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SUMMER OF ZOMBIE TOUR with Dave Jeffrey & John O’Brien

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour Interview with Dave Jeffery and John O’Brien

Kriss Morton was kind enough to host two of the zombie authors on the tour, and they couldn’t be happier.

Dave Jeffery and John O’Brien answered a few pressing questions from Kriss for your enjoyment.

CG: As with you, so many people are interested in Zombies these days. Why do you think that is?

Dave Jeffery: My personal view is that people have a fascination with the end of the world. It’s easy to think of once vastly populated areas reduced to vacant, desolate places. Add to the sense of isolation with constant danger that a zombie outbreak creates and you have a wonderful recipe for tension and skin crawling fear. I personally like the idea that despite being surrounded by reanimated human beings, survivors are still isolated in a very real sense.

John O’Brien: I can’t really answer for anyone else but, for me, it is primarily an interest in survival situations and introducing zombies into the mix ups the ante. The dead coming back to life and the creation of zombies brings an instant horde of relentless antagonists. The fact that there is no reasoning with them, parlaying, or forming truces and alliances lends itself to non-stop action and that you can’t let your guard down for an instant – the ultimate survival. It’s not just about finding food, water, and shelter, it’s the inherent full-time danger that walks the earth and in all corners. If you can survive a zombie apocalypse, you can survive in any condition. Change is in the air.

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

DJ: In Necropolis Rising I opt for a blend of science and the belief systems of various characters. I often smile when reviewers gripe about the nuance of zombie fiction and the suspension of belief. You have to do such a thing before you pick the book up to read, otherwise you may as well read a newspaper!

JO: I think that both work actually. If you dispel belief with regards to the outbreak, then anything introduced after becomes believable. I tend to like writing about the scientific aspect to bring more believability to the story. I feel it brings the fictional aspect of a zombie outbreak into a more believable realm enhancing the actions and scenes. To me, having a plausible cause brings me more into the story as opposed to just reading a good fiction story. The “Wow! That could really happen?” enhances the story for me to a large degree.

CG: What is your ultimate goal with your series since it is far from done?

DJ: With Necropolis Rising I want to have a series that is known for its story rather than the presence of zombies per se. Don’t get me wrong, I love this genre and have for as long as I can remember. But I want folks to put down the final book and spend a few moments thinking about the characters and giving a damn about them. If that happens then I’ll feel I’ve done my job.

JO: The ultimate goal for me is to just write a story that people enjoy; to provide a little break from everyday life with readers just sitting back and enjoying the ride. To know that the story is being enjoyed by a few makes my day.

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

DJ: Well it would have to be my five bloc tour buddies. Why? Because they freak in’ rock!

JO: Only five?!

My son – he is even sneakier than I am. And smarter. My daughter – she has a great head on her shoulders. (Besides, they’re family and they definitely come first)

Mark Tufo – because he is one cool dude!

Can I include Rambo? I guess not. How about the Terminator? *sigh*

Tiffany Beal – she is one crack shot with that rifle of hers.

Ben (aka Tripwire) – fearless, calm under pressure, and a hell of a shot. Great tactical mind!

If I could pick a sixth – Zach (aka Newbie) – sniper extraordinaire and all around good guy.

Okay, there are so many more that come to mind but this would make a pretty good team. I can think of at least twenty others I would like to have including the other authors who are on the tour.

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

DJ: The countryside. It’s less populated (so less infected to deal with) and has resources that will support a life for the future: farmland, woodlands for hunting etc. It can also be adapted to protection from those use only their brawn to achieve things in life. A gun can only get you so far, after all.

JO: Out in the country with plenty of game and fresh water around (cattle counts) – less people equals less zombies. Anywhere near the cities would be off limits for a multitude of reasons; plague, zombies, other idiots. Plus, there would be more escape routes and less of a chance of being cornered should a horde find its way there. Moderate weather with wood nearby for warmth. Most country places have wood stoves. Marauders would actually be the greatest threat except when making the occasional forays into the outlying areas of cities for supplies. It also depends on the type of zombies. Any prison would be ideal except for getting surrounded and not being able to make it outside. Now a prison with a tunnel system to a remote location outside would the bomb. In my opinion, any fortress setup without an underground access would eventually become a death trap if the zombies discovered it. If the characteristics of the zombie had that they meandered away after a while of trying to get in and not seeing anyone, then I would also opt forthis solution. Of course, you’d have to clear it out first but that shouldn’t really be that difficult. You could also devise many plans to seal off areas in case of a breach and then clear it out again.

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)

DJ: The day we sacrifice another human being to save ourselves is the day humanity dies and hope along with it. Such things will not help the species to endure. This only creates a race of beings that have devolved into Neanderthals. Within a year we may as well start throwing rocks at the sun.

JO: That truly depends honestly. Would we both succumb if I didn’t? Do I have to get back to my kids? Is the person annoying or a hindrance to the group? More than likely I wouldn’t but it does depend on the circumstances. The living or dying aspect doesn’t bother me but whether there’s someone else depending on me. If it were the neighbor down the road whose dog barks every night, well, sayonara, dude! Honestly, if only one of us were to survive, then I would more than likely stay back or divert the horde.

CG: Your sister/brother has survived but he/she would bring nothing to the table and would be a hindrance and possibly even endanger the group because she is irresponsible and has no survivor skills, would you still take her or would you leave her some food and a weapon and go?

DJ: See answer 6!

JO: Well, seeing I’m an only brat, I really wouldn’t have that to deal with. However, if I did have a sister or brother, I would still take them and make sure they were in a position where they couldn’t bring harm to the group. I just couldn’t live with leaving a family member behind knowing they couldn’t take care of themselves. Now, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be duct-taped to prevent them from bringing harm to the group – haha. No, I’m serious. I can only relate this question though to my kids and other family members not really having experience with siblings. Besides, survival skills can be taught.

Dave Jeffery is perhaps best known for his zombie novel Necropolis Rising which has gone on to be a UK #1 Bestseller. His Young Adult work includes the critically acclaimed Beatrice Beecham Series, BBC: Headroom endorsed Finding Jericho and the 2012 Edge Hill Prize Long-listed Campfire Chillers short story collection. Dave has contributed to several anthologies from a variety of publishers including Dark Continents Publishing, Inc., Wild Wolf Publishing, Imprint Phoenix, Hersham Horror Books, Wicked East Press and Hidden Thoughts Press. His work has featured alongside many zombie impresarios including John Russo (Night of the Living Dead), Tony Burgess (Pontypool) and Joe McKinney (Flesh Eaters). His short story Daddy Dearest features in the award-winning Holiday of the Dead anthology (This is Horror Awards, Best Anthology, 2012). He is currently writing the sequel to Necropolis Rising and co writing Crabs: Apocalypse! the official seventh book in the pulp franchise “Night of the Crabs” created by horror icon Guy N Smith. Dave is a member of the British Fantasy Society. His website can be found at: www.davejeffery.webs.com

John O’Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry starting two large casinos in Washington as the Information Technology Manager and becoming the Network Manager for the Washington State Legislature, the Northwest Information Technology Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Network Systems Manager for Hollywood Video. Currently, John is self employed with his own Information Technology consulting company consulting and managing various businesses with their information technology needs. He also volunteers for a local youth center managing their computer lab.

As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the Capital Forest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads. Author of A New World: Chaos, An New World: Return, A New World: Sanctuary and A New World: Taken

Web site: http://anewworldseries.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/A_NewWorld

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JohnWBOBrien

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All six of us – Todd Brown, Mark Tufo, Ian Woodhead, Armand Rosamilia, John O’Brien and Dave Jeffery – hope you’ll keep following us on the Summer of Zombie blog tour, and comment as we go along.

And… one lucky commenter for each blog will receive a Free eBook or Print book from one of the authors! Simply leave a comment with your e-mail address and we’ll pick a random winner each day! Simple as that!

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2 Comments

  1. Who would you pick in your 5 bunneh? Also I’m scheduled for the 8th but no interview back yet. I hope the guys are on it

  2. This was one hell of a blog!! Very useful info. You guys are great authors. Ive read books from all of you. Pleeez keep blogging and for gods sakes WRITING!

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