About Zombie Book, Steel Rose by Barbara Custer:
The denizens of hell attack. The zombies feed. She's their meal. Sometimes they come back. At least the Kryszka aliens do. Their leader injects captured humans with a drug, turning them into zombies. Yeron escapes the Kryszka Colony, hoping to practice medicine on the humans who fear him. Alexis-a patient-is afraid too, until his seductive attentions arouse her. Despite his experimental drug, severe arthritis leaves her too weak to handle most guns. The Kryszka troops and zombies who break into the hospital are hungry. Very hungry. How will she fight them?
The Story behind Steel Rose
Before I wrote Steel Rose, I had arthritis in both wrists and needed surgery. I hoped that science could invent an easy operation or drug to rebuild my cartilage. Although I embellished a lot, many of the physical difficulties protagonist Alexis had on her job happened in real life.
Other inspirations were seasoned into Steel Rose; Tom Johnson and I coauthored Starship Invasions, where aliens and humans interacted on a daily basis. City of Brotherly Death came next with its zombies and revenants, creatures invented by my nightmares. Before I wrote Steel Rose, I read about a respiratory therapist who’d been convicted of killing six patients with Pavulon, a drug that stops a patient’s respirations when they go on a ventilator. I was also caring for my husband Mike, who had Parkinson’s disease. What would I do if hostile aliens or zombies broke into our home?
Why zombies? I read a lot of zombie novels and wonder how people would handle an invasion in real life. Like many authors who write horror, I’m trying to face my secret fears. I’ve feared skeletons since I was ten, when I saw a mummy up close and personal, sitting up in a sarcophagus, waving her arm. Later on, I’d found out that the entertainer was using props to make the body move, but at the time, I thought that this mummy was reaching for me. I tore out of that pavilion fast. You can get the details about my encounter here.
That encounter, among other things, has spurred me into writing zombie tales. Alexis will be kicking serious zombie butt in Steel Rose and the sequel. How she does it, given her health challenges – well…you’ll have to read the book.
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