The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume Two: Empire Decayed

Series: The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, #2

Author: Daniel Kraus

Publication Date: October 25th, 2016

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: A murdered teen is resurrected to walk the earth for more than a century in the second and final book in the sweeping epic that Entertainment Weekly called “utterly riveting.”

Zebulon Finch has faced more violence, lust, and heartbreak than any other seventeen-year-old in history. But nothing can prepare him for what is coming next.

Half a century has passed since Zebulon Finch was gunned down and then inexplicably resurrected to experience a second life. Picking up his tale where he left off, Zebulon heads to Nazi Germany on a top-secret mission. From there he escapes to the shiny new world of the suburbs—a tidy neighborhood hiding dark secrets. He will exchange the pains of this world for what he believes will be peace among the stars. He will march for social change all the way to Woodstock, go raving mad in the desert, and finally exit from humanity the only way he knows how. We first met Zebulon sealed in a tomb beneath the World Trade Center—might he yet crawl from the rubble to discover a different America?

Enthralling and gut-wrenching, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume Two: Empire Decayed is the conclusion to the epic saga of one young man’s journey down the long road to redemption.

Some Nifty Book Links:

Amazon | B&N

About the Author and Q&A

daniel-krausDaniel Kraus is the acclaimed author of The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire;The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume Two: Empire DecayedThe Monster VariationsRotter; and Scowler. With filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, he wrote Trollhunters. A writer, an editor, and a filmmaker, Daniel lives with his wife in Chicago. Visit him at DanielKraus.com.

Some Nifty Author Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Q&A with Daniel Kraus

Where did you get the idea for Zebulon Finch?
It was about 20 years ago. I was in college eating burritos with friends and we were talking about zombies. I know this is hard to believe, but 20 years ago, no one was talking about zombies. They were in the realm of old, must, mostly forgotten horror movies. For whatever reason, I’d always been interested in that archetype of monster and I began discussing with my friends about how zombies represented this really flexible metaphor. They could stand in for the battered underclass. Or the mindless mob. The eater, or the eaten. I hatched an idea that night about following a single zombie across time, and how sad that would be—to watch the life, as well as the people, you knew crumble away while you kept going. It took 20 years for me to have the guts to take it on.

Are any of the characters in either of theZebulon Finch books loosely based on anyone you know in real life?
I just paged through the books to try to see if I’ve forgotten something, but I can’t find a single character based on someone I know. This is pretty rare; usually, there are characters who are at least amalgams of people I’ve met. Maybe this can be attributed to the historical nature of the book. I’m writing about people so wildly different in time and place that it’s hard to draw firm lines to the here and now. That said, I do visualize characters sometimes as famous people, etc, just so I have a clearer idea of who I’m describing.

How long did it take you to write the Zebulon Finch novels?
Well, if we’re not counting the 20-year spawning period, I’d say maybe five years? That might sound short for 1500 pages, but it was an extremely intense period – I feel like it was 10 years of work crammed in 5. It was interesting, in an anthropological way, to experience, but I hope never to work like that again.

Where is your favorite writing spot?
I can only work well at home. I have way too little time to write, so I can’t afford the time it would take me to settle into a new space, get comfortable with it, push away the distractions, etc. That’s why setting up at, say, a coffee house would be disaster for me. I need to hit the ground running.

What kinds of things do you do to avoid distractions while you’re writing?
Music, mostly. I have a dedicated folder of writing music that I’m constantly adding to and deleting from so it stays lean and mean. When I’m really rolling, the music is loud and pretty much blocks out everything else. In these instances, it doesn’t even matter if the music has lyrics – I’m beyond distraction at that point, just running on some sort of sonic fuel. Aside from that, nothing. The internet is open, because I’m often looking up things, my door is open for my dog to wander in and out, and so on.


3 Finished Copies of ZEBULON FINCH, VOL. 2 (US Only)


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