1. What are your published works, and what are you working on?
My first novel is Dead Fall, a zombie novel, which was published just recently. Several years ago I published a screenplay formatting guide called Your Cut To: Is Showing under the name T.J. Alex.
Currently I am working on a horror novel titled The Reaching. It is not a zombie novel. It was written by hand, and now needs to be typed up and re-written.
2. If someone was just hearing about you for the first time what 1 thing would you want them to know?
That I’m a loving, devoted husband, and a good father. If that is all anyone ever knows about me, it’ll be enough.
3. Did you always want to be a writer?
I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Since at least the fourth grade, but maybe a couple of years sooner. Even back then, horror was my preferred genre having seen the Friday the 13th movies. My love of horror was solidified when I read my first Stephen King novel, It, back in 1986.
4. What has been the biggest adventure of your life?
I lived in New York City from 2005-2008 and while I was there, I founded a screenplay club called the New York Script Club, which quickly became the largest club of its kind in all of New York. It set the groundwork for the screenplay formatting book I wrote. I also learned I’m probably a better writing teacher than I am a writer. I had to give up the club when I moved back to Texas to marry my college sweetheart, but I’ll always look back on those years in New York with fondness.
5. If zombie apocalypse were to happen tomorrow would you be prepared?
Probably not. I don’t own any guns, and if the dead started to rise, guns would quickly be hard to find. If the zombies are of the fast-moving variety, I’m royally screwed.
6. What 3 things do you feel everyone should have to be ready for a survival situation?
By survival situation, are we talking about a zombie apocalypse? If so, guns would be at the top of the list. Next, you would probably want to be with a group of people so you can have one another’s back. I mean, people who could cut off your arm at a moment’s notice if you are bitten to try and save your life. Last, water. I think food would be easy to come by (for a while, at least), but natural water sources would quickly become contaminated.
If by survival situation, you mean something like being lost in the woods, then people or the undead might not be trying to kill you around every corner, so guns may not be as important. In that situation, everyone needs a good multi-knife, water, and probably a good book on how to survive in the wilderness.
I probably wouldn’t last a day in either situation.
7. Who would you want with you if civilized society fell apart?
My wife, my kids, and Jack Bauer.
8. What 2 books would be in your bug out bag, knowing you would have to read them over and over?
Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner and Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
9. If we were thrown into the dark ages what would you miss most?
Probably the internet. I just love the fact that anything we want to know is just a Google search away. That, or a pepperoni and Italian sausage stuffed-crust pizza from Pizza Hut.
10. What is the most surprising fact about you?
Not sure how surprising it is, but an interesting piece of trivia is that I have what are called “splayed thumbs.” They are stubby and fat and odd-looking. I’ve been told that only one in every two million people have them. I can’t win a lottery, but weird thumbs? Yes.
Aside from that, I grew up playing pool and used to be quite the hustler. I’ve lost much of my skills as I traded pool sticks and chalk for changing diapers and reading bedtime stories, but it was a good trade. I could probably still take someone’s money if I were put in a position to do so.
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Valerie Lioudis is the co-author of Aftershock: A Collection of Survivors Tales available on Amazon.