I got into a little argument the other day with someone while I was writing at the Java Joint… I go there every morning, Monday through Friday, grab my reserved seat and plug in the laptop, and write. I love the coffee and the food, and the waitresses and waiter are awesome to chat with, and they love talking me up to customers.
But when I mention I write about zombies, most people immediately ask what my thoughts on this season of The Walking Dead are. I usually put it off and say something dodgy like I haven’t caught up this season yet I’ve been so busy, or I’ll watch the rest in one shot this weekend.
But I probably won’t.
It isn’t like I’m not a fan of the show, because I watched from the first episode of season one and was hooked. I loved it. I considered myself a big fan, and even sat through the (mostly) pointless fanfest that followed, Talking Dead. But since I moved last September I have rarely watched television. My 52 inch TV isn’t even plugged in in my bedroom right now. I could care less, to be honest, about anything having to do with television.
But I always feel like I need to lie about it and say I watch. I have no idea why. So, the other day, when asked, I politely said I hadn’t watched this season at all. Not even seen a preview of it, a commercial… nothing. I had no immediate plans to rent it, youtube it, watch it, etc.
And the guy (in his late twenties, I’m guessing) asked how I could be a good writer of zombie fiction if I didn’t know what was out there…
I pointed out I was currently reading Mutated by Joe McKinney and Skin Trade by Tonia Brown. Had he read them? Nope. He had no clue what I was talking about. I said I was well-versed in The Walking Dead up until this season, and I was more interested in reading about zombies than seeing them on the small screen. He said I was out of touch with zombie fans.
Really? Out of touch? I smiled (I really wished I was twenty years younger, so I could drag his skinny ass outside and beat him and dunk him in the ocean with glee) and told him to give one of my stories a try and see what he thought once he’d read it. His answer? He could see The Walking Dead for free on TV. Why should he buy my book? I asked him how he’d made such a score by getting his cable for free and he looked confused and left. I wasn’t trying to be an ass to him (OK, maybe a little) but I wonder how many people think this way when it comes to books and movies about zombies?
Will the average The Walking Dead fan read a zombie book now they’ve been immersed in the series so many seasons if they’d never read a zombie book before, or was it a different customer entirely? I wonder how many zombie readers came into it because of the series? I wonder…