Ang: When were you first bitten by the zombie affliction? Can you take us back to how the infection began? What’s the most difficult part about sharing this ghoulish love as an indie?
Jeffrey: I don’t think I was “bitten” by the zombie plague. It is more like the virus was always within me and just took a while to gnaw its way out. I do remember being pretty young when I first saw the original The Night of the Living Dead in black & white. Something about the black & white graininess makes it seem more real. Anyway, scare the snot out of me. The thing is I couldn’t help watching. Drove my parents crazy. That movie still scares me.
As far as being an indie writer, the toughest part is needing to concentrate on marketing to get my books noticed when I would rather just be writing... Oh, other than this interview, of course.
Ang: If you had to dumb down the plot of your series so a zombie could understand, how would you explain it?
Jeffrey: Zombies are just waiting to burst out. It might be something as simple as a new type of cold that sets them off.
Ang: Describe the lucky survivors who engage with the festering horde of the dead.
Jeffrey: Define your idea of lucky. I am not sure any of the “non-undead” in my books would consider themselves lucky. Let’s just say they are survivors. Kevin Turner, the main character, is or was a newspaper reporter. He is someone who is used to dealing with facts. Glen is the young, idealistic minister of a storefront church. Understandably, he has some difficulty understanding where zombies fit into his religious worldview. Detective Greg Lawrence is an older, bitter, possibly alcoholic cop who is obsessed with rescuing Christina, the frightened little girl who called into the police station. Finally, there is Taylor Miller, a teenage boy sent to juvenile hall by Detective Lawrence.
That is the group so far, but as things progress, it is sure to grow and shrink.
Ang: What was the most important aspect when writing your non-zombie characters? Realism (losers, assholes, and cowards) or fantasy (Rambo or the guy/gal who has a Rambo hiding inside them)?
Jeffrey: I have to admit that I have little control of who springs up in the story. The voices in my head simply let me know who will be appearing next. I never know who will show up or how long they will be staying. So far, none of those in the story appear to have any Rambo-like traits. They are too busy trying to grips with what they are seeing. I suppose that is realism. Whatever you want to call it, I think it is what makes these characters relatable or familiar. That is what draws readers into such an incredible world and holds them.
Ang: Does your series begin just as the zombies start building their paradise or have zombies already gotten things rocking and rotting?
Jeffrey: The book starts just after the zombies have appeared. In other words, they haven’t quite sunk their teeth into the world.
Ang: Zombies are people too. They come in all shapes, sizes, speeds, and smarts. What types of the walking dead inhabit your series?
Jeffrey: I try to make zombies representative of every type of person in society. Full zombie integration!
Ang: Will your infection spread to more books and series? How many blood and guts offerings do you predict in your future? How soon can our zombie and human readers expect to see your next festering contribution?
Jeffrey: Well, the first book in The Most Uncommon Cold series was released in August. I am currently working on TMUC II, and it is coming along nicely. I am hoping to have it out by December. Just in time to celebrate Zombie Christmas. As far as how far the series goes, I have to wait for the voices to tell me. I will let you know.
Ang: What is your favorite way to kill a zombie? Shoot ‘em, hack ‘em, poke ‘em, burn ‘em, or something even more fiendish? ***Zombie readers please turn away to avoid having your putrefied feelings eviscerated.
Jeffrey: Well, Kevin really seemed to enjoy plunging a tire tool into his wife’s head. I guess I have to try that. Glen’s used a claw hammer to dispatch one. That could be fun. Of course, just blowing their heads off at point blank range as
does might be the most efficient way, even if it is terribly messy. Lawrence
Ang: Do you have a favorite cinematic zombie? Example: My co-blogger Zombie Earl is quite fond of Zombie Roger from the original Dawn of the Dead.
Jeffrey: Hmmm, tough question! Cinematic? How about televisionatic?
If so, it would be Morgan Jones’ wife Jenny (that’s right Jenny Jones!) from Season 3 of The Walking Dead. Something about this woman in her nightgown shuffling around the front porch of her old house sticks with me.
Ang: Who is your favorite character from The Walking Dead (comics or TV show)?
Jeffrey: It’s hard to pick just one character. Most people seem partial to Daryl. Daryl’s cool, but I really like Andrea. Maybe it was because so many people were bashing her, but I always thought she got a bad rap. Sure, she was cozy with the creepy governor, but she was just trying to keep things together. I have to find another character for this season. We’ll see who shows up. Carl might shine.
Ang: Finally, how prepared are you for the zombie apocalypse that we all know is just around the corner?
Jeffrey: Can anyone really be prepared for the ZA? Well, yes they can! Just keep reading The Most Uncommon Cold series for ideas. I swear, I don’t know how things are going to turn out, but there are sure to be some useful survival tips inside.
Dig into The Most Uncommon Cold at Amazon.
Hunt down Jeffrey at Facebook.