Escape from Zombie City (A One Way Out Novel) by Ray Wallace has been released in Trade Paperback (the ebook is coming soon) by The Zombie Feed Press, an imprint of Apex Publications. Below is an interview with Wallace by TZF.
The Zombie Feed: Who is your biggest literary influence, and why?
Ray Wallace: That’s a tough one. There are so many. But if I was forced to choose just one then I guess I’d have to go with Clive Barker. The Books of Blood are still some of the best horror collections ever written. I’ve always loved the way he merges the beautiful with the grotesque. And his ability to describe utterly fantastic worlds and creatures is truly awesome at times. Whenever I read one of his stories it makes me want to sit down at the computer immediately and start writing.
TZF: Have you always enjoyed the zombie sub-genre or did you just recently amble into it? Why do you think people are crazy about zombies?
Ray: I’ve been a fan of zombie movies/books/comics for quite a while now. Besides the Romero films, two of my favorite horror movies have to be The Return of the Living Dead and Reanimator. I was really into collecting the Deadworld comics when they were out. And I still consider Philip Nutman’s Wet Work and the Book of the Dead collections, edited by Skipp and Spector, to be some of the best contributions to the zombie literary sub-genre.
I think that if you’re into horror at all then you have to be a fan of zombies. Especially the concept of the undead taking over the world. It’s pretty much the ultimate horror concept: global pandemic, cannibalism, post-apocalypse survival, and a very grim and disturbing concept of an afterlife. What’s not to enjoy?
TZF: Escape from Zombie City is a modern day ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book. Why go in this direction, instead of penning a ‘regular’ novel? What inspired you to write EFZC?
Ray: I used to love Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid. And it’s always been in the back of my mind that I wanted to write one some day. When that day arrived, the concept of putting the reader in the midst of a zombie outbreak just seemed like a natural fit, a “no brainer” if you will.
TZF: EFZC is pretty fast-paced. What do you think is more scary: slow moving or fast moving zombies?
Ray: I think slow moving zombies are creepier but the fast moving ones are scarier. The odds of surviving a 28 Days Later scenario for any length of time seem as though they would have to be much lower than that presented in, say, Night of the Living Dead. With Escape From Zombie City, I thought it would be cool to include both types of creatures, try and up the scare factor a bit.
TZF: I think fans of zombie and Choose Your Own Adventure books will greatly enjoy EFZC, even if they don’t particularly like one or the other. Any plans to write another in the same format?
Ray: Definitely. I’ve got plenty of ideas for further One Way Out novels. And as much fun as EFZC was to write, I look forward to the next one.
TZF: One day, after being dead and buried, your corpse is reanimated. Would you hope to retain some recollection of your former life or just enjoy going on a brain-eating rampage like your fellow undead brethrens?
Ray: I think the latter scenario would be preferable. Once you’ve been transformed into a hideous monster, it would just be too painful to remember the normal, healthy individual you once were. Better to just go with the flow and enjoy that brain-eating rampage as much as you can.