In a recent interview, I was asked how I ended up in this genre called ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.
I’ve always been fascinated with stories about the end of the world. Plague, natural disasters, asteroids, aliens, you name it. Zombies turned out to be my favorite form of apocalypse because the familiar becomes unfamiliar, everybody you know and love suddenly turns against you and is hunting you, and you must interact with and suddenly trust total strangers to stay alive.
When I was younger, there was a bit of wish fulfillment in the end of the world, plus excitement that everything in society that you relied on to support you is no longer there. Back then, the apocalypse was a challenge, a place where people shoot zombies in the head and have thrilling adventures, something a tiny (and insane) part of me longed for. Now that I’m middle aged with a family and with it have so much to lose, there is added the parental/middle class paranoia that everything you have might be taken away. Now the apocalypse is seen as a dark place of suffering and loss, not something to long for, but to experience as a fantasy of one’s worst fears come true.
Traditionally, apocalyptic stories could be found only in the science fiction section of bookstores, while the tiny horror section was dominated by Stephen King and your choice of sexy or funny vampires. There was no zombie apocalypse genre to speak of, although films such as DAWN OF THE DEAD and 28 DAYS LATER were setting it up in the public consciousness.
Suddenly, I discovered emerging zombie fiction authors such as David Moody and Joe McKinney and pioneering small presses such as Permuted Press, and the genre opened up to me as both a reader and a writer. So I started writing a novel I always wanted to read: TOOTH AND NAIL, a story about the end of the world told from the perspective of the soldiers who fought to save it. The novel was so successful—more than 11,000 copies sold to date—that I decided to write THE INFECTION, a story about five ordinary people who must pay the price of survival at the end of the world—more of the classic formula of survivors searching for sanctuary, but with some interesting twists.
Anyway, that’s why I’m here. What about you?