About Gregory Lamberson
Gregory Lamberson is the author of five published horror novels and one nonfiction book on independent filmmaking. A two-time winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror for his novels Johnny Gruesome and Personal Demons, and a three-time Bram Stoker Award finalist, he has three books scheduled for 2012: his zombie novella Carnage Road, from Creeping Hemlock Press; The Frenzy War, Book Two in his werewolf series “The Frenzy Cycle” from Medallion Press; and Tortured Spirits, Book Four in his occult detective series “The Jake Helman Files,” also from Medallion. An Active member of International Thriller Writers and the Horror Writers Association, Lamberson also has a following as a cult horror film director and is best known for Slime City and Slime City Massacre.
Visit him at his website, www.slimeguy.com.
Could you please tell us a little about your book?
On the surface, Carnage Road is a novella about two bikers who take a motorcycle trip across America during the zombie apocalypse. A certain amount of violence, mayhem and gore are required by this subgenre, so I delivered plenty of each, but I had a lot more on my mind than that. The film Night of the Living Dead is the godfather of this kind of story, and it possessed something I’ve found missing from many of the zombie novels that have followed: social commentary. So Carnage Road skewers a lot of the more extreme behavior in our country today. And most important, I wanted to write a story with a lot of heart about two friends, like Lonesome Dove. So hopefully readers will give it a shot even if they wouldn’t ordinarily read a zombie tale.
Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?
My good friends R.J. and Julia Sevin co-own the small press Creeping Hemlock Press; Print Is Dead is their zombie imprint. They love zombies. R.J. asked me to write a proposal for a novel for them, which I did, and he responded enthusiastically; but I had commitments to my regular publisher, Medallion Press, so I had to beg off the project. He came back a short time later and said, “How about writing it as a novella instead?” I’d never written a novella before, and had been thinking about attempting one, so that was the perfect solution.
Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?
Besides Night of the Living Dead and Lonesome Dove, the big influences were the films Easy Rider and Born Losers, which was the first “Billy Jack” movie. I like road trip stories, and I wanted to write about two tough guys in an extreme situation who really have to depend on each other for everything, and how hard it would be for either to survive without the other. It’s a western at heart.
In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?
Although a lot of my novels blend horror and noir, I’ve never written in the first person before. I really enjoyed writing from that perspective for Carnage Road, especially since my protagonist – one of the last two members of a motorcycle gang – was such an unlikely narrator.
Do you have any rituals you follow when finishing a piece of work?
The only ritual seems to be that my computer crashes after I finish my first draft.
Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer?
I suppose my mother, who was an artist and an English teacher, and who helped shape my political view of the world. she died in 2001, before I wrote any novels, but I had made three low budget horror films by then, and she appreciated those.
What is the most important thing in your life right now?
My wife and my daughter. Family comes first.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently writing a novel called The Julian Year for Medallion Press, which will launch a cutting edge new platform for e-books in 2013. I’ve also signed the contract for the fifth book in my occult detective series “The Jake Helman Files.”
Is there an author that inspired you to write?
In the 1980s, I devoured novels written by T.M. Wright, who writes very unique, “quiet” horror. In 2004, Terry was the judge of the contest which resulted in my first novel, Personal Demons, being published. That was a real thrill.
What are some of your long term goals?
I want to make a living solely on my writing, without any supplemental part time jobs. I have nine books planned for “The Jake Helman Files” and four for my werewolf series “The Frenzy Cycle,” and I want to finish them all.
What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?
Carnage Road has two interesting protagonists, a lot of heart, and something to say about America.
You know the scenario – you’re stuck on an island. What book would you bring with you and why?
A Prayer for Own Meaney by John Irving. I read very little horror because I don’t want to be influenced by other writers in my genre.
Are you a different person now than you were 5 years ago? In what way/s?
Five years ago my daughter was one year old, and I was the stay at home parent. I’m much more rested now than I was then – I get five hours of sleep a night instead of four!
What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?
Fight for what you believe in and avoid compromise that makes you feel bad about yourself.
About Carnage Road
Boone and Walker, the last two members of the Floating Dragons motorcycle gang in Buffalo, set out to re-discover America during the zombie apocalypse. Their odyssey takes them to Ohio, Kansas, Hollywood, and a last stand in Texas. Along the way they learn just what happens when the federal government ceases to exist, and it isn’t pretty.
A tale of friendship and loyalty, Carnage Road is author Gregory Lamberson’s unforgettable ode to westerns, biker pictures, and the cinema of the living dead.