May is Zombie Awareness Month and it happens to coincide with a new book, That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore, from Matt Mogk, founder of the Zombie Research Society. Mogk describes the book as “a cautionary tale that teaches kids how to recognize a zombie outbreak in its earliest stage. It’s Dr. Seuss meets Night of the Living Dead.”
Younger kids might be a little frightened by the idea of a formerly loving mother who now wants to dine on human flesh, but older kids and grown ups will get a kick out of this tale. The book is written with tongue firmly planted in cheek and illustrated nicely. Plus, it’s a fun story and an enjoyable experience — just probably not one to be read just before bed. While the story’s protagonist, a young boy, is a bit more timid than The Walking Dead‘s Carl Grimes, he still emerges victorious (for the time being), while offering real advice for kids who want to survive the pending zombie apocalypse.
We asked Mogk about his new book, Zombie Awareness Month, and the Zombie Research Society. And if you want to know his choice for best weapon during the zombie apocalypse, just read on …
GeekDad: Tell GeekDad readers a little about yourself.
Matt Mogk: I am the Founder and Head of the Zombie Research Society (ZRS). I earned a Masters degree from New York University Film School where I specialized in horror in cinema, and was awarded a Sloan Foundation National Fellowship for science in screenwriting. I then got advanced combat and survival training in the French Foreign Legion, the mercenary wing of the French Military.
GD: What’s the mission of the Zombie Research Society and why did you start it?
MM: Zombie Research Society is dedicated to advancing zombie scholarship in the arts and sciences. We subscribe to three foundational tenets:
- A zombie is a relentlessly aggressive, reanimated human corpse driven by a biological infection.
- The zombie plague is coming. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
- Enthusiastic debate about zombies is vital to the survival of the human race.
GD: May is Zombie Awareness month. What should the average person know to do this month?
MM: The most important thing to do during Zombie Awareness Month is to wear a gray ribbon to help spread the word about the coming undead threat. Zombie parties, events and other communal activities are also encouraged. Anything that gets the zombie conversation started is ideal.
GD: What motivated you to write “That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore”?
MM: This year for Zombie Awareness Month ZRS is focusing on helping children become more prepared for a zombie outbreak. The idea for Mommy grew out of that.
GD: With Zombie Awareness in May, your book coming out and Mother’s Day on Sunday, isn’t this a bit of a conflict of interest? If your mom is a zombie, do you still want to wish her a happy Mother’s Day?
MM: Good question! Actually, a zombie mom is no longer a mom at all. The zombie sickness creates a completely new creature occupying the body that was once human. So it literally isn’t your mommy anymore, but some other being wearing a mom suit.
GD: The book is identified as being part of the ZRS Book club – are there other books on the way?
MM: The ZRS Book Club is a new feature that we are promoting, and there are several other books scheduled to be a part of the club. We will be hosting author chats, special readings and other interactive events for each book released. Think of it as Oprah’s Book Club, but a lot more fun and undead.
GD: What’s your choice as best weapon for the zombie apocalypse?
MM: I think the best weapon is what you have on hand and what you’re able to effectively use. I personally prefer simple blunt objects, like a steel pipe. But to be clear, in a real zombie catastrophe combat and violence should be avoided as if your life depends on it.
That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore will be releasing later this month and is available for pre-order. Zombie Awareness Month continues through the month of May and you can keep up to date on all the latest zombie research by visiting the Zombie Research Society.