Zombie Awareness Month Roundtable: Tantor Audio Authors and Giveaway!

30 05 2013


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.

Audiobook Review: Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore

19 01 2012

Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore

Read by Danny Campbell

Tantor Audio

Length: 10 Hrs 53 Min

Genre: Zombie Apocalypse

Quick Thoughts: Despite its unevenness, Zombie, Ohio is a fun look at the life of a Zombie, peppered with dark humor and offering insights into things such as love, friendship and social status within a zombie horde. This latest zombie perspective novel doesn’t ever let the listener forget that the main character enjoys the taste of human brains, and may just find the proper justification to make yours his next meal.

Grade: B

I will always have a special place on my heart for Bub. With the recent influx of Zombie fiction and writers trying to put a new twist on a recognizable genre, I just knew we would be getting some Zombie Bub Fiction. If you don’t know who Bub is, you need to stop now, and go rent the Romero’s Day of the Dead. I will be honest, Day of the Dead was probably my least favorite of the original Romero trilogy. If it wasn’t for the inclusion of Bub, I probably would have let it slip from my mind long ago. In Day, zombie apocalypse survivors come upon an underground military facility. Inside this facility, scientists are trying to figure a way to combat the Zombie Apocalypse. One of the scientists believes that, with training, Zombies can become harmless like animals. Hence, Bub, the misguided scientist star Zombie pupil. Watching the sequences of this movie was the first time I actually considered what it would be like to experience a Zombie Apocalypse from the perspective of the Zombie. Recently, we have had some excellent fiction delving into the mind of the zombie. Books like Warm Bodies introduce us to Zombie culture from the insider perspective. We’ve delved into Zombie politics in Raising Stony Mayhall, and even contemplated, in Maberry’s Dead of Night what it would be like if our consciousness was trapped inside a zombie unable to exert any form of control, just witnessing its horrible actions. With these novels, we have begun to experience the world through the perception of the walking dead.

The latest, at least for me, of these Zombie perspective novels is Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore which is perhaps the most Bub worthy. In Zombie, Ohio we follow the undead life of Peter Mellor, a Philosophy professor who died after a questionable car accident. Peter is a bit of a statistical freak, he’s a zombie, but unlike almost every other member of the undead, he retains the ability to talk, and reason. One of the things I really likes about Zombie Ohio is that, despite Peter’s human level consciousness, Kenemore never forgets he is a zombie. Like most zombies, Peter lusts for human brains, but struggles with the morality of it, often creating justifications for partaking in his new favorite meal. I really enjoyed Peter’s interactions with the zombie hordes, and there are even a few touching moments between Peter and some of his undead brothers. Yet, despite my enjoyment of many of the aspects of Zombie, Ohio, there is an unevenness to the whole thing. The book switches directions in an almost dizzying manner that it’s hard for the listener to adjust. I never really knew what the author intended the novel to be. There is an underlining dark humor, but the true laugh out loud moments are rare. There are touching moments between Peter and his best friend Sam, as well as girlfriend Vanessa, yet these interactions are broken up between other tangents the book goes on. Even the character of Peter is overly malleable. It seems that his thought process radically shifts to suit the author’s needs, with only minimal justification. Yet, in the end, I think Kenemore finds a way to pull all the pieces together, using Peter’s memory issues to great effect by creating an interesting thought experiment on how much memory makes the man. Despite its unevenness, Zombie, Ohio is a fun look at the life of a Zombie, peppered with dark humor and offering insights into things such as love, friendship and social status within a zombie horde. This latest zombie perspective novel doesn’t ever let the listener forget that the main character enjoys the taste of human brains, and may just find the proper justification to make yours his next meal.

I really enjoyed Danny Campbell’s reading of Zombie, Ohio. Being a first person account from the perspective of a zombie, Campbell did a good job capturing the voice of our undead protagonist. I especially enjoyed his rants when Peter was with the hordes about the superiority of zombies, and his delivery managed to get a laugh at me, particularly during one scene at a grocery store. I like that Campbell transformed Peter’s voice the further we moved along in the story, matching with the physical deterioration of the character. Campbell hasn’t narrated a lot of fiction titles, but he does a winning job with this one. Fans of Zombie fiction should definitely check out Zombie, Ohio, especially is you are getting a bit of undead fatigue from more traditional Zombie Apocalypse novels.


Note: A special thanks to the good people at Tantor Audio for providing me with a copy of this audiobook for review.