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The Case for Rebecca Besser – WOZ 17

by Jay Wilburn

Rebecca Besser has demonstrated her skill with both long and short fiction in multiple genre. Nurse Blood continues to be a stellar novel in body horror. Her Re-Civilize series creates great character and action stories in zombie lit. We are featuring her amazing short story found in the charity anthology Treasured Chests.

She’s currently working on the Book 3 of the Re-Civilize series and plans to release it sometime within the next few weeks. Liam is the character featured. He’s older – college age – and will be dealing with more adult life situations during the zombie apocalypse. His story will be different than that of the first two, since he doesn’t meet them until the end of their stories.

Looking at short fiction, she always compares short stories to pie. She says, you get a slice of something bigger. You and the reader know it’s just a piece of something bigger, but you still enjoy it. It could be cake too, if you’d rather. The concept is the same. A short story is a section of a bigger story that requires more word skill, since you have less to play with. You have to hint at more depth, but are limited to what you can tell/show/reveal. For zombie short fiction, you have to show action. It’s almost impossible to not to. And you pretty much have to destroy at least one character physically or emotionally to convey the devastation of humanity and what the world was. It’s fun to play with, she says.

The problem she has is that she can write a wide range (and have been published across a wide range) of genres and for different age groups. She tells me, sometimes it’s whatever her mood or an open call that interests her dictates. She’s focused mostly on adult dark fiction, but have varied in that as well. She’s written thrillers, zombies, straight up human condition horror, and anything in between. I’m a fan of all her work. She says, her overall goal with her writing is to be unexpected. She’s read book after book by the same authors that are so similar, they start to bore me. The characters or the setting feel the same over and over, and the excitement of discovering each story as itself is lost. She wants her readers to pick up her books and be excited about every single one because they’re different. She wants readers to wonder what she’s going to throw at them next, where she’s going to take them, or make them cringe when she takes them to the brink of what they can mentally and emotionally handle.

Specifically, with her zombie fiction (full books and shorts), she feels she has to reinvent the wheel to stand out. There’s so much zombie fiction in general. And you have so many authors who regurgitate the same plot, settings, etc. She asks herself why she should expected readers to buy/read her work if she’s just a mirror of what’s already been done by someone else. The answer is that she can’t. She has to be different. Her stories have to stand out or she might as well not even bother. I think she’s done a fine job of it.

Looking ahead a knew genres which might interest her, she says, maybe Bizarro…or Romance. She’s written outlandish sci-fi, which she thinks could be akin to Bizarro, but Bizarro is way more outlandish. It could be fun. She’s written Erotica, but she hasn’t gone with straight up Romance, so that might be fun too. Love is as tragic of a human condition sometimes as anything that can be thrown into Horror.

I hope I have made the case for Rebecca Besser. Check out Treasured Chests or any of the other works listed above. If you want to know more about Rebecca Besser, check out this “case for” post from a previous tour.

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Jay Wilburn
Jay Wilburn has a Masters Degree in Education that goes mostly unused since he quit teaching to write about zombies. Jay writes horror because he tends to find the light by facing down the darkness. He finds the journey through life easier by having you join him. Jay is the author of 2 series: The Dead Song Legend and The Great Interruption. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. You can also find Jay's work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5 and Dark Moon Digest. Each year Jay has the pleasure of featuring many great authors in the genre through the Summer and Winter of Zombie blog tours on his website.

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