I know it’s early in my fledgling (but no doubt soon to be meteoric) literary career, but I want to get it out there. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle (ugh) in my eye, I WILL NEVER WRITE A ZOMBIE NOVEL. I love the shambling/sprinting undead as much as the next horror aficionado, but as far as genre tropes go they are right up there with the furry, angry ones and the bitey, sexy ones. And so passé.
That said, sometimes an author comes along with a fresh take — “Let the Right One In” for vampires by John Lindqvist, or “Sharp Teeth” for werewolves by Toby Barlow, for example — but they are few and far between. So my reason for declaring that I WILL NEVER WRITE A ZOMBIE NOVEL is a concession that I have nothing new to say. If one day I do, then in the imitable style of prime ministerial and presidential candidates the democratic world over, I will declare this post a non-core promise, cite various bogus economic exigencies, blah blah, and write it anyway! In fact, I will or will not confirm that I may or may not be about one thousand words into breaking my promise, right now …
That said, there’s a lot going on beneath the surface of your average brain-munching zed. Where it sticks in my craw is the concept of undeadedness. Much more interesting if the zeds are still alive, yet behave as if they are undead. Would they still wear the title ‘zombie’ or would they be called something entirely else? Psychopath? Cannibal? Deranged flesh-eating cultist? Liberal National Party voter? Because there is something missing from that list, something interesting, and it is what has distracted me from my NaNoWriMo-ing. It may derail me completely. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, read more horror!