Go ahead and read the zindie book review of Alex Severin’s Head Shots: Scenes from the Zombie Apocalypse!
What inspired you to do a compilation of scenes instead of a more traditional novella/short story?
Hi, Eloise. I wanted to do something that was a really fast, rip-roaring ride of a read. By taking out most of the back story and the more mundane functions that are usually part of a longer work, it allows for a break-neck speed prose.
Do you find it easier to write in a scene format? What are some of the challenges you come across while writing in that style?
It’s extremely easy for me to write in scenes – being a screenwriter too, it should be!I love writing screenplays. I love the possibilities a visual format offers and I tend to think in scenes anyway. A lot of my work begins as a single scene and I build from that.
From what I understand you are turning this into a full novel (which is GOOD to hear!). Was your original intention to have Head Shots: Scenes from the Zombie Apocalypse be the prelude to the novel, or did the plan for a novel fall into place later?
I always planned it as a novel, yes. Then I decided to try something different as a little taster of something bigger. I’ve done a short story collection as a tie-in for my ‘Vampire Vintage’ novel series and I wanted to do something similar for ‘Head Shots,’ but with just a little bit of a different format. The novel will run from before shit-hits-the-fan-day to post-apocalypse.
What was your writing process like? Did you write the scenes in any particular order?
I didn’t really have a particular order in the beginning, but as I wrote, the story took me in a different direction that I hadn’t anticipated. Just one of those organic things that happens sometimes when you write and a chronology became necessary. So, I went with it and eventually I had to do some rearranging of my timeline as a few things fell out of synch. I should plot more. (laughs.)
Your main character Vic is extremely aggressive and hard. Where did she come from? Purely made up or are bits and pieces from people you know?
She’s mostly made up. She’s one of these people who was born fighting and you can tell. She’s just a violently cool, bad-ass chick. I love her!
Are you an independent writer or did you work with a publisher on this piece?
I’m totally independent, or ‘indy’ as the buzz-phrase demands these days. I spent several years in the small press writing stories for nothing and giving them to micro-presses who had the life-span of a shrimp cocktail. For the last five years I’ve really done nothing in publishing at all. Then something very fortuitous happened – somebody stole a few of my stories (and 40+ other writers’ work too,) and put them out as Kindle Editions and paperbacks. This was my introduction to the wonders of Kindle. I was aware of it before, but the thought never entered my head to actually publish my own work with it. I was actually just beginning an agent hunt when all that happened. I’m pretty sure that would have been an excercise in futility. So, maybe I owe the thief a word of thanks? *grins*
Without giving too much away, why are your zombies the way they are and what makes them different from traditional undead?
I wanted to do something a little bit different with my zombies. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never read a zombie book, but I’ve seen a ton of zombie movies. They’re all pretty much of a muchness. Don’t get me wrong – I love zombie movies, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across something I thought was wildly original. So I wanted to put a little bit of a spin on it. I think a lot of the abject horror we should feel about zombies has been eradicated by the bitchin’ or cool element. I think the condition of my zombies – what they suffer, what they feel – brings the horror back. That’s all I’m saying! (wink)
Are zombies a major passion of yours or is it a newly developing one?
I do have a ‘thing’ about the Apocalypse and I love writing in that genre, but the zombie thing is actually a relatively new occurrence. I think I’ve only written one other zombie story, that was ‘Zombie Fucker,’ a few years
ago. It was in an old collection I shared with two other writers. My idea, collab story. It was a doozie, as you can imagine from the title! LOL! My main motivation behind that story was to write something erotic about something I found utterly unerotic. Just like I did with the clown porn story a few years ago when I used to write custom erotica. I still have nightmares. For me, fucking a zombie would be much preferable to fucking a
clown, let me tell ya!
About five years ago I discovered the ‘Resident Evil’ movies and absolutely loved them. I also love all the versions of Matheson’s ‘I Am Legend,’ – The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man etc. Although it was actually written as a vampire book, I don’t think of it as a vampire book. Vampires are cool and sexy. Zombies – not so much. So, for me, ‘I Am Legend’ is very much a zombie work.
What weapon would suit you best in the zombie apocalypse?
All the weapons in the book – SKS rifle, which fires a 7.62 x 39 round, excellent for head shots, a Mosin rifle, which the Russian Snipers used during both World Wars, which fires a 7.62 x 54 round, also excellent for popping skulls wide open, and a 9mm pistol as a side arm. Mine’s is a Norinco and I love it. It’s pretty much a Colt 1911 copy that was manufactured by the Chinese. It’s accurate, medium-weight, and easy to use. With handguns, people make the mistake of going for a light-weight piece. This is a no-no if you’ve not got superior control and a good grip. Light-weight handguns kick like a mule. Got those, you’re all set! You’d have to find a weapon that you’re comfortable with, literally comfortable with. Something that fits your shoulder and your reach, something that you’re not going to get fatigued quickly if you have to carry it around with you. A shotgun with a slug round would be great too, but I’m not a shotty fan. Oh, and a machette wouldn’t go a miss either!
Last, but not least…you’re in the produce section of the supermarket and you see a shambling zombie stocker boy stumble out of an aisle. What do you do?!
You know the answer to that, Eloise – HEAD SHOT!
If I’m unarmed when said stocker body comes shambling toward me, best bet would be to either run like hell in the opposite direction, or failing that, find a sharp object, anything pointy and thin, jam it in the bugger’s eye socket and wiggle it around. That should take care of him!
Any last words of promotion, encouragement, or wisdom?
My words of wisdom are – always listen to a Vietnam Vet when he tells you the shit’s gonna hit the fan!
Everybody can head on over to…
…and grab themselves a copy of ‘Head Shots : Scenes from the Zombie
Thanks Eloise! Been a pleasure to talk to you.