Sunday, November 29, 2015

Winter of Zombie 2015: Ted Nulty

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! Its the only blog on the internet that cuts to the chase. I am your host, Mr. Frank!

This afternoon on Books, Beer and BLOGshit, author Ted Nulty. He is awesome. The chase has been cut to. Read the interview now!

The Blogshit: Let’s cut to the chase, what are you promoting for the Winter of Zombie?

Ted Nulty:  My series ‘Gone Feral’ which features zombies that are made by ingesting a chemical. The ‘Ferals’ are psychotically violent and turn cannibal. My book ‘The Other side of me’ is the third installment of the series.
Zombies, I’ve loved them since I saw ‘Night of the Living dead’. The overwhelming sense of dread at facing a swarm of the living dead is a rush. But they really became cool when they got fast, Dawn of the dead, 28 days later fast. Now single zombies were a threat where before it took a whole town to be scary.
I wrote ‘Gone Feral’ as a homage to all the zombie writers before me, but I wanted it to be real, I wanted it to make sense where sometimes some of the other tales left a little too much gap in the realm of plausibility. Watching CNN in a bar one night with some Marines, we saw a naked man going cannibal on another man on a freeway overpass in Florida. The story about bath salts was my inspiration for the series. You see every single aspect of the chemical poisoning of the population was ‘Gamed out’ at the Marine Corps EOC (Emergency Operations Center) at Camp Pendleton. I learned how many airplanes it would take to disperse a water soluble drug to 60% of the population. Throw in a little artistic license, and I was ready to go.
I did want to stay as close to the zombie “rules” as I could. So I made the chemical transferable through a bite. I also made the affected, immune to pain and hard to kill. Add in some rage and you are looking at as close to a zombie as I can realistically get.
The positive response from readers was quite a shock, and I immediately began work on book II at the behest of my small but growing fan base. I wrote ‘Barry’s Walk’ in response to that feedback and it turned out to be wildly popular with folks. Barry was a minor character in the first book that people said they wanted to know more about. I wrote it as a stand-alone novel and therefore had to include some of the story from the first book for continuities sake. I burned that sucker out in 30 days and had a blast doing it. I left a little cliff hanger there at the end just because I had another novel in mind. But I had another flight of fancy first and decided to scratch that itch.
‘The Other Side of Me’ is my homage to Jekyll and Hyde. I wanted to write about a really good person who through no fault of his own becomes a very evil monster, then I want that tortured character to face the challenge of reconciling his acts with the knowledge that it wasn’t his fault. Kind of a PTSD on steroids type of thing. Again the plot twist bug bit me, and I had to throw a few curve balls in there. The story is set in the ‘Gone Feral’ universe, and the drugs the terrorists use are the vehicle used to catapult this whole new cast of characters through a wild journey.
Did I mention I’m a Marine? Well I am, and we like challenges. So not only did I make my zombies hard to kill, and fast. I made sure that all mammals were affected by the drug, making Cats, Rats, Dogs, and Pigs (Especially pigs) susceptible to the effects of the toxin. This made the world exponentially more difficult to survive in. It also gave me more ways to herd, corral, push, or otherwise guide my characters into more trouble.
I can’t get through a day without some form of humor, so I have taken the task very seriously to introduce some form of off color shenanigans into my books. It’s what us Jarheads do to cope with stress, and I know it would happen in the real world. I have to confess that the kid humor is always taken from my devil spawn children. You’ll have to take it with a grain of salt (pun intended).

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?

Ted Nulty:  Book IV will cover humanity’s attempt at rebuilding, but I like a challenge, therefore I think that even after the ferals are ‘cured’ I think that there will be a lot of former monsters having psychotic breaks and becoming serial killers.
In the first book, I have 1/3 of the population eat the second 1/3 with the rest of the population surviving. If you think about it, that means 2 out of every three homes empty. Think of all the stuff lying around! People will develop a user mind set instead of being productive (They just lived through the apocalypse remember) so they will be massive consumers. It would take years to get people to go back to being producers of anything but food. I mean there would be five new cars at the dealership for every person left alive! People would become wasteful. There would be a lot of unused but serviceable stuff lying around.

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?

Ted Nulty:  I am a science fiction writer at heart, I just haven’t written a book yet! I do very well with my crime fiction, but I need to write a metric shit-ton more books before I can live comfortably.
I am inspired by Keith Laumer and want to write a Bolo themed book. Especially when they first became self aware.
The same goes for Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle…I want to write a WAR World book. The Saurons are so cool to beat up on!

The Blogshit: What is more important to the story: A sympathetic human survivor or a zombie with an interesting storyline?

Ted Nulty:  In ‘The Other side of Me’, the main character is a Pastor who becomes a raging pscho-cannibal, but after he recovers he tries to redeem himself (Kind of a Jekyll/Hyde kind of thing), but my nasty nature intervened and I threw some plot twists in there. It helped develop the story line. My fans have said they like how I have an abundance of characters and they like how they all get developed. They say they get to know them, all the better when I have them eaten, shot, or otherwise torn apart!

The Blogshit: For you, who are the most important writers in zombie fiction at this moment?

Ted Nulty:  The Indie crowd is it! Eric Shelman, Mark Tufo, WJ Lundy, Shawn Chesser, John O’Brien, Gareth Wood, Z.A. Recht, James Cook and the list goes on! I am humbled when I actually see my name mentioned with these great writers. Three years ago I was reading all of their works and wishing I was that talented.

The Blogshit: Is there room for sex in the zombie apocalypse?

Ted Nulty:  There is always room for a good sex scene in a book. I however am a Marine and am woefully unqualified to write such things. I’m more of a bash the girl over the head with my club kind of guy who then drags her back to my cave. Probably why my picture is up at the post office. One of my shortcomings.

The Blogshit:  How much consideration do you give to the seasons in your zombie stories?

Ted Nulty:  A little bit. My stories start off in the summer, so the bodies can get ripe and pop from internal gasses. I just wish books had ‘smell-o-vision’ so they smelled like what you are reading. My kids wouldn’t let me back in the house with the number of zombie books I read!

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?

Ted Nulty:  You ask this after I get done describing how things should smell! ZOMPIZZA! I love Italian food especially pizza. Gotta have a ‘Brain Pie’! with a nice Corona to wash it down! DEEEE-EEEE-Lish!

THE Ted Nulty

Ted Nulty's Home Page:
Ted Nulty on Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment