Saturday, May 19, 2012

Zombie Night in Canada: First Period by Jamie Friesen (Interview, Book Excerpt, and Giveaway)

Jamie, welcome to Hardcover Feedback! A lot of people are on Twitter these days, so can you describe Zombie Night in Canada: First Period for us in 140 characters or less (which is the size of a tweet)? 
A #zombieapocalypse that takes place in the Great White North loaded with #zombie action and mayhem! #horror #ebook

When did you begin writing Zombie Night in Canada: First Period? What inspired this book and how much research was involved in writing it? 
I started it about a year and a half ago. A friend originally came up with the title – it is a wordplay on Hockey Night in Canada, which for most Canadians is the equivalent of Monday Night Footballfor many Americans.

Until very recently, I wasn’t a zombie fan, but once I started reading the genre, I noticed most books seemed to take place in Texas, New York or London, and I wanted to write something that took place in Canada, from a Canadian’s perspective.

That means examining all sorts of things – how does the extreme cold affect zombies? Do Canadian gun control laws make a difference for characters and their survival? Do Canadian cultural norms (peace, order and good government vs. life liberty and the pursuit of happiness) change outcomes in a zombie apocalypse? And so on.

Finally, I wanted to try and expand on the rather limited writing about how a nation’s military would cope/combat a zombie apocalypse. From what I’ve read, most authors either label them as incompetent or psychotic and I wanted to see what would happen if the military actually tried to fight a human tidal wave of corpses.

For research, I studied maps, drove to places to get an idea of the physical lay of the land, read what others wrote, looked at military/police tactics, doctrine and operations (the war in Afghanistan provided a wealth of info), etc. My hard drive has 50 or 60 MB of data I compiled while writing Zombie Night in Canada: First Period.

What or who made the biggest influence on you wanting to become a writer?
It was a teacher in high school.

Personally, I never was much of a writer for most of my young life – until an English teacher let me write a story about something I was interested in – instead of the usual boring stuff filled with foreshadowing and analysis of Shakespeare we usually wrote in English classes.

But when I was allowed to write about something I wanted to – in this case, science fiction – I was able to write it quickly and it was well received by both my teacher and my classmates. After that, I started writing all sorts of action stories – think Mack Bolan but with a Canadian twist – and other things that interested me.

What was the first book you ever wrote about and was it ever published? 
Zombie Night in Canada: First Period is my first book and I self-published it this year. I really never thought of shopping it around, simply because it’s based in Canada and most horror publishers are based in the US and UK.

The changes in self-publishing and the advent of ebooks is really exciting. It may not make me rich or famous like Stephen King, but it is exciting to know that I can write a book, get it edited andhave a cover made, then put it out there for people to enjoy right away.

If a publisher ever offers me a chance to publish it (or future works), I’d be interested, but frankly, I’d rather write stories and get them out there instead of waiting years for people to MAYBE find my writing and discover they like or hate it.

Do you have any writing habits that people might find unusual? 
Probably the weirdest is that I have little problem with the beginning and the end of a story, but struggle to flesh the rest out.

I also write at odd times – early mornings, late at night, when the family is out shopping, etc. Often, I spend most of my lunchtime at work writing too. I know lots of writers talk about structuring time to write, but I just can’t, no matter how hard I try. So I write whenever I get a few free moments.

Do you have a favorite character or one that is especially close to your heart? 
From the novel, it’s the police officer, Dan. Bit by bit, he has everything stripped away from him, family, friends, even colleagues.
What is the best gift you have ever received, do you still have it and who gave it to you? 
The best gift I ever received was my wife agreeing to marry me – but a close second is my beautiful daughter, Alexis. Everything else – like nice watches and electronic gadgets, while cool, don’t compare to either.

What is something that you have always wanted to do, but just haven't gotten around to it yet? 
I would love to see Macchu Picchu.

I’m a big fan of history and would love to see it.

Barring that, I’d love to see Copan and/or Tikal.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you hope to find in your suitcase?  
A satellite phone, a survival kit and my Android tablet – that way I have a way to call for help, and something to do while I wait for them to arrive. If the phone battery turns out to be dead, then I can survive on my own for a while.

What is your all-time favorite book? 
That’s hard because so many books are so good. My favourite classic is The Count of Monte Cristo – I just love a good jail break/revenge story.

The Long Run, by Daniel Keys Moran is my favourite modern novel. It’s a little known cyberpunk novel I read first in high school. The character is both a smart ass and highly capable – so it makes for a fun read.

There are probably a dozen or so books I re-read every couple of years just to remind me how good they are.

Other than yourself, who is your favorite author? 
Again, it’s hard.

Raymond Feist and Terry Brooks tie when I’m feeling like a little fantasy reading. For sci-fi, I’d probably go with Jerry Pournelle or David Drake. Harry Turtledove is my favourite for alternative fiction.

If a TV show was based on your life, what type of TV show would it be (i.e., comedy, drama, suspense, etc.) who would you choose to play the leading character (you), and what would the theme song be? Why? 
Without a doubt it would be like Seinfeld, with my role being George. I guess I relate to the guy who struggles through life while all his friends seem to do so well.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 
I play hockey when I get the chance, as well a poker and golf with buddies. I also read, write and watch movies.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? 
An early bird – I routinely get up around 5am – but that’s mostly to write/research.

What is your favorite TV show and/or movie? 
My favourite TV show is Seinfeld, although the Simpsons and Married with Children are close.

My favourite movie is Terminator 2 – but Usual Suspects was pretty awesome too.

If you were throwing a dinner party and you could invite five people (fictional or real, dead or alive), other than family or friends, who would you invite and why?

Let’s see – I’d like to invite Bill Gates, simply because of his work in technology.

I’d also invite Arnold Schwarznegger – I’d love to meet the man who entertained me so often and thank him for his sharing his gift with us. 

I’d like to invite Jonathan Maberry to pick his brain about writing and crafting such excellent novels.

I’d love to invite Bill Maher – whose show Politically Incorrect, was one of my all-time favourites.

Finally, I’d like to invite Ernest Hemingway, because he was a great wartime writer 

If you had the opportunity to go anywhere you wanted, at anytime in history, where would you go and why?
It’d be interesting to participate in WW2 or see the Aztec Empire at its height.

What are you currently working on? 
I’m working on a number of projects – a sequel to Zombie Night in Canada, which will feature lots of military action, that is soldiers going to toe to toe with armies of the undead.

I’m also working on Cooking for Zombies – a Dummies type satire written from the zombie POV on how to properly cook humans.

Finally, I’m working on number of short stories that I can put online for free for fans to read to get an idea of what my writing is like.

Where can people connect with you online?
I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and have my own personal blog.

Purchase links: 

Reduced price Coupon Code at (allows for all e-book formats to be purchased) for blog readers

Promotional price: $3.99
Coupon Code: CX94Y
Expires: July 1, 2012

Contact info: 

Thank you so much Jamie for being on Hardcover Feedback!


“Gentlemen, it’s going to be a race to get to the cars, so I suggest you hurry. Larry and Greg, run to the Sheriff’s office and see if there is more ammo and maybe some working flashlights. We’ll meet you at the ramp by the fountain in one minute,” Darryl said. “If you’re not there in time, we’ll leave you behind. Got it?”
“Got it!” they echoed.

Just then the doors to the Bowker Building opened again and dozens of infected streamed out.  The two groups raced off. John and Darryl reloaded as they ran and got to the stairs, hiding behind a planter filled with sub tropical plants, with the older men a dozen steps behind them. Sunlight poured in from a skylight and illuminated the area. Greg glanced out the windows and saw that the Legislative Grounds were filled with dozens more infected. When the old men had finally caught up to them, they raced down the stairs. John tossed a table onto its side and shoved all three of them behind it. “Stay,” he ordered tersely. 

Larry and Greg followed Darryl’s orders and raced into the office. Greg ran into the back room and fired his pistol twice into a locked cabinet. The lock shattered and he ripped it open, pulling out a pair of pump action shotguns. He loaded shells into each and stuffed more in his vest pockets. He stuffed several pistol magazines in as well and scrambled back out to the front office, where Larry was tearing a desk apart looking for batteries. 

“I can’t find any!” Larry hollered. 

“Forget the batteries, let’s get going!” Greg yelled, grabbing a jacket off a nearby chair and threw it on.Greg tossed a shotgun to Larry and jammed the half empty box of shells into his hands. Then he tore out the door without another word. Larry pulled one last drawer open and yelled, “Jackpot!” He stuffed a couple packs of batteries into his over-sized pockets and followed Greg out the door, tossing on a heavy jacket as well.  A second later, Larry heard a shotgun blast. As he ran out into the hallway, he saw Greg standing there, firing his shotgun into a huge group of infected, blood and flesh exploding from the lifeless victims. 

“This way,” Larry shouted and raced for the ramp that spiraled down to the lower level. Greg followed, and they took turns, running and firing, covering each other’s back whenever possible. They made it to the bottom of the ramp and saw John and Darryl firing into a group of infected, coming down the stairs that were located at the south edge of the ramp. The premier and cabinet ministers huddled in abject fear only a few feet away. The infected from the Bowker Building were coming down the ramp and Larry turned and fired at them. In the narrow confines of the ramp, every shot finished off several infected, but their numbers suddenly seemed limitless. Dozens, if not hundreds, poured down the ramp from the ground floor.  

Darryl’s pistol’s slide jacked back as the magazine emptied. “Did you find us any ammo?” he screamed at Greg. 

Greg tossed over all four of the magazines he had found. Darryl shoved one in and resumed firing. Suddenly the way was clear. 

“Let’s go!” Darryl hollered. He grabbed the premier and then both he and John raced down the tunnel towards the parking lot. The two cabinet ministers followed in their steps, with the two young sheriffs firing into the ever expanding pack of infected. A door to the Legislative Annex on their left from opened, and more infected flooded into the hallway as they ran past it. 

“Sir, run for the end of the hallway!” John yelled. Charchuk and two cabinet ministers continued down the darkened tunnel.  John and Darryl stopped and fired point blank into the infected. 

“Last magazine, make ‘em count!” Darryl said over the gunfire to John, as he passed him a magazine. John nodded.

“Greg, Larry, come on!” Darryl shouted, as the sheriffs were on the verge of being cut off by the host of infected flowing from the Annex. They ran backwards and stood shoulder to shoulder with Darryl and John. Natural light from three periscopes flooded the hallway with an eerie light, adding to the emergency lights mounted on high on the walls. 

John and Darryl fired again and again until both were out of ammunition. Darryl’s gun clicked on an empty chamber. He glanced around, looking for something, anything to hold off the infected. He ran to several nearby display cases, marked ‘Alberta Legislature’, which had a display about the provincial government. One cabinet was stuffed with replicas of both the Legislature’s mace and several medieval-era battle 
maces, and he smashed the glass with butt of his pistol.  He jammed the pistol back into its holster and reached into the case, pulling out a pair of wicked looking maces and leaving the gaudy, gold-painted Legislative replica behind. 

He ran back to John and gave him one, then attacked the infected reaching for him with an over-handed swing. The mace came down and crushed the infected teenager’s skull, sending blood and brain matter in every direction. John emulated him and they cut a bloody swath through the infected. The young sheriffs, also out of ammunition, were now using the butt end of their shotguns like clubs to fend off the infected. 

They fell back slowly, responding to any attempt by the infected to get around them. Bit by bit, they were moving closer and closer to the parkade. 


Enter to win an e-copy of Zombie Night in Canada: First Period by Jamie Friesen. Giveaway is open internationally!

To enter, all you have to do is answer the madatory question, follow this blog in at least one way and then complete whichever extra entries you want in the Rafflecopter form below. If you are not familiar with how to use Rafflecopter HERE is a link to a how-to video. Giveaway ends June 9th at 11:59p.m. (e.s.t.). Good luck!

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