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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Unleash the Undead Author Interview: Noel Osualdini

Noel Osualdini (1)
1) Can you please tell me a little bit about yourself and your work?
I've held a number of careers in a range of industries. Among other positions, I’ve been a television newsroom technician, customer service officer and petrol station attendant, but from the age of 7 or 8, when I was writing fan fiction based around TV science fiction characters, I wanted to work as a writer. During my teens, I modified my ambitions and horrified my parents when I told them I'd decided to become a journalist – Australian journalists had recently died in the Vietnam war and in East Timor, and a reporter investigating the deaths of a camera crew was executed by Indonesian military on my fifteenth birthday.

I never made it into fulltime journalism, though I’ve written copious amounts of non-fiction for staff magazines and newsletters, and contributed a few reviews and editorials whilst working as a consultant typesetter for a monthly college newspaper. A couple of years ago, a writer I'd met at the newspaper invited me to join the Dark Fiction Writers’ Circle, a horror/science fiction workshop he'd formed. For the first time, I tried writing horror. I joined the Australian Horror Writers' Association, and received honorable mentions for my entries into their 2013 competition for flash fiction and short stories. Since then, I've had work published in anthologies 100 Doors to Madness (USA), Fear's Accomplice (UK), Unleash the Undead (UK), and Fear's Accomplice: Halloween, as well as in online magazines.
2) Can you please describe your story in Unleash the Undead?
Most Australians live within an hour or two of the ocean, as the interior of our continent is mainly desert, and in summer even those who aren’t great swimmers often spend time on the shore. Dead Men Can’t Climb (a rather obvious play on the title of the American movie White Men Can’t Jump) is based around a man who gets caught up in the zombie apocalypse when he comes to collect his partner from her job at a makeshift hospital. I set the story at a beach in bayside suburb Frankston. I haven’t named the town, but anyone who knows the area might recognise the carnival, the vast car park, the long refreshments stand, boardwalk, pier and the life savers’ pavillion. Frankston even has its own regional hospital; I envisaged a group of doctors and nurses being taken down to the beach to tend a group of inexplicably ill people but finding themselves under attack from those they’ve come to help.
3) How do you think you think you would fare in the zombie apocalypse?
As someone who doesn’t run or fight particularly well, I’d probably fare rather poorly in a zombie apocalypse. It would be nice to imagine that I’d become a hero, leading a band of survivors, but I’m not sure I could drive a stake through somebody, even knowing they are already dead and likely to kill me. I’m sure I’d be more like the character in my story: lost, totally unequipped for such a challenge, but hopefully able to find some sort of courage to rescue those close to me.
4) What are you currently working on?
After Dead Men Can’t Climb was accepted for publication, I decided I was done with zombies for a while. My story Wrecking Crew, about a group of train hoodlums, was published in Fear’s Accomplice: Halloween, and an older story, No More Fly Eyes, had been accepted by US magazine Bloodbond. I had a few other projects in mind, but it turned out that it was another zombie story –– or, rather, a particular character ­­–– that leapt out at me. I’m currently writing a story about a jaded Vietnam veteran who sees the beginning of the zombie apocalypse in his own town. Before anyone asks: no, it’s not Rambo versus the Zombies. He’s a complex character who’s had personal tragedy in his life, and he’s leading a disappointing, pedestrian life until the world suddenly changes.
5) Where can people find out more about you?
I don’t have a website of my own, though I’m on Facebook and can also be found pretty easily via a Google search (one of the advantages of having a fairly unique name). I have a story to be published in the November issue of US magazine Bloodbond, and there’s a novella scheduled to come out as part of a collection later this year or early in 2015. Anthologies with my stories are available via, and Bloodbond will be available from the store at
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