F. Kim O’Neill is a man of mystery and unusual amounts of anti-zombie expertise. The author of The Ultimate Guide to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse from Colorado publishing house Paladin Press recently chatted with me about what inspired him to write his book, and what went into researching it. Along the way he convinced me that when the dead rise, I want to be at his house, and definitely on his good side.
DZE: You also write a lot about protecting yourself from well-meaning (but ultimately failing) government forces and even your neighbors. How much of a threat do these other humans pose in a zombie apocalypse?
Items for your survival kit should be packed in a waterproof container that can double as a cooking pot and water receptacle and be attached to your belt.
Denver Zombie Examiner: A lot of zombie guides are very tongue-in-cheek, and yours was surprisingly serious while still managing to entertain. So I have to ask, why did you first decide to write your zombie the lost ways book?
There was a conversation going on among a group of patchouli-stinking, bearded young men in corduroys and ratty sweaters. Some of them wore caps, some had long braids, and one, the apparent leader, wore dreadlocks sprouted from a receding hairline which made him look crossbred and a little demented. Their topic was how to be a good Christian and still work for forest defense. Lobo could remember some of them from the aborted demonstration of the day before, but the others were really just random hippies, and not of the best sort at that. They were hollow-eyed, scrawny, phlegmatic and given to coughing over their hand-rolled cigarettes. They argued scripture and tabloid science with the rhetorical finesse of someone ordering a Big Mac.
Many people have found themselves in these situations and had to rely on the efforts of search and rescue. The problem with this is whether or not it is going to be too late; do they know where they are? Are they going to find them alive or dead? “… years ago as I held the body of a young girl in my arms…That girls death could have been prevented…So many people need not have died in the outdoors if only they had been trained how to survive emergencies” Whitmore (2000). Whitmore, a member of a western Colorado search and rescue team, has made educating the public on wilderness survival his life’s work. Too many times have search and rescue teams recovered the dead bodies of lost individuals. If only these people had some basic survival skills to preserve them until rescue teams could arrive.
Expect more bestselling zombie books in the future for as long the people’s interest in zombies remain unfazed. And from all indications, they never will.