Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Evil Dead News Exclusive - Plague World Book Review/Interview with author Dana Fredsti, sword fighting Deadite

I recently had the pleasure of reading Dana Fredsti's new book Plague World. It is the last installment of a trilogy, preceded by Plague Nation and Plague Town, respectively. This third title in the popular Ashley Parker series picks up where Plague Nation left off, loaded with plenty of drama, compelling action, pop-culture references and zombie goodness. Readers of the first two books will definitely enjoy the conclusion of the Ashley Parker story, which wraps up all of the loose ends from the first two books.

Before I go any further, here is the synopsis from the book's official website:

Having been ambushed in San Francisco, which is now fully engulfed in the zombie plague, Ashley and the wild cards must pursue the enemy to San Diego. There they will discover a splinter of their own organization, the Dolofónoi tou Zontanoús Nekroús, which seeks to weaponize the plague. But that isn’t the worst news. The plague has gone airborne, making it transferable without physical contact. It cannot be controlled by anyone, so reports of the zombie swarm are coming in from across the United States—and across the world.

The stakes have become even higher for our bad-ass heroine Ashley Parker, with the threat of zombie outbreaks, not only across the United States, but all over the world! If you rolled fourth season TV Buffy up with the zombie sequences of The Walking Dead and baked in some World War Z, you'd have what we have here, the conclusion of the Ashley Parker trilogy. There is tons of global zombie action in this one, as well as some unforgettable twists and turns. If you read the previous two installments, this is a a must-read. If you are a fan of zombie literature in general, you can read this book as a stand-alone and won't be disappointed. However, I recommend reading the first two books, as well. This book trilogy could easily be developed into a TV series or even a movie.

Look for Plague World: An Ashley Parker Novel on August 26th, 2014, in the United States (

Titan Books | Titan Books - Twitter

Dana as a sword-fighting Deadite on the set of Army of Darkness

Plague World's author, Dana Fredsti is not only a novelist and screenwriter, but is an ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical sword-fighting. She has worked on various films, including Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness as an armourer's assistant, sword-fighting captain, and sword-fighting Deadite. She also starred in the movies Princess Warrior (1989) and Bloodbath (1999).

Keep on reading for our exclusive interview with Dana Fredsti:

In our last interview, we asked you about the movie Bloodbath (1999). Can you tell us a bit about working on the 1990 movie Time Barbarians, wherein you played a Gatalite Warrior?

Wow, you guys just really love getting me to wallow in the theatrical indiscretions of my relative youth, don't you? :-) I actually was hired as a production assistant on Time Barbarians for the princely sum of $25 a day. Most of the job consisted of picking up half-empty soda cans in the middle of the Los Angeles Forest because evidently film crews are incapable of a: finishing an entire can and b: cleaning up after themselves. Yes, it got really irritating very quickly.

At any rate, the fight choreographer for Time Barbarians was an old friend of mine (and later the sword master I studied with for many years at the Academy of Theatrical Combat) and he asked if I wanted to play the token female Gatalite Warrior. I needed a break from soda can duty so I said yes. Since I hadn't actually studied swordplay with Dan at that point (although I'd done a lot of theatrical combat with other choreographers) he didn't quite trust me to do a fight at this point so I had a quick scene where I did the classic disposable stuntman move of running at Deron (the hero) with sword raised overhead. Because I was female, the guys thought it would be hilarious to have Deron knock me out with a single punch and then laugh (hah hah, I am so macho!). I took a few really good falls doing that scene, scraping the crap out of my legs, bare midriff and arms. I also remember it taking forever to get the dirt, sticks and snarls out of my hair - the makeup gal ratted the hell out of it. All in all, very much fun!

And even MORe memorable than the Gatalite Warrior, if you go to the scene in TB where the barbarian babes are doing bare-breasted bathing in the forest pool and taking in faux Shakespearean language, the voice coming out of Victoria Paris, the very busty blonde… that's me. She had to be dubbed over in post production and I got the job. And temporarily large breasts.

There is romance, action and obviously horror in your Ashley Parker series. In your opinion, do zombies work with every genre?

Depending on the writer? Yes. I never would have thought zombies could be combined with fairy tales until I read Warm Bodies and saw the film adaptation. It's funny and horrific, and utterly charming. Normally one does not use the word 'charming' in association with zombies. Will everyone appreciate and/or like zombies in every genre? Of course not, but you can't please everyone.

Are there any other horror/fantasy books in the works?

OH yes. I'm working on a horror/ghost novel right now, a story for the V-Wars anthologies, and another Ashley book (a standalone that happens shortly after the time line in Plague World), as well as a few other ideas I've been kicking around.

More pics of Dana on the set of Army of Darkness

What are your thoughts on the Evil Dead remake from last year?

Well… at the moment I'm typing my reply, I've only seen about a half hour of it, which I caught on cable one evening. I was put off by the lack of humor (and i was in a really grouchy mood at the time) so I think I'm going to get it On Demand about now and revisit this question in about two hours. Sit tight!

And… just finished watching it with my fiance. The general consensus is an interesting failure. I enjoyed the first hour after reminding myself repeatedly to not compare it to the original (or the sequel, which really was a remake of the first Evil Dead). Then it turned into Evil Dead by way of Hostel. I don't mind gore (hell, I write enough of it), but this was just over the top, needlessly cruel, and the hero was an idiot. And what the hell was that ending supposed to be? AND… dead cats and a murdered dog? Nope, not for me. Give me the humor and horror of the originals. Gahhh!!! See what you did to me?!!

What do you think of the news of a potential Evil Dead TV series being made?

I think it needs Bruce Campbell in it in some major capacity to really work because his ability to combine physical comedy with horrific action (along with Sam Raimi's direction and the goofy ass scripts) really is what made the original movies work so well. So I hope the rumors of him being one of the stars is actually true. I'm also curious as to how they'll turn the original concept into a sustainable series. I mean, do we get a different group of kids coming to the cabin and summoning demons each week, with gory hijinks ensuing and Bruce as a demonic crypt keeper, making with the wisecracks? I don't know if that would be a good or a bad thing…

For more info on Dana visit:
Dana Fredsti - Twitter

1 comment:

Dana Fredsti said...

Thanks for a really great review of Plague World and for having me as your guest again!