Interview with Glenn Shepard, author of 'The Zombie Game'

Glenn Shepard’s first novel, Surge, was written while he was still a surgical resident at Vanderbilt. In the following years he wrote The Hart Virus, a one-thousand-page epic about the AIDS crisis, as well as three other novels. In 2012, he created “Dr. Scott James,” his Fugitive-like action-hero. The first volume of the series was The Missile Game, followed shortly afterward by The Zombie Game. Born on a farm in eastern Virginia, Dr. Shepard lives and maintains a thriving surgical practice in Williamsburg.

Visit Glenn’s website at

About the Book:

Title: The Zombie Game
Author: Glenn Shepard
Publisher: Mystery House
Pages: 335
Genre: Thriller

ISIS terrorists are plotting to kill the Pope during his visit to America.

Their plan: Hijack a hospital ship in Haiti, convert it to a missile launcher, and cruise into Miami Harbor, unnoticed.

Their only obstacle: Dr. Scott James is a volunteer on the ship, and he’s recruited a squad of Haitian zombies to stop the attack. But nothing adds up … until the last seven minutes.

Jacques Jacobo, “Jakjak,” is the Haitian Finance Minister’s personal bodyguard. He’s just taken two bullets in the chest trying to stop an assassination attempt on his boss.

Dr. Scott James is a volunteer surgeon on a hospital ship anchored off the coast of earthquake-ravaged Haiti. He’s got his share of personal demons.

Omar Farok wants to rule ISIS, and the world. He’s just taken over the hospital ship and converted it into a launch platform for a nuclear strike on Miami.

Sanfia is the most powerful Vodoun priestess in Haiti. Omar Farok will pay her big money to turn Dr. James into a zombie.

Beautiful Elizabeth is one of the most notorious freelance operatives in the world. She’s come to Haiti to defuse the bomb.

They’re all about to play The Zombie Game.

For More Information

  • The Zombie Game is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book? 

I came up with the idea after I went to Haiti and worked as a volunteer surgeon. This was right after the earthquake, and I really connected with the people, the Haitians. I had already read The Serpent and The Rainbow, by Wade Davis, which is about Haitian Zombie-ism. I knew I wanted to write about the real zombies, the actual, authentic phenomenon. So right after I started The Dr. Scott James Thriller Series, I just knew that my protagonist was going to become a real zombie.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

To new writers, I recommend that you find satisfaction not just in the completion of a book, but in the journey that gets you to that point. I like new problems to solve, and the thought-time that I put into coming up with unique stories is something that I savor. I enjoy writing, but it may be that I enjoy the extensive research of an unusual topic a little more.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My goal in publishing is to gain a readership that will build as a series of books grows. I publish through my own corporation, Mystery House Publishing. I have a talented group of editors, artists, and publicists, and we concentrate on making the series enjoyable for our readers. So many books have flooded the market over the past decade that today getting into an established publishing house is difficult-to-nearly-impossible. It may be that as the series grows in popularity, and Mystery House prospers, established publishers will be more interested in signing a writer with a sales record.  

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

It is a real thrill, and worth the process to get there. A caution to new writers, even with self publishing: getting a book in print takes a lot of time and effort, even after you think the book is finished. Knowledgeable professionals are mandatory. Proofreaders are essential. A professional page-by-page set-up of the book cannot be done by you, the writer. A professional cover artist is a must. Is self publishing cheap? No. Not on your life. You'd better have a sizable fund set aside before doing this, if you want a quality product.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

The Scott James Thriller series already has three books, The Missile Game, The Zombie Game, and The Ebola Game. The Encryption Game, which will be out this summer, makes four. The next two in the series, The Vatican Game and The Nazi Hunter’s Game will follow this year. I’m working on them right now. A departure from this series, Faces in a Bamboo Garden, is complete and in the hands of my editor. I have no date for its potential release.   

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

That's the toughest question you've asked. As I read the news each day, I see subjects that interest me about which I know very little. My favorite hang out has to be Google Search. No surprise there. There are no deficiencies in this modality—everything I choose to study is there.   

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

When the writing juices are flowing, I write until I fall asleep every night, many times at three or four o'clock. When I'm struggling for words, I stop and further research my subject until I fall asleep at the computer.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I love to learn and in my books I try to share the knowledge that I gain in researching a topic. In my Scott James thriller series, I explore the ISIS crisis through Dr. James' nemesis, the terrorist chief, Omar Farok. He’s an egotistical terrorist who thinks he's Allah, himself, and is continually plotting massive attacks on America. I explore terrorist tactics and how the plastic surgeon, with his girl friend, Elizabeth Keyes, can fight Farok and his evil tactics. The unfortunate consequences are that Dr. James, who only wants to "fix faces" in his surgery center, ends up being not only a fugitive of the terrorists, but a fugitive of the law. He's continually on the run and hiding from someone. Readers are labeling Dr. Scott James “The Fugitive.” 
Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?

I've put more time and effort into researching The Encryption Game than in any previous book. It will be out this summer, and it’s my best work. I hope my readers enjoy it half as much as I did in writing it. And, I can't wait to start my next book. 

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