Dominion of the Damned is about a young woman, Hannah Jordan, who rides out a zombie apocalypse in a bomb shelter, and emerges several months later to find that a race of vampires has subdued the zombies, herded what's left of humanity into internment camps, and generally taken over the world.
2) Which are more frightening: zombies or vampires?
Definitely zombies. Pop culture has pretty much de-fanged vampires and turned them into cuddly superheroes. I'm not sure it's possible at this point to really make them scary again, although I do give it a shot. At the very least, the vampires in my book don't sparkle.
3) Stories of the hungry dead have always been around in many forms in many cultures, but in recent years their popularity seems to have exploded: movies, television shows, and novels. Even government organizations like the Center for Disease Control and FEMA have attempted to take advantage of the popularity of all things zombie by encouraging disaster preparedness and infection control protocols with tongue-in-cheek zombie warnings. What do you think is behind the popularity of all these stories?
I think it's a sign of the times we're in. There's a real sense of foreboding in our culture, and a sense that the First World is just one major disaster away from collapsing into chaos and ruin. It's the same phenomenon behind the recent spate of survivalist reality shows. I think apocalyptic stories in general, and zombie stories in particular, are popular because they provide us with a safe way to play out our worst-case scenarios. People joke about having a "zombie plan," but I think deep down, people find reassurance in thinking about how they could survive such a scenario. If they could survive a zombie outbreak, then there's a good chance they could survive something like a major earthquake or a post-nuclear wasteland.
4) You've done something a bit unusual in that you have a book that features both vampires and a zombie apocalypse. Please tell us a bit about your thought process in combining those elements?
I used to sort of joke to my husband about how I couldn't believe nobody's written a "zombies vs. vampires" story, and how I ought to write one. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me that if vampires existed, they would have a major stake in preventing a zombie outbreak from wiping out their food supply. I thought about what a race of vampires' "protection" of humanity would look like, and the story just took off from there.
5) If a zombie outbreak occurred, where would be the best place to ride it out?
Are you asking me about my zombie plan? ;) In my book, the vampires have rounded up humans into "safe" camps located in fortified places such as prisons and military bases. Underground shelters also seem like a good bet. Barring that, I think if something like that happened, my family and I would head for the country and try to lie low in an unpopulated area.
6) Please share with about your other projects.
I'm also working on a short story, tentatively titled "Blackwood Park" (although that will probably change), about the apparently haunted remains of an old amusement park. It's sort of a mash-up of various Internet legends referred to as "creepy pasta" with a little dash of the Slenderman mythos. I'll be releasing it for free once it's done, hopefully in the next month or so. I'm also the author of Restless Spirits, a novel about a paranormal investigator who becomes the subject of her own investigation after she gets caught in the cross hairs of a malevolent spirit. It's currently available as an e-book and a trade paperback.
7) Do you have any links to any excerpts you'd like to share?
You can read the first two chapters of Dominion of the Damned and stay up to date on its upcoming release at http://dominionofthedamned.jeanmariebauhaus.com/.
Thanks, Jean Marie.