What are your published works, and what are you working on?
I have a new book, Exiting Innocence, that will be released on October 1st. It is the second full length in my Extinction Diaries series. The books tell the story of Brennan Flannigan and his family from the beginning of the inevitable zombie uprising. The books are a mix of zombie gore, survival horror and humor. I also have released a book of short stories that are based on characters inspired by the full length novels. I am about three quarters of the way through the rough draft of the third full Extinction Diaries novel and hope to have an early 2018 release date.
I have a couple of other projects that I am working on currently, an alien invasion novel and a government conspiracy involving werewolves. The ideas are still being hashed out and they are still in the developmental phase.
If someone was just hearing about you for the first time what 1 thing would you want them to know?
Really I would want them to have no preconceived notions. I think that a lot of the mystery of books (and movies and music for that matter) has been lost in the modern world. I am just a normal guy that has these stories running around in his head and I try to convey that through my writing.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I have always surrounded myself with creative people. My father is a fantastic guitar player and he introduced me to underground rock and roll at an early age. A majority of my friends are artists, musicians, tattoo artists and just all around creative types. I figured out in a hurry that I didn’t have any musical talent. So in my early to mid twenties I published an underground punk and hardcore ‘zine where I wrote a monthly column. The is when I got the taste for writing.
What has been the biggest adventure of your life?
I moved across the country, from Florida to San Francisco, leaving my family and friends behind to be with my girlfriend (now wife). We had only been dating for a few months and it was really impulsive. It was scary, exhilarating and freeing all at the same time. Life is full of chances and sometimes you have to roll the dice (Somebody call the cliche police!) All kidding aside, Erica has been a tremendous supporter of my writing and I would not be where I am without her.
If zombie apocalypse were to happen tomorrow would you be prepared?
Is anyone? We have supplies (food and water) for about a week in storage. We have a Jeep that I can kick into 4 wheel drive and could probably climb a tree. I have a few knives and we know our way around firearms. We do have a plan and a place to go. The thing that people assume about a zombie apocalypse is that they will just wake up one day and zombies will be roaming the streets. I tend to think that it will be slower and drag out a bit before modern civilization crumbles. One thing that Zombieland got right: Cardio. There will be a level of physical stress on our bodies (the survivors anyways) that most of us aren’t prepared for.
What 3 things do you feel everyone should have to be ready for a survival situation?
The first on any list is a weeks worth of food and water. That is always number one. The second is a plan. Where is safety and how are you going to get there? The last would be luck. Sometimes the ones that survive aren’t the strongest, biggest and baddest. They were just in the right place at the right time.
Who would you want with you if civilized society fell apart?
Erica (my wife) and our dog, BB Gun Chewbacca Weston-Clark. Oh, and the Professor from Gilligan’s Island. You never know when you might need a coconut phone!
What 2 books would be in your bug out bag, knowing you would have to read them over and over?
Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo. One of the best books I have ever read.
The Stand by Stephen King. I am not sure that it would fit in the bag though!
If we were thrown into the dark ages what would you miss most?
Modern medicine.Of course running water and toilets are high on the list as well.
What is the most surprising fact about you?
This is a secret that not many people know. Horror movies scare the crap out of me. I have nightmares for weeks after seeing them type of scared. I think that it all goes back to when I was a kid and watched Salem’s Lot with my dad and younger brother. My dad went outside our bedroom window and lightly tapped on it after we had gone to bed. I can still hear his voice. “Wessslllleeyyy….Wessssllleeeeyyyy.” was followed by him calling my brother’s name “Dannnnnyyyy….Dannnnnyyyy.” Scarred me for life. .
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Valerie Lioudis is the co-author of Aftershock: A Collection of Survivors Tales available on Amazon.