Summer of Zombie 2015
Women and the apocalypse
A long time ago I wrote a little something called I Zombie I. Initially it was to be a stand-alone story. By the time I completed the book, I realized I wasn’t ready to let it go. But when you’ve crafted a main character doomed by the end of the first book, what do you do?
You make sure you’ve got a strong enough supporting cast around him to take up the mantel.
In the process of writing the book, Jacob (the main protagonist of I Zombie I) fell in love with a brilliant hacker named Bethany Nitshimi. When I finished writing that first story, I myself had fallen in love with the red-haired hacker and realized, beyond any shadow of any doubt, she had to take over the reins of the series. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense … even if for only one reason.
At the time, women in the zpoc genre were nothing more than eye candy and romantic fodder. This notion was hit home with the coming of The Walking Dead. Even a show with that much pull and popularity couldn’t seem to give women their due – even to the point of taking their best character, Carol, and screwing her over for a season or three. Thankfully, in the end, logic and the double X helix won out.
Before I started writing I Zombie I, I dove into reading as much of the genre as I could. One of the first things to hit me was how poorly represented women were (understand this was quite a while ago – things have since changed). I wanted to help be a voice to change that. Oddly enough, I have caught flak for placing a female protagonist – one that survives primarily by using her brains – at the heart of my series. This is flak I will happily take.
This is, if I recall, 2015. Issues such as “Which gender is better prepared to survive the apocalypse?” should no longer be on the table. The answer to that question is quite simple – both. One without the other is simply failure waiting to happen.
But being the most capable isn’t really enough (it never is). Even under the guise of survival (and being equally qualified to do so), women still manage to get the short end of the skirt.
I meant that, literally and figuratively.
Let me explain myself. Hop on over to any Facebook or Google+ group dedicated to the apocalypse or zombies; or watch just about any given film in the genre. What will you inevitably see? Scantily clad women. Again, I’ll refer back to The Walking Dead. Remember when the character of Rosita Espinosa first ventured into the storyline? Remember her dressed like Lora Croft? Short shorts, midriff-baring, sleeveless top, and combat boots? Don’t get me wrong, the woman was sexy. But how in the hell of hells does that outfit help her chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse? It doesn’t. When zombies have that much leg to NOM … they will. If I were a zombie, you can be sure I’d head straight for the gams.
What it does is sell tickets. Same with the rampant posting of overly sexualized women in photos. Again … don’t get me wrong, we all like a bit of eye candy now and again. But when said eye candy becomes the single selling point of the genre, we’ve got trouble in Raccoon City.
That’s where Bethany Nitshimi comes into play. Although her beauty is referenced, she is never objectified. The women in my apocalyptic series serve a very specific purpose – survival of the human race. Bethany, Morgan, Echo, Rizzo … they are all strong women who could probably kick my ass (should I mistreat them).
In the end, if you’re looking for a zpoc series that does its best to strike a balance between chromosomal evolution, you might enjoy the world I have crafted. If, however, you are looking for scantily clad women ready to rock your zpoc world, you could try such films as Zombie Strippers or Zombeavers or Jennifer’s Body (which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone).
* * * * *
The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!
Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!
#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!