by Ann Riley
Hello zombie lovers!
I am so excited and honored to be a part of the Summer of Zombies Blog Tour 2016 with all the talented authors who are participating this year!
So what got me interested in zombies?
I always liked the zombie movies like Dawn of the Dead, (George Romero 1978), and Night of the Living Dead, (George Romero 1968), and let’s not forget the Walking Dead television series. But for the most part, any horror film caught my eye. I have always been a huge fan of horror films and books.
My fascination for zombie books came about when I was looking for the next read on my Kindle. I ran across a series that peaked my interest and lured me in.
The Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo was the first zombie series I read, and I was hooked from there on. I started looking for other authors in this genre and found John O’Brien, Armand Rosamilia, Bobby Adair, TW Brown, Peter Meredith, T.W. Piperbrook, Nicholas Sansbury Smith, I could go on and on. There are so many talented authors who take the world of zombies to a whole new level. What other creature is reanimated, always hungry, has no reason, conscience, humanity, doesn’t speak, and feels no pain?
I was actually reading an article about the toxoplasmosis parasite when my idea for the Southern Zombies series came about. Scientists claim that the parasite can control the mind of rats when they ingest cat feces. Pretty close to a zombie, right? The symptoms are flu like, eye problems, such as cloudy eyes, develop as the disease progresses, and skin lesions, which are rare, can occur in later stages. So my toxoplasmosis zombies were born.
I never actually put much thought into writing a zombie series. I had always thought of writing but never pursued it. So I thought about my family and some of the escapades they have had over the years and threw them into a book with zombies. Was it easy? No. But I wanted to write a story of a relentless scourge that never gives up, can ruin your day in an instant, and have the series set in the south. A scourge that comes in hordes and has the urge to eat and destroy. Blood, guts and carnage. What else do you need?
The zombie may have started out as a slow moving reanimated corpse but it has evolved into a creature who is fast, often times cunning, and can stalk their prey. There are so many variations on the zombie.
Today’s authors have turned the well-known shamblers into runners, sprinters, whistlers, bulkers, and on occasion, some self-aware zombies that are really creepy.
But a good zombie story isn’t about the zombies. It’s about the people who are surviving the zombies. It’s about how they deal with a new world, their fears, their grief over loss and how they deal with threats from the living. It’s about people fighting to maintain their humanity in a world that has little left.
The Southern Zombies series is about a family in the south trying to survive the toxoplasmosis parasite, zombies and threats from the living. It’s about a family working together to maintain a safe place for themselves. A southern family who takes in the not so fortunate and helps others. The women in the series are portrayed as strong willed women who refuse to lie down and become victims. They protect their family at any cost. They have no qualms when it comes to dispatching justice on those who have wronged them.
Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Mainstreet, and Truth or Dare. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels Loose Ends and Time Eaters. He is one of the four authors behind the Hellmouth trilogy. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com