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?
Roy: Way back in the 80’s with a VHS tape of The Return of the Living Dead. Not only did I learn to love zombies, I realized if you should find a barrel of toxic waste that once belonged to the military don’t open it.
The most difficult part of being an indie is getting in front of readers. There are an awful lot of entertainment choices out there. I’m thrilled when people take the time to read my books.
Ang: If you had to dumb down the plot of your book so a zombie could understand, how would you explain it?
Roy: Baddest alien in the galaxy crashes into the farm of the baddest man on the planet. Action ensues.
Ang: Describe the lucky survivors who engage with the festering horde of the dead.
Jefferson Balladeer. He’s
my main character, and I like to think of him as one of the more original
characters you’ll come across. He has what you might call a unique
The Devourer. This is the most bad-ass, space-zombie making monster to ever step her tentacles into the Milky Way Galaxy. Again, I like to think there’s a bit of originality that readers will find refreshing.
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)?
Roy: The trick in this type of book is to make the fantastical seem real. One way to do this is to combine realistic characters with an exceptional situation. Then, have the characters react in true-to-life fashion to the previously mentioned fantastical happenings.
Ang: Does your book begin just as the zombies start building their paradise or have zombies already gotten things rocking and rotting?
Roy: Mine is not a traditional zombie story, so I just couldn’t have someone wake up from a coma to find zombies shambling or sprinting after the few remaining survivors. I had to start at the beginning and show the unique biology of the Devourer. It looks like I get to talk about this more in the next question.
Ang: Zombies are people too. They come in all shapes, sizes, speeds, and smarts. What types of the walking dead inhabit your novel?
Roy: My zombies are different. In fact, they’re space zombies. Your readers might be asking themselves what the hell is a space zombie. I’ll tell you. It’s what happens when the Devourer gets ahold of you and implants some of her alien cells into you and takes over your body. You’ll become somewhat of a worker ant for her while the alien cells feed on what’s left of your body. Now you’re probably wondering what happens when the alien cells have consumed all the human cells. You’ll just have to read the book to find out.
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?
Roy: I’m not the kind of writer who wants to write one type of story, so I’m working on a few things totally unrelated to this project. I should have something that resembles a fantasy novel come out later this year, and, after that, I plan to write a Kung Fu Epic. That’s going to be huge and a lot of fun. So, this book is wrapped up with a satisfactory conclusion.
However, the character and creatures in this book are too cool to just let them lie fallow too long. You’ll see more stories set in this world. The Black Redneck my ride again. How soon depends on how this book sells, so tell your friends.
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.
Roy: This really depends on the situation. If you’re trying to be stealthy, the swish of a samurai sword slicing the air might be as big as you want to go, but ideally I would be above the masses of zombies in a Black Hawk helicopter.
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.
Roy: I always think great stories should touch people’s emotions, even in zombie fiction, so I have to go with Sophia from The Walking Dead. I really didn’t think they would go there. Surprise!
Ang: Who is your favorite character from The Walking Dead (comics or TV show)?
Roy: I have to go with Glenn. He’s smart, fast, and stealthy. Also, he’s not prone to fits of madness. Why isn’t he in charge?
Okay, here’s a brief essay on Carl. I’m sure many of you would like to see Carl experience the death of a thousand nibbles. This is probably due to the second season in which he was what I like to call a “character who won’t stay put.” A lot of the plot was driven forward by his recklessness and stupidity. I consider this one of the weaknesses of the second season.
Ah, but in this latest season Carl has become much more interesting. He’s actually a benefit to the group, putting down Walkers with his trusty silencer. I also love that his character is a bit trigger happy. Goodbye annoying Carl. Hello Carl who just shoots everyone.
Ang: Finally, how prepared are you for the zombie apocalypse that we all know is just around the corner?
Roy: Just around the corner? I’m screwed. I don’t even have any bottled water at my house much less a few AK-47s and the necessary storehouse of ammunition. Can I kill zombies with my eternal optimism? No. Then, I’m definitely screwed. Then again I can run really fast and have great cardio. I might be okay. I don’t have to outrun the zombies. I just have to outrun you guys. Thanks for being a tasty distraction while I get away and don’t forget to read Black Redneck vs. Space Zombies.
Chase down Roy at Twitter, Goodreads, and his blog.