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Back in the day, in a little town called Freehold, New Jersey where Bruce Springsteen once got frustrated with suburban life and a grand mall once stood stood a little resturaunt in said mall's food court. It was called Roli Boli. It was delicious.
Rob E Boley is also delicious, in a consumption of words kinda way. I doubt he has any real connection to Freehold, New Jersey or Bruce Springsteen. But that's okay because Roli Boli no longer exists in the mall anyway. Damnit, Rob E Boley, you made me hungry.
I'm going to go brood in the corner while you good fold enjoy the Books, Beer and BLOGshit Winter of Zombie interview with Rob E. Boley.
The Blogshit: Let’s cut to the chase, what are you promoting for the Winter of Zombie?
Rob E. Boley: I’m promoting my Scary Tales dark fantasy series of novels, which begins with That Risen Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White & Zombies. The series is a mash-up of fairy tales and classic horror monsters. It starts where the classic Snow White fairy tale ends—with the Prince kissing Snow to wake her from her zombie curse. Except she wakes up as a deranged zombie and all hell breaks loose. Although Snow White’s zombies remain the primary threat throughout the series, I also introduce other mash-ups, such as Red Riding Hood and werewolves, Beauty & the Beast with Phantom of the Opera, and Goldilocks and The Mummy.
The Blogshit: It’s rarely ever talked about, but how do you envision the outcome of the zombie world you have created? Is there hope? Will humanity succumb to the new world order? What is the outcome of all this horrible zombie business?
Rob E. Boley: I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I will say this: very few of my characters are likely to live happily ever after. I’m a huge fan of bittersweet endings. It’s far more satisfying—and true to life—when characters win a little but also lose a little. I mean, how many pure victories do we ever really achieve in life? Achieving anything—especially surviving a zombie apocalypse—always comes at a cost.
The Blogshit: As a writer of zombie fiction, do you feel you can sustain your career writing about zombies only or do you feel you will need to write outside the sub-genre to continue? What avenues will you branch out to if you do feel a need to expand?
Rob E. Boley: I never really set out to be a zombie horror writer—or even necessarily a horror writer. I just write the stories that come to my mind, but so far those have mostly tended to be horror or dark fantasy. I grew up reading horror and I love the genre. I have a few more books coming in The Scary Tales series. I’m also working on another book that features zombie-like creatures, but I can’t imagine all of my future books will feature zombies. I have some ideas for non-zombie stories, and it’s just a matter of time before one of those sees print. At some point, I aim to write a werewolf novel. I’ve always loved the man-beast duality of werewolves.
The Blogshit: What is more important to the story: A sympathetic human survivor or a zombie with an interesting storyline?
Rob E. Boley: It totally depends on the story. But as long as the survivor has some serious flaws and the antagonist has some depth, I think the story will do just fine. That’s the thing with writing zombie fiction—zombies aren’t—as characters—typically that interesting. They’re more like a force of nature, like a hurricane or flood, than most traditional monsters. So, in zombie fiction, it helps to have some regular people to serve as an alternate antagonist. Walking Dead is a great example of that. After the first few trades, the real threat quickly becomes other people—not the shambling ghouls.
The Blogshit: For you, who are the most important writers in zombie fiction at this moment?
Rob E. Boley: Honestly, I don’t know if I’m qualified to say. I mean, there’s so much zombie fiction out there, I can’t imagine I’ve read but a small fraction of it. I will say that Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead graphic novel series is brilliant. I love Max Brooks’ work, too. I am a huge fan of David Wellington’s Monster Island trilogy, which was an original spin on the zombie mythos.
The Blogshit: Is there room for sex in the zombie apocalypse?
Rob E. Boley: Sex is like Jell-o. There’s always room for it. I actually get frustrated that there isn’t more sex in zombie apocalypse tales. I mean, death is literally staring these people in the face. Hell, death is trying to eat their faces. Why aren’t they screwing like rabbits, you know? Seriously, though, if you want a great example of sexy zombie apocalyptic hijinks, check out The Resurrected by Megan Hart. She does an amazing job of infusing erotic tension into her zombie epic. Spoiler alert: she also writes a bad-ass zombie sex scene.
The Blogshit: How much consideration do you give to the seasons in your zombie stories?
Rob E. Boley: Seasons are especially important for zombies. If it’s below freezing, those corpses are going to freeze right the hell up. Likewise if it’s summer, those zombies are going to get ripe mighty quick. Autumn is my favorite season, so I tend to set a lot of my stories, including The Scary Tales, in those fall months. Though probably spring is the best weather for zombies. All the rain loosens up the soil so it’s easier to crawl out of the grave. Plus, there’s no dead leaves to crunch underfoot and ruin the element of surprise.
|That's a Roli Boli. You know you want one too.|
The Blogshit: Our final question always revolves around zombie themed food. This Winter of Zombie, Books, Beer and BLOGshit wants you to consider setting up a food truck to cater to a zombie clientele. What would you name your Zombie Food Truck?
Rob E. Boley: I think it’d have to be called Whole Brain Foods. We’d only serve human brains and meat that were raised free-range style—with a minimum of two hours of outdoor time each day—without the use of genetic modification, antibiotics, or tranquilizers. Don’t you just hate biting into a good hunk of human flesh and tasting a mouthful of chemicals? I sure do! Of course, we wouldn’t use preservatives for our products, so that food truck is going to stink something fierce. Fortunately, our zombie clientele aren’t likely to care. Unfortunately, our zombie clientele doesn’t have a lot of cash on hand—and they always forget to bring their credit cards. But that’s life—er, afterlife—in the food truck business.
Rob E. Boley Online: http://www.robboley.com/
Rob E. Boley on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rob-E.-Boley/e/B00FSM1AD6