Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Nonfiction Zombie Book

It's hard for me to believe that it has been almost a year since I started working on my nonfiction zombie book.  I began work in July 2013.  Since then, there have been ups and downs, some tears, and a major rewrite, but I believe the book is finally where it needs to be.  I'm proud of what I've done.  Whether it's acceptable or not, I actually like my book.  (I say that because we are usually our own worst critics and nothing is ever good enough.)

The book is with an editor right now, but for all intents and purposes, it's done.  I finished the bibliography this weekend.  The proposal and query are complete.  As soon as I get it back and make changes, it's going out into the world.  I'm very excited and nervous about that process.  From experience, I know they'll be rejections, but I also know that it will eventually find a home.  That is going to be very exciting.

The book has been titled Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies.  Here's a little teaser for you to give you an idea of what the book is about.  This comes from my proposal.  I hope you enjoy!

Overall Description:

My obsession with zombies began when I was in junior high, the first time I saw Night of the Living Dead. I remember being scared, but not cover-my-eyes-I’m-going-to-scream-my-lungs-out scared. I didn’t jump, but there was this uneasiness that settled over me. I was afraid to look out my bedroom window at night for fear that the same lifeless eyes that the creatures in the film had would be looking right back at me. I glanced over my shoulder while walking down the street to make sure some slow-moving corpse wasn’t following me. For a while, I avoided cemeteries.

As time went on, and access to zombie media has grown, so has my obsession. Zombies have overrun the population. They are in books, movies, video games, and on TV. There is hardly a facet of life that zombies haven’t overrun. The proliferation of zombie films inspired me to examine society’s fears.

I had a professor in college who told me that every film has a message, but if you really want to know what society is afraid of, watch horror. Zombie films portray a lot of social fears, including religion, gender, classism, and race, but what I wanted to focus on was science. The vast majority of zombie films I have watched in my life had a scientist or science in them in some way—usually in an unflattering role. Using film (Night of the Living Dead [1968], The Serpent and the Rainbow [1988], and 28 Days Later [2002], among others), literature, and interviews with experts, Undead Obsessed examines how zombies portray real human fears, including my own, of scientific phenomenon such as epidemics, mind control, what may or may not exist in space, and the repercussions of playing God.

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