Max Brooks gives tips on zombie survival at recent on-campus appearance

Max Brooks, the acclaimed television writer and New York Times bestselling author, visited campus last week to give a speech on zombies and survival, two topics of which he has become a primary source.

In addition to speaking in front of 600 people in the Gold Rooms of the Oakland Center during his lecture, Brooks also sat down with The Oakland Post to reveal more of his insights into zombies, celebrities, parenting and the upcoming film adaptation of his novel “World War Z,” starring Brad Pitt.

Brooks was starstruck when helping make “World War Z” because of another famous writer attached to the project.

“When ‘World War Z’ came out and they turned it into a movie and they hired the first writer, his name is J. Michael Straczynski,” Brooks said. “I’m a huge ‘Babylon 5’ fan. Huge. So when I met him, I turned into the Chris Farley guy from Saturday Night Live. He’s a freaking demi-god of culture.”

In addition to Brooks’ other book, “The Zombie Survival Guide,” “World War Z “relates the fictional first-person stories of individuals dealing with a war against the undead and its aftermath. The book launched Brooks to critical acclaim and has also spawned a successful abridged audiobook, with an unabridged version in the works.

“I’m very dyslexic so audiobooks are sort of how I got through school,” Brooks said. “So I wanted to make a really kick-ass audiobook. I wanted to make the kind of audiobook that would have blown me away at 17. This book automatically, organically lends itself to an audiobook so I reached out to a lot of the actors personally. Some people rejected me, some people didn’t. Now we’re doing the unabridged audio book so I’m back in the saddle again.”

While Brooks’ workload has him managing several projects at once, his most time consuming activity is taking care of his family.

“Parenting (consumes the most time),” Brooks said. “Professionally? Everything else is a freaking party. I have several writing projects that I’m juggling right now. I have a World War I graphic novel that I’m just winding down, so that’s taking a lot out of me. Meanwhile, I do a lot of consulting work for Legendary Pictures. So those are keeping me very busy.”


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