Zombies didn’t infest my existence until I was a teenager and saw the original Dawn of the Dead back in the mid-80s. At that time, its appeal was heavily centered on the idea of surviving the apocalypse, perhaps with a friend or two, and figuring out how to do it-at least that was the case for me.
It was all fun and games…
We would be smarter than everyone else and no brainless zombie would ever take us out. Books like The Stand, which I’ve read countless times, reinforced my fascination with the idea of living in a world torn apart by some horrible tragedy and becoming my playground where there were no rules, or at the very least, I could help create new rules.
Fast forward to about a decade ago. I have a wife and two young children.I have responsibilities and I’m all grown up.That’s when I watch a pair of movies that modify my images of the undead forever. 28 Days Later and the remake of Dawn of the Dead come out. All the sudden I’m terrified of the unknown once again. Fearful of what is out there-things that could do harm to my family and destroy everything that I have worked at protecting and caring for in my adult existence. It was no longer about ruling a desolate new world; it was finding ways to keep my family safe from the monsters scratching at our doors. They were a symbol of everything that scared me about the world at large.
I had been a writer. Not someone who had gotten published or ever strived to be published, but a writer nonetheless. Writing was something I did; it wasn’t something that I was trying to accomplish anything with. But instead of letting my newfound fear of the zombie apocalypse consume me, I instead chose to go down the path of becoming both more of a voracious reader of zombie lit and a writer of it.
I would defeat my fears in my own special, twisted little way.I was introduced to the Library of the Living Dead and connected with a ton of other aspiring undead writers, wrote tons of reviews of zombie novels and short stories, and crafted what was to become The Dark Trilogy, which was published as Comes the Dark, Into the Dark, and Beyond the Dark back in 2010 and 2011.
I also wrote short stories published by an assortment of small presses. Zombies weren’t my only passion-that had never been the case. I enjoy writing fantasy, science fiction, and now even the occasional bizarro tale. My trilogy was re-released in 2013 by Permuted Press with a substantial amount of additional material that was included in my original manuscripts but left out of the original versions of my books-short stories about the characters and how they managed to survive the apocalypse before meeting up with the main character in the trilogy.
I’m in the process of writing two more books that take place in the same world as my trilogy, but they will stand alone-someone who hasn’t read The Dark Trilogy will be able to dive right in without knowing any backstory. I also have some other novels swimming around in my head-some zombie related, some not.I still have a fear of the undead and the unknown, so I will continue to write about them in some sort of attempt to arrest their efforts to drive me mad.
But since I’m scared of alien invasions and fantastical creatures, along with beings from alternate dimensions, I have a lot more writing to do. People can still find me – I haven’t hunkered down in a bunker just yet.