Summer of Zombie Blog Tour
With Dave Jeffery
During a recent interview I was asked my views on why zombies have managed to imbue the psyche of so many people, even those who are not traditionally into the horror scene. This question had me digging deep as to my own rationale for loving the genre so much. It was an interesting process in that it gave me opportunity to quiz something that, for so long, I had taken for granted. Zombie fans, you see, are staunch; there’s no doubt in this, it is fact, pure and simple. And sometimes the mere actuality that we love something can leave us reticent as to really ask what it is that draws us to it, and holds us there in its rotting, relentless embrace.
Perhaps it was motivated, in part, by the Summer of Zombie blog tour, but putting my thoughts on the screen seemed appropriate. I found out that I loved zombies because, out of all of the horror genres, its basic essence is humanity. Sounds like a boot-tread full o’ BS, right? But, hey, hear me out for a little, okay?
In a zombie tale the world changes. The human race is under threat. It starts with death and ends in survival. Humans are the key to everything. They are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. The beginning in that, zombies were once human and in the end they may be mankind’s nemesis. But somewhere in between is humanity. This is where the stories start, the good stories, the ones that talk about good people in bad places, and how they try to stay, well, human. And get this, I don’t recall any piece of zombie literature or movie in which I ever felt nothing but pity for the undead. They are tormented souls, reduced to base needs. But ask yourself: are they the real villains? Think about it, all the atrocities in zombie stories are committed by the gun-totting gung-ho knuckleheads, those who use the apocalypse as a vehicle for their own kind of self-serving anarchy. Those who survive try to stay human, try to retain the last vestiges of what makes human-beings so damned special.
So this is my take on the whole caboodle. Zombie fiction touches on what it is to be human, the good and the bad. I would argue that it raises the kind of philosophical, socio-political and theological challenges to humanity in a way that no other horror genre can. To be part of it is to be human. That people are touched by its deep rooted concepts comes, after a little thought, as no surprise to me.
There you have it, my take on why zombies are so popular with non-horror fans. It feels right. But, hey, bear in mind that when it comes to this genre, I’m very, very biased!
Thanks for reading!”
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Dave Jeffery is perhaps best known for his zombie novel Necropolis Rising which has gone on to be a UK #1 Bestseller. His Young Adult work includes the critically acclaimed Beatrice Beecham Series, BBC: Headroom endorsed Finding Jericho and the 2012 Edge Hill Prize Long-listed Campfire Chillers short story collection.
Dave has contributed to several anthologies from a variety of publishers including Dark Continents Publishing, Inc., Wild Wolf Publishing, Imprint Phoenix, Hersham Horror Books, Wicked East Press and Hidden Thoughts Press. His work has featured alongside many zombie impresarios including John Russo (Night of the Living Dead), Tony Burgess (Pontypool) and Joe McKinney (Flesh Eaters). His short story Daddy Dearest features in the award-winning Holiday of the Dead anthology (This is Horror Awards, Best Anthology, 2012).
He is currently writing the sequel to Necropolis Rising and co-writing Crabs: Apocalypse! the official seventh book in the pulp franchise “Night of the Crabs” created by horror icon Guy N Smith.
Dave is a member of the British Fantasy Society. His website can be found at: www.davejeffery.webs.com
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All six of us – Todd Brown, Mark Tufo, Ian Woodhead, Armand Rosamilia, John O’Brien and Dave Jeffery – hope you’ll keep following us on the Summer of Zombie blog tour, and comment as we go along.
And… one lucky commenter for each blog will receive a Free eBook or Print book from one of the authors! Simply leave a comment with your e-mail address and we’ll pick a random winner each day! Simple as that!