Interview with Robert Kent, author of All Together Now: A Zombie Story


Publisher: Middle Grade Ninja Press

Publication Date: September 27, 2013

Book Links:  Amazon

Synopsis: Yea though we perish, yea though we die, we'll all be together in the sweet by and by... 

‘ALL TOGETHER NOW: A ZOMBIE STORY’ is by turns disgusting, terrifying, funny, and heartbreaking. Fans of THE WALKING DEAD will eat it up like, well, zombies munching fresh brains. A stellar debut from a novelist to watch!" 

—Mike Mullin, award-winning author of ASHFALL, ASHEN WINTER, and SUNRISE 

Fifteen-year-old Ricky Genero is writing a journal of the zombie apocalypse. His high school has burned to the ground, his friends are all either dead or shambling corpses roaming the earth in search of human flesh, and his best friend died saving his six-year-old brother Chuck from a zombie horde. When Chuck is bitten and infected with the zombie virus, Ricky must travel among the walking dead in search of a cure. 

WARNING 

This YOUNG ADULT novel is mean and nasty and intended for a mature audience. It is absolutely not appropriate for younger readers. ‘All Together Now: A Zombie Story’ is a gruesome, repugnant tale featuring horrific acts of violence sure to warp young minds.

Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.

‘All Together Now: A Zombie Story’ is an extremely violent young adult zombie novel and I hate to lay the blame for inspiring such a book at any one source:) Certainly, I was inspired by the works of George Romero and Robert Kirkman, which is why there are characters in the story named after them.  Also, I’ve read everything Stephen King’s ever written at least twice, so I’m sure he had an impact, particularly his zombie story, “Home Delivery.”

I’m critique partners with Mike Mullin, author of ‘Ashfall’, ‘Ashen Winter’, and the upcoming ‘Sunrise’. Spending time discussing and revising his young adult novels about two teens trying to survive an apocalypse undoubtedly influenced my own book about two teens trying to survive an apocalypse.

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

After two decades of perfecting my craft, I’m finally in front of readers, and that’s been a very happy experience so far. I was hoping readers would like the book, but their responses have been more positive than I ever dared to hope they would be, and that’s been enormously gratifying.  There’s nothing like meeting people as excited about your story as you are.

But that’s publishing. The writing of ‘All Together Now’ cleared out a lot of deep-rooted issues from my psyche and unleashed a lot of disturbing ideas, freeing me from them. Some of that stuff would’ve taken me years to sort out in therapy, but now I’m clear of it and it’s the reader’s problem:) All through the planning and writing of the book, I had nightmares about zombies. Since finishing the book, I haven’t had a zombie nightmare. Eventually, I’ll start having nightmares about another monster, and then it will be time for another horror book.

Q. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?

I don’t think I’d want to be any of the characters in this book as they tend to die in really horrible ways. I have a much friendlier middle grade adventure book for boys (and robots) coming out next year, and I’d be a character in that book in a heartbeat. But I don’t think I’d fair too well in a zombie attack.

If I had to choose, I’d be the President. He’s not really a character in the book as Ricky only sees him once on television, but the President addresses the nation from a secure location surrounded by secret service. If you have to go through a zombie apocalypse, that’s probably the way to do it.

Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I’d learn to be Batman. Of course! Always pick “be Batman.”

Q. What are you currently reading?

‘Halfway Home’ by Hugh Howey and ‘Griffin Rising’ by Darby Karchut

Q. All of the books you’ve read, which book has impacted you the most?

Wow. I’m not sure how to answer that. I guess ‘The Bible’, as it determined how I spent my Sundays as a kid. I was raised religious, which is why I let the Christians have both barrels full in ‘All Together Now’. It’s in no way a religious story, but I figure a book about people rising from the dead in a small Indiana town is a perfect opportunity for religious satire.

But the book that’s had the most positive impact on me and my writing is ‘Story’ by Robert McKee. That book forever changed the way I look at plot and structure and the nature of story itself. If you’re a storyteller, you owe it to yourself to read that book.

Q. What gives you the most joy in life?

Spending time with friends and family. A distant second is that magic moment when my characters ignore my plot and act on their own so that the story comes so fast and furious it’s like taking dictation.

Author Bio: Robert Kent is the author of the young adult novel ‘ALL TOGETHER NOW: A ZOMBIE STORY’. He runs the popular blog for writers, MIDDLE GRADE NINJA, and lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he's hard at work on his next book.

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