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How would you show your “Perseverance” (A Zombie Tale Interview & a Recipe)

Zombie Apocalypose Author &  Survivalist Interview (and a recipe) with James Lacey

James Lacey - Author of Perseverance - A Zombie Tale


It has been a long and hard couple of weeks, and I am slowly going to be getting back in the swing of things. New Look, new server and finally a zombie post! I know .. I know, I am SO sorry I have been neglecting one of my favorite subjects, the zombie. I have not even discussed The Walking Dead this year! *look of shock and dismay cross my features while I eat a BLT*  Can you believe they did that? OMG I just want to bitch slap a few writers… But this is not about The Walking Dead, this is an interview of the most fabulous kind *rubbing hands together* A ZOMBIE SURVIVALIST INTERVIEW! *jazz hands, bacon and MRE’s for all!)

Welcome my latest victim guest, who I believe despite the movie star response, he may just survive the oncoming horde uprising! Also included is the famous zombie 0ne- hour packing challenge! What would or could you grab in an hour? Check it out and see, and answer too! who knows I may just have to do a random giveaway because I love and have missed you guys so much!

(OH and if you think there is no RECIPE in this one, think again HAH he answered the “If my meal was a book” question!



Cabin Goddess – First tell us a little about yourself! What won’t we read in your author bio?

James Lacey – Let’s see, fun stuff you haven’t already read or can find somewhere else. I have two cats (Tiger and Felicia). I’m 27 and proudly still playing video games (my xbox gamer tag is: Jarik Sev). And I’m ridiculously excited for Peter Jackson’s take on The Hobbit next month (one of my favorite books from Intermediate school ?) (Are you sensing a bit of a nerd here?)


BALLSY! You put out your XBOX name, I am so going to be adding him, hey if weshoulddie adds you… Oh shit! Geoff is going to kill me , as we only have one account HAH! NERD? HAH, Dude I know know over 12 ways to twink my character out in the tutorial of Skyrim and well over 42 (the only answer) in Oblivion.. oh and the importance of 23, do you?

CG – What are you passionate about? What keeps you awake at night?

JL – When it’s not something that I’m writing about, it’s usually something with my job (never the bad stuff, I don’t let “problems” keep me awake). I work with special needs adults and children and I absolutely love it. As far as writing, sometimes you hit that point where you’re really excited and wake up in the middle of the night to write something down, yeah I’ve done that.

CG – If a magic carpet could take you anyplace in the world, where would you go? Why?

JL – I would go to a quiet little tropical island on a beautiful day with no one around and just enjoy life for a few hours.

CG – What are some of your vices, food wise? M&Ms, Jelly Beans, Pizza Rolls or Gas Station Taquitos? You have them, we all have a dark side to our gastrointestinal fortitude.

JL  Oh man, definitely Jelly Beans. Not just any Jelly Beans, but Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, Chocolate Marshmallow  I found a candy store once where I could get just the Chocolate Marshmallow ones and bought two pounds worth (it wasn’t cheap :X)

HEHE we can get them in individual flavors at our local grocery store … neener neener neener! 

CG – Do you have a muse? If so who (do not have to have names just who he/she/it etc is) What does your muse need to do to kick start you into gear when you are in that dark place writers go?

JL -Music is definitely my muse. Whenever I’m working on something new (either writing or something for my job), I have to have music in the background. And what I’m listening to sometimes directs the scene. It’s inspiring to listen to music, and gets you thinking about what you’re doing on a subtle level. Even now, answering these questions, I’m listening to some good piano bar music.




CG – We have read the synopsis, but if you could what would you add? Omit? When choosing what to include what was your primary objective/concerns/guidelines you set (length/purpose/focus?


JL – If I were to write it all again, start from scratch, I might go into more detail with some of the characters who don’t immediately die, build a stronger connection to them. Also, fun little fact here, if you read the book ….. SPOILER ALERT (I hate spoilers, sweetie tread carefully) you know the main character doesn’t have a name. Neither did Ashley in the original complete draft. That was added later at the advice of my editor at 23 House.

CG – What inspired Perseverance – A Zombie Tale? Did you begin with story, place, character, or voice? Is this typical for you?

JL – Perseverance actually started as a short story. I wrote up a scene one day in which I had a character face the beginning of the apocalypse in a given scenario (the main character’s starting traits were based on a friend of mine). I let a few people read the short story and they all asked, “So what happens next?” I was inspired by their curiosity and kept writing. Eventually, I had a full-length novel.


CG – your book could be made into a movie or a TV show who would you pick for your lead characters? Is there a specific sentence or speech you would like?


JL – The book is written in the 1st person, so I think it would be cool if it could be shot in the 1st person too. I’m not sure who I would cast as the leading lady (Ashley), but I could tell you right away that the hero’s friend Chris would need to be someone who can pull off the smart but kick-ass role (Matt Damon?). Someone send him a copy of the book and ask him what he thinks, lol.

(I will get right on it, Dude but seriously you would have to decide because he pretty much has burnt out the Jason Bourne thing so it is either, in a dress, or with a Chemrail.. or you could always go the Team America way, because well he knows how to use BIO-HAZARDOUS WASTE — yes I am that evil)

Or perhaps this Matt Damon (pretty badass)



CG – If you were to make your book into a meal, what would be on the able when we sat down? (taking elements from the story representing them from aspects of the story or themes in the book)

JL – Wow. Let me just say I really love the tough, original questions. I guess, given it’s mainly a story about staying alive, there wouldn’t be much on the table. Some scraps of meat and canned, cold vegetables. Then, for the few (very few) moments when no one is dying, a small piece of chocolate chip cookie. Not fancy, but still a treat.

 That totally works, though I have nothing for a recipe! WAIT!!~ MAYBE can find a rat jerky recipe..


Over the coals — level beginning survivor (as in so easy your kid could do this)

Basically you are going to throw the left over rabbit/rat/possum/squirrel /deer (snort as if) up and over the coals on a stick as you sleep letting the smoke flavor it and the low heat dry it out. You need that lean left over meat, no fat as the fat will not dry out and will spoil for mid day plus it has a heavier scent and if you believe those zombies can still SMELL well, you get my drift!)

  1. When the fire has burned down to hot coals, hang the meat between two stakes about two feet above the hot coals. The air should feel hot to your hand but it should not burn your hand. You do not want to cook the meat. You only want to dry the meat.
  2. Add a few damp hardwood chips (or some decayed wood) to the coals to make smoke — avoid pine it will screw up the flavor ewwwww). The smoke will actually a protective coating on the meat
  3. The heat and the smoke will keep the birds and flies away. The heat will also destroy any harmful microorganisms in the meat (hence its dead, the zombies will NOT bother with it, smarter than carrying around game still juicy unless your laying a baited trap)
  4. Periodically bend the meat jerky strips to test for dryness. Properly dried meat jerky will crack or snap when bent. If it bends without cracking, it still contains too much moisture. If it crumbles, it is too dry. It will still be edible but it will have lost some of its nutritional value.

AND Thanks Jimmy Baby! I think if you are going to interview an author you should actually interview them!


This is a book set in one of my favorite genres, ZOMBIES! insert jazz hands here are five very specific questions please have fun, be serious, have at it!

CG -As with you, so many people are interested in Zombies these days why do you think that is?

JL – I think that zombies are so incredibly popular because they are so classic. Yet every zombie story has something that also makes it original (including mine). And I think there’s an element of additional horror because, hey, it could happen.

CG – Should there be science in a zombie outbreak story or should you depend on the dispelling of belief as Romero did?

JL –I think the science is a neat way to go because there are so many individual directions and it gives people a nice base to work from. When you have that base element, it also creates a glimmer of hope. Romero’s classic is still one of the best, but it’s not scary at it’s core. Scary zombie stories are the ones that give you that hope, and then take it away.

CG – If you could pick five other people to be part of your group of survivors who would you pick and why?

JL – Do they have to be real people? If not, then my list includes: (well after t e Matt Damon answer *coughdouchcough* at least you redeemed yourself with these answers)

  • 2 Jedi Knights
  • Aragorn and Gandolf
  • Me. I think my chances of survival went up pretty high. (and just why is that, Pretty Man?)

If they have to be real people * sigh * then I want my

  • brother (general contractor and former amateur MMA fighter)
  • my stepfather (National Guardsman with a long tour in Iraq at it’s height, Vehicle Mechanic)
  • my grandmother (even though she’s really old she spent 40 years as a nurse and can make any meal taste good)
  • my best friend (cause chances are good we’ll be hanging out when the apocalypse starts anyway)
  • a dog (because that’s just good sense).


CG -Where do you think the safest place will be to head if there is a breakout and why?

JL – Any place rural is your best bet. Finding supplies is hard, but not impossible, and you face the lowest number of zombies in rural areas. Surviving the apocalypse is about endurance. You have to be able to hold out longer than the zombies (either live or last). If you’re spending all of your time fighting and holing up in an urban or even suburban area, then you’re not surviving long.

CG – Would you trip someone and sacrifice them to the hands (or mouths) of the horde if it was between you living or dying? (Go ahead and justify this)

JL – That really depends on who the person is. If it’s someone that I just met up with, or someone I wasn’t really that fond of before the apocalypse, then my logic is going to be, “I don’t have to outrun the zombies, I only have to outrun you.” If it’s someone I care about, then I don’t think I could do that.

CG – Your brother/sister (specific for family because frankly I would choose my best friend over my family member so this is pretty specific in those regards) has survived but he/she would bring nothing to the table and the probability to them being hindrance and endanger the group because their lack of survivor skills and irresponsibility, would you still take her or would you leave her some food and a weapon and go? 

JL – Family is one of the core values that I think needs to be preserved during the apocalypse. In the beginning I’d give that person a chance and hope that they can pick up some useful skills along the way. But if it comes down to a situation later on where it’s that person versus the integrity of the survival group, then sorry, they’ve had their chance to adapt. Time to go.



  • Transportation: plane or train or automobile? 
    • Train if I have the time, plane if there’s water between my destination and me. I used to like driving, and I still do, but I’m over the long-distance stuff.
  • Coke or Pepsi?
    • Coke. No joke with coke.*grumbling* OK fine… 
  • Beer, Wine or Bottle of Tequila?
    • Beer on Sunday, Wine during the week, Tequila on Friday. Saturday is my day of rest.
  • Reincarnation: Dog or Cat? Moose or Bear?
    • Beaver. I like how beaver’s build dams. I think that makes them a productive member of the animal world.You are incorrigable!! Four choices and you give me a fifth! *hands in the air*
  • Introvert or extrovert?
    • Extrovert. Huge extrovert. That guy who does something odd in order to get a laugh out of other people or to liven up a situation, yeah that’s me.
  • Circus Job : Clown or Fortune Teller –
    • Let me peer into my crystal ball…Clowns scare me more than zombies. They’re always smiling! Why are they always smiling?!You and me both, bub. YOU and me both!
  • Candy: Plain or Peanut? –
    • Plain. Peanut gets stuck in my teeth and just annoys me.
  • Enterprise or Galactica? –
    • Enterprise! Picard’s Enterprise to be precise. *fist pump* STNG for the WIN!!
  • Sit on a beach or sit by a fire?
    • Can I sit by a fire on the beach? That would be ideal. Otherwise, I’ll take the fire and pretend I’m on a beach.
  • Book or ebook
    • I love my Kindle, but without my books I have no cool shelves. I think books will always have a place.
  • Read or write?
    • Read. I don’t write everyday, but I do read everyday.
  • Draft or revise?
    • Draft.
  • Writer’s group or editor?
    • Editor.


ZOMBIE SURVIVAL PACK – This is for your bag, the one that is on your back, or at your side, or whatever. You have ONE hour to pack it and you have to follow the guidelines provided. (It looks like a lot but honestly it is fun, use no more than an hour just like the pack is one hour away and you know you have this time I was explicit as possible in directions)

  • You can only pick one (unless it is noted otherwise such as with clothing and food) of EACH to pack, you have 1 hour before you leave the house these are all available for you but again, only one from each bullet.)
  • HINT – Before you quickly decide, remember you have ONE hour to decide and balance this out, many of these seem like just another choice for the same thing. If you use your hour right you may actually have a usable pack that can last til you find a safe place to restock.

James used the guide below, feel free to leave a comment with your list! Come on, it will be fun, and you may just learn something



(Having it either in bag, held or wherever you put it, this will not going to count towards your bag size but you get ONE)


  • Baseball Bat (OK you can have it be a cricket bat but either or on this choice) – Until I can find something with an edge, I’ll definitely take a quiet bat over a loud gun

CLOTHING (you are already wearing a shirt, pants, underclothing, socks, shoes and perhaps a hat or do-rag and over shirt [flannel shirt, jean shirt, cardigan, wind breaker, hoodie or zipup sweatshirt or BDU top [NOT jacket]) NOW you get ONE EXTRA piece of clothing to grab.


  •  Oil Skin Duster – I want something that is going to give me some protection from the elements and be HARD to bite through. Rudimentary armor.


FOOD (you can pick one MAIN eating, one prep, one cooking/container item – please indicate which part of the choice it is ie: iodine tabs for water purification)


  • Iodine Tablets (standard military issue with fifty tablets) – Everyone takes clean water for granted. I’ll take these.



  • Can-opener – Going to be hard to eat that canned food I find if I can’t get into it.


  • 3 bottles of water – I’ll find food in the houses I raid. But will the pumps work to get water? I’ll take the water with me.



  • Collapsible Saw – can be used as a weapon or a useful tool. I’ll take the saw.


  • Tarp OR wool blanketWool blanket can be used as a tarp if you angle it right. Tarp won’t keep heat in if I’m cold. I’ll take the blanket.
  • Map OR Book on edible plants – Maps are only useful if I have a landmark and for only as long as I stay in the area. I’ll take the book on plants.



James Lacey - author of PerseveranceJames Lacey

James Lacey lives in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. When not writing, he works with disabled adults and children as a paraprofessional and Special Olympics coach. James also enjoys hiking, camping and watching football.



 You can find him hiding around the Internet:



Perseverance - A Zombie Tale

Perseverance – A Zombie Tale

by James Lacey

It didn’t happen the way it was supposed to…

I am a teacher. At least, I was before it all happened, before I was forced to survive. I taught social studies at the high school. I was also the coach of the school’s successful debate team. It was a cold Saturday in January when I heard the first rumor of trouble…

You know, pop culture had defined the zombie apocalypse time and time again, all coming from the minds of horror writers, film producers, and video game designers. Who knew that when it really happened, it wouldn’t be anything like they all predicted. Oh sure, the dead reanimated, and they were certainly hungry for living flesh…but what were the mysterious red-eyes, zombies that moved faster than their stumbling counterparts and seemed to not only communicate, but to exert some kind of control over the others.



“James Lacey takes the classic zombie story that we all know and love, and then twists it off into the new directions and unexplored territory. Perseverance is fresh, exciting, and edge-of-the-seat spell-binding.” – Samantha Murphy, 13 Nights of Blood: Legends of the Vampire


SO COME ON, you have one hour! GO PACK YOUR BAG!

(James and I would LOVE for you to add your answers in the comment section!)
November 30 Promo
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
November 30 Interview
December 1 Review
Fictional Candy
December 3 Guest blog
Book Me!
Perseverance Virtual Book Tour with Bewitching Tours

One Comment

  1. Really enjoyed this interview! Hope your readers have as much fun reading it as we did with it! -JL


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