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Year of the Zombie?

By On Nov 16 2012, 8:18 am

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2012 has been my year of the Zombie. Not only have I edited & published a zombie anthology, via the small press I run, but my second release for Samhain features those rotting rotters.

There was no plan to this, sometimes that’s the way things work out. Most of the main action point of AZ: Anno Zombie came from a dream I had on holiday a couple of years ago.

But why are zombie novels so big these days?

The zombie took a while for this rotting remnant of mankind to drag itself out of its sodden grave to the top of the adult supernatural tree. Why so? They don’t look good or smell nice, none of us really wants to become one, like our hankering to become our monster of choice, a blood sucker that haunts the night and lives forever.

So why the slow rise since the sixties, and why do zombies have the staying power now? Is it because, in the post Dracula/Lestat/Twilight era, maybe there is a power vacuum at the top, that the poor relation the werewolf could never fill. Is it that zombies are a classless crowd, not the upper-class vampire Counts of old and being a waking corpse is the great social leveller. Like death that afflicts every man woman and child on the planet.

Many people want them to go away and can’t stand another dumb zombie book or film. But as a zombie author now, the more you get into your novel, the more the survivors stories have to come out to cover the lack of back-story of the unspeaking unliving dead. And that’s the key to any novel really getting inside your characters, finding out what makes them want to live and the attachment the reader gets from them.

I hope you enjoy my next Samhain offering, but if zombies aren’t your thing, you can always re-read Hedge-End again.

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