Today on this St. Patrick’s Day edition of LexChase.com, I’m going ridiculously off the rails with author Andrea Speed, writer of the award winning “Infected” series for Dreamspinner Press and “Josh of the Damned” for Riptide Publishing. Born in Seattle, but settled in Tacoma, Washington, Speed prides herself on her acerbic wit, and as she says on Twitter is “constantly waylaid by jackassery.”
Speed, who confesses Andrea Speed is indeed her real name, has said she occasionally considered the pen name “Seamus O’Puddin.” When Speed was a child and all the little girls wanted to be princesses, she wanted to be Shaft. She theorizes probably Rick Ashley’s agent would care if a tree fell on his client. Speed also maintains the opening of Pixar’s “Up” is emotionally brutal.
She claims in a parallel reality, she is made of fudge. Okay….
And here is where our torrid tale begins.
“Infected” and “Josh of the Damned”
Thankfully maintaining her legal name, and in all seriousness, Speed tells us what “Infected” is about.
“‘Infected: Prey’ is all about Roan McKichan, an ex-cop turned private detective in a world where a werecat virus has changed society,” she said via email interview. “He’s one of the few ‘virus children,’ born with the virus, who’s functional and non-mutated. He’s trying to live his life and help his fellow infecteds if he can, but there are obvious challenges. He’s after a killer, and dealing with a “cat cult” that worships the virus and pretty much hates him. Not that he’d have it any other way.”
And then on the other side, she explains the premise of “Josh of the Damned.”
“‘Josh of the Damned,’ Josh is a nightshift convenience store worker where the store is situated right next to the mouth of hell. So along with drunks and fellow nightshifters, he sells burritos to zombies, has to chase werewolves out of the parking lot, and deal with all sorts of things that aren’t in the employee handbook.”
In Honor of St. Patrick
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, in a strange awkward way—just go with it, Speed shares one of her bizarre holiday gifts.
“Lottery tickets,” she said. “I can’t think of a more useless gift. ‘I couldn’t be bothered to think of anything you might like, so here’s some scraps of cardboard I spent a buck apiece on.’”
With drunken frivolity as the business of the day, Speed answers the burning question just how many Irish Car Bombs would it take the star of “Infected,” Roan McKichan, hop up on the bar and bust his best Gangnam Style horsey dance.
“Since I haven’t heard the song—really, I’ve just heard maybe a few seconds at most— and I can guarantee Roan hasn’t, we’d probably have to skip the Car Bombs and go straight for the peyote,” she said.
Posing to Speed the hypothetical question that toy makers Kenner or Mattel have a fit of madness and create a toy line for “Infected,” she explains the product line.
“Transforming Roan doll, goes from lion to human,” she said as her first product. “The Panic playset, with flashing lights, dance floor, and shirtless bartenders—Dylan not included. Paris action figure that comes with his own stuffed tiger,” she said and continued to envision her master plan. “The Seattle Falcons Rink playset with dolls that have real punching action. For the older kids, there’s a Holden action figure that comes with several slutty outfits, a whip, and his own butterfly knife. There should also be a line of Roan’s t-shirts.”
And in the event Speed ever considered changing genres for “Infected” and going with superheroes, she elaborated on Roan and Paris’ heroic identities.
“Well, obviously, Lionman and The Tiger,” she said. “Because [Roan is] a lion man, and Paris is a tiger. And these names would piss Roan off no end, so there’s a good reason to adopt them.”
In Honor of Irish Music
Because the Irish are known for their music, Speed makes her picks between U2 and The Proclaimers.
“Aren’t the Proclaimers Scottish?” she asked. “And can I choose none of the above?”
And then explained her choices between the not so Irish musicians, Blue Öyster Cult and Wu Tang Clan.
“Ooh … now see, that’s a toughie,” she said. “BOC invented their own symbol, and actually has a couple of decent songs. And the Wu Tang Clan is a classic as well, and who doesn’t remember the time Old Dirty Bastard changed his name to Big Baby Jesus? Can Wu Tang cover Godzilla? I’ll settle for that.”
Okay, stay with me here. So, obviously the drunkenness would give way into the zombie apocalypse—because it would, trust me. And instead of picking members of the “Walking Dead” cast such as Crazy Rick, Annoying Andrea, Magnificent Michonne, or the Deadly Daryl, Speed makes her choice of who she’d want to spend the end of the world with.
“Wolverine,” she said as her top pick. “He doesn’t need weapons to kill zombies, he has them in his hands, so he’s never going to be disarmed. Also, he’s a badass, and quite possibly immune.” Second on her list? “Buffy Summers. Slayer, yo. Go kill. This is what she was born for. I’d be willing to take Faith instead.” As for third? “Ripley. You know, from Aliens? Human, but terribly resourceful, and she never leaves a comrade behind. And frankly, zombies are going to be a walk in the park next to acid spewing aliens.” Fourth? “Hunter S. Thompson. Because I need at least one real person in the group, and he’s always going to know where to find the booze and drugs.” And the rounding out the team? “Doctor Who. Because he could get us the hell out of there.”