When I was a kid I was scared to death of horror movies. Sleeping with the lights on, never entering a darkened room alone, closing my eyes during the gory sequences—scared. Out of this heightened emotion came my love for all things that go bump in the night.
As I’ve said here before, I love writing; I love being a writer. And like many writers I try to infuse my writings with personal experiences, lessons I’ve learned, challenges I’ve faced. But I can’t seem to keep those darned monsters out of it. In my up-coming novel, Hollyweird, I wanted to explore the challenges of being a gifted child. My brother was gifted, and I have to admit, his gift was a challenge for us both. But the idea of writing about my relationship with my brother seemed boring until I put a monster in it.
In Never Slow Dance With A Zombie I hearkened back to when I graduated junior high (they didn’t have middle school back then). I decided I needed to do a full makeover for high school. In this makeover I would be popular, a great athlete and have a girlfriend. But a year into high school I realized nothing had changed. That’s pretty much the story of Margot Jean Johnson (in the book) until the monsters show up.
Now, it may be that these stories of my youth might have been interesting on their own. I’ll never know, because every time I come up with a story, as soon as I begin to develop the idea, up steps a monster.
A few weeks ago I was taking a walk and looking in shop windows along Wilshire Boulevard. I love women’s fashion, and was looking at the gorgeous gowns in the window of Baracci when the idea came to me that I’d like to do a story about fashion. And what was the next thing that popped into my head? Zombies, of course. Fashion and zombies. Wow, I thought. Women’s fashion is good, but with zombies, it’s a WOW!
As it turned out, that night I was visiting the studio of my good friend, illustrator, comic book impresario, and all around crazy person, Michael Davis. I told him the idea, and instead of telling me how utterly ridiculous he thought it was, he said he loved it. And that’s how my next project, an illustrated novel featuring women’s fashion and zombies was born. Michael and I are putting together the proposal now. As soon as it’s done I hope to post some of the artwork here.
I know I haven’t answered the question why I like zombies, monsters and things that go bump in the night. Truth is, I’m not sure why, I’m just happy I do ;-)
*The photo (taken by my friend G) is of friend and fan, James, getting his zombie thing on at last year’s Never Slow Dance With A Zombie Fest.