by Jay Wilburn
JL Koszarek has been working on stories for quite some time before she was ever published and before her partnership with Thad David on Divide Then Conquer The Zombie Company Crusade series which brought them both onto the Winter of Zombie tour. She enjoys working with David on this series because it gives her an opportunity to write about more current events and current settings than what she usually addresses in her writing. She likes to write about monsters too – human and unhuman.
Historic fiction is really where her heart is. She is still working on some pieces in that genre to publish soon which I look forward to seeing. She also writes erotica under a pen name Neige Blanche called Twisted Oak: A Sexual Odyssey which goes in some very different directions than her zombie work has. A prequel to that work is formulating itself out in her head along with a few other stories she hopes to write and release eventually.
Since childhood, she’s always imagined what it would be like to live in another time. It was these imaginings that led her to writing. She’s always liked history and valued it because we are all a product of history. It is all our backstory. It is the key to us seeking answers to the big questions. Writing other eras for Koszarek is an ongoing experiment to see what can be done on this rich tapestry.
She gives Thad David credit for their zombie story. She says it was his brainchild and he created the video game that spawned the written series. The idea behind their zombie apocalypse is how our current world has become so fractured. The ultimate goal is to see what would it take to bring us back together in the face of all our shortcomings. For Koszarek, she is drawn to the story from the standpoint of accentuating the positives in humanity despite all our flaws. The zombies in the story symbolize the negative, the ignorance, the gluttony, and our failings. The survivors represent living, positive potential. We are what is real and flexible even in our most limited ways. Human survivors represent resilience and community. They face the challenges we as a species must rise to meet whether we are surviving the apocalypse or our normal daily existence. These things may ultimately speak to our higher angels. Ultimately, it is her goal to illustrate the positive strength in humans spiritually, physically, and intellectually in the face of the darkness around us.
Koszarek has known David since he was 3 as she was friends with his mother. As it turns out, he is engaged to Koszarek’s daughter now. Koszarek wrote Twisted Oak while David was still serving off the coast of west Africa after his tour with the USMC in Iraq. He pitched the book idea to her after the video game. He wanted a partner in writing the story and she was onboard.
Their writing focus at the moment is on the three planned books of the series. The second book should be out at the end of the 2016, so now is a great time to start book 1. More from her historic fiction and Twisted Oak series should follow after that.
I hope I have made the case for JL Koszarek. Check out Divide Then Conquer and other work coming from her as well.