I recently interviewed Evelyn Martin Anderson, an Austin writer, and Peggy Terry, a member of the Folktales Black Women’s Literary Society, about the recently published autobiography of Essence Magazine written by one of it’s cofounders, Edward Lewis, THE MAN FROM ESSENCE:CREATING A MAGAZINE FOR BLACK WOMEN. To listen to the interview click here:
International best selling author Jeff Abbott came on KAZI Book Review for a live interview on July 6 to discuss his new Sam Capra thriller Inside Man. Inside Man is the fourth Sam Capra Thriller from Abbott, a native of the Austin area and graduate of Westlake High School and Rice University.
Annamaria Alfieri’s novel set in British East Africa in 1911, Strange Gods, has been described as Out of Africa meets Agatha Christie. Learn more about this mystery novel by listening to my interview with Alfieri.
Several authors have discussed the founding fathers and the events leading up to our Declaration of Independence on KAZI Book Review. John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison are among those featured in these interviews. Take a walk through the history of our nation’s founding by listening to these interviews:
Danielle Allen, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality
Jeff Broadwater, James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation
John Ferling, Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry that Forged a Nation
William Hogeland, Founding Finance: How Debt, Speculation, Foreclosures, Protests, and Crackdowns Made Us a Nation
Kevin Phillips, 1775: A Good Year for Revolution
Austin based thriller author Meg Gardiner was interviewed live on June 29 on KAZI Book Review by host Hopeton Hay, Sisters In Crime Heart of Texas chapter board member and writer Gale Albright, KAZI Book Review contributor Tim Chamberlain, and KAZI Book Review intern Zoe Young. To listen to the podcast of the interview click here:
By Tim Chamberlain
Zombies, with a side of Civil War
Most zombie apocalypses come with pop culture references aplenty, and Michael J. Frey’s debut, State of Infection, is no different on that front. However, this trip into zombie-land comes with plausible medical explanations and a backstory that goes back to the Civil War, enough to distinguish Frey’s novel from its peers.
If you’re like me, you sometimes have trouble suspending all disbelief for a zombie novel–I always want to know how it was possible. Frey, a New York City physician, uses his medical background as inspiration and gives us a fairly reasonable explanation as to just how something like zombies (“Montoya’s encephalopathy”) might occur.
Our hero is Dr. Mike Calaf, a private practice doctor on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, that is one of relatively few survivors of the zombie outbreak in the city. The beginning of our story is a slow burn that is mostly spent in Mike’s apartment–interesting in that you tend to analyze whether you’d be doing the same as Mike in his place. However, once Mike is out of the building, the story gets to a more satisfying pace worthy of a zombie tale.
Frey’s novel veers into alternate history territory with his story of the Civil War-era origins of the present zombie situation. The backstory of Confederate intrigue that eventually causes the outbreak and the Second Civil War is not just tacked on, either–it figures fairly prominently in how everything ends up going to hell.
The fictional history is an interesting complement to the adventures of Dr. Calaf and his (of course) beautiful chance companion, the improbably-named Avalon Calendar. Avalon was a troubled youth turned successful local news reporter that was dating Calaf’s best friend before the zombies. She is, as described by Frey, nearly without flaw. Unsurprisingly, you get the feeling that Frey has merely inserted himself into the zombie apocalypse (or “ZA” as he terms it), but I’d imagine it’s hard not to put yourself at the center of your zombie fantasy. He does keep it entertaining, though.
State of Infection is a fairly quick read and is surprisingly light given the subject matter. It should be fairly satisfying for those looking for a quick zombie read this summer.
Austin, Texas author Elizabeth Crook discussed her novel Monday, Monday, live on KAZI Book Review on Sunday, June 8. In the interview Crook discussed why she used the tragic shootings that killed 17 people at The University of Texas at Austin in 1966 as the basis of her novel.
Elizabeth has written for periodicals such as Texas Monthly and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and has served on the council of the Texas Institute of Letters. She is a member of Western Writers of America and The Texas Philosophical Society, and was selected the honored writer for 2006 Texas Writers’ Month. Her first novel, The Raven’s Bride, was the 2006 Texas Reads: One Book One Texas selection. The Night Journal was awarded the 2007 Spur award for Best Long Novel of the West and the 2007 Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction. To listen to the interview click here: