by Jay Wilburn
Jay Wilburn: Welcome to this two dimensional world of a printed interview. Don’t move around too much or it hurts. State your name for the record.
Jack Wallen: Jack Wallen … This is not a 2-D world. This is Kentucky.
Jay: Really? Wow! What book do you bring us out of the expansive I Zombie universe?
Wallen: ZR3 Zombie Radio 3: Radio Chaos
Jay: Introduce the book to me in an over-dramatic radio announcer, movie trailer kind of voice.
Wallen: *Clears his throst and does 30 minutes of vocal exercises as Jay checks his e-mail*
You’re listening to…
A pirate radio station has commandeered Zombie Radio to send the DJ and his cohorts out in the apocalyptic landscape to track down and silence the disembodied voice. When the gang finally locates Radio Chaos, what they discover could completely title the tide of war in favor of the Zero Day Collective and the undead horde.
Join the DJ and metal band 40OzFist for yet another blend of mayhem, mischief, and music.
Jay: I’m not much of a metal guy. More easy listening and NPR … What’s up with this nameless character and this metal band?
Wallen: The main character of this series is the Zombie Radio DJ. I have intentionally not given the man a name, but I can say that he is very much inspired by me and my life. Alongside the DJ is the real-life metal band 40OzFist, who have willingly opted to help the voice of the Zombie Radio Nation kick the apocalypse in the junk.
Jay: That’s no way to treat an apocalypse. Things have changed a lot with your apocalypse and your zombies over this series.
Wallen: I decided, way back in the early stages of the series, that I was going to allow the zombies to evolve as they might, given a wide-open apocalyptic landscape. I won’t give away too much, but if you read in between enough of the lines in the later entries, you can see where the evolution is heading.
Jay: I remember this character from My Zombie My. Why did you focus in on him for this side series?
Wallen: This particular series is a spin-off of the main series, based on a character that played a small, but important, role in the second book, My Zombie My. The DJ became such a fan favorite, I decided he needed to be given life. To that end, I created the zombieradio.org podcast, which is the DJ doing his best to help the survivors of the apocalypse. After a couple of years with that podcast (it started in 2011 and is still going strong), I decided I wanted to flesh out the character a bit more, so I gave him his own series.
Jay: I read this character as personal to you. Am I picking that up correctly?
Wallen: The character is all me and inspired by various moments in my life. I do my best to pay homage to all the music I enjoy in the series and hope to someday migrate the series to video.
Jay: I read a pretty significant reveal in this book too. Do you want to touch on that some?
Wallen: This particular entry to the series (book 3) actually offers up a fairly significant plot point that will make its way into the next book of the main series (which will be book 8 of the I ZombWallenie series).
Jay: Let’s put a warning label on this thing. Go.
Wallen: Caution: If you don’t enjoy a heavy dose of snark laced with an equal helping of sincerity, look away now.
Wallen: That survival is not only many layered, but there is always someone out there ready to give you a helping hand (or voice). As a sidebar, I want readers to come away knowing that entertainment can also be enlightening.
Jay: Whisper to me where people can reach you and follow you … do it in hyperlinks.
Wallen: *more vocal exercises*
Jay: Very good. I’ll get out of your way.
Wallen: *Flips on an episode of Catfish and wraps up in a Wonder Woman blanket*
Jay: Hey, where did you get that?
Wallen: Chuck Buda mailed it to me.
Jay: *Slips out the door into the Kentucky wastelands where dinosaurs still roam the Earth*