Over the weekend, Printer’s Row— the literary magazine of The Chicago Tribune-– ran a nice photo and interview with me about Zombie, Illinois.
Here’s the just-unveiled cover image for Zombie, Illinois, my next novel, which will be released by Skyhorse Publishing this fall.
Like many of you, when I travel for work or vacation, I often find myself considering how the places I visit would fare in a zombie attack. Certainly, not every neighborhood or piece of architecture lends itself to a zombie scenario, but I’ve certainly enjoyed considering the zombie-related benefits and drawbacks of structures like The Renaissance Center and The Venetian.
Anyhow, this past weekend I journeyed downstate to Onarga, IL to play a show with my band, and I’ve never before encountered a place that was structured so exactly like a level from Left 4 Dead. The whole town is shaped like an L, with impenetrable 2-story buildings on each side. There’s a railroad track cutting the town off at one end, and a weird, old-timey sign with big yellow incandescent bulbs. Really, really Left 4 Dead-y. I could picture zombies attacking from across the tracks, or turning the town’s single corner to find the entire street infested by the walking dead.
Here are some pics I took:
Also of note (though [probably?] not zombie related): There are these weird little signs that say “BIKE NO SKATE” all over downtown Onarga. (Which is to say, Onarga.) When I saw them, my first thought was: What a weird way to say “No Bikes or Skateboards.” (The sentence structure is all wrong for that, of course.) But then I considered all the variants that were possible when punctuation was applied, and began to second-guess the meaning of the signs. There was:
- “Bike? No! Skate!” (Skateboarding is appropriate while bicycling is not.)
- “Bike! No skate!” (Bicycling is appropriate while skateboarding is not.)
- “Bike no Skate” (Don’t transport Skate by bicycle.)
Anyhow, it is still a mystery.