Monday, February 13, 2012

Zombies: From Undead Muscle to Brain-Eating Stars


Indie publishers are slowly taking over the industry and newcomer, Marty Shaw, is taking full advantage of the situation with his newly published ebook, Dead Man Walking, which can be purchased on Amazon for just .99! After reading and enjoying his zombie short story, I asked Shaw if he would write a guest post, giving my readers a glimpse into his macabre mind and some insight on my favorite horror subgenre: ZOMBIES. Shaw kindly agreed and now you can enjoy what he has to say below and please check out Dead Man Walking!
  
Zombies: From Undead Muscle to Brain-Eating Stars
by Marty Shaw

I don’t know about you, but my childhood intro to the horror genre revolved around what I consider the icons of horror. Dracula introduced me to vampires, a cursed Lon Chaney Jr. showed me my first werewolf in the Wolf Man, and a guy named George A. Romero redefined zombies for me with Night of the Living Dead. I say redefine because Romero’s classic film wasn’t the first time moviegoers saw the walking dead, but his vision of zombies has endured to the point that his zombie are the first thing we think of when we hear the ‘Z’ word.

Before Romero came along, zombies were usually nothing more than people brought back from the dead to be used as slaves, like in the 1932 film, White Zombie, which is considered the first movie that actually used the word ‘zombie.’ There was no rotting flesh and certainly no brain-eating involved. Zombies were the lame ducks of the paranormal world, doing the grunt work that nobody else wanted to do. I don’t know what possessed Romero to put such a drastic spin on the character but I’m very glad he did because his vision completely changed the world of horror. Night of the Living Dead’s ghoulish army has affected everything from movies and TV to my own horror short story.

In Dead Man Walking, I stick with the tried-and-true version of zombies, but I give them a slight little twist. Oh yeah, I also put them behind bars. Why put zombies in prison? Two reasons. First, we always see zombies roaming the cities and countryside. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it’s not an unusual thing. On the other hand, there aren’t too many books or movies that focus on a prison environment. My other reason for using a prison is that it allows me to borrow a bit from that old writing adage, ‘write what you know.’ Before turning to writing on a full-time basis, one of my jobs was that of a correctional officer. I’ve worn the uniform, walked the halls, and dealt with inmates of all shapes and sizes. Fortunately, I didn’t encounter any zombies because I don’t know if I would have fared as well as the main character in the book. With my experience in that world behind razor wire, I believed I could create an environment that came across as believable, and we all know the more real a horror story is, the more believable the monsters will be. Did I succeed in bringing the world of prison and zombies to life? That’s for you to decide, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

If zombies aren’t your thing, then you’ll be happy to know that my next book, Little Demons, is completely zombie-free, but that doesn’t mean the situation is any better. As a matter of fact, the little town of Hale (pop. 666) offers plenty to be scared of. You can keep an eye on www.itsjustmarty.wordpress.com for the release date, which is expected to be later this month.

I’d like to give a huge shout-out to Mandy and thank her for inviting me to the morgue to hang with all of you. It’s been a blast. Feel free to look me up on Twitter at @ItsJustMarty if you’d like to stay in touch.




2 comments:

Amber Green said...

Sounds like a book I need to read.

Amanda said...

You should definitely check it out. It's short and sweet and only .99. Plus it has zombies--where can you go wrong with that?!

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