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An interview with A.M. Geever

Ladies, Gentlemen and ghouls, I present you: A.M. Geever! Well, an interview at least. At Zombie Guide Magazine, we’re all about the people who create content. To support people like you who want to pursue their own path, we’re here, dead AF, not going anywhere. So today we’re starting a new tradition of interviewing awesome people from the zombie community. As I’ve already given it away, here’s A.M. Geever!

Hi Anne and welcome to ZGM, let’s start with a quote from your website:

If you want to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, sign up for A. M. Geever’s Love in a Dead Age Survival Tips Newsletter.

When people sign up for your newsletter, what kind of tips would they get? Maybe a free one for the readers?

I try to offer practical suggestions that will help your average person who is maybe dialed in a little bit about zombie apocalypse prep but is not a full-on prepper. So… everyday weapons. Maybe you don’t own a gun, but how about a crowbar, tire iron, or pickaxe? All of those things will kill a zombie if you use them correctly. Do you have a rendezvous location, and is it fortified, near a natural water source, and stocked up with lots of food, water, and fuel? Or, do you even have a zombie apocalypse survival team? Have you thought about it? Have you talked to the people who you think would be good team members? After my newsletter readers get the basics down, then we’ll move on to more complicated survival tips, like where to buy property, how to fortify your bug out location, and medical care for the lay person.

That sounds really good, I just signed up, very much looking forward to your tips!

Great! I hope that you find it helpful.

I enjoy stories of survival in extraordinary circumstances and how people react to finding themselves in seemingly impossible situations. What brings out the best and the worst of human nature? Do people always break good or bad, or is it a bit of both?

This is an interesting take on the genre and actually part of the reason Zombie Guide exists. Is there a particular reason for your interest in these scenarios?

I think that how people act in a given situation almost always breaks down like this: 10% of people always do the right thing, 10% of people always do the wrong thing, and the 80% that is left can go either way depending on the circumstances and other influencing factors (including peer pressure – and that’s adults I’m talking about, not teenagers). We all want to think we’ll do the right thing all the time. Or at least I do, but I have no idea how far I will go to survive in an extraordinary survival situation, just like most people. Maybe a Navy Seal knows how they will act, but they’re also like, what, less than one percent of the population? I think that the veneer of civilization is very thin and that when push comes to shove the social norms that influence behavior – for good or bad – can fall to the wayside. The one thing I have faith in the human race to do is to always make things worse.

That’s very true, it’s a good reference to the Maslow Pyramid of needs. The idea is that when the basic needs at the bottom aren’t met, people won’t care about anything else. I fully believe in this, for example, if you’d take a billionaire out into the desert. Not give him or her any water and after long enough, they’ll trade it all for a bottle of water. Have you ever been in a situation like that? Even if it’s not that extreme?

Luckily, no, but I agree! People will go to extremes to live.

Since you’re a fan of George Romero films, what was it at the time that had you so attracted to his work?

Two of my older brothers, Mick and Joe, were hugely into zombie movies. I don’t recall my oldest brother Patrick being into zombies per se, but all three of them and a couple of my sisters really loved the old horror movies, especially from the 1950s: THEM, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Invaders from Mars, The Thing, Creature from the Black Lagoon. Also the 1970s Hammer Studios Dracula movies with Christopher Lee, I remember watching them a lot. And my younger brother Justin also loves all this stuff, since he was indoctrinated just like me! So there was this really well-established cult of Sci-Fi/Horror/Scary Movies in our house growing up.

As I got older I realized that Romero had all this social commentary in his films. He used a mall and the zombies gathering there to critique the mindlessness of American consumer culture. And in the very beginning of Dawn of the Dead he’s explicitly dealing with racism and police brutality. Night of the Living Dead (my favorite) has an African-American hero in a film made in the late 1960s, just a few years after the Civil Rights Act when millions of African-Americans were finally able to throw off the shackles of Jim Crow and vote. That was pretty audacious casting. And what happens to him? He is killed, by people who are supposed to be coming to his rescue! I mean, just check the news… the parallels to the present are inescapable. I grew up in a very politically engaged family so this stuff really resonated with me. And the chance to do it myself, like Romero did? I cannot pass that up.

And then there’s just being from Pittsburgh. If you’re interested in the zombie genre there’s no escaping George Romero’s influence. Even people who don’t like zombie movies know about him. And no, I have not been to the Century Three Mall. I think you have to cross a bridge to get there from where I grew up and despite being the City of Bridges, Pittsburghers don’t like to cross them unless we have to.

Ha, that’s funny, why is it that people from Pittsburgh don’t like crossing bridges? Google didn’t really show any collapses in your area. Also now that you mention zombies in a mall, as a reference to consumerism.. We once held a black Friday contest, people had to shoot the best picture of people behaving like zombies. We offended more people than we entertained that day.

The bridges are kind of a joke and kind of not. It’s more how people kind of stick to their own part of town, you know? And here there are three rivers that are involved. There’s the Allegheny on the north side of the City of Pittsburgh proper, and the Monongahela on the south. They meet at “the point” in downtown and form the Ohio River. So if you’re in the South Hills neighborhoods/suburbs you’ll go into town and neighborhoods in the city proper, but rarely over the Allegheny to the north unless you have a reason. And vice versa with living north and crossing the Mon. I was in my early thirties before I started to get to know any of the South Hills and that was because a friend was living there. In my defense, I had spent almost ten years in the San Francisco Bay Area, from 23 to 32, but even if I had been in Pittsburgh, if there hadn’t been a reason I would never have gone there and there are still neighborhoods that I know the name but have no idea where they are because they’re way out south or west of the other side of the Mon river. I joke about how if you’re from the North Hills and you cross the Mon and go through the Liberty Tubes (Tunnel), it’s like an old map where you fall of the edge into the territory marked “Here be Dragons.” Same thing for the people in the South Hills but in reverse.

Yes I can see how bridges could also work as a dividing wall. Those little regional rivalries are everywhere. Now, your bio mentions your family isn’t into zombies. Having some bait walking around so you can get in the car might be useful.. But having living family members might also be nice.. Are you somehow prepping your family as best you can?

I think my bio might be a little misleading, and I’ll have to take another look at what I said in it because as you can see, that is obviously not the case! My parents? No interest – at all. Neither of them read my book even though they were both very proud of me when I hit that milestone of finishing. For my siblings who aren’t so interested, mostly my sisters, I still talk to them about zombies. And the various conventions depending on which author/tv/movie Universe one is in… I was just doing that with my sister Teri tonight. She thought I was ridiculous, and she may be right. But I do talk to them about zombie, and there’s the Pittsburgh Romero influence, so I think they all have a good foundation even if they would say that they don’t. And they’re all smart and quick studies. I’m super lucky to have a very tight relationship with all of my sisters and brothers, there are nine of us in all. I know every single one of us would do whatever it takes to keep the others alive. And when you get right down to it, that’s probably the most important quality of anyone on your zombie apocalypse survival team.

So are your brothers involved in your prep plans? Or do they more or less have their own thing going on. I can imagine living in The United States there might be distance between you.

We have no plan, really, which is abysmal. We usually come up with something after watching a zombie movie and doing an at least hour long post-mortem, and what we’d do if it were to happen, but that’s as far as we ever get. We keep threatening to really come up with a plan but still haven’t.

One of my best friends from childhood lives an eight of a mile from me, same neighborhood, and he’s like MacGuyver, from the TV show? Our neighborhood is called Glenshaw and I call him Glenshaw MacGuyver. He can do any and everything: carpentry, electrical, plumbing, fixes cars, has his own little cement mixer. He’s a super smart guy. I don’t know if he’s familiar with guns but if anyone can learn on the fly, it’ll be him. I figure if I can make it down the hill to his house, I’ll be okay. Otherwise, I’ll be shuffling along with the rest of the zombies.

Agreed, a lot of people will have a very useless skill-set during the apocalypse, while other will thrive. This interview has been a lot of fun for me, thank you for that!

If, well not if, for people looking for your work. All needed links are right below. If you know anyone who’s a content creator in the Zombiesphere, who should be interviewed by us, please let us know.

*BUY THE BOOK (Universal Link to most retailers): http://books2read/u/3Ra97v

*Follow me on Amazon: http://bit.ly/amgamazon

*Website (get free teaser stories): www.amgeever.com

*Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/amgeeverfb

*A.M. Geever’s Zombie Apocalypse Bunker: http://bit.ly/zabunker

*Newsletter (first dibs on the latest news plus how to survive the zombie apocalypse – win-win!): http://bit.ly/nnewsltr

*BookBub, where you’ll get notices of sales and deals: http://bit.ly/amgeeverbookbub

*Goodreads Author Page (add me to your “Want To Read” list): http://bit.ly/geevergoodreads

*Twitter: @amgeever

*Instagram: @amgeever

*Pinterest: http://bit.ly/amgeeverpin

Franklyundead

Written by Franklyundead

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