It is a great pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for the release of Julianne Snow’s Days of the Undead. Julianne has very kindly offered me an interview, but first, here’s a little excerpt of the book…
I could hear my team behind me trying not to gag but failing as I unfastened the last of the lines securing the boat to the dock. At that moment they burst through the last of the trees along the edge of the shore. There were now at least a hundred or so of the Undead only a few arm lengths away.
The shock of that moment was unparalleled in anything that I can recently remember. There were so many of them. I gave the boat a hard shove away from the dock and jumped aboard. Max opened the throttle as the Undead poured from the woods like honey from a broken bottle, their arms reaching for us. They were so close that you could feel the wind from their hands as they just missed you.”
Clicking on the cover above will take you to Sirens Call Publications where you can find a variety of stockists for the book. Now, on with the interview:
CD: First of all, congratulations on Days of the Undead. Your work has appeared in an anthology (Women of the Living Dead) before, but how does it compare to having your work stand alone?
JS: Thank you Caitlyn, I appreciate the kudos. I also appreciate your time in interviewing me. It’s definitely been a fun ride. As for the comparison between being part of an anthology and a having my own standalone book, there really is no difference. Knowing that people have the ability to read the words that I have so carefully crafted is invigorating. Being a published author is a heady mix of joy and excitement along with a little bit of doubt. My words are very special to me and I want people to enjoy the end result of my labors. I will say this however, getting an email that states that your work has been accepted for publication always slaps a big smile on my face.
CD: The book started life as a blog which is a really innovative and interesting way of telling such a story. What led you to make the decision to write it in that way?
JS: Most people might not know this but I did write Days with the Undead as a book initially but it sat there for a while as I tried to decide what I wanted to do with it; did I want to publish it independently, or try to approach a traditional publisher with it? I was worried as a first time writer that I would never sell a copy whichever direction that I chose to go. Each chapter is set out to represent one day in the lives of the survivors so it seemed like a logical progression to present each chapter as an unfolding story online. I built my website and then I waited until the fear of putting my work out into the world subsided. It was definitely an interesting few weeks of alternating doubt and confidence. In the end, confidence won out. I realized that I could be somewhat anonymous in an online forum. As I started to post each day, I began to see the numbers of people reading climb higher. Comments soon followed and then I was connecting with people, people who were fans, on a daily basis. It was wonderful. Once I had gotten myself to a point past where the first book ends, I found out that other great authors have released serial novels online before publishing – David Wellington being the one that springs to mind the fastest. I’d bought his books in an actual bookstore years earlier and it gave me hope. My dreams of publishing Days with the Undead as a book didn’t have to die. You may think that all of the content in the book can be found in the blog but you’d be wrong. The book contains all of the things that I wish I had thought to include the first time around. The subtle explanations, the scenes with the Undead that I always thought of afterwards – there is something in the book for both new and old fans alike.
CD: Was it always the intention to turn it into a book?
JS: Based on my answer above, I do think it was always my intention to make the story more alive. To go back and add the things that I knew I had wanted to add in but either didn’t have the time in the moment, or just hadn’t realized I wanted a particular scene included. After I was approached by my publisher, Sirens Call Publications, it was all the opportunity that I needed to make it the saga that I wanted it to be. I am by no means done. The story still continues on dayswiththeundead.com but now it’s more than that. It’s a world that lives inside my head and in the heads of the fans who read it. I can’t stop now.
CD: What is it about zombies that interest you and what are your favorite zombie-themed works?
JS: I’ve loved Zombies since I was little. At six, I watched Romero’s Night of the Living Dead for the first time and while it scared me, it also fascinated me. I was hooked from that moment on. I think what I find more fascinating about them is how we can see ourselves reflected in what they used to be. It’s like humanity’s biggest enemy is itself. As for my favorite Zombie themed works… I am a huge fan of David Wellington’s Monster Series. Those are great books. I adore the movies that George Romero so skillfully crafts. There are also a large number of Indie authors that I love: Ian Woodhead, Rebecca Snow, Suzanne Robb, and Stant Litore among many others. I find that each person has a slightly different view of the genre that never lets it get stale.
CD: A few years ago there was a bit of debate going on about fast or slow zombies. Which is your preference?
JS: I actually wrote a guest post about this a few months ago. I fall on the side of the slow zombie. If I had to meet one in a dark alley with only my wits to help save me, that’s the one that I’d like to meet. I’m a purist at heart and find the idea of a fast zombie to be contrary to the classic. That certainly doesn’t mean that I cannot appreciate the fast ones, I just think the slower ones might be easier to contend with.
CD: And finally, what’s your personal zombie survival plan? I’m pretty sure zombies can’t read so your ideas will be safe.
JS: Hmmm, are you sure? My survival plan is to get out of the city at the first whisper of something going down. I live in Toronto and with all of the urban sprawl, there is no way that I want to get stuck, surrounded by all of that concrete with the Undead headed straight for me. Once I’m out of the city, I’m heading north and getting as far away from largely populated areas as I can. There will be enough food left in the cities to keep them busy for a while so that will give me time to take stock of the situation and decide what the best course of action is going to be. If it ever happens, make sure you look me up online – I’ll be sure to keep you all updated!
Thank you to Julianne for giving the interview and also to Kalla at Sirens Call Publications.