by Jay Wilburn
Jaime Johnesee is a returning author to the Summer and Winter of Zombie cycles. Her Bob stories have made appearances more than once along the way. As many readers know, Bob is a sentient and optimistic character. The stories are humorous and quite different from most of what zombie fans encounter out there. Bob the Tacoholic takes what we love about Bob and his stories and amps it all up to the next level. After seeing what she did with this story and knowing it was going to be released near the time of this year’s Winter of Zombie tour, I had to bring her on the slate of featured authors.
I almost think of Jaime Johnesee as more than one kind of writer. As humorous as her Bob stories are, her short fiction can be very dark and deep. Her collaborations in short and long fiction also take many different and dark turns even outside of zombies. She says some of the darker work is actually easier for her to tap into and it is when she must transition into writing in the upbeat mindset of Bob that she has some trouble sometimes.
She enjoys her collaborations. She approaches those partnerships with the mindset of playing make believe as children. Her advice for anyone doing a co-authored work is to enter the process without ego. It will be a very rewarding experience with great results then. Based on the work she has created with other authors, I believe that process has worked well for her.
She makes a conscious choice to strive toward the positive in her interactions in life and online. Anyone connected to her on social media sees this. We all have bad days and she faces a number of challenges of her own, but she posts encouraging messages regularly to uplift others and thereby to uplift herself and her own outlook in the process. She finds that optimism helps keep her pushing past the obstacles in life. I think I speak for a lot of people that feel that seeing a positive Jaime Johnesee post of encouragement in the sea of everything else we see online these days is a nice reprieve from what we are usually subjected too. That may be a good analogy for her books as well standing out in quality and in style from other work in the genre.
Her own life shows up in a lot of her work. It’s a little bit of cheap therapy in a way, she says. Horror has been a part of her life for a long time as a reader and as one that has the ability to see and understand the darker side of things.
The idea for Bob sort of came from her friends. To be more specific, she has friends who dressed as zombies professionally for various events. They were all good natured and fun people under all that make-up and costume. She wanted to capture that spirit behind the zombie in her Bob stories and I think she created an interesting and unique series for the genre as a result.
She’d like to still be writing when she is 100. She is currently working on the third book in her Samantha Reece Mystery series. She is revisiting the novel that gave birth to the character of Bob the Zombie. More collaborations are in the works for her as well.
I hope I have made the case for Jaime Johnesee and Bob the Zombie. Check out her latest work, Bob the Tacoholic, and anything else by Johnesee as well.