Spotlight On interview with Mark Cusco Ailes
author of Zombie Park and dozens of other titles
Summer of Zombie 2016
Q: What’s your name?
Q: What is your latest, greatest zombie release?
Q: What is this thing?
Take the book Jurassic Park – remove the dinosaurs – replace with zombies. When you build a zombie park with zombies and zombiefied animals what is the worst that could happen? What happens if the zombies escape their enclosures? Who will survive? Find out in the exciting first installment of the Z-Day Trilogy.
Q: Tell us about the main character.
Ben Cutler just wants an honest way to make a lot of money! Unemployed and on the short end of the employment stick, he knows his chances of getting a traditional job is slim to never. Ever resourceful and always a forward thinker, Ben comes up with a brilliant idea—Zombie Park! This is a decision that Ben quickly regrets on opening night when all hell breaks loose. He becomes the hero in the series when he tries to save as many survivors as he can.
Q: What makes your zombies different from others in the genre?
Almost any animal you see at a zoo has a zombiefied version at the zombie park. The military has also developed smart zombies soldiers which they hope will be effective weapons against their enemies. Will they or has the military engineered the perfect weapons of their own demise?
Q: What makes the book different from others in the genre?
Zombie Park is not about the gore and how many people can die in graphic ways. This is an exciting take on the genre. This is a character based series with a twist. I didn’t want to write the same old zombie story that had been done to death over the years. When I originally saw Jurassic Park, I thought what if this was done with zombies instead of dinosaurs. When I learned that Jurassic World was in development, I began writing the first draft of Zombie Park. I had no idea how much of a positive response I would have by my fans. They are behind the series and keep asking me when the next one is coming out. Books 0-3 are out and now I’m taking the series global with Zombie World due out this summer.
Q: What were your inspirations and influences for this story?
Jurassic Park for one and all of the classic films starting with Night of the Living Dead and beyond.
Q: How did this book and the series around it develop?
Zombie Park is book one in the Z-Day Trilogy followed by Z-Day: Day of the Zombies, Plague of the Living Dead and the prequel Creation of the Living Dead. Ironically, Zombie World (Book 4) is with my editors. I was originally only planning it to be a three book series, but my fans are demanding me to continue on with the series.
Q: What do you hope readers get from this adventure you created?
I hope they enjoy the ride and want to continue on reading about the characters in the additional books. Most fans tell me they read Zombie Park within a day and purchase the additional titles moments after finishing Zombie Park.
Q: Pitch me, baby!
Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Mainstreet, and Truth or Dare. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels Loose Ends and Time Eaters. He is one of the four authors behind the Hellmouth trilogy. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com