Who Is Jack Strange? That is what we wanted to find out, so we contacted the author of ‘Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse’ which is due out on May 28. Published by Kensington Gore. Available in e-book and paperback from Amazon. Here is what we were able to pry out of him.
Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse is the story of the dead celebrity chef Floyd Rampant, who rises from his grave aiming to create a zombie army of chefs who will rule the world, using the human species as the main ingredient in their cordon bleu meals. It is dark, original, and so funny it should carry a government health warning. A gourmet feast, an unmissable read, and a black poignant joke. Part horror story, part political and social satire, it gives the reader a fast-paced entrée of dread, a main course of panic and a dessert of distress. CCZA, as it’s known for short, has a cast of unforgettable characters, most of whom meet with gruesome ends. The action begins in Croydon, moves to London, and reaches its explosive, climax in the author’s home town of Huddersfield. This smart, witty and profound modern day classic works on many levels.
I’ve had a very chequered career like all the best writers.
Its included working in a morgue, digging holes for a living, shifting heavy things onto trucks and off them again, selling advertising space, writing press-releases, and being a Solicitor of the Supreme Court (in America you’d call that being a lawyer). I’ve done other stuff too.
I’ve indulged in my fair share of recreational drugs, purely for research purposes you understand, to enable me to write accurately about the experiences of people who take them.
Trouble has found me from time-to-time, I won’t pretend it hasn’t. Those experiences – let’s be honest here – those physical confrontations – have been very helpful to me when it comes to writing about fear and fronting up to fear.
As far as sports goes, I was an amateur boxer for a while and I fought for Kent University against Oxford University. (I won that match in the second round by a TKO if you’re wondering; I lost another bout against a far more experienced fighter than me in much the same way); I’ve also done a lot of Judo in my time. I like to keep fit. I can still do pull-ups from a dead hang up to touching my throat to the bar with no bounce or momentum, even though I’m not in the first flush of youth. I love trekking in mountainous areas.
My first dark, comedic horror novel, “Celebrity Chef Zombie apocalypse” is due to be published May 28th, 2016 by Kensington Gore Publishers. It’s a tale of true love, zombies, sex, cooking, cannibalism, depraved sex, and chasseur sauce.
2 – What’s the story about?
The story concerns a dead celebrity chef called Floyd Rampant who’s turned into a sex-crazed flesh-eating zombie when a scientist’s experiment, which is intended to raise him from the dead, goes wrong.
Rampant realizes that he’s the only zombie on the planet and he doesn’t have a chance against humanity, as the odds against him are 7 billion to one. He decides to recruit other celebrity chefs to the zombie cause to level up the odds. He creates an army of celebrity chef zombies. Their aim is to enslave humanity and use people as ingredients for their cordon bleu dishes – which of course they eat with relish.
3 – Where did the idea for the story come from?
I was thinking one day that zombies always behave in a really stupid way.
They eat anyone they can get their hands on, or turn them into zombies by biting them.
Logically, that should mean that if the zombies succeeded in taking over the planet, then sooner or later there would be no people around, only zombies, and the zombies wouldn’t have anything to eat. They’d have guaranteed their own extinction.
Then I thought: what if you had intelligent zombies? What would they do? They wouldn’t want to eat everyone, or turn the population of the entire world into zombies because they’d know that if they did, there’d be nothing left for them to eat except each other. They’d probably work out that their best course of action would be to enslave people and farm them for the table.
Then, after I’d come up with that idea, it occurred to me that the ideal cross-section of people to have as zombies would be a group that was involved in the food industry. I settled on chefs because I could see how I could have a lot of fun with that idea – I could describe how they enjoyed cooking people in elaborate ways before eating them. I don’t think that’s been done in zombie literature before.
4 – What is it about the story that made you want to write the book?
I thought I’d enjoy writing it and that I could introduce some new ideas into zombie fiction.
Zombies don’t cook their victims and they don’t have sex with them in the existing body of zombie literature – but they do both of these things in my novel.
I thought these were two really exciting ideas that I’d love to write about and that other people would love to read about.
5 – How long did the book take to write?
It depends on which way you look at it. I’ve written an awful lot of fiction and non-fiction in my time. Taking all my experience into account, you could say it’s taken me 7 years. On the other hand, start to finish after I’d had the idea, it only took me about 4 months. The words just seemed to flow out of me, as if it was the book I was born to write. (But I’m sure I have a few other stories to tell – including at least one sequel).
6 – What makes it a horror story?
It has all the ingredients of a good horror story. That’s to say, many of the characters make bad decisions and pay a price for their errors of judgment. The price is always paid in blood and suffering. On top of that, there’s the supernatural element of zombies. They are the ones who exact the price, often in inventive ways. Finally, there is a black humor which runs through the novel, which is a feature of many, if not all, of the best horror stories.
7 – What’s the scariest moment in the book?
I’d say that for a guy the scariest moment is reading about what happens to one of the male characters who has sex with a female zombie. I’ll leave it at that.
8 – What is your favorite horror book?
That’s a tough one. There are so many great horror books out there.
I think my all-time favorite has to be ‘It Happened in Boston’ by Russell H Greenan. It features a likable psychopath, a twisting (and twisted!) plot, a series of grisly murders, some supernatural encounters, and a gobsmacking denouement.
9 – Who is your favorite horror writer?
Given what I’ve said above, it’s going to have to be Russell H Greenan.
10 – Would the book work as a movie?
Like any classic movie, it has a beginning, a middle and a more than satisfying end.
Within this structure, there are numerous set-pieces involving zombie attacks which could be used to spectacular effect on the big screen.
There are also numerous sub-plots – a love-story, a detective story, and one or two others. Each sub-plot follows the classic story structure – I.e., there is a status quo, the status quo is upset (by the zombies), and the characters concerned either survive the onslaught of the zombies or they don’t.
The ending leaves scope for a sequel, so the movie could develop into a franchise! (Hollywood, I’m waiting by my phone!)
Side-Note; if you are looking for a solid read that offers Blood, guts and Food. This twist of comedy and zombies is surely for you.