Starting something new here on the BIG SCARY BLOG. Every now and then I’ll grab a handful of letters from readers, post them here and answer ‘em.
If your letter is picked, you’ll receive a signed copy of one my books.
To send a question, you can email me at email@example.com or use snail mail at P.O. Box 84, Southampton PA 18966. PLEASE NOTE: if you send an email, put READER QUESTION in the subject line! (We don’t want the spam zombies to eat it)
Here’s the first batch of questions:
QUESTION: TAMARA F. from Atlanta: When will we see a sequel to DEAD OF NIGHT?
JONATHAN: DEAD OF NIGHT was written as a standalone, however there’s a chance I’ll pick up the story somewhere down the line. In the meantime, there’s another story coming out that takes place at the same time but with different characters. That story is Jack and Jill and it will be in the anthology, 21ST CENTURY DEAD, edited by Christopher Golden. The anthology also includes new zombie stories by an A-list of writers including Orson Scott Card, China Mieville, Simon R. Green, Daniel H. Wilson, Elizabeth Hand, Dan Chaon, Duane Swierczynski, Caitlin Kittredge, Brian Keene, Amber Benson, S.G. Browne, Thomas E. Sniegoski, and with his first published prose Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. The anthology debuts in July.
If you’ve enjoyed DEAD OF NIGHT, I posted a link to seven free Bonus Scenes: http://jonathanmaberry.com/happy-holidays-from-jonathan
QUESTION: Sereta H. from Tucson: Are you going to write for THE WALKING DEAD show?
JONATHAN: I’m not currently part of that creative team. I am, however, a huge fan of the show and the comic, and the creator, Robert Kirkman, has been on this blog and in several of my nonfiction books several times. Bob’s a great guy and I couldn’t be happier that the show is a success. He deserves it he’s done a lot to bring zombies to the cultural mainstream.
However I did write an essay on Rick Grimes, lead character of THE WALKING DEAD. That essay is in the recent nonfiction book: TRIUMPH OF THE WALKING DEAD, edited by James Lowder. The line-up of writers in that book is pretty amazing:
- Jay Bonansinga (author; The Black Mariah, co-author with Robert Kirkman of upcoming Walking Dead novels). Jonathan Maberry (New York Times bestselling author; Patient Zero, Zombie CSU, Marvel Zombies Return)
- Kim Paffenroth (professor of Religious Studies and zombie scholar; Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero’s Visions of Hell on Earth)
- Lisa Morton (author and screenwriter; The Lucid Dreaming, A Hallowe’en Anthology: Literary and Historical Writings Over the Centuries)
- Kyle William Bishop (English professor at Southern Utah University; American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead)
- Craig Fischer (professor at Appalachian State, comic scholar; The Comics Journal, The International Journal of Comic Art)
- Kenneth Hite (game designer and writer; Zombies 101, Trail of Cthulhu)
- Kay Steiger (editor of Campus Progress and author; The Atlantic, Bitch Magazine, In These Times)
- Ned Vizzini (young adult author; It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Be More Chill)
- Scott Kenemore (author; The Zen of Zombie: Better Living Through the Undead, Z.E.O., The Art of Zombie Warfare)
- Brendan Riley (professor at Columbia College Chicago, author; Journal of Popular Culture, The Amazing Transforming Superhero)
- Arnold T. Blumberg (instructor at University of Baltimore, author; Zombiemania, The Big BIG LITTLE BOOK Book)
- Vince Liaguno (author, anthologist, and editor; Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet, The Literary Six, Butcher Knives & Body Counts)
QUESTION: GEORGE C. from Winnipeg: Which of your books is your favorite?
JONATHAN: That’s going to be a different answer every time I’m asked. I’m fickle. I love whichever book or story I’m currently writing. Right now I’m working on EXTINCTION MACHINE, the fifth Joe Ledger novel (due out from St. Martin’s Griffin in 2013) and I’m totally absorbed. It has UFOs and conspiracy theories and even Men in Black. However, I’m listening to DEAD OF NIGHT on audio, and William Dufris performance is making that story entirely new for me, so I’m digging that, too. Yeah, this may be narcissistic, but I’m having fun.
To read my interview with Bill Dufris and listen to an audio sample: http://jonathanmaberry.com/dead-of-night-a-zombie-novel-a-conversation-with-audio-book-reader-william-dufris
QUESTION: HARRISON P. from Sioux City: Does what you write ever creep you out?
JONATHAN: All the time. Usually the real-world science scares the bejeezus out of me. I talked about why I write scary science stuff in an interview I did on J.C. Hutchin’s blog: http://jchutchins.net/site/2012/01/11/creator-spotlight-novelist-jonathan-maberry-dead-of-night/
JONATHAN: More or less, yes. There are two types of guest stars I like using: real people and my own characters. I started doing that with my first novels, the Pine Deep Trilogy (GHOST ROAD BLUES, DEAD MAN’S SON and BAD MOON RISING). Since that story dealt with a big Halloween festival, it seemed appropriate that celebrities from the horror world would be there as guests. So I reached out to several folks I know in the horror industry and asked if I could write them into the book. They all agreed, so in that series you can expect to encounter make-up effects wizard and director Tom Savini; James Gunn, the screenwriter for the Zack Snyder remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD; screenwriter Stephen Susco (THE GRUDGE), Ken Foree (star of the original DAWN OF THE DEAD), scream queens Brinke Stevens and Debbie Rochon; drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs; and a few others. Even bluesman Mem Shannon does a walk-on.
However peppered through that book and others are friends of mine. Captain Keith Strunk from ROT & RUIN is a real guy and a fellow member of the Liars Club. As is Don Lafferty, owner of Lafferty’s General Store in the same novel.
DEAD OF NIGHT is filled with real people, many of them winners of the â€œI Want to be a Zombie in DEAD OF NIGHT contest, including Shane Gericke, Sheldon Higdon, Nick Pulsipher, Wrenn Simms, Kealan Patrick Burke, Michael McGrath, Andy Diviny, Jillian Weiner, Byron Rempel, Elizabeth Donald, Peggy Sullivan and Paul Scott.
My webmaster, Jeff Strauss, has been killed more times than I can count in my novels.
As for cross-overs of my own characters I’ve been slowly creating links between the books. Malcolm Crow and Mike Sweeney from the Pine Deep Trilogy are mentioned in the Rot & Ruin books, and they both make cameos in the Joe Ledger novelette, Material Witness. Joe Ledger shows up in FLESH & BONE, the 3rd book in the Rot & Ruin series. Pine Deep is mentioned in DEAD OF NIGHT. And Sam Imura, the uncle of Tom Imura, joins Joe Ledger’s Echo Team in EXTINCTION MACHINE. There are more crossovers, too. You never know who will show up.
QUESTION: Penelope W. from Akron: I heard that you do Skype visits to classes. How can I get one of those for my class? I’m in ninth grade.
JONATHAN: I always have a lot of fun with Skype visits, and I do a bunch of them. Have your teacher or librarian send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if we can set something up!
Okay that’s it for now! We have tons of terrific guest stars coming up soon!