After reading Isaac Marion’s book ‘Warm Bodies’ I realized that, written the right way, Zombies could be seen as romantic leads. His portrayal of R the love struck zombie was a real eye opener, and even the recent movie captured that unusual romantic warmth that threaded its way through the book. But zombie erotica? Could the shuffling, decaying dead be truly sexy?
When I saw Angelic Press’ call-out last year, I pondered on what would be the type of stories they’d receive – who could have predicted the diversity of themes and situations that fill the pages of this anthology.
My story ‘Something Borrowed” was, at its heart, a romance. I wanted love to conquer the undead apocalypse. For a couple to have waited to be together till their wedding day, then not let the fact they have become rotting corpses get in the way of them finally consummating their love.
At the time of the call-out I was writing my novel ‘Bad Blood’, which is a vampires vs. zombies YA horror due out through Noble & Young publishers in May 2013. In this book I’d written from a vampire’s point of view, leaving the zombies as an undead obstacle for her to overcome. Writing something that makes zombies less of a slathering monster and more of an erotic lead really attracted me to the project. It let me give the living-impaired a voice and a desire for more than just torn flesh and brains. As an author I tend to write both YA horror and adult paranormal romance and erotica, so to write,‘Something Borrowed’ I simply drafted the piece first as a general non-horror romance, then went back and filled in the undead gaps and zombie-upped the prose. Once you’ve read the story you’ll see that things don’t really go to plan and the female zombie is forced to improvise to achieve her desired end.
It would be remiss of me to not mention the attraction of Fifty Shades of Decay’s title and it’s delicious play on words. ‘50 Shades of Grey’ titillated the world and made reading erotica popular and, more importantly, talked about. It suddenly wasn’t a bored housewife’s shady secret anymore, it was a talking point over coffee, and opened the doors for publishers looking to feed ravenous readers’ appetites. Now, although E L James’ efforts weren’t my personal cup of tea (I prefer my romances with a bit more bite) it’ll definitely be on book shelves for years to come and of course be back in the headlines throughout the press of the forth coming movie.
Now Zombie erotica isn’t for everyone, but I think that if it’s approached with an open mind, and not just taken at bloody mangled face value, it’s a romantic journey down a path less taken, and might just surprise you.