Saturday, April 12, 2014

Blogging A to Z, K is for Zombie Killers

Blogging A to Z  - K is for Zombie  Killers 

by Christine Verstraete

If you're going to write about zombies, then you not only can't be squeamish, but you have to figure out how to kill then.

Not a pretty topic, for sure, but a necessary one, especially if your character is in the thick of an apocalyptic situation. You can't leave them defenseless, right?

So, what to use? Many authors like the hack 'em up approach, using knives, machetes and anything that chops and cuts. The bloodier the better.

  My fellow GirlZombieAuthor Karina Fabian's series beginning with NEETA LYFFE, ZOMBIE EXTERMINATOR is pictured with a chainsaw. But Karina also has a way of attacking her subject with humor. I mean zombies, zombie exterminators and a Survivor-like game show? How can you not laugh?

In GIRL Z: MY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ZOMBIE, I confess to being much more subtle. As my character Becca is a teenager, she's thrown into the zombie world via an accidental scratch. And because the virus has mutated, she herself turns part-zombie.

That doesn't mean she can't--and won't--do what she can to fight the full Zs (zombies) to protect herself and her family.

But while she does shoot or strike out when needed as protection, she also uses unconventional weapons like poisoned paintballs. My goal was to tell her story, sharing how she adapts and survives, not on making her ultra-violent.

She struggles with being what she is and what they are, at one point even hesitating when confronted with the most unlikely of subjects -- grandma zombie. One of my favorite passages.

Here's the excerpt again from GIRL Z: MY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ZOMBIE:

An old lady Z in a ratty housecoat, the puffs of hair left on half of her head still sporting pink curlers, her mouth ringed with blood like she'd missed while applying her lipstick, limped toward us from the opposite direction.

She stumbled along, taking mincing steps in dirty pink slippers. A small plastic handbag dangled from a chain around her arm. I watched her progress, unable to shake the thought of somebody's grandma heading to a tea party before she went missing.

Carm's poke at my arm barely registered, my focus solely on Grandma Z shuffling along. "Bec? You good?" my cousin asked.

I shook my head, but didn't trust myself to answer. My eyes blurred and got a little moist. I'd never expected this sudden stab of emotion. Up until now the Zs hadn't bothered me, but this little old lady was different. She could've been anybody's charming little grandma who unfortunately had somehow become infected.

I couldn't do it. Not this time.

As if she sensed my hesitation, Grandma Z gave another little growl and reached for me with chubby hands, her fingers pocked with rot, bits of bone sticking out. I stared at her and screamed when Carm pushed me aside. "Bec, watch out!"

Carm pumped her gun, the paintballs hitting the senior Z full in the face. She made mewing sounds like a baby and grabbed at her dripping flesh.

It was too much for me. I averted my gaze. The sight of her agony and the reality of her body falling to pieces bothered me like it never had before.

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