1.How did you get started writing zombie stories?
I heard about Amazon’s direct publishing in 2014. It blew me away when I realized they would let me put out any kind of book I wanted. The very first idea to come to me was a zombie novel about a man trying to get home during a zombie outbreak. It’s no secret Jim’s family is based on my own and at the time I worked in Portland, Oregon and lived in Vancouver, Washington.
For years I dreaded an earthquake or some other crazy natural disaster that would knockout the bridges that link our two states, making it nearly impossible to get home to my ladies. I took that fear and layered the start of an apocalypse on top of it.
I love to write what scares me. It’s cathartic.
2.What is your favorite zombie novel and movie?
I’m such a nerd about this. I know there are dozens of fantastic zombie movies out there, but the one I’ve seen the most and fell in love with is Shaun of the Dead. I was a late bloomer with my zombie obsession and in my mid-twenties when it really started cooking. That’s right when Shaun came out. So many zombie movies are one dimensional with stereotypical characters that you want to see die, but Shaun had heart. I will never say my books are even close to the same level as Shaun of the Dead, but I’d like to think they share a similar style. Both are fun, exciting, heartbreaking at times, and are stories that keep you guessing until the end.
3.If I could have a chat with any author dead or alive who would it be?
I would love to meet Blake Crouch. He doesn’t do zombie themed work, not yet anyway, but his body of work has vastly shaped my writing style. His novel Run, and the Wayward Pines trilogy, in particular, are some of my favorites. I zipped through those books while I was writing Karen’s first day and it’s very clear that he affected me tremendously.
His latest works have not only been entertaining, but they changed my whole perspective on life. I repeat, they changed my whole perspective on the life I’ve chosen to live. If you haven’t read Dark Matter stop what you’re doing right now and go read it. It’s worth every penny. Then come back to this interview.
I wouldn’t have any real questions about writing or where he gets his ideas. I just want to hang out, have a few beers and watch a great movie with the guy.
4.Tell us about practicing Kav Maga.
Just like what happened to Jim in the story. I had gained some weight after my first child was born. I was brewing beer and that was a big mistake for the midsection. My wonderful wife was fed up with my dad bod and got me a one month membership to East West Martial Arts in Vancouver. The first class totally kicked my ass, but I loved it. I had done wrestling in high school and this was the next level. Before I started the class I thought I could handle myself in a street fight, but I was dead wrong.
I didn’t know how to punch or kick properly. I had no idea how to escape a chokehold. A twelve-year-old could have pummeled me into paste.
Unfortunately, I moved too far away from the class and don’t get to go nearly as often as I’d like anymore.
5.Who would you cast as the main character if your books were turned into a movie?
If I was casting for Jim in the Infected series, one of the Chris’s from the Marvel Universe would be amazing, but that might be aiming too high. I’d love to see Jensen Ackles as Jim. He’s got the right build and attitude. I’d love to have a strong leading lady for Karen. I could see Bryce Dallas Howard playing her on the big screen. Bill Skarsgard would make one hell of a Leon. That guy could scare the shit out the Crypt Keeper.
In book seven of the Infected, I have one of the characters ask this question and for Sara, they came up with Emma Stone. She would kill it as Sara.
6.Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I’m very lucky to have been born with an overactive imagination. Ideas spring to me whether I want them or not. If I didn’t put them down in the computer I’d go nuts.
7.What other genres would you like to write in?
I love horror. After I finish The Infected series with Book 8, I’m focusing on three stand alone horror stories. In one of the books, I’ll be focusing on some sci-fi elements with a story about the multiverse. Mainly, I’ll be staying with horror, suspense, action, thrillers. That’s my wheelhouse.
More about me.
I’m a pretty open book, pun intended. I’m on Facebook and readers get almost daily updates about what I’m doing. All I can say about my novels is, this is just the beginning. I really feel like I’ve found my voice and style. I promise I’ll be pumping
And join his fan club managed by his lovely wife Katie Zuko. https://www.facebook.com/groups/596067217588714/