Swedish Zombie: What was it that made you start writing about the apocalypse and zombies? What were your first influences?
Jacqueline Druga: Charlton Heston, the actor, was the reason I became obsessed with the apocalypse. When I was a very little girl I saw him in OMEGA MAN and loved the theme and style of the movie, just everything about him and his portrayal of the PA hero was inspiring. When I first started writing, my first story was a PA story; it featured a Charlton Heston type character. Of course, I was ten. I have been completely, one hundred percent obsessed with the apocalypse. Even going as far as to have a Zombie safe room and bomb shelter. Both are fun family activities to plan. My obsession with zombies are just they are so scary and unexplained.
Swedish Zombie: How do you look upon the zombies? What do they mean to you? Are they metaphors, or simply cool monsters?
Jacqueline Druga: Zombies are the unknown. They scare the heck out of me. I guess they are a metaphor for what people are. Drones, living and moving about, often times mindless and will eat each other to get what they want.
Swedish Zombie: Zombie enthusiasts are often conservative. How much do you think that one should experiment with the concept?
Jacqueline Druga: See, this is where the realist in me comes in. If they’re gonna be the walking dead, then they are the walking dead. Dead. In my zombie books I look at the science of it. The body will deteriorate. The heart is not pumping, therefore there is no blood flow, therefore, unless the zombie just turned, that blood is coagulated. If it is more than four or five days, that zombie has hit the putrefaction stage. Its bloated, skin gassy, pulled. After a while, realistically, if there were a zombie infestation, they’d cease to be able to move and eventually just crumble. I think very few liberties should be taken with zombies. Make them move faster maybe, but that’s it. If it’s any more i.e.: walking, thinking, then don’t make them dead.
Swedish Zombie: It is often hard to pick favorites, perhaps it is simply foolish to try. But are there two or three books in modern zombie fiction that you think has meant something extra for the genre?
Jacqueline Druga: The Monster trilogy by David Wellington. Loved it, he gave some good theories and despite what people say, he explained the infestation. I like Brian Keene, but I don’t like talking zombies. If they talk, they reason. WWZ, I liked the beginning but was not a fan of the second half of the book. The best zombie teller is David.
Swedish Zombie: How do you consider the genre's future? Zombies seem to be viable. Can this peek last and if so what is then required by the authors?
Jacqueline Druga: It has lasted; it is just now being accessible. Years ago it was very hard to find a zombie book. But I think the authors in order to keep it alive; have to have good storylines and good characters. The human angle has to come in. Zombie fans are faithful like Fantasy fans. As long as we avoid cookie cutter, we’re good.
Swedish Zombie: A good book is always right. Some writers want to renew, others strive to convey an already well-known story with his oh hers unique twist. How do you look upon your own writings?
Jacqueline Druga: Really, there aren’t that many types of stories, it’s all in how, we as authors tell them. I don’t think many of my stories have never been done, I do however think I create exceptional characters and that is my niche.
Swedish Zombie: Through the ages, writers and directors stuck to various explanations for the end of the world: infections from space, environmental degradation, military experiments, terrorism etc. Which scenario behind the zombie apocalypse do you think is most interesting / believable at the moment?
Jacqueline Druga: Outer space, without a doubt. To me that is the most acceptable.
Swedish Zombie: What will you write in the future? What stories remain in you, do you think? Is there anything in particular you feel like writing?
Jacqueline Druga: I am always writing. I have a lot of Post Apocalyse and zombie books published already. I don’t think there’s ever been a day in the last ten years where I haven’t been writing a book. Always writing. I just finished, ’The Day the Children died’ which has a zombie variation, and ’The Tyrain: America’s Demise’ which is a PA book. I’d like to write a meteor book, however that takes thought, after the big rock falls from the sky, then what? Write now I am writing a sequel, as asked by my readers for H5N1.
|Some of Jacqueline Druga's interesting titles|
Jacqueline Durga is a experienced writer with a lot of books out there. Her current title published by Permuted Press is The Flu, a tale of how a virus devastates Northern America. A great book that also depicts human interaction, love and romance.
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