Peter Bingham Interview
on: June 26, 2011, 01:04
Welcome to Jack J. Lee’s Forum “Real Person behind the Character Interview”

The character of Peter Bingham is Art Bingham’s only son, the youngest SaLT at 17 yrs. old, the first SaLT to die in the line of duty, and the namesake of the highest medal a SaLT can achieve, “The Bingham”

1. JJLForum: Why do you think Jack J. Lee chose you to write as a character in the first book he wrote?

Well personally I think it’s because of the age I’m at. In Mr. Lee’s first book everyone is thrown into a situation they are unfamiliar with, a zombie apocalypse. Now many teenagers here in Utah, and all over the United States for that matter enjoy very sheltered lives, so when they get thrown into a zombie apocalypse it will either make or break the teenager. I think Jack J. Lee chose to write about me becoming of age during the zombie apocalypse because I’m simply a teenager he knows well.

2. JJLForum: Jack J. Lee wrote that your character was inspired by living in a time of history in the making, legends were being created and you wanted to be a hero. Would you want to be a hero in real life, if given the chance?

Well there’s a lot of different types of heroes as we all know, but the one talked about here has always had an appeal to me. Most of the appeal is honestly for selfish reasons, a bit like the Director’s thinking; glory, honor, and being remembered for all of time all sound like amazing reasons to act heroic. In truth I cannot say for sure if I would take the chance to be a hero, though I would hope if something like a zombie apocalypse ever did happen that I would take the chance not for personal gain, but rather selfless reasons like Peter Bingham did.

3. JJLForum: Peter Bingham started out a 6 foot 150 lb kid, but after seriously training in the SaLT’s , running 20 miles per day, hunting and killing zombies, he added 20 lbs of muscle and was never happier. Is being in the armed forces something you would consider?

Physical fitness is always something I have sought after but never really dedicated myself to. I’ll be honest reading this question surprised me because it’s exactly where I am now, and where I would like to be physically, but as Peter was seventeen and I am almost seventeen I have a little more time to get as big as him. As for the armed forces the answer is most definitely yes, and it’s for what’s listed above, because being paid to be physically fit in the line of duty would be a dream come true at this point in my life. Now the likelihood of me joining the armed forces is something entirely different. The chances are slim of me pursuing a career in the armed forces unless WWIII breaks out because my mother is of the opinion that the military is an incredible waste of one’s time. We’ll see if that opinion changes anytime in the future.

4. JJLForum: The day your character was bitten by a zombie, the SaLT’s were rescuing the Riverside Ward. First you all had to kill 50,000 zombies over a couple of days. This turned into a shooting competition, with you coming in 2nd place. Is this something you would be able to accomplish in real life? Are you an expert with any weapons?

The only weapon I can truly say I am an expert with is the Halo 3 Battle Rifle, now if I had one of those controlled by an Xbox 360 controller the Zombie community would know true fear. In my experience with most weapons though I’m decent, I can shoot about 60% of clay pidgeons with a shotgun and I’m not entirely sure how to gauge my accuracy with a rifle. Now I own a few Katana’s, but can’t say I’m a master with those either. So to answer the first question, yes, not because of any preexisting talents I have, but because I hate to lose and I learn rather quickly how to get things down to a science.

5. 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?

In the last year I must say that I have become rather arrogant, or what I like to call extremely confident. I’ve always been outgoing, but this last year it’s become an addiction for me. I love to be “over the top” and exaggerated in about everything I do simply to entertain myself with others reactions to the whole thing, or to try and impress the young ladies. Even though I’m rather confident with women Mr. Lee wrote me to a “t” when describing my reaction to “I love you”. I recently had a moment just like Peter’s and laughed as I realized I did almost the exact same thing as him; when the awkward phrase was uttered to me I froze, it took me at least ten seconds to reply. Thankfully however, none of my friends were there to witness this happening, unlike my poor fictional counter-part, Peter. In short I’m a bit more confident then I come off in the book but I definitely am still a teenager who is greatly inexperienced in the realm of women.

6. JJLForum: Besides yourself, tell us your favorite character portrayed in the 2 books and why?

I’ll be honest here, I haven’t read Mr. Lee’s second book yet but have it on my summer reading list at a priority position. With that in mind know I speak only of character’s in the first book. I must say I don’t have a favorite character, many of them bug me as either a feminist or a male chauvinist or some other classic persona, but I must say this only speaks for the characters to me because only those characters whom I believe, and can draw connections to from people in my life bug me because they seem real.

7. JJLForum: How would you describe how you handle yourself in highly stressful situations?

I perform best when stressed, the most I’ve ever accomplished in school has been during a period great stress. Many of my greatest accomplishments in debate have come from being stressed about the level of competition. Most of the stressful situations I find myself in are of my own creation, so I can’t really speak for how I would handle myself when thrown into a stressful situation not of my own making. I would trust it would have similar results but one can never know for sure without experiencing it.

8. JJLForum: Fans seem to either love or hate Director Mark Jones, but they all agree he’s a super-hero. Your character appeared to consider him an incredible leader. Would you?

I’ve heard this happens in the second book, but Director Mark Jones cannot be an incredible leader unless he has first been humbled. One can never appreciate the highs if they have not first experienced the lows. While Director Mark Jones has the qualities of an incredible leader, being that he’s well organized, manages stress well, moves with purpose, and keeps moral high, the true test of Director Mark Jones will be marriage like so many other super-hero’s. Batman, Zorro, Ironman, and just about every other super-hero may be able to save the world but they struggle with serious romance department.

9. JJLForum: Your character has a small but moving part in YoTD. If the books were made into a movie, has it crossed your mind what actor would be your choice to portray you?

I’m about to lose a lot of credit in saying this, but I’ve been impressed by Zac Effron’s acting ability in the movies of his I’ve seen. Although I despise most of his fellow teen actors Zac Effron is an actor who I think would do a fine job in the albeit minor rule. Realistically though, I have no names to offer. With everything that makes it to the big screen now days I would love to see this book be adapted to a movie.

10. JJLForum: What’s your personal “zombie plan”?

Depends how capable the zombie’s are, and if there are vampires if not. Realistically I imagine Zombie’s as slow, immobile, and incredibly stupid, the key is just to outlast them. The first thing is to secure body armor and a weapon, probably a full body wet suit is the best as it cannot be bitten through and it’s relatively easy to locate. Next make a mad dash for all known weapons store’s as people will have the same idea as you. Lastly find a sustainable source of water. After that things should start to become much easier.

11. JJLForum: Your character faces a dilemma when he realizes he likes Becky. But Becky says “I love you” and Peter reacts with a “That’s nice.” He’s in trouble. He gets his advice from Dad/Art who says, “As time passes, if you love Becky you will get more and more miserable. Only a man who truly loves a woman can be miserable.” Is this advice your real dad would give you and do you believe this?

This is without a doubt advice my dad would give me, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Lee had quoted my dad on this one. As for whether or not I believe this it is difficult to say. I believe it in the sense that you don’t find the person you love by having life with her be easy. It also speaks truth to me because when a young man finds the woman he loves he will be miserable because he wants to be with her yet he will also be miserable because he knows the dramatic changes being with her will make to his life. So yes, I believe this statement more then I previously thought.

12. JJLForum: The chapter Jack J. Lee writes detailing Peter Bingham’s thoughts and feelings as death approaches is very moving. How did you feel in real life when you first read this chapter? Did you get a tear or two in your eye like we all did?

This part of the book moved me because of how I could connect with it. I imagined so vividly me being in that same position, and having all of my sisters visit me before my time came. I could so easily see myself being right there in the cell with my family around me and the emotions that I and everyone else there would be feeling. Not to say Mr. Lee didn’t do an outstanding job describing the scene but what really made me emotional at this part was how much it compared to how I would think something like that would happen in my life. As for the second part I think I may have gotten a tear or two.

13. 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?

Most of what I know about Jack J. Lee comes secondhand from my father, but from what I can tell Mr. Lee seems very confident about his views of life and enjoys knowing he can do whatever he puts his mind to, like becoming an author for instance. Mr. Lee’s humbling has come from some negative reviews on amazon but I know his next couple books will be significantly improved because of it. Mr. Lee is someone I would consider a friend and hope to see more of him in the future.