Zombies and Books and Blogging, Oh My!

I have come to the conclusion that my brain is now inhabited by zombies. They stagger around in there all day and night, groaning about something or other, and rapidly devouring every idea which isn’t related to them.

In an email of in-depth critique to fellow blogger and new online friend, Vera, I wrote the following:

Daisy raised the Desert Eagle with trembling hands, taking aim at her husband’s forehead. No. Not her husband. The walking corpse across the lawn was NOT her husband. She squared her stance, both hands on the pistol to contain her shaking, and blinked back her tears. As he staggered towards her, she whispered through gritted teeth, “I love you,” and pulled the trigger.

And I liked it. I liked it so much, in fact, I haven’t been able to get poor Daisy out of my head for almost a week now. My mind is full of questions: How did her husband get infected? How did the zombies come to be? What is the world like? Where will she go from here? Can she find love in a zombie apocalypse? What happens next?

So I showed the little snippet to my fiancé. He, quite literally, bagan bouncing about on the couch, flailing, and shouted at me, “Where is the rest of this?! I wanna read this book! Write me the rest of this book!”

I, of course, grinned like an idiot in my pride that a little nonchalant example I’d written in a 5AM haze, had grabbed someone.

So I showed it to another friend, and another, and received similar reactions. Even when I explained that I’d like it to be a romance of some sort. I mentioned their reactions to Vera, and she too mentioned an interest in reading that book. Hell, I want to read that book.

Seeing as I want to read the book that is rapidly forming in my head, I figure I may as well write it. And maybe the book after it too. It seems to me that Daisy and her hero, whoever he might be, wouldn’t be the only ones to find love in a destroyed world with zombies, slavers, and the like around every corner.

You see, I want to write zombies no one has ever seen before. Well, maybe someone has, but I certainly haven’t. And you’re not getting any details out of me today. I want to write about crazy religious extremists, slavers, biker gangs, military contingents, cults, terrified families, resilient children, badass old folks, and one frightened woman fighting to survive her grief and the world.

I spent the better part of the last two days writing down ideas. Zombie ideas. I tell you, they won’t leave me alone. Most of my conversations, these last few days, have been about zombies. Thoughts on how they came to exist, how they function, who they should eat, who poor Daisy could meet along her journey to maybe falling in love again. And I liked every word I scribbled down; even my dinky little outline. Just yesterday I wrote more about a zombie apocalypse than I’ve managed to add to Sleeping Lady in two weeks. Now, I’m not going to abandon dear Abigail, but I’m definitely going to write this zombie book. I think I can handle concurrent works in progress.

While blogging and social networking sites have been thoroughly distracting me from working on Sleeping Lady, this may not be a bad thing. After all, I’m making about as much progress with Abigail’s story in my head as on paper. And paying too much attention to blogging did, however inadvertently, give me the idea to write zombies. And I do love zombies.

Now I just need a working title for the zombie book. Any suggestions?

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Posted in Beginnings, distractions, Zombies
16 comments on “Zombies and Books and Blogging, Oh My!
  1. liamodell1 says:

    Wow, you write really well! I’m wondering if you have seen “The Walking Dead”, that might be interesting research to look at. 🙂

    • Paige Nolley says:

      I adore the show. Haven’t read the comics, though i desperately want to. When I was writing that example, I almost named the woman Laurie.

      I imagine, though, in a zombie apocalypse, all twelve of those adults would be hell-bent on actually keeping an eye on Carl. Especially after what happened to Sophia.

  2. liamodell1 says:

    Oh yeah, just finished watching the second series. When Sophia came out of the barn I did not expect that. I love the show as well, I was shocked to see Dale go, he seemed so wise and intelligent, I thought that he’d be one of the last alive. Shane was a piece of trouble though, and I was getting a bit annoyed by the fact that he or Rick weren’t doing anything. But yeah, a great show, series 3 I think is being filmed at the moment, can’t wait!

  3. liamodell1 says:

    Oh, and how about this for a title: Until the Undead do us Part

  4. verasilver says:

    Ahah! You go girl.. this will be an awesome novel I am sure of it. I almost thought you were quoting something when you first sent me that email.. now I know you are just awesome 🙂

    I think your title should somehow reflect this line of your blog: ” want to write about crazy religious extremists, slavers, biker gangs, military contingents, cults, terrified families, resilient children, badass old folks, and one frightened woman fighting to survive her grief and the world.”

    You want your title to be about madness and chaos, and you want it to _induce_ madness and chaos. Something like… ‘Ravenous Mannequin’

    but not that

  5. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Firstly, welcome to the blogsphere (I’m relatively new here, myself). Secondly, I’m torn here between offering genuine kudos and support and offering a somewhat less-than-glowing critique on the zombie paragraph. Actually, it’s not an either/or situation, so you can have both! Props for putting yourself out there, and don’t let anyone burst your bubble (especially me; I’m an “old fart” and a “tough crowd” and I’ve “seen it all,” so I rarely give unqualified praise)!

    That said, the killing of a zombie née loved one, is fairly well-plowed ground, especially among fans of the genre. Your ‘graph describes a scene I’ve seen, or read, many times. The zombie territory itself has been well explored, so the trick is to find a new twist, a new take on the theme, if you really want to grab people. One great example (and a must-see movie) is Shaun of the Dead, which is a delightful British comedy… that happens to involve zombies.

    Another example: the Resident Evil movies add the spin of evil corporations responsible, high technology and a globe-spanning palette.

    It depends on your potential audience. If young people without the background in the genre are your target, then (as the comments above show) you should do okay. If you seek to reach those of us with a lot of background, you’ll find that a more difficult mountain to climb. Of course, in a world with seven billion people, that’s a lot of readers who will come to you for the first time. Good Luck!!

    • Paige Nolley says:

      Thank you! I enjoy critiques. And I do agree killing the zombified loved one is well-plowed terrain, which is why it won’t be a primary focus of the book.

      I enjoyed Shaun of the Dead and Resident Evil both. Actually, I don’t think I’ve seen a zombie movie I didn’t enjoy, and I’ve seen a great many. Fast zombies, slow zombies, evil corporations, magic zombies, etc. But I have not seen the zombies I want to write. I’m playing them pretty close to the chest and will not be posting details publicly until the book nears completion. However, I’d be willing to discuss them with you, as another who knows zombies well, over email. If you’re curious enough and want to offer opinions, shoot me an email.

      I didn’t state it outright in my post, but I want my zombie novel to be about hope. About little glimpses of light in a world gone dark.

      I also have a tendency to throw comic relief into the most desperate of scenes; sometimes only through my choice of similes, others dialogue, and occasionally slapstick moments. For example, I’m pretty sure the gun will be breaking Daisy’s nose in the next paragraph. Not many women (or men, for that matter) can handle the recoil of a Desert Eagle. 😉

      Thank you for stopping by! I really do appreciate comments both praising and critical.

  6. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Curious enough, always; in possession of enough, ah, that’s the rub. I think the comment notifications will have given you mine, but I’ll “shoot” you an email anyway.

    Speaking of shooting, I laughed over your comment about Daisy breaking her nose. I tried one at the range a while back (the .50 cal model). They’d given me five rounds to use. After three I was pretty much done; the fourth and fifth barely hit the target, which was only a mere 20 yards away. Sure made a nice boom, though! Everyone at the range was all, “What the hell was that?!?” Even the brass bouncing off the plexi behind me was enough to get people turning around in surprise.

  7. tarunss says:

    That was fantastically well-written! I definitely want to read more of what you have cooking in your head. I’ve been outlining and starting to write my own zombie novel, and trying to come up with ‘potentially real’ zombies was the most time-consuming part, so hopefully you can figure out what type of zombies you want in your novel without as much frustration. Good luck!

    • Paige Nolley says:

      That’s why I’m following you! I like reading about zombies, and, thus far, I’m enjoying writing about them too.

      Oddly, I got the zombies sussed out in only a couple days. Granted, they were gnawing on my brain, so I didn’t have much choice in the matter.

      Thank you for the compliments and for stopping by! I look forward to reading more about your zombies too.

  8. […] Zombies and Books and Blogging, Oh My! (paigenolley.wordpress.com) Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Horror, Speculative Fiction, Uncategorized, writing, zombies, zombies and tagged All Hallows' Eve, cannibalism, cannibals, Crooked Cat Publishing, horror, Horror fiction, It Sitcks With You, killer wasps, Knightwatch Press, The Smokehouse, Zombie apocalypse, zombies.Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment […]

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