Day 1: 12 Facts about FLESH AND LEFTOVERS
To start off my 31 days of Halloween, I figured I should begin with 12 facts about my first novel, FLESH AND LEFTOVERS.
1) FLESH AND LEFTOVERS is my one and only zombie novel. It is the only book I’ve written where I didn’t have an editor, but the fan feedback was amazing! People demanded more, and since I didn’t want to write any more full length books about zombies, it made me work with Dan Pipito to create sCrypt Comics for spinoff graphic novel stories.
2) The idea to write a zombie book came when the topic of “What would you do if there was an outbreak” scenarios would come up in many a work place conversation. The problem with these scenarios is that everyone had ideas of what a zombie was “supposed” to be like, based on the varying differences in books, movies, etc. So, I wanted to create a book where they could all be in the same story, but have legitimate reasons for them tying together.
3) Causes for zombies: Mutated strain of rabies virus that affects human and animal life, Viral outbreak, Demonic summoning and control, Radioactive meteor, Cannibals worshiping their “god”, Childhood vaccinations, alien parasite, sixth generation offspring of vampires, drug induced hallucinations, and voodoo (macumba).
4) The first chapter in F&L takes place in Jim Thorpe, PA. It is an annual tradition to visit my Uncle and Aunt’s bed and breakfast during Christmas time there. It was during the winter of 2008 that I knew I wanted to base part of my first published novel in that town. The peacefulness and solitude there brings a wide range of emotions that make a perfect setting.
5) Religion and history have always fascinated me, so when I decided to make Cain (from the Cain and Abel story) an antagonist for future books, his origin of what he becomes had to be researched. I found that despite the different beliefs, the Cain and Abel story remains almost completely the same throughout all religions.
6) It wasn’t until halfway through the book that I decided this could work as a series. My goal was to make it flow but to make each book stand on its own as well, and focus on something unique for each plot. (zombies being F&L).
7) My fascination with zombie lore can be blamed on the George A Romero “of the Dead” movies, and the Resident Evil Series of video games.
8) The characters I’ve created are not based on individual people, but rather personalities of people I’ve met. The only exceptions to this rule are Gordon Lightcap and Moira Donatelli. Gordon was based on my own experiences and the overall person I am, and Moira was created as an amalgamation of what I saw as my “perfect woman.”
9) Although cannibals are not zombies, I felt the need to place them into the story. How would a “normal” unifected human devour another person? Why would they do it? And What would they do with the parts of the corpse left over? All these questions are addressed in the book.
10) It took me over a year to write F&L because I began to flesh out (pun intended) the sequels that would follow it. I had to make sure my origin story for the characters was in place, and where I wanted to go with it. By the time I was finished writing FLESH AND LEFTOVERS, I had six books planned out in the series (each a stand alone installment).
11) Each “chapter” is called an “Incident.” This was done because I wanted people to be able to pick up the book and either read it straight through or just choose one story at a time. The overall plot can’t be followed by just one incident, but I wanted that option for the reader as they stand can work on their own.
12) When I approached Dan to to do the cover art, he instantly came up with the idea of teeth tearing into raw meat. It is still one of my favorite book covers for my novels to date.
There is my post for today. I welcome any questions or comments you may have. Stay tuned tommorrow for another installment in my 31 days of Halloween. FLESH AND LEFTOVERS as well as its graphic comic spinoff ZOMBIE INCIDENTS are available through links on the right side of this page. It will also be available in audiobook format soon.