In New Orleans, the outbreak brings with it carnival carnage, Mardi Gras mayhem, and zombies on parade. Zombie Gras follows the lives of three survivors: a tourist who may never go home, an elderly shopkeeper trying to wait out the zombie apocalypse as if it were another hurricane, and a young man and his girlfriend who conduct volunteer rescues around the city. In this novelette prequel to Flesh Eaters, Alisha Adkins delivers a darkly humorous tale that also serves as a parable, chillingly paralleling the strife wrought by Hurricane Katrina and recognizing the resilience of New Orleans' spirit.
Why write about zombies?
I've always been drawn to zombies. As an archetype, to me they represent loss, defiled memories, and the struggle for survival.
But what is most interesting is how people react to them. Their presence strains human relationships, forces characters to adapt to adverse situations, and reveals how easily people can accept formerly taboo behaviors.
Zombies are dangerous, but although they may kill you, it won't be with any special cruelty or malice. Their motivations are basic and transparent. They're just hungry. It's the very base of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs; you can hardly even blame them for trying to eat us. The living, on the other hand, are far more devious. What people are capable of can be truly terrifying.
Extreme circumstances dictate extreme behaviors. Nathan cares for his incapacitated zombie mother. Tempest runs dangerous jobs for black market agents while trying to keep ahead of her past. Meeting at a support group for apocalypse survivors, they discover that each may have what the other needs.
What else do you write? What’s next for you?
I write mostly supernatural and psychological horror. My most recently published book is Twisted Tales for Twisted Minds, which is a collection of short stories.
My current project, Shadow Schism, is a novel I'm rolling out in serialized form. It's based around Jungian psychology. In it, the collective unconscious is dying, and rifts are forming between physical reality and the shadow world. Shadows are leaking through the cracks, invading our world. Nick, our protagonist, is an unlikely, and not altogether willing, hero, but when psychoids begin to appear to him in the form of animal totems, he has no real choice but to listen to them. He needs to find a way to close the rift between worlds before it's too late.