Today we have the ever fabulous and quite prolific Mrs. Sommer Marsden gracing the pages of Written in Blood today. She's here to talk to you about... Zombies. Since I have an extreme fear of those animated undead things, I'm going to put my fingers in my ears and sing, "La la la la," while she entertains you and gives her thoughts on those thrilling and often scary creatures of the night. Take it away Sommer!
I never really gave zombies much thought. In fact, I pretty much was ‘meh’ on the whole zombie front. In my mind, zombies=Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and all that jazz. And though they were a good scary time, they weren’t anything I felt compelled to revisit again and again.
Shaun of the Dead was a bit of a stand out for me. The man forced me to watch it and oddly, I enjoyed it so much (let’s face it, the jukebox scene at the Winchester is EPIC!) I was always the one to suggest a re-watch.
But zombies…did I say ‘meh’ already?
Then the title WE KILL DEAD THINGS popped into my mind. It was one of those things…pop! …there it was. A title bubble that floated into my brain out of nowhere. And I thought...hmm…I did a title search and found nothing close. That was very exciting to me as the title really got my mind going with the whole dead thing scenario.
So I wrote the first zombie exterminator book.
Poppy thinks her life is weird working the food court at Parktowne mall, until in one brief moment of creeper killing, things change forever. Now she's a freelance zombie exterminator along with her long lusted after co-worker Garrity (her not-so-secret crush), a somewhat lusted after bad boy Cahill, and pretty gay boy Noah. When the four are hired to do a ballsy zombie clean up at St. Peter's Hospital, Poppy finds out just what's more scary than creepers: The Evoluminaries, a zealot cult who think zombies are part of God's chosen, who happen to end up thinking Poppy might make a mighty good zombie incubator. She finds herself finally sleeping with Garrity, being hunted by a crazy preacher man and stumbling over the fact that Cahill and Noah have become lovers somewhere in the chaos. And that's all on the job. Just another day in the life when you kill dead things...
While neck deep in ‘research’—if you can call zombie movies and books and mags research instead of fun—it dawned on me I did like zombies! I mean, the Resident Evil movies are…zombies! And I watch those rabidly. I will watch them any day of the week and especially if sick. So, hey, turned out I liked zombies after all.
It took a few weeks for it to go click in my brain that I’d loved zombies for a long time. And had a good scare in my earlier years thanks to the walking dead. I’d just never put two and two together. How, you ask? A simple matter of the dead to zombie timeline.
To me zombies are people who are infected (for whatever reason) and die and then come back—dead but reanimated. But the book I was (finally) recalling had the accidental dead buried intentionally and then they come back—dead but reanimated. And scary as shit.
Two words: Pet Sematary by Stephen King.
Okay, that’s five words! But let’s add this word: pee-your-pants-scary
I read Pet Sematary when I was fifteen. I ate Stephen King books in big, big, greedy bites back in the day. And that particular book I had started before flying from Maryland to Connecticut for Spring Vacation with family. Alone. I was so into the book that when I got to my aunt’s house, I laid in bed until the wee hours while finishing the tale of Louis and Gage and all things that went bump-shuffle-groan in the night.
And then I passed out in the not-my bed in the not-my house dreaming of dirt chunking off of dead shambling feet and swamp gas lights in dark woods. And poor Jud Crandall.
And I woke to a small boy with blond hair (a bowl cut, no less) about an inch from my face saying my name. Staring at me.
For those of you who don’t know the scenario the coup de grace of Pet Sematary involves a small deadly boy who is hell bent on um…damage.
A small blond boy. A small blond creepy dead boy. With a bowl haircut (if you go by cinema).
And here I was in the not-my bed, in the not-my house with a small blond possibly dead and deadly zombie boy child in my face!
At first there was total silence. That vacuum that sucks in all potential noise and crushes it. And then the vacuum broke. I screamed like some cheesy B-movie heroine and pin-wheeled my arms, falling off the not-my bed onto the not-my floor as the very-much-small-sweet-my-cousin-and-NOT-deadly little boy started weeping and screaming and wailing.
He hit the floor, sobbing heartily. I was busy crab walking across the floor toward the wall and neither of us could seem to stop screaming. Until my aunt came in, took one look at the book, one look at me pressed to wall and one look at her son who was still wailing like a banshee and…promptly burst into hysterical laughter. Having to bend double at the waist—mind you—because she could not breathe proper what with all the laughing.
My cousin forgave me. Eventually. Around the time he started to drive. I never lived it down. NEVER. And it only took me writing a whole zombie book of my own to realize that hey, I really have loved zombies for quite a while.
Even if they did scar me and a certain small toddler for life.
That being said and my shame being confessed, leave me a comment for a chance to win the first two zombie books from the Zombie Exterminator series: WE KILL DEAD THINGS , NO GUILT & LUNATIC FRINGE. Please be forewarned, they’re for ADULTS ONLY and contain explicit sex and language.
Now that the scary talk is over... ok, yes, I'm a wuss and just the mention of zombies sends me running for the hills... That's beside the point. On to the FUN STUFF!!
Mrs. Sommer Marsden has graciously offered up the full set of Zombie Exterminator books: WE KILL DEAD THINGS ,NO GUILT & LUNATIC FRINGE.
To enter, you'll need to leave a comment for Sommer with your email address (if we cannot contact you we cannot award you the prize) and tell her why you love or hate zombies.
Bonus points go to those who re-tweet (Twitter) or share the link on Facebook!
It's that simple!
The winner will be announced on Friday the 23rd!
Good luck and happy reading!!!