An interview with Clive Riddle author of The Z Tailgate.
What’s the Z Tailgate all about?
The Z Tailgate is a sequel to my second book – The Burning Z. In the Burning Z – zombies invade the Burning Man festival, after a mysterious alien meteor-like object begins infecting people in the desert. Our protagonists set out to warn and save those inside Burning Man. So in the Z Tailgate, two months later, the Burning Man site is now an internment camp for zombies and our protagonists have contracted in different capacities with Homeland Security, who is now charged with dealing with the zombie site. The Chinese want to procure some of the interned zombies for their own experiments, and arrange a zombie kidnapping that goes awry. Two of our protagonists are kidnapped along with the zombies. The kidnappers end up the subject of a manhunt, and take refuge in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, where a football game will soon be taking place. Meanwhile, our other two protagonists are dealing with a new zombie threat on a cruise ship, before they are whisked away to help consult in dealing with the zombie tailgate at the Coliseum.
Will readers first need to complete The Burning Z in order to make sense of The Z Tailgate?
While I’d love for anyone to read both in that order, you can certainly enjoy The Z Tailgate as a stand-alone story. Enough relevant background is provided in the sequel so it stands on its own.
Why Zombies? Why Burning Man? Why Cruise Ships? And why a Raider Tailgate?
These are all things I’m passionate about. Who doesn’t love zombies? They’re so soft and cuddly. I love a good zombie movie or The Walking Dead, despite how they ended this season. Burning Man is such a unique, wonderful experience – I consider it the best alternative to visiting another planet if you can’t afford space travel. Cruise ships can be so much fun if you’re with close friends or family and I’ve become a frequent traveler. And the Raiders – I’ve been a season ticket holder since 1995, and there is nothing like the Coliseum tailgate crowds. Burning Man, cruise ships, and a Raider tailgate – they all seemed such great venues to plop a herd of zombies into.
But aren’t the Raiders probably leaving the Oakland Coliseum after this upcoming season?
I deal with that in the story. And I do think the zombie incursion in a final game at the Coliseum is something that all Raider fans can relate to, given all the fans have suffered through in rooting for their team the past two decades.
About Clive Riddle
Clive Riddle is a life-long Californian, married and father of three. At age 26 Riddle became CEO of a regional HMO. After a decade, he went on to found MCOL (www.mcol.com), a leading health care business information company. Riddle has authored a variety of health care reference books and business articles. He is a noted speaker at national events regarding key health care business issues. Dorris Bridge was his first novel, The Burning Z was his second, and the Z Tailgate is his third.
About the Z Tailgate
Title: The Z Tailgate: The Sequel to the Burning Z by Clive Riddle
Publication date: March 12th 2016
Genres: Adult, Horror, Zombies
Zombies go to a Raider tailgate and bleed silver and black. The Z Tailgate is the sequel to the Burning Z. In the Burning Z, Zombies went to Burning Man. The sequel begins back in the Black Rock Desert before zombies invade a cruise ship and a tailgate party. In The Z Tailgate, the Burning Man site is now an internment camp for zombies and our heroes, Alan Gorman, Conner and Bruce, consult with the Department of Homeland Security, who oversee zombie affairs. Alan and Conner are sent to a cruise ship to investigate a possible new zombie outbreak. Bruce and Cassie – Conner’s girlfriend – are kidnapped along with a truckload of zombies by Chinese-backed henchmen intending to stow away some Zs to China. The zombie truck becomes the subject of a manhunt, ultimately hiding out in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, where a football game is about to take place. The zombies escape and invade the tailgate parties, leading to a climatic battle in the Coliseum parking lot.
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A palpable buzz could be sensed throughout the Hegenberger lot, as the stage one infected turned and began to rise up and join the other zombies in great numbers. Cassie, Conner and even Tess took measure of it from the back of their cargo truck as they fought off their attackers.
The buzz of the second wave began to unnerve, and then panic the thousands of tailgaters, who up to this point had patiently and obediently waited in their vehicles for an all-clear signal. Many started to flee their car on foot, causing others to see them and decide to do the same. Even more began to try to extricate their vehicles from their confined positions in the parking lot, ramming their cars and trucks into each other, hoping to clear enough space to break free.
Those in the far western end of the Hegenberger lot, in the “C” section – who remained outside their vehicles up to that point – caught the buzz of crowd noise and the initial thrusts of zombies into their areas. More than one barbeque of hot coals spilled over, rolling underneath running cars. A series of fires and explosions erupted in that end of the lot.
A growing number of people were fleeing on foot – which hadn’t been a major issue until this point – as the second wave of Zs pursued them. A number of persons were trampled in the process. Some of those on foot began to climb up the middle observation tower in the B lot to escape the Zs on their tail. Even more tailgaters sought out the tower as a refuge when they saw others before them taking that route. The structure soon became seriously beyond capacity. It didn’t take long for the tower to tip over, sending bodies flying everywhere, scattered amongst the zombies gathered below. A plume of dust rose from the tower’s collapse. Several cars were partially crushed underneath the fallen structure. Z’s began picking through the numbers that had tumbled off the tower as it went down.