Summer of Zombie 2015
by Jay Wilburn
Probably better as a story title than a post title. Polite people are supposed to avoid discussion of religion and politics. Or at the very least just rant about them on Facebook. As a teacher, I had a strict rule about giving no parenting advice. In horror, anything goes. Well, except all the things the publisher lists off that they don’t want to see. In self published horror, anything goes. In the story, these topics are not just to be discussed, but to be deeply explored.
The innate topic of resurrection kind of lends itself to discussions of religion among the characters in a zombie story. Questions about an afterlife become more front and center when dead are walking the earth trying to eat the living. The body and blood of communion become darkly symbolic too. Blood symbolism in religion has long been fertile fodder for horror stories of all types. These religious symbols and motifs can be uncomfortable to broach in the context of a zombie story, but it would make sense that the characters would bring up questions of faith. These questions would naturally produce conflict between the characters and possibly within the reader, if written well.
Religious characters in a zombie story can take a few different tracks. Faith is a good question to answer for a character in any story. What do they believe? What do they think they believe? What happens when they are tested? Faith in the spiritual or secular senses of the word are good to define and redefine for characters in a story. Their views toward organized religion are telling. Characters regaining or losing faith in a story can be interesting. Doing this to characters in unexpected ways is also interesting.
Religious zealot, fanaticism, or psychosis are pretty common villainy in zombie stories. Seeing the end drives these characters over the edge and into darker places. They present grave danger to our heroes. Supportive characters of faith are used often too. People of faith put in their place is somewhat common also.
Churches and places of worship become dangerous tombs in the world of zombies. People would go to them in times of crisis as people tend to do. The infected would spread the disease in close quarters punishing the faithful and the recently faithful for their kindness and comfort to the sick and needy.
These types of stories can cut both ways. A well written discussion of any subject can have readers of opposing views draw very different lessons from the same text. A good exploration of religion, even in a zombie story, can do the same thing. A reader can leave feeling that faith has been verified or they can leave seeing it as discounted. It is interesting that in infusing message into a story it can result in not preaching one specific view on a subject. As characters have flaws and virtues, religious ideas, logical conclusions, and political viewpoints can be portrayed in the same way. Even if a reader does not agree with a character’s world view, there is power in writing that view in a way so that it is understandable why the character believes it.
Check out the first book in the Dead Song dodecology and the soundtrack The Sound May Suffer for the story told through words, pictures, and music.
Check out The Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 1: January from Milwaukee to Muscle Shoals –
Check out the five song sound track in The Sound May Suffer … Songs from the Dead Song Legend Book 1: January –
Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near Myrtle Beach on the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He was a teacher for sixteen years before leaving to become a full-time writer. He writes in many genre. His Dead Song series book 1 is available now along with the five song soundtrack The Sound May Suffer.
* * * * *
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!