Middletown 2 The Interview: Eric Shelman

What makes the apocalyptic genre so appealing to you?

World enders are always fascinating to me … what happens, how survivors cope, and how crazy things get.  There’s not just ONE monster in a zombie apocalypse – there are millions!   It makes for a freaky ride that can take any one of a thousand directions.  Add in the individuality of every person on earth, and you literally have endless stories you can create.

What about this project was uniquely challenging to you?

Being told what to write (in a manner of speaking) is tough!  I’m used to starting from nothing and writing by the seat of my pants.  I’m always wondering if my beginning is EXACTLY like many of the other authors on the project, and while the criteria is the same, I still want to approach it differently.  Not sure if I have, but hey … I tried!

What draws you to projects like this?

I don’t work with other authors very much, but it is fun to be in an anthology with some of the top apocalyptic writers out there.  I’m honored to be included – and THAT is a shitload of fun.

If there was one thing key to your writing style, what would that be?

I’m a word writer, not a prose writer.  I don’t try to flower things up – my characters speak like anybody you know, and they’re always flawed in some way.  I drive all of my fiction with dialogue – not narrative.  I find that puts the reader as “the fly on the wall,” and allows them to get the feeling they’re right there, witnessing it all unfold.  At least that’s my goal!

If someone were to write you into an apocalyptic story, what would be the plot?

“A scared writer closes himself away from a zombie-ridden world, eventually starves because he’s too chicken shit to get out and find more food, and dies.  He becomes a zombie trapped in his house, unable to get to fresh meat – or get a beer from the fridge.”


Eric A. Shelman lives in SW Florida with his wife of 30 years, Linda.  He published his first book in 1999, but took a 12-year writing hiatus – i.e., he wasn’t a writer anymore – until zombie discussion on Facebook sparked his creativity in 2010.   It was then he wrote Dead Hunger, his first zombie novel.

Stalk Eric