November 1, 2013

Sean Liebling Discusses Zombie Fiction

Sean Liebling, author of the Blood, Brains, and Bullets series, discusses why he's fascinated with the zombie genre.

The Apocalypse Reading Group

I developed my love for the apocalyptic genre quite early. I've seen almost every zombie/ apocalyptic movie out there, and in the last decade have read most of the books. My extensive Marine Corps background and outdoors nature allowed me to empathize with a great many of the movies and books I read. 

Then when I retired in my forties, I read even more, spent time with my family, and started a reading group of apocalypse-based books.

Our reading group members include an M.D., a psychologist, a police sergeant, and several retired military officers. We get together once a month, have a few drinks and discuss the latest books we've read. There are a few main topics we always agree upon. 

Our main complaints? The lack of research on an author's part regarding locations or weapons, and main characters turned into superhuman heroes. We brainstorm different scenarios and nomenclature.

Questioning Mainstream Standards

For the most part, until very recently it used to be quite common for zombie authors and authors of apocalyptic books to write a certain way, using certain old themes. None of this makes any sense, and lacks any form of historical or psychological accuracy.

If 97% or more of the human race dies off within a few days or a couple of weeks at the most, why is there never any food available? Why is the survival make-up of refugees always a large group of men and a few women that half the men fight over? (Caveat: recently some authors have started putting the token child in their books and movies.) 

Why do most authors have their zombies burn like dried pine kindling? Why doesn't any zombie slash apocalypse author— with very few exceptions—put any form of sex in their books?

This is where I, along with a very few others, broke the barriers.

Thinking Outside the Box

I took a large step outside the mainstream box and wrote a very different apocalyptic concept. With the help of my colleague, a medical doctor, I dreamed up a virus that could actually be created today. With the help of a licensed psychologist, I created a typical survivor group demographic, which is also based on all known history of crises. With my own Marine Corp training and service, and with the help of others in the service, I did my best to create accuracy in weapons and weapons systems.

Blood, Brains, and Bullets

'Blood, Brains, and Bullets' has been wildly successful; despite several intriguing offers I have decided to remain self-published for now. I will not get into publishing pros and cons here, but suffice to say, I can do equally well if not better on my own, with a much higher royalty. I’ve sold over 17,000 copies of Book One, have received over 1,000 fan emails, and consistently rank high in science fiction and horror.

I enjoy what I do and I am having an awesome time. The fans and support from fellow Indie authors has made it all worthwhile. I enjoy writing and especially enjoy the fan email, of which I receive a plethora. 

I recently self-published Book Two in the series, entitled Legacy of the Living and have heard great positive feedback so far. I am currently writing the third book of the series, which is called Sacrifice of the Damned.

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