Of all the things people ask me about my writing, why I chose the zombie genre usually comes top of the list.
I spoke about this in part in my blog on the inspiration for Game Hunter, but there is actually more to it. Recently with all the work I have been doing on the second book it has been at the forefront of my mind, and so I am going to tell you more about it today.
There are four reasons I decided to write the zombie Game Hunter series. None are particularly more important than the other and here they are:
1. It is obvious that the love, élan vital, personality and the pure breath of life itself that pours out of you, is quite separate from the chemicals, guts, bones and muscle which make up your body. For example, how many times have you wondered or heard other people say that although their body ages, they feel exactly the same as they did when they were young? I know I feel that way.
I felt that zombies were an interesting way of expressing that. A zombie body is just a mutated human body, but what about the love and life still inside it? I had fun playing with this idea, and I hope some people look at bodies verses life a little differently after reading the series.
2. I have observed that people are naturally afraid of what they cannot understand, of what is very different from them and of what they cannot communicate with. After all, how could war occur if you were trying to kill someone who laughed at the same things you did, who you understood had a family and hopes like yours? You would probably find it wouldn’t happen. We see this in racial discrimination as well.
Why people think those that look different are fundamentally and inherently dissimilar is beyond me, but unfortunately it’s very common. Zombies again were a way of showing this in an extreme setting. Who would question the hating of zombies? I hope you will after reading Game Hunter.
3. I feel our world is becoming too full of spectators. TV, films and different types of computers have left people feeling satisfied just to watch others live hard, fast, dangerous and exciting lives, while they themselves sit on their sofas or chairs. Actually, if you look at their own personal lives, these people have sometimes fallen into the hell of no personal ambition, production or excitement. Their lives have become mostly filled with watching others do the living, while they do the watching.
Game Hunter is an embodiment of this. A tragedy befalls London and thousands of lives are changed for ever. Yet the rest of the population do nothing, continue their lives and end up watching it all on live TV. A depressing homage to where I see our society heading.
4. I have often wondered how we would survive should all the help, props and foundations that have gradually formed over hundreds of years fail us; such as hospitals, law and order, social services etc. Who would survive and maybe even flourish as they put things back together again, and who would wither and die?
The dystopian City of London is just one angle of this imagination, and one I have had fun creating. My young half-zombies Tremayne and Red and the rest of the crew are great examples of no matter how bad the environment, it is still possible to rise up above it and make something of your life.
Well perhaps these points were a little deeper than expected for the dystopian zombie genre but there you have it. Add the danger and exhilaration of a zombie adventure and it is a fun and action-packed series none the less.