This past week I had the privilege to interview a good friend of mine. He is also author of Z-Day is Here, the short story Recess, and soon to be Z-Day is Here: One Year Later, none other than Rob Fox! I can’t tell you what an honor it was, and how glad I am that he took the time to do this interview. I really think you are all in for a treat here. So, as they say in Celebrity Death Match, “Let’s get it on!”
Malice Psychotik: So Rob, you started your first book as a blog back in 07′. Did you ever think it was going to become a book?
Rob Fox: Not only did I have no idea it would one day make it to book format, but it wasn’t even going to make it past 5 days. I did it for a school project and only had to show five days worth of blog. Somewhere around day 3, I was getting emails from people telling me they really liked it and wanted to read more. There were many times I had thought about just stopping – when I would have a really crappy day or when I ran out of ideas, but I felt like I couldn’t let the fans down. I really think when you read the book, there is a definite moment where the story structure and plot really start coming together, and that moment is when I decided to get it published when I finished it.
Malice: What inspired you to start Z-Day?
Fox: Well, other than wanting a good grade, I just honestly didn’t want to write another boring celebrity blog or a “Hi, my name is Rob” type blog. I wanted something different. I believe I had watched a zombie movie the night before or had a zombie dream the night before. Whatever the case may be, I had zombies on the brain.
Malice: One of the things I think makes your work stand out so much is your use of real life people for the basis of your characters. What made you decide to do this?
Fox: I started out doing it because I saw the main character as being me and what would really happen to me on those first days. Then I realized I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first day, so I decided to bring my friends into it. More as my special “Thank You” to them for being a friend. Later on in the book and in other projects, it helps me in giving my characters a real personality.
Malice: Now I know Z-Day 2 has been in the works for some time now. How is it coming along?
Fox: Ahh the dreaded “Z Day 2” question! I started Z Day 2, which will actually be called “Z Day is Here: One Year Later”, shortly after the first book was released. I wrote about 3/4 of the story then was asked to assist in writing a screenplay. I put Z Day 2 on the back burner to work on the screenplay, which took almost 6 months to complete. Once that screenplay was written and turned in, I had an idea for another screenplay that I wanted to get written. I finished that one in about 2 months. While I was doing some re-writes on the second screenplay, I went back and started reading Z Day 2. I was not pleased with where it was going, so I trashed everything I had written and started over. I am currently about 1/4 through rewriting the story, but I am much happier with this one and I believe whoever reads tis one will be happy I started over too. My goal is to have the second book finished by the end of the year. Ultimately I would love to see it out by October, but I think that is a little ambitious.
Malice: Since you’ve started down this road of being a writer, you’ve done a few con appearances. Which one has been your favorite?
Rob: Wow, that’s a hard question. I have had a complete blast at every single con I have attended, but I would have to say that “Spooky Empire” tops my list. I was a member of the forum when all this writing stuff began and I owe my success to everyone on that board, so when I was able to be a guest there, it was like being at home with all my friends. That convention will always have a special place in my heart
Malice: Of all the stories you have written thus far (Short or book) do you have any favorites?
Fox: As much as I LOVE “Z Day is Here”, and I do love that story, I would have to say that my all time favorite story I have written is called “Recess”. It is published in the anthology “Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology”. I wrote the story based off of a painting about a group of kids fighting off a playground full of zombie children. The painting is one of my favorites and being able to bring those pictures to life and using kids that I know in the story really helps make it my favorite.
Malice: Now, you mentioned that you were working on screenplays, have any of them been filmed yet?
Fox: I have two being filmed right now. One is “A.C.E. The Zombie” and the other is “American Undead”. I have a third screenplay that I am trying to sell now..and working on a secret script that I can’t talk about yet…but its gonna be HUGE.
Malice: Wow, I can’t wait you are going to have to tell me when you are allowed details. Now that we have talked about the writing, let’s talk about the man! Who is Rob Fox?
Fox: Hmmm, Rob Fox is a big geek. Anyone who really knows me knows how much I love Sci-fi, horror, and comic books. To me, Superman is hands down the best Super Hero. Also, I am a writer that doesn’t read. I mean I know how to read, I just can’t concentrate enough to read a full novel.
Malice: Well it has become obvious that you like horror movies! What are some of your favorites? Any recent movies tickle your fancy?
Fox: Well, my all time favorite is the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake. I own the movie on Blue-ray and have worn it out. I am also a huge 80’s slasher fan. Freddy, Jason, Mike, and Leatherface were my friends growing up, so I still love them.
Malice: What about the music scene, anybody out there dazzle you? What are you into?
Fox: I love all types of music. On my MP3 player, you will find anything from Slipknot to Kenny Chesney and some Eminem throw in for good measure, though my favorites are Rob Zombie and Linkin Park. I find myself listening to them both while writing.
Malice: Now I have seen your personal pages, (and heard many a story from you as well) you have met a fair share of celebrities. Which one has been your favorite?
Fox: Meeting Rob Zombie was a dream come true for me, but all I could mutter was “You Rock, Rob”, but of all I have met, I would say Betsy Palmer. My wife, Darcy, and I met her outside of the Spooky Empire convention, after the zombie walk. We were covered in face blood and had contacts in. She gave us a big hug and talked with us the entire way to her room. Later, we went to see her at her table. She was extremely nice to us and very much down to Earth
Malice: Anybody who has met you knows you KNOW how to party! Do you have any real epic memories you would like to share?
Fox: I once passed out on a National Monument and got banned from the country I was in…that’s about all I can say about that!
Malice: Would you mind if I asked you some random nonsense?
Fox: Yes, I mind! What kind of a person do you think I am?! But go ahead!
Malice: Here we go! What is your opinion on Furries?
Fox: Opinion as in would I? Have I? Or should I? Yes, Yes, and Yes. I have thought about writing a story about furries…and if you read really carefully you will find a reference to a Furry in Z Day!
Malice: If you were forced with a decision; Eat 3 KFC Double Downs in one sitting OR Punch a midget named “Holis” in the face which would you do? Why?
Fox: Funny story behind that…I went to KFC to get a Double Down. I have been trying to watch my awesome figure, but I decided that I would throw caution to the wind, so I pull into KFC very excited, and realized they were closed!!! I was so pissed that I went and punched a midget hooker named “El Tomeka”. So, I guess I would rather eat KFC Double Downs….since I still have not had one
Malice: Jason Stackhouse or Lafayette Renyolds?
Fox: Wait, to do? Or which one am I more like? I am so confused.
Malice: Do you think we should raise awareness to Midget Biker Gangs that plague the south-east U.S.?
Fox: I think raising awareness to midgets in general is probably a good idea. Now please don’t think that I dislike midgets, because that couldn’t be further from the truth. But I also think that raising awareness to the biker midgets is especially important, I mean what is scarier than a group of midgets on their little mini-bikes riding around your car?? And don’t even get me started on walking into Midget biker bars. I have heard stories about people walking into those bars and limping out, with huge bruises on their shins.
Malice: Would you Describe yourself as a leopard, a wolf, a mongoose, or a llama?
Fox: I would call myself a lleapolfgoose. I am a great mix of them all.
Malice: Well that’s enough crazy!! Rob, I just want to tell you what a pleasure it was doing this interview. Is there anything you would like to add?
Fox: Just like to say that if you have not read it yet, check out “Z Day is Here”, you can get it on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com , and other book stores. Also, thanks for chatting it up with me. It is always a pleasure.
Malice: One last thing, Where’s you number one stop for madness on the web?
Fox: WOW, that’s a tough one. It is a toss-up between http://www.nabainc.org and Encyclopedia Psychotika
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
OK I figured I would go ahead and hand my first review over to my buddy Rob Fox for his very first Book Z-Day is here.
I remember when Rob first started this blog back in 07′ . It was just soooo good! You would see people dogging him for days for more! I remember being one of those people because he left you hanging everyday with wanting more. Wondering what was going to happen next. Was this guy going to die? What else could go wrong? Is he ever going to find Darcy? So you could imagine how thrilled I was to see he was going to have this in print. I really think the film industry would have a lot to learn from Rob.
So the story stars out in the midst of all the chaos. The zomboclypse has started, and this guy is right in the middle of it. Stuck in his office he starts a blog describing the events as they come to pass. From there it goes on one mans adventure to reunite with his wife. The pace is very smooth, never dwelling in an area for too long, and always throwing the element of real-time into the story. The way the story is written, is what draws you in. He doesn’t take a whole paragraph to describe a small part of a scene. Instead, he only offers the detail necessary to give you a good feel for the action going on. Really that’s all you need. You don’t need four paragraphs describing how disgusting the zombies are and then another chapter describing one fight scene. Just quick to the point what’s going on.
Another part of the book I would love to mention is the characters. Fox did a wonderful thing in basing all of his characters off of people he knows. This shows in his writing as you can really feel the connection with these people. I feel this is lost on a lot of authors. The closer you are you your characters, the better the story will be. Whether its his supporting characters (Like Cole or Tonya) or his smaller characters (Like Dustin or Malice) you feel a real connection to the character. This connection is really important in any sort of zombie story. If you don’t feel for the characters, why do you care when they are torn to shreds by the zombie hordes? Character development is crucial in these types of stories! You don’t have a strong cast, your story fails.
Overall it a beautifully written story, that comes across very real. You really can see yourself right along for the ride. Smelling the stench of the zombies and hearing the moans at the door. I would really like to see this as say a mini-series or something to that effect. Maybe on SyFy or something like that. I would like to say I give Rob Fox’s Z Day is here 5 out of 5 Top Hats. It has nothing to do with the fact I’m in it. Shut up! That’s not bias! Seriously though, if you have never checked it out give it a look. It’s available on Amazon, and well worth it!
Until next time,