By Courtney Rene
Growing up in the 80’s the only good zombie flicks where the Night of the Living Dead movies. Then, trying to find a good book with zombies at that time was almost impossible. You had some good horror stories, but nothing really that stood out as zombie. Now, thirty some odd years later, you look around and it’s a sea of books and television shows and movies. I absolutely love it!
Yes, part of it is the gross gore, but actually for me the main draw is the survival issue. Take the Walking Dead series. There are always parts within each episode that is zombie lead. The killing and biting and dying keeps the show exciting. However, the actual story is about how the people are surviving within all the chaos. How they continue on and lead as normal a life as they possible can manage. They are surviving for themselves and for their children and their family and friends. Some do it better alone, while others need and crave the family environment. Some become the leaders and others the followers, but again, they are alive. Maybe not so much thriving, but they are getting there.
I am a character person. I want to know who each character is. Why they are the way they are. What caused them to be the way they appear and do what they do? I want to fall in love with them or hate them with a real and tangible passion. I believe that is what makes the current zombie shows so wonderfully good. We get to know the people, the good, the bad, and the unbelievable about them. We ache when they ache and we get mad when they get mad. The writing of the shows I have to say is fantastic. Without the character involvement, it would just be about zombie munching, blood dripping chaos. That type of production wouldn’t last. A show or two and we would all lose interest.
That is how I came to write my short story: A Day in the New World. I wondered how one woman, without family or friends would survive out in the wild of what was left of civilization. Would she cower before the dead? Would she fight back to survive?
I grew up camping, and canoeing, and learning to shoot firearms and bows. I learned how to fish and trap. I like to think that I would survive and be just fine on my own. I know I can take care of myself without any real problems. I would know how to keep myself safe. I would rely on no one. I would keep alone and probably not join in with any other groups. Trust would be very hard in that world. I know I could make it though. I’m not sure that type of life would be worth it though. Surviving, but alone. Humans after all are pack animals. We don’t do well mentally by ourselves. We thrive in family groups.
However…if you add in my family and my children, it would be very hard, if not impossible to keep us all alive. I would be afraid all the time. Every waking moment and most likely even in my sleep I would be afraid of what could or would or may happen. I would work to keep them safe most likely to my own peril. I would be forced to have to rely more on others to hold up their end of things or simply keep up. There would be more food to find and more shelter to create to house and feed the bigger numbers. Noise would be an issue, wherein as a single person on my own, it wouldn’t. The group aspect would be comforting as we would be together, but in the end I believe it would be a detriment as well. Worrying about others while trying to stay alive causes mistakes to be made and emotions to get in the way.
Then you come to the boy girl issue. If the world falls, how many people become animalist and base with it? How many people that were good and honest and safe would become mean, abusive, and controlling if the world fell apart? How many teen girls and women would be abused and raped and made slaves? People don’t like to think about that, and yet it plays out even in this day in other countries. So it’s not that it isn’t possible. Add in fear and you have a very dangerous concoction for some people.
I’m not saying it is only men. No. I know for a fact that if the zombie apocalypse happened right this moment, the life my children were leading would be over. You would see jailer and control freak mom take over. They would have no freedom in my bid to keep them safe. They would be virtually Velcroed to my side. What kind of life is that? I don’t know. Is it even a real life? No freedom to learn and grow and be a kid? Not really, but they would be alive and safe. Are the consequences too much though? I don’t know, maybe. Would it change my mind? Nope.
There is a lot to think about, but that’s part of the fun of being a writer. I can sit and think about all this crap and know it doesn’t matter right this second. It’s all fiction and ideas and most likely wont happen. Never say never, after all, right? I do like seeing all the new ideas out today. There are books galore to enjoy now, where there never was in the past. It seems to have sparked its own genre, which I find absolutely fantastic. New authors are popping up like daisies to write their own stories. You can now find zombie love stories, zombie space sagas, time travel, and yes, the time true horror. Anything you want, I’m sure you can find it today in the zombie world.
Enjoy it while it lasts. I know that I will.
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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
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!
#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!