Today’s guest is Gillian Zane, author of the Nola Zombie Series. Follow the exploits of doomsday prepper Alexis Winter and macho ex-military man Blake Miller as they brave the streets of New Orleans in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, fight for their survival, and do it a whole helluva lot.
Filled with “zombies, sex, romance and carnage,” this is a series designed to titillate the senses of the adult reader and thus its only intended for those 18 years and over.
Hello Gillian. I can hear you loud and clear on Alien Jones’ space phone.
NOTE: BOLD=BQB; ITALICS=Gillian
Q. I have to admit, when I first heard about the concept of blending the erotic and zombie genres, I was skeptical. How could anyone feel frisky whilst surrounded by hideous killer zombies? But after learning that my group of survivors and I have to go on a desperate, high risk mission to rescue my ex-girlfriend, my current girlfriend got so hot and bothered that she jumped my bones and now I’m a believer.
What is it about a zombie apocalypse that drives people mad with sexual desire? Is danger an aphrodisiac?
A. The zombie apocalypse is how it takes its form in my world, but basically it’s death in general. Or more importantly facing death. Zombies represent death in it’s basic form. They are walking corpses trying to get you to join them. When faced with death around every corner it is human instinct to survive. This includes sexual reproduction. So, to put it literally, a brush with death is an aphrodisiac.
Combine this with the breakdown of societal norms, a person that was once restrained by moral or societal constraints might find themselves more free to express their sexuality in an apocalypse. There is no one to judge them, shame them for their behavior, even themselves. You have no time to worry if he’ll “respect you in the morning” if you are the only two people left on the planet because everyone else is a zombie.
Q. On Twitter, you state “I write really sexy novels & novellas, with lots of angst and plenty of alpha males.” Are alpha males born or can they be made? I ask this because presently, I’m about as alpha as a puppy dog, but I wouldn’t mind becoming one of those perfect haired muscular stud muffins who grace your book covers. Is there anything I can do to alpha myself up or is it just a lost cause and maybe I should just embrace my usual nerdy demeanor?
A. Even a nerd can be an Alpha male. It’s not about muscles or waxed chests, in fact, most men that I’ve met who have perfectly chiseled abs and waxed bodies are as insecure as they come. The key to becoming an Alpha Male is confidence. Taking charge of a situation instead of sitting back and letting someone else run the show. The reason muscles and chest hair come into play is usually because of the strength aspect. Most alphas are stronger, faster, and bigger than their beta brethren. This is because in the animal world, bigger usually translates for a win. But, a faster, smarter man can always take down a big, dumb, slow loser.
Think David and that Goliath dude. You don’t think David got hoisted up to Alpha status after he took down the Giant? I betcha he never waxed his chest. So, basically there is hope. Pump up that confidence, do a few chin-ups, don’t let people push you around (but don’t be a hot-head) and if you want to be the star of a Romance – it helps to be really good in the sack.
BQB EDITORIAL NOTE: Well, I’m screwed then.
Q. Your series takes place in New Orleans, a city rich with culture and history. When they aren’t killing and/or humping, do your characters get to pass by any of the sights? One of the reasons I’m intrigued is that a New Orleans setting seems like a fun, unique idea.
A. Well, it takes place in New Orleans, because what better place to have a zombie apocalypse? Or really, it’s because I know this place much better than any other place on the planet and New Orleans people are preppers by nature because of those pesky hurricanes. Do my characters get to check out any of the sights in New Orleans? Not really. A guy gets eaten by a zombie on Bourbon Street and that is shown on the news, but my characters are local, so they aren’t going to go around checking out the city. They hit places that aren’t very famous, but it does give you a unique view of the city from a local’s perspective. You might recognize some names, but I took great detail in going to places that I thought were logical for a group trying to escape zombies and actually ran the route a few times to make sure it was logical.
Q. Your character, Alex, is a doomsday prepper and on your Amazon page, you mention you’re a prepper yourself and that your past times include stockpiling Meals Ready to Eat and researching how to build a cistern on a budget. As a world renowned poindexter, I already knew that a cistern is an underground water storage tank that can be connected to sink or toilet and didn’t have to look that up at all. I interviewed another prepper earlier this month so I’ll ask you the same question. What’s up with the prepping? Are we all doomed or is it just a better safe than sorry thing?
A. As I mentioned in the earlier question, as a New Orleanian, I’m a natural prepper. I have to be. I feel like I survived one apocalypse already, Katrina. I lived right where the levees broke, in a neighborhood called Lakeview. So, we had to bug-out very quickly and live like transients for about a month, until we finally had to rely on the government to get us a FEMA trailer. I don’t ever want to do that again. I usually prepped for about a week, to survive without electricity and water. But, now we have to prep to actually leave the city or bug-out AND I never want to rely on the feds to help me and my family–because it comes when they are ready, not when you need it. It is a way of life down here because it’s inevitable that another hurricane will happen.
Will it have the same impact as Katrina? Maybe not, but do I want to take that chance? Fifty years ago, Americans could can their own food, knew how to grow their own gardens, knew how to mend their clothes, had water stored…because, being self-sufficient meant the difference between life and death. We’ve become spoiled, our food is delivered to us, the majority of us couldn’t tell you where their banana came from, much less what fruits are grown regionally.
Should we be worried about an impending apocalypse? I don’t think there is one on the horizon, at least not a BIG one that destroys the world. But, I do see regional issues, droughts, more hurricanes, those sort of things, which being prepared for will really help. And in my world, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Oh, and BTW – we use an above-ground cistern, can’t do below ground in New Orleans because of the water table. We actually have a raised cistern and we use gravity, almost like a water-tower. You would use it for watering your plants, or in an emergency for showering etc. You would have to treat it for drinking water, but that can be a simple filtering process. We get so much rain down here, it is logical to collect rain water for the plants.
Q. Gillian, thanks for taking a few minutes to talk zombies with me. Before I go, do you have any last minute advice to help my friends and I survive the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?
A. Take to the water. Zombies can’t swim. But, shoot for deep water, they can float.