check out Sean's theme music
We have a special treat for you today. Ever wonder how you would survive a zombie or viral apocalypse? Well wonder no more. We have the man with the plan with us today. Sean Page lives in the U.K. and is a zombie survivalist and blogger. He has written two books on the subject: The Official Zombie Handbook (UK) & War Against The Walking Dead
* you can win a copy of War Against the Dead in the March Swagday contest
Hello Sean and welcome to I Smell Sheep *passes a tray of Moonpies and Kool-Aid* Did you know Moon Pies are the perfect food for a zombie apocalypse? They have all the major food groups: chocolate, marshmallow and cookie.
Sharon: Can you tell our readers a little about your two books?
Sean: [Sean munches on a moon pie then begins] The Official Zombie Handbook UK is a survival guide for the UK. We all loved the Max Brooks guide over here. The man is a saint. But, we don’t have a lot of wilderness or firearms. So, with the number of people are our islands, things are going to get ‘toasty’ when the zombies arrive. The handbook is a very detailed survival guide so heavy on the survival information & contains advice for those of us in the world who live in mainly urban areas & have big gun restrictions! It also contains a 90 Day Survival Plan which has gone down very well in US publications like Survival Weekly.
War against the Walking Dead in a much broader book looking at how a band of survivors can go about organizing a zombie war. It contains everything from squad tactics & survivor groups to strategic options & advice from religious leaders on the conflict. I would say it’s also a very detailed book so if you don’t like the detail you probably won’t like my stuff.
Sharon: so it is fair to say you are the man with the plan and I need to be Team Sean?
Sean: It is true that I’ve put a lot of thought into it but survivalist thinking is for everyone & you can start small. Just think about your home security, water & food supply etc. I will reserve you a place in the Ministry of Zombies bunker in London.
Sharon: What weapon do you see as a must have for the average survivor?
Sean: In a land with so few guns, I have to say a decent clubbing weapon. I carry an ice climbing axe as it’s so reliable & handy to carry on my daily commute.
Sharon: but don’t they have a short handle? You would have to get kind of close…I always imagined a machete as the perfect weapon.
Sean: Yes they are short but I have to have something I can carry every day. You never know when the zombies will strike & as I commute in everyday, I couldn’t just carry a shotgun or baseball bat around. I need something that will tuck into my bag & not make me look like a lunatic. Well, not as much like a lunatic.
Richard: Last May, We did a little zombie research of our own culminating in a graph (which can be seen above). We found that Zombies sometimes thought about Justin Bieber. Have you seen any corroborating evidence in your work? If so, what do you think make zombies "Beliebers"?
Sean: I have read of this link & witnessed CCTV footage on youtube. Seeing those poor youths shamble into concerts with blank looks on their faces was indeed disturbing. I don’t want to believe there is a link, Justin’s hair is much admired in the UK by people under 12, however, I fear the truth. The latest research I have indicates that whilst zombies care little for his poptastic tunes, his fans are displaying some worrying signs.
Sharon: It might have something to do with his smell. He should probably quit using that Bacon soap (yes, it does exist)
Sean: He indeed a strange creature. I can’t pretend to understand Justin Bieber. I am very much ‘on the outside looking in’.
Sharon: If you could have a theme song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?
Sean: It would be “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. It’s a classic 1980s tune that will live on forever…
Sharon: whoa…dude, I wouldn’t admit to that in public…just saying….<G>
Sean: You cannot argue that the man had the hits. Well, maybe you could argue he had the ‘hit’. I bravely admit that I like him. As someone who spends far too much time worrying about the undead, I can’t afford to be worried about loving Mr Astley.
Sharon: You were a god. What offerings would you require from your followers?
Sean: My first edict would be original vinyl LP’s as I collect them so I want all the David Bowie stuff that people have. Then I would enforce the wearing of hats. A hat is a good thing for everyone to wear & will improve everyone’s mood. Finally, I would require that broccoli is eaten with every meal. It’s a nice vegetable & I hate the way people disrespect it so much.
Sharon: I am down with the David Bowie thing (his voice is like butter!) but no sacrifices?
Sean: I would sacrifice those who disrepect the Bowie. All must bow before his albums. I’m not adverse to the odd sacrifice. I like to mix things up.
Richard: In the last decade, the zombie genre has really struck a nerve with popular culture. Why now? What do we really talk about when we talk about Zombies?
Sean: Readers have always like apocalyptic fiction but now our focus is more on the survivors than the cause, be it an atomic explosion, flood etc. Zombies are perfect for that. They are not evil or bad. They don’t have a secret agenda. They are like a blank canvas monster & the stories always end up telling us more about us than them. In many cases, the zombies end up looking better than the humans – as they said in one movie ‘at least they don’t turn on each other’.
Sharon: Have you given thought to what will happen to all the nuclear reactors around the world once the apocalypse starts? Wouldn’t they all go into melt down?
Sean: All modern plants on automatic shutdown. They will simple power down after a period of time. However, the older reactors are more dangerous. Also, they are not designed for decades of shutdown. Melt down may not be the result but there could be venting of radioactive gas. That would be something to look forward to. It would probably improve London with interesting mutants etc.
Sharon: maybe you could write a book about how to deal with radioactive mutants…
Sean: I prefer to keep my stuff based on real-life although mutants do concern me.
Sharon: If you could pick a fictional character to have your back during a zombie attack, who would it be?
Sean: Batman would be handy. He doesn’t have any superpowers but he is skilful & has an arsenal of gadgets to help you out & a batcave which would be great for parties. If you looking to take advantage of people, then I would take a bounder such as Flashman from Tom Brown’s Schooldays. He’s a cad of the first water & will trick anyone to get ahead. He’d be a great partner when the world goes to hell.
Richard: As you've gotten feedback on your books, what would you say is the public's most dangerous misconception about Zombies?
Sean: That they don’t exist. I just tell people, forgot about the world. Read the books as a survivalist. All the detail is real; none of it is made up. Just take out the zombies & read it as a post-apoc book. Imagine a new virus comes in being – it’s an aggressive form of Alzheimer’ – people find it easier to imagine a new disease rather than the zombic condition.
Sharon: what skill will most prized after the zombies come?
Sean: Short-term, any combat skills. Long-term, food & water knowledge – including growing, purification etc. Also, basic medical skills. Lawyers, bankers & politicians will be screwed unless they have these skills. Mechanics, nurses & farmers will finally get the respect they deserve.
Sharon: Note to self: start taking some night classes at the community college?
Sharon: Have you thought about writing a story (as opposed to the “how to” type)?
Sean: I have written many short stories & they appear in various anthologies. Very few are about zombies but they are all horror for the moment. I also have a novel under consideration with a publisher & two more books slated from Severed Press, one is a ‘choose your own adventure’ book – that’s about zombies!
Sharon: What do you think of zombie romance books?
Sean: I try to avoid them. I love the idea of survivors hooking up. What more perfect way to meet than mashing a few ghouls together – now that’s romantic. But Twilightesque zombie lovin’ – no way.
Sharon: Has the zombie genre peaked?
Sean: I hope not. I was planned on riding this wave to retirement. Nah – I think it will calm down a bit. I think it has a few years to go yet. As long as it’s interesting & there is a new angle then I think we’re OK.
Sharon: What are some of your favorites:
zombie movie- Land of the Dead (always surprises people but I’ve seen it about 10 times)
food- cheese – it’s so cheesey.
dog breed- Labrador – for reasons of extreme cuteness
music- Bowie & Springsteen
Sharon: Bowie I can see, but Springsteen…bleh! <G> I’ve seen them both in concert and Bowie ROCKS!
Sean: Again, you must respect The Boss for his craggy story-telling. He’s been the business for years – he will never be defeated so just start loving him.
Rapid fire time
(not unlike Hammer Time, if you wanted to dance)
Sharon: Chaos or order?
Sean: Order, there must be order
Richard: Hollow Point or Armor Piercing?
Sean: I’m not good with guns. Hollow Point. AP are wasted in the undead.
Sharon: DC or Marvel?
Sean: both, comics are the supreme art form.
Sharon: got to agree with you there. I love graphic novel adaptations. I just read issue #1 of A Game of Thrones and loved it!
Sharon: Coke or Pepsi?
Sean: Diet Coke for sure. For me there is no other drink.
Sharon: *hangs head* somewhere a pixie just had her wings ripped from her body…wrong answer Sean, wrong answer…
Sean: Diet Coke will rule the one day, for it is written thus. I hear the secret ingredient is sugar substitute mixed with pixie wings.
Richard: Ice or Fire?
Sean: Fire is better as you can cook stuff on it & burn evidence if required.
Sean: Cartoons. Anime is all new & shiny but cartoons rock.
Sharon: I agree. Got a favorite?
Sean: I love the way that Coyote always has another plan to catch Roadrunner. He has the sneaky nature all should admire.
Sharon: woman wearing a baseball cap or tiara?
Sean: Baseball/cricket cap for me.
Richard: John Maynard Keynes or Friedrich von Heyek?
Sean: John Maynard Keynes. I admire his macro economic views & his belief that we can solve every problem by adjusting dials.
Sharon: *looks at Katie* that was a nerd question wasn’t it?
Richard: I like him too. I believe in the free market... but sometimes that "invisible hand" likes to touch the economy where it's bathing suit covers... and needs to get swatted back.
Sharon: Bull riding or Bull fighting?
Sean: Fighting, riding is very uncomfortable
Sharon: and you know this how?
Sean: I grew up in the countryside & weekends dragged.
Sharon: Nerd or Geek?
Sean: Geek for the Geek shall inherit the Earth.
Sharon: acoustic or electric?
Sean: acoustic is better. I love folk & country music.
GIVE AWAY1. a rare limited edition Issue 1 of Living Dead Glasgow- a comic by Sex Gore Mutants
International + US
International + US
2. a cool arm band that says "Dying is not an option - The Ministry of Zombies"
3. a signed page from Sean's edited manuscript!
4. mask and protection suit in case of a viral zombie outbreak.
and of course lots of sheep swag!
(which means moon pie and kool aid)
1. leave a way to contact you
2. What would be your weapon of choice during the apocalypse?
* followers get double entries-let me know how you follow
contest ends 3/22