Title: The Ghoul Archipelago
Author: Stephen Kozeniewski
Publisher: Severed Press
Release Date: October 16, 2013
After ravenous corpses topple society and consume most of the world’s population, freighter captain Henk Martigan is shocked to receive a distress call. Eighty survivors beg him to whisk them away to the relative safety of the South Pacific. Martigan wants to help, but to rescue anyone he must first pass through the nightmare backwater of the Curien island chain.
A power struggle is brewing in the Curiens. On one side, the billionaire inventor of the mind-control collar seeks to squeeze all the profit he can out of the apocalypse. Opposing him is the charismatic leader of a ghoul-worshipping cargo cult. When a lunatic warlord berths an aircraft carrier off the coast and stakes his own claim on the islands, the stage is set for a bloody showdown.
To save the remnants of humanity (and himself), Captain Martigan must defeat all three of his ruthless new foes and brave the gruesome horrors of...THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO.
1. Let’s start off getting to know you – what is something about you that very few people know or suspect?
I am an unabashed slave to the needle. I have nine tattoos after thirteen studio sessions (confusing hint: only one was a cover-up.) Most people who meet me think either, “Oh, he’s a marshmallow,” (in personal situations) or, “Oh, he’s a stick-in-the-mud,” (in professional.) I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that wasn’t shocked by all my ink.
2. Please tell us a little bit about The Ghoul Archipelago in your own words but with a Twitter twist – 140 characters or less.
Oh, fun. Dammit, I just wasted 8 characters. Now it’s 43! OK, it’s about smugglers trying to save zombocalypse survivors from pirates and...
3. What makes The Ghoul Archipelago stand apart from other zombie apocalypse type books?
Well, first and foremost the setting. I can count on Bugs Bunny’s hand the number of zombie novels set on the high seas. But even those few aren’t old-school nineteenth-century style nautical adventures like The Ghoul Archipelago. It contains pirates, cannibals, monsoons, riverboats (all the elements of adventure that got chucked out the window after Conrad’s time.) Still, despite the neo-colonial milieu, it is set in the future, so there are a few high-tech shenanigans in store as well, not the least interesting of which is the mind control collar…
4. Which books or authors would you say have affected or inspired you the most to become a writer of the genre?
Well, I always say this but Brian Keene was my great inspiration. That time period when I started writing, around 2003, was kind of a drought era for zombie literature. (Hard to believe considering the current glut, right?) But pretty much all we had back then was Keene, Brooks, and the first few volumes of a low-vis comic by a young whippersnapper named Kirkman. Sadly, none of those people went on to greater, meteoric success…
5. What was the most fun part about writing The Ghoul Archipelago?
So, I don’t want to ruin it, but there is a puppet scene. Long story short, it’s a zombie puppet of sorts. I think if I don’t say any more than that and don’t reveal which character ended up as a marionette, it won’t be spoiled. However, I can say with no sense of exaggeration that this is the funniest excerpt of fiction ever written by the hands of man. I have never felt such pure joy in the act of writing as I did when committing that particular abomination against good taste to paper.
6. Which character did you enjoy writing the most? Was there any one that you couldn’t wait to kill off?
Well, Rand Bergeron was my favorite character to write because he was such a stupendous, scenery-chomping douche that I couldn’t help but have fun seeing the world from his rotten, over-privileged perspective. But as for who I enjoyed killing off, wow, how to answer such a question without spoilers? Well, I guess I can’t so SPOILER ALERT! I constructed the three primary antagonists, Rand, Coughlin Sonntag, and Sinclair Fall as the most reprehensible of robber barons, religious fanatics, and warmongers (respectively) so that the reader could take particular delight in their sticky ends.
7. What is your favorite distraction that you indulge in whenever you are writing?
Mastur…um, I love painting models. Let’s see if we can’t throw a picture up.
Thank you so much, Stephen, for stopping by! We hope to see you again on Bibliophilia, Please.
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About the Author
Stephen Kozeniewski lives with his wife and two cats in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. He was born to the soothing strains of "Boogie With Stu" even though The Who are far superior to Zep, for reasons that he doesn't even really want to get into right now.
During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. The depiction of addiction in his fiction is strongly informed by the three years he spent working at a substance abuse clinic, an experience which also ensures that he employs strict moderation when enjoying the occasional highball of Old Crow.
He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor's degree is in German.
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