PRESENTING: THE AFTERMATH is a shocking horror adventure written by one of our very own here at Random Interviews, Lord Veil himself! I sat down with the mighty Lord for a brief Q&A.
Daclaud: Nuclear War, Terrorists, Emotion, Horror, Soldiers, Rock stars, blood, sex, honest comedy and Radies. Your book has it all! Have you single handedly re-invented the zombie genre?
Lord Veil: Thanks! And no, I’ve definitely not re-invented the zombie genre. I think that claim rests rightfully with Danny Boyle. I love zombies. Huge fan of the genre. But Radies definitely are not zombies.
D: They’re peeling, oozing, bloody, shambling beings and they eat people. You’ll have to explain how Radies are different from zombies.
LV: Easy! Zombies are reanimated rotting corpses who turn you into one of them with a single bite. Radies are humans who are, in fact, still alive. They cannot turn anyone into one of them. They’re the result of direct and prolonged exposure to nuclear radiation and deadly containment chemicals from 3 nuclear power plants. They’re mentally reduced to the baser emotions to gather, eat and mate. They retained basic motor skills and can communicate at rudimentary levels. They cannot reason or feel pain.
D: Now I read this book cover to cover and was absolutely SHOCKED by these Radies. If I’m gathering this right, they’re like pack traveling zombies who can drive, shoot guns and rape people on top of eating them?! Man that’s some BRUTAL SHIT! What inspired this kind of horror?
LV: I’ve always been a fan of all genres of horror and of the early post-apocalyptic films like Damnation Alley (1977), The Day After (1983), Escape From New York (1981), Cherry 2000 (1987), Cyborg 2 (1993), Death Race 2000 (1975), Logan’s Run (1976), Last Man on Earth (1964), Steel Dawn (1987), Night of the Comet (1984), Soylent Green (1973), No Blade of Grass (1970), 1984 (1984), Terminator (1984), The Omega Man (1971), The Time Machine (1960), and all the Mad Max films. Presenting: The Aftermath is the baby of all these things and more.
D: Wow! Those are some old ass movies.
LV: Ya, my mom was really big on making me watch the classics with her when I was young, especially the sword and sandal films. My dad was big into horror and often took me to the theater with him when I was way too young. Definitely not complaining. You can say those old films left an imprint. Those and the indie/cult horror films I became obsessed with. Especially anything by Full Moon Pictures. If it was put out by Hammer Films, Full Moon, Troma, or Wing Nut; or had the words “Vampire,” “Zombie,” “Slasher,” “Alien,” “Supernatural,” “Witches” or “Werewolves” associated with it, then you could be sure I was obsessed with it.
D: So explain the leap from being a genre fan to writing your own genre masterpiece.
LV: Well thanks for calling it a masterpiece!
D: Not gonna lie, dude. It’s dope as fuck. I’d tell you if it was shit. I don’t want to ruin anything for our Random Interviews readers. I believe they should take the journey blind like I did so we’re not even gonna talk about the characters or anything. But I will say people should read the FORWARD as an AFTERWARD for a more rewarding reading experience.
LV: Really? I’ll bite. Why?
D: Ya. I’ll be totally honest. I initially skipped the FORWARD and went right into the book since I knew this interview was coming up. When I was done reading PRESENTING: The Aftermath I needed more so I flipped to the beginning and read the FORWARD. I thoroughly enjoyed learning how the book came about AFTER reading it. I went in totally blind. It was a slow start that turned into a wild rollercoaster. Great fucking job, man!
LV: Thanks, brother. That means a lot. I just hope the masses feel the same since I’ve got two sequels in mind!
D: So this is the first of a planned trilogy!?
LV: Hopefully! It depends on the readers. If the book is well received then I can take the time I need to write the next two. If there aren’t any book sales then I’ll have to admit defeat and give up on this series. I am working on two others so there’s hope if this one fails.
D: Well I’m in. Whatever else you write I’m reading after this one. And I can totally picture it as a fucking movie. I realize you wrote it for yourself to star in, but who would you have direct it?
LV: OH! 3 directors immediately spring to mind. Kathryn Bigelow, Patty Jenkins and The Soska Sisters.
D: Interesting choices. The first two are known for major blockbusters and the Soska Sisters are relatively unknown by comparison. I’m going to have to ask why?
LV: Different reasons. I’ve been a fan of Kathryn Bigelow for ages. Pretty much a junkie for everything she did from Blue Steel on. Near Dark and Strange Days are two of my favorite movies of all time. I even had a band called Strange Days for a while. The way she combines intense action with character building would fit perfectly with the way I’ve crafted this story. It’s layered. I mean it’s not just a muscley soldier on top of a moving vehicle launching a rocket into nameless hordes of zombies. It’s a civilian, an imperfect father who we’ve gotten to know risking his flawed life to protect his daughter and many other people by taking the lives of other fleshed out living humans. That’s what makes it harder I think. Zombies are deadly. But they’re already dead so killing them isn’t as emotionally difficult as killing a Radie. Radies are still alive. I think Patty Jenkins could capture that as well. Look at Monster. You just hated Eileen Wuornos but somehow you also felt for her. You sympathized with her. You wanted to give her a hug, get her off the street and save her life if you could but in the end you understood why she had to be put down.
D: That’s an interesting way of thinking about their styles. And when you put it in those terms I can totally envision that now. But when I was reading it I totally pictured: Presenting: The Aftermath, directed by George fucking Miller.
LV: Oh, he’s a fucking badass! He just keeps getting better!
D: My point exactly! Together we’ve just named 3 Oscar worthy filmmakers who are used to handling giant scoped tent pole action movies. You’re going to have to convince me on the Soska Sisters. I mean, I love Hellevator and I could tolerate a single viewing of Vendetta. I’ll even admit that the direction they took See No Evil 2 made it a slightly better film than the original suck fest but I honestly don’t see them doing a major blockbuster. So where are you getting that from?
LV: (scoffs) You clearly don’t know your indie/cult/horror film history, there, mister sir!
D: (scoffs) Well excuse the fuck outta me, Lord Veil. Educate me, then, if you will.
LV: Did Sam Raimi start out making Spiderman (McGuire) or The Great and Powerful Oz? Did Peter Jackson start off with Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit? Fuck no! They started out with Indie films like Evil Dead and Bad Taste! I guarantee the makers of Happytime Murders with Melissa McCarthy took some of their inspiration from Peter Jackson’s Meet The Feebles!
D: Okay, Okay, but how’s that translate to the Soskas being able to direct something as epic as Presenting: The Aftermath?
LV: Dude! We’re getting way ahead of ourselves here considering I haven’t even sold ten copies!
D: Come on, man. Humor me.
LV: Okay, man, let’s pretend that my book is good enough for movie treatment. Lets even fantasize that it reaches “tent pole movie budgets.” And lets totally go overboard and imagine the Soskas were interested in directing it. How would I know they’d knock it out of the park?
D: Yes, that’s the question.
LV: It’s the long game! We never end up in the same place in which we start out. For example: I used to sing in a gothic rock band and now I’m an author using those experiences to fuel my work. Have you ever seen Dead Hooker in a Trunk or American Mary? It’s all there!
D: What’s all there?
LV: The seeds of greatness. They showed they can handle action and gore while taking us on a journey in Dead Hooker in a Trunk. And in American Mary they showed the ability to create a real character arc while not shying away from extremely touchy subjects. And they got the best performance of Katherine Isabell’s career. In those films they showed the kind of depth and daring it would require for such an undertaking. I’m not saying they will end up being Oscar winning film-makers, but they very well could be in the future!
D: Hmmm… I see…
LV: It’s just like my book! I hope people can see the potential the beginning of this series has!
D: Oh I definitely do. Your book nearly brought me to tears at one point then grossed me out, then had me on the edge of the pages with all the action. Who are some of your favorite authors?
LV: Ohhhh that would be a very long list… I’ll just name a couple. J.K. Rowling created an entire world that all ages can immerse themselves in. Douglas Adams was brilliant. Charles Dickens was an absolute genius. I love Harriet Rochin’s The Reformer’s Apprentice. John Milton’s Paradise Lost really wrapped my attention early on. Bram Stoker and Mary Shelly are extremely dear to me. Kurt Vonnegut‘s Cat’s Cradle inspired me to write a report on religions to nobody in particular. I love Anne Rice, I really connected with Lestat on a cellular level; even paid tribute to her and her immortal character in one of my early songs: Vampire. I actually took cues from J.R.R. Tolkien and had a young person (with parental permission) proofread my novel prior to editing it. J.R.R. was such an intelligent man. Him using this method goes in line with what Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough.” I believe that was Tolkien’s point. Having a young person ask questions forced me to simplify the language I was using in order to make my story, Presenting: The Aftermath, flow more easily.
D: So it’s not just the writings you admire, it’s the being behind the pen. Interesting! Who are some other of your favorite authors?
LV: I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen. Her ability to create fully realized characters in just a few words, then easily drive us on their emotional journey is timeless. Guillermo Del Toro is a total beast. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett co-wrote one of my favorite books ever with Good Omens. Stephen King is something to aspire to. Jonathan Littell is an absolutely amazing author. His book, The Kindly Ones took me through a haunting mire of a journey. I felt like that book soiled my soul and I probably needed 56 mental showers after reading it! The book Blessed are the Cheesemakers, by Sarah-Kate Lynch literally saved my life when I was at my lowest. I just kept reading it and the laughter kept me going. That’s why books are so important to me. They’ve affected me emotionally. I hope I may do that for others at some point with my writing.
D: Lots of female authors on your list. Do you identify as a male feminist?
LV: No. I identify as a humanist. When you choose to forget gender in deeds you are forced to recognize the quality of the human’s capabilities. If someone is better than me at something I hope they teach me so I can be better for myself. It doesn’t matter to me if they’re male or female, knowledge and intellectual discoveries have no gender.
D: Ok, Ghandi. I’ll give you a pass on that one. How do you think your book measures up to the authors you’ve listed?
LV: That’s for the readers to decide. If I’m deciding I’d honestly say they’re much better than me for the simple facts that all of them are more educated than myself and all of them were professionally published and can be bought anywhere. By comparison my book is self published using the tools found in Kindle Direct Publishing and solely sold on Amazon.
So there you have it Random Interviews readers! Lord Veil’s nuclear charged action/horror novel, Presenting the Aftermath, is exclusively on sale through Amazon on paperback or Kindle ebooks. Speaking as one who just read the thing and needs more, I wholeheartedly hope the sequels happen. I need to live with these characters a bit longer! Get the book on Amazon.
By Daclaud Lee