FIND THIS ZOMBIE AUTHOR ON:
My guest today is Peter Meredith, author of The Undead World series. The tale begins when efforts to cure cancer go horribly wrong, and survivors are forced to do whatever they can to survive in a world crawling with zombies.
A multi-genre author, some of Peter’s other works include: The Trilogy of Void, The Hidden Lands Series, The Sacrificial Daughter, A Perfect America and Sprite.
Hello Peter. Good to speak with you.
NOTE: BOLD=BQB; ITALICS=PETER
Q. Peter, I’ve tried a number of jobs in my life. I’ve been the assistant to the assistant to the Vice President of Corporate Assistance at Beige Corp, the world’s premiere producer of beige products and accessories. I started up a website that boasts upwards of 3.5 readers and now, as luck would have it, I’ve just been named Deputy Mayor of a settlement for zombie apocalypse survivors.
According to your Amazon author page, you’ve had quite the journey yourself. You tried your hand in real estate, worked as an emergency room nurse, and you were also the CEO of a national lighting company. Today, you concentrate on what you refer to as your “true addiction,” writing. For anyone out there who’s searching for their passion and has yet to discover it (or worse, won’t embrace it) what advice do you have for them?
A. Don’t be shocked when you find it and embrace it when you do. Unlike almost every other author I’ve run across, I wasn’t reading at the age of two and writing my first poem by my third birthday. Quite the opposite, I hated to write. I never learned to type and my penmanship hasn’t progressed beyond a second grade level. Since I would fret over every little error, an e-mail used to take me close to an hour to write, if the client was important enough.
But that all changed in 2010. With the economy in the dumps, my company decided to rework our website and in order to attract attention to it, I was told I should write articles and submit them online. So I painstakingly wrote five articles. They were terrible.
Not terribly written, just dull. Writing about the technical aspects of LED lights is super boring and not just to me but for everyone. So with Halloween coming up, I decided to write about the two super-natural occurrences that I had been involved with instead. The boss wasn’t exactly happy, but seeing as she’s my wife, what could she do?
So I wrote two little short stories. Just like that, something kicked in. Suddenly I became a writer. It was altogether inexplicable to go from writing as little as possible to writing all the time. Without any classes or real training, I wrote a book, and then a trilogy, and now I’m currently working on my nineteenth novel. Life is strange, but great.
Q. What motivated you to take the stories in your mind and put them down in written form?
A. It’s a mystery to me. I had always been an unparalleled day dreamer but I never knew I could write. I didn’t know I had the discipline or the drive to write an entire, full-length novel until one day I just started.
Q. Your reader reviews are very positive. One reviewer of The Apocalypse Crusade stated, “DO NOT pick this up until you are ready to commit to an all-night sleep-defying read!” As an author, how are you able to grab a reader’s attention and draw him or her into your world?
A. For me the answer starts with creating realistic, relatable characters—that is key to any book. Then comes the story, and it has to move along at a good clip, one action leading into another in a manner that runs just along the edge of possible.
Q. As William Ernest Henley’s poem, Invictus, goes, “Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade…” You’re the author of The Horror of the Shade, which begins with a recitation of Henley’s classic poem. I’ve always been a fan of Invictus. What is it about that poem that inspired you?
A. The clear call of courage within it matched what I was trying to write about with two of the characters William, the father and Will, the son. Both had their courage tested throughout the book, this being especially true with the confrontation of the demon.
Q. In Sprite, you tell the story of Audrey “Odd” Wyatt, a twelve-year old girl afflicted with startling, dreadfully red eyes. To add to her problems, she’s saddled with Karen, her miserable, bar hopping alcoholic mother who rarely misses an opportunity to make Odd feel bad about herself. What I noticed about this book is that in Odd, you’ve created a very sympathetic character while Karen is likely the kind of character that readers will love to hate. How were you able to craft two completely different character types in one story?
A. Anyone who wishes to become a writer needs to be a student of humanity. It’s far more important than knowing where commas are supposed to go, or what participles are. When you know people and when you realize that human behavior is, for the most part, unchanging, then almost every character is opened to you as a writer.
Q. Peter, thanks for taking the time to share your expertise with me today. Before I go, do you have any last minute advice that might help my friends and I survive the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?
A. Run very fast.