Tuesday, April 14, 2015

CBB Promotions Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: Zombie-Saurus Rex (Mark Souza)


About Zombie-saurus Rex:

Zombie-saurus Rex
Rex Morton, a seventeen year-old zombie, has arrived in the small farming town of Plain View, Nebraska; just another stop in a long string of small towns left behind in their rear view mirror. Unlike the zombie stereotype, Rex is bright and friendly - as long as he doesn't get hungry. He hopes this time he can manage to stick around long enough to get his diploma.
Rex’s fiercely protective mother has strong armed yet another school district into accepting her son by threatening a discrimination lawsuit. At Plain View High, a dismal pattern of fear, prejudice, and bullying steers Rex down a familiar path toward expulsion. The difference this time is that Rex has fallen for fiery Goth girl, Ariella Klopenstein, the daughter of the Police Chief, and decided he will make his stand in Plain View.As the Z-virus spreads west and the country panics, Rex and Ariella must find a way to overcome Rex’s mother who wants to break them apart and flee town, a school principal who wants Rex expelled, Ariella’s father, the Police Chief, who thinks Rex is dangerous, and a government zombie round-up aimed at solving the zombie problem once and for all.Zombie-saurus Rex is a story about perseverance, overcoming prejudice, stereotypes and adversity. What it isn’t is a story about dinosaurs. The title is inspired by a nickname a school bully hangs on Rex due to his size, posture, and slow plodding gate.
Mark Souza Author Photo
Author Mark Souza has always been a storyteller, whether explaining who filched the ice cream, or what happened to the cat’s tail. He learned most of life’s lessons from the business end of a wooden spoon, and the rest from public schools spanning the breadth of North America, all of which were overjoyed to be rid of him. He became an author of short stories and novels in the horror, mystery, thriller, and young adult genres later in life, after time and a desk job had softened his edges, transforming him into the round, doughy shape Big-&-Not-So-Tall shops crave.Mark was the proud recipient of the 2013 Indie Reader Award for Best Science Fiction for his debut novel Robyn’s Egg.He now resides in Western Washington with his wife (also an author), two daughters, and their dog of questionable heritage, Tater. Visit his website; http://www.marksouza,com. There you’ll find a multitude of ways to make contact. Mark enjoys cordial correspondence and will write back. He’s always on the lookout for that next victim reader.

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Hi Beth, thanks for having me at Curling Up With A Good Book. Zombie-saurus Rex was inspired by my daughter and her experiences in high school. My daughter has epilepsy. Epilepsy is an invisible disease, most of the time, which can be controlled with medication. In my daughter’s case, it was the effect of her epilepsy medication that set her apart. It left her in a stupor. She was bullied and picked on mercilessly at school because of it. I marveled at her resilience, and was simultaneously saddened by the toll it was taking on her. As a result, I wanted to tell an uplifting story about overcoming stigma and bullying. The main character in the story is Rex Morton. Rex is a zombie. He and his mother have engaged in an odyssey to find a place where Rex is accepted and can finish high school. They have just arrived in a small Nebraska town looking for a new start. But the familiar pattern begins again. At first people are afraid. Rex is huge, and a zombie, but not mindless and malevolent as is the typical stereotype. As long he’s not hungry, he’s bright courteous and friendly. And once those around him realize he’s not dangerous, the bullying begins.

 Who is your favorite character in the book?

The obvious answer is Rex. But I hold a warm spot in my heart for the two kids who first befriend Rex, Ariella Klopenstein and Howie Kojima. Ariella is fiery, a Goth girl freak in a conservative town where her appearance isolates her, yet setting herself apart is a conscious decision. Her biggest fear in life is that she’ll be ordinary and live a boring life trapped in her small town.

Howie Kojima is bright, funny, and loyal. The son of the local funeral director, he is in line to take over the family business. His biggest fear is that he’ll spend his days witnessing his friends and neighbors wheeled in to him at the funeral parlor, dead.

Which came first, the title or the novel?

I didn’t have the title when I started writing. It came organically from a scene early in the book. I knew I wanted Rex to be a zombie, someone who was clearly different based on his appearance alone, and from his appearance would carry a stigma, a stereotype he had to overcome. During lunch on his first day at his new school, Rex is looking for someone to sit with. He spots an opening at a table of jocks. They are clearly they cool kids, the “in crowd.” They close the opening as he approaches and rebuff him. As Rex walks away, one of the boys makes an explosion sound at every step Rex’s takes, making fun of his size and slow plodding gait. The other kids laugh. The boy taunting Rex yells out, “There he goes, there goes Zombie-saurus Rex,” and I knew I had my title.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

Wow, what a tough question. There are so many. The ending, of course, which I won’t go into for fear of spoiling the story for readers. Another would be a scene where a couple of bullies are in the process of beating Rex up in the school hallway and a small group of students, girls, put themselves in harm’s way to stop it. There are brave people among us, and it always warms my heart to see people stand up for others. Unfortunately people like this are in very short supply.

 Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned is to write your passion. Write something that matters to you. Ultimately, no one may ever read your book, but you should be proud you wrote it. And if you can, make it about something important, something that may spark discussion, and maybe even change, then you’ve accomplished something.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

The cover conveys Zombie-saurus Rex is a love story. And it’s love that makes all the difference. When things go south at his new school, as they have at every school Rex has attended, he could have fled town as Rex and his mother have so many times before. But this time he’s fallen in love, and will fight to keep Ariella. He realizes that running and hoping to discover tolerance and acceptance is not the answer. He must change those around him and make his own niche, build his own heaven where he is or die trying.

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?

Probably “Go Set A Watchman,” Harper Lee’s second novel and the follow-up to “To Kill A Mockingbird” set twenty years later in the same town. The first book was so powerful, l I can hardly wait to see what she has in store for us.

What was your favorite book in 2014?

I read a couple of Stephen King novels last year that I loved. One was “Joyland,” a paranormal coming of age story. The other was “Mr. Mercedes,” a thriller detective story. As is King’s way, it doesn’t matter what genre he’s writing, he has a deft talent for finding the core of what it is to be human. I always come away shaking my head, envious and appreciative of his talent.

What’s up next for you?

I’m currently writing on two novels and don’t know which will be finished first. One will be horror and will examine reality TV (no title yet). The other is an odyssey examining the afterlife, well at least my take on it, tentatively titled, “Things You Learn While Dead.”

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Just how much I appreciate people like you who help promote authors, taking time away from your own busy life. I very much appreciate it. Thank you.

$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Ends 5/21

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.


  1. I really like the inspiration behind the novel. That was the part that I connected with the most, the bullying and how Rex behaved about it and then how he really fought to move forward and be accepted, but not really in the usual way. It worked really well.
    Thanks for hosting a tour stop!

  2. Zombie-saurous rex, well now call me intrigued. Will be interesting to read how this story interprets the zombie scenario. Already it seems different. :)

  3. Some good advice in that interview - do it with passion.

  4. I think my husband & I would both love this book!!