Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Zombies! Or Why I Love the Walking Dead

Here it is, the last day of the fun, fantastic A-ZChallenge! We’re wrapping it up in grand style with guest author Dana Fredsti, discussing her love of zombies. This also marks my last day for awhile as your guest hostess, as Sia McKye takes back over the helm on Friday and serves up fresh, interesting new discussions Over Coffee while I, like Puff the Magic Dragon, slip into my (writing) cave. But I’ll be stopping by now and then and hopping through all the great new blogs I’ve found as a result of this wonderful challenge! Thank you all for being such wonderful, supportive commenters this month! And now, take it away, Dana!  ~ Kat Sheridan
Why Zombies?
I get asked that question a lot. I get asked "why write about zombies" so often that lately my first impulse is to answer something along the lines of, "Damned zeds killed my family. Writing about them is the only way to deal with the pain." This response would be as accurate as "yes, I write about zombies only because I want to cash in on their current popularity," which is to say neither response is correct.

The assumption that the only reason I write about zombies is because they're popular and I'm some sort of literary whore with nothing but dollar signs in my eyes when I write about the walking dead is, quite frankly, insulting.  

I've been into zombies (in a platonic, non-necrophilia kind of way, thank you!) for years. My very first date movie was Dawn of the Dead. The original, not the remake. Slow, blue-faced zombies, shopping mall, four protagonists with actual character arcs. One of the first movies that really explored the visceral horror of  mindless walking corpses that ate living flesh. Sure, the makeup is dated, but the film is a classic for a reason. And I totally blame it for starting my fascination with zombies as flesh-eating ghouls.

Is there a glut of zombie related movies, books and TV shows out there?  


Is this a bad thing? 

Not to me or to people like me, who barely had anything as far zombie-themed entertainment for years.

Even after the original Dawn of the Dead was released to some critical acclaim, other than a few foreign horror films and a smattering of books and short stories (thank you, Skipp and Spector, for the Book of the Dead anthologies), and some fan fiction (I personally found it scary how many teenaged boys were out there with fantasies of having big guns, rescuing the only surviving hot chick around, getting laid, and then having the hot chick die after taking said boy's virginity), there was very little out there for zombie enthusiasts.

Luckily Shaun of the Dead and the remake of Dawn of the Dead, along with 28 Days Later ushered in a new era for the zombie. Even after those movies it took a few years before they reached their current level of popularity, but thanks in part to the likes of World War Z and The Walking Dead, if you're craving a new zombie book or movie, you're pretty much in luck. I used to pride myself on having read or watched pretty much everything out there, but I can't keep up any more.

Not all of them are created equal. Some of the books and movies aren't very good. But at least we have a variety to choose from instead of being forced to read about angsty vampires or hunky werewolves (not that there's anything wrong with vampires or lycanthropes) when we're in the mood for a good, old-fashioned zombocalypse!
Let's chat: Are YOU prepared for the zombocalypse? Have a hiding place selected? Ever read a zombie novel?
Plague World: The thrilling conclusion of the zombie apocalypse begun in Plague Town and continued in Plague Nation! The zombie plague has gone airborne, and the conspiracy that began it all reaches the boiling point. Having been ambushed in San Francisco, which is now full engulfed in the zombie plague, Ashley and the wild cards must pursue the enemy to San Diego. There they will discover a splinter of their own organization which seeks to weaponize the plague. But that isn't the worst news. The plague has gone airborne, makign it transferable without physical contact. It cannot be controlled by anyone, so reports of the zombie swarm are coming in from across the United States - and across the world.
Dana Fredsti is an ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical sword-fighting (a skill she utilized in Army of Darkness as a Deadite and fight captain). She’s addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which includes zombies. She’s the author of the Ashley Parker series, touted as Buffy meets the Walking Dead, as well as the cozy noir mystery Murder for Hire: the Peruvian Pigeon, and several spicy genre romances under the name Inara LaVey. She lives in San Francisco with her boyfriend David Fitzgerald (who writes erotica under the pen name Kilt Kilpatrick), their dog Pogeen, and a small horde of felines.

Kat's "Z" Book List
Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope: Classic swashbuckling adventure and romance. I loved this book!
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. Biographical fiction of a legendary woman at the dawn of the Jazz Age.
Zebra book cover: I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson. 1940s autobiography of an adventuress and her wildlife photographer husband. Anyone who knows me knows I love zebra print and don’t hesitate to use it in my decorating. Seriously, this would look sooo good on my bookshelves. Or coffee table. Or nightstand. Only the first and second editions have this iconic cover, later transformed into a purse by Kate Spade, another item I can’t afford. These editions are now collectibles, meaning WAY out of my price range. If you happen to trip over one in a yard sale or thrift shop, please grab it up and remember it would make a lovely Christmas present for your zany, zebra-loving blogger friend!
Will You Be Ready Image by By Kenny Louie via Wikimedia Commons



Optimistic Existentialist said...

I never liked the zombie genre before but The Walking Dead has most definitely changed that!!!

Kat Sheridan said...

Good morning, Dana, and so happy to have you here! You know, I never really loved zombies (ok, so I didn't even like them!) but then I long ago won an early copy of Plague Town, and changed my mind! (although I still can't watch the movies. LOL!)

cleemckenzie said...

Someone has to write about zombies for whatever reason they choose. I don't, but the topic hold fascination for readers. Write on, I say.

Congratulations on coming across the finish line still blogging!

Chrys Fey said...

Zombies are awesome, but I've never actually watched The Walking Dead.

David Fitzgerald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dana Fredsti said...

HI all, and thanks for stopping by! And thank you, Kat, for hosting me! I'm really delighted to know that my books have made zombies... er... palatable for you.

Dana Fredsti said...

AND better! Dave and I both use Gmail so now and again, his account will be up and I end up posting as him...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just remember to double-tap!

Kat Sheridan said...

We'll take either one of you, Dana! And yeah, erm, eh, "palatable". LOL! As to the question, I expect I'd be the first one attacked by zombies. I' old and slow. I do, however, own a cutlass. Not as good as a katana, but not bad.

Dana Fredsti said...

As long as the blade is sharp ... :-) Double Whap!

Dana Fredsti said...

Oh, and for those uncertain on the zombie genre... try reading Jonathan Maberry's Rot and Ruin series. Amazing YA series and with books like these still coming out, the genre will go on for a long damn time!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Psst Dana

Is it safe to come out? Did you kill them all? *shudders* I hate zombies. I close my office door so I don't have to hear there weird breathing when Hubs invites the Walking Dead in every week.

I will say I did watch a movie in the mid 80s I liked about a kid and mall and zombies.

Yay Dana.

Sylvia Ney said...

Great job finishing the challenge! New follower here, and I look forward to visiting again.


Kat Sheridan said...

Hi, Stlvia, and welcome to Over Coffee! We're so glad you found us! Please stop back three days a week for lots of books and writing discussion and great author interviews!

Jo said...

Me too Sia, I hate the damned things. I used to read books many years ago which really made them frightening and I have never liked them since.

I am so glad you are now up to taking care of your own blog. Way to go. Kat has done a fabulous job for you.

You know, you got me into my first A to Z three years ago.

Kat Sheridan said...

Jo, what's cool about Dana's books is her kick-ass heroine, and there's actually romance. Zombies are a special kind of monster, but to me, reading about serial killers and the like is scarier, but I know those monsters actually exist. Dana's are really deliciously (no pun intended!) fun!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Dana, you know I'm teasing you and you have a sword and cool guy who is also a true swordsman. Me, no finesse. I'd just shoot the damn things and worry about the carpet later, lol!

Actually, if one likes the premise of Buffy the Vampire slayer they'd like Dana's Ashley Parker, Zombie slayer. She's funny and and fun and as Kat says, can seriously kick some ass. Gotta love someone like that.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I'm not totally up to par. It will be very slow going for me since it's still hard to manipulate things and working the computer keyboard is still problematic. I can only do short spurts. While I've read many blogs the arm has hurt too much to do much commenting and I suspect May visits/comments to blogs will be
equally diminished. I need to be careful not to overdo.
No, I didn't realize that I got you into doing the A-Z. I've had fun with it. I don't always do everyday but I do try to be a support and make it interesting with the three days I do participate.

Kat has done a fabulous job. I do appreciate her help. Frankly, I could not have done the blog this month at all without her. Kat's characters, in her current WIP, threatened all manner of awful things if I didn't let her get back to them. :-)

LD Masterson said...

I can't believe I've made it this far in my blog rounds before I found someone doing their "Z" post about zombies. My son's family is so zombie-crazy, his wife has a bumper sticker that reads: "My zombie ate your honor student."

Kat Sheridan said...

Hi, LD! And now you can point them to Dana's fabulous books for their reading list! Or buy them for them as a surprise present!