interview by Joe Vaz

From Issue 16 (Dec 2011)

Where is home?
Home is a little house next to a railway line in Liverpool.

Do you write full-time?
Yes and no. I work a regular job and then put in almost as many hours writing (when I’m not procrastinating – and that goes for both at the real job and this fake job).

What inspired this story? And how did you develop the details?
The story was inspired by my wondering what it would be like if you lived on a tiny speck of land above a world ravaged with zombies and then the story went elsewhere, as all stories do. The details developed draft by draft.

What made you decide to tell the story from the point of view of the undead?
It just happened. Mid-way through the original draft of the original idea things shifted and Allyson decided she was dead. Poor thing.

Your zombies have fairly cohesive thoughts and don’t speak in grunts (or is that just Allyson and the Pastor – in which case, why?). What do you think of the evolution of zombies in fiction, and which species of zombie has stood out for you?
As I was setting the story from the zombie’s viewpoint I figured grunts would not be the way to go. A narrative of grunt, grunt, grunt, ugh, argh, grunt, grunt might have been off-putting.

My favourite zombies, or rather my favourite zombie story, is Shaun of the Dead. Those zombies are so dim-witted and uncoordinated. As for their evolution, it’s good that zombies get out more and get to do a wide range of things – from having a relationship, to being someone’s pet… which reminds me. I loved Fido! Maybe I like the zombies in Fido more. My decision could take some time.

If you had to choose an undead life, would you rather be a zombie or a vampire (and why)? No hesitation – a vampire. Vampires are prettier. Vampires don’t eat brains. Vampires get to sleep all day and party all night.

Are you working on anything right now?
I’m concentrating on writing some short stories, before heading into a novel in January.

Where can we read more of your work?
A collection of my short stories, Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits, was published in 2010 by Strange Publications, and Delirium Books recently published my novella Barbed Wire Hearts. I also have another novella forthcoming from Hadley Rille Books – Theatre of Curious Acts – which should be available just before Christmas.

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Joe Vaz

Joe Vaz is the founder and editor of Something Wicked, which occasionally affords him the honour and good fortune to hang out with really cool people.
In his other life he is a film and television actor who gets small parts in big movies, most recently in Dredd 3D, due to be released in September 2012.

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