What are your published works, and what are you working on?
I have only written and published one novel “Only the Dead Don’t Die.” I’m currently working on book two of what I’m calling The Dead Series, “Only the Dead Don’t Lie.”
If someone was just hearing about you for the first time what 1 thing would you want them to know?
I want readers to know that I strive to write compelling, scary, survival stories with a touch of the metaphysical about the average guy and gal, (not a hitman, superhero, military expert, reporter, or socialite).
Did you always want to be a writer?
YES! Always, ever since First Grade. When learning to read “See Spot Run,” I thought, “I can write a book more exciting than this.” LOL, I was only six. Since then, I was always making silly, little homemade booklets of “My Favorite Things” and books of poems. Throughout the years, I started writing several novels, which I never did finish with the excuse that I was too busy. When in actuality, I think I just needed to experience more of life before I could become a true writer.
What has been the biggest adventure of your life?
When I was fifteen, my family moved from Louisiana to California. That was a huge eye-opener. California was SO NOT like Louisiana, especially in those days. Then, after meeting my husband, it’s just been one adventure after another. We moved to Santa Fe—absolutely wonderful; then we made a wrong turn and ended up in Florida: too many tornados and alligators for me. Then, we returned to California and set-up our own business for about two years, the Cosmic Shirt Company, until the Bankstas caused The Crash. Homeless for a while, Yes, really. Then, we managed to get our feet back on the ground by obtaining super-boring jobs because we needed to eat, and we needed some stability in our lives. The problem was after about four years of working my boring job, I thought I was going crazy. Couldn’t handle it. I focused almost every second of my free time writing and completing my first novel. It took me two years! At the time, I thought I’d finally be at peace with myself upon completion of my novel. Nope, I hated my job even more. So, recently my husband and I finally took a big gamble, downsized, quit our boring but secure jobs, and moved to a fixer-upper house near Mt. Shasta. Now I can write all I want! Oh, but there’s always something I need to do that keeps me from writing–it seems: It’s called life.
If zombie apocalypse were to happen tomorrow would you be prepared?
No way! I’d never be prepared for such a disaster. Over the years, we’ve been gradually preparing a basic survival kit. Since we live in the country, figure we already have a head start on all those urban dwellers.
What 3 things do you feel everyone should have to be ready for a survival situation?
Three things required to be ready for a survival situation. Chocolate, well, that’s a given, so I won’t include that. Food and water— that’s a no-brainer too. So, I’ll start off with entertainment and peace of mind: vital to avoid going insane. I have several boxes of books stashed away, ready to read when the SHTF. Mostly, the types of books I enjoy reading, and of course a few survival type books, and tons of metaphysical books to keep me motivated—not depressed. Secondly, I have been collecting playing cards, along with “How to Play” books. Don’t want to be bored to death, gotta keep the brain working. (Spent a lot of time playing cards as a kid—before computers took over our brains.) Thirdly, I‘ve been saving heirloom seeds (non-GMO). I only have a small collection at this point, but I think seeds will be a highly valued commodity if/when things go back to the Dark Ages.
Who would you want with you if civilized society fell apart?
My family! And, preferably an enclave of fully-prepared preppers who actually know what they are doing.
What 2 books would be in your bug out bag, knowing you would have to read them over and over?
A Judy Hall book. I love her Crystal Bible series. Crystals and stones have helped me survive this mundane life as a vulnerable Earth Child. I know everyone thinks of survival books. I think more along the lines of coping during such a crises: emotionally and mentally. Crystals and stones work wonders on all the layers of the soul. Also, I need an herbal book with illustrations of edible and medicinal plants in my area. We’ve only been here for a couple of months, so I don’t know of a good herbal for the Mt. Shasta area yet. Better do my homework.
If we were thrown into the dark ages what would you miss most?
I think it would be watching movies and listening to music. I’d also miss playing XBOX games such as State of Decay, Fallout: New Vegas, and Plants vs. Zombies. I am so hooked on those silly games.
What is the most surprising fact about you?
Hmm, the people who know me from my working-world life were super-surprised when I told them I had published a dystopian, zombie novel. They were like . . . “Whut?” They were just getting used to my metaphysical side. Now they really think I’m weird. It seems odd to me as well that I like to venture to the darkside a bit in my stories. Also, I am super-girly, most people are surprised that I was in the Army Reserves. In fact, some people actually don’t believe me when I mention I was in the military.
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Valerie Lioudis is the co-author of Aftershock: A Collection of Survivors Tales available on Amazon.