Maine Horror & Crime Writer

Indie Author Land Q&A

Interview with Joseph Souza, author of The Reawakening

By davidnjoku / October 8, 2012 / Uncategorized / Leave a comment

Tell us about The Reawakening.

A series of terrible things begin to happen when a scientist with a dark past resumes his genetic experiments in a small Maine town. The animals suddenly become aggressive for no apparent reason, attacking anyone within sight, including Rick’s wife. After slaughtering his diseased herd, Rick realizes to his horror that they have come back to life. Soon the farm is under siege by the deranged animals, and a small group of refugees who have assembled in the farmhouse must hunker down and defend themselves against the terrible onslaught of cannibals.

The entire town soon becomes filled with the human flesh-eaters, threatening the farmhouse and the survivors within it. But they all have the same message before they reawaken: they are seeking the chosen ones. The onset of winter provides a temporary defense against the army of the dead, but with supplies running low, the survivors realize they must formulate a plan before the arrival of spring and the dreaded melt-off. And as the world outside them descends into total madness, a surprising leader emerges from the group who will hopefully lead them to safety.

What genre is it?

THE REAWAKENING fits squarely in the horror genre. It is much more then just a living dead, apocalypse novel, which is why so many zombie purists have taken issue with it, but why lovers of horror fiction have come to love it. This novel steps outside the normal boundaries and takes risks with the genre. It asks political, theological and philosophical questions, which will both challenge and terrify the reader.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?

Readers who love Stephen King’s work should enjoy THE REAWAKENING, which takes place in northern Maine. Anyone who enjoys good writing and is open-minded about the subject should be able to take something from it.

How much of the next 2 books of your Living Dead trilogy have you got mapped out in your head and can you tell us what to expect?

DARPOCALYPSE, Book 2 of the trilogy is complete and just waiting to be published. This novel is my opus and a riveting follow-up to THE REAWAKENING, and I anticipate that it will have major crossover appeal.

Tell us about your short fiction. You have won awards for it, haven’t you?

I won the Andre Dubus Award from the University of Southern Maine for my short story “Loss Prevention” and had it featured in their literary journal Words&Images. I also won Honorable Mention for the Al Blanchard Award for my short story “The Stone Walls of Lebanon” and had it presented to me at Crimebake, New England’s biggest and most prestigious crime convention.

You’ve written crime fiction and with The Reawakening you are moving into zombie fiction. Are there any other genres you’re planning to explore?

I would say I’m moving into Horror fiction rather than zombie fiction, with an emphasis on the apocalypse scenario. As far as other genres, I’m currently happy sticking to these two for the time being. But who knows what the future will bring.

Writing a book is never easy, but other than that, what has been the toughest part – editing or marketing?

Like most writers, I too find the marketing aspect of writing the most difficult. You have to completely separate the spheres of your brain and know when to shut off the creative from business. Answering interview questions like this, however, is a real treat and I find I have a lot of fun with the various questions interviewers have in regards to my work.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up near Boston in a working-class environment. Reading has always been a great pastime of mine. I earned a BS from Northeastern University and MA’s from Northeastern and the University of Washington.

I’ve had so many jobs I’ve lost count. I’ve been a teacher, laborer on the docks of South Boston (when Whitey Bulger controlled Boston’s rackets), cab driver, editor, dishwasher, researcher, intelligence analyst in the Organized Crime unit of the DEA, social worker, bouncer, paralegal (where I worked on the case that became the basis for the movie A Civil Action starring John Travolta), truck driver, just to name a few.

I’m married and live in Maine—Stephen King country—and have two great kids and a 17 year old pug. I love to run, cook and play a little golf when I get the chance.

Have you got a blog where readers can keep up with your work?

People can read an excerpt, reviews or view my bio at They can also drop me a message there if they like. People can also reach me on twitter at  @josephsouza3.

What’s next?

Well, there’s been a lot of great press for THE REAWAKENING and the Living Dead Trilogy, as well as anticipation for DARPOCALYPSE, Book 2 in the series. The response has been so great that I recently signed a three-book deal with an option for three more with the highly respected horror publisher Permuted Press. The books will now be available on every format, including Nook, Kindle, ePub, paperback, Sony and Audible. In addition, THE REAWAKENING has been an Amazon best seller, having broken Amazon’s top 100 in Paid Horror. I anticipate great things for the follow-up novel, DARPOCALYPSE, which is a much more ambitious work in scope and breadth. Currently, I’m 2/3 through the first draft of Book 3 in the Trilogy. So as you can see, I’ve been quite busy as of late.

I’d like to thank Indie Author Land for this great interview and letting me talk up THE REAWAKENING. This was a lot of fun!


You can buy The Reawakening on Amazon: USAUK – Canada.

The Reawakening

The Reawakening

Q & A for The Reawakening with award winning author Joseph Souza.

Question: You’ve written crime fiction before moving into horror. Why an apocalyptic Living Dead trilogy?

JS: With all the craziness going on in the world the idea for an apocalyptic trilogy hit me like a ton of bricks. The idea for The Reawakening came to me rather quickly and I wrote the first book in less than two months. It’s a riveting tale filled with suspense, human drama and mindboggling horror.

Question: What makes your novel that much different from every other zombie novel out there?

JS: I love reading all the various zombie novels on the market. Mine however takes a different approach than the others. The living dead in my novels are not merely flesh-eaters, but avatars sent to earth for a concrete reason. For a brief moment before they turn into cannibals, the reawakened are peace-loving creatures sent to warn the living of the dangers facing them.

Question: So it is a religious novel?

JS: No way! The novel pits evolution versus spirituality in a very unique and horrifying way. It leaves the reader questioning the motives of the dead and the entity responsible for sending them here.

Question: It sounds very interesting and intelligent. But will it whet the zombie lover’s appetite for blood and gore?

JS: Absolutely, it will. There’s lots of blood, flesh eating and walking dead in The Reawakening. Not only will this novel appeal to readers on an intellectual and spiritual level, but it also delivers the requisite shot of blood and guts that every great novel of the genre requires. I think it will shock and entertain the reader on many different ways.

Question: We haven’t talked about your characters. Who in your novel stands out the most?

JS:  Dar in my mind is the star of this novel. In the early chapters she is a bitter, depressed young teen, but by the end she’s changed every aspect of her personality. I think by the end of the novel many people will compare her to the main character in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Only Dar carries an ax.

Question: What do you hope people come away with after reading this novel?

JS: The novel is told in the first person of Thomas Swiftley, a famous novelist and the father of Dar. I hope that people get so caught up in Thomas’s articulate telling of his story that they can’t put this book down. I want them to consider the problems facing our planet and to consider the spiritual and evolutionary questions posed to us. I want people to ask themselves what they would do in the event of a global crisis and how they would deal with the people around them. I’m hoping that people consider the underlying reasons why the dead in The Reawakening rise up and then scour the earth for human flesh.

Joseph Souza is the author of many award-winning short stories and essays. He graduated from Northeastern University and grew up near Boston. The Reawakening is his debut horror novel and the first in The Reawakening trilogy. He lives near Portland, Maine with his wife and two children and enjoys running, cooking and playing golf when not writing.  Joseph can be contacted at You can also visit his website at

Podcast Interview:

Tornado Alley

Tornado Alley by Sigfried Overby (aka Joe Souza)‘Tornado Alley’ is a hilarious satire that takes place in the near future. Combining the styles of Don Delillo’s White Noise, George Orwell’s 1984 and George Saunder’s Pastoralia, Tornado Alley takes the reader on wild ride throughout the bread basket. When a troubled young magazine writer with a case of severe writer’s block gets assigned to chase tornadoes with three offbeat characters, he ends up getting the ride of his life. His assignment: to write about storm chasers or get fired from his magazine job. But in the process he ends up getting mixed up with a sinister corporate entity whose primary goal is the maximization of profits through humans’ innate fear of tornadoes. The corporation’s research has determined that primal fear leads to rampant consumerism, and so they travel throughout Tornado Alley promoting their unique brand of corporate fascism and scaring the good people of the Midwest. And because of the expected increase in tornado activity due to global warming, the evil corporation aims to use the brute power of mother nature to grow their bottom line, and in the process groom the helpless writer as the next puppet dictator of Tornado Alley.

Click HERE to purchase.