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Saturday 23 January 2016

ℚ The Zombie Game: Dr. Scott James [2] - Glenn Shepard

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Zombie Game (, Mystery House, 334 pages), a Thriller, book two of the Dr. Scott James series.

"The Zombie Game has it all ... twists, turns, and tons of action." Ben Lieberman, best selling author of Odd Jobs and The Carnage Account.
"An action packed thriller, cleverly plotted, frighteningly imaginative, and shockingly good. The Zombie Game will leave you breathless."

Marty Weiss, author of The Alchemist Agenda and The Flamingo Affair.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | Guest Post: Writing The Ebola Game | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Glenn Shepard; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for The Zombie Game?

"My inspiration for writing The Zombie Game stems from a life-long fascination with literary creations like werewolves, zombies, the Frankenstein monster, and Dracula.  I knew of the Haitian societies that used drugs to create their monsters, the zombies, through my medical training, but it was Wade Davis who brought zombies to life for me with his fascinating works The Serpent and the Rainbow and Passage of Darkness.

I travelled to Haiti on a medical mission after the 2010 earthquake, and made inquiries about the existence of zombies in the present day.  The answers I received were always complete denial of the existence of zombies.  People were actually afraid to even talk about zombies.  This unusual response heightened my curiosity, stimulating me to read every scientific article I could find about this exciting topic.  With this, I came up with my own suppositions:

Zombies are real and do exist in Haiti.  They are living beings, demented by mind altering drugs and oxygen deprivation from their overnight stay in underground coffins.

Personally, I picture them as individuals to be pitied, with their bad behavior coming not from within, but as obedience to commands given by evil masters.  I conveyed this impression of zombies by introducing the characters of Benoit and Shaza in The Zombie Game.  They are two, likable zombies who assist the protagonist in achieving his goal.

Another inspiration is the movie and TV series, The Fugitive.  In that story, everyone knows the doctor is a good guy.  I, along with millions of other viewers, root for the fugitive to find the one-armed-man and be free to return to his medical practice.  The Dr. Scott James Series is definitely something of a modern-day Fugitive."
I most definitely like your definition for a "Zombie", that is something I can definitely buy!

How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?

"Some of me is reflected in the series because I'm a plastic surgeon, like Scott James.  I base the character partly on me, partly on other physicians I've known, and partly on a fictitious character who conveys some of my own aspirations and ideals.  Granted, I haven't gotten into any of his troublesome situations, but It's fun to think in terms of ‘What if?’  How would I react to threatening situations?"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  
Can you tell us about your cover for The Zombie Game - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The covers of The Dr. Scott James Series were all designed Annie Biggs and John Haslett, two writers and artists in Los Angeles.  They read the manuscripts and said that the covers needed to convey to the reader what the books were all about: Action.  So the covers are pretty energetic, pretty action-oriented.  Also, each one has a distinctive color.  The Zombie Game is of course blue."
I can definitely see that, and it does work really well.

Why should we read The Zombie Game and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?

"The characteristic that sets the series apart from other thriller series is that I try to write a book that can be read and enjoyed in the 4-5 hour leisure time that a person has on a business trip or weekend vacation.  A quick read for a long flight is the goal I shoot for.  I like to engage the reader quickly and then take them on a wild ride.

A second thing that separates the series from other thrillers that you might have read is that the protagonist is not a Special Forces guy, or CIA, or big time detective.  He’s a regular guy, caught up in extraordinary circumstances.  He’s different, for better or worse."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Zombie Game, its story and characters?
"One of the things that’s quirky about The Zombie Game is that I try to take the reader on a tour of the underground of Haiti.  We follow Dr. Scott James through cemeteries, abandoned houses, tunnels, and caves created by the broken ground of post-quake Haiti."
Who would you recommend The Zombie Game to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend this novel to all those who reside somewhere in a literary neighborhood consisting of Marc Cameron, Andrew Peterson, Alex Lukeman, Robert E. Howard (wrote Conan the Barbarian), Russell Blake in the Ramsey series, The Fugitive on the big screen, better on television, maybe Mission Impossible, and certainly early James Bond films. The only warnings I would give about The Zombie Game is that there is mild profanity and violence."
What is your writing process?
"My writing process is basically to get Dr. Scott James into a hole, and then let him lead me through the process of getting him out.  Sometimes I figure out how to get him out, sometimes he figures out on his own how to get out.  Dr. James has led me to places I never expected to go.  He has a penchant for getting into trouble, and I’m gaining skills as a writer freeing him.

During the writing process, I live a new life.  I assume Dr. James’ fears, live with him through his imprisonment and his substance abuse, and even his attempt at suicide in the first book, The Missile Game.  I feel his sorrows, and joys.  As I write, I become him, the good guy who just wants to return to the peaceful life he had before he was caught up in this trouble.

Action propels my books.  As I write, the pace gets faster and faster as I get to the end.  I can feel this excitement so much that it is difficult for me to slow down enough to properly edit the last portion of all my books."
What is in store next?
"My current work is The Encryption Game, which is a Dr. Scott James.  After that, I’ll be coming out with The Vatican Game."

The Zombie Game
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads


Majanka Verstraete said...

Very interesting to hear where you got your inspiration from. I knew about Haitian zombies, but always amused they were a myth.

Majanka @ I Heart Reading

Gina @ Hott Books said...

This is so interesting! I can't wait to read The Zombie Game!

BooksChatter said...

Hi Majanka!
I did like the zombie theory very much.


BooksChatter said...

Hi Majanka!
I did like the zombie theory very much.


Unknown said...

Thanks great interview, very interesting!
I'm glad you asked about the cover artist - I do like the caver!