What are your published works, and what are you working on?
I am completing revisions on book 2 of the trilogy and will have that to the publisher within a month (fingers crossed). The third and final book in the series has also been written, but it is in need of numerous rewrites before submission for publication. I would like to have the entire series out by spring. The ending leaves room for more in the series, but am interested for now in pursuing other genres.
I’ve also started on a political thriller, a grid collapse/neo-medieval novel, and a dystopian post-global-warming apoc novel. Each of those is between 15-20,000 words, but I want to put the Harvest series in the rear-view before working further on them.
If someone was just hearing about you for the first time what 1 thing would you want them to know?
I think at this point in my career, most people are hearing about me for the first time. I’d like them to know that the Harvest series is a tale of people. The fault I found in a lot of post-apoc stories, was that they focused on someone in a survivable profession, be it a CDC doctor, an ex-military, law enforcement, government official. The stories never seemed to revolve around the average person, the one with a normal job, with a family and friends. Oh, and that I’ve woven both fast and slow undead into the tale in a way that works.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I always wrote as a hobby, though, I rarely kept anything I wrote and never saw it as a professional opportunity until recently. It took me until I was nearly forty to find my ‘process’ for writing long fiction.
What has been the biggest adventure of your life?
After I left college, I took a couple months and traveled across the country, alone. I camped in State and National parks and hiked backwoods wherever possible. Met some really decent people and had no problems with bears or thieves. The only danger I felt was in the Black Hills National forest when I went to sleep with coyotes baying close by on three sides of my tent.
If zombie apocalypse were to happen tomorrow would you be prepared?
I’d say I would be 90% prepared. I fully immersed myself in all thing apocalypse while envisioning and writing Harvest and it scared me. I spent a couple hundred dollars and put together a bug-out bag and some other necessities. Still need a few odd and ends, but I’m almost good to go.
What 3 things do you feel everyone should have to be ready for a survival situation?
Access to clean water: I have a family-size life-straw.
A hatchet, a weapon that doubles as a versatile tool.
Access to food. We have a month of rice and dry beans and a garden at our disposal. I don’t want to rely on our ability to get to the store and back safely, it’s unrealistic and dangerous in most apocalypse scenarios.
Who would you want with you if civilized society fell apart?
Well, in an ideal scenario I would like my family to be accompanied by a couple doctors, a squad of marines and some tradespeople (electrician, carpenter, mason, mechanic, etc.). In a realistic scenario, my wife and child and a couple friends with their families.
What 2 books would be in your bug out bag, knowing you would have to read them over and over?
A field guide to forageables in the Northeast US and Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut.
If we were thrown into the dark ages what would you miss most?
Adequate medical care. It would really suck to die of a tooth infection.
What is the most surprising fact about you?
I am a stay-at-home father practicing attachment parenting.
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Valerie Lioudis is the co-author of Aftershock: A Collection of Survivors Tales available on Amazon.