The Hopping Dead Blog Hop

I’ve been enjoying a few blog hops in recent months, and have been finding it a great way to get involved with a community of readers and writers. Over at PublishMyself.net they’ve started a new ‘The Hopping Dead Blog Hop‘, so instead of a #SampleSunday post, I’m going to answer the couple of questions asked by this latest Blog Hop.

What makes your own zombie book stand out from others in the genre? In a crowded field, why should a reader give your book a chance?

Pacifier 6, The Shadows Within is a completely new take on the zombie genre. Rather than seeing an outbreak of monsters, we join humankind after the apocalypse has past. People are trying to get on with their lives, and a new drug – Pacifier 6 – has enabled zombies to be pacified and used as a workforce. However, not all of the undead have entirely lost their former consciousness, and some are seeking a way to break out and create a new race.

Why would anybody write a zombie book in the first place?

Any readers of this blog know that I had never intended on writing a zombie novel. I LOVE ‘The Walking Dead’ but I’d never imagined writing in this genre myself. But a story came to me, and I wanted to try something new. So, why did I write this book? Because I wanted to create a fresh take on the zombie genre and explore some formerly passed over aspects.

Add the first paragraph or two from your story as a teaser. If you really don’t want to use the first paragraph, use another one.

It’s not the first paragraph, but one from Chapter 2;

What really plagued Carl was the look on Sheila’s face just before she’d died. He’d never seen the slightest flicker of emotion on her face before, not the hint that she was a shadow. But, in that instant, when she lay on the rubble filled road, covered in seeping bodily fluid, her face sliced with glass, her outstretched arm upon his knee, he hadn’t imagined the plea for help in her eyes, had he? She’d formed the word on her lips, attempted language, a skill that frothers were not capable of. He was so sure. But then she was gone, any consciousness that she may have had splattered in fleshy lumps across his face and chest. He daren’t tell his mother, for those who showed the slightest regard for the undead were ridiculed by society. His mother, standing forthrightly in the street, swathed in her dressing gown with a gun in her hand, would have probably put a bullet through his head too. She still would, Carl thought, if infection took hold. There had been no time to close his eyes or shut his mouth as Sheila’s brains had flown towards his face. But he tried to comfort himself with the fact that Pacifier 6 halted transmission. And, if his mother bore down on him with a hammer to bludgeon his skull in three or four days, then he would know.

If you love zombies, then check out these other blogs in the hop:

Waking the Zed

Z Plan: Blood on the Sand

And, if you have a zombie novel, get involved! Write the post, link back to me and I’ll add you to the list! :)

A Bloody Kind of Lust

Everyone loves a bad boy, right? Or has indulged in unrequited love, or perhaps fallen a little too far for someone completely inappropriate. It’s Valentines Day, and we all know that this day of the year is about sharing time with your partner (or getting drunk if you’re single). But what if you’re love isn’t the average? What you’re in love with a monster? A zombie?

Love between a mortal and a zombie

Love between a mortal and a zombie

Whilst I’m no fan, Twilight has certainly pushed away the boundaries over loving monsters. Tales have been spun throughout the decades of mere mortals falling for deadly and vicious monsters, but Stephanie Meyer really managed to bring monster love back into the spotlight….though Edward Cullen wasn’t quite the vicious vampire that we’re all used to. Perhaps, for that, it’s best to look towards the realm of True Blod and Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels. More recently, Warm Bodies has found a spotlight, with the film adaptation of Isaac Marion’s book showing that love can really cure all. But can it? And, more importantly, should it?

I’ve been grappling with this idea in my latest novella, Pacifier 6, The Shadows Within. Set after a zombie apocalypse, the human race is trying to rebuild society. Zombies decimated our population, but there were those that survived, and with the emergence of a new drug – Pacifier 6 – the remaining zombies have been drugged and farmed into a new workforce. But whilst decomposing, mute and all together nasty looking, is there still a place for love?

I’m not sure that love is the correct word, and it’s more like bloody lust. A zombie is a zombie, even when pacified, and despite that there’s a new creature lurking within, I was torn between all out love and showing just the flickering of an emotional connection. If you read the tale, you’ll discover that it isn’t really a love story, but more of a discovery of feelings. Is Carl attracted to his zombie worker because he likes a bad boy? Because there’s a consciousness deep within? Or is it simply that there aren’t many people left to choose from?

At any length, I’m not sure that love between monsters and mortals should be an easy ride. After all, love between two humans is normally less than smooth. And, if I’m honest, monsters are still monsters whatever the show they put on…they’re supposed to be scary, to creep us out, to put the fear of god into our souls. Love tends to be enduring. Lust, however, it an instant overtaking emotion that gets us into all manner of problems, especially when we’re ogling a monster.

*THIS IS PART OF A VALENTINE’S BLOG HOP – Click here for the other members of this Blog Hop.*