To continue our interview series with awesome zombie content creators, today I have the honor of presenting you author Daniel Greene. He’s an avid fitness enthusiast, so much even that he visited the holy shrine of body building, the home of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Austria. Besides all of his books, Daniel has more ideas in his head than there is time to write. So let’s not waste another moment of his time, ladies and gentlemen: An Interview with Daniel Greene!
To start with a quote from your author bio ” He fulfilled a quest of iron by worshipping at the shrine of modern bodybuilding, the childhood home of Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Graz, Austria, an experience he will never forget. “
What happened there? Did you actually go to the gym he trained in and did some reps? What’s the story behind that?
The answer is an emphatic, yes. I was fortunate enough to spend my 30th birthday in Germany and Austria for Oktoberfest and as a part of this vacation we made a pit stop in Graz. Thal is technically where Arnold grew up, but his gym was quite a few miles away in Graz. We went to his childhood home first, which has been turned into a museum. Had a beer on his back porch, then drove, not rode a bike like Arnold did as a child to his gym. Another bodybuilder, named Kurt Marnul, owns the gym. He is a big supporter/mentor of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unfortunately he wasn’t in when we stopped by, but my now wife and I hit the gym for a few reps. Not a full workout, but just a few reps to say we worked out where Arnold did. The whole experience was unforgettable and we loved having such a unique experience.
That’s really awesome. Since it’s a museum now, do they still have the same equipment there? Or is it very much a modern gym with a few memorial items?
The gym is still an active fitness facility, but Arnold’s childhood home has been turned into a museum. They have his Conan the Barbarian sword, Austrian tank uniform, and a giant sculpture of him doing a twisted bicep/back pose. I’m sorry to say I don’t know the proper pose name.
Speaking of health and fitness, which is as you mention important in the zombie apocalypse. How much is your routine adapted to an apocalyptic scenario?
I’m kind of a fitness nerd. I usually hit the gym five days a week. It’s a habit I built early in life primarily for sports, but it’s something that I’ve loved for a long time and look forward to everyday. I used to run and lift a lot, but I sustained a few injuries over the years and had to tone it down on the running front. I am big on cross-training.
Daily, I usually do some sort of interval running/cardio, rowing, or elliptical. Then I hit a bunch of multi-function high rep lifts with a good amount of weight. As far as training for the apocalypse goes, you are going to need some excellent interval-style fitness. Assumedly, you will be fighting for survival whether that’s fighting zombies or other people, fighting gets your heart rate sky high. You are going to have to be relatively comfortable with this kind of stress on your body to increase your survival. This means getting yourself way out of that comfort zone, working your muscles and lungs past fatigue because in many cases you will be conducting a running fight, meaning you will be under immense stress, then on the move, under immense stress, and on the move again in a state of heightened awareness which brings on it’s own stress factors. I will also say having good strength is important. You want to have any physical advantage you can get over any potential opponents. I feel that if you train out of your comfort zone, these situations may be less stressful and hopefully survivable. No amount of physical training can guarantee survival, but it can help.
Absolutely, doing interval training is key for combat related scenarios. It’s what they had us do in the army, several miles of interval rucking, an obstacle course followed by some range time or medical evacuation. In a zombie apocalypse you’d have to stay silent most of the time, round a corner and BAM zero to one-hundred in a split second. Fight for your life and right back to being completely silent, controlling your breathing and possibly running away. Just lifting some weights and snapping Instagram pics isn’t going to cut it. So now we’re both training before the apocalypse, do you think physical training will still be needed during the apocalypse? Or do you believe the setting on its own would be enough to stay in shape?
I would say definitively yes, but it depends on if the situation stabilizes or not. Our soldiers in the US military do a certain amount of maintenance training in the field. But if you don’t have a secure place where you can turn it down a notch and train that’s just not feasible. If you are in a survival situation, then training doesn’t make sense. What I would expect to see during the apocalypse is military/law enforcement trained individuals attempting to do on the spot firearms/tactics training of people within their group to try to enhance the chances the group survives encounters with infected or hostile parties. I know we switched gears a bit there, but that I think it should be mentioned.
Ow I totally agree on that, it would mostly be improvised on the spot training. So to get back on topic, you say you were influenced heavily by 80s action movies and people like George Romero, what do you think was the final trigger that made you become an author?
I do feel there was a Golden Age for action films and it was the 80s. I grew up watching movies like Alien, Predator, Terminator, and Dawn of the Living Dead (I know that’s late 70s and yes, it’s my favorite). I guess those things just stick with you. My palate broadened over time for both movies and books, and I fell in love with work by Pressfield, Martin, and Cornwell. I’ve been an avid reader since I was young and eventually I decided that I wanted to give it a go. I started writing on my iPad without an external keyboard…You can imagine how long it took to write End Time.
Ha, that’s a fitting title than huh?
Yeah, a long time, but I graduated to a keyboard, and then finally a computer. Now, I look at my production schedule and the series I’m gearing up to release and I shake my head. I just don’t think I will have time to get to them all done in my life!
Time is a finite thing.. As someone who likes to travel, what would you say is the ideal place to be during the zombie apocalypse?
That’s a tough one. A well-supplied island, with proper water filtration preferably surrounded with fresh water, just makes it a bit easier. I wouldn’t want to be alone. I’d love to have close friends/family there, people you can trust to watch your back. I also think it would be cool to be in a castle, but we don’t have many of those in America. Maybe I’ll build one…haha.
Good one! I’d also go for an island or a boat with sails on it. This is very dependent on the environment. Taking friends and family with you is a must though. You’ll want a night watch schedule so you don’t get surprised by other people who want an island.
I also want to say, that one of the worst places I can think of to be is an airplane. In the first book of my zombie apocalypse series, The End Time Saga, there is an extended multi-chapter scene with an outbreak on a plane. Number two would be an elevator…
Insert level from Left4Dead2… I can totally see the elevator doors open and they’re just staring at you. Imagine being in a county jail cell while the staff turns into zombies. Or on a cruise.. Basically any place you’re trapped with them would suck. Shit.. The mirror house in a theme park! What place would you actually WANT to run into zombies? Like a firing range or..
Cruises already have potential for a viral outbreak! Mirror house. I just watched Stranger Things 3 the other day, (SPOILERS) we’ll just put it this way, I was yelling at the T.V. for Hopper to put a bullet in the dude’s head. I was like come on, you know better. Sure enough the guy had body armor, although he hid it well for the 80s.
As to your question, I’d want to fight zombies in a location where they were pinned in and I could shoot them from very far away. But secretly, I would love to be on horseback with medieval armor on bashing my way through a horde with a battle-axe. Even better, a contingent of other armored knights with me. You know, your boys and such, riding to battle with some heavy metal playing in the background..
I’ll just leave this here… credit
You mention history as a particular interest, is there any era that you’re particularly interested in?
History was one of my majors at university so I’ve always had a deep passion for it. I’m also a big fan of epic fantasy novels like Game of Thrones and Wheel of Time which both weigh heavily in history. I love Cornwell’s Saxon Tales so I lean toward the Viking Age and Medieval era, but I am also very interested in early American history from European discovery through the American Civil War.
And on that note, I have to mention that this fall I will be coming out with a brand new historical fiction series that follows a band of misfit Union cavalrymen as they lock horns with the master horseman J.E.B. Stuart and his Invincibles at Gettysburg. It’s called Northern Wolf. I’m really excited about this series, as it follows this band of rookie Union soldiers, as they become veteran warriors over the course of the war. Tons of adventures and battles, I even bring viewpoint chapters in from the legendary commanders of the war like Custer, Hampton, and Kilpatrick. So the writing really morphs over the series, the first novel is a coming of age tale, the second novel an internal struggle over what kind of soldier the main character wants to be, a noble warrior or an unruly savage. Northern Wolf will be out in September and the sequel Northern Hunt will release in November of 2019.
And to finish on a zombie note, the fifth book in The End Time Saga titled The Holding will be out in December of this year. I have a big fall season coming up!
Thanks for having me!
Thanks for coming on! As a history enthusiast, I will definitely keep an eye out for the release of Northern Wolf. If people are interested in your work, what’s are the best places to go?
Amazon Link to End Time: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CSOU6S6/
Also, here’s a sweet author promo I found on your site.. Not hiding that one!