Sunday, January 5, 2014

Interview with Paul Loh.

Full Name:
Paul Loh

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Zombie Killer
Do people really call you Zombie Killer?  Like, you enter a room and someone says, “What’s up Zombie Killer”?

Well, actually, when I was a submariner in the Navy, there were lots of guarded gates I had to go through.  I had a bumper sticker on my car that said, “I'd rather be killing zombies.”  At Checkpoint Charlie, the gate that leads to the submarines, the guards really liked that sticker and started calling me Zombie Killer.
That’s a pretty cool nickname as far as nicknames go.

My dad was stationed in the Fort Huachuca Army base in Sierra Vista, Arizona when I was born.

Current hometown:
I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since I was 18 years old.

Favorite city and why?
My favorite city is Tucson, Arizona.  I have a lot of fond childhood memories of Tucson.  My dad had been in the Army so we moved around a lot, but I have a lot of family in Tucson.  I'd come over for Christmases and summer vacations to hang out with my various cousins, aunts and uncles.  When I graduated from high school, it only seemed natural to move to Tucson to pursue my education.  This is the only real hometown I've ever had.  I had moved out of Fort Huachuca before my first memories even started.  I've lived here since 1994, which makes fifteen years if you take into account the five years I was in the Navy.  The culture here is so rich and diverse.  Also, a lot of people from the entertainment industry live in Tucson.  Lots of movies have been made here.  I have been an extra in two, myself: Ambush At Dark Canyon and Hot Bath An' A Stiff Drink 2.

Birthday / Age:
I was born on May 15, 1976, which makes me 37 years old.

How would you describe yourself physically?
I am a human male.

How would someone else describe you physically?
They might call me a skinny Asian.

The first thing people notice about you is…
I look younger than I am.
Is that an Asian thing or something specific to you?
Asians don't tend to visibly age very quickly.  Gray hair is about the only giveaway for me of my age.

Religion, if any?
The piece of literature that comes closest to describing my beliefs is the Conversations With God trilogy by Neale Donald Walsch.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
No superstitions, but I've always thought it would be funny if people died if they sneezed and were not blessed afterward.  If you want to kill somebody, you could throw a handful of pepper in their face and walk away.  There would be stores that sell things such as pollen, ragweed, cat dander, ground black pepper, etc. instead of guns.

Do you smoke / drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I was one of the only sailors on my submarine that didn't use any alcohol or tobacco products.  This made for an easier time during deployment.  We would be underwater for months at a time.  People would be pining for alcohol.  They would run out of cigarettes or chew part-way through the run and have to bum them off someone else or somehow buy them using whatever currency might be accepted far from land.

Current occupation / Dream job:
I dream of acting in and doing the music for a movie made from one of my books.
Not a bad ambition as far as ambitions go.  What do you do now?

Right now, I am using my GI Bill to get a degree in music.  When I was at the University of Arizona, I had earned a degree in Literature and one in Creative Writing.  I think that learning about music is helping me at the very least, to meet some fellow musicians.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Since I am a professional student at the moment, summer and winter break are generally used for writing.  I am currently working on an anthology of short horror stories.  I've managed to round up 14 writer friends of mine and we're each going to contribute a story to this volume.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I would go up in the mountains in north Tucson and live off the land.  There are plenty of animals, such as wild turkeys for food and I've got lots of camping gear.  Interestingly enough, this very concept is played out in William Esmont's zombie books. He lives in Tucson, so he'll occasionally have some of his characters living there too. If anything, I guess I can use his books as a survival guide.

Weapon of choice:
For me, it would be any sort of bludgeoning weapon, perhaps a crowbar since that also has some stabbing ability.  I think that if you could stab through the eye, you might be able to damage the brain sufficiently to down a zombie.

Do you have any special skills?
I sing, scream and rap like Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour. I developed my style through years of going to karaoke. I sing everything from Garth Brooks and The Platters to Entombed, Hatebreed, Motograter, Mushroomhead and Disturbed.  I am currently attending Pima Community College here in Tucson.  I am in the Choir class. I sing bass.  I'm also in the Orchestra class, where I play the timpani and other percussion.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I have a degree in Literature and a degree in Creative Writing.  Of course, they didn't teach me how to get published, so that was a waste of time.  I graduated before ebooks were created so it was quite a while before I was able to get my stuff out there. I have contacted so many publishers and no one wanted to put my writing out for the world to see. I ended up self-publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing and at  On, my books are published on demand. That means that you can get a paperback cover of my books. They've sold more copies at, however.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
I have a dog named Shadow and a turtle named Speedy.  I am an animal lover.  Since I was a child, I've had a God-given gift with animals.  I can gain the trust of most animals that I encounter.  I've pet wild ducks, mice, rabbits and birds.  Once, I even pet a hummingbird.  I've fed sparrows by hand.  They would just fly to my hand, take the food and leave.

What is your favorite animal?
My favorite animal is the dragon.  I was born in 1976, which was a year of the dragon.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
I love Asian foods of all kinds.  I love Thai food, Chinese, Korean, Indian, sushi, Philippino, Vietnamese and Mongolian.  I spent one semester of college learning Culinary Arts.  I love to cook.  I mostly cook soups, sauces for noodles and rice dishes. My favorite thing to cook is a Cornish Game Hen to which I add a special Chinese Five Spices blend of my own devising.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
“It takes a lot of darkness to blind you, but only a little light to help you see.”  That is one of my New Chinese Proverbs that I wrote back when I was at the U of A.  I wrote a series of over a hundred of those proverbs.  Nowadays, I use a lot of them in my stories.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
I found out that I love writing.  When I was 11 or 12, my dad suggested that my little sister and I put together a small magazine of our own that we could distribute to our friends to read. We called it Sneak magazine and we wrote it and illustrated it ourselves. I drew comic strips, wrote stories, poetry and other articles.  We even had our friends contribute their own creative endeavors.  That was why, when I graduated from high school, it seemed natural to study Creative Writing at the University of Arizona.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
I was a special ed teacher's aide and I loved helping the children to develop skills they could use in the real world to get jobs and support themselves.  They seemed to love doing car washes in particular.  I would volunteer my car as a subject for their efforts.  One of them, a boy named Rocky, would always ask if he could wash my car whenever we passed in the hallways.

If you could kill one person, who would it be, and why?
I would kill the fearful half of me because he often gets in the way of things I'd like to accomplish.

What do you do?
I am a zombie novelist, primarily, though I've also written and recorded close to 100 songs.  I was part of an improv comedy troupe, but I've also performed stand-up comedy from time to time.  I've also appeared as a background extra and two different movies shot at Old Tucson Studios.

How did you get started doing what you do?
When I was in submarine school, I often had to spend nights away from home while standing watch.  On nights that I stood watch, I had to sleep in the barracks on base.  In the hours between watch shifts, I started to come up with the idea for a story about two different races of the same alien species having a war.  I thought it would be interesting if they were on a space ship headed toward Earth and they ended up completely wiping themselves out.  The craft would then crash land on Earth and the spirits of the opposing factions would continue their battle by possessing human bodies.  Then one night, I rented a movie that purported to be about vampires vs. zombies.  It was absolutely stupid, but the idea stuck with me.  What if one side became vampires and the other became zombies?  Thus, was born The Nocent part 2: Advent of the Scathing.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
If you've been writing for a while, then come up with an idea for a longer story, look through your old writing.  Several of my old songs, poems and short stories became the back stories of some of my characters.  I also stole bits of dialog that I liked from stories dating back to high school.  It can add to the depth of the characters.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past?
Give us a little history if you will.
As I mentioned before, I've written and recorded almost 100 songs. I've written and performed stand-up comedy.  I've written two zombie novels. I have appeared as an extra in two movies.
Where can people check out your music and your stand-up comedy?
Some of my music is available online at One of my stand-up routines is able to be viewed on YouTube if you look up Paul Loh.  It's called, 'Report Card Day'.  On my channel at YouTube, you can also see a short zombie movie I made called, 'The Smell Of Fear'.  That is based on my second book, 'The Greater Number'.  Another stand-up routine I performed can be seen on my blog at
And what movies did you appear in as an extra and where can people check them out?
The first movie I was in was called, Ambush At Dark Canyon.  It is available to be rented at VUDU.  On January 14th, it will be available on DVD at Walmart and will also have a limited theatrical release.  The second movie I was in was called, Hot Bath An' A Stiff Drink.  It just wrapped filming and will be going into post-production.  I don't know when that's coming out.

What projects are you working on now?
I'm putting together a horror anthology tentatively titled, Possessions: A Collection of Stories About the Abject Horror of Extraordinary Objects.
Tell us more about that.  What are you shooting for as far an number of contributors?  What will the release date be?  How are you planning on publishing it?

One night, a friend of mine and I were on Skype and he was telling me about a short story he's thinking of writing. I told him that if he did write a short story, I'd write one too and we could put them together in an anthology.  The next day, I created a group on Facebook and asked all my writer friends if they'd be interested in contributing a story.  I found that fourteen other people were in fact on board for the project.  From there, we brainstormed a theme of ordinary objects somehow becoming something to fear. I liked the double meaning of the word “Possessions” so we made that the working title.  I also liked the similar sounds of the words “abject” and “object”.  We're shooting for April 1 as a possible release date.  One of the contributors, Scott Lefebvre has his own publishing imprint, Burnt Offerings and we will be going through him.

What are you watching?
Some of my favorite movies are Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Fried Green Tomatoes, Return of the Living Dead, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Near Dark, the Back to the Future trilogy, Night of the Creeps, The Spitfire Grill, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, My Girl, Re-Animator, Labyrinth, Lost Boys, Star Wars and The Last Unicorn.  My favorite movie of all time is George Romero's Day of the Dead.  It is because of that movie that I am a zombie novelist today.  On a side note, my love for zombies actually started upon viewing the video for Michael Jackson's Thriller.

What are you listening to?
Carcass, Mother Love Bone, Motograter, Mushroomhead, Slipknot, Sykotik Sinfoney. I absolutely love the music of Andrew Wood (R.I.P.) of Mother Love Bone.  Also, the musicianship of Carcass is astounding.  They were one of the most intelligent bands in their day.  Their lyrics are mini-stories and their guitar work could be classical if played on different instruments.

What are you reading?
Anything by Joe McKinney.  He is amazing how he gets into the character's heads and really makes you feel what they're feeling.  I also love the Elements of the Undead series by William Esmont.  Brian Keene has an excellent zombie series.  Also notable are David Wellington and A.R. Wise.  My favorite zombie book, though is The Demon Dead by Arthur M. Wyatt.

Favorite author / book?
'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card.  There is no other book, song, movie or poem out there in which I identified with the main character so strongly.  The continued saga of Ender with the piggies and the hive queen have inspired my own writing.  Even though my writing is primarily within the horror genre, it has always been infused with a sci-fi edge, in part because of Ender.

Favorite band / song?
Pearl Jam / 'Release'.  When Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone died, Stone Gossard, the guitarist and Jeff Ament, the bassist, went on to form Pearl Jam.  They had only been together for a little while when they were all together in the studio one day.  Stone was tuning his guitar and one of the other members liked what he was playing.  He kept playing it and they recorded it.  The rest of the band spontaneously added music with their respective instruments and Eddie Vedder made up words on the spot.  22 minutes later, Release was born.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I wouldn't do something other than what I do now, but I would add to it traveling the country to act as an extra in any movie projects that I can become involved in.  As it is, I've had to turn down so many films simply because I am currently supporting myself by using the GI Bill.  I could have been a zombie in somebody's remake of Night of the Living Dead, but it is being filmed in Virginia.  My dream would be to get an RV and just go wherever a friend of mine has a movie that they're filming.  I'd just live on the road.  I have no ties anywhere.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Willy Wonka and Gary Larson.  I owe a huge debt of gratitude to both of them for the formation of my sense of humor.  Gary's Far Side cartoon is to comic strips what Carcass is to musicianship - a masterpiece.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Best: Special Ed Teacher's Aide
Worst: US Navy Submarine Sonar Technician.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Steve French, David Wellington, AR Wise, Arthur M. Wyatt, James Cullen Bressack and William Esmont.
Cool!  I sent them imaginary friend requests.

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.

About the Interviewee:
I am a half-Korean, half-Chinese musician, zombie novelist, stand-up comedian and actor. I love food from all over the world.

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island, and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
He is currently working on ten novel-length book projects which will be released in 2014.
He also publishes themed collections of interviews from his interview blog You Are Entitled To My Opinion.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces electronic music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here:
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
Check his author profile at:
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
Check out his videos at:
Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
Check out his Etsy here:
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at:
E-mail him at:

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