Posted on February 1, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
Eve of the Dead, a zombie novel by Nathan Tucker, combines the vision of Romero’s post-apocalyptic world with the break-neck pace and action of pulp zombie fiction at its finest to create a story that will leave you begging for more.
I recently had the chance to have short conversation with Nathan about writing Eve of the Dead and the challenges of getting from the idea stage to the final product. I didn’t want to reveal too many spoilers, so this interview is mostly about Nathan’s writing style in regards to the book.
What is your favorite part of the book?
I would have to say my favorite part of the book is when the characters first discover the Wal-Mart. I really enjoyed writing this section of the book, because I have often fantasized about hiding out in my local Wal-Mart if a zombie outbreak occurred. Forget the shopping mall. I’d say that at our current time, Wal-Mart is the place to go if you want to look for pretty much anything you need to survive. This being said, I really had fun writing about the items that the characters found in the store.
What about the characters? Do you have any favorites?
I have two favorite characters: Scott and Luke. Both of these characters fall apart mentally and emotionally during the course of the story. Scott is very impulsive. Without thinking, he rushes into situations that can easily get him into trouble. But he can be lots of fun. Luke, on the other hand, considers everything before acting, to the point that he is almost afraid to do anything. But he gradually overcomes this trait…ironically leading to his downfall.
What books or movies were your inspiration for Eve of the Dead?
The book that inspired me to write Eve of the Dead is the novelization of Dawn of the Dead by George Romero and Susanna Sparrow. So much of the inspiration obviously came from Dawn and Night.
When working on Eve of the Dead what were the most challenging elements to the writing?
The most challenging part of writing the book was actually sitting down at the computer and typing. I spent a very long time daydreaming, brainstorming, and playing around with the characters and the plot that I wanted to write. Finally, I decided to just sit down and start writing it. I used the “snowflake method,” which really simplified the writing process for me.
Can you to tell us a little more about how the “snowflake method” works?
In a nutshell, this is a method of starting very small, and building until you are satisfied with the size of the story. But you know the beginning, the middle, and the end before you ever start writing. You begin by writing a single sentence that summarizes the story you wish to write. Next, you expand that sentence into a full paragraph. Then you take each sentence from that paragraph and turn them into paragraphs, and so on. There are intermediary steps involved, such as designing your characters, etc., but you get the idea.
Once you got in the zone, so to speak, what other challenges did you face while writing and how did you deal with them?
The biggest challenge I faced was finding the time to devote to writing the book. Designing the story and everything that came with it was the easy part. But I took a semester off from college, which really sped the writing process up.
More about Eve of the Dead