Art Bingham Interview
on: June 26, 2011, 00:27
Welcome to Jack J Lee’s Forum “Real Person Behind the Character Interview”. The character is Art Bingham, he is introduced at the start of the story in YotD as, ‘first councilor at Forest Dale First Ward of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sugar House, Utah.’

Well, that description doesn’t last long. Due to mitigating circumstances and often against his own inclinations, your character ends up being the spiritual and community leader for a large group of surviving LDS and the citizens of Fort Salt Lake. Your wife and son are killed off. Your daughter is falling for a divorced non LDS. Your other two girls are out of sight. You must agree that the first question out of our mouths has to be:

1. JJLForum: Why do you think Jack J Lee chose you as the person to build his lead Mormon character around in the first book he wrote and what did you ever do to him in real life to deserve this honor?

I love being in the book and giving him feed back. I have known Jack for 22 years and have worked as partners for 18 of those. My wife read his book and hated it.

2. JJLForum: We’ve been told your family members are the basis for the characters of the Bingham family. How did your wife, the real person Stacy Bingham, feel about being killed off and does she still speak to Jack J. Lee?

My wife was o.k. with it but she wanted the author to know that he better not be setting her husband up to have a romance or marriage in the future! I’ve only loved one woman and she’s only loved one man and that’s how it will stay. Of course, she still speaks to Jack J. Lee. She feels he portrayed her as a bit too whiny and helpless. Of course I have no comments on the matter because I am not stupid.

3. .JJLForum: Your character is also a Doctor. He describes reading the medical tests and results of what makes a zombie tick. One of the resulting factors of the zombie virus is the prediction that a zombie can survive years without feeding. Keeping this in mind, what do you think of Mark Jones’s amassing the army of zombies to attack FDLS and then leaving them in the desert afterwards, unattended?

I told Jack that I didn’t like the idea about killing them off with zombies and leaving them there. He told me, “that is what Mark would do as a punishment for killing off his SALTS”.

4. JJLForum: Still keeping in mind the explanations and results of the zombie tests of the virus, what is your medical opinion, as a Real Person that is a Dr. in a book, as to whether a Zombie plague could possibly happen?

NO WAY as true zombies. I think other viruses or diseases are really possible.

5. JJLForum: Where would you Ideally pick to live in the event of a zombie outbreak?

I think the western states like Utah, Colorado, Idaho, of Montana due to the lower populations. I think probably in the Heber, Utah area.

6. JJLForum: How would you describe how you handle yourself in a highly stressful situation?

He portrayed me right on in the books. I would be stressed, overwhelmed, and would second guess myself but would do it.

7. JJLForum: It was mentioned in the books, once or twice, the practice of Mormon families to have food and supplies on hand to sustain their families for one year. Is this actually commonplace? If yes, and you buy, for example, the “prepackaged for a family of four” version, will the food be the decent kind that expires in a year or so, or the “Oh well, Hell has frozen over anyway so who cares what we eat til we die” kind that is edible for years?

We have about a year supple of food right now. We have all the food groups but it would suck to have to live on it.

8. JJLForum: Your character told of the church being vastly wealthy. He said they wisely spent a lot of that wealth preparing for defense in the event the zombies reached the U.S.A. They built fences around Wards, laid in supplies like generators , diesel fuel, weapons and ammo, encouraged the Mormon brethren to move their own supplies to their Ward House’s, practiced evacuation drills, and trained a militia. In your opinion, would the church actually be so proactive in real life?

I don’t know about the weapons and the militia part. But we have medical supplies, generators, and emergency plans for disasters now. We have drills for possible earth quakes and other disasters with HAM radio operators, block captains who many are CERT certified, and coordinate with the city and state people usually twice a year. I don’t think I could close the gate and leave people on the outside nor do I think I could kill neighbors I recognized even if they were zombies.

9. JJLForum: What is your “zombie plan”?

I would kiss my butt goodbye. I would probably stick it out and help as many people as I could. I don’t think I would want to live though something like that.

10. JJLForum: Jack J. Lee describes your character in a way that emphasizes while he’s a true believer in God and his church, he’s also just a down- to- earth man dealing with all the stressful, horrible situations life can hurl at you during a Zombie/Vampire apocalypse. He then gifts Art Bingham with the Emma Dietrich character to help him survive. Does your real life need and have an Emma Dietrich?

Yes! We have a receptionist now that handles our difficult patients for me because I try to please everyone. I need her to say no for me. This takes a lot of stress of me and lets me do what I do best. My wife helps me do the same at home. My four children all know who is Boss in our house. I practice saying NO once or twice a year just to keep in practice.

11. JJLForum: If you could change anything Jack J Lee wrote about your character, that you believe is “off” in comparison with your real self, what would it be?

I think he was right on! I want to say I would be more like Mark Jones or Hyrum but I am not.

12. JJLForum: After starring in this role in 2 books with the third scheduled in the trilogy and if the books were made into a movie, what actor would be your choice to portray you?

Brad Pitt, of course, and Helen Hunt for Stacy.

13. JJLForum: What actor would be your choice to play Director Mark Jones?

Russell Crow or Hugh Jackman

14. JJLForum: Revenge of the Meat Puppet time! What is your opinion of Jack J Lee as an author and as someone you personally know and maybe call friend?

I think he is a great author! Jack is our CEO and I am the CFO. He makes all the tough decisions on who to fire, hire, or if there are personnel problems because we don’t want to deal with them. I stick to the details of the finances and operating costs as well as the politics with the hospitals because I am the diplomate. I like talking to Jack about every subject. He had to talk me into legalizing drugs and prostitution in the books but it made sense that if you can’t enforce it don’t make a law against it. I look forward to the third book.