Doc Hartnup was stumbling in the darkness and rain, unable to take control of his own body and wishing that someone would take mercy of his trapped soul… Is mercy a bullet through the brain? How could I pass on reading George Romero’s favorite novel? I enjoy the pop culture references and the humor of the book.. Dez Fox, the main female character is the one you would like to stand at your side in the Zombie apocalypse.. The novel is preoccupied with two aspects that you rarely found in other stories, one, the human side and two the scientists point of view. We get a entire fact based explanation of how the man was turned into a zombie.. And the intention behind it.. Still, as each experiment if you change the environment the outcome changes too.. Dez Fox, and the others that end up fighting for their own survival in a small town in Pennsylvania have a hard time killing people that they knew all their life.. The book keept me on the edge. I was experiencing feelings from “oh no” to” run”, to “don’t go out there, you idiot,”… Being written like a field report we see the same situation through the eyes of different characters.. Each of them is human and flawed.. Maybe the most painful aspect of the story is the morticians point of view…
1. You write about zombie and vampires and other monsters a lot. Do you have a favorite?
Zombies. Vampires are our inner Id unleashed and intensified. For all their strengths, vampires can experience fear, can be hurt, and can become tired. Humans can survive a battle with a vampire, even if bitten. Not so with the living dead. A horde of zombies bearing down on you is terrifying. Each is a relentless killing machine that doesn’t know fear, doesn’t tire, and doesn’t feel pain. Only one thing drives them – the need to feast off human flesh. To me, zombies are the most visceral horror there is.
2. Your Nachzehrer are very much like zombies? Was it by intention?
Oh yeah. I wanted to have hordes of demons that posed a danger to the Hell Gaters but did not want to rely on zombies. That’s when I came up with the idea of the Nachzehrer, the tormented dead banished to Hell and looking to escape. A bite from one won’t turn you into a Nachzehrer, but a swarm can tear you apart. And yes, I purposefully had Jason bitten in the first chapter of Hell Gate to lead people on and let them think he would be turned. I’m a tease.
3. I know it’s an impossible question, but what’s your favorite of the books you have published?
If I had to choose, it would be Dominion, the final book in The Vampire Hunters trilogy. It was hard to write; I felt like I was leaving good friends behind. The book had all the successful elements of a series finale — a blockbuster ending, the wrapping up loose ends, giving every character their final bow, and keeping the action going for chapters. Dominion is the most heart-breaking novel I’ve written.
4. Why did you decide that religious symbols don’t affect your vampires?
I felt the old tropes of vampires being repelled by religious symbols have grown old. They’re just symbols, and while they were effective for Victorian-era vampires, they don’t work anymore. Readers today want their vampires bad ass. Such restrictions as not having a reflection in mirrors, not being able to cross running water, having an aversion to garlic, having to sleep in a coffin during the day also seemed outdated. I wanted to make it harder for Drake and Alison to fight the undead. The only thing I kept was the damage holy water can do to vampires because it physically touches them.
5. Do you see yourself more as a horror or fantasy writer?
I consider myself a horror writer. Horror and fantasy both detail battles between good and evil. When I think of fantasy, I imagine original worlds and cultures, characters with unique abilities, and realms where magic can occur. I admire anyone who writes fantasy; I don’t know if I have that type of imagination. I prefer the current world as we know it being best by evil, and then making it as dark and disturbing as possible.
6. Tell me a bit about your inspiration.
My inspiration comes numerous places, mostly the dark recesses of my twisted mind. Fifteen years ago, some friends and I spent a night on Mont St. Michel, and at midnight took a tour of the island; that became the inspiration for the opening chapter in Dominion and several chapters in the Hell Gate saga. Off hand comments from my daughter inspired Nazi Ghouls From Space and my upcoming novella. When I suffered from acid reflux, I used to wake up choking on vomit in the middle of the night, which became the basis for “Incident on Ironstone Lane.” Even music inspires me; I thought up the subway battle between Alison and Toni in The Vampire Hunters while listening to The Tractor’s Baby Likes To Rock It. I’m very fortunate that inspiration comes easy to me, but it’s also a pain in the ass because I have so many great novel and story ideas yet so little time to write.
7. You’ve had a fascinating life. Where have you traveled?
Thank you. I’ve been blessed. I’ve travelled all over Europe and Asia as well as many locations in the Middle East. I spent three years living on Okinawa and three years in Seoul, South Korea, which was one the best memories of my life. As a World War II buff, I’ve visited battlefields and infamous sites, from the Railway of Death in Thailand and Unit 731 in Manchuria to the Treblinka death camp in Poland and the beaches of Normandy. I’ve also experienced things not many people get to, such as walking along the DMZ at Panmunjom while half a dozen North Koreans photographed me (maybe I have a fan club in Pyongyang), strolling through an underground bunker surrounded by thousands of nuclear warheads, and spending time in Los Alamos Labs’ “petting zoo,” a museum where every variation of the A-bomb is on display. My bucket list includes Romania, Auschwitz, Pripyat/Chernobyl, and North Korea.
8. Is your adventurous life inspiration for your books?
Many of the places I’ve visited and the cultures I’ve encountered have found their way into my novels and short stories, but not my CIA experiences. Until now. The current novel I’m trying to place with a publisher is a dark political thriller that reflects my decade of experience with terrorism, nuclear weapons, North Korea, and a host of other nasties. What’s frightening about the concept is that all the science is real and could happen. The manuscript had to be vetted by the CIA, and some of it was not approved for the publishable version.
9. What’s your favorite book?
World War Z by Max Brooks. Maybe it’s because I’m a history major, but that book sucked me in; I couldn’t put it down. An oral history of the zombie apocalypse. Scenes like a depopulated North Korea where everyone in underground bunkers have turned and a Chinese sub battling underwater zombies still resonate with me. I loved the way each chapter was written in a different voice.
10. What TV shows are you binging now?
I only binge watch one TV show at a time. I recently finished Good Omens on Amazon (highly recommend it) and The Kingdom on Netflix (a South Korean-made zombie series and one of the best, ranks up there with Train to Busan). Right now, I’m binging Stranger Things. After that, I have my eyes on HBO’s mini-series about Chernobyl.
11. Future projects?
I’m preparing to release my zombie novella around 1 August and Hell Gate 4 in November. I’m putting the final touches on my screenplay, which I describe as Armageddon meets Jurassic Park. My works in process include Hell Gate 5 and Operation Majestic (Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Back to the Future – with aliens). My future project is a series titled OSS – Office of Supernatural Services about Allied intelligence services battling Nazi occultism in WWII.
12. Is Drake Matthews from The Vampire Hunters your alter ego?
He’s the alter ego I wish I had. I’m a cigar-smoking, iced coffee drinking, whiskey loving, rabbit doting (at least back in the early 2000s when I had rabbits) wise ass. That’s where the similarity ends. Drake throws himself into battle with vampires without thinking about it, gets his ass kicked as much as he kicks ass, and always come through alive (usually thanks to Alison). I’d last two minutes, if I was lucky, before the undead turned me into a snuffy.
Check out Scott Baker and his alter Josh Matthews on Amazon.
Summer is the perfect time to pick up new books, discover new authors, break the pattern and enjoy something awesome. I know that Jonathan Maberry is famous for the rest of the World but his work is relatively new to me and I am reading fast to catch up… If you scroll down you will not only find some of my opinions on Rot and Ruin but also a fascinating interview with the man himself.. So, back to business… I really love the fact that you can read Broken Lands as a standalone novel, still be warned, it will make you want to pick up Rot and Ruin… The main character, Gutsy is fascinating.. She is a problem solver, very mature and calm for her 15 years of age.. Probably children grow up faster in the apocalypse.. The story is starting under the empire of sadness and loss with Gutsy having to bury her mother… What I find fascinating here and also in the Rot&Ruin series is the different ways people deal with the Zombie. They are not just ravenous undead, but also shadows of family and friends.. Tom Imura believed in giving families closure… Gutsy respected her Mama’s catholic faith that mean she has to restraint the zombified body of her mother, put her in a shroud and let her go through purgatory…. Death becomes more about fulfilling the wishes and respecting the beliefs of the deceased…. A series of events are making Gutsy snap out of her sadness…. Pain and loss is replaced by anger and confusion .A problem solver will always ask why.. When she finds out that her entire town is a huge lab, and that they are all rats for experiments her need for closure and revenge reaches new heights… Together with her friends, the orphans Spider and Alethea and her dog Sombra, Gutsy puts the puzzle parts together and solves parts of the mystery… Another very sweet thing about this story is that in all the madness, loss and chaos, with the advancing Night army and the epic battle that followed, Gutsy still gets a kiss from the girl she has a crush on…. Only because the apocalypse is happening human feelings can’t be ignored…. And as she realizes during the fight, she’s a warrior, and every warrior needs a reason to fight and someone to come back to…. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07GNTPSB3/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1562588524&sr=8-1
There are authors that do not really need any type of introduction. I am sure that you read one of Jonathan Maberrys books and loved it.. With over 35 published novels, countless comics and short stories, Jonathan Maberry is one of the biggest names in contemporary fiction (part one of the interview) ..
ALINA IONESCU: Which one is your favorite novel from the over 35 you have written?
JONATHAN MABERRY: GLIMPSE is my favorite novel I’ve ever written. The lead character is a young woman recovering from years of drug addiction who is now clean and looking for the child she gave up for adoption. That child, now ten, is in the hands of some very frightening creatures. GLIMPSE is a fractured story about courage, love, and hope. And it’s recently been optioned for film.
2. ALINA IONESCU: Your new comic book PANDEMICA is expected by fans and mentioned by the press, would you like to tell me a bit about this project?
JONATHAN MABERRY: The story is very gritty and a bit cynical. It deals with a group of entitled businessmen and scientists who have developed a way to create ethnic-specific bioweapons. They can target very specific ethnic groups and are selling these weapons on the black market. A resistance group, Pandemica, rises to try and stop them before the death toll mounts into the millions. And things go even more badly wrong when the diseases begin mutating out of control. The first issue debuts in September from IDW Publishing.
3. ALINA IONESCU: I am fascinated by your vampires, they are very different, why did you choose to be inspired by folklore and not go with the Hollywood version?
JONATHAN MABERRY: My grandmother was a wonderfully strange old lady. Quite a bit like Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, but as an old woman. She loved all things about what she called the ‘larger world’. Ghost, demons, vampires, werewolves…all of it. And when I was little she told me stories about these monsters, and later encouraged me to read the mythologies, the folklore, and also the cultural anthropology so I could understand why people believed what they did. I was exposed to the folklore versions of these monsters before I began reading horror novels and watching monster movies. They are my first love.
4. ALINA IONESCU: I finished reading The Pine Deep trilogy, how much of your own personality is flowing into the main character Crow?
JONATHAN MABERRY: Crow has my sense of humor, my martial arts background (we’re both advanced practitioners of Japanese jujutsu), and my idealism. We were both rather badly abused as children, though in different ways. His subsequent emotional damage is different, though. He became an alcoholic and I’ve never been addicted to anything.
5.ALINA IONESCU: Your fans love your strong female characters, is it harder to write from a female perspective than a male one ?
JONATHAN MABERRY: I grew up as the younger brother of four sisters. I studied martial arts at a dojo that was forty percent women during an era when that was not at all common (1960s-70s). And later I taught women’s self-defense at Temple University in Philadelphia for fourteen years. I’ve known a lot of very tough women; and it was my honor to help thousands of women learn to embrace their strength to become tough as students in my classes. I’ve never actually thought women were the weaker sex. People are stronger or weaker according to who they are. And that’s reflected in my characters –like Shuri in my BLACK PANTHER comics, Dez Fox in DEAD OF NIGHT, Val Guthrie in the Pine Deep novels, and so on.
6.ALINA IONESCU: what’s your writing routine?
JONATHAN MABERRY: I’m a professional writer, so I approach it as my job. I write, on average, eight hours per day. I try to write about four thousand words each day. Sometimes less, sometimes more. I pay attention to the business side of things –pitches, contracts, shifts in the market, and so on. And I stay focused.
If I’m at a convention or conference –which is often— I still need to find time to write. And I manage my own social media –Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
7.ALINA IONESCU: Do you have any advice for authors that try to become successful?
JONATHAN MABERRY: Anyone hoping to break into the publishing world needs to be very good at three things. First, they have to constantly refine their craft. There is no end to the process of becoming the best writer we can be. Second, they need to understand how publishing works –to be savvy, forward thinking, flexible, and not vulnerable to taking things personally. And third, they need to have a very good social media game. Even before they sell their first word. Oh, and…only write the stuff that’s the most fun to do. That enthusiasm will shine through.
8.ALINA IONESCU: Your V Wars will be turned into a Netflix series, that’s so cool, how much influence does an author have on the final product?
JONATHAN MABERRY: V-WARS will hopefully launch in December with a ten episode first season. I am not an executive producer on the first season, which means I wasn’t deeply involved in the creative process. However I was at the table reads and on the set for the start of shooting. I’ve become friends with many of the cast and crew, including our star, Ian Somerhalder, and cast-members Adrian Holmes, Laura Vandervoort, Peter Outerbridge, Michael Greyeyes, Kyle Breitkopf, and others. And if we get picked up for a second season there’s a chance I may be elevated to EP.
That said, for all subsequent projects I am an executive producer, including the ROT & RUIN movie in development by Alcon Entertainment (BLADERUNNER 2019, THE EXPANSE); and others.
9.ALINA IONESCU: A Rot and Ruin question.. Is a doomsday cult a possibility after the apocalypse? A solution for people that don’t think that they live and just exist?
JONATHAN MABERRY: I think a doomsday cult is a very real possibility. After the world has fallen, taking with it the government, infrastructure, and the institutions that were supposed to save us –such as major religions—people would all be suffering post-traumatic stress and despair. Anything that gave them something to cling to –even a cult that embraced a meaningful rather than meaningless death—would be dangerously appealing.
10.ALINA IONESCU: Is there a mythical monster that you have not written about yet?
JONATHAN MABERRY: That depends on how you define ‘written’. I’ve written about hundreds of different kinds of folkloric monsters in a series of nonfiction books I wrote in the early 2000s. However, in my fiction –novels, short stories, and comic books—I’ve barely scratched the surface. Mostly because folklore and myth has such a wonderful menagerie of creatures, including variations (or subspecies?). There are, for example, hundreds of variations of vampire, many more different kinds of demons, countless theriomorphs (shapeshifters), and so on. I haven’t had time to even make my way through my personal wish-list of favorite monsters.
I was drawn to writing fiction because I wanted to explore how ordinary humans would fare against the folkloric versions of vampires, ghosts, and werewolves. That became GHOST ROAD BLUES and its two sequels.
That said, I am planning a swords-and-sorcery short story about a warrior from the Crusades encountering the fierce Draugr of Viking legend. That’s a demonic spirit inhabiting the corpse of a dead Viking. It’s smart, powerful, and evil. No weapon can kill it, and it can only be defeated by a hero in unarmed combat.
The Zombie fans know and love you already, how do you feel about the last 2 years since your first book? It’s been a whirlwind. Sometimes I still sit and marvel and wonder when it will all come crashing down. I wrote a book because it’s something I’d always dreamed of doing. Amazon made it possible to self-publish and have a platform to sell. Vanity presses have always been around, anyone with a few thousand bucks could publish a book, but until Amazon there was no way to reach a large audience. Eighteen months after I first hit the “publish” button I was able to quit the day job and write full time. It’s like winning the lottery.
Tell us a little bit about your new book The Feral children. It’s the story of the group of wild children Jessie and Scarlet met in the Zombie Road books and tried to help. They had survived the zombie uprising by luck, a little knowledge and some basic skills. They happened to be at a wild animal safari park when it happened and were safe behind the fences. Most of animals weren’t really wild, many were former pets or circus performers. The kids don’t have guns and can’t survive on their own and the animals are so domesticated they don’t know how to hunt or take care of themselves. They help each other and the animals adopt the children. They become a tribe.
This is your first collaboration, how was it? Wesley has written a few short stories set in the Zombie Road world and I don’t even remember how it came up for us to co-write a series. Probably over drinks. He is doing most of the heavy lifting for these books. All he had to work with was a few chapters from ZR5 that introduced them and a few ideas we bounced around. From that, he built the entire story, introduced all the new characters, created the mood and the setting. He’s a super easy guy to work with.
It’s very cool that you picked a fan as Co-author, do you think that you will do that again? Of course, if anyone has a good story to tell. Wesley has already said he’d like to write a Retriever novel once the Feral Children trilogy is finished.
Do you plan to write about another type of apocalypse? I haven’t thought that far ahead. We have two more Feral books to finish, I have two more Zombie Road books to tell the tale of how Jessie became the Traveler and then I get to jump into the story of Scarlet waking up in the mysterious house where we last saw them at the end of ZR6. Spoiler Alert: it won’t be about zombies. It’s about those men who hold a grudge and carry Mark Seven Blasters. The two teens are stranded a long, long way from home.
If you could talk to someone dead or alive who would it be? Enoch. Legend has it that he built the pyramids, walked with God and knew the secrets of the universe.
Got to ask, how do you feel about the end of Games of Thrones. It summed up the story nicely. The good guys won, a fair and just king would rule the six kingdoms and they set it up for a spinoff with Arya Stark seeing what there is to see west of Westeros. I can imagine her in a series that is sort of a cross between Xena: Warrior Princess and Conan the Barbarian.
When are we getting Zombie Road VII? Hopefully by September. It’s a third of the way finished.
Rot and Ruin… The title sounds already foreboding.. The strong words cut into your brain and stay there, going deeper into the subconscious.. This will not be a review or synopsis, I think that there are enough out there.. I want to talk about what will stay with you after finishing the book.. It is marked as a YA novel but all age groups can find something fascinating within its pages.. Zombies and the risk of infection are a constant danger, but what’s life if you spend it being scared and always cautious… It’s a life on hold worth living? The main characters are teenagers, that are armed with curiosity and the crazy courage that are characteristics of their age… The story is opening in front of us like a beautiful tapestry rich in different characters and personalities… My heart was mostly with The Lost Girl, a beautiful young woman with extraordinary fighting skills that’s almost feral because she survived for years alone in the ruins… Out there where the zombies are not the worse threat.. Nix, a fighting fae type girl that lost everything and tries to find hope and herself..At the end the girls turn into women that are not easily impressed or scared of anything.. Theconflicted main character Ben Imura, a boy at the beginning of the story, and a young man at its end.. This is a book about finding your place in the world, fighting against all odds and not giving up when you think that you are lost. It’s a optimistic story, sprinkled with tears and loss.. A adventure that changes everything… The human soul is alive and in a constant process of evolution .. Everything we feel and live through puts a mark on our most inner self.. And change is not good or bad, it just is.. It happens.. Life happens… No fortress is ever that safe, no mountain is high enough.. Saint John of the knife is another fascinating character, he is one of those people that are beyond salvation… A truly evil character.. No matter how old you are, do yourself a favor and read the series Rot and ruin by Jonathan Maberry. You will develop a personal connection to the characters and will hold your breath and hope and root for them… The beautiful zombie art is made by Rob Sacchetto (find him on FB and Patreon).. https://www.amazon.com/Rot-Ruin-Jonathan-Maberry-ebook/dp/B003UYUP1W/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=rot+and+ruin&qid=1557473188&s=gateway&sprefix=Rot+and+&sr=8-2
I won’t say that I started reading this book with a neutral eye. I was already a fan of the authors Safe Haven series.. But even if this book would have been completely new to me I would have been intrigued by the cover.. The old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is oh so not true… The cover was fricking intriguing, and I am a easy charm with visual candy. But how can you resist the two young women in front of this blazing apocalyptic background.. Chris Artinians familiar narrative style greeted me on page one. His way of expressing himself is charming and unique, he has a great verbal signature. Once you read a Artinian book you will recognize all others. The story is captivating, because you, like me, will care fast for the two main characters, Wren and Robin. The two sisters find themselves in the middle of the Zombie apocalypse, Orphans in a new world that is filled with danger and darkness.. Their parents succumbed to the disease and turned, but they have to realize that the victims of the Plague that wanted to kill them had nothing to do with the two people that gave them live.. After reclaiming their home, the young women have to work out a plan to survive, because the worse monster do not have blood on their lips and Rage in their eyes… The worse monsters do have human faces and friendly smiles.. I won’t spoil things for you, dear readers.. I will just say that Artinian surprised me.. Some of his characters have a Hitchcock quality to them, he plays with madness, with basic human fears and emotions. What I loved the most is the evolution of the relationship between the two sisters. From a cold distant way of relating, based on their different characters the two sisters get close and start working and acting as a unit, because nothing is welding two people closer together than fighting the undead.. Before ending my review, I want to say a few words about the girls.. Wren is very disciplined, a true fighter, a Olympic level athlete. Robin is your typical girl, she loves to party, dates boys and invested all her pocket money in clothes and make up.. When Wren is training in the backyard with the javelin to fight the undead, Robin is morning the loss of her phone charger.. I think that most of us can relate a bit with each of them.. Have you ever asked yourself what would you miss the most if everything would end tomorrow??? Give The end of everything a chance, you won’t regret it. Find Christopher Artinian on Facebook, Amazon and on the island he lives on.. His books are all available on Kindle unlimited. https://www.amazon.com/End-Everything-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07Q39H3S4/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?crid=22PRLXD17Z5VY&keywords=christopher+artinian&qid=1555396540&s=gateway&sprefix=Christopher+ar&sr=8-4
Road to Redemption and Terror on the Two Lane by David Simpson should be called “The ballad of Scarlet and Jessie”.. In a world where survival is the most important thing, this young people find love. A apocalyptic Romeo and Juliette story, Jessie and Scarlet are the children of two rivals. Jessie is a superstar of the new world, known as The Desfigured Road Angel, the boy with the piercing blue eyes and a scar on the face rescues people from certain death, but more that the gift of a new life, he gives the people hope. Scarlet, daughter of the High priest of the Anubis cult escapes from her father’s clutches, and gets a chance to get to know and love the man she was sent to kill.. For the guys, this book is packed with action, David Simpson as a former trucker writes the best car chases and action scenes! Available on Kindle unlimited, paperback and audio! Give the Zombie Road saga a chance to introduce you to The Road Angel! https://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Road-V-Terror-Two-Lane-ebook/dp/B07J4DGXGG/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1539002669&sr=8-4&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=Zombie+Road+V&dpPl=1&dpID=51rd42h2G4L&ref=plSrch