Carl Plumer is the author of Zombies Ever After and the owner and technical writer at Plumer Consulting; here is a link to his website:
Q: What is Zombies Ever After about?
A: t’s really about love. Love in the face of hard times, disease, and disaster. How does love survive? How does love continue on? It’s a zombie story, yes. But the zombie apocalypse is kind of a metaphor for all that: the human struggle to survive and find love in the every day madness.
Q: What inspired you to write it?
A: I really wasn’t thinking about writing a zombie book at all. I had read this article online about this woman who was mauled beyond recognition by a bear while on a hike on an otherwise ordinary day. And she was married and she and her husband stayed together, their love survived. And I liked that.
Q: Why do you think zombies are so popular?
A: We deal with the knowledge of our death almost from the moment we are born. From the cradle to the grave, like they say. It haunts all of us, every day. I think horror movies, especially zombie movies, are a way for us to process that knowledge. I mean, in a way, zombies are resurrected, aren’t they?
Q: Of all the jobs you have ever had in your life, which one gave you the most material to write about?
A: This is a tough question. You know, I’ve been a gravedigger in my past, and I worked a lot of the “graveyard” shifts, as they’re called. But it’s my corporate jobs that scared me the most, I think. A lot of zombies there. Not everyone, of course. But working nine to five (really, nine to nine) in a small cube. It makes you think about dying and how there has got to be more to life. I started writing at work, in my coffin-cube, I think just to stay alive.
Q: What are the advantages of owning your own business over working in corporate America?
A: There is every advantage. You control your own destiny, for good or bad. You can be much happier, too, in my opinion. Unless you are a dominant alpha dog who likes all the takeovers and hiring and firing and laying people off to see the profits climb, I don’t think many people get much satisfaction in the corporate world. That’s just my opinion, though, based on my observations. Lots of souls lost there.
Q: Who are some of your literary influences?
A: Italo Calvino. Herman Melville. Charles Dickens. Carlos Fuentes. Lots of new writers, too. I read some works by new writers today and I’m like, “damn!” I mostly read nonfiction, believe it or not.
Q: Do you think working in business stifles or inspires creativity?
A: Stifles, without a doubt.
Q: What is the strangest thing you have done to promote your books?
A: Went on television to promote my zombie book during the Christmas shopping season. I have no experience doing anything like that and I am mortified to be on any stage of any kind. So, there I was, yacking it up about my zombie book, between a pie cooking demonstration and easy holiday decoration ideas.
Q: How do you get selected for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest?
A: I have no idea. Funny enough, I “knew” I had not been picked. Every email I got from Amazon I just didn’t open. Why bother, right? Then one day I was working with my email client open and my wife walked in just as an email from Amazon arrived. She said, “What’s that?” And I said, “It’s Amazon telling me I’ve lost.” Well, it was saying the opposite we found out after I opened it. We went back and opened the other emails, too, each want congratulating me on having passed yet another elimination round. There’s a lesson there somewhere.
Q: What would a Zombie like about Dayton?
A: Plenty of other zombies already here! And great food, if they can hold off dying for a few days. And great beer, for the same reason. So, I’d say, if you get bit by a zombie, head to Dayton and spend the last of your money here getting drunk and eating great food.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)