FIND THIS ZOMBIE AUTHOR ON:
By: Alien Jones, Special Guest Interviewer
Greetings 3.5 human readers.
The Esteemed Brainy One here, filling in for Bookshelf Q. Battler as he recovers from his trial by zombie combat.
Today’s guest is Rhiannon Frater, author of such zombified books as the As the World Dies Trilogy and The Last Bastion series.
A prolific author, her works also transcend the Young Adult, Vampire, and Supernatural genres.
A Texan through and through, Frater’s many accolades include a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly for As the World Dies. Further, The Last Bastion of the Living was declared the Number One Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the Number One Zombie Novel of the Decade by the B&N Book Blog.
When she’s not busy writing, other past times include sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.
Welcome Rhiannon and thanking you for agreeing to an interview conducted by an alien. P.S., if anyone asks, I’d appreciate it if you could just tell them you were interviewed by a small human disguised in hipster garb.
NOTE: BOLD=Alien Jones; ITALICS=Rhiannon
Q. Let’s get right to it. Obviously, you love sci-fi, horror and the supernatural. Lots of people do but few take that passion and turn it into a successful writing career. What motivated you to do it?
A. Quite honestly, since I was a little girl I knew I was going to be a professional writer. I have never felt so certain of anything in my life. I just believed that I would one day write books that people would love. I guess it was a calling. I will admit that life got in the way of my writing and for a time I gave up on the dream. Then I reached a point where I realized how miserable I was when I wasn’t writing. My husband (then my boyfriend) encouraged me to start writing again. I did, and within five years I had a literary agent, a contract with Tor, and a solid fan base.
Q. In the Last Bastion series, you paint a picture of a futuristic world overrun by zombies known as the Inferi Scourge. Humans hole up inside “The Bastion” and its the job of warriors like Vanguards Lindsey Rooney or Maria Martinez to protect them. It sounds like an awesome mashup, blending the genres of apocalyptic science-fiction and zombie horror for one fun ride. Can you tell BQB’s 3.5 readers about this world? And how did it first pop into your mind?
A. Well, the Bastion is literally the last city of the living. The world is dead. The Inferi Scourge have destroyed everything. They’re not flesh-eating zombies, but they are driven with the need to infect and spread the virus that created them. The book is set far in the future, so there are some high-tech weaponry, etc, but it’s a decaying world with limited resources. In the first book, the powers that be in the Bastion are attempting to reclaim the vast valley that surrounds the Bastion. There is a natural barrier – a mountain range – between the valley and the outside world and a gate once held the Scourge out. But at some point the gate failed and the Scourge swarmed into the valley, pushing the humans into the walled city. The second book is about what remains outside the valley.
As with most ideas, I dreamed this one. It was a very terrifying nightmare, but I loved the story inside the dream so much I had to write it.
Q. As the World Dies follows survivors struggling to survive in a zombie infested Texas. Today, we live in a modern world where food, showers, TV, computers and other luxuries are all readily accessible. Why then, do humans fantasize about living in a world with little to no comfort, being pursued by brain chomping beasts all the while? I assume humans must fantasize about this quite a bit as novels such as yours do so well. Should I be concerned about the mental stability of humanity or is it all in good fun?
A. I don’t think we are actually fantasizing about wanting to live in a post-apocalyptic world. I think it’s a way to live out our worst fears, but in a safe way. We fear our world collapsing, yet at the same time we crave a reset. Zombies aren’t real, so we can live out our worst fears in a fantasy landscape that we know will never come to pass. We can imagine ourselves surviving and somehow rebuilding society. It’s pure escapism. There is immense relief when you can close a book and trap the monsters inside and continue on with your life.
Q. You also have a series about a very pretty vampire. She’s Pretty When She Dies, Pretty When She Kills and so on. Why are people always aghast at the possibility of being turned into a vampire? Immortal life, youth and powers that put you above the law seem like a pretty sweet deal. Is there a down side?
A. Well, Amaliya is murdered and buried in a forest. Not a really awesome thing to happen. When she rises, she has no idea what is going on or what she is. So she has a very hard learning curve. Once she gets the hang of it, she likes being a vampire. There are drawbacks, of course, but she likes the power she inherits from her maker. Of course, having to deal with a psychotic creator that’s talking her not very fun. Also, the more powerful she becomes (she’s a necromancer/vampire), the more other supernatural creatures are gunning for her.
Q. You’re a gamer. What’s the best zombie based video game out there right now and why?
A. I honestly don’t know. Most of them are first person shooters and I can’t play those. I throw up. I play Guild Wars 2 religiously and they have zombies called the Risen. I have to admit they’re pretty scary when they swarm you.
Q. Rhiannon, thanks for allowing me to pepper you with questions for BQB’s humble blog. Before I disperse, do you have any advice that might help the humans and I survive the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?
Never venture out alone! Always have a zombie killing buddy. You watch their back, and they watch yours!