Here is the interview that I did with Jeffrey Clare from ATZ (All Things Zombie). I thought it would be fun to bring in others in addition to just authors so I hope you enjoy learning more about him as I did. Thanks Jeffrey for doing this interview with me.
Can you tell us more about what ATZ (All Things Zombie) is and how you got started?
All Things Zombie is my group here on Facebook. It literally covers just about everything that the genre touches. It started out as a little group for me and a few friends to discuss zombie books and episodes of The Walking Dead. I remember making a post that said “when we hit 50 members, I’ll have a contest!” Woohoo! That was about a 18 months ago. We are now quickly approaching 5,000 members and its international. Authors, actors, fans, artists, directors, and so on. It’s a VERY diverse bunch for such a specific genre.
For anyone that wanted to learn more about you and ATZ where should they be referred to?
First, I’d send them to the mothership.
From there they can explore some of the offshoots of ATZ, such as ATZ Bookclub, ATZ Spotlight, and our company’s page ATZ Publications. Yes… we now publish books.
Are there any specific authors that you work with on a regular basis that you would like to share with us?
Haha! Yes… and no. Yes, because we publish and promote. We even have a small business that designs and hosts book release parties (Event Plannerz). We literally work with hundreds of authors on a monthly basis. Some more than others, but we try to do whatever we can to promote the genre and its community.
What is your favorite zombie book of all time? Eric Shelman, Shawn Chesser, Chris Philbrook, John O’Brien, Claire Riley, Mark Tufo, Jonathan Maberry… the list is pretty extensive. All super nice people. No egos. Just really nice folks to work with.
If you could be any book character for a day what book and character would you choose and why?
Maybe Adrian Ring from Philbrook’s Adrian’s Undead Diary? Why? He’s pretty badass but maintains a flawed, but consistent, moral compass. OR… Nelson from Shelman’s Dead Hunger series. Why? He’s a stoner genius who floats through the apocalypse. There’s worse things you could be at the end of days. (No… I’m not implying anything… sheeesh)
Do you have a favorite zombie movie or TV shows?
Easy one- TWD. But I am currently loving the movie Wyrmwood. Totally original, funny, creepy, and mega-Aussie.
What do you think is the biggest misconception that people have about horror and apocalyptic books in general?
That it’s all blood and guts with shallow characters. Not sure how that became a thing. I guess it’s easier for people to box in that way. The beauty of this genre is the human condition. The hope. The stuff that makes you think and feel. Don’t get me wrong- there are plenty of hack-n-slash books out there with zombies and power tools and guts galore, but every genre has its cliches.
If you had to choose one genre to read for the rest of your life what would you choose and why?
I hope I don’t piss people off by saying this, but it would be post apocalyptic sci-fi. That would certainly INCLUDE the zombie genre… (see? I’m legit.) For me, it’s all about the contrast of hope and peril.
Can you tell me something totally random about yourself that fans might be surprised by?
I’m actually a quarter Cherokee. My father’s mom was a mean old full-blooded Cherokee and somehow I got none of it. However, my late brother looked like freakin Sitting Bull. Go figure.
What is one thing that you want people to know about ATZ?
I would want people to know about the culture within ATZ. Unlike several zombie-fan groups I’ve seen and been members of, we have fostered a very fun, supportive atmosphere where peeps can enjoy the genre in several ways. We never tolerate criticism between members and negative attitudes don’t last long in there. It now self governs. That said, we don’t make our members stand in the shadows of a long list of rules, either. We treat people with the respect they deserve. We engage. We laugh (a LOT). We avoid alienating anyone that wants to join in and we are pretty welcoming. My favorite thing to hear about is friendships that started in ATZ. After all, it’s social media, right? Isn’t that the point? So yeah… making connections with people ranks the highest in my book. The rest is just gravy. 😉