The Undying Love was recently released by Sirens Call Publications and its author Greg McCabe sat down with us and answered a few questions. Like the stressful situations in his book, Greg persevered and this is what he had to say. Before we get to that, let’s learn a little more about him.
Greg McCabe is a proud Texan. He was born and raised in Midland, Texas, received a degree in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University, and currently resides in the Lone Star State. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Mandy, his daughter, Annabelle, and his dog, Walter, as well as traveling, sports, movies, reading, and writing. He enjoys all genres of fiction, but seems to gravitate towards horror and science fiction. The Undying Love is Greg’s first book.
Welcome Greg. What made you decide to become a writer?
Since college, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of writing a novel. I enjoy reading short stories, non-fiction, and poetry, but for whatever reason, have never had any interest in writing in those formats. For me, there was just something about conquering the monumental task of writing hundreds of pages of fiction. After lots of trial and error, I began working on The Undying Love in 2009. I worked on it in my spare time and it took a little less than three years to complete and about seven months to get a publishing contract.
What is The Undying Love about?
I like to think of The Undying Love as an epic tale of romance set to the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse. It starts out with a young couple who’s wedding is crashed by zombies. The first half of the book is about them running for their lives and just trying to survive the first couple of weeks. The second half of the book has plenty of searing post-apocalyptic drama that all culminates to a heart-stopping conclusion. I’m really excited about it.
What is the one thing you’d like readers to know about The Undying Love before they read it?
It contains adult content.
What is your writing process? Do you consider yourself to be a planner or a pantser?
Definitely a planner. Years before I started on The Undying Love, I actually tried to sit down and write a different novel by the seat of my pants. It was a massive failure and I literally was only able to produce a few sentences before giving up out of frustration. What did work for me was handwriting a 10 or 15 page summary of the book along with a ton of story and character notes in a spiral notebook. Then, based off my summary, I wrote a brief description of each scene in an excel spreadsheet and eventually those scenes became the chapters of my first draft.
How would you like readers to see Jackson?
I would like them to see him as a man doing everything in his power to protect his new wife from the zombie apocalypse.
How would you like readers to see the Diane?
I would like them to see her as strong, female protagonist who remains an emotional rock for her new husband during the zombie apocalypse.
What is the hardest challenge that you have faced as a writer?
I would say producing the actual first draft. I know… I know… my biggest challenge as a writer is the actual writing, but it’s the truth. I love the brainstorming and note taking process at the beginning of creating a novel. And I really enjoy the editing side after the first draft is written. But, the actual creation of the first draft itself is really challenging for me.
In your opinion, what sets The Undying Love apart from other books of the same genre?
I really tried to feature the love and romance side of the story. Instead of writing a zombie book with some romance, my goal was to write a romance book set in the zombie apocalypse.
Are you reading anything right now, or have you read anything recently that is worth mentioning?
I’m telling anyone who will listen about In the Rogue Blood by James Carlos Blake. It’s a gritty western mingled with historical fiction. Never have I seen bloody violence handled with such beautiful prose. Also, I just started House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, and so far I am really enjoying it.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite novels?
I like Stephen King, old and new. ‘Salem’s Lot is a favorite. I also really like Clive Barker and think The Hellbound Heart is one of the best pieces of horror fiction ever written. Hyperion by Dan Simmons is amazing sci-fi. My favorite “classic” would be Call of the Wild by Jack London. It’s a hundred page book about a dog and it’s better than a lot of books I’ve read about people.
How do you define success as a writer? Have you been successful?
I think just getting published should be considered a great success, but I’d really like a hundred reviews on Amazon.
Do you have words of wisdom about writing that you want to pass on to novelists and writers out there who are starting out?
Even if it doesn’t sound good, just keep the first draft moving forward knowing that you will come back and make it good later.
What should readers walk away from your books knowing? How should they feel?
I hope they feel a wide array of emotions and walk away somewhat entertained.
Now let’s take a look at The Undying Love…
For Diane and Jackson, life is just about perfect. They’re healthy, happy, and madly in love with one another. Unknown to them, a virus is sweeping across the globe that instantly kills the infected and turns their corpses into mindless, murdering cannibals. In short: zombies have taken over the planet.
Diane and Jackson find out about the epidemic the hard way when their wedding is crashed by friends and family who have succumbed to the virus. Now, fighting for survival, they’re faced with unthinkable decisions.
Follow their story across Southeast Texas as they meet unforgettable characters and face challenges that will put their love, and lives to the ultimate test.
If you would like to pick up a copy, The Undying Love can be found online at: