The Profiler: Author Eric Johnson

The Profiler: Author Eric Johnson

Michele Ellson
Eric Johnson

Local author Eric Johnson just released his debut novel, Summer School Zombocalypse. A former chef turned stay-at-home-dad, Johnson claims he was inspired to pursue his long-forgotten dream to write after opening a fortune cookie that read, "You have a charming way with words and should write a book."

Published by Second Wind Publishing, the book is available at local bookstores and online through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. In the meantime, Johnson offered up this Q&A to introduce readers to his work.

What is your book about?
A plane crashes onto the schoolyard, and rescue attempts turn the first responders into zombies. Tom and his motley crew of grade schoolers fight to find their way home, but home isn’t the safe haven they have been seeking. The zombies are everywhere. Tom leads the kids on a desperate search through the town for their parents. Horrors arise at every corner. Their search leads them back to school where they discover the awful truth - aliens are turning humans into zombies for food! Now finding their parents isn’t the most important thing they have to do. They have to save the world.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?
I am a panster by nature: I get an idea of a character, choose three things about him. I pick a beginning and get a rough idea of where I want to end, and go.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
Summer School Zombocalypse started as a writing exercise for my writers group.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I can’t answer that. I turn the music up to 11, close my eyes and let my fingers go free.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?
Tom, like all 14-year-old boys, wants to test his boundaries. He wants to be trusted that his ability to make good judgment calls about how he handles himself can be accepted.

Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?
I had no intention of making my characters likable. Likeability is overrated.

Why will readers relate to your characters?
(Waves magic wand) I hope they do. I enjoyed writing them. Tom is the leader, the driver of the story; Emmett and Winston are the logical (person) and the child. Anidea - she wants what everyone else does, to escape, but on her terms. She is a manipulator.

What are you working on right now?
I am working on the second novel in the “Times Forgotten” series, Razor Point.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your work-in-progress?
In this creepy sequel, Tom - now a high school senior and the victim of school bullies - gets his wish for revenge, which results in a catastrophic event.