Interview with Joseph Souza, author of The Reawakening
Tell us about The Reawakening.
A series of terrible things begin to happen when a scientist with a dark past resumes his genetic experiments in a small Maine town. The animals suddenly become aggressive for no apparent reason, attacking anyone within sight, including Rick’s wife. After slaughtering his diseased herd, Rick realizes to his horror that they have come back to life. Soon the farm is under siege by the deranged animals, and a small group of refugees who have assembled in the farmhouse must hunker down and defend themselves against the terrible onslaught of cannibals.
The entire town soon becomes filled with the human flesh-eaters, threatening the farmhouse and the survivors within it. But they all have the same message before they reawaken: they are seeking the chosen ones. The onset of winter provides a temporary defense against the army of the dead, but with supplies running low, the survivors realize they must formulate a plan before the arrival of spring and the dreaded melt-off. And as the world outside them descends into total madness, a surprising leader emerges from the group who will hopefully lead them to safety.
What genre is it?
THE REAWAKENING fits squarely in the horror genre. It is much more then just a living dead, apocalypse novel, which is why so many zombie purists have taken issue with it, but why lovers of horror fiction have come to love it. This novel steps outside the normal boundaries and takes risks with the genre. It asks political, theological and philosophical questions, which will both challenge and terrify the reader.
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Readers who love Stephen King’s work should enjoy THE REAWAKENING, which takes place in northern Maine. Anyone who enjoys good writing and is open-minded about the subject should be able to take something from it.
How much of the next 2 books of your Living Dead trilogy have you got mapped out in your head and can you tell us what to expect?
DARPOCALYPSE, Book 2 of the trilogy is complete and just waiting to be published. This novel is my opus and a riveting follow-up to THE REAWAKENING, and I anticipate that it will have major crossover appeal.
Tell us about your short fiction. You have won awards for it, haven’t you?
I won the Andre Dubus Award from the University of Southern Maine for my short story “Loss Prevention” and had it featured in their literary journal Words&Images. I also won Honorable Mention for the Al Blanchard Award for my short story “The Stone Walls of Lebanon” and had it presented to me at Crimebake, New England’s biggest and most prestigious crime convention.
You’ve written crime fiction and with The Reawakening you are moving into zombie fiction. Are there any other genres you’re planning to explore?
I would say I’m moving into Horror fiction rather than zombie fiction, with an emphasis on the apocalypse scenario. As far as other genres, I’m currently happy sticking to these two for the time being. But who knows what the future will bring.
Writing a book is never easy, but other than that, what has been the toughest part – editing or marketing?
Like most writers, I too find the marketing aspect of writing the most difficult. You have to completely separate the spheres of your brain and know when to shut off the creative from business. Answering interview questions like this, however, is a real treat and I find I have a lot of fun with the various questions interviewers have in regards to my work.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up near Boston in a working-class environment. Reading has always been a great pastime of mine. I earned a BS from Northeastern University and MA’s from Northeastern and the University of Washington.
I’ve had so many jobs I’ve lost count. I’ve been a teacher, laborer on the docks of South Boston (when Whitey Bulger controlled Boston’s rackets), cab driver, editor, dishwasher, researcher, intelligence analyst in the Organized Crime unit of the DEA, social worker, bouncer, paralegal (where I worked on the case that became the basis for the movie A Civil Action starring John Travolta), truck driver, just to name a few.
I’m married and live in Maine—Stephen King country—and have two great kids and a 17 year old pug. I love to run, cook and play a little golf when I get the chance.
Have you got a blog where readers can keep up with your work?
Well, there’s been a lot of great press for THE REAWAKENING and the Living Dead Trilogy, as well as anticipation for DARPOCALYPSE, Book 2 in the series. The response has been so great that I recently signed a three-book deal with an option for three more with the highly respected horror publisher Permuted Press. The books will now be available on every format, including Nook, Kindle, ePub, paperback, Sony and Audible. In addition, THE REAWAKENING has been an Amazon best seller, having broken Amazon’s top 100 in Paid Horror. I anticipate great things for the follow-up novel, DARPOCALYPSE, which is a much more ambitious work in scope and breadth. Currently, I’m 2/3 through the first draft of Book 3 in the Trilogy. So as you can see, I’ve been quite busy as of late.
I’d like to thank Indie Author Land for this great interview and letting me talk up THE REAWAKENING. This was a lot of fun!