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When Hell Cometh… Run For Your Life: An Interview With Author Todd Card

October 23, 2011

Arts & Literature, Interviews

by Alex Mcdermott:

What happens when the walls between the living and the dead break down? What would you do when the worst possible scenario you can imagine is not as bad as the nightmare you are living? Todd Card gives us a glimpse of a world beyond the pale in his latest novel Hell Cometh. Take a seat, turn on all the lights and prepare for the worst.

Alex Mcdermott: Hell Cometh takes a very bleak, dark view of the zombie apocalypse. It’s devoid of any lighthearted edge, a common feature in many zombie stories now. What inspired this dark perspective?

Todd Card: I have lived a very dark and bleak life for stretches of years at a time. My father beat my mother to death while she sat defenseless in a wheelchair. I was a Pallbearer at her funeral. He (in fact) attempted to murder me multiple times without success. When I was a child he tried to make each attempt seem as if it were an accident. For whatever reason, I would survive attempt after every attempt. I left home in my early teens and learned how to take care of myself at times, while being homeless. I have seen the darkness in humanity. When one’s own father attempts to feed them to alligators at the age of 5 and a stranger’s scream is the one thing which saves that child’s life–I’ve seen some darkness. I can write volumes on the mental, physical, and sexual torture I endured before the age of 13. Just about every bone in my body has been broken at least once. I fear sleep, because a memory of him may be waiting for me each night. That is the source of my dark and gruesome perspective, which will appear in every book I ever write. These novels will be my therapy.

AM: There is a divide in horror right now between the “literary horror” and the “gore/splatter horror.” Where do you see your writing in the horror genre?

TC: I see my style of horror as a new breed of literary monster. My dependance will not rely on either of those aspects for results, but rather will combine them both and as much as I can muster per novel. I want to give people real terror. Real surrealistic depths of darkness, which I hope they have never experienced before. I am at the genesis of my literary career and have (what I hope to be) many years of terror to give. I have taken an oath with myself to share the pain and despair of my life with anyone who is willing to read one of my novels. My writing will do one of two things. Repulse and eliminate readers because of my level of intense horror or addict new readers with the flavor and intense detail of my work.

AM: In your opinion, why have zombies become so popular of late?

TC: I have three reasons why I feel people are so fascinated with zombies as we know them. First- I think there is a natural fear people have of mass attack. Of being overcome by a blood thirsty mob of just about anything. If you had a movie or a book where there is only one zombie running around killing and eating people and not producing other flesh eaters, I would venture to say it may be poorly received. Second- I also feel people are afraid of being eaten alive by anything. Being devoured while one is still awake and aware of the feeling of teeth grinding through their meat can be terrifying. The sensation of having one’s organs stretched from their torso before death has decided to claim them, can be a horrifying thought. Third- The Doomsday or Apocalypse scenario being carried out via zombie infection. As we have seen and know a pandemic infection very likely could wipe out the whole of humanity as we know it. A nuclear war would most certainly wipe out virtually everything as would a celestial event given an asteroid or meteor’s size. Mass extinction is something humans fear greatly. Having the human race fall beneath the shambling and rotting march of millions of necrocannibals encompasses these three reasons for the general public’s fascination with the zombie.

AM: What sets your zombies apart from the collective?

via HellCometh.com

TC: In my novel Hell Cometh, my zombies are driven not only by the desperate need to feed on human flesh but they are following a hellish directive to go forth and multiply. Their volume is a requirement to help bring Satan into the world of the living and turn it into Hell’s new Eden.

AM: Your novel is set in Virginia. How did your upbringing in the Appalachian region influence your work?

TC: My upbringing in the Appalachian Mountains was rough and wrought with the presence of poverty, most Americans have no idea exists in this country. After leaving the Appalachian Mountains, I have been subjected to discrimination based strictly on the way I speak. In the past, when people have picked up on my obvious accent and asked “Where are you from?”, once given the answer I have seen the realization of the words “dumb Hillbilly” wash across their eyes. I have even had one woman in my past ask if I was inbred because of my life in those mountains. I was not only insulted by her brash comfort in posing such an obnoxious question, I was also offended that she assumed I would have no idea what the word “inbred” meant. Living away from those mountains but being tied to them by my tongue has made for many a disappointment over the years. I’ve known discrimination based on the region of my upbringing as well as my heritage as an American Indian. I wanted this novel as well as any I write in the future to dispel the stereotypical presumptions most Americans embrace as the truth about the people of these picturesque mountains.

AM: Is the novel a reflection of the author’s view on the apocalypse? How do you see our future?

TC: Of course this novel is a reflection of a version of an apocalyptic event. That it the whole purpose behind the story from the onset. If we are lucky as a species, we will never have to experience what is known as “The End of Days”. There is a simple fact, that everything does have a beginning and an end. But energy never dies, it merely changes form. The concept of an apocalypse is based in human religious religious/superstitious dogma. Everywhere around the world, people speculate about the final event. The end. Most every religion speaks of it. Even science speculates on the statistical odds of a planetary event which will claim every man, woman, and child on the planet as well as all life-in a flash. A random spark of random inescapable doom for billions. Nations have doomsday contingencies planned out in great detail for that final event.

“Bill Gates is investing tens of his millions along with the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway, among others, in what is called the ‘doomsday seed bank.’ Officially the project is named the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard island group.”¹

To purchase Hell Cometh on Amazon.com, click here

To answer your question, “How do you see our future?” Bleak at best. And, I think our final destruction will come at our own hands, via religious extremism. Humans have been fighting each other since the beginning of time. I think organized religion will be the ultimate downfall of humanity. And the sad part of my theory is if it does happen as I see it, our extinction will be in the name of God. I have learned life has a bitting sense of irony. I see the end of humanity as an ironic twist of fate. Go forth and multiply, then when you have enough people and power, insist your version of religion is the only right one and then kill everyone on the planet to prove it! Organized religion has been responsible for countless murders over thousands of years around the world. Unless humanity learns to embrace some kind of enlightenment and appreciate the value of each and every single human life, we are doomed by our own hands in the name of God. But that’s just how I see it. Who the hell really knows what’s gonna go down if an when the time comes?

AM: What does the future hold for you? Conventions? A sequel? Something radically new?

TC: Many more books are in my future. As long as I am breathing and have the ability to write, I will be publishing from here on out. I plan on dying as a writer. I do have a pretty massive scale of conventions planned for next year. Mostly in the Midwest. I really enjoy them, they are a ton of fun and I have developed a strong network of friends who work the convention business very hard. I would like to spend more time with those folks. There will be two more books related to Hell Cometh, but not directly. I wrote Hell Cometh as a stand alone novel, but the story will have two more additions down the road-which I fell people will enjoy. I really don’t see anything radically new in my future unless someone were to take one of my novels and turn it into a movie or something like that. I think that would be fantastic, but otherwise I plan on writing for the rest of my days. A vacation here and there. That’s about it. I have a ton of stories already outlined, so I could easily spend the rest of my life filling in all the details around what I have already written.

______________________________________________

Alex Mcdermott and Todd Card are both featured members of DarkMediaCity, a free social network for those who like it Dark.  Whether it be literature or film, horror or sci-fi, paranormal romance or paranormal investigation, we’ve got something for you.  www.DarkMediaCity.com

Todd can also be found on his website: www.hellcometh.com

To purchase a copy of Hell Cometh on Amazon.com, please click here.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission, excepting links to the interview.)

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