An Interview with Cedric Nye, Author of the Zombie Fighter Jango Series

Cedric Nye, a.k.a Jango Black, is a man of many talents. An author, a weapons expert, a survivalist, a self defense instructor, a motivational speaker, a philanthropist and maker of many very very cool things. His zombie apocalyptic book series is something quite different from the typical undead story. All three of his books are available on Amazon. The first one being “The Road to Hell is Paved with Zombies”. This story chronicles a lone man, Jango, as he makes his way through the beginning days of the zombie apocalypse. Jango, however, is probably unlike any man you’ve ever known.

His story continues in “Jango’s Anthem: Zombie Fighter Jango Book 2” and the newest release “Rage and Ruin: Zombie Fighter Jango Book 3” with all the action, gore, wit, and zombie fun you hope for and much more. Cedric Nye is definitely a unique author and one you should check out. Not only an author though, Nye is also a craftsman who handmakes a variety of rope based self defense and survival items.

Read on to get a glimpse into the mind of the Zombiefighter himself.

ZGM: What inspired/inspires you to write?

CN: “That is hard to explain. I kind of feel like every cubic inch of everything that exists has a story just beneath the thin veneer of our accepted reality. I like to pick at the edges, and tell the story that my perceptions tell me needs to be told. Plus, fuckin’ Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs.”

ZGM: Well, as that response just goes to show, you certainly have a style all your own. Tell me about Jango.

CN: “Jango is the best of us, and the very worst of us. He is what a human being becomes when the weight of trauma crushes a child so much that they are burst apart at the mental seams, and then re-born from the crucible of pain. Jango is a complete lack of indecision. When he decides upon a course, he lays waste to whatever gets in his way. He will kill a woman as quickly as he will kill a man if he feels threatened, or if he thinks a killing is needed. Jango is the pain-taker, and without him, the other personalities that dwell in his pain-haunted mind would not survive. The other personalities have never felt pain, that has always been Jango’s job. They can never take hold of the flesh because of the pain. The pain would kill the others.”

ZGM: Which is an interesting twist on hollywood’s usual scenario. Where the personalities are created to be the pain takers.

CN: “Jango would be a sociopath if it were not for the crude code of conduct he has created for himself. Jango never shied from pain, he embraced it. That was why the others came, to save him from the Abyss. Can you imagine the evil that someone like Jango could wreak? If he went full-on Dark Side, he would be hell on earth.”

ZGM: So they are his conscious?

CN: “The other personalities contain the key elements of a human being. Diogenes is sentimental, Alby is nurturing, the beast is the child, innocence.”

ZGM: All the things Jango doesn’t think he has?

CN: “They are completely separate entities, personalities. They have a responsibility, each of them does. To keep the light alive in Jango. His job is to carry the weight of the world, to take the pain, and to kill. They really are separate personalities. They talk with each other, have secrets, notice different things.”

ZGM: Is that to suggest they know things Jango doesn’t? Possibly about his past?

CN: “They knew about Sonja. They know things. And stuff.”

ZGM: So that can be expected to get even more interesting as the story moves along?
CN: “Oh, yeah. Book 4 starts right off with some Revelations.”

ZGM: Yea, this one ended with quite a cliffhanger.

CN: “I apologize to my readers for that, but it just happened. I was as unhappy about it as you.”

ZGM: Yea, well, at least you got to see what happened. Anyways, let’s go back a bit, to your first book. I think it would be safe to say it made quite the splash in the otherwise semi family friendly world of zombie literature. At the time.

CN: “I freaked some people out, for sure. People were genuinely offended by Jango and some of his actions because their perceptions of the world do not encompass what survival really is. Survival boils down to one thing: Not Dying.”

ZGM: A lot of the novels around were very much what we were used to, a group of survivors making their way along, fighting off zombies. Then here you come with this Conan like madman just killing shit and blowing stuff up like whatever. Not to mention the non violent, R rated section of your first book. It must have gotten you some interesting feedback.

CN: “Yeah. That turned some of the TWD purists off. The fact that my Zombies are fast as hell, and Jango himself. I got some interesting emails.”

ZGM: They would be fast though. At least at first.

CN: “One guy was so upset about what Jango does in the beginning, at the Hotel. He thought what happened to the old lady was so wrong. He told me, “That’s not right! You need to change that part!”

ZGM: You definitely do try to make anyone like Jango. Quite the opposite actually.

CN: “Jango survives. That is the very essence of him. And, the harder things get, the harder he gets.”

ZGM: But we have certainly seen him reach out for more than that on several occasions. Sonja, Vanessa.

CN: “And there it is. When he (Diogenes) attaches to someone, that person becomes an extension of his own flesh. His survival then becomes linked with theirs. Jango will die to save someone he feels attached to. He has absolutely no boundaries but those he makes for himself.”

ZGM: It would appear he instinctively assumes everyone else is the same way.

CN: “Jango assumes that everyone is out to get him. Before the Z-Virus started making corpses rise, he kept iron bands of control on himself because he feared the consequences. He feared the pills and the restraints that places use on people like him. It isn’t paranoia so much as survival instinct run amok. He is stuck in the red zone of PTSD, permanent fight or flight.”

ZGM: We have gotten so little of what Jango did before the Z Poc. We know a bit about his childhood and that he’s been alone for a long time and been through a lot of hard shit way before the dead began to rise. But we haven’t actually gotten to know about him.

CN: “He IS who he is, at a cellular level. The trauma that he endured changed him, changed his DNA. Look up the studies on epigenomes and cellular response. Jango is a real-life Hulk, and there are others like him out here in our world. Forever straining against the chains of their own will.”

ZGM: So he prefers to have no past? He is his survival? Nothing more, nothing less?

CN: “He just doesn’t care. There could be naked titties in his face, and he would get distracted by a pretty bird, or an imagined threat. He erases the spot he just vacated almost as quickly as he vacates it. He is the most selfish person you could imagine. But he is also the most giving and altruistic. When he does something for someone, it is done completely without guile or pretense.”

ZGM: You said once that he was mostly from yourself.

CN: “Yeah. If you strip away the restraint, and this veneer of civilisation that I wear like a whore wears makeup, you get a little taste of Jango. When I was a kid in the State system, I was sent to a lot of places. They put me in place after place, each one worse than the last. Me, a broken child. Broken so badly by what happened when I was 4 that I took years to be reborn from that crucible of pain.”

ZGM: I’ve heard some stories before. In my brief glimpse of the system. I know things can get pretty bad in those places.

CN: “Yeah, it can get ugly. I was in the State Hospital at one point after I trashed the security at a place called The Alamo. The Alamo was a fucking horror. But it was better than the State Hospital.”

ZGM: Why did you do that?

CN: “There was a chi-mo working the kiddie ward at the Arizona State Hospital (ASH), and he tried to feel me up. I remembered then, briefly, what had happened to me as a little kid, and I snapped. Trashed the security? Because they tried to pull me off of a guy that had tried to take my shit.”

ZGM: Did you at least break his face a little bit?

CN: “I beat his head lumpy. He was bigger than me, and had threatened me a lot. I was so little back then. Everyone in those damned places was bigger than me. So, when security came, I slammed them, crushed them down like bugs. Then I went to ASH. ASH is where the chi-mo was. He tried to feel me up, so I put him down.”

ZGM: Right. Seems fair.

CN: “It took six men to hold me down, but they held me down and the nurse gave me a shot. I woke up in 5 point restraints.”

ZGM: It is always helpful when wastes of life like that reveal themselves to someone who will do something about it.

CN: “Those restraints… they used them punitively. I was calm as long as no one put hands on me, but they left me in those restraints for 13 days.”

ZGM: Like, straight? 13 days straight?

CN: “That guy didn’t lose his job, nothing happened to him. Yeah, 13 days in a row. They hosed me off, slammed a tube down my throat to feed me, and that chi-mo even got to feel me up a couple of times. When I raged at the restraints because of him, the nurse came with a shot.”

ZGM: I sincerely applaud your current self restraint. I can’t imagine living through some shit like that and still giving any fucks at all after.

CN: “It is what it is. That’s my point. I appear selfish, I appear superficial, but if I dig, I start to get ugly. Jango doesn’t look behind because that way lies madness.”

ZGM: Ok, why don’t we lighten things up a bit? Jango likes weapons. You demonstrate your immense knowledge of a good number of different weapons in your books.

CN: “Oh yeah.”

ZGM: You seem to know a lot about a lot but clearly you favor a certain, surprisingly simple weapon. Your stick. How did you come to adopt the stick as your weapon of choice?

CN: “Well, most violence takes place at a very personal level. Very close. I like the stick because I feel like it is, wait, no, I KNOW that it is the FIRST weapon primitive man ever picked up and used. The stick came before the fist, even. the fist is science, a stick is raw and primal. When you blend the science of combat with the raw primitive nature of the stick, you get one hell of an effective fighting system that anyone can use. A stick just feels right. I like knives a lot, and fire is an excellent equalizer, but the stick, that is sacred.”

ZGM: We know you love fire. Particularly explosions.

CN: “Explosions really allow fire to get more accomplished.”

ZGM: That is a very accurate statement.

CN: “Haha! Fire kills everything.”

ZGM: Do you have any experience with real explosives? I remember when I was in high school, my boyfriend and his friends would buy propane tanks, go out to the cornfields and blow them up.

CN: “Not really, but I would be good at it. You can put a little draino in a bottle, and add aluminum foil to the Draino. Then, you put a balloon over the top and the balloon will fill with hydrogen. They burn explosively. Fire and vehicles are really underrated as far as weapons go.”

ZGM: I agree

CN: “It is important to study on violence, in all its many varieties. There is no chance to study when it is go time.”

ZGM: I don’t know much about explosives myself. I know how to set things on fire, but blowing them up takes a bit more skill. You gotta be ready for anything.

CN: “To make an explosion, all you have to do is contain a combustible material, and ignite it. If it burns faster than the pressure can vent from the container, it will explode.”

ZGM: Giving out free science lessons. So anyways, zombies.

CN: “Zombies”

ZGM: Why zombies?

CN: “Because they are the TRUTH about humanity as a species. When you strip away all of our contrivances, all of our sophistries and rationale, we are nothing more than a plague on this planet. We are mindless consumption, and self-destroying organism bent on our own extermination.”

ZGM: We are pretty pointless, aren’t we?

CN: “I am not sure. My scale of measurement is so small in the grand scheme of things that I am unable to see the “big picture” clearly.

ZGM: I don’t think there is one. I think shit just happens, and then more shit happens.

CN: “Well, I am also unable to believe that. Nature, while not scripted, does not seem to lack purpose. There is a general direction to things, quantifiable and recognizable. The earth is the perfect distance from the sun, and our atmosphere is just right so that we can LIVE. The Machine works way too well to be an accident. For me, Zombies are a vehicle to shed light on the horrors that humans inflict on each other.”

ZGM: Statistically speaking, in an infinite universe, it was bound to happen.

CN: “What are the defining characteristics of the traditional Zombie?”

ZGM: Violence, cannibalism, mostly mindlessness

CN: “Mindless what? Consumption. Mindless consumption and unending hunger for the flesh of humans.”

ZGM: Yeah, that too.

CN: “You become a Zombie by being bitten by a Zombie, or by dying. These are all blatant metaphors for abuse and neglect, and the effects those things have on the psyche. If a child is abused, they are irrevocably changed by that. Some of them become Zombies, and they feed on their fellow man. Junkies are drug-zombies, baby-rapers are raper Zombies, and so on. Consuming the flesh of their fellow humans’ souls, and making more Zombies. They feed on your goods, your money, your self-esteem.”

ZGM: That’s why Jango has no trouble killing people and zombies alike? He has always thought of most people as zombies?

CN: “Yeah. He knows what darkness lurks in his fellow man. He assumes everyone is a twist until proven otherwise.”

ZGM: Guilty until proven innocent?

CN: “No, just a threat until proven otherwise. Jango doesn’t judge. He just does. Well, I guess he judges a little bit, but not as guilty or not guilty. Threat or non-threat, twist or not.”

ZGM: Seems a bit more fair.

CN: “It’s predators that are Jango’s meat.”

ZGM: So in your newest book you’ve started to kind of evolve your zombies into different types.

CN: “Two different types, yeah. Ones that behave more like traditional Zombies, in the sense that they slowly decompose, and move no faster than a normal human. They are the Goobers. The Jacks do not rot. The Z-Virus has forced a change in the human DNA, and they are something new. No longer dead humans. The Jacks are fast, blur-fast. And stronger than any human. Now, when a human first turns into a Zombie, that zombie is very fast, but uncoordinated. After a year or so is when you can start telling the difference between a Jack and  a Goober. See, the meat either rots, or mutates.”

ZGM: Kind of like Resident Evil. So does that make Jango a super highly functioning Jack?

CN: “Uhhh. Well, no. See, the Jacks are humans whose immune systems LOST the battle against the Z-Virus. Jango’s immune system WON.”

ZGM: So, he’s a third kind? Like Alice.

CN: “Yeah, I guess so.”

ZGM: You seem less than satisfied with that comparison.

CN: “Shit! No, I am not unenthusiastic about the comparison, I am just shocked that the comparison had never once occurred to me!”

ZGM: It only just occurred to me.

CN: “I have read all of the RE books, and seen the movies, yet I never once noted that correlation. That is how closed off the Jango-portion of my brain is!”

ZGM: Jango’s world is a whole other place in your mind?

CN: “Yeah, chained up in the back where the Beast sleeps. If I don’t keep that part compartmentalized, I get a little too Jango!”

ZGM: That’s what we do. Write about it, instead of just going nuts.

CN: “Yeah, pretty much!”

ZGM: What’s your favorite zombie movie?

CN: “My favorite Zombie movie is probably Dawn of the Dead (Not the most recent one). My favorite Zombie book is a tough one.”

ZGM: What about your favorite zombie book? Or even just favorite book, in general?

CN: “This Immortal by Roger Zelazny. It is the mofo.”

ZGM: What new book are you working on?

CN: “It’s a new series. A post-apocalyptic western. Hard-core as hell. Should be cool.”

ZGM: That sounds really cool. Like, the zombies hit in the old west or people revert to old west lifestyle after the zombies hit in modern times?

CN: “More the latter.”

ZGM: How did you get started making self defense items?

CN: “I started with just the Tommy Knocker because there are a shortage of self-defense items that actually work, and that anyone can use with minimal training or ability.”
ZGM: Yes. I think a lot of people think their pocket knives are going to do them a lot more good than they actually will in a self defense situation.

CN: “Most people can’t bring themselves to actually slash another human being, even when that human is attacking them. An impact device, on the other hand, well, people are more than willing to smash a mofo’s head in. It comes much easier. More natural, I suppose.”
ZGM: So tell me a little more about the different kinds of things you make.

CN: “Walking sticks, fighting sticks, Monkey Maces, Nunchaku. Basically, most impact weapons.”
ZGM: And then you have the corresponding videos showing how to use some of these things?

CN: “Oh yeah! I believe in empowering people with their own self-defense and security. The police will not protect you, they usually arrive AFTER you’ve been killed.”

ZGM: So, what thoughts would you like to leave us all with?

CN: “Be good to yourself, hold your head up high, and be fierce in the defense of your spiritual turf. Never let anyone else create the definition of who you are. Do right, and be right. Now, if you are a piece of shit abuser, rapist, or other kind of twist, please feel free to fuck yourself with a handful of broken glass, eat shit, and then die.”

And there it is, words of wisdom, from the Zombiefighter himself. For more of Cedric Nye’s general awesomeness check out all the self defense items for sale through his Camp Verde Rope and Gear Facebook page, look for his videos on YouTube, and definitely read the Zombie Fighter Jango book series; The Road to Hell is Paved with Zombies, Jango’s Anthem, and Rage and Ruin.

 

 

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