She also tried to get me reading Stephen King but not only did I hate the writing style, the subject matter left me vaguely sick and disturbed. Probably the idea, but it doesn't do it for me. I don't like to be scared. I don't like things that make me jump. I've suffered terrible nightmares all my life and could only sleep with the light on until I met my husband, but even now I can still wake shaking from the odd one. I'm a bit better with it all - I taught myself to wake up when things start getting nightmarish, and my tolerance for horror elements is a little higher. But I still do my best to avoid things that might trigger bad dreams.
So it probably seems hugely ironic that I've written two zombie stories. I can blame them totally on my editor and friend Dani Fine, and fellow author and friend Karen Bynum. I watched them raving over a book called Warm Bodies on Twitter, and later the film. Now, the classic Hollywood zombie films are definitely on my do not watch list. But Dani and Karen were talking so passionately about the book and with such excitement, I had to take a look at the film.
I. LOVED. It! While it's not the full on zombie horror film that would appeal to most, it is typical Hollywood zombies for at least part of the film. It was just on the edge of my tolerance levels. But it was also very different. Told from the point of view of zombie R--who is a bit odd for a zombie--it follows his story as he falls for and saves a human girl--Julie--and begins to find his way back to being human himself. It's a twist on Romeo and Juliet (even including a version of the balcony scene) and one of the sweetest, cutest romances I've ever seen. The book is quite poetic in its writing style as well, which appealed to my own preference for the lyrical. I even have the film poster displayed at the top of my stairs.
Not only that, but it went on to inspire three stories of my own, even if only two feature zombies. The third one--and the first I wrote--features a damaged android rather than an undead (and came 2nd in the RWA LERA Rebecca contest last year. Right now it's in edits with no set release date but hopefully soon!). So I guess I can't say I hate zombie or horror films any more. But I'm still not a fan of things that make me jump. Unless it's R...
Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies and the prequel The New Hunger are available at all good book retailers, with book three set to release in February (psst, if you visit the author's website HERE and pre-order directly there are some special exclusive goodies too).
And if the idea of zombies with a twist intrigues you, some of Sir Terry Pratchett's Nightwatch books feature the zombie Reg Shoe, or Reaperman follows recently deceased and reluctant zombie Windle Poons. Or there's mine:
Restless In Peaceville
Restless In Peaceville
Adorable zombies in an alternative Louisiana.