Monday, October 29, 2012


The Walking Dead kicks ass.

Now that that is out of the way.

Writing zombies is fun. It really is. But it is hard to come up with anything new in the genre since it exploded in the last few years. But sometimes you don't have to do something new to write a fresh take. Sometimes we WANT what we expect....for the most part. If I'm reading a zombie book I like to read about the zombies, the band of survivors who try to scrabble for life in a dead world, the zombie kills, I want that in the zombie book and most readers do too. You are probably NOT going to get fans of zombies to read your work if you radically change what makes zombies awesome.

So work the edges. Creep the corners. Come at them in the small surprises. Take the expected and turn it upside down.

This may come in the form of something like Zombieland, a terrific movie that embraced the inherent ridiculousness of what a zombie apocalypse would be like.

It may be like Kevin J. Anderson's Dan Chambeaux novel about a zombie detective which is full of the humor of being the walking dead.

Or it may be like the Walking Dead where Robert Kirkman and company use the zombie apocalypse to explore just to what ends a group of humans will go to survive and what humanity means when the world forces you to be inhumane.

In my zombie story "He Stopped Loving Her Today" I took an intimate love story and set it in a world of zombies. A man on the ragged edge of survival and the love of his life. I don't know that I added anything "new" to the genre, except maybe the Sloshers. Those are zombies who swell up as they decay, filling with gasses from decomposition until their skin is stretched tight like a balloon and when they shamble they slosh like a half-filled water balloon.  But I did manage to tell a fresh zombie tale by focusing on one specific incident and the human reaction to a world gone mad and undead. The story is about love and desperation, the zombies are a device.
 ("He Stopped Loving Her Today" is still available in ONE BUCK ZOMBIES for only .99 cents and you get 4 other stories also! Click HERE to go buy. #endshamelessselfpromotion)

Just remember that most good zombie stories start in the form of: "Wouldn't it be cool if..."

And to leave you, here is a youtube clip of horror author Brian Keene reading his short story "Fast Zombies Suck" (which I am so freaking jealous of that title I could eat a brain.)


  1. I've got a copy of Death Warmed Over sitting next to me! can't wait to read it

  2. Kevin is a total card, funny as hell. I hope you enjoy it!