Interview with Novelist Jeremy Dyson (Rise of the Dead)

Jeremy Dyson is a fiction author, and Rise of the Dead is his first novel. The book has already been named one of the best new zombie books of 2016 by Ranking Squad. He is currently at work on a sequel to Rise of the Dead, a book of short stories, and a work of literary fiction.

Link to Book:

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

Jeremy Dyson: My first book was based on the same themes from Catcher in the Rye. Protecting innocence, fear of death, struggling to build real relationships in an artificial society. Those motifs always seemed natural to a zombie novel, so I just went with it. Hopefully it’s subtle enough that you can easily ignore it and read it as a page-turning thriller. I don’t like beating people over the head with themes, they are pretty ineffective as far as weapons go.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

JD: It has zombies in it, but it won’t rot your brain. Oh, and it’s already starting to pop up on some lists of the best zombie books out this year, even without me offering anyone a bribe. That was pretty exciting.

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

JD: More brains.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

JD: Dawn of the Dead. The original.

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

JD: I guess so. Writing novels is like being in a bad relationship. I hate myself sometimes for needing to write, but I can’t let it go.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

JD: Catcher in the Rye will always be my favorite. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis is a very close second.

MT: What motivates you to write?

JD: My kids, my wife, myself. I write to be a better person than I am, and hopefully the stories will give that sense of hope to others.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

JD: Ray Carver. The social gatherings in his stories always got strange. I feel like it would be an interesting night.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

JD: Kind of a crazy question to answer. I’m passionate about everything. I can’t even cook dinner without getting emotionally invested in what I’m doing. It’s probably easier to list things I don’t care about, like politicians and most marketing emails.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

JD: Stop reading writing tips and start writing before it’s too late.



Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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