Jennifer: Can you tell us about your book Rotter World for those who have yet to read it?Scott: Rotter Worldis basically a story of distrust in a world overrun by the living dead. Vampires steal the Zombie Virus from a U.S. Government facility and release it on mankind to prevent humans from hunting them down and wind up becoming victims of the outbreak. Eight months later, a small group of vampires and humans have set up a self-sufficient camp on the coast of southern Maine. The two groups have put aside their differences in order to survive the apocalypse and, in the process, have developed a strained alliance. That detente is put to the test when Dr. Compton, the creator of the Zombie Virus, and a small band of military personnel arrive at the survivor’s compound. Compton claims to have a vaccine that will make them all immune from a zombie bite; however, the vaccine is in an underground facility in southern Pennsylvania. Compton leads a raiding party comprised of humans and vampires down the east coast to retrieve the vaccine. In the process, the survivors find that the greatest threat is not necessarily from the living dead.
Jennifer: Why did you decide to write a zombie book?Scott: I love zombies no matter if it is books, movies, or video games. I’ve been writing for nine years, mostly about vampires (The Vampire Hunters trilogy) and several zombie-themed short stories. I’ve always wanted to write a zombie novel, but could never come up with an idea that had not been played to death (no pun intended) a thousand times. Then one day I was having lunch with a literary agent who mentioned in passing that her dream book would include zombies, vampires, and biological weapons. That conversation got me thinking, and by the time I had gotten home I had outlined the plot for Rotter World in my head.
Jennifer: What sets Rotter World apart from the rest of the zombie books out in the fiction world?Scott: Two things set Rotter World apart. First, it’s one of only two novels that I’m aware of that includes zombies and vampires. (The other is Roses of Blood on Barbwire Vines by D.L. Snell, who is also a Permuted Press author.) In Rotter World I have a new take on vampires. They are a threatened minority trying to fit in and survive in a terrifying new world where everyone, humans and zombies, are out to get them.
Second, is that Rotter World has something for everyone. Slow zombies. Fast zombies. Vampires. Biological weapons. Rape gangs. Apocalyptic landscapes. Tons of action and buckets of gore. And an all-female, leather-clad zombie hunting team called the Angels of Death.
Jennifer: What is your favorite part of the process of writing a novel?Scott: I love developing the idea for a novel. The creative aspect is stimulating – coming up with the characters and their back stories, pulling together the plot elements, creating tension and conflict, and figuring out ways to make the latest novel I am working on more thrilling than the last one. It’s a thrill to see a few seeds of thought grow into a complete manuscript.
I also love writing action sequences, which there are a lot of in all of my books. When writing, I play those scenes out in my mind like they were taking place on the silver screen, and it’s exhilarating. When writing them, I can easily pump out three to five thousand words in a single sitting.
Jennifer: Can you tell us three surprising facts about yourself?Scott: One, I am a huge animal lover and have four pet rabbits at home.
Two, I have never read the Twilight series or Interview with a Vampire, and have never seen the movies.
Three, I like fast zombies if they’re done correctly. So far only the re-imaging of Dawn of the Dead has done them right.
Jennifer: Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, what was your playlist for Rotter World?Scott: I have a playlist on my iPod titled “Music to Hunt Zombies By.” I listen to it only when I work on action scenes because the tempo of the songs inspires the writing. It’s made up mostly of heavy metal, country & western, and rap, but there are some eclectic songs included (like Michael Jackson’s Black or White.)
Jennifer: Did any of your characters give you a hard time when writing this book?Scott: Never. In fact, they often help me write the books. Many of them take on personalities of their own while I’m writing, allowing me to add plot twists and additional conflict to the storyline. Sometimes I feel as if I’m getting to know these people for the first time as the story develops, and it often takes the plot in directions I had not considered before.
Jennifer: If Rotter World where being made into a movie, who do you imagine playing the main characters?Scott: I had never considered that until now. If you had asked about The Vampire Hunters trilogy, I could have easily answered that question because I have imagined a celebrity for every character in those books
I don’t think I would want any major celebrities playing the characters, though. I know the way Hollywood works, and if their work any A-list celebrities in the roles, the studio would rewrite the plot to stress them. I would prefer an ensemble cast of lesser known actors/actresses so the audience would never be certain who would live or who would die. However, Ron Perlman would make an awesome Mad Dog and Sam Neal would make a great Dr. Compton.
Jennifer: Who or what has influenced you the most in writing this book?Scott: There were not a lot of influences that went into Rotter World other than my love for zombies. However, I was careful not to mimic any other zombie-related material that is already out there. I guess you could say what influenced this book was my desire to create a novel that was new, unique, and exciting.
Jennifer: How have you prepared for the zombie apocalypse? :)Scott: I’m really not prepared right now for a zombie apocalypse. I live in the heavily-populated suburbs outside of Washington D.C., so if an outbreak happens here, I’m screwed unless I got out of town ahead of the living dead hordes. The plan is to throw the guns, ammo, and emergency supplies into the SUV and head south.
However, next spring I’ll be retiring out the countryside. Once there, I’ll be stocking the place to ride out any type of apocalyptic event.
Jennifer: What project are you currently working on? Will we be seeing more of Rotter World?Scott: Yes, Permuted Press has asked for two sequels to Rotter World, and I’m developing the plots for them. I don’t want to give away too much, though. Let’s just say that the biker gang that Robson’s team ran into near Suncock River will be making a return appearance while some of the group will make a dangerous and depressing cross country trek across the United States to bring the vaccine to the government-in-exile in Omaha.
I have a fifth book that is currently being shopped around titled Yeitso. This one is my tribute to the 1950s sci-fi movies I grew up watching as a kid and involves something monstrous roaming the dessert around Los Alamos, New Mexico. My current project is called Hell Gate. It’s a young adult novel about a sixteen-year-old boy who is trying to survive a post-apocalyptic world in which a portal has been opened between Earth and Hell. I will soon begin a joint project with my girlfriend and fellow vampire author Alison Beightol (her first novel, Blood Betrayal, will be published by Charles River Press this fall). That one will be a paranormal romance between a vampire and a vampire hunter. And finally, I’m developing the concept for a series of horror novels set in World War II (I’m finally putting that history degree to good use) that deals with U.S. military officers fighting Nazi occultism. It is tentative titled OSS: Office of Supernatural Services.
Jennifer: I can't thank you enough for taking time out to answer a few of my questions. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Is there anything else you would like to mention to my readers before we part ways?Scott: I did. Thanks for interviewing me and for the great review.
Please check out my blog – scottmbakerauthor.blogspot.com –for the latest news on my writing and upcoming book signings. Also check out my shared blog with my fellow Permuted Press authors – Enjoying the Apocalypse! at permutedpressauthors.blogspot.com -- where I frequently post my mental musings and occasional rant.
Enjoy the apocalypse!
Purchase: Amazon Paperback / Amazon Kindle / Barnes & Noble Nook / Audio Version
Permuted Press Authors Blog
Born and raised in Everett, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston), Scott M. Baker has spent the last twenty-two years living in northern Virginia. He has authored several short stories, including the e-chapbook “Dead Water” by D’Ink Well Publications; “Rednecks Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things,” which appeared in the autumn 2008 edition of the e-zine Necrotic Tissue; “Cruise of the Living Dead,” which appeared in Living Dead Press’ Dead Worlds: Volume 3 anthology (August 2009); “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly,” which appeared in Living Dead Press‘ Christmas Is Dead anthology (October 2009); and “Denizens,” which appeared in Living Dead Press’ The Book of Horror anthology (March 2010).
Scott’s first zombie novel, Rotter World, which details the struggle between humans and vampires during a zombie apocalypse, was released by Permuted Press in April 2012. He has also authored The Vampire Hunters trilogy, which has been published by Pill Hill Press and received excellent reviews from Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria, among others. Scott has finished his fifth novel, Yeitso, a homage to the monster movies of the 1950s set in northern New Mexico, which is currently with a publisher, and has begun his next novel, Hell Gates, the first in a series of young adult novels set in a world in which the realms of Hell and earth have merged.
When he is not busy writing, Scott can either be found relaxing on his back deck with a good cigar and a cup of iced coffee, or doting on the four house rabbits that live with him.
Please visit the author’s website at http:\\scottmbakerauthor.blogspot.com.