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JL Koszarek | Winter of Zombie 2016

Spotlight On JL Koszarek #WinterZombie

Jay Wilburn: What’s your name?

JL Koszarek: Jodi L. Koszarek

Jay: Spell your last name for me.

JL: K O S Z A R E K

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Jay: What is your latest release?

JL: Divide Then Conquer, in collaboration with Thad David

Jay: Describe the book.

JL: Book one of an epic American series that explores what it means to face an unknown enemy while confronting social and cultural mores that no longer apply in the apocalyptic world scenario. An attempt to explore and regain our humanity in the face of total annihilation.

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Jay: Tell us about the characters.

JL: Jack Mason is a highly skilled intelligence operative who finds himself in the midst of zompoc chaos when he lands in San Diego after coming from an assignment. His adventures begin as he travels to Colorado to find his best friend and Marine brother, Mark Wechsler. Mason is loyal, pragmatic, and above all, a survivor. His career has shown him the worst of humanity and yet in his deepest core he is a firm believer that people are good and that liberty is central to humans achieving their natural propensity for goodness. Incredulously, during his travels to Colorado, he meets Jimmie, an odd teenaged girl with guts; an orphan even before the Zeds came, a survivor in her own right, but very much a loose cannon with a Glock.

Jay: How do you feel the two of you as coauthors set this book apart from others in the genre?

JL: The Zombie Company Crusade Series draws parallels from various genres. While there are plenty of zombies, which may or may not be terribly different from others in the genre, Divide Then Conquer is the spring board from which the reader will experience essences of romance, history, and interpersonal drama. Thad and I work to include current events and contemporary social problems such as family problems, gender issues, racial strife as well as LGBTQ issues. Divide Then Conquer as well as the rest of the Zombie Company Crusade Series endeavors to exploit that which divides us through the lens of the zompoc phenomenon to ultimately bring us together. Foremost, it is my wish that the readers feel as if they are reading a political and military thriller with all the drama, emotion, and surrealistic action and rhetoric of current national and global upheavals. In my opinion, there is no other single literary genre where numerous vastly different characters are thrown together and forced to come to grips with their own biases and expectations to survive another day. This is high drama stuff!

Jay: What inspires you as an author and specifically with this book?

JL: I am inspired by Thad, who invited me to participate in this project. His valiant service to our country, his kindness and generosity toward my family along with his steadfast belief in my work that keeps me going.

Jay: Oh that’s nice. So …

JL: I want to mention Janet Freeman, our editor who polishes our work, which can sometimes be challenging due to our collaborative efforts. Her patience and encouragement are invaluable.

Jay: Okay, good, then if …

JL: People are what influence me, regular everyday people who go to work, wash their cars, walk their dogs, and mow their lawns while I sit at my desk and write about how everything we all take for granted can change in seconds. Everything I write is about them; everything is about us.

Jay: Alight, good. I want to ask … was there … More influences? No? Okay. If you had to put a warning label on this book, what would it say?

JL: Warning: open mind required.

Jay: What do you hope readers take away from this work?

JL: That we’re more alike than we are different.

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Jay Wilburn
Jay Wilburn has a Masters Degree in Education that goes mostly unused since he quit teaching to write about zombies. Jay writes horror because he tends to find the light by facing down the darkness. He finds the journey through life easier by having you join him. Jay is the author of 2 series: The Dead Song Legend and The Great Interruption. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. You can also find Jay's work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5 and Dark Moon Digest. Each year Jay has the pleasure of featuring many great authors in the genre through the Summer and Winter of Zombie blog tours on his website.

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