Friday, October 25, 2013


October is a month of nasties comin' at you. Vampires, ghouls, ghosts, Freddy Kruegar, and the host of pint-sized pixies, princesses, and super heroes invading your neighborhood and pounding on your door. 
And then there are zombies... 
My guest is zombie aficionado and author, Dana Fredsti, who wrote Plague Town about a tough and sexy zombie hunter, Ashley Parker. Ashley is also smart and sassy mouthed--reminds me of a certain author I know. Plague Nation is book number two in the series. 
Dana talks a bit about zombies in movies and history.  

I’m sure most of you probably know at least one, if not more, people like me. You know, the friend you invite to dinner who, instead of appreciating the spectacular view from that big old picture window in your living room, lectures you about the impossibility of boarding it up efficiently when the zombies come. 
Yeah, I’m that person. And it used to be there weren't very many of us; just a relatively small fringe group of people given to eye-balling his or her surroundings at any given moment, planning just what we’d do if the zombie apocalypse should happen to start right then and there.  We were like a small, select club, but instead of a secret handshake we’d all laugh knowingly when someone else said, “Yeah, they’re dead. They’re all messed up.” 
Now you can’t turn around without running into zombie savvy civilians.  Over the last few years zombies have taken over publishing, movies, television and pop culture as relentlessly as they've overrun farmhouses and malls in George Romero’s films. Even the CDC has gotten into the rotting, shambling spirit of things.  Some people are proclaiming zombies are the “new vampire” (and if, by “new vampire” they mean zombies are the currently the monster du jour for film and literature, I take their point. I don’t, however, see them taking over as romantic heroes, sparkling or otherwise).  Others state that zombies have already “jumped the shark” and are on their way out, end of story.  Not likely, says I.  People like me have been waiting a long time for enough zombie fodder to satisfy our appetites. 
Not that the concept of a zombie apocalypse is new.  There are references to the flesh eating dead in the Epic of Gilgamesh, perhaps the oldest surviving work of literature.  And one has only to take a peek at a few choice passages in the bible to see that the dead returning to life is not a new theme.
Throughout history most cultures have had, if not precisely zombies as we've come to define them (i.e. reanimated corpses with a voracious appetite for human flesh), assorted critters close enough for government work: vengeful reanimated corpses called revenants (think Creepshow's  "I want my cake!" segment); nachzehrers and gjengangers (ghouls that feed on corpses, but also attack the living and spread disease); and the Norse draugr (dead Vikings who attack, eat and infect the living). 
Haitian folklore brought us the "zombi" (which translates as "spirit of the dead"), in the form of either an animated corpse or living human controlled by a Bokor (voodoo priest) after being zapped with a nasty toxic powder called "coup poudre." These zombies didn't eat human flesh, but they were still creepy.  Early movies like White Zombie, I Walked with a Zombie, and the '80s film Serpent and the Rainbow featured this relatively benign incarnation of the walking dead.
George Romero's 1968 release Night of the Living Dead brought us the classic (and now ubiquitous) slow, but relentless flesh-eating zombies. Subsequent films/books/games/television have since brought us more slow zombies; zombies that could win gold medals for sprinting; smart zombies (Day of the Dead); brain-eating zombies (Return of the Living Dead); shark fighting zombies (Zombie Flesh Eaters); funny zombies (Shaun of the Dead/Zombieland); pathetic zombies (Zombie Honeymoon); and sensitive zombies (Fido). And yes, oh well, Summer Blockbuster Zombies that can only be defeated by Brad Pitt.   

Reasons for the zombacalypse range from exploding space probes, biological warfare, demonic possession, tainted meat, mutating viruses/bacterial nasties, biblical prophecy, and more.  And now, thanks to The Walking Dead (AMC) and Dead Set (BBC), zombies have successfully infiltrated network television. 

And I couldn't be more delighted to invite them into my home. :-)

  • How about you? Are you a fan of Zombies? The Walking Dead?

Dana Fredsti

Sequel to the thrilling zombie novel PLAGUE TOWN.

The last thing Ashley Parker wanted when she went to college was to become a zombie hunter. But she is one of a select few who are immune to the virus. Gifted with enhanced speed, strength, and senses, she’s recruited by a shadowy organization that’s existed for centuries, its sole purpose to combat the zombie threat. 

The Zombie Swarm… The undead have been defeated in Redwood Grove, but reports of similar outbreaks are coming in. What seemed to be an isolated event is turning into a pandemic. 

Dark secrets begin to emerge, and when an unknown enemy strikes, Ashley and the other wild cards embark on a desperate mission to reach San Francisco. If they fail, the plague will sweep the nation unchecked. And the person she cares for most may die. Or worse. Excerpt (on Amazon)

"Dana Fredsti has given us something I never thought possible – a hot and steamy version of the zombie siege story...And Plague Nation is exactly what the zombie genre needed." Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Inheritance 


Dana and Pogeen
Dana Fredsti is ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical sword-fighting. Through seven plus years of volunteering at the Exotic Feline Breeding Facility/Feline Conservation Center ( in Rosamond, California, Dana’s had a full-grown leopard sit on her feet, been kissed by tigers, held baby jaguars and had her thumb sucked by an ocelot with nursing issues. She’s addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which include zombies. Her other hobbies include surfing (badly), collecting beach glass (obsessively), and wine tasting (happily). Her other books include: Plague Town and Plague Nation (Titan Books, 2012 & 2013), touted as Buffy meets the Walking Dead, and a number of spicy genre romances written under the name Inara LaVey. Plague World will be out in April 2014. 

You can find Dana: Website, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter


~Sia McKye~ said...

Céad míle fáilte romhat a Dana!

It's been awhile since you last visited. I'm so glad to have you back here and a lovely pic of you and the darlin' Pogeen!

The guys in my house love horror and all things zombie. I literally have a houseful of people to watch The Walking Dead on Sundays. Several of my son's friends don't have access to at home so they all come over here and watch it. Two TVs running the same show--hubs in one room and the rest in Jake's room. Me hiding out in my office with the pride.Zombies...*shudders*

L.G. Smith said...

I know I'm one of the first dead in a true zombie apocalypse. I've got a big sliding glass door. I'm sure they could break that down pretty easily if they were hungry enough. :P

And I still haven't seen World War Z yet. Gotta watch that this weekend.

Yolanda Renee said...

I haven't been able to watch Walking Dead this year. Too many nightmares! LOL I don't understand it, I write horror, once in a while, but those zombies just get to me! Cannot stand them! And when I learned children were involved in this years show, I can't even listen to it. My son fills me in on what's happening though, and that's just fine!

Great books Dana! Best of luck, this time of the year is all about the fun and a favorite time for me, yeah the scardy cat!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Serpent and the Rainbow came to my mind as well. Those tales are probably the closest we've ever come to real zombies.
We have a lot of windows and no lumber. I guess we'd be dead.

Olivia Cunning said...

The only zombie movie I remember seeing is the one based on the video game Resident Evil. Yeah, it pretty much sucked. I think I need to check out some others. :-)

Al Diaz said...

Never been fan of zombies but many have recommended World War Z to me. Maybe I'll give it a shot, maybe.
Dragon hugs!

Dana Fredsti said...

Hi, all, and thanks so much for your comments! If we were about to be attacked by zombies that only eat brains, I'd be safe today as I've been running around and forgot I was here today!

Zombies ARE creepy - they're a reflection of us and how nasty to be ripped to pieces by someone who used to be one of our loved ones or neighbors... on the other hand, if you really HATE your neighbor and he/she becomes a zombie, you will be able to live out your fantasy of shooting them in the head and be fully justified.

I'm one week behind on the Walking Dead, but hope to catch up. I've been a fan since the comic came out and it's interesting seeing what directions they're taking it in...

The Honest Trailer for WWZ is... it's really honest. Be warned. Definitely worth seeing, but just imagine a movie like Day AFter Tomorrow with zombies instead of natural disasters and you pretty much have it... The book is SO much better...

Sheila Deeth said...

When I was a kid I decided if I heard "the bomb" was coming, I'd climb the tallest building to watch. Wouldn't work too well with zombies though. I'd just starve up there instead of spectacular sudden death. Maybe that's why zombies are scarier.

Jo said...

I quite reading any kind of zombie books when I was a youngster.

Lexa Cain said...

Thank you for your good wishes on L.G. Smith's blog about my cover reveal!

Congrats to Dana on her glorious new zombie book! I love the cover and think few things could be better than Buffy meeting the Walking Dead. I wish her huge success! :-)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I was never a fan of zombies stories until The Walking Dead and now I'm hooked :)

By the way may I become a follower??

Kat Sheridan said...

Zombies scare me witless (and living in Florida, one is never quite sure zombies aren't about to come shuffling out of the woods!) But Dana pulls it all off so fantastically! And I love that cover!