Kerry stood behind him, resting her hand on his shoulder as she asked, 

“Is he dead?” Devin tentatively reached out and pulled back the guy’s dark bangs. The guy looked so human. Hesitating, Devin found the courage and pressed his fingers to the side of the man’s neck. 

Surprised, he pulled back his hand and looked up at Kerry. He wasn’t sure he believed it. The man wasn’t what they thought. 

He met Kerry’s eyes. “He’s alive.”

* * * * *

RJ: what was it like revisiting a story that had originally been released over two years ago?

MR: Like visiting old friends. Old friends who might take a bite out of you if you turn your back lol. It has been roughly 2 years since Dead Things was originally released and I was a little apprehensive about going back to something I’d written what seems like a lifetime ago, but I have to say it was nice to have the opportunity of the rerelease, to go through and tweak little bits and it also got me thinking about the sequel. I’d put it off for so long that it was great to finally feel like I could write it and be happy about where it would be going and who it would be released with.

RJ: How the hell did you come up with a story this immense and sweeping?

MR: It’s hard to remember where the story began really. Certainly, I have always been a fan of the horror genre in books, movies and TV, so I decided to start with something I know and love. I went with zombies just because it offered lots of possibilities to explore human reaction and the need to survive. It was quite interesting looking things up – like what would happen with power and food and things we take for granted. Not necessarily the usual backdrop of a romance story, but I have to say it was fun to create this world for my characters to exist in.

RJ: What I like most is that even though this is a huge canvas that you focus on the relationships at the core of the story. Devin is an incredibly strong and determined character – how did he have to change from his normal self to become such a heroic character?

MR: We don’t really see Devin pre-virus, we have glimpses into what his life was like but that is all. We learn a little about his background, how he was in the army and capable of looking after himself. He used to have a boyfriend and a job and a life, but he lost all that and in a way shutdown. He was all about surviving and protecting the remaining people he cared about. As part of a larger group, he then became essential in the protection and organisation of those people too. I guess he kind of locked away his emotions and it made him good at what he needed to do – survive.

RJ: What about Noah? How does he change because of the raging virus?

MR: Again we have glimpses of what Noah was like. He worked on the family farm. He had a brother and a sister and a dog. But like Devin, he lost all that and had been alone for several months before Devin turned up at the farm. Though it’s obvious things have affected Noah, at first he’s rather sarcastic and stand-offish, there’s still a bit of the old Noah there. Compared to Devin he’s more willing to make connections and at ease with the situation.

RJ The plan is for a second book… can you tell us more?

MR: I have wanted to do a sequel to Dead Things for so long that I had so many ideas jotted down that it’s taken me a while to really decide where I want the sequel to go. As book one was very Devin orientated I want the sequel to delve into Noah’s past and POV more this time. We’ll see how life in the prison has moved on since Corden, it’s set roughly a month on from where book 1 ends, and problems that have come from his leaderships, along with us venturing outside the prison again and meeting some new characters who maybe know a little bit about why Noah is so special. Oh and of course… there’ll be more zombies and most likely more gore and maybe a little death *eyes up secondary characters*

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