Julie: How long have you been writing and have you always focused on zombies or have you written other non zombie horrors in the past? If so what are the titles?
Ian: I liked to write horror and satire, but only started writing about zombies with my first book. I wrote a lot when I was young. I used to make up stories about my siblings that made them look really dumb. My mother always admonished me around them, but gave me a pat on the back in private. I continued writing through high school and wrote for my the high school paper for a little while, but didn't like how heavily they edited me. I got away from it for a little while after I dropped out, but started again a few years back when I was driving over the road. It was kind of therapeutic for me. Being alone with my thoughts for long periods isn't good for me.
Julie: Since were gonna talk zombies here,.. If a Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, name three readily available household items surrounding you that you could use as a weapon.
Ian: There's a snub-nosed .38 on the coffee table. That would be the most effective. Also, I have a mini fridge here in my office, so there are plenty of beer bottles. I have some weights in the other room that would be helpful. Might as well do something with them.
Julie: Can you give me a short description of your first zombie novel?
Ian: Zombie/Apocalypse 2012: A Political Horror Story tells the tale of a very average guy in the first week or so of the zombie apocalypse. His wife is a religious nut and conspiracy theorist, so she's getting all of this warped information from these crazy websites and radio shows and pretty much just driving him nuts. Besides his story, there are all of these cutaways to news stories and press conferences that are taking place showing America's press and political elite doing a good job of screwing up any potential chance of salvation that we have. Throughout the book, the main character is constantly running into all sorts of extremists from all walks of life and political affiliations. Eventually, he winds up in Atlanta at the C.D.C. which turns out to be a complete bureaucratic mess. It's a good read for anyone who just doesn't understand how the whole process got to be so screwed up.
Julie: Do you personally believe that a zombie apocalypse is possible?
Ian: Oh, yeah. They're doing some pretty crazy shit these days with pharmaceuticals and pollution. We're messing up the whole thing. Some kind of apocalypse is coming, might as well be zombies. Mad scientists playing with shit they shouldn't.
Julie: Are your zombie different than the typical zombie? And if so, what makes them different?
Ian: They are reborn a little differently. They come back to life and are a little awkward at first, as if they need to adjust to using their bodies. I also touch on a couple of things that I think are just part of the eventual reality of zombies. There is a little bit of a fly epidemic, and a scientist discusses the zombie metabolism.
Julie: Sounds interesting and I don't think I have read that particular content in other zombie stories.
Ian:Thanks. I'm sure it's out there somewhere else, though. There are a hell of a lot of zombie books.
Julie: Are you working on any other books at the moment? If so do you mind giving us a little glimpse?
Ian: Actually, I'm not. I've been ridiculously busy at work, and there has been a lot of preparation and promotion for One Undead Step in the last few weeks. Hopefully, people will start heading back up to Michigan soon and my hours will settle down a little. It's been 60+ a week for a couple of months. Also, I try to get in the occasional article over at Zombie Guide Magazine.
Julie: Tell me a little about the magazine.
Ian: Zombie Guide Magazine is your source for all thing zombie. We cover everything. There are weapon and survival tips, book and movie reviews, interviews, and even a science section. Frank Diepmaat, who started and runs the magazine, gave me a great compliment, calling my Destroying the Brain(stem) article in the science section his favorite piece on the site.
Julie: Where can we find this magazine?
Julie: Let's talk about your most recent novel. How long did it take for you to write One Undead Step and what sort of preparation did you do for the manuscript?
Ian: I'll tell you what kind of preparation I did for One Undead Step. One day I was on Facebook and someone had posted this crazy article from one of those looney sites about the moon landing being faked. The TV was on and there was a story about Sally Ride being laid to rest. For some reason, this idea just exploded in my head- What if the moon landing was faked to avert the zombie apocalypse? I just started writing. I didn't have any characters or plot and I didn't actually know what the correlation between faking the moon landing and averting the zombie apocalypse would be, but the whole thing came together pretty well, or I like to think it did.
Since the story takes place in 1969, there was a lot of research to do. I looked into guns, cars, military vehicles, footwear, neon signs, mafia hierarchy, and probably a few other things that I can't recall right now. I even had to find the Thursday night television listings for July of 1969.
Julie: Sounds like you've done plenty of research for this, it must have taken up of lot of your time. How does your family feel about your work ? Do they provide a great support system?
Ian: I do have a great, but small, support system, but no one there shares my last name.
Julie: If you write a book about your self, what would the title be and how would it end?
Ian: Man, I'm not that exciting. I would make a boring character in a very dull book. I don't know if anyone wants to read about an overworked and underpaid truck driver who comes home every day, feeds and walks his dogs, and then gets on the computer and writes zombie books and zombie articles. The start of my life was pretty interesting. Moving to America from Ireland, growing up surrounded by alcoholism and drug abuse, being kind of a nut when I was younger, stuff like that. Recent years have been a lot slower. I don't even go out to eat much.
Julie: Well Ian, I beg to differ! I have enjoyed this conversation and getting to know a little more about you. Thank you so much for joining me. :)