What are your published works, and what are you working on?
I recently self-published Behold Darkness, book 1 of the Wolves of the Apocalypse series. It’s in paperback now and will be available on Kindle 10/15/17.
I’m working on books 2 and 3. Book 2, Ways of Darkness, just went to the editor. I’m waiting with dread and excitement for the end of the month, when I get the editor’s letter. I’m 75% through the rough draft of Book 3, tentatively titled Day of Darkness. I’m really looking forward to writing the end! We’ll see some surprising changes in our protagonists.
If someone was just hearing about you for the first time what 1 thing would you want them to know?
My books aren’t the usual “just trying to survive the zompoc” stories. There’s intrigue, dark humor, and a light at the end of the tunnel. When the fate of humanity’s at stake, my characters are going to do all they can to save it – and make a profit doing so.
Did you always want to be a writer?
When I was a kid, I used to narrate everything I did as if I was a character in a book. Sometimes it would be first-person POV, sometimes third. Growing up an only child miles away from the middle of nowhere, which was a town of 1,515 people, I had to make my own good time. My mom read to me often, which inspired my love of reading. Then when my dental hygienist introduced me to the Epic Fantasy genre (I was 9), I knew my fate: to write. It was Walking Dead and Resident Evil, though, that inspired me to write about zombies.
What has been the biggest adventure of your life?
Moving to Crescent City, California, for 8 months for work. I had 4 days notice that I landed the job. I’d never lived by myself before, never flown alone, and never rented an apartment. It turned out great! If you ever get the chance, get out there and see the redwoods, Pacific coast, and Rumiano cheese factory. Go in the summer, though!
If zombie apocalypse were to happen tomorrow would you be prepared?
If I was at my apartment, I’d be pretty well off. I have some supplies and defenses there. But I don’t think anybody is as ready as they think they are!
What 3 things do you feel everyone should have to be ready for a survival situation?
This is pretty broad, since urban and wilderness survival are very different. Every location and personal situation has different needs too, but in general…
#1 Knowledge – of your location, resources, safe places, allies. Also knowledge of basic survival and self-defense skills. Applied knowledge is power.
#2 Knife – a folder, preferably in a Leatherman multi-tool, is good for urban because it’s easier to hide. A fixed blade is more for wilderness work.
#3 Water – either in bottles or from a water filter straw.
Who would you want with you if civilized society fell apart?
How big can my party be? Real people I know?
My Krav Maga instructor. His experience includes French Foreign Legion spec ops, paratrooper, and security specialist. He’s also a firearms instructor and holds a black belt in multiple arts.
My jujitsu sensei. Military experience, years of martial arts, and good at talking people down.
The Krav mate of mine who’s in the local SWAT unit.
My family, if this is nation-wide.
What 2 books would be in your bug out bag, knowing you would have to read them over and over?
The US Army Survival Manual. This might change depending on my location, though.
If we were thrown into the dark ages what would you miss most?
Modern medical care, especially antibiotics. There’s a reason we live to 80 now instead of dying at 20 from sinusitis.
What is the most surprising fact about you?
I plan every detail of my life that I can, but I fly by the seat of my pants in most of my writing. It’s worked so far!
Bonus fact: robots freak me out.
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Valerie Lioudis is the co-author of Aftershock: A Collection of Survivors Tales available on Amazon.