If Zombies weren’t enough, international best selling author, Travis Simmons, introduces readers to a post apocalyptic world filled with Necromancers, Infernals, and Speeders. Zombie lovers will find nothing generic about Travis’s creatures. I was never scared of these monsters before because I figured I could out run ’em, out hide ’em, out shoot ’em or out smart ’em. This is not the case in Simmons’s Desolation. He takes Zombies to a whole new level of scary.
With the gay protagonist, Asher, heroics are internal instead of all phone booth and capes. If you have a problem with the hero being gay, get over it so you can explore the beautiful subtlety with which Travis unfolds the romance.
Right off the bat, Asher loses his love interest, Connor, to Zombism and struggles with the decision as to whether or not to end his lover’s misery. His decision has far more devastating consequences than he could have imagined.
Within Asher lies a secret as to why he seems immune to Zombie bites, blood, and guts. And why he could’ve never predicted that his decision as to whether or not to kill Conner would have such a deadly impact. The reader agonizes with Asher as he confronts the guilt he feels for his decision.
Travis graciously agreed to do a short interview with me. If you go to his “About” on his web page, you can quickly identify that Travis is hysterical. Like Desolation there is nothing typical about his bio. Instead it’s packed with imagination and a LOL storyline. Here’s a sample:
Travis Simmons was kicked out of magic school because he enjoyed mundane habits like canning and cooking instead of using spells. Forced to travel the world selling his sword and (often defunct) sorcery, he stumbled upon a pack of normal dogs that he mistook for magical animals and imagined he could communicate with them. Still, they enjoyed the pizza he would toss their way, and they adopted him as one of their own.
Interview with Qs and As
Question: I understand you were bitten by a Zombie and became the apprentice to a Necromancer to keep from turning. Is this how you learned so much about them for your book?
Answer: Yeah. Well, my mentor doesn’t really know that I’m giving away all of their secrets. He’s not interested in fiction, which is great for me. He’s also not really forthcoming with information, so I tend to have to sneak books away from him and study them when he’s sleeping or off on some other ghoulish business.
Question: And would you advise living this type of life style for other serious writers of Zombism?
Answer: Well, I wouldn’t suggest getting bitten, but if they could find a necromancer who was willing to take them under their wing, heck yeah! You learn so much about the dead. It’s like having an insider, but you’re the insider!
Question: What are the first two rules on your Zombie Survival List?
Answer: Everything’s a weapon and trust very few people.
Question: What are the two most important items in your Zombie bug-out bag besides weapons?
Answer: Water purification kit and a first aid kit. I’m sure that I would probably bug-out and forget my bag, I’m so scattered and the idea of zombies terrifies me so I’d probably just go crazy if it happened!
Question: Which one of the following would you most want to be and why: Necromancer, Infernal, Speeder, or just a Zombie?
Answer: Necromancer for sure! They have such power and control over the dead. If I had to be a zombie, I’d choose to be an infernal, at least they can still use their mind and they’re pretty fast too.
Questions: Besides your book, which is your all time favorite book or movie or TV series about Zombies?
Answer: I love The Walking Dead (just finished season 5). I’m not big on zombie fiction honestly. I have read the first Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo and loved it! He has a pretty great writing style, and his characters seem to flow out of him with ease. It’s pretty awesome.
Question: I read your new science fiction novel What Lies Behind and loved it. Tell us about one of your up and coming projects.
Answer: Right now I’m finishing up The Harbingers of Light series and looking toward the future. I’ve done so many epic fantasies that I’m not sure where I want to turn next. I’m thinking of just starting a fun fantasy adventure that I don’t have to concentrate so hard at. You know, the kind where a couple adventurers randomly find themselves in trouble or something? I think that sounds like a lot of fun. Of course, I need to wrap up the What Lies Behind series and there’s ideas for a steampunk in my future too. I think 2016 will be packed with releases! I can’t wait!
I already give this book 5 stars. I’m still not quite done reading Desolation and I can’t wait to get this blog posted so I can get to the end.
(ProbeNote: I would’ve been finished but My Muse, Hawk, insisted I play games all week with him—and not the Candy Crush kind. More like let’s explore another type of writing kind of game. You writer friends of mine know what I’m taking about, don’t you? When you’re set on getting something written and your Muse has other plans. Very fun. But talk about off track.)
I went ahead and wrote the blog because I thought we could do a Read Along. Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you. I’ll race you to the finish.
The Probe’s Mission Statement
The Probe is a blog devoted to the exploration of the unexplainable, to finding the truth in occurrences that resemble science fiction, and to researching and reporting on topics that could be flung upon the wall of weird. New posts are featured every week.
(Mostly on Mondays, but sometimes I release early, like on Sundays, if I have a writing deadline, or if I’m going camping, or if I have something exciting I just can’t wait to tell you. And sometimes I’m late if I’m camping or have family visiting .)
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