When I began writing The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to sell. Not only were there not a lot of zombie books being published, there certainly weren’t any set decades after the zombie apocalypse (that I knew of). But I kept writing anyway because my husband had suggested “Write what you love,” and what I loved was the idea of surviving in a world that’s so irrevocably different from the one we live in now where the existence of the walking dead isn’t an accepted reality.
Because really, aren’t we all--teens and adults--still trying to figure out how to bring meaning to our lives amidst the chaos of the world around us? I just added zombies to that chaos to heighten the stakes and pinpoint that part of ourselves that yearns to do more than merely exist.
They say that the increase in popularity of zombies can be tracked against worsening economic circumstances; the stock market takes a dive, zombies start to rise. For me, as a zombie fan and an author of zombie books and stories, that’s at least one positive aspect of the past several years. I feel lucky that my debut novel was able to ride the swell of zombie popularity--it allowed me to quit my job as a lawyer and write more stories set in the world I’d created including The Dead-Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places which released this month.
But more than that, as someone who definitely did not grow up a fan of monsters and scary movies, I get a thrill every time someone says, “I never thought I’d read a zombie story, much less like it, but I loved yours.” My husband expanded my horizons when he convinced me to go see that first zombie movie on one of our earliest dates. I’m glad that, because of my books, someone else out there may become as voracious a fan as I am.