Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I've never been one to write trends. I follow the #1 rule and write what I want to write. But I find myself in the middle of a trend. If you haven't noticed, zombies are finding their way back to main stream.

My friend Jamie sent me a wonderful article that explains why this might be happening. It is tied to the economy, which, really, makes a lot of sense. George Romero created his zombies to be representatives of the consumer culture, especially in Dawn of the Dead. We are constantly bombarded with messages and images of things we need and things we should buy. When times are good, we buy those things without thinking twice. But when times are bad, we have to reassess what is important to survive. In a way, we wake from our zombie consumer state.

If you think about zombie films and books, the focus isn't on the zombie, they are just the catalyst that pushes humans into survival mode. The focus is on what humans are doing to stay alive. I'm a little behind on the Walking Dead series, so I just watched the second to last episode on Monday night (don't tell me what happens in the finale, I'm going to watch it soon!). One of the things that really struck me was when the humans were cleaning up the mess after the zombies attacked their camp. They were separating the geeks (what they call the zombies) into one pile to burn and the freshly dead into another to bury. Two of the people were dragging a freshly killed human to the burn pile, and another character freaked out, screaming that the humans were buried. One of the characters that was dragging the body commented that it didn't really matter, they were all infected.

This really struck me. After all, the "geeks" were human once, too. And those who were killed by the zombies would turn into one if the others hadn't destroyed their brains. The reason the character reacted the way he did and didn't want to burn that particular guy was because he knew him. He didn't know the others, so it was all right for them to fry. It's just fascinating to me; a really nice look into humans as a society and how they react to certain situations. That's why I like to write about them.

I'm very excited to be a part of this trend. Zombies have fascinated me since the first time I watched Night of the Living Dead, which was about 15 years ago. I never thought I'd be writing about them. Even if zombies weren't coming back into vogue, I would still write about them. Heck, even my first novel, which I started when I was in high school, has zombie-ish leanings (I'm not going to tell you more. If you've read it, you know what I mean. If you haven't, you better pick up a copy!).

Speaking of trends, I had a fabulous dream the other night that I might turn into another YA book. The only catch is that it involves vampires. I'm not really a vampire fan, and, like I said, I don't write trends, but I'm thinking by the time I actually get around to writing it, vampires will have faded. That could work either way for me. That could mean that no one wants to read it at all or it might be refreshing. We'll have to see. I ran the idea by a couple of coworkers, and they thought it sounded fascinating. Like I said, we shall see!

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