By Jill James (Guest Blogger)
When I was a little girl I was terrified of being buried alive. It haunted my dreams so much that I knew as a little kid that I would be cremated. Then, you are dead for sure. Once I was old enough to read The Premature Burial by Edgar Allen Poe it just emphasized that I had been right all along. You do not want to be buried alive. The whole zombie genre just reiterates that. Being a zombie is being seen as dead but you are not. They are buried, just minus the dirt. Not how I want to go, thank you very much.
I get asked a lot why zombies when I write romance novels. I truly believe there is someone out there for everyone. So I write romances, but they are set in the zombie apocalypse. If you can find your soul mate, your other half, amid flesh-eating zombies, ruthless renegades, and limited supplies of food and water, how hard can it be in the real world. Get out there. Meet people. Live. That special someone is out there waiting for you. I believe that. I write it into my stories. I live each day with my forever love.
I’ve been fascinated with the zombie genre since Night of the Living Dead by George Romero. If there is a zombie movie out there, I’ve probably seen it. My eReader is full of zombie apocalypse books. The idea intrigues me, that the world as we know it could be gone overnight. It is closer than ever before. The more electronics we rely on, the less we know how to do things the old-fashioned way. We are one EMP away from going back to the pre-Industrial age. Every time you use your computer or Smart phone for something, think of what you would do without it. I have family who couldn’t get across town without a GPS. Friends who are connected to their Smart phones live an invalid with an IV. We’ve lived without them before. Could we do so again? What if we were forced to?
In my zombie apocalypse books, I love seeing if people could not only survive The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI as the preppers say) but find time to discover true love, because what is survival without love? My characters face the end of the world head on. They band together to face the apocalypse, making friendships and love relationships.
So, why zombies? Because I would never survive the very first hours of a zombie apocalyptic outbreak, so I write kickass heroines that not only survive, but thrive, and find true love. In Love in the Time of Zombies, Emily Gray is a rich, San Francisco society matron who finds her true self in the times of zombies.
Excerpt from Love in the Time of Zombies by Jill James
When we got there, they’d put us through a bunch of tests: agility, strength, skills, and shooting. I’d scored a hundred at all distances. No picking apples for this girl, I was a member of the undead hunting patrol.
Breakfast out of the way, I cleaned up my section of the roof. Gathering up my dirty clothes, and believe me, you haven’t seen dirty until you try to get zombie guts out of your shirt, I took them to my friend, Michelle, who had laundry duty this month. Michelle Greggs had been on the wild ride with me out of San Francisco. We’d clung to each other all night as the horde of undead tried to get to the fresh meat inside the fortified school bus. Rotted fingers poked between the welded metal sheets and their moans stayed with us long after the trip was over. We’d been friends ever since. Shit like that is a real bonding moment.
She stopped me with an upraised hand, and then grabbed a pair of surgical gloves before taking my clothes. We’d all told her countless times that she couldn’t get the mutated virus from simple contact; because we pretty much all had the virus, but she continued to use the gloves. We all have our idiosyncrasies since this all started and we’d let her have hers.
She dropped into a curtsy. “And would madam like these pressed and folded as well?”
I played along. “Yes and any spots left will come out of your pay.” I put up my chin and looked down my nose at her. I could have done a dowager countess proud.
Michelle laughed. I would play any silly game to get that light, airy sound from her, even if it were a mockery of my pre-Z life. Or maybe, my pre-Z life had been a mockery of reality all along.
Unlike me, my friend had loved her husband with all her heart and had to kill him when he’d turned. She’d told me the sad story on the bus with the caveat that she would never mention it again.
“Now, go kill those skinbags,” she ordered.
“Yes, ma’am,” I replied, giving her a snappy salute. We all had our names for the zombies we had to kill. Some used other names to make it easier. Parents in our group used funny names to make it less scary for the children. Way back when, before my time, there had been a late-night local show, Creature Features, and the parents had taken to calling the zombies Black Lagooners. But for the life of me, I couldn’t see how anything made what we were going through less scary. Maybe kids had a defense mechanism I was missing. I was scared shitless most days.
Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RHGTYUC
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Jill James writes contemporary, paranormal, and urban fantasy romance. When she isn’t writing, she is reading. She lives in Northern California with her husband who is the inspiration behind all of her romance novel heroes.
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