Thursday, January 2, 2014

Interview with Julie Rudolph.

Full Name:
Hi!  I'm Julie Rudolph.
Well hello yourself!

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Mostly people call me J, or turtle lady, or that zombie chick.
“J” I understand, and “that zombie chick” is pretty self-explanatory, but “turtle lady”?  What’s up with that?
I have to admit, I'm a turtle junkie.  I'm that girl who finds a turtle knickknack and has to get it.  My friends get turtle souvenirs for me when they travel.  My husband looks at me like I'm crazy every time I bring one home.  *laughs*  I have a couple of pet turtles too, named Horatio and Yorick Ophelia.

I was born in southern California, and never left.

Current hometown:
I live in the San Bernardino area, the armpit of the state.

Favorite city and why?
I love the Humboldt area. It's amazing how the forest comes right up to the ocean, and the beaches are rocky with a ribbon of sand. Here in southern California, we really don't have anything like that.
I hear they have really good weed in Humboldt.  Do they have really good weed there?
I actually have no idea. *laughs*  I'm one of those sober people.  *laughs*

Birthday / Age:
I'm a thirty-something Gemini.

How would you describe yourself physically?
Umm… Human like?  Ten fingers, ten toes....

How would someone else describe you physically?
I'm a girl... I have longish hair that's usually red.  I'm fairly short, 5'3.  I get comments about how my eyes change colors.
Your eyes change colors?  Are you a “mutant”?  Do you have any special powers?
They do!  In certain light they turn blue or really green.  Super powers?  I'm pretty good at suspending disbelief...

The first thing people notice about you is…
The first thing that people say they notice is the turtle pendant I wear on my necklace. I wonder if they are really looking at it, or...
Well, yeah.  I always wonder if people are reading my t-shirt or checking out my awesome pects.  Have I mentioned I have awesome pects? *flexes*

Sexual orientation?
I'm heterosexual, and have been married for 17 years.

Religion, if any?
I'm open minded.  I believe in a power greater than myself, and believe that whatever religion works to help you talk to your higher power, and is making you a better person, is a good one.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I hate snakes.  They are horrible, vile animals.

Do you smoke/drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I used to smoke, but now I use the e-smoke system. Love it, and probably have enough parts to last years into the zombie apocalypse.
Plus if most of the population dies off, or, well, kind of dies off, you’ll be able to scavenge refills.  Then again, nicotine will probably be the least of your worries.

Current occupation / Dream job:
I am a cardiac monitor tech, which means I watch these computer screens and let the nurses know if there is something wrong with the patient.  I usually can catch a heart attack before it turns into an emergency.  I'm also a nurse, but I blew out a disc in my spine, so now I work in the monitor room.  That's my full time job, and writing is my part time gig.
My dream job is to write for a living, and work part time as a case manager for the hospital, so I can help people who need a place to go after they are well enough to leave the hospital.  Pretty much, I want to flip what I already do, write full time and hospital part time.
That’s not a bad goal as far as goals go.  Just keep writing!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I'm pretty boring. I like to write, play games with my kid, goof off on the Internet.
I’m pretty boring at home too.  Lots of time spent clacking away at my laptop, watching movies or old TV shows, taking a break to make art every now and then during the daytime.  But I’m pretty exciting in print and out in public.  I like to have fun.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I think that we would bug in for the first part.  I live in a gated apartment complex, and really, my book, The Complex, is mostly based on my plan.
That sounds pretty solid.  I find that a lot of “zompoc” authors write from what they know, and that their books are inspired by their daydreams about what they’d do in the inevitable zombie apocalypse.  That’s why I like to ask this question of all of my interviewees, even if they’re not writers working in the zombie genre.  Plus I’m working on my own Stand-length post-apocalyptic zombie-genre book project, so it’s always interesting and sometimes surprising to see what people come up with.

Weapon of choice:
I have a machete, and am learning how to use a compound bow.  Love them!

Do you have any special skills?
I'm a nurse so I am pretty useful for injuries.
Do you integrate that into your book?
Yes I do!  My main character, Cali is a nurse and she has to learn pretty fast how to do injury management.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I went to technical school to train for being a nurse.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
I think the only way I'd be free from the loans is for a zombie apocalypse to happen.
Yeah, that’s why I’ve been holding off on paying them off.  I figure I should spend money on things while it’s still worth something instead of worrying about my loans.

Any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?
I have 2 turtles, Horatio, aka Zipper, and Yorick Ophelia, aka Sparky.
Only two turtles?
Yeah, this way they can be spoiled.  Besides, I think my husband would move out if I tried to make another turtle habitat in this apartment.  *laughs*

What is your favorite animal?
I am a loyal turtle junkie.
What does that even mean?  Has your family ever contemplated planning an intervention?
I'm sure they have!  If you see me on My Strange Addiction, you'll know it worked.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is mouth noises.  Slurping and smacking should only come from zombies.
I was a last-minute call-in guest on a special one-off episode of Zombiepalooza radio last night, the on-air guest that launched the show, whose name I forget, definitely should have had a glass of water handy, because at the beginning or end of every block of speech, and sometimes in the middle, he’d make a smacking sound with his mouth and it was absolutely irritating.  Got a dry mouth?  Get a glass of water.  Problem solved.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
I love salmon.  Well, really, I love all fish.  I especially love the fish I caught.  There is nothing better than tuna you pulled out of the water, although canned tuna has never tasted right since then I HATE spaghetti.  No, let me amend that.  I hate pasta noodles.  I hate the taste and the sound of the wet noodles sliding around each other.  Had the misfortune once of discovering a ton of maggots once and they sound like elbow macaroni as they move around.  Ewww.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
I have two that I adore.  Sure, I'm not very Disney-like, but these strike a real chord with me.
Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back means I'll have to face my past. I've been running from it for so long.
[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn't matter. It's in the past.
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it.
-Lion King

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” - Walt Disney

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
The best thing that ever happened to me was the birth of my son. 

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you? 
Well, the past always has something.  No one gets out of life unscarred.  But we keep moving forward, right?
Some people actually do go through life pretty unscarred.  I don’t understand those people.  One of my early interviewees suggested that I interview a girl he knew so I began the interview process, but ended up abandoning the interview because she had had a pretty perfect life and didn’t have anything interesting to say.  She had all of these idealistic opinions about the way that she thought that the world should work and I thought, “You do know that you are nineteen, right?  There’s a whole world and the entirety of human history, philosophy, film, art and literature that you’re only familiar with an infinitesimal fraction of.  You might want to live a little and have something interesting happen to you before you go opining about all of the world’s injustice and suggesting band-aid solutions like posing for a picture spread with a piece of duct-tape over your pretty little mouth.”  But I didn’t think that would help the interview process much, so I just deleted the interview and blocked her on Facebook to avoid the social static.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
After having my son, and marrying my best friend, the best thing I've ever done is becoming a nurse and tied with that is becoming an author.
Sounds like you’re living a pretty decent life.  We should all be so lucky.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
The worst is probably making snap judgments without all the facts and deciding to hurt someone back when they didn't deserve it. 

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
I was hurt as a kid, and while you're supposed to put the past behind you, forgive and move on, there are times when I find myself imagining how I would kill this person. Since, tho, murder isn't good for karma, I try to leave it out of my head, make room for the good. 

What do you do? 
I am an author of post-apocalyptic and horror fiction by day and super nurse by night.
Why post-apocalyptic and horror fiction?  Why not children’s books and fairy tales?
I'm not a fairy tale girl.  Sometimes we don't live happily ever after.  Sometimes you make the best out of a weird situation and that is as close to happily ever after as you get.

How did you get started doing what you do?
I got started writing many moons ago when I couldn't find the book that said my story.  I eventually abandoned that tale and fell in love with reading zombie stories.  I again found myself looking for the book that told the story I wanted to read, so I started writing it.
That’s a great answer!  That’s exactly why I’m working on my own post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic book project.  I haven’t found what I’m looking for in what I’ve read so far from authors working in the genre.  Pretty much what I wanted to read was a Stephen King’s The Stand length and scale post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic book.  It’s true that The Stand is definitely post-apocalyptic and one of my favorite books, but I’m turned off by all of the metaphysical/magical mumbo jumbo and the whole diametric polarity between the good/bad sides.  I think that people are a lot more varied than that and that in bad situations, good people will be forced to do things that they otherwise would not do to survive.  Also I’m an atheist, an antitheist actually, so the whole pious superiority of the grandmother character made me roll my eyes until they hurt in every scene she was in.  “Don’t you worry honey chile, Grandma’s goin’ make errythin’ alright?  Praise Jesus!”  Ugh.  But there were some really great characters in the book, and that’s what I’m focusing on as I revisit the book in audio book format.  I’ve been listening to it while doing most of my interview homework and taking mental notes about what I felt worked, and what I felt didn’t work.  I know it’s pretty audacious to presume to judge everyone’s favorite horror-genre author, but he’s only human.  Puts his pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us, and if I spent my life trying to be “the next Stephen King” like most horror authors do, I know I’d regret it.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Don't give up.  There is nothing like the rush you feel when you finish that first draft.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past?
Give us a little history if you will.

My first book is The Complex, then it is followed by The Highway. They are the first two books in The Reanimates Series. Hadley's Haunting is the next book I have out, and that one is a stand-alone young adult paranormal mystery.
Weird!  I’m taking a brief break to handle translating a paranormal screenplay into a hard YA book.  Maybe I should check out your work since we’re interested in writing in the same genres?
You should!  *laughs*

What projects are you working on now?
I am currently working on the final book in The Reanimates. Hopefully it will be out this June!
Who is your publisher?  Or are you going the self-publish route?
I'm an indie girl.  I like self pub, I get to be able to decide on my own which way the story goes.

What are you watching?
I switch off between Greys Anatomy and Lost while writing.
Isn’t that distracting?  Or have you already watched the series so they’re familiar enough that they’re just background noise?
It's background noise.  Sometimes the music helps push me along, sometimes the dramatic scenes remind me to add tension in the story. 

What are you listening to?
I have my very own station on pandora that I love listening to. I have a ton of genres in it.  You should give it a listen!
I’ll have to give it a listen when I’m finished with the audio book for The Stand.

What are you reading?
Right now, I'm reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth. 

Favorite author / book?
I don't have a favorite author! I love too many to list! Each one gives their very own voice to each tale. My fave genre is post apoc/zombpoc, and of course, the obligitory top loves there are Swan SongThe Stand, and Handmaid's Tale.
I haven’t heard of Swan Song.  Who’s that by?
Swan Song is by Robert R. McCammon and is a must read for apocalyptic fans. 

Favorite band / song?
I am a loyal Boingoloid.  Danny Elfman is my hero!  I don't have a favorite song, because they all rock.  I even have most of that collection on vinyl! 

Least favorite band / song?
I'll admit I like Gold Digger, but any other Kanye West song needs to die.
How do you feel about that big media gaffe where Kanye pretty much dissed every author ever?
I think that his ignorance is overwhelming, or his handler has told him to play the fool as often as possible so he can stay in the spotlight.  Media ploy. 

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
You know, I'm actually pretty happy with my life. I wish there was more time I'm the day, of course, so I could get everything done, but so does everyone. I get to save lives at work and come home to work on new and exciting ways to kill people off. 

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.

Since I love his music so much, I would love to shake Danny Elfman's hand. 

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Best job I ever had is being a mom. The worst job I ever had was selling shoes. I'm one of the few girls that are bored as hell with shoes. I see the point in having many styles to work with, but shopping for them and discussing them? Gah.
My room-mate is a bit of a shoe-horse.  He’s got three pairs of sneakers two pairs of boots and two pairs of slipper.  I don’t get it.  I’ve got a pair of jungle boots, a pair of conservative but sturdy black shoes for work, and a pair of slippers for protecting my feet from cold floors when walking around in my sleep clothes.  Anything other than that just seems superfluous.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
*laughs*  I think you covered all the question bases!

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
I think you have everyone I'd come up with like Forsyth and Chesser.
Forsyth is being coy about whether or not he wants to participate and Chesser declined because he doesn’t know me that well and is hesitant to participate in something that he’s not that familiar with.  I tried explaining that I’m doing interviews for my interview blog, and when I see a theme developing, I put out themed collections of interviews via print-on-demand and Kindle/e-book and that all contributors get a free copy in PDF.  Time will tell if they’ll come around.  If not, no love lost.  They’ve been polite, and I totally understand the whole, “Who the fuck is this guy?” effect, but life moves pretty fast.

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.
Twitter: @JRudolphDotCom

About the Interviewee:
I'm J. Rudolph, the author of The Complex and The Highway, the first two installments of The Reanimates, as well as the paranormal mystery, Hadley's Haunting.  I'm a 30 something that lives in Southern California with my husband of 17 years and mom to the coolest 11-year-old that I have ever met.  I love turtles.  Turtle tchotchkes are everywhere and have two live turtles that know the people only exist for their happiness and they graciously let us live in their house.  Don't call them pets, we humans are their pets!
I'm a writer by day and a nurse/heart monitor tech by night.  If you have ever been in a hospital and had the little box attached to the wires that were attached to your chest, I'm the person that reads the rhythm that your heart is in.  If there is trouble, I'm the girl that sends the team of nurses running into the room to make sure you're okay.  It's a fun job, I get people help before they are in a lot of trouble.
I have loved the zombie genre since I was a teenager.  When I got my Kindle for Christmas in 2010 I fell in head over heels with all things zombie.  I've always been attracted to the idea that these things are running around that don't need sleep, don't have fears, and don't have higher brain function to tell them the best way to go about getting food.  They just are.  The primal need to get to their food, regardless of the source, is all that drives them.  I adore the problem solving in creating a safe zone, and love all the details and planning involved.  For years, I've thought about how to get into places that have supplies and what places would I go to for these supplies.  People think I'm a little obsessed, but that's okay by me.

Thank you for having me!!

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:
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