TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
Thank you for having me. Apocalypse Guys is exactly my kind of website! I’m a husband, father, and writer who lives on the west coast of Florida. I’ve spent my entire career in publishing, from production to management to writing. My first book was published in 2010, titled, The Ultimate Guide to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse. A few months later I became a dad, and a few years after that, I published my first novel, The Blessed Man and the Witch. More books followed. I’m extremely fortunate to be able to write, to have a healthy family, and live in the greatest country in the world.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE TO WRITE?
My favorite genre to write is end-of-the-world stories; my oeuvre, such as it is, reflects that. On one hand it’s easy to write about: the stakes can’t get much higher than the apocalypse. On the other hand, it’s difficult to make it realistic. I’ve written about the zombie apocalypse, Biblical Armageddon, and even a few tales about a bee-pocalypse. At this point I’m starting to get a bit tired of ending the world, so I’m trying to move away from that.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE POST-APOCALYPTIC FILMS/BOOKS?
Movies: The Road Warrior, Mad Max, The Rapture, Night of the Comet, Knowing, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Omega Man. Books: The Road, Lucifer’s Hammer, Earth Abides, Swan Song, I Am Legend, Wayward Pines.
THOSE ARE TIMELESS POST-APOCALYPTIC CLASSICS THAT EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH AT LEAST ONCE. WHEN DID YOU FIRST BEGIN PUBLISHING YOUR WORK? TELL US ABOUT THE PROCESS FROM INCEPTION OF IDEA TO HITTING THE PUBLISH BUTTON.
I wanted to write a trilogy about a Biblical Armageddon that focused on issues of faith, religion, and the occult without preaching. Like The Exorcist and The Omen. Old-school storytelling that has an objective good, represented by God and Jesus Christ, as well as an objective evil, represented by Hell, but treated both sides as thoughtful, mature adults making what they think are the right decisions. (I’m Jewish, not Christian, by the way.) And I wanted to describe the effect of magic returning to the world on a group of people who don’t know each other, but come together to deal with a catastrophic event. I wrote character notes, created an outline, wrote and re-wrote several times, hired a cover designer, researched e-book layout techniques, laid out the book myself, sent a draft to beta readers, and finally, after two years of solid work, published The Blessed Man and the Witch. I know the publishing industry inside and out, so I didn’t want to send my book to a traditional publisher who would make me change elements of the story and have me do at least as much sales and marketing as I do now, but for a fraction of the royalties. So I went self-pub.
WHERE CAN READERS FIND YOUR BOOKS?
Amazon’s the big dog, so I went with Amazon.
YEP, AMAZON.COM IS THE 800 LB GORILLA WHEN IT COMES TO PUBLISHING! THAT’S WHERE I PURCHASE THE MAJORITY OF MY POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION. WHAT WRITERS/BOOKS INSPIRE YOU?
C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series and his Space Trilogy. I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at a young age, and that really helped shape my imagination. Historical fiction from authors like Mika Waltari and Gary Jennings, for putting you right there in amazing historical settings and making you believe that their novels really happened. Science fiction by Peter F. Hamilton, who can weave disparate characters and story elements together into an incredible story.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING A WRITER?
The filthy lucre. Also, the idea that other people visit the worlds I create and enjoy spending time in them.
I SEE YOUR MOST RECENT SERIES IS THE ARMAGEDDON SERIES. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT IT. HOW MANY BOOKS IT SPANS, PLOT, WHERE READERS CAN FIND IT, ETC.
My Armageddon series is a trilogy: The Blessed Man and the Witch, The Nephilim and the False Prophet, and The Holy Warrior and the Last Angel. All (except for Holy Warrior) are available as e-books on Amazon. It’s your soup-to-nuts story of a Biblical apocalypse, with holy relics, ritual magicians, angels, demons, Nephilim, psychics, and everyday people, spanning Heaven, Earth, the Higher Planes, and the Lower Planes of Hell.
I HEAR THERE IS A BOOK THREE TO THE SERIES COMING SOON. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT IT AND WHEN IT WILL BE RELEASED?
The third book, The Holy Warrior and the Last Angel, is available for purchase on Amazon. This draws everything to a close. In it, the world is plunged into terrible chaos, and the cold war of Heaven and Hell, once fought by humans as proxies on Earth, explodes into open, violent conflict. There’s no guarantee that the good guys will win, and even Angels of the Lord seem to consider the Earth to be an acceptable loss.
I RECENTLY CHECKED OUT THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SURVIVING A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE ON AMAZON. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE BOOK AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE IT.
This is the only guide you’ll ever need on surviving a zombie apocalypse. In it, I address basic survival skills, combat tactics for killing zombies, how to build a good zombie-killing team, and a lot more. I wrote it because the original publisher, Paladin Press, didn’t have any books in their library quite like it, and the zombie genre was, at the time, rising in popularity. So I did considerable market research to make the book an easy sell, and drew upon the skills I learned firsthand in self-defense, survival, combat shooting, knife fighting, and personal security management to write the book.
I SEE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE IN COMBAT SHOOTING, KNIFE FIGHTING, MARTIAL ARTS AND SURVIVAL SKILLS. HOW MUCH OF THAT IS INCORPORATED INTO THE GUIDE?
A lot. I describe the best hand-to-hand weapons for zombie killing (baseball bats ain’t that great), settle issues of Weaver vs. Isosceles shooting stance and caliber vs. capacity for handguns, and how to incorporate both shooting and edged weapon skills into your combat repertoire, among many other things. I also go into individual shooting techniques for the deanimation of zombies, from semi-automatic handguns to revolvers to shotguns to rifles. Plus blade drills to practice your zombie chopping skills.
WOULD THIS BOOK HELP SOMEONE LEARN SURVIVAL TECHNIQUES THAT WOULD TRANSFER TO OTHER SCENARIOS BEYOND A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE? FOR EXAMPLE, I SEE YOU COVER SUCH TOPICS AS FINDING FOOD, WATER AND SHELTER. ALSO, WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND SOMEONE DO RIGHT THIS MOMENT TO PREPARE.
While I put this information into the fictional framework of a zombie apocalypse, you can use this book to survive a number of different end-of-the-world scenarios or even temporary natural disasters like a hurricane. You have to prepare for privation, you have to develop an at-all-costs mindset, and you have to get out of your comfort zone and do things that scare you.
If you haven’t done any disaster preparedness whatsoever, the first thing you should work on is creating a bug-out bag: a bag that contains the bare minimum of things you’d need to survive at least a few days during a Shit Hits The Fan scenario: weapons, extra clothes, valuables, etc. Don’t bother packing lots of food and water; they’re heavy, particularly water, and will slow you down. This bag has to be something you can bring with you and carry around. Do a Google search on “bug-out bag” and you’ll get all sorts of suggestions. Or, better yet, pick up my guide and you’ll have all the information you need. The most important thing is to start today. Don’t put it off. Do a little bit every day or so and you’ll be on your way to preparedness.
COULD THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SURVIVING A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE BE USED AS A PRIMER FOR LEARNING MORE ABOUT BASIC SURVIVAL SKILLS OR IS IT PRIMARILY GEARED TOWARDS THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE?
The book focuses on dealing with a zombie-caused end of the world, but I describe contingencies like dealing with toilets when the water shuts off, scavenging food from abandoned buildings, hardening your home’s security against intruders, finding shelter on the fly, and other subjects. One big difference between the zombie apocalypse and a basic survival situation is that the world won’t come back from a zombie apocalypse any time soon. So money and consumer electronics, as much as we love them, will become worthless in a very short time.
IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE THE ULTIMATE APOCALYPSE OR CAN YOU IMAGINE ONE THAT WOULD BE TOUGHER TO SURVIVE?
Well, if a mountain-sized meteor slams into the Earth or the Sun swells up and cooks us, that’d be pretty tough to survive. A dreadful pandemic of antibiotic-resistant cholera or something like that would also be difficult; you’re pretty much hosed unless you’ve got some kind of hermetically-sealed environment to live in. A super volcano blanketing the Earth’s atmosphere with ash and plunging us into endless winter would probably suck more than a zombie apocalypse. Pleasantly, none of these scenarios are terribly likely…or maybe they are. Who knows?
I SEE YOUR GUIDE ALSO DIFFERENTIATES THE DIFFERENT CLASSES OF ZOMBIES. CAN YOU DESCRIBE SOME OF THE VARIATIONS A PERSON MAY ENCOUNTER IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE?
I describe three basic types of zombies: Voodoo zombies, which are ordinary humans turned into mindless slaves of a black magician called a bocor through drugs and/or incantations; Supernatural zombies, which are undead creatures created through magical or otherwise unexplainable means; and Viral zombies, which are also undead creatures, but made so through scientific methods. One of the first things you need to do when addressing a zombie apocalypse is determine what kind of zombies you’re facing. Supernatural zombies, for example, might not die when shot in the head, and may have been raised by more powerful supernatural creatures like vampires or even demons. As bad as they are, their condition isn’t typically communicable, unlike Viral zombies, who can turn you into a zombie with one bite. So the differences have meaning and relevance to your survival strategy.
WHAT’S NEXT ON THE HORIZON FOR YOU AS A WRITER?
After The Holy Warrior and the Last Angel is released in October, I will release the sequel to the short story anthology Appalling Stories: 13 Tales of Social Injustice. This sequel, Appalling Stories 2: More Appalling Tales of Social Injustice, addresses even more topics that traditional, Social Justice Warrior-plagued publishers consider too “triggering” and/or offensive for readers. That will be available in December. I’m also working on a multi-volume science fiction adventure series with a couple of other skilled writers.
I update my author site with original articles, books and movie reviews, and news about my work at least once a week: http://davedauthor.com.
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Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.