What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to do something different in a genre I love, so I World War Dead from varying perspectives of half-zombies. How would they feel about humanity? Whose side would they fight on? Would you retain any emotions if you were a have zombie, and if so, what would they be.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I will have two anthologies of unpublished and previously published horror stories coming. The first should be out before year’s end.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
There are no happy ever afters in a post-apocalyptic world.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in (Name of book)?
There are characters from different parts of the world that are all integral to the plot development and conclusion. Two of these characters are half-zombies, one a male the other a female. Both have polar opposite views on the world after they were brought back to partial life. Then there are human characters who are out to help humanity and some who intend to enslave and control what’s left of humanity for a new world order.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
The concept was inspired by a few movies I watched. Two were zombie suspense films, where the writer/director attempted to show a zombie’s point of view. Both were total failures in my eyes and very unenjoyable. However, I also watched two excellent zombie comedies in the same vein:
Harold’s Going Stiff (2011) and Fido (2006). Both showed that you could give emotions to zombies. So, I took what I had learned from the four films, and constructed part one of World War Dead.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Some of the names/characters were derived from people I know.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Trying something different for a genre that is a bit worn out with the same plot driven themes.
Tell us about your main characters – what makes them tick?
There’s many. Each of the four parts of the novel have important characters, so I’ll will give you just one. The character that was the most pivotal in the entire creation of World War Dead – Marine Corps Lt. Keith Saunders. In life as in half-life, he is driven by doing what is right, the moral thing, even if it means sacrificing his life for the greater good. He is certainly not a perfect man or Marine, but tries to be the best person and warfighter he can be.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
My first novel The Romero Strain is a tribute to filmmaker George A. Romero.
Who designed your book covers?
I hire an artist for the cover art and I do the design work.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
For this novel, no. It’s just the way I intended.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
With exception to the final chapter to The Romero Strain trilogy, I believe I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to write in the zombie genre.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I don’t have anyone in mind for Lt. Keith Saunders, but as for Master Gunnery Sergeant Mackenzie Jackson, I’d love to see him portrayed by actor/singer Common.
How did you come up with name of this book?
Because the story isn’t solely based in the United States and the pandemic is worldwide.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
Part I: Battle of the Dead. Because it set the tone of the novel in its tragedy and in its hope.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Master Gunnery Sergeant Mackenzie Jackson. Hopefully, he would tell me his story of when he was a child and what made him decide to become a Marine.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Some came from imagination, as in Keith Saunders, some came from real people, like Brian Nelson.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
The characters and their journeys are exactly what was meant to be, along with the conclusions to their stories.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
This is not another zombie novel. Though zombies and half-zombies are integral in the story, it is a story about friendships, survival, hope, loss, and even love. It is of the human condition and how humankind can come together as one people and survive if they choose. Choices have consequences you will discover as the reader.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Death and love. Is that a scent? It is now!
What did you edit out of this book?
One entire part of the book got the editor’s ax. It is set in Japan. There is a minor reference to Japan in the novel. After discussions with my editor, it was decided that the dark humor of Yakuza Dead didn’t fit with the rest of the parts. Yakuza Dead will be getting published as part of an upcoming anthology I will release in the near future.
Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Dean Koontz. He has been by far the writer who has most influenced me.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
- The character Brian Nelson is based on a real person and friend of mine. I often consult him on military matters, especially in regards to helicopters. He is a retired Army helicopter pilot.
- Cutting out the Yakuza Dead from the novel was bitter sweet for me. The main character, Isamu Kudo, was a tribute to my late father-in-law.
- World War Dead was never intended to be a novel. It was intended to be a series of long stories that were linked to one another.
- Part Two: Escape from the Dead actually happens before part one. I wrote Part I: Battle of the Dead first and part two was the third story written. I felt that Lt. Keith Saunders needed to be introduced first to set the tone of the novel, as I originally intended. My editor advised the opposite.