Jamal Luckett's Amazon Page

Jamal Luckett's Amazon Page
Current list of Published works.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Zombie Combat 101: Learning from The Master Roger Ma


After a day off for my Birthday we are returning with a "Sit Down" that brings none other than Roger Ma. Roger was the combat expert enlisted on The History Channel's "Zombies a Living History." During this "all star" Zombie Documentary Roger gave real world tips for the average person to fight and survive during a zombie outbreak from his "The Zombie Combat Manual." Now comes Roger's new project "The Vampire Combat Manual!" Ready set fight!


1. Roger without using the words vampire or zombie. Describe the man you are outside of the public persona. Tell us about your background?

Father, writer, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, Brooklynite, pretty much in that order. My public and private persona are virtually identical. What you see is what you get.


2. As we go through this interview some folks might ask "Roger what are your martial arts qualifications?" How many styles are you skilled in? Are you a teacher or trainer in any fighting skill sets? What is your level of individual and group combat?

It’s a good question. Right now there’s only one art I practice with any regularity, BJJ. I’ve been a martial artist and a fan of the combat arts throughout my life, having studied Shotokan Karate, Wing Chun, Washin-ryu Karate, Escrima, and Arnis. However, I’m not a “black belt” or trainer in any of these arts, which I think is an important point. My approach for my books was that of a researcher, studying the physiology of both undead creatures, and determining what would work against them from a variety of styles. Because I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of styles, I think I was able to retain the objectivity of being art-neutral, and take certain techniques from any traditional martial art to address this particular opponent. I also felt it was important to emphasize that you don't need to be a martial arts expert, soldier, or professional fighter to prevail against the undead. My manuals are written for the layperson in mind.

3. Where does the idea for a "tactical manual" for up close and personal combat come from? Where did you get your inspiration from to approach fighting zombies and vampire hand to rotted hand?

As they say, “Write what you want to read,” and my books combine my interests of martial arts, weapons, close-quarters fighting, and horror. I also was inspired by the fact that I live in New York, where it is very difficult to legally own a firearm. With zombies, everyone says “Shoot them in the head.” Well, what if you don’t have a gun, or run out of ammunition. I wanted to create a book that solely focused on the hand-to-hand combat scenario of facing the undead to address that very situation.


4.  Most of us out there shudder at the idea of unarmed combat with the undead. What would you tell a trainee to keep them focused for the fight ahead? On the other side of the spectrum how would you keep an experienced slayer humble?

The most important thing for a trainee to keep in mind is to keep calm. When people engage in close combat for the first time, undead or not, what happens is that they expend way more energy than necessary – they tense up, hyperventilate, and overexert their muscles for the situation. If you do that, you may not survive for very long. In my book, I even provide a breathing technique used by military and law enforcement to calm their nerves in the event of combat. The experienced combatant needs to remember that the opponent they face is not a human one – what happens is that people who are experienced with human combat (boxers, soldiers, fighters) apply techniques they learned for human combat against the undead. This is another reason why I felt a combat manual against the undead needed to be written.


5. Starting with your first book "The Zombie Combat Manual." Take us through the dynamics involved with fighting flesh hungry zombies one on one. How do you feel about fast moving zombies and how does that change your tactics?

Fighting a zombie one-on-one is about being methodical, and taking advantage of its vulnerabilities. Realize that your mobility and dexterity is much better than your opponent, and use that to open up target areas on the skull. The mistake often made is that people confront a zombie head-on like a human opponent. Why do that when you can strafe around and attack an open side? That’s the tactic I discuss in detail in the book. Fast moving zombies change the picture entirely, that would be a whole other book!

6. So I've got myself a weapons depot and less than a minute to choose. What is my best choice for armed combat against the living dead? What changes when I confront a horde of zombies? From a tactical and weapons standpoint?

When I think about weapons to use against the undead, there are three categories I consider: durability, maintenance, and skill. For example, a katana samurai sword is always a popular weapon the average citizen thinks about zombie weapons, but let’s consider it from these three categories: it can be highly durable, provided it’s an authentic, well-made katana, and not a “mall-ninja” brand. It requires pretty high maintenance in terms of sharpening, which most people do not know how to do. The skill level required to wield it is also pretty high for the average citizen (how many people have actually swung a katana to cut something?) Against a horde of zombies, this becomes even more critical, because you’re not going to be able to stop and maintain your weapon in mid-combat. My ideal zombie weapon is a tool that is highly durable, requires minimal maintenance, and very little skill to wield. For these reasons, my personal favorite is the medieval mace, as it falls into each of these categories.



7. Switching gears Roger before you go into combat details about Vampires. In the new book "The Vampire Combat Manual" you dispelled some "myths" about bloodsuckers. Why is this important? Tell us about the things we do know about combat against Vampires that are true and those that are false.

From a purely literary perspective, I thought it was important to start the discussion about vampire combat with what I perceive as traits of the creature. The vampire has such a long history with many different permutations, that if I didn’t do so people probably would have been confused about what type of vampire I’m talking about. What I tried to do was relate the vampire back to a very humanoid type of being – one that was not supernatural or metaphysical, and based its traits on science. So, the vampire I’m talking about cannot fly, cannot mutate into animals or disappear into mist, and is vulnerable to ultraviolet light, garlic, silver, and wooden stakes. And it’s not physically attracted to nor can it procreate with humans.

8. How does fighting an undead foe that maintains its intelligence change the rules of combat? So all Vampires are not created equal? What are "Vampire Castes" and how does a vampires "type" change your fighting techniques?

Everything changes when your battling a sentient creature, that’s why I felt the need to create manual on vampire combat, because any rules I developed for zombie combat don’t apply. The “Vampire Castes” I developed define several types of vampire – Banals, which are most like us, Seducers, which are highly attractive and tend to avoid physical combat, Supremists, vampire who believe that they are a superior race, and Elders, the oldest, and generally most powerful of the species. Because there have been so many changes to vampire canon, I thought it would be interesting to explore various types of vampire that we’ve seen in the past, and address their background, physical assets, and deficiencies.

9. Let us know where and how readers can find your books "The Zombie Combat Manual" and "The Vampire Combat Manual?" What are "Zombie Combat Club" and "The Vampire Combat Club" and how can one join? What other places can fans find Roger Ma on the web?

The books can be found “anywhere books are sold,” as they say –Amazon, BN, Powell’s, and your local bookstore. If your favorite bookstore doesn’t have it, smack the clerk upside the head and ask them if they’re trying to get their customers killed by the undead. The
Zombie Combat Club and Vampire Combat Clubare sites where people who enjoy the books can follow other stories, links and blog posts I find interesting and related to undead combat. Those are the best places to find me online, and on Twitter and Facebook groups for both books as well.

10. In Zombies a Living History on the History Channel you showed us your skills as a practical Zombie Slayer. How did this opportunity come about for you Roger? How did it feel to be included with the likes if Jonathan Maberry, Max Brooks, Kim Paffenroth and J.L. Bourne to name a few on the show?

I was approached by the producing team specifically for the combat aspect since that’s my primary focus. It was so much fun shooting the fighting scenes in the academy where I study BJJ. It was surreal to be featured alongside those individuals, legends in the zombie genre. The show is actually on at this very moment, and I still can’t believe I’m in it.

11. What does the future hold for Roger Ma? Any plans to give us combat tips on any other "Monsters?" The reason I ask is I have an ungodly fear of Leprechauns!

Leprechauns are deadlier than most people think, especially if you’re looking to snatch their precious metals. I have a cool contribution to a comic books anthology coming out in a few weeks called Shattered: An Asian American Comics Anthology. It’s an adaptation of one of the stories from The Zombie Combat Manual – if you want to see Shaolin Monks battling zombies, definitely check it out!

12. When Roger Ma reads about Zombies. Who are your favorite authors and why?

You know, I haven’t read that much zombie literature recently. Initially I was staying away from it because I was working on the book. Two of my all time favorites though are anthologies – John Skipp’s original “Book of the Dead” is one of the best, and John Joseph Adam’s “The Living Dead” anthologies are great. Of course, I’m a fan of the writers that were also in the History Channel documentary.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zombob's Zombie News and Reviews: LADIES & GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!! (part 2)A ...

Zombob's Zombie News and Reviews: LADIES & GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!! (part 2) A ...: LADIES & GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!! (part 2) A while back, in celebration of my blog's 1000th post, I decided to have a contest/challe...

Come read an all new short story by me written exclusively for this contest entitled "Tough guy."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mr. Nightscape Press himself Mark Scioneaux

Alright at the request of this weeks interviewee Mark Scioneaux owner and proprietor of Nightscape press. I delayed our typical "Sunday Night Sit Down", so that we could help Mark Promote his new project "Hollow Shell." Enough about me I'll let him tell you about it!

1. All right, Mark, separate the public Mark Scioneaux from the private. What brought you to a career dealing with the written word?

The public Mark Scioneaux is very different from the one who sits down at a computer and bangs out words in hopes of entertaining and terrifying people. By day, I work as an industrial hygienist, which is a type of health and safety engineer. I do consulting for chemical plants, refineries, agriculture companies, and many others. It pays the bills, and in a way makes me a better writer. I write stress-free. On one hand I’m doing all I can to turn the corner and burst onto the scene, but on the other I’m happy where I currently am. I write as a hobby and it’s a hobby that’s rewarded me very well. I’ve met some great friends, travelled to cool places, and experienced things I never thought possible. I’ve always had it in me to be a writer, but I repressed that urge for reasons I’m not sure why. It wasn’t until 2006, the year I graduated from LSU, that I pursued it seriously. I challenged myself to get a short story published, and I did. So I tried again. And again. More success followed. I then sat down and penned and novel and it too was published. It was a great start, but I wanted more. I’ve slowly been scratching off things on my personal lists of goals, and at the moment I’m pretty damn happy.

To answer your question more directly, I write because I love to entertain and tell a story. I chose horror for reasons unknown. It just appealed to me to write for this genre. There is something inside of me that screams to be placed on paper, and for other writers, I think they share the same feeling I do.



2. How does your experience as an editor help you as a writer? How do you juggle the work required for both fields? As an editor, what do you look for in a body of work? Give us some do’s and don'ts.

It can help, but it also hinders me at times. I used to just write, and then worry about revising when the project was finished. Now, I write a little, then revise, and repeat. In the end, what I’ve written I’m pleased with, but it’s a slow process. I still can’t edit my own work though. Not professionally, anyway. I’ve made many connections and I always use a good editor to revise my manuscripts prior to submission.

If I had to choose one role, I’m more of a writer than an editor. Even with my company Nightscape Press, which I co-own with Robert Shane Wilson and Jennifer Wilson, they do most of the editing for our books. I’m more of the face guy, chatting it up at conventions and handling other business aspects. I also consult with artists for our book covers and address non-editing/formatting issues with our authors.

As an editor and publisher, when I read a submission or new novel, I need it to grab me immediately. A slow build can be done well if the pacing and writing are tight, but I can tell rather quickly if this book will do it for me. For people submitting their work to companies for publishing consideration, proofread your book and make sure it’s as flawless as can be before submitting. It speaks volumes of you as an author and professional.

As far as do’s and don’ts are concerned, I’ll leave you with this list:

“Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing”
1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

I have to check and see how many of these I’ve broken in my own writing!


3. Mark, tell me and the readers about your involvement with "Horror For Good: A Charitable Anthology." What brought about a desire to do such a gracious piece of work and what cause did it benefit? Who helped you and what authors gave freely of themselves and their work?

I remember it vividly. I was sitting inside the break room for a local chemical plant where I do consulting, playing around on Facebook, chatting with people and such. When I checked on a group I stay active with, the Kindle Horror Books group, and noticed the number of talented authors, I thought it would be neat to put together a book of short stories featuring them. Someone encouraged me to pursue the idea, and suggested donating the proceeds to charity. That made the most sense and the idea was born. Robert Shane Wilson approached me almost immediately and expressed interest in doing this. A budding editor at the time, he knew how to format and sell his own books. He was also a nice guy I had gotten to know through Facebook conversations. It went from there, and we worked together to solicit stories from well-known authors and set up a Facebook fan page, which became quite popular. The sales from the book benefit amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. For me, the project is dedicated to my uncle, Setchie Scioneaux, who passed away from AIDS complications in 2002.

We started to receive a favorable number of stories from well-known authors. Robert and I were nervous, and the project was becoming much bigger than anticipated. I put out a feeler to various publishers, and RJ responded with interest. Cutting Block Press and RJ Cavender have a great name and reputation in the horror industry, and the chance to work with them was a dream. RJ and I set up a phone conversation and it couldn’t have gone better. We hit it off and talked for a few hours. RJ committed, but as an editorial consultant at the time. As the anthology began to take shape, and RJ began to work just as hard as Robert and me, it was only fair he was brought on as the third editor.

All the authors who agreed to be in the book readily gave a story and were happy to help. I’ll never forget the feeling when Jack Ketchum gave us the story we had asked for—I was so excited I called RJ immediately. Or the feeling I had when I opened my email and sitting there was a story directly from Ramsey Campbell! I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. We are editors and creators, but we are also fans, and when these titans of the industry want to work with us, it’s a very humbling feeling. The table of contents is a great mix of established authors and rising stars.



4. Mark, what is your take on the resurgence of the living dead in the media? How do you see Hollywood's current obsession with zombies playing out? Tell me how you take your horde? Is it traditional shambling with a side of slow terror, or running dipped in infected scream?

I think it’s great, but everything is cyclical. First we had the obsession with vampires, then they tried pushing werewolves, and now it’s zombies. The only difference is you can’t “sexy” up a zombie. It’s a walking corpse trying to feed on you. There’s no twisted romance angle that could be played, and if there was, it would end tragically. What will be the next big thing? I have no idea, but I believe zombies are going to surge again in popularity, and that is due to the show The Walking Dead and some really great zombies books set to hit the market soon.

I’m a bit 50-50 with my preference of zombie. I’d say ultimately I love the slow, shambling ghoul that overwhelms you with their numbers. The fast zombie has their place, and they were good in movies like the Dawn of the Dead remake and 28 Days Later (I know, not technically zombies, but close enough). For my writing, I like to make the zombies slow, because it lets me develop characters and scenes better, I feel. There wouldn’t be much time for conversation if you were being chased by sprinting zombies. And let’s take a second to discuss how unreal that is. I know, I write fiction and I’m talking about reality, but biology would prevent a corpse from running. The slow zombie is the best, but the fast one can work.


5. Now for a Mark Scioneaux tale. Without giving away too much, bait the hook for my readers. Why would you recommend "The Glass Coffin"? What does this tale have to offer the reader in the way of zombie action and story?

The Glass Coffin was a short story I’d written for an anthology years ago, and to this day I think it was one of my better pieces. It was pretty long, and when Kindle Direct Publishing became more popular, I decided to give it a try and chose The Glass Coffin as my piece to put online. Reception has been positive, and I’ve received some nice blurbs and reviews.

The story is simple, and the way I like my zombies. It’s character driven, and the zombies serve as the backdrop for the various people trapped in the condominium when an outbreak occurs. I have characters you will hate, love, and pity; and I think readers like characters they can relate to. It is balanced with plenty of zombie action and gore, but deep down there is a very real human element that shines through. If you enjoyed The Glass Coffin, you’ll like Hollow Shell; and vice versa.


6. Now let’s talk Insurgent Z, your newest novel co-written with HWA-member, Dane T. Hatchell. Can you tell us a little about it? What was it like co-writing with another author and would you do it again?

Insurgent Z is a novel that takes place in a small town in Louisiana. A former Army Ranger, Mason Guillot, is trying to move on with his life and put a fractured past behind him, when a dark figure from his times in the military comes back to haunt him. The mayor of the small town has given permission for military experiments on inmates serving life sentences. This new serum will make soldiers impervious to biological weapons during battle. But something goes wrong, and a serum meant to save lives damns an entire town. Now Mason is in the middle of a zombie outbreak, and he needs to save his friends while working toward the truth, and ultimately atoning for his past. It is currently being considered by a few publishing houses, and I hope to hear good news soon.

Dane T. Hatchell is a great friend and a hell of a writer. I approached him about the idea of co-writing a novel, and he was on board from the go. We make a great team, and for authors to work together there has to be mutual respect and also a gelling of writing styles. Dane and I write very similar, and we were able to use our strengths to add to the story, while also helping each other with our weaknesses. What we have created is an awesome book, filled with thrilling zombie action with a smart military plot. I would absolutely do it again and we have been talking about a sequel.


7. You allowed me a privileged sneak peek into your new work, Hollow Shell. We talked about the recent influx of zombie serials and series. What makes Hollow Shell different than your traditional zombie serial? How can my readers partake of your offerings in Hollow Shell? Will it be done across multiple formats?

I can’t speak for any of the other zombie serials out there, but I wanted to make HS my own personal zombie nightmare. First, I wanted to create believable and relatable characters that the reader could get behind. I gave them a mission to drive the story forward and while zombies play a huge role in the overall plot of the series, there will be many times where the characters interact with other survivors, and the results are less than favorable. I enjoy reading gory scenes like the next zombie fan, but I need the character interaction to keep me hooked. This is where I believe HS shines.

The book will be available in parts, starting with Part One. Currently, it will be Kindle exclusive, but when enough parts have been accumulated, or the series is finished, then I will collect them all into one large book.



8. Where can your full length and short stories be found; both zombie themed and non-zombie themed? Give us some highlights what story of yours is perfect for your first time fan? What is on the horizon for Mark C. Scioneaux in the realm of the undead and other genres?

My short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies from various publishers. I have a story in Twisted Fish 3 by Severed Press titled, “The Demon in the Water” that I’m particularly proud of. I will have a new story appearing in the Blood Rites anthology by Bloodbound Books titled “The Lady with Teeth like Knives.” Another new story of mine, titled “Made to Order,” will appear in an anthology by Evil Jester Press. For a recent zombie story, I have a bit of flash fiction titled “A Very Trying Time” in the anthology Quick Bites of Flesh by Hazardous Press. I would as readers to check those out as they show how I’ve grown as a writer.

I currently have a few projects being considered for publication, so I will talk more about those when they come to fruition. For my current writing projects, my novelization of Dante’s Inferno, THE CITY OF WOE, is in the hands of a literary agent. I am also working on a shark attack piece and a fictional Salem Witch Trials tale.


9. Where can the readers dig you up, Mark? Do you have web pages, fan pages twitter or other places out in the big blue nowhere where you call home?

I have a blog that I try to keep up with. So far it has failed miserably as I get distracted by my other writing projects. I am still trying to figure out how twitter works as well. I am very active on Facebook, so I would ask for people to reach me there. I also created a fan page for the serial in hopes of drumming up some good zombie discussion.





10. Aside from your own work, whose zombie novels and shorts do you read? Any real page turners come to mind you'd recommend to us on the independent publishing scene? What are you currently reading and by who?

My zombie writing idols would be people I try to model my own writing after. Authors like Jonathan Maberry and Joe McKinney have set high standards for zombie fiction. I highly recommend Maberry’s YA Rot & Ruin series and McKinney’s Flesh Eaters, which won the Stoker for best novel this year.

I am also involved in publishing and my company, Nightscape Press, is doing very well distinguishing itself as one of the best in the horror and dark fiction field. We are blessed to work with talented writers like Peter N. Dudar, L.L. Soares, Trent Zelazny, and Richard Salter; who edited one of the most unique and best anthologies I’ve ever read. I strongly recommend checking out our website and their works. We will be releasing more books soon and continuing to carve our niche across the horror landscape.

Currently, when I’m not reading submissions for Nightscape or drafts of my own work, I’m reading The Sinner by K. Trapp Jones. It’s about a farmer who is summoned into a cave by God where he encounters a different demon each day, influenced by the seven deadly sins. It’s a great read.

Zombie Blog Walk 2012

Guys and Gals I decided to participate in a Zombie Blog Walk. Please check out these awesome zombie and horror themed blogs. I found some new ones I didn't know exsisted.

Jamal Morgue Luckett


Zombies Everywhere


Halloween Blues

The Southern Northerner

Martha's Journey

Annie Walls

GingerRead Review

App'y Talk

Kweeny Todd

Jenny's House of Horrors

Bubba's Place

Fictional Candy

herding cats & burning soup

Author Sherry Soule Blog

Paranormal research Group Blog

Adult Urban Fantasy by Sherry Soule

Moonlight Publishing Blog

Candid Canine

Ghost Hunting Theories

Above the Norm

A Dust Bunny In The Wind

Faith McKay

Zombob's Zombie News & Movie Reviews

Flesh From The Morgue

The Living Dark

Some One Else's Cook

Stumptown Horror

Forget About TV, Grab a Book

Zombie Dating Guide

Strange State

The Paranormalist - Renae Rude

Idée Fixe

Random Game Crafts

WhiteRoseBud's Tumblr


Book Me!

Carmen Jenner Author

Sarasota Zombie Pub Crawl

Not Now...Mommy's Reading

Love is a Many Flavored Thing

Its On Random

Ellie Potts

Attention Earthlings!

Horror Shock LoliPOP

The Spooky Vegan

The Story In...

DarkSide Detectives Blog

Something wicKED this way comes....

Julie Jansen: science fiction and horror writer

Author/screenwriter James Schannep

The Zombie Lab

Creepy Glowbugg


Sharing Links and Wisdom

Midnyte Reader

This Blog Has A.D.D.

Carol's Creations

<!!! END POST CODE!!!>

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stephen A. North turns the tide on writing

Stephen A. North is one of the most unassuming and humble gentlemen you'll ever have the privilege of meeting. His stories however are not as humble they are bold, unique and told from all different perspectives. His Dead Tide series are two of my favorites and the first stories I ever reviewed and this was well before I'd ever gotten to know the man behind the story. I hope you fine folks will get to know Stephen after this interview and gain an appreciation for his works!

1. Stephen give the readers and I a run down of who Stephen A. North is. What roads have you traveled that have brought you to where you are now?

Who am I? I am the eleven year old kid who loved Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury, C.S. Forrester and Ursula Le Guin. I am also the shy kid who never had the nerve to tell a girl how much he liked her until it was too late. I have only recently realized and accepted how impulsive I have been when my heart was set on something. Whether it was trusting a new friend, making a life altering decision like joining the army, falling in love, or writing a book. All of these decisions had far-ranging effects on my life in different measures, that have brought great joy and/or nearly destroyed me. Probably no surprise there, as I am hardly unique. Maybe it is my persistence, or sheer hard-headedness that are unusual? Where am I now? I stand at a crossroads, perhaps as happy as I've ever been. There may be sorrow ahead, and sorrow, for sure, behind, but I am at peace.

2. I seen your work in print Stephen and you work in different genres. Which genre is your favorite and why? How do you switch gears to seamlessly produce works in multiple genres?

As a child, my favorite genre was fantasy, but that quickly evolved into horror and science fiction. I wasn't a happy kid when I discovered The Hobbit. I went to three different elementary schools that year, and by the last one, my brother was my only friend. I was primed to escape into another place, and imagine I was a hero. Later, I discovered thrillers, detective and historical fiction. Not sure that I have a favorite, but plan to continue to expand the genres I write in. The books I love are in multiple genres. I suspect that mood plays a role in my reading and writing choices.

3. Let's talk about zombies a subject that is near and dear to my heart. When did your love for writing about the undead begin? How far do you see the genre of the living dead expanding? How do you prefer you zombies running or bumbling?

I was sixteen when I first saw Dawn of the Dead at the midnight movies. Remember talking about it with my friends, and wondering what we'd do to live. How and why. The seed was planted, but it didn't flower until I discovered this guy named Jacob and his small publishing company called Permuted Press, close to 24 years later. Jacob was the catalyst. Writing zombie horror stories doesn't lead into happy places, but wondering how different types of people might survive such a disaster can be interesting. The Walking Dead is proof that there is interest in zombie horror Better yet, there are quite a few talented writers out there still writing them. I doubt that the genre will disappear anytime soon. I'm comfortable with running or bumbling zombies. Wasn't always that way. I was a Romero purist, but something happened when Eric S. Brown and I decided to write a book together. Bottom line is that I can be flexible when it comes to zombies. If vampires can sparkle, zombies might be able to run.

4. Having read and loved both books in your Dead Tide series. Tell me when and where the idea for the series came from? The book has two very diverse groups of survivors was this intentional? Where is the Dead Tide series headed? What to hope a first time reader of the series will take from Dead Tide?

I would love to be the Stephen King of Tampa Bay. I suppose this idea of visualizing my hometown in a post apocalyptic setting all started with seeing The War Of The Worlds as a child. I remember the star being hunted in the ruins by the Martian machines. Flash forward to seeing Dawn of the Dead, then combine that with middle-aged angst, and working in retail in a retirement Mecca and what do you get?

Just a year or two before writing Dead Tide I was the Lead Writer for a Post-Apocalyptic Computer Game Fan Project. (I was also the only writer for a while) The other team members didn't really care what I did and let me have free reign with modifying, expanding and writing the design documents for the story lines, the locations, the characters, and the dialogues---I went nuts creatively! That experience gave me a taste of how much fun I could have on my second book (Dead Tide). Potential characters appeared and their stories practically wrote themselves. I actually had to make myself stop character creation, but was glad that cast was large. People are going to die in a zombie book. Better start off large, right? I suppose this explains somewhat how two diverse groups of survivors emerged, also. Maybe not? People need each other to survive catastrophes. Alone, no matter how competent you are, there may not be enough reason to want to live.

Not sure whether the series will end with the third book. I'm at the 17k mark, and the situation is grim for most of the survivors at this point. However, as long as some of them have a reason why to live, maybe they will find a way.

My take-away hope for a first time reader of Dead Tide would be, number one, to entertain them and provide an escape from the real world. Gaining a friendship or creating a fan of the genre would be another. If I entertain the reader, I have succeeded.

5. Barren Earth is a zombie tale with a twist. You worked on Barren Earth with Eric S. Brown what was that like? How does this story come to life and how would you describe it? Are there any more author collaborations you've done or will do? Who would you like to pen a story with an why?

Ah, working with Eric S. Brown! He is an amazing man: Incredible drive and talent. Overall, a pleasure to work with. I hope to do so again someday. Without him, that story would never have been written. There is a joy in a shared creation if both people can compromise and come to agreement. We were able work together with little friction. I've been told that people can't tell which parts either of us wrote. That is the best compliment! Two different people, living miles apart in different States, created something that worked! Doesn't happen every day.

The way we made it work was by passing the story back and forth, and communicating. He would have it a week, and then I would have it a week. There was only the second story line to begin with, and then we had the idea to tell the story of what happened before The Hyperion came home as a Prologue. That idea grew beyond what we expected (Probably the fault of that guy who gets excited when given free reign).

My description of Barren Earth (WARNING, CONTAINS SPOILER! Skip past the next paragraph if interested in reading this book later)

How does a defeated, exterminated alien race get revenge on triumphant humanity? From beyond the grave, right? An undead virus left waiting for unsuspecting humans to bring home with them.
At the moment I have several books waiting to be written, but would love to collaborate with many authors when I catch up. It is an experience I recommend. As to who I would love to write with, perhaps I should keep that secret. They might love me only like a brother.

6. Stephen can you give us a rundown of your work in various anthologies out there? Do you find short stories easier or more trying for a guy whose done so many novel length tales? Are there more anthology works you plan releasing?

Proud to be part of two charity anthologies: In Kizuna, I have 'Dial Tone'; and in the upcoming Scare Package, I have 'Sedation Dentistry.' I also have: 'Like A Man' in Read The End First; 'Zomkrieg' in Zombology; and 'Elk Stones' in Baconology. Those stories range from horror, to sci-fi, to fantasy and would maybe make the good basis for a collection of my short fiction someday. Some of them I'd like to see in novel form also. Most of them almost wrote themselves once I had the inspiration for them. For example, 'Like A Man' would never have existed without Suzanne Robb. There is actually a person behind every one of those stories. Maybe that is why they weren't difficult to write?
I have one short story planned in the immediate future in the steam punk genre. 

7. Now gives us a synopsis of The Drifter. What inspired this tale of humanity and our bleak future? Any plans for future books or stories from The Drifter universe? You seem to have a knack for stories that throw mans fragile existence into pure chaos as in "Beneath The Mask." Explain this mysterious tale of woe? How you have developed your own unique style of Post Apocalyptic despair?

Drifter is a combination of the old and new on many levels and time frames. I've always been disturbed by the concept of punishment versus rehabilitation. There is not enough forgiveness in our current penal system for some crimes. Some crimes haunt people for life. I just took the current situation, added over-population, dwindling resources , and adopted the English 16th century solution to it: Transportation from home and penance in a harsh new world. What if the government had the ability to wipe out memories and shape egos? Humans become a commodity again!

(The following paragraph contains some spoilers!)

The viewpoint character in 'Drifter' has had at least one memory wipe, although it may not have erased everything, and is trapped in a miserable existence. In the beginning of the book he has an unsustainable motivation to continue living. As the story evolves that changes, but it isn't easy. A couple of quotes might explain better what the story is about:

"Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for." Dag Hammarskjold

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how." Friedrich Nietzsche
I hope to offer something different, and would love to on a more regular basis. 

8. We want to know what's come down the pipe from Stephen A. North? Without giving away the juicy details. Give me and my readers a look into the future.

The third Dead Tide book is in progress. The original Dead Tide is getting its first professional edit, and so will Dead Tide Rising. After that I need to find a new home for Drifter, and the sequel to that is halfway done.

I have a large number of other unfinished stories, but would love to finally write and finish a fantasy novel. Who knows, maybe I will even attempt something romantic for the ladies.

9. Where can new fans find you Stephen? Give us links to all your haunts. Also share with us where your books and be found for purchase and on what formats?New fans and old can always find me at Stephen A. North (fans of) on facebook, and I'm on Goodreads. My email is:


Hoping to get my own website next year.
Three of my books are currently unavailable, but two (Dead Tide and Dead Tide Rising) will be re-published soon. Still looking for a home for Drifter.

Barren Earth, Beneath the Mask, and all of my short stories are still available on Amazon right here:


10. Whose undead readings are you currently enjoying? What are some of your favorite works of undead literature and by who?

I'm hoping to see more from this guy, Jamal Luckett soon. Recently, I have read Timothy Long's latest 'Among the Dead' and enjoyed it. Eric Shelman is good also, and I plan to read Dead Hunger 3, next!

Favorites eh? How about these authors: J.L. Bourne; Patrick D'Orazio; Suzanne Robb; Sue Edgerly; Rhiannon Frater; Eric S. Brown; Brian Keene; Richard Laymon; Stephen King; Sheri Gambino; Travis Adkins; D. L. Snell; Bowie Ibarra; Z.A. Recht; David Dunwoody; and Brian Lumley. Hope I didn't miss anyone, but probably did.