Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Interview with David P. Murphy

David P. Murphy: He cares, esp. about your brain.
I was lucky enough to interview David P. Murphy. He is the author of Zombies for Zombies - The Play and Werk Buk: The World's Bestselling Inactivity Guide for the Living Deadwhich I reviewed recently. Here is the text, unedited:

What was your first exposure to zombies? How did you fare (frightened, laughed, bitten, etc.)?

Thanks for the interview, by the way.  Great to be here.  I believe my first exposure was this weird sci-fi flick that I saw as a kid, "Invisible Invaders."  Aliens take over corpses and threaten mankind--that sort of bubbly thing.  It scared the pants off of me as a kid and, thus, the zombie love affair began.

Besides yourself, who is your favorite zombie storyteller (can include authors, film makers, game designers, etc.)?

For me, Romero is still the guy.  I enjoy what a number of folks are doing with the genre but he IS the zomfather and NOTLD was scary and socially relevant, too.

What’s your favorite zombie movie?

I really enjoyed "Shaun of the Dead" but, for me, "Night of the Living Dead" is the bomb.  (I know, what a traditionalist.) I so much respect what that cast and crew did on a shoestring budget.  Speaking of cheap films, I watched "Hot Wax Zombies on Wheels" the other night and, surprisingly, that wasn't so good!

What’s your favorite zombie book (besides your own, of course)?

I'm a big comic book fan--probably a shocker, huh?  I've enjoyed parts of "The Walking Dead" quite a bit.

What’s your favorite zombie fighting weapon?

The trowel. Big seller for me.

In your Zombies for Zombies books, you give advice on how to deal with becoming a zombie. How did you come to see things from the zombies perspective? I thought I had a unique idea with looking at things from the zombie’s point of view, but I’m glad to see some else thinks like me (i.e., I’m not a lone wacko).

Oh, we're wackos but it's always better to know we're not alone!  I think in my overly politically correct, corporately motivated Z4Z world, zombies are like a minority. The Scarlet Shores Assisted Post-Living facilities house the "post-lifers" (think internment camps meet retirement homes) and even the Horde (the real zombies) is being preserved in Containment Zones. As for perspective, I just tried to feel minimized and that really seemed to help. 

How awesome is Daniel Heard (the illustrator) to work with? I love his work on Daniel Wilson’s books.

Mr. Heard is a mensch of the highest order and one incredibly talented artist.  I felt completely blessed to be able to have him along for the ride. We laughed A LOT while working on both books. And I think that Daniel Wilson fella is gonna have himself a nice career!

If you could pick one product from all the fake ads in Z4Z to be a real product, which one would it be and why?

What do you mean, "fake ads?"  Those are REAL ads!  Okay, so even though I'm a guy and don't really need a purse (or a European shoulder bag), the "Kool Klutch" is still kinda rockin' my world.  Just think: refrigerated meat whenever and wherever you'd like.

What was the inspiration for Chomps the Clown (if you feel okay to talk about it)?

I think I've been through enough therapy to talk about it now.  Clowns suck. I don't care how swell their intentions are--they're flat out creepy.  Therefore, a living dead clown would be even creepier.  Daniel and I had a lot of fun going there and then needed to take long hot showers.

How much work went into getting your Ph. Z.? Did you have to write a dissertation or do something more practical?

How one obtains a Ph.Z. is a somewhat private subject, but more will be revealed soon.  (Cue the pensive oboe...)

I was very impressed to see and hear your musical talents at your web site (
. You’ve even written a musical. Any plans to cross the streams and write a zombie musical or zombie album?

Thanks for the kind words.  I've been a songwriter since I was a wee lad and I still actively pursue the craft.  And I LOVE recording and run a small studio myself. Re the musical, yes, it's called "anotherwhere" and my remarkable writer friend from the Bay Area, Laurie Fox and I are responsible for that pup. And regarding a zombie musical, I've thought about it, but nothing yet. There is, however over on the Z4Z website (, on the VIDZ page at the bottom, a video for a zombie disco/dance tune I did called "Do The Shuffle." The Shuffle is the name of a dance step from the first Z4Z book that was designed for the motor-impaired and the song features this lovely couplet: "there's no denyin' that beat, no fakin' that groove, it sure would help if your hips could move."  Now if only the Bee Gees would return my calls.

What can we look forward to that you’re doing next (if not the zombie musical)?

Well, I'm working diligently on a third book and it's hush hush at the moment but, I can tell you this:  it's illuminating.  (And no, that's doesn't mean it will make nice kindling.)

My turn to ask a question, please: When a zombie parent punishes a zombie kid, what the hey is that like?  No organ meat for a week? Go shamble in the corner? Help me out here.

How about a video answer:

So we make them clean the couch and they are not allowed to keep the spare change (or snacks) they find!

Actual, our situation is a little complicated. Our children have turned us into zombies, so they are our zombie overlords. It's hard to punish them (we actually fooled them into thinking cleaning out the couch is fun) when they are in control.

If we did have zombie children, I would definitely send them to bed without any fresh meat. Or shovel snow, we have a heck of a snow storm going right now and I'm not looking forward to shoveling the driveway.

Thanks so much for answering my eccentric questions, David Murphy. Best of luck!

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