By Chris Post
What could be worse than waking up and finding yourself in a zombie apocalypse? For the survivors of the The Blood of the Infected series by Anthony J. Stanton, things get a whole lot worse when they realize that not only are they dealing with zombies, but that vampires are also very real.
Now three books long, the series is getting a second life with the release of “Once Bitten, Twice Die” (the first of the series) as an audiobook and a television development deal in the works.
“At the moment I am in advanced negotiations with a major media production/distribution corporation regarding the TV and film adaptation of my books,” Stanton said. “There’s many a slip twixt cup ‘n lip, but nevertheless, things are looking extremely hopeful.”
In today’s age of multi-platform development and delivery, Stanton sees a bright and vast future for his literary creation that not only includes sequel books, but many additional projects as well.
“I have some storylines in my head for further books in the series anyway, and if the TV adaptation does go ahead then there will definitely be more, including some spin-off books and even some prequels,” he said, adding that the television series could continue for as long as a decade. “There will be possibly up to 10 seasons in the main story, maybe two spin-off shows with a few seasons apiece, and the prequels will most likely be done as films.”
When he sat down to right Once Bitten, Twice Die, film and television licensing wasn’t
one Stanton’s mind. Instead he was looking to tell a story drawn from his own experiences.
“ It was triggered by the death of my mother to early onset dementia,” Stanton said, explaining the genesis of the story. “Long have I loved my zombie stories, and it occurred to me that some of the essential characteristics of advanced dementia – inability to talk, inability to reason, being driven by basic instincts etc, resemble, to a degree, some of the classic qualities that we know and love in our zombies.”
For his novels, Stanton sets forth a tragic error. A drug is being developed to fight dementia, but rather than cure the ailment, it makes it something far, far worse. For added drama, Stanton said he considered various monster mash-ups before settling on the addition of vampires.
Prior to writing the novels, Stanton had led a life that was somewhat out of the ordinary and provided him with some unique insights.
“I used to be in the British Royal Air Force, so the military aspects were second nature to me,” he said. “And then I have also had my fair share of interesting little scrapes over the years. I have been kidnapped, and shot at, amongst other adventures, and so I have personally experienced the smallest glimpse of PTSD. I think this possibly helped me to get my head around the potential shock, the emotions and reactions of those who find themselves in a terrible life-changing situation.”
Stanton said it was important to him to keep the books grounded in reality even if they are about zombies and vampires.
“I like to think that the origins of my zombies are just about as scientifically possible as can be. You’re left feeling that this could just be reality one day,” he said. “The reactions of the characters hopefully ring true throughout. At no stage should the reader think, that just would not happen! After all, the reader is no fool.”
Once the first book was complete, Stanton realized there was still more story tell. He said he was struck by something poet Robert Frost had once said that a writer who did not surprise himself would not surprise his readers.
“I used to think, how on earth can an author actually be moved to tears or be surprised by their own story? Now though I totally understand,” he said. “As I wrote, my story developed in ways I had not foreseen. There were indeed tears and there were surprises-a-plenty. Hence one book became two, became three. It was never my initial intention, but the story needed that time to develop.”
Stanton’s first three books are currently available on Amazon and other online retailers. The audio version of Once Bitten, Twice Die is available through Audio and Amazon. Visit Stanton’s Amazon page here.