Marcus Blakeston is the author of The Meat Wagon which we just reviewed here. His self description on his official website is Ex-shouting poet, ex-fanzine writer, ex-angry young man (now growing old disgracefully). Living in sunny Yorkshire with his wife, children and motorcycle, Marcus still has a healthy distrust of all forms of authority.
Tell me a little about yourself
When I started writing fiction I chose to write about the type of characters I grew up with – punks, skinheads, the long term unemployed – people I can still relate to, and people who are still out there hiding between the cracks of society.
I come from what the tabloid newspapers call The Underclass, I was brought up on a council estate by a single mother who claimed benefits all her life. It took me a long time to escape from that, but I managed it in the end. I’m currently self employed, over the years I’ve done graphic design, website coding, and organised junk mail for local businesses.
In ‘The Meat Wagon’, your hardcore bikers abuse the female characters and treat them as objects. No spoliers here, but a female does indeed get revenge for this treatment. Was there a message you wanted to get out?
We’re all, every one of us, just a small step away from letting our animal instincts take over. Society is all that holds us back, once that is gone it will be survival of the fittest. The bikers don’t have a politically correct bone in their bodies, and they take advantage of the situation they find themselves in. Those are the sort of people we will all need to deal with, assuming we survive.
They have their own moral compass, their own set of values, and they stick to them. So when Lynn becomes Vinnie’s Old Lady they accept that she’s strictly hands-off as far as they’re concerned. So they look for alternatives.
Lynn, meanwhile, she does what she needs to do in order to survive and to keep her son safe.
Why choose a biker gang as your band of survivors?
I was one of the people who cheered on the bikers in Dawn of the Dead, and always thought their story would make a better film. I decided early on that I wanted to write about a biker gang on a rampage through Yorkshire. The post-apocalypse setting came later, when I realized no matter what time period I set it in there was no way they would get away with the things they were doing. It also meant I could make them a lot more vicious than originally planned.
What’s next for you on the writing score?
I just finished a chick-lit for men called Bare Knuckle Bitch. It’s an ultra-violent romantic comedy told from the perspective of a young woman from a council estate who drifts into the world of female cage fighting. I had a lot of fun writing it, so even if nobody buys it I’ll be writing a follow-up in the near future.
I’m currently working on something with the working title Meadowside, which ties in with The Meat Wagon in the same way that Simon Goes Shopping did. After that I’ll probably be returning to the 1980s for another skinhead romance.
You can learn more about Marcus Blakeston at his homepage.
Category: Zombie News