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By Rusty Fischer, author of the Reanimated Readz Series
There’s that scene in almost every zombie movie/book. You know the one I’m talking about: where one of the good guys, the stragglers, the survivors gets bitten and you know, everyone knows, that’s it; he or she is done for.
There’s no cure, chopping the arm or the leg off never works, that’s it: he or she is a dead thing walking. It may take a day, a week, an hour, but soon enough they’ll start to look… different. Eyes glazed over, skin a different color, they’ll stop remembering the name of the current president, or what year it is, or who went home last night on Dancing with the Stars.
And that’s that; human no more. Welcome to the Afterlife.
That’s the beauty of zombies: they’re doomed. Either to rot and fall to pieces, like in some books, or to walk the earth eternally, dead but living, like in mine. And there’s something sad but brave about that. That they just keep going and going and going, making an afterlife for themselves despite all the odds.
And in that doom, there is drama. Who will get it next? Who will the director or the screenwriter or the author decide to go “the zombie way” with? Isn’t that why we turn into the Walking Dead season after season: to see who’s going to survive? To see who’s going to get it?
And with zombies, it’s all still relatively new. Vampires, their rules have been established for hundreds of years. Even werewolves have a lot of literary baggage. But it’s only in the last few years or so that zombie books have taken off to this degree, and that still gives zombie writers like me a little creative freedom to turn that doom into new kinds of drama.
When I wrote Zombies Don’t Cry, I tried to create a world where zombies could be the main characters of a new book series. When I wrote Ushers, Inc., I wanted to create a world where vampires, zombies and werewolves could not only co-exist but, more importantly, play on a level playing field. When I wrote Panty Raid at Zombie High, I wanted grosser zombies than I’d ever written about before to still be the “good” guys.
What’s more, that “doom as drama” presents almost unlimited possibilities. Like today, my latest story in the Reanimated Readz series comes out. ProjectZ is about still being more zombie than human, but being just human enough to know what your fate is; to feel your dream, recognize it and have to deal with it. Other stories in the series talk about what it’s like to lose a brother to being a zombie, or when your ex turns against you because you’re a zombie.
All these 99-cent shorts are a great way to explore the endless possibilities of making zombies the good guys, or humans the bad guys, or vice versa – or a little bit of both.
And that’s why I’m a zombie writer. So, what makes you a zombie reader?!? Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of ProjectZ. Don't forget to leave your email address in your response!