Okay, I have a treat for everyone today. The Ebola outbreak is all over the news right now and people are getting nervous. So what better time to grab a book about Ebola zombies? Lol, I know, there are writers out there trying to capitalize on this news story with cheap little pamplets on how to stay safe.
This isn’t that. Meet Marilyn Peake writer of dark fantasy and now horror. You can find out more about Marilyn through the links at the bottom of this post.
- So what first inspired you to write?
I’ve wanted to write since I was a very young child. When I was a teenager in high school, I fell in love with literature, journalism and creative writing. At that time, I received a wonderful opportunity to write columns on teenagers’ interests for three local newspapers with my own byline and to have some of my poetry published in one of those papers. That was very exciting! Over the years, I’ve continued to love the experience of writing.
- I know you write in a variety of genres, including young adult, fantasy, and horror. What about these appeal to you?
I love reading almost every genre. So far, I’ve written mostly in the genres you mentioned, along with some science fiction. Writing horror is new for me, although I’ve written a fair amount of dark fantasy. I like writing in all those genres because they allow a writer to take real-world issues and weave imaginary tales around them. Hopefully, that allows a reader to view the real-world situations in a different light. I’m a news junkie who feels things very deeply. I follow a large number of news outlets on Twitter and watch a lot of TV news. Sometimes it’s hard to continue watching painful news stories about the world. Writing fantastical stories based on current events helps me to explore them and deal with them. There’s also something invigorating about the creative process in writing any type of fiction.
- Tell me about your latest book, “Mutation Z: The Ebola Zombies.” Considering the recent Ebola outbreak, this seems timely!!
MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES actually came out of my deep concern following news stories on the growing Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Years ago, I read THE HOT ZONE by Richard Preston, a nonfiction book about a monkey strain of Ebola that mutated in a lab in Reston, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., in 1989 to become airborne, sickening monkeys who had no direct contact with other monkeys in the building. That book left a huge impression on me. When I heard about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, I immediately thought about Preston’s detailed information on the disease.
The news coming out of West Africa has been truly horrifying, as the countries affected by Ebola don’t have the infrastructure to deal with it. People are dying on the streets, in their homes and on the floors of makeshift treatment centers. The situation has been described as pure hell by those who have witnessed it. As the epidemic’s worsened, some bizarre stories have come out of the areas affected. Because workers in frightening-looking protective suits arrived around the same time the Ebola epidemic worsened, some people blamed the workers for bringing Ebola into their country. There was a case where locals attacked an Ebola clinic, claiming that Ebola was a myth. They dragged contaminated items out of the clinic, creating an extremely dangerous situation. Others believe that Ebola is a curse for evil behavior. There have been claims by some that the medical workers are using Ebola as an excuse to cover up cannibalistic practices.
Looking at news photos and videos of the horror the Ebola victims are suffering through, it really started getting to me. I combined the myths with the true facts about the Ebola epidemic to create a story that’s a combination of the following genres: Apocalyptic Science Fiction, Zombie Fiction, Horror, and Conspiracy Fiction. I wanted MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES to convey a sense of horror about the situation in West Africa. While the medical workers and military personnel going into West Africa to help out are heroes in real life, there’s an apocalyptic conspiracy happening within the pages of MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES.
- Do you think a pandemic is likely in our lifetime? How bad do you think things could be?
I think it’s quite possible. If a worldwide pandemic occurred, it would be disastrous. A large portion of the world’s population would die. On the other hand, we’re living in an age of extraordinary technical advancement with amazing medical breakthroughs. Whereas the Ebola strain in the current epidemic has a 50% to 70% mortality rate with no known cure, medical personnel coming to the United States from West Africa to be treated for the disease have recovered after receiving experimental serum. That’s amazing: a previously incurable disease cured! Bill Gates and a number of organizations have donated large amounts of money to find both a cure and a vaccine for Ebola. If scientists succeed in doing that, another disease will be conquered.
- Another of your books, “Shade”, delves into some darker fantasy as well. Tell me about that.
SHADE is a Young Adult Mystery novel with Paranormal elements. Tagline: “Shade: Girl on a hero’s journey, going from smart-ass to badass.”
Here’s the Book Summary for SHADE:
Thanks to her offbeat mother, Shade’s full name is Galactic Shade Griffin. Having a name like that while being the new girl in school is pretty much catnip for bullies. The summer before Shade’s junior year of high school, her mother breaks up with yet another boyfriend and moves them once again to a new town.
This time, they move into a dilapidated old house where Shade has an entire attic bedroom to herself—at least until she discovers it’s haunted by the ghost of a teenaged boy named Brandon Yates. When Shade’s best friend goes missing, her life becomes even more complicated. With the help of Brandon who’s struggling with his own issues in the world beyond, Shade faces the question of whether or not she has what it takes to become a true hero.
Although this novel deals with a number of serious issues—drug and alcohol abuse, cutting, and disturbing world events—it’s primarily a novel about a teenaged girl finding out who she really is and that she’s capable of so much more than she ever thought possible.
- Who is your favorite writer, and why?
That’s a tough question. I have so many favorite writers! One of my most favorite writers is Barbara Kingsolver. Her novel, THE POISONWOOD BIBLE, knocked my socks off. Her description and character development were extraordinary and she tackled some heavy-duty social issues in that book.
- What are you working on now?
With Hugh Howey’s blessing, I’m working on a fan fiction story set in his WOOL universe that I plan to publish in the Amazon Kindle Worlds program for fan fiction. Then I plan to write sequels for both SHADE and MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES in order to turn them into two separate series.
- What advice do you have for writers?
To read a lot and to just keep on writing!
My website: http://www.marilynpeake.com
My Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/387792.Marilyn_Peake
My Twitter page: https://twitter.com/marilynpeake
MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES on Amazon:
SHADE on Amazon: