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Noahan Author Issue #15 - Post Apocapalooza II




Has anyone gotten a chance to see the new cover of Newsweek? It reads "Apocalypse Now: Tsunamis. Earthquakes. Nuclear Meltdowns. Revolutions. Economies on the Brink. What the #@%! Is Next?" And frankly, they're just saying what we all have to be thinking. What's going on? Christchurch, New Zealand was rocked, Japan has been horribly and unimaginably smashed. Africa and the Middle East seem to have spontaneously erupted in revolt. Scott Walker and his heartless cronies across America are attempting to get rid of Unions? I mean, what is America if not the land where we have the right to speak up and say 'no' to the feudal lords? Nuclear plants are threatening us. Thank God, the Governor of New York now wants to move the Indian Point reactor (built on a fault line) away from New York City. The President just took us to war with Libya, and didn't ask Congress for permission. Donald Trump wants to be president! What is going on?

Worlds are ending, but the world is not ending.

I remember a conversation that I had once with legendary director Werner Herzog. I was fortunate enough to get to attend a screening on his movie Encounters at the End of the World. It's a stunningly beautiful film shot in Antarctica. He went down there to find out what kind of people would choose to live at the end of the world. As it turned out, it wasn't what one might expect. In the movie we meet some of the most interesting people you could ever hope to run into. Throughout the film, however, I was struck again and again by his insistence that humanity is going to die out. It might happen in the next few years, or it could take a few centuries, but we are going to all die.

At the end of the film, he asked the audience for questions. I was lucky enough to be the first hand he picked. My first question was about why monkeys don't ride donkeys (it will make sense if you see the film) but after the Q&A I took the opportunity to go and talk to him some more. I asked him why he was convinced that the world is going to end. In his beautiful German accent he patiently explained to me that our current circumstances were just too dangerous. He talked about genetically engineered pandemics, nuclear disasters and all manner of dangers.

I argued that our ancestors haven't been around for just hundreds of years, or thousands, but BILLIONS. My grandfather's grandfather's grandfather's grandfather's etc grandfather was in the primordial soup between volcanic rocks and raw plutonium that made up the early Earth, and he survived. Is the world really more dangerous now than it was then?

I don't think he understood me, and time was limited. He told me that he didn't just want the cockroaches to survive, but us.

I don't think humanity is about to die out in my lifetime, or in the next hundred years, or in the next billion. But I do think we're all going to die, all the same.

There are a couple of ways to look at the Bible's accounts of the end of the world. We can read it as a news report filed very early, which will only really effect one generation in history, or we can regard those passages as psychological instructions for everyone to benefit from.

Your world will end. You will die. You, you personally, are going to see everything you care about go away, rot, turn black. This is the fate of all mortals. So, I don't think we can lay a question mark against the thin body of the apocalypse. You will see the oceans turn to blood. You will see the sun turn to oil and the dragons descend. The winds will come and sheer the flesh from your bones. Love will forsake you. You are going to be alone. You are going to feel pain. You will be abandoned by everyone you have ever known. Your world will turn to ash and only the dead will still walk.

I think that the reason why stories about the end of the world matter is because we all understand this. The punch-line of life is horribly cruel, and these stories allow us a moment to release a little of the pressure from the tightly bound and gagged matter of death.

Really, it's not the pandemic that matters, or whether there's a wrathful bearded alien "creator," who could never understand what it is to be human. It's not the fiery comet or the zombies that we have to be afraid of. They're our friends. They're our comfort. They help us to bare the knowledge that there is a real vampire, named Subtraction, whose long white fangs are already in my neck and yours, who has already drained so much of our blood and will - without question - drain us dry.




I have the honor of presenting seven authors to you today who have written about the end of the world. I understand that most of you who come here today will be here specifically to read about one author whose work you already enjoy. Please take a little time and read through the rest. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.... and it may turn out to be therapeutic. Don't forget, we all have tiger blood!


And in the words of the great Irish poet, "If it's not love then it's the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb that will bring us together."

Noah Mullette-Gillman, March 27th  2011.

Join our facebook group! http://www.facebook.com/postapocalosers


NOAHAN AUTHOR INTERVIEW – STEVE KONKOLY

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What attracts you to stories about the end of the world?

STEVE KONKOLY: Of all the aspects I find attractive about PA stories, author creativity pulls the strongest. PA stories allow the author to recreate the world as we know it, while still incorporating the familiar. Familiar images, strewn across a clearly alien apocalyptic world, present the reader with a strong, unshakeable image. Some of the most memorable literary images I can recall come from PA fiction.

I also enjoy the gritty survival aspect present in most PA fiction. The resilient and crafty survive, sometimes, and the others? Well, even zombies have to eat.   

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic stories? Why?

STEVE KONKOLY: Cormac McCarthy's The Road stands out on a few levels. Details regarding the cause of the apocalyptic setting are sparse, but we are treated to graphic, intense periods of detail regarding the after effects. I'll forever remember his gruesome depiction of bodies charred to the road by sweeping firestorms. Of course, the moving story of the bond between father and son turned this grimy, depressing novel into something beautiful beyond description.

Stephen King's The Stand is still by far my favorite, mainly because it was a sweeping story that pitted good against evil. It held every aspect of PA fiction that I love. Shattered world, scattered survivors, conflict, and an inevitable showdown. I'm also slightly partial to pathogens, so the premise of Captain Trips sealed the deal for me.

I have always been a fan of zombie flicks, but never jumped on the zombie literary train until World War Z. 

Lastly, if your deep into PA, and haven't read Stephen King's Dark Tower Series, then you're missing an epic PA journey. 

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Do you think civilization deserves to fall? Why or why not?

STEVE KONKOLY: I don't think civilization deserves to fall or succeed, but I do believe that civilization reaps what it sows. I liken it to our bodies. Even if you systematically abuse your health, I don't think you deserve to die or suffer from a chronic illness, however, I find it hard to suppress my desire to connect the dots for you if that is the path you chose.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If a world-wide zombie outbreak occurred, what would you do?

STEVE KONKOLY: I'm not worried about this one, because I think at this point we should be well prepared for a zombie outbreak. Hundreds of films, dozens of books...even an instruction manual for surviving a zombie attack (thanks to Max Brooks). Human awareness of zombies is at an all-time historic high, so I can't envision a scenario where an outbreak could spiral out of control. Unless it was an infection like in 28 Days, and then I would barricade myself and re-read Max's book, over and over again. 

Did you ever notice how people fall victim to zombies (slow moving type) at the beginning of most zombie movies...like they have no idea what they are confronting. We watched The Walking Dead this fall on AMC, and I turned to my wife at one point and said, "I guess this whole genre is predicated on the concept that nobody has ever heard of a zombie before." 

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What scares you?

STEVE KONKOLY: I'm frightened by the prospect of something terrible happening to my family. Writing The Jakarta Pandemic became a heightened personal experience for me, because I really got into the mind of the story's protagonist, as he took every measure conceivable to keep his family safe.  I learned an immeasurable amount about survival preparation while researching and writing the story. Enough to knock this fear down a few notches. 

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your book.

STEVE KONKOLY: The Jakarta Pandemic is a family survival story that takes the reader on a realistic, thought provoking thrill ride through pandemic stricken suburbia. Unique to the genre, it exposes the hidden and often fragile perils of modern suburban existence in the face of a relentless epic civil disaster. Mostly thriller, with a strong horror theme.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your protagonist.

STEVE KONKOLY: The Jakarta Pandemic focuses on Alex Fletcher's struggle to keep his family (wife Kate and two young children) safe during the deadliest pandemic in human history. Alex, a former Marine officer and Iraq War veteran, works as a sales representative for Biosphere Pharmaceuticals Inc., makers of a newly developed anti-viral treatment. As such, he is perfectly positioned to predict and understand the severity of the developing pandemic threat. Laid back and sarcastic, Alex infects every scene with a relentless sense of humor, regardless of the severity of the situation. The Jakarta Pandemic is told in the first person, exclusively from Alex’s perspective.  

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about your background?

STEVE KONKOLY: Would you be surprised and shocked to learn that I currently work in pharmaceutical sales (day job), and before that served on active duty in the Navy?  I drew heavily from my background to formulate the protagonist for the story, but aside from the sense of humor, I don't think there are as many similarities as one might expect from such similar backgrounds. 

Beyond that, I studied English Literature at the United States Naval Academy, when they allowed me to take a break from engineering, math, and science courses. I have a unique degree. Bachelor of Science in English.  Not many of those floating around out there.

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and are you doing to promote your work?

STEVE KONKOLY: It was a pretty basic launch at first. Probably a text book maneuver. I made the book available in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon, and then initiated a Facebook frenzy. Simultaneously, I emailed a large list of friends, family, acquaintances to make them aware of my book (and my new career as an author). I also created a website with links to Amazon, sample chapters, and extra material.

During the first few weeks, I'm pretty sure every sale came directly from this group. After that, I started uploading a chapter at a time to a large survival/prepper forum, where the chapters were well received. I am almost done posting the entire book on that forum, and still get great feedback from that group, as well as a healthy stream of sales.

I just recently started an author blog to share insight into the writing world and to start generating some interest in my newest project, another thriller.  I continue to reap the benefits of a tireless PR representative, my wife, who hands my author business card to everyone she meets. 

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN:  (optional) Would you like to ask me a question?

STEVE KONKOLY: As another writer with a day job, how do you best balance your time between professional responsibilities, personal relationships, and writing?

NOAH K. MULLETTE-GILLMAN:  Poorly. There are so many distractions, aren’t there? There are always so many reasons not to write. And while writing may be the most important thing I do in my whole life, it always seems like it gets prioritized lower than anything. It feels like “dreaming.” It looks like “day dreaming.” I think it can be just about impossible for anyone to respect the time a writer needs to get his/her work done. It can even be hard for us to respect our own time enough. But if anyone knows our names in a hundred years, it will only be because of our writing. In a sense, that makes everything else we ever do less real than it is.




Noahan Author Interview - Daniel Arenson

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What attracts you to stories about the end of the world?

DANIEL ARENSON: All good fiction is about struggle. What is a greater struggle than facing the end of the world? There's something visceral, maybe even liberating, about imagining a world that's been destroyed, all civilization collapsed. It's dark and horrible and tragic but.. no more rules! You could do anything you want! :)

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic stories? Why?

DANIEL ARENSON: I enjoyed reading the novels The Road and The Death of Grass. The former especially was beautifully written, and a lovely story of survival.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Do you think civilization deserves to fall? Why or why not?

DANIEL ARENSON: No way. Civilization is great. We invented Kindles! We've done lots of bad too, but Kindle redeems us.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If a world-wide zombie outbreak occurred, what would you do?

DANIEL ARENSON: Killing zombies is fun! I'd get a samurai sword and go zombie hunting.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What scares you?

DANIEL ARENSON: Slugs. I grew up by a forest, and we'd get slugs in the garden and sometimes into the house. I hate those things. I think the end of the world would be particularly bad if slugs took over.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your book.

DANIEL ARENSON: My novel is titled Flaming Dove.  You can learn about it here:  http://www.danielarenson.com/DarkFantasyNovel.aspx

The battle of Armageddon was finally fought... and ended with no clear victor. Upon the mountain, the armies of Hell and Heaven beat each other into a bloody, uneasy standstill, leaving the Earth in ruins. Armageddon should have ended with Heaven winning, ushering in an era of peace. That's what the prophecies said. Instead, the two armies--one of angels, one of demons--hunker down in the scorched planet, lick their wounds, and gear up for a prolonged war with no end in sight.

In this chaos of warring armies and ruined landscapes, Laila doesn't want to take sides. Her mother was an angel, her father a demon; she is outcast from both camps. And yet both armies need her, for with her mixed blood, Laila can become the ultimate spy... or ultimate soldier. As the armies of Heaven and Hell pursue her, Laila's only war is within her heart--a struggle between her demonic and heavenly blood.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your protagonist.

DANIEL ARENSON: In her own words:

"I am Laila, of the night. I have walked through godlight and through darkness. I have fought demons and I have slain angels. I am Laila, of the shadows. I have hidden and run, and I have stood up and striven. I am Laila, of tears and blood, of sins and of piety. I am Laila, outcast from Hell, banished from Heaven. I am alone, in darkness. I am Laila, of light and of fire. I am fallen. I rise again."

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about your background?

DANIEL ARENSON: I moved between countries a few times, and worked at a variety of odd jobs – including testing light boxes, fixing printers, and assembling CT scanners. I moved to Toronto, Canada in 2004.

I began writing short stories and poetry in 1998, and have sold a couple dozen. I'm the author of four novels: Firefly Island, Flaming Dove, The Gods of Dream, and Eye of the Wizard.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and are you doing to promote your work?

DANIEL ARENSON: I don't promote much. I prefer to spend my time writing the next book. Sometimes, though, I walk up to stranger on the street, and start asking, “Have you read my book? Have you read my book?”

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: (optional) Would you like to ask me a question?

DANIEL ARENSON: Yes! Would you rather have a zombie epidemic, or an alien invasion?

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: That’s a hard one. I think we would have a better chance at surviving a zombie attack than an alien invasion…. But a zombie attack does have such a hopeless feeling to it, doesn’t it? And wouldn’t you rather blast a tentacled romulan than the rotted corpses of your friends and family? I guess I’m going to have to vote for aliens. If we win, then we get to keep all their toys!







NOAHAN AUTHOR INTERVIEW: CLEMENS P SUTER

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What attracts you to stories about the end of the world?

CLEMENS P SUTER: It is the biggest “What-If” scenario thinkable - bigger than the opposite: which is the conquest of space. Most people have the feeling that The Times will end at some point, we all know that our own lives certainly will. I am not sure that humanity will actually be able to travel to different stars - but that our own world could be destroyed is definitely possible, either by us, or by some other great force.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic stories? Why?

CLEMENS P SUTER: First of all my own book off course, Two Journeys ;-) I like stories that are believable, focus on the hardship, yet that are still optimistic - you could say that I am a sucker for happy endings. Only few of those kind of post-apocalyptic books actually exist.

·         I loved Mad Max. Omega Man and I Am Legend are great stories too.

  • The Sun Grows Cold – a novel by Howard Berk (not sure whether it is still in print)
  • Escape from New York - Movie featuring Kurt Russell as "Snake" Plissken - Ulawee! Dark and mean!
  • The Day After - Film portraying a fictional nuclear war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Gloomy - inspired a few chapters in Two Journeys
  • The Book of Eli - Starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman. Particularly interesting, like TWO JOURNEYS a "road movie", but a true dystopian story.
  • Make Room! Make Room! - novel by Harry Harrison

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Do you think civilization deserves to fall? Why or why not?

CLEMENS P SUTER: “Deserves” means that we have done something wrong, but who can be the judge of that? I am an ardent student of biology and evolution, and I have a PHD in genome research. From that background, I see our own civilization as merely a small step on the ladder. Our civilization will definitely falter at some point in time; all civilizations have. In addition, our own species will disappear at some point too, either because humanity will die out, or because we will evolve into another species.

Humans may see themselves as intelligent beings, capable of influencing their environment, but in reality, as a species, we are and will always be the captives of our own genes. That is not an excuse for NOT trying to improve the world, but it is an apology for when the things really go bad… sort off.

The signs are not too good for our survival, I think the catastrophe in Japan underscores this (a combination of natural disaster and human ignorance).

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If a world-wide zombie outbreak occurred, what would you do?

CLEMENS P SUTER: I would stay in one place, dig myself in, and wait. The zombie attacks that I have read about seem to be pretty hopeless affairs anyway. I would use a radio transmitter in an attempt to contact other sane people - seems zombies are pretty bad at operating any kind of machinery. So: a pretty boring strategy, which would result in a verrry boring zombie novel about a guy sitting at home, waiting.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What scares you?

CLEMENS P SUTER: In case of a catastrophe that would eradicate large parts of mankind, we would fall back into feudalism - meaning that Kings and Warlords would rule the world. I hate dictators - that prospect definitely scares me. People like Khadafy.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your book.

CLEMENS P SUTER: Alan, the sole survivor of a pandemic, finds himself stranded in Tokyo. He decides to do the impossible: travel home to Berlin to find out whether his family has survived. The journey takes him across China, Mongolia and Siberia; 10,000 miles of adventure.

So on the one hand it is a post-apocalyptic story, on the other hand a road movie kind of novel.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your protagonist.

CLEMENS P SUTER: Alan is a guy like me, PhD in biology, works for a company, typical business man. He’s pretty down to earth, but always scientific in his approach to things. He’s an optimist, and once he gets over the initial horror of the situation, he decides on a plan, and sticks to it. He likes his fellow men, as long as they do not talk nonsense. He is a man of principals too. He realizes that all humans have their strengths and weaknesses. He detests power hungry people and authority.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about your background?

CLEMENS P SUTER: As I said, I’m a biologist by training. I love reading about evolution, biology, all natural sciences. Space exploration too. I do not read too many novels since I turned to writing. I have just published another novel, which doesn’t deal with the apocalypse or with a dystopia, instead it is a crime novel set in Paradise, you could say that it is a Utopian novel. The next novel that I will write will be the sequel to Two Journeys, this time set in the USA, the hero somehow crosses the Ocean to search for survivors of the pandemic.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and are you doing to promote your work?

CLEMENS P SUTER: I am in a very unique position, as I am located in Europe, and travel to the US only irregularly. So I mostly use the Internet, I have several blogs running, I use Facebook and other communities such as LinkedIn, Xing, Twitter, Youtube, …  Two Journeys would make a great movie, I see this roadmovie underneath grant skies in Mongolia and Siberia - want to find out how the book could be turned into a movie project.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: (optional) Would you like to ask me a question?

CLEMENS P SUTER: Perhaps you have ideas how this book could be turned into a movie ;-)

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Some years back I wrote a cowboy zombie movie. I traveled to Hollywood to attend what they call a “pitch-fest” where I got to sit down with a dozen or so directors, agents, studios and pitch the script. I actually got a lot of nibbles that day, but in the end no one bit. Perhaps you should consider going to one of these with a box of copies of your book to hand out?





NOAHAN AUTHOR INTERVIEW – PATIENCE PRENCE:

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What attracts you to stories about the end of the world? 

PATIENCE PRENCE: It’s crazy to think that the world will end someday, but there are so many prophecies that predict its demise including the book of Revelation of the Bible. I’m attracted to these stories because I’m interested in all the different views on how this will take place and also as a Christian, I want to be ready.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic stories? Why? 

PATIENCE PRENCE: The most recent book that comes to mind is “The Twelfth Imam” by Joel Rosenberg.  I liked it because it read more like fact then fiction with today's headlines, "Tension rises in the Middle East as the leaders of Iran call for the destruction of Israel and the United States..."  I also agree with his story that the antichrist will not be some white guy in a business suit like many end-times stories portray.

I also enjoyed the four-part movie series about the rapture and ensuing tribulation that includes Apocalypse, Revelation, Tribulation, and Judgment.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Do you think civilization deserves to fall? Why or why not? 

PATIENCE PRENCE: If civilizations were loving and kind to one another, no, civilizations do not deserve to fall. But prophecies say that in the last days, the world will worship devils, and idols and that they will not repent of their murders, sorceries, fornication, and their thefts. (Rev.  9:20-21).

It says that they will follow and worship an antichrist beast who blasphemies God, (Rev.13: 4-8), and they will behead those who refuse to worship this antichrist beast and take his mark, (Rev. 20:4).

Yes, when this happens, this civilization definitely needs to be judged!

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If a world-wide zombie outbreak occurred, what would you do? 

PATIENCE PRENCE: Run to the hills and hide and know that all those preachers who said that the Rapture would happen before the Tribulation were wrong!  Those zombies are the ones who took the antichrists mark. “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them,” (Rev. 9:6).

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What scares you?

PATIENCE PRENCE: Religious persecution.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your book.

PATIENCE PRENCE: SCARS: An Amazing End-Times Prophecy Novel By Patience Prence

Revelation comes to life in this adrenaline-fueled thriller weaved with End Times prophecy. A heart-wrenching story of a young girl set during the Tribulation, SCARS chronicles the beginning of the End of the World, as earth-shattering events lead up to the Apocalypse as foretold in the Bible.

SCARS reveals many possible answers to questions such as, "Who is the Antichrist? The False Prophet? The name that equates to 666 in both Greek and Hebrew?" and "What are the Mark of the Beast and the image of the beast?"

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your protagonist.

PATIENCE PRENCE: Sixteen-year-old Rebekah Silver is your average teenager living in Southern California. She worries only about learning her cheerleading routines and passing her math test. But as world dictators rise to power and devastating disasters claim millions of lives she is inspired to search for answers. Becky soon discovers her world is quickly coming to an end, just as it was prophesied. Now she must decide whether to risk her life to follow the laws of God or surrender her soul to the law of man.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about your background?

PATIENCE PRENCE: A lifelong Christian, I was Born and raised in Southern California where I experienced a few earthquakes. One of the chapters in my book is called “The Hollywood Quake.” Most of my schooling was in private schools including a boarding school and I attended a business college for a few years. I’ve owned and operated several businesses including motels, mini storages and a kayak business in Hawaii. I’ve always loved writing and enjoy the study of end-times and Bible prophecy. I suffer from Usher Syndrome, a disease that causes hearing loss and blindness (Retinitis Pigmentosa). Currently I’m living in Northern California with my husband.

 

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and are you doing to promote your work?

PATIENCE PRENCE: SCARS is my first novel so I am busy promoting it this year and maybe I will write a non-fiction next year.

I have five videos on YouTube:

1.      SCARS By Patience Prence, An Amazing End-Times Prophecy Novel BOOK TRAILER

2.      ANTICHRIST * Mark of the beast * 666 * The False Prophet * What does it REALLY mean?

3.      His NAME and MARK Revealed ANTICHRIST 666 The Mark Of The Beast

4.      PART TWO His NAME and MARK Revealed ANTICHRIST 666

5.      SCARS A Novel About The Last Days Book Trailer By Patience Prence

And three websites: www.thespringharvest.com

www.thespringharvest.com/patience prence/

www.thespringharvest.com/apocaypsebooks/

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: (optional) Would you like to ask me a question? 

PATIENCE PRENCE: Yes!  Noah, what inspired you to write?

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What, just now? ;)

It’s who I am. Everything in my being directs me to this. It’s my calling, the same as a priest is pulled towards the priesthood. The same as fish feels encouraged to get wet. Like the wolf wants the little girl dressed in the bright red hood, what do you think inspires him?




Noahan Author Interview –Craig DiLouie

About Craig DiLouie:

Craig DiLouie is the author of TOOTH AND NAIL. His second novel of the zombie apocalypse, THE INFECTION, has just been published by Permuted Press. For more information, visit www.infectednation.com.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What attracts you to stories about the end of the world?

CRAIG DILOUIE: It’s a great question and a difficult one to answer. As an avid reader and writer of apocalyptic fiction, I’ve given this one a lot of thought and have come up with two answers. The first is that sense of zeitgeist one gets when connecting to major events that are stirring to the spirit as well as the intellect. It tickles a part of the brain that normally sits there doing nothing. The second is the apocalypse hits the RESET button. I’ve carefully constructed my life and now that I’m middle aged: wonderful growing family, thriving business, successful novels, good health, etc. I can see the rest of my life structured to serving these ends until my death. If that last sentence gave you a chill, you understand midlife crisis—the sense that all of the major choices in your life have already been made. Even if they are good choices, the fact that you have far fewer remaining choices is still frightening to think about. The apocalypse resets everything, makes the world filled with sudden life-and-death choices. Your life priorities change to the basics and you can shed all the annoying baggage of bills, corporate bureaucracy, taxes, etc.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic stories? Why?

CRAIG DILOUIE: I love any story dealing with the end of the world as long as it is told well. More specifically, I particularly enjoy stories about ordinary people fighting to survive in extraordinary circumstances. The story should be about people featuring the apocalypse instead of the other way around. It should show realistic character responses, with a realistic setting, that make reader suspension of disbelief as easy as possible. I also like stories that take their time with the world actually ending instead of jumping quickly into the post-apocalyptic world.

Here are some great examples of what I think is great apocalyptic fiction: http://www.amazon.com/This-way-world-ends/lm/R2L8ZXPACHOT5L/ref=cm_lmt_DYNA_f_1_russss1?pf_rd_p=496997231&pf_rd_s=listmania-center&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1934861650&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1E1DAXFV5A3RKV9M4JBR.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Do you think civilization deserves to fall? Why or why not?

CRAIG DILOUIE: As somebody who is living a long, comfortable, enormously enriched life thanks to civilization, I have to give that question a big NO. If the world continues to grow its population at the current rate while draining its resources and destroying the environment that sustains life at the current rate, it will, unfortunately, deserve what it has coming to it. When the world ends, it won’t be due to a meteor or triffids, it will be due to our own greed, ignorance and seeming inability to act collectively in our own long-term interest.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If a world-wide zombie outbreak occurred, what would you do?

CRAIG DILOUIE: I guess I’m supposed to give a stock answer about being a rugged, survivalist-trained individualist and how my house is stocked with food and guns. Neither are true. If a zombie outbreak occurred, I would panic along with everybody else, seek protection among others of my kind, and do whatever I would have to do, up to and including anything, to protect my family.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What scares you?

CRAIG DILOUIE: The collapse. The sudden realization that the institutions providing a sense of normalcy and security to your life are no longer there. We look to people like soldiers and first responders to provide us with protection and support in an emergency and when they break it’s terrifying. It means no more law and order. It means collapse, no security, isolation, you’re on your own and there’s no help. Emotionally, that’s a very big step off a very high diving board without knowing what’s underneath you.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your fiction.

CRAIG DILOUIE: This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, not with a whimper, but a slaughter. Tooth and Nail (www.infectedwar.com) tells the story of the soldiers who tried to save it. Due to its focus on a military unit, this novel has been described in reviews as Blackhawk Down meets 28 Days Later.

The setting of the novel is New York City, where a combat infantry unit, fresh from Iraq, has been redeployed to help maintain order during a pandemic of a deadly flulike virus. A small number of victims of the virus exhibit rabieslike symptoms and become violent but are easily controlled—that is, until their numbers begin to grow exponentially, turning the city into a slaughter house. The soldiers suddenly find themselves surrounded in hostile territory in their
own country, fighting hordes of rabid people in a war of extermination. For the boys of Charlie Company, the zombie apocalypse will give new meaning to the proverb WAR IS HELL.

The Infection (www.infectednation.com), which has just been published by Permuted Press, tells the story of five ordinary people who must pay the price of survival at the end of the world. The novel has been described in early reviews as The Road meets 28 Days Later with a dash of The Mist.

A mysterious virus suddenly strikes down millions. Three days later, its victims awake with a single purpose: spread the Infection. As the world lurches toward the apocalypse, some of the Infected continue to change, transforming into horrific monsters. In one American city, a small group struggles to survive. Sarge, a tank commander hardened by years of fighting in Afghanistan. Wendy, a cop still fighting for law and order in a lawless land. Ethan, a teacher searching for his lost family. Todd, a high school student who sees second chances in the end of the world. Paul, a minister who wonders why God has forsaken his children. And Anne, their mysterious leader, who holds an almost fanatical hatred for the Infected.

To compare the two in broad strokes, Tooth and Nail has the kind of scope and feel you might find in a war novel, with many characters, less back story and lots of combat scenes, while The Infection concerns itself much more with how a small group of people survive and ultimately cope with their world collapsing around them. If you like gore, gritty realism, great characters and tons of action, I think you’ll like them both.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your protagonists.

CRAIG DILOUIE: I like to write about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. People who have realistic responses to what is happening to them. People you care about.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about your background?

CRAIG DILOUIE: I’m a guy who does technical writing for a living but for whom fiction writing has always been his first love. I’m writing novels I’ve always wanted to read, and grateful and humbled that so many other people are enjoying them so much.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and are you doing to promote your work?

CRAIG DILOUIE: Tooth and Nail has been widely reviewed on blogs and magazines, and The Infection is currently starting that process. Both are supported by websites—www.infectedwar.com for Tooth and Nail and www.infectednation.com for The Infection. The Infection has two trailers your readers might find interesting to watch to get themselves in the mood for the apocalypse:

Trailer #1: "Who do you miss the most?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8dEWnHo958

Trailer #2: "This is the way the world ends"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY2oAjiSGwo

I also do a lot of social networking. Your readers should look me up on Facebook to learn about various zombie and apocalyptic media I come across as well as updates on my writing: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100001688886697.

Finally, I’m currently planning to attend zomBcon this year (www.zomBcon.com) and will be signing books.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Would you like to ask me a question?

CRAIG DILOUIE: Sure. The most interesting thing I like to hear is the first question you asked me. What attracts YOU to stories about the end of the world?

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: As well as some of the comments you and my other interviewees today have mentioned, I quite like the problem solving aspect of end of the world stories. How do you get clean water? How do you stay warm? How do you get across the parking lot without getting bitten? If you only have room in your shelter for twelve people, how do you turn everyone else away? There’s something about the genre that gets my left-brain working in a way that few stories do.






Noahan Author Interview – Jeremy Bishop:

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What attracts you to stories about the end of the world?

JEREMY BISHOP: I’ve always been attracted to fiction that puts the protagonists in the worst possible situation imaginable and forces them to find a way through it. And let’s be honest, the end of the world IS the worst possible situation imaginable. A happy ending seems impossible, and sometimes is. And in that hopelessness, I think characters are truly revealed for who they are—whether that be a hero, a villain, a coward or simply brain-food for a zombie.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic stories? Why?

JEREMY BISHOP: I really enjoyed CELL by Stephen King, in part because I was traveling through Boston while reading the book. There was a scene in the Boston subway system where people on cell phones get a call and turn into zombies. I was in that subway terminal when I read the scene. I looked up and saw how many people were on their cell phones at the time. Beyond that, the characters move north from Boston, heading straight through the area I grew up in and then to the area I live now—just a few streets away from my house, in fact. This made the whole book very real, and very frightening for me.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Do you think civilization deserves to fall? Why or why not?

JEREMY BISHOP: Deserves is perhaps too strong a word, but I think civilization WILL fall. There are too many ways for humanity to destroy itself. Eventually the wrong combination of people will be in power and civilization will come to an end. I have little doubt it will happen.  Of course, maybe all we need is a close call. But that will probably just extend things for a generation or two. My bet is that things will get hairy when the oil runs dry.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: If a world-wide zombie outbreak occurred, what would you do?

JEREMY BISHOP: Man, what a way to go. Step 1. Get weapons. Blunt objects and the kind that shoot things. Step 2. Head north to my family’s cabin—less people = less zombies. Step 3. Put my long hours playing Left4Dead to good work and slay me some zombies! Plan B. If the cabin doesn’t work for some reason, steal a big boat and head to the tropics!

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What scares you?

JEREMY BISHOP: This is actually what TORMENT is about. What scares ME. And the subject actually pisses off a lot of people. The question I ask in TORMENT is, are you ready to die? And along those lines, what happens when you die? Not having an answer to those questions terrifies me. I lose sleep at night wondering if there is life after death and what it’s like, how to get there, and—gulp—is there a hell? I have imagined my own death a thousand different ways now, but it’s not the actual way of dying that scares me, its what happens after.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your book.

JEREMY BISHOP: TORMENT is about a group of people—including the President, some Secret Service agents, a priest, a reporter, a seven year old girl, a Presidential aid and medal of honor recipient—surviving the nuclear apocalypse together and then facing the world—and its other survivors—afterward. They are hunted by a strange mob which are zombie-like but have no desire to eat a human brain. Constantly on the run, they face different classes of undead: killers, hunters, drowners, trusters, slitherers and more, each more vile than the next.  They find themselves fighting for survival in a world in which only torment remains and where death is the only escape.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your protagonist.

JEREMY BISHOP: Mia Durante is a small town reporter who happens to be in the right place at the right time—the White House—and survives the apocalypse along with her seven year old niece. With only forty survivors remaining, she finds herself thrust into a leadership position (the President is no longer the President because the country—the world as they knew it—no longer exists). She is strong, smart and caring, but ultimately flawed and tortured by her adulterous acts prior to the end of the world, and her husband’s death. She grapples with the undead, fighting for survival, all the while trying to find forgiveness for the sins of her past.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about your background?

JEREMY BISHOP: I have, by all outward appearances, lived a normal life. I grew up in a nice home, in a friendly seaside town. But, as is often, the pleasant facade seen at first glance conceals a darker side. Throughout childhood and early teen years I encountered malevolent entities that whisked in and out of rooms, moved furniture and haunted his dreams. I processed these encounters through drawings of monsters and devils, expunging horrible images from my mind. As an adult, I continue to expel the monsters of my childhood through my writing, the first of which, TORMENT, is based on a dream.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and are you doing to promote your work?

JEREMY BISHOP: Built the website: www.jeremybishoponline.com. Created the trailer and quiz, both on the site. Started a Facebook fanpage. Have been very active on Twitter. Posted on Kindleboards and a few other message boards. That’s about it…not that that’s not a lot. It just looks like a little when I write it out quick like that!

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: (optional) Would you like to ask me a question?

JEREMY BISHOP: Religion and zombies, what’s your take? So much of horror involves religion—demons, vampires, poltergeists, etc—but I’ve seen some resistance to the idea of tackling religious/spiritual topics in a post-apocalyptic/zombie story. Is there a place for religion in this sub-genre or should it be ruled only by the virus plotline?

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Is there a place for the color orange? Religion, like music, philosophy, politics, and race belongs if it make the story better. Religion doesn’t always.

When you bring up religion in a horror story, you can be sure to get a nod of approval from those who believe the same as you, but you risk speaking to them in a short-hand that leave the other readers numb… and frankly that can sometimes substitute for actual creativity.

God should be complicated. Talk about God should be deep. There should be argument, debate, multiple view-points. “It’s God’s will, we could never understand,” is not a viewpoint that I can respect. God gave me legs, he expected me to use them. My reason was not meant to be surrendered any more than my locomotion.

When our old buddy Fred Nietzsche said that God was dead, he was saying that the old concept of God is useless to a modern mind. And God, in the classic conception, is implausible to a sharp modern mind. I’m not saying there wasn’t a creator. I’m certainly not a mechanist who believes the universe is a clicking random-matic machine, but I am saying that the concept of God as a spoiled brat - who is greater than you and I solely on account of his having bigger guns than we do - doesn’t work anymore. If that’s who God is, he died. He dies every time someone on this planet evolves to a certain level of education.

But by no means am I saying that religion and zombies, or any fantasy element, don’t go well together. What matters is that the writer has to come to the story with intelligence and with something new to say. Tell me a religious story that doesn’t feel like it was written for a fourth grader and I’ll love it. I promise.

But if God was our father, he’s sick and tired of waiting for us to grow up already. He told me so.



Noahan Author Interview – Matthew Plourde:

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What attracts you to stories about the end of the world?

MATTHEW PLOURDE: Apocalyptic stories fascinate me probably because so many people throughout history have fixated upon them, and that fact interests me. Religion tried to scare us, some communities prepare for “it” and writers have attempted to entertain us with the theme. I think it’s one of those universal concepts that sparks at least the flicker of appeal to everyone in the world.

There’s just something compelling about the imagery and tone that really appeals to me.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic stories? Why?

MATTHEW PLOURDE: Zombies! Man, I love zombies. Dawn of the Dead, Walking Dead – they’re all so fantastic for the fun-factor they deliver. Though I could do without the laundry lists sometimes, as I’m not a huge Survivalism fan. I do like when there is a story wrapped around the end of the world. Yeah, I know the characters are trying to survive / seek safety / find their family, but that’s usually not enough for me. The Book of Eli was a near miss, but close! The core concept was fantastic and that’s what I’m talking about – surround the apocalypse with an engaging story and you have me hooked.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Do you think civilization deserves to fall? Why or why not?

MATTHEW PLOURDE: Deserves to fall? That’s quite a judgment call for little ‘ole me to make! While parts of civilization are ugly, I’m not sure I’m qualified to offer a diagnosis here.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN:If a world-wide zombie outbreak occurred, what would you do?

MATTHEW PLOURDE: I would likely die miserably – I’m just not prepared. Wait – do you know something? Are we in danger?!  <goes to look for his copy of The Zombie Survival Guide>

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What scares you?

MATTHEW PLOURDE: You mean, besides realizing I’m unprepared for the zombie apocalypse? In fiction, I’d say stories that border so close to real life while they weave their supernatural scare can still rattle me. That and the voice from The Grudge. Sometimes I like to call my wife on the phone and do the voice – hilarity ensues! (at least until I get home)

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your book.

MATTHEW PLOURDE: I would love to! Eden explores the end of the world with a not so common assumption:

-          Much of the Old Testament was, indeed, a direct recounting of actual events

While it’s trendy to promote facts that all but prove much of the Bible shouldn’t be taken literally, I decided to go against the grain. Why not assume most if it could be taken literally? How would people living in our world react? How would some of the inner trappings of Heaven and Hell really work if they once existed but have now “fallen” to Earth?

The story begins with an everyday woman struggling for survival. After learning more about what happened to the world, she decides to journey to humanity’s mythical birthplace: Eden.

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: Please tell us about your protagonist.

MATTHEW PLOURDE: Alexandra Contreras was a lawyer before the end of the world. While trying to survive and unravel the mysteries around her, Alexandra longs for the world that was. Thrust into a leadership role, she is forced to follow her tragic destiny to a seemingly preordained conclusion.

Can she find the strength within herself to challenge the forces that set everything in motion?

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What can you tell us about your background?

MATTHEW PLOURDE:  My life certainly didn’t pan out the way I had expected. I fought for my life and nearly died from cancer at the age of 23. From that point forward, everything changed. However, change is like a glacier and it moves at its own plodding pace.

My experience with cancer taught me a valuable lesson – don’t allow life to just “happen” around you. Make changes, take risks and be true to your own heart.

After 11 years, I’m finally acting upon those lessons learned. I left a comfy career in my hometown to travel the world as an enterprise consultant. My wife and I lived in Vietnam for a month while we adopted our son. And I’m now listening to that ever-present voice telling me I’m an artist.

My short fiction has appeared on various e-zines, and Eden is my first novel. I have another novel launching Feb. 13th, 2011. Two more novels are actively “in the works.”

NOAH MULLETTE-GILLMAN: What have you done and are you doing to promote your work?

MATTHEW PLOURDE: To be honest, not much so far. However, I have hired a publicist and we plan to have a public launch party for my next novel, as well as a whole marketing strategy to really get things going.




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