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Review conducted by Stefan Blttz

Having been ambushed in San Francisco, which is now fully engulfed in the zombie plague, Ashley and the wild cards must pursue the enemy to San Diego. There they will discover a splinter of their own organization, the Dolofónoi tou Zontanoús Nekroús, which seeks to weaponize the plague. But that isn’t the worst news. The plague has gone airborne, making it transferable without physical contract. It cannot be controlled by anyone, so reports of the zombie swarm are coming in from across the United States—and across the world.] 

That’s the premise of Titan Books’ Plague World, the final volume of the Ashley Parker trilogy by writer Dana Fredsti.  FOG! chatted with Dana about the book, her influences and more after the jump!

Plague World concludes your Ashley Parker trilogy.  What’s the general pitch for those unfamiliar with the books?

The elevator pitch is Buffy meets the Walking Dead. And while that doesn’t sum up every element in the series, I think it’s accurate enough to give a good idea of what to expect.  Except the heroine is nearly 30, there are no vampires, and Ashley never gets an annoying little sister at the beginning of a new season.

Are you going to miss writing Ashley and how has she changed as a character since you first conceived her?

Plague World wraps up all the dangling plot points that I’d started in Plague Town, but I am hoping to write more books with Ashley as my protagonist.  No more trilogies (the hate mail for cliffhanger endings, aieee!), mind you, but I’ve definitely got ideas (and even outlines) for standalone books that would be self-contained even as they continue to follow the characters introduced in the first three books, with Ash as the narrating voice.  

She’s definitely changed since she was first conceived, especially since her first incarnation (back when Plague Town was Ashley Drake, Zombie Hunter and published by Ravenous Romance)

I’m assuming based on your choice of subject matter that you’re a zombie fan.  Why do you think zombies have become so popular in pop culture over the last decade?

Your presumption is correct. I have been into zombies (platonically, thank you) since I saw the original Dawn of the Dead on my very first movie date.  That movie made me laugh and scared the hell out of me at the time, and made a huge impression, even more so than the original Night of the Living Dead, which I saw on TV a few years prior. My second and third published stories were about zombies (or flesh-eating ghouls if you’re a Romero purist), both written several years before zombies started becoming the popular kids at school. 

I’ve been presented with this question quite a few times, have read other people’s answers, and have come to the conclusion that everyone has a different take on it. personally find the thought of something that looks like my mom/dad/husband/neighbor and wants to rip me to pieces and eat me very creepy.  Like a cannibalistic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  The short answer, of course, is because vampires now sparkle and zombies are horrific and fun!
Is your next book also in the horror genre?  What do you have coming up?

My next book will most likely be either horror or dark fantasy/urban fantasy. I love writing the combination of horror and humor that the Ashley books have in them, and really hope to do another book (or three) in that series.  I really love working with Titan, especially with my editor there, Steve Saffel, because he gets my sense of humor and it’s been a wonderful collaborative experience working on the Ashley books with him. 

In the immediate future, I’ve got a story for the fourth V-Wars anthology due in the next month.  Very excited about that, considering the caliber of authors already involved in previous anthologies.  Plus, I love Jonathan Maberry’s books and stories and getting to work with him is mega cool.  Thus spaketh the fan girl. 

What do you find scary?

Global warming, climate change deniers, the thought of America being controlled by crazy fundie whack jobs like Sarah Palin, driving over the Bay Bridge when a 7.5 earthquake hits, the thought of dying suddenly and having my cats and dog dragged off to the shelter and killed.  Writing about zombies is a welcome relief from the possible horrors of reality. 

What are you currently geeking out over?

Ooh, the Marvel movies are up there on my list.  Loved The Avengers, Winter Soldier, Thor: the Dark World…  those movies are just so much damn fun, with great senses of humor and larger than life characters. And yes, I think Loki is cute, fine.  Really looking forward to seeing Guardians of the Galaxy… and hoping Joss Whedon keeps writing, directing and producing.  And can’t wait for the final Hunger Games movie!

Books, I’m really looking forward to Jonathan Maberry’s sequel to Dead of Night and the next Joe Ledger book… and Joe McKinney’s next zombie book, and whatever Seanan McGuire’s got cooking for her next book.

Music, I’m still geeking out over the score for Tron: Legacy, and The Dead.  Don’t care if they’re several years old. 

TV?  Walking Dead, thank you!  I’m also addicted to Face Off, Master Chef, Heroes of Cosplay (even though I frequently want to bitchslap the featured cosplayers).  When we were at ComicCon, my fiance and I would take turns randomly saying things like “Victoria is still in her room finishing her costume.”

And I’m sure there plenty more I’m geeking out about, but right now most of my attention is on my impending book launch.  So … yeah, I’m geeking out about Plague World!

Plague World is from Titan Books and is available now in stores and from your favorite e-tailer.
Dana’s website can be found HERE.

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