Can humanity survive the rising of the undead? What skills will be most important when trying to survive in the time of cannibalistic undead? Today I ask my panel of experts to chime in on all things Zombie Survival. Today’s guest all share one thing in common beyond being awesome undead bards, they have all had their books produced by the wonderful people at Tantor Audio!
So along with today’s answers, we will be having a Giveaway. Two people will receive a Zombie Audiobook pack including titles from each of the participants in today’s roundtable. To enter, just leave a comment answering the following question:
What one skill do you have that could be your saving grace in a Zombie Apocalypse?
Please make sure you include a way for me to contact you if you
The Giveaway is for the Continental US, and ends Thursday June 6th at 11:59PM.
Jesse Petersen author of The Living With the Dead series.
Scott Kenemore, author of Zombie, Ohio and The Zen of Zombie
Mark Tufo, author of The Zombie Fallout Series, and The Book of Riley
Wayne Simmons, author of Flu and Fever
When discussing training for Zombie Survival, many people focus on the obvious, weapons training, martial arts, wilderness survival skills and the like. What is one often neglected skill that seems useless today but may be essential in surviving the coming Zombie Apocalypse?
Jesse Petersen: I think most people would be stuck on basic survival skills. You’d figure out weapons pretty fast and hopefully it wouldn’t come to martial arts very often with zombies, but when it comes to getting potable water, making a fire, finding food once things go bad, I think a lot of people won’t have those skills. Hopefully they’ll be able to figure out libraries. LOL A good argument for making sure we fund those. ALOT.
Scott Kenemore: I’m not of the opinion that a true zombie apocalypse would be survivable in the truest sense. Therefore, I think it’d be important to focus on having as much fun as you possibly could. I think taking a bunch of Molotov cocktails up to a roof and then throwing them down on the zombies would be a pretty fun way to go out swinging.
Mark Tufo: CARDIO! – I think most folks over-estimate the level of their physical fitness. Now I’ll use myself as a prime example. In High School and College I was what many folks considered a jock, I played baseball, football and ran track. Even played hockey on the side. Then I joined the Marine Corps where they honed that conditioning into a fine tuned machine, which I summarily dismantled with 15 plus years sitting behind a desk. So my head says ATHLETE, my body says not so much. My only chance when the zombies come is thatthe person next to me ate an extra burrito for lunch! Man I have got to clean my treadmill off.
Wayne Simmons: Running. Seriously, a good pair of trainers and the common sense to uproot and fly at the first sign of trouble will up your survival chances no end. We all love the have-a-go-heroes in zombie books and movies, but were the z-poc to happen for real, those guys would be the first to go. The runners and the hiders: they’re the guys who’ll last longest.
You’re on a long business trip, 1,000 miles away from home when the Zombie Outbreak begins. What do you do? Find a place to hole up and wait out the wave of undead or grab your gear and attempt the classic cross country Zombie Apocalypse Road Trip?
Jesse Petersen: Road Trip! Seriously, I wouldn’t be able to keep myself from trying to get to my husband and family. So I’d be road tripping it and I’m sure I’d pick up some crazy sidekicks (one of whom I’m sure I’d have to kill at some point).
Scott Kenemore: I think a lot would depend on the terrain. Flat, desert areas would be the biggest challenge. There would be nowhere to hide. I think you want variations in terrain when fighting and hiding from zombies.
Mark Tufo: First off, that I’m a thousand miles away is bad news, my separation anxiety would be kicking into high gear by now. So yup I’m going to be that guy that treks across the country against all odds.
Wayne Simmons: The smart thing to do would be to hole up. But I’m something of a migrating man by nature so would probably go on the road trip. It’s curiosity, too. I’d want to watch the world around me going to hell rather than hide away in the arse end of nowhere, waiting for the zeds to wait for me. It would be the death of me, of course, but hell…
Stop what you are doing right now, and look around the place you currently are. What are the positive and negative aspects of your current location if undead hordes where heading your way right now?
Jesse Petersen: Well, I face a window, which is positive since I can see them coming, negative in that they can see me and if they break it, I’m screwed. I don’t really have access to weaponry here except for heavy things on my desk, but I have a few of those so I might be able to Shaun of the Dead a zombie (like they do with the records) and get to a gun if I needed to. It’s not the worst place, for sure, but it’s no bunker.
Scott Kenemore: I’m in a pretty tall building, so I think I’d be okay for a while. Also, it has elevators. Are zombies smart enough to operate elevators? I’m thinking no. Therefore, our first step is to barricade the stairwell…
Mark Tufo: My home has some decent positives in the fact that I live out in the sticks. Less people means less zombies. Defensive wise I have some holes but nothing a strategically placed Claymore mine wouldn’t take care of.
Wayne Simmons: Positive: I’m at home. I live in a ground floor apartment, situated at the back of the block. The garden’s secure and surrounded by a high wall.
Negative: We haven’t got much food in the cupboards. Almost no tinned stuff. Bugger…
In all the books and movies about Zombies that you have read, what one Zombie scenario do you feel is the least survivable?
Jesse Petersen: The faster the outbreak moves and the larger the population that is transformed at once, the worse it is. If it moves to animals, that’s it. We’re an extinct species and our planet goes back to the trees, I guess.
Scott Kenemore: Zombies on a sumbarine or airplane would be pretty terrifying.
Mark Tufo: Well with all the zombie movies and books I’ve devoured doesn’t seem to be any of them where folks do particularly well. Least survivable? I’d have to go with the countries that have banned or limited access to firearms. Sure you can kill zombies a hundred different ways, me personally, I don’t want to be swinging a hammer.
Wayne Simmons: The police station hole-up. Sure, you’ve got all the guns and ammo you need. But those doughnuts are gonna go stale real soon
What is the one quality that the characters of your books seem to share that has helped them to avoid joining the Zombie Smorgasbord?
Jesse Petersen: I think Dave and Sarah and everyone who works closely with them all share the quality of hope. They continue to TRY whether it’s try to get to a certain place, try to make life livable or try to get a cure. They don’t give up because they cling to the hope that things could be okay again. If you don’t keep that, you lie down and die.
Scott Kenemore: I think you have to be innately curious about zombies. It’s not enough just to be terrified and run in the other direction. People survive when they take a moment to figure out what they’re up against. This means studying the undead and figuring out– to whatever extent this is possible– what makes them tick. What do they want? How do they try to get it? Understanding these things is the first step to longer-term survival.
Mark Tufo: The main characters in my books seem to share strong bonds of family and friendship. The want and drive to protect everyone else even at the expense of themselves, I think that above all other reasons is why at least some of them have survived.
Wayne Simmons: They wear GREAT trainers…
Thanks to these great authors for their answers. Make sure to click the audio images above for my reviews of their books.