What makes thriller authors tick? We’re happy to have on board Glenn Shephard, author of the thriller novel, The Zombie Game.
Glenn’s first novel, Surge, was written while he was still a surgical resident at Vanderbilt. In the following years he wrote The Hart Virus, a one-thousand-page epic about the AIDS crisis, as well as three other novels. In 2012, he created “Dr. Scott James,” his Fugitive-like action-hero. The first volume of the series was The Missile Game, followed shortly afterward by The Zombie Game. Born on a farm in eastern Virginia, Dr. Shepard lives and maintains a thriving surgical practice in Williamsburg.
Visit Glenn’s website at www.glennshepardauthor.com.
About the Book:
ISIS terrorists are plotting to kill the Pope during his visit to America.
Their only obstacle: Dr. Scott James is a volunteer on the ship, and he’s recruited a squad of Haitian zombies to stop the attack. But nothing adds up … until the last seven minutes.
MEET JAKJAK, DEAD MAN
Jacques Jacobo, “Jakjak,” is the Haitian Finance Minister’s personal bodyguard. He’s just taken two bullets in the chest trying to stop an assassination attempt on his boss.
SCOTT JAMES, TARGET
Dr. Scott James is a volunteer surgeon on a hospital ship anchored off the coast of earthquake-ravaged Haiti. He’s got his share of personal demons.
OMAR FAROK, MASTERMIND
Omar Farok wants to rule ISIS, and the world. He’s just taken over the hospital ship and converted it into a launch platform for a nuclear strike on Miami.
SANFIA, VODOUN BOKOR
Sanfia is the most powerful Vodoun priestess in Haiti. Omar Farok will pay her big money to turn Dr. James into a zombie.
ELIZABETH, THE WILDCARD
Beautiful Elizabeth is one of the most notorious freelance operatives in the world. She’s come to Haiti to defuse the bomb.
They’re all about to play The Zombie Game.
For More Information
Would you call yourself a born writer?
Definitely. I write whether I like it or not! I’ve been writing novels for years as a source of enjoyment. I really didn’t think too much about the publishing process until I had amassed an enormous amount of work. Right about that time was when I created the character of Dr. Scott James, and I knew that the game had changed.
What was your inspiration for The Zombie Game?
My inspiration for The Zombie Game was Wade Davis’ true story of story of experimenting with Zombie drugs, The Serpent and The Rainbow. I really loved how he portrayed Zombie-ism in a realistic light. That’s what I have tried to do in my book. Of course I was also deeply inspired by my forays into Haiti after the earthquake. I went there to do volunteer surgery. While I was there I became thoroughly enamored with the people and the culture.
What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
I like to take real stories in the headlines and put an unexpected spin on them. The theme here, I guess you could say, is a regular guy caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
How long did it take you to complete the novel?
It takes about six months, from beginning to end. A lot of that is research time. I research as much as I write. Also, there is the thought-time. I spend a lot of time working out the stories in my head. My novels move from one location to another, and quickly, so I have to think a lot about the twists and turns through before I can write them.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
I start slowly, whether I like it or not. The early stages are mainly about researching, so it’s hard to produce a lot of pages, regardless of how disciplined I try to be. But as the story progresses and I get more and more research behind me, I speed up and write a lot of pages. It’s not a matter of discipline as much as I have a lot to write about—and I get excited as the book builds to the big explosion at the end (or gun shot, or …)
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
The hardest thing is getting around people’s perception of what a Zombie actually is. A Zombie is a person who has been drugged and perhaps physically conditioned to do whatever their masters suggest. This is hard for people to believe, so I had to be very meticulous in the portrayal of the Zombies in the book.
What do you love most about being an author?
Tough to say. The reviews have warmed my heart. The email and comments by the readers have been really great to see. I would say, though, that the writing itself, especially when I’m near the end, has been the biggest thrill.
Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
I started my own firm, Mystery House Publishing, and hired some talented people to do all of the cover designs, typesetting, editing, what have you. The process is indeed lengthy, though. And expensive. We have ended up spending a lot more time on editing and proofing than I would have ever thought possible. I’ve been pretty happy with the whole thing. We’ve sold about six thousand books so far, and have been on the bestseller list over at Amazon Kindle. We’re building a readership, you can’t really ask for more.
Where can we find you on the web?