I know the first instinct you have when you hear ‘zombie horror’ to the most cynical of hipsters is to utter a collective angsty yawn. But give me a break. I’m writing a zombie story, Green Sunday is a for lack of a better term, coined by Shaun of the Dead a RomZomCom. Just give me a chance, come back! Hey! It’s nothing like Walking Dead!… Hmm that may have backfired.
Well for the people that got through that and are still reading which is probably all of three people, I thank you and now I shall begin my zombie apologetics.
The reason I wrote this story is two-fold, I wanted to write a zombie story, but every motherfucker wants to write a zombie story, especially every crazy motherfucker like me that wants it to actually happen. But I wanted to write it from the perspective of someone like me, someone who wants it to happen. I thought this might help me understand why I want that and why that’s crazy. I realise it’s a state of cognitive dissonance, I want the zombie apocalypse to happen so I can use my collection of sharp pointy things and have a blast but I also don’t want it to happen because I like not having to cut my friends and family into bits because they’re trying to eat me and more importantly Fallout 4 is coming out next month. Maybe next year.
Zombie stories are tricky because essentially they’re too easy, you can’t write a story just about zombies. Zombies are just an inciting incident, they’re just a framing device for what is essentially a disaster movie and overall a character drama. It’s not about the zombies it’s about how the characters react to the zombies. The zombies aren’t characters, they don’t have back stories or motivation, they’re just flesh eating monsters that could be replaced by nearly anything; Aliens, flesh eating penguins, fish men, the world’s worse case of herpes.
They’re not important to the story except as an obstacle and to be honest people like watching people kill people, they don’t really want to see people killing animals and with aliens that’s sort of a grey area. There must be something in our brains that just prefers to watch people die, harking back to the coliseums.
So why choose zombies if they’re so overdone? For that exact reason. I wanted to write a story satirises the oversaturation of zombies into our culture and to mock from the inside people like me. Nutters that are preparing or at least fantasising about it really happening. Saying something is overdone is just a way of trying to lower the market value so you can do it when no one’s paying attention and come out the omega hipster, like me ha-ha. No.
I’m a writer nothing is overdone if it’s done well, everything can be turned on its head, when someone has an expectation that’s when they’re the most vulnerable to have their expectation completely levelled and you have them by the seat of their pants.
I wanted to write a zombie apocalypse story that wasn’t really about a zombie apocalypse and to mock zombie apocalypses and this spate of summer teen movies like Hunger Games just a bit. So I thought instead of making a straight up zombie apocalypse story or a post apocalyptic story, I’d write a post-post-apocalyptic story.
It’s always been the case that the most far-fetched thing about a zombie apocalypse is the idea of it actually happening or indeed ending the world. Even an air born virus probably wouldn’t end the world, it could kill 80% of the worlds’ population and would definitely change the world but it wouldn’t end it. So how could a virus spread by touch/bite spread so quickly, and how could it overcome every army/police force/pmc of the world? Or indeed happen in a country like America where ‘There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass’ as Isoroku Yamamoto Fleet Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during World War II is according to wikiquote is misquoted as saying.
But obviously I don’t live in America, I live in England, but we still have armed police and despite what you may here about our gun laws, we still have guns, knives, cricket bats. I set it in America essentially to mock America and open it up a wider audience. America is always rife for parody as it has the delightful habit of taking everything to its greatest extreme. Although this ‘prepper culture’ has spread to the UK, it started and it lives in the US. And really for the story to work it needed an isolated are and although there are small villages (like the one I’m from) and lots of open spaces and countryside. I wanted a small mountain town to really capture the isolation possible even in a semi-thriving small town.
Ok I realised I’ve been waffling around the point, the story is I suppose a little more like Dead Rising the videogame. I.e. This shit is done on purpose, it’s not an accident or a virus, this is an isolated incident done for a specific reason. Not as a test but for fun.
Green Sunday is named for the main character, Sunday is sort of a modern homage to Red Sonja, and before I start pandering telling you how she’s a ‘bad ass/asskicking’ woman and the quintessential and much sort after ‘strong female character’, I posed her as more sort of a Don Quixote character or a Sherlock Holmes. She’s the main character but as a whole She is left a mystery and the story is told through the eyes of her cohort, her Dr. Watson; TJ.
That way I felt that she could remain a mystery and through TJ she could be this tough character but waves of softness could be intermittently shone on him from time to time for a potential romance (I say potential because I’m in the process of writing it and I’m not sure Sunday really likes him, sometimes I have a scene planned out and it goes down a completely different path which better fits the character themselves).
Waffle fit yet again, tangents, tangents everywhere! The story is about a zombie game show, I got it out, there it is. Beautiful isn’t it? Not really *Shakes head*.
Ok so the generic ‘Sinister Corporation with ties to the government’ moves into town and seals it off to play their own little internet zombie game show. So it’s basically Battle Royale meets Dead Rising or Resident Evil. I’m trying to capture the irony of the main characters being zombie obsessed Youtubers caught in what is essentially a zombie internet reality show. And they have to fight for their lives over three gruelling days of bloody violence.
That’s it in a nutshell.
I’m having a hell of a lot of fun writing it, the zombie stuff is always good fun, with a feckless neckbeard fanboy character propelling the story and lots of crazy people brought into the town to fight and rich assholes paying to hunt zombies, it’s a delicious clusterfuck of gore and black humour.
The first ‘beta’ chapter is up for you to read on inkitt, I’ve proofread it but it’s still away with my editor, so hopefully within the month I can re-upload it after it’s been professionally edited and then move onto the next chapter.
Follow this link Green Sunday to read the first chapter and review it and tell me it sucks ass just read it ha-ha.