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Today’s guest is Jaime Johnesee, author of the Bob the Zombie series. Twenty-five year old slacker Bob dies in a comical way. When his mother can’t stand to see him gone, she hires a necromancer to bring him back to life and alas, Bob has to adjust to a new existence as an undead being.
Along the way, Bob is thrust into all kinds of funny scenarios, from taking on the dating world to becoming a spy.
Jaime, welcome. Thanks for taking my space phone call.
NOTE: BOLD=BQB; Italics=Jaime
Q. A dispute has arisen amongst my group of survivors. My friend, Bernie Plotz, says all zombies are vicious monsters and we should waste every one of them that we come across. My girlfriend, Video Game Rack Fighter, maintains that they all can’t be that bad. There might be a few zombies who are bumbling, confused and not really out to hurt anyone, thus we should leave them alone. I find myself agreeing with her, because after reading Bob the Zombie, I’ve come to the conclusion that some zombies might actually be ok guys.
What motivated you to write a book about a good zombie?
A. I am a huge zompoc fan and one day I thought about how rough it would be for a zombie that was nothing like the current stereotypes to make it in our society and so Bob was born.
Q. As an Average Joe I find myself sympathizing with Bob. Most people, upon gaining zombie powers, would probably fumble around for awhile until they get the hang of it. Do you find that readers relate to Bob’s antics?
A. I do. Bob is sort of the everyman, well, everyzombie. He likes classic rock, movies, books and is just trying to get through each day without any problems. Poor fellow is sort of a magnet for bad luck, but he keeps a good sense of humor about it.
Q. The words “comedy” and “zombie” do not seem like they’d mix well together, yet you’ve managed to do just that. How do you bring these two very different genres together so well?
A. I humanized Bob. In his world zombies aren’t mindless beasts craving flesh, they’re just people who had their souls stuck back into their rotting corpses via magic. He’s not a bad guy, he’s sort of a victim.
Q. Surely, Bob still needs to survive despite his good nature. If not the brains of innocent victims, then what does he eat?
A. Bob is a big fan of Taco Bell. Though he does have some friends in the Coroner’s office that occasionally supply him with leftovers. He also eats calves brains to get by.
Q. It’s not all comedy in the Jaime Johnesee world though. Can you fill my 3.5 readers in on some of your other works? You know, the ones that feature characters who, unlike Bob, I should totally shoot if I see them?
A. I used to like to write about the scariest monsters in the world, humans. Serial killers in particular. These days I prefer my monsters to be a little less real. In Bob’s world there are all kinds of evil beings he has to contend with. In the series Revelations that I am coauthoring for Devil Dog Press with Christine Sutton and Lisa Lane, my character is a demon, the First Knight of Hell no less. That said, she’s not completely evil, though she does track down and destroy those who are with the help of a succubus and a shapeshifter.
Q. Thanks for your help. You’ve convinced me. If I see a zombie like Bob out there, I won’t take a shot at him. Before I go, do you have any other advice on how to survive the East Randomtown Apocalypse?
A. Thanks for having me by to chat. The best advice I can give is to make sure you beware the people. They are often more deadly than the zombies.