How Do You Like Your Zombies… Fried or Sunny Side Up?
In my opinion, creating a zombie for use in fiction can be an art form. While zombies may seem standard and straightforward, they actually come in many different forms and fashions.
There are your basic undead-risen-from-the-grave zombies, and there’s virally infected zombies, and there are atomic radiation zombies, and of course who could forget: demonically possessed zombies. Beyond these basic classifications, there are even further ways to customize your undead. Will your horde of zombies be fast or slow? Will they crave flesh or brains? Will they have any form of reasoning skills or just be walking corpses?
I asked myself all these questions when I wrote my debut novel The Undying Love. It’s a horror/romance novel about two newlyweds fighting for their lives after zombies crash their wedding. The first half of the book revolves around the couple trying to survive the initial outbreak. The second half has plenty of searing post-apocalyptic drama as the two protagonists try to carve out some sort of existence in an undead wasteland.
One of the very first things I had to do when writing this book was to determine what brand of zombie I was going to feature and establish what “rules” they would adhere. I had pages of handwritten notes about the zombie’s physical characteristics, their behavior, and how they would progress over time.
Zombies are unique villains in that you generally do not see one zombie acting alone. Most of the time, it’s a horde of zombies. Sometimes, the entire planet has succumbed to the zombie plague. Just like creating an exciting singular villain, creating a massive group of zombies requires creativity, defined motivation, “character” development, and something that makes them a little unique.
I came up with my particular brand of zombies by blending many of my favorite aspects of various types of zombies that I have come across over the years. I also wanted to incorporate a good balance of both “old-school” and “new-school” zombie lore.
I started with the classic undead walking corpse as a foundation and then attempted to modernize that concept by incorporating the relatively newer idea of zombies being the result of a virus.
Also, I personally think that fast zombies are a little scarier, but I also have a nostalgic soft spot for slow, shambling zombies. So my zombies start out fast and terrifying, then as time passes and decomposition sets in, they become slow and menacing. This offers the best of both worlds and also seems to make the most sense.
As I mentioned earlier, to have an interesting villain, you need something that makes them unique. To find out what makes my zombies a little different, you’re going to have to check out the book. In fact, I’ve probably said too much already!
The Undying Love was recently published by Sirens Call Publications and is available on Amazon, Smashwords and in print on CreateSpace.
The Undying Love by Greg McCabe
For Diane and Jackson, life is just about perfect. They’re healthy, happy, and madly in love with one another. Unknown to them, a virus is sweeping across the globe that instantly kills the infected and turns their corpses into mindless, murdering cannibals. In short: zombies have taken over the planet.
Diane and Jackson find out about the epidemic the hard way when their wedding is crashed by friends and family who have succumbed to the virus. Now, fighting for survival, they’re faced with unthinkable decisions.
Follow their story across Southeast Texas as they meet unforgettable characters and face challenges that will put their love, and lives to the ultimate test.
About the Author:
Greg McCabe is a proud Texan. He was born and raised in Midland, Texas, received a degree in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University, and currently resides in the Lone Star State. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Mandy, his daughter, Annabelle, and his dog, Walter, as well as traveling, sports, movies, reading, and writing. He enjoys all genres of fiction, but seems to gravitate towards horror and science fiction. The Undying Love is Greg’s first book.