Zombie problem? Call Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator--but not this weekend.
On vacation at an exterminator’s convention, she's looking to relax, have fun, and enjoy a little romance. Too bad the zombies have a different idea. When they rise from their watery graves to take over the City by the Bay, it looks like it'll be a working vacation after all.
Enjoy the thrill of re-kill with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.
I’d just gone to World Fantasy Con in San Francisco, and my brother-in-law worked at a refinery in Richmond, and thought it’d make an awesome location for a zombie attack. (He’s been promoted and lives in LA now; no connection to the book). Plus, my publisher lives in San Jose, and she loves San Francisco, so it was an easy choice.
Q So it wasn’t just an easy way to slip in more political shots along the way? If that's the case, was DC taken?
California is an easy target, but it was the thought of zombies at the famous tourist sites that I enjoyed, although I didn’t get in as many as I’d expected. The story demanded other locations. Still, there are some great vignettes at famous spots. Maybe someday, I’ll write some short stories of the other sightings that didn’t get in the book.
Q: In the first NL, the EPA was going after detergents that Neeta thought was most effective about fighting zombies. Did you throw that in to imply the EPA would go after it *because* it could fight zombies, or was it just for fun?
They didn’t go after it because it would fight zombies, but because they’re hard on the environment. That was kind of the point—never mind that they’re our best defense against zombies; in large quantities they might affect the Spotted Peeing Mouse or somesuch. Of course, the whole idea of bleach being an effective zombie repellant is pretty ridiculous, so the real point is fun.
Q: The Neeta books seem to be your most political. They take swipes at the EPA, trial lawyers, eco-terrorists, the Occupy movement, and I'm sure a few other political targets that I'm missing.
I should have a contest to see how many things I poke fun at in these books.
Q Why Zombies? Were vampires taken?
Zombies were not my idea, actually. Kim Richards founded Damnation Books and asked folks to write stories for an anthology called *The Zombie Cookbook* to kick off the publishing company. So I wrote a funny one called “Wokking Dead,” which was more food puns and silliness than anything, but people loved Neeta and she asked me to write some novels.
Q: In the last book, the main adversary of the book seemed to be general stupidity -- be it of reality show producers, or everyone who seems to think they know better. In this, it seems to be eco-terrorists of the group called TREE. What made you decide to focus on them as a primary bad guy?
I needed a reason for zombies to attack a fuel refinery, and by the logic I’d already set up in Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, it couldn’t be random coincidence. They had to have a reason to make the effort to go there, and to do damage once there. Eco-terrorism just made sense.
Q: This blog's latest release has been about a murder mystery at a science fiction convention -- essentially, humor via culture shock. What's your approach to it?
To humor? Twist cliché’s, take a trend to ridiculous extremes, puns, and generally amusing myself as I strive to amuse others.
Q: Did you have to work VERY hard on all of the in-jokes? The GPS voice named Majel? The monofilament sword called "The Buffy"? That sort of thing.
Q: What's next for Neeta? A. Zombie for Presidential candidate?
Zombies are not considered persons—there was a lot of debate and work on that, and even in the 2040s, there are still some who try to get them registered to vote. (And some that rise from the dead in hopes of completing their civic duty—amazing, I know!)
The next thing for Neeta and Ted is a ski vacation in Utah. Unfortunately, when a ski team killed in an avalanche returns from the dead to finish the competition, it turns into a working vacation. “Shambling in a Winter Wonderland” will be a story written in serial to raise money for Operation Homestead. Folks will find it in mid-November at http://skizombies.karinafabian.com
Right now, the serial story. When that is finished, I’ll probably finish Gapman, a super-hero spoof in my DragonEye, PI universe. I’m also toying with publishing some of my novellas via Kindle.
Q: What've you been reading lately? In fiction, or non-fiction, or politics?
I just finished *Monster Hunters: Legion* by Larry Correia, which was an awesome book—definitely “popcorn” reading, but fun! I also have been reading a lot on the space industry, so Space News, Nations Space Society, etc. I’m blogging about it at http://fabianspace101.blogspot.com , Rocket Science for the Rest of Us. I get enough “politics” via Facebook. I’ll be glad for November!