October 19, 2012

2012 Virtual Zombie Walk - The fascination with zombies

Thanks for stopping by as part of the 2012 Virtual Zombie Walk

    My first YA horror fiction title, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie by C.A. Verstraete, will be published next year from Intrigue Publishing.  (Image: Night of the Living Dead)

Here's the short synopsis:

 Life can suck when you're sixteen. It can suck even worse when you're not- quite- dead.

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager's biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.

Becca's life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he's becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.

The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for. Then she meets a good-looking part-Z like her and fears falling for him. After all, how can he, who shows hardly any Z symptoms, be interested in someone like her?

But time is running out... Becca needs his help as she and her cousin Carm search for their missing mothers and fight off hungry Zs.

Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late...

** Follow the ZOMBIE WALK links at the end of this post **

Some thoughts on the current societal fascination with zombies:

Go back as far as you can in history, and monsters have been there not only to scare us, but to provide a message or serve as an outlet for people's societal opinions or fears.

Grimms' Fairy Tales, first published in 1812,  was a kind of mirror, reflecting the cruelties of real life, according to National Geographic. (Read the unvarnished 1914 tales.) People were monsters, or did the unthinkable.

But as frightening as real life could be, even more scary was death itself.  Perhaps the age-old fears of being buried alive were conquered in the "thing" that continued to live on, although these monsters were horrors unto themselves. Yet, they offered their own form of zombieism, like Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) who brought an unholy immortality to his followers; or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, (1818), an unholy existence formed from resurrecting the dead. (Image: Frankenstein 1931 film)

You can blame (or applaud) George Romero's film classic, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, as the inspiration for the modern zombie. Having expanded beyond the typical victim of voodoo, today's zombie continues to live/unlive in film and countless books. In recent years, the phenomenon has continued to grow and thrive, maybe being fed by our own societal woes - fears of life as it is, governmental corruption, societal breakdown - the near death, if you will, of life as we know it.

Some say they don't like zombies or monsters since life is scary enough, but in a way, how better to cope with reality than give it a fictional monster form? You at least can kill the monster and end the madness - providing you aren't bitten in the process. - Christine Verstraete - Candid Canine


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