Welcome to Three Questions with Van Heerling. This is where you get to meet authors, actors, painters and anyone else that is bent toward the arts, but on a more personal level.
My guest today is DA Roberts author of Ragnarok Rising.
VH: If a zombie virus took over the world, how many days do you think you could last before you were infected? And what would you do to postpone the inevitable?
DA: I would either be bitten early on trying to help other people or I'd end up leading a group of survivors. I work in Law Enforcement, so we'd be on the sharp end of the stick when the zombies came calling. I'd like to think that I'd react a lot like the main character in my book. Having said that, I'd probably try to lead as many survivors as I could to a place where we could set up a defensible and sustainable camp.
VH: If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
DA: Well, that one's easy. I'd go back and try to convince my mother to go to a different doctor. My mother died when I was young and for reasons I can't fully explain, I blamed myself for years afterwards. I think part of me always will. My mother encouraged my writing when no one else did and believed in me, even when I didn't. Yeah, I think I'd do that. I don't know if it would change things, or not, but I'd have to try.
VH: After a difficult day what do you do to recuperate? Does it work?
DA: I like to go out on my back deck with my wife. We just sit and watch the sun go down. Sometimes, I have a beer. We talk about my day, her day, the kids or whatever is on our minds. Sometimes we don't even talk at all. We just sit and hold hands. Yeah, it works for me. I know it sounds cheesy, but it really works. Never underestimate the power of silence. Sometimes, silence says more than words ever can.
VH: It doesn't sound cheesy to me. The little things are the big things right? Thank you Doug
Initial reports of rioting and chaos begin to appear in the news, slowly spreading east from California. As the unusual "riots" come closer and closer however, the first hints of their true nature begin to emerge. Internet videos show rioters eating those they overtake.
When the disturbances finally reach Springfield Missouri, all law enforcement officers are called to field duty. Officer Wylie Grant finds himself manning a remote checkpoint. There the true nature of the "rioters" becomes terrifyingly clear, and only Wylie and Corporal Chrissy Wilder survive the revelation. Their new goal becomes to survive the trip back to the Nathaniel County Sheriff’s Office, where the few remaining officers are attempting to regroup.
Thinking ahead, Wylie and Corporal Wilder attempt to rescue as many survivors as they can and gather as many resources as possible along the way. Upon their arrival, Wiley finds himself the leader of the rescue efforts, as many officers are stranded throughout the city.
During his repeated forays into the zombie infested streets, he discovers that the zombies are not the only enemy humanity is facing. In some cases, they are the lesser evil. As he struggles to cope with the loss of friends and innocents, he discovers that the Evacuation Centers that had been their last hope are part of a government "containment protocol". No one is being evacuated.
Wylie and his team are faced with the realization that no one is coming for them, and the government that they had thought to be their ally has become yet another enemy in an increasingly hostile world.
I was born in rural Missouri and lived on a farm until I was in school. We moved to New Mexico and stayed there until after my mother passed away. She loved New Mexico and my father loved her, so we moved there.
After mom was gone, dad didn't have the heart to stay. We returned to our Missouri home the following year. My mother was my muse, my inspiration and my biggest fan. Losing her was hard. I didn't write much for years, after she died.
Later, in my teens, I rediscovered how much I loved it. I dabbled in poetry (badly) and short stories. I started several novels and either discarded them or abandoned them to the bottom of the drawer. It wasn't until after I met and married my wife that I really started finding my muse, again. She believed in me...even when I didn't. I wrote. I wrote off and on, for years. Often times badly, others bordering on good.
It wasn't until after I became a Corrections Officer that the planets aligned, the stars were right and my writer's block finally fell away. Ragnarok Rising was born out of a series of "what if" conversations between myself and a few other officers about how we'd react when the zombies came. It made me look at my hometown in an entirely different way. That night, I started writing. The writing was easy, I saw it in my head like a movie being replayed for me alone. Editing was work. More work than I ever anticipated. Cutting scenes and sections from my book was like cutting out pieces of myself. It hurt to remove entire sections of writing that I dearly enjoyed, but didn't really contribute to the book or the flow of the story.
In the end, it was worth it. I have my completed book with the publisher, now. It was a labor of love. I decided to go by DA Roberts instead of my full given name because my mother used to call me her little "DA". She'd only use my full name when I was in trouble. If I heard my first, middle and last name yelled out the back door, I knew I was in serious trouble.
"For me, writing is a joyful torture or sorts." ~vh~
“In this life, seek your own answers, and quote yourself for a change.” ~vh~
The muse has tapped my shoulder and my ear is turned toward her lips. I am waiting for her whisper. ~vh~
"The funny thing about life: more often than not it’s laughing at you rather than you laughing at it." ~vh~
"At some point there is a moment when you should give up. I’m here to tell you that today is not that day." ~vh~
“If you are afraid of the truth, never ask a young child a question.” ~vh~
“The frailty of life is most evident at its last breath.” vh
“Prove not to the world but to yourself that you are above your current circumstance.” ~vh~
"Don't be wishful when it comes to your dreams. Take aggressive action in your pursuit of them. Start now with a single step, no matter how insignificant it may feel." ~vh~
"Nothing is more powerful than an unwavering, unapologetic decision to BE." ~vh~
"Strive to be the light in an ever-darkening world. SHINE!" ~vh~
"Think big and then think small. That’s where the details live." ~vh~