Day Zero Blog Posting 06/27/14 – 2014 Summer Of Zombie Blog Tour
The following interview appeared on Day Zero Blog for the 2014 Summer Of Zombie Blog Tour.
Summer of Zombie 2014 SPOTLIGHT ON: Why I Wrote Dead Kill -Thomas M. Malafarina
Posted on June 27, 2014
Summer of Zombie 2014: THOMAS M. MALAFARINA
The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie
It seemed like everyone and his brother was doing zombie apocalypse books as well as comics, TV shows and movies for many years. And I fought the urge to jump into the fray for a very long time, feeling that the genre had been done to death; so to speak. I decided if I was going to take the time to write a zombie-based book it would have to be different than anything else out there.
There was actually a time when I swore I would never write a zombie story. Then I broke down in 2010 and wrote a zombie short story, “Bright Of The Living Dead”. And then I wrote another called “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Then in 2011 came the humorously twisted “Call Him Maury” followed in 2012 by “Dinner With Andy And Meg”. Things got a bit sicker with “A Love Best Served Cold” and last but not least in 2013 I came up with the adventurous “Even The Great Will Fall”. In every one of these short stories I strove to do something original and I think I was successful. As such, I felt I might be ready to tackle a whole zombie-based novel.
So I gave the idea a lot of thought. Then as I usually do when writing a new story, I asked myself about a thousand questions. I looked at the world today and realized zombies destroying some of the world such as underdeveloped, third-world countries might be possible and even probable. But I seriously doubted that with the technology and the number of armed citizens we have in the US we could possibly be overrun by a bunch of shambling, walking corpses; no matter how many of them there might be. If you think about it, one single state in the US has more firearms and
ammunition per capita than the armed forces of many countries.
I chose to venture into what I believe is new and possibly risky territory from a literary standpoint. I knew zombie fans loved to see the world destroyed and civilization thrust into Darwinian chaos. However, I decided to write a story where the zombie apocalypse happened and where 60% of the world’s population was wiped out. But in developed well-armed countries such as ours the casualty count was much less. This story takes place in 2053, in the United States, ten years after the initial outbreak. Here zombies still exist and although deadly, are much less of a threat and more of a nuisance. (Think in terms of a deer wandering out onto the highway; but in this case if would be a dear that wants to eat you alive).
Newly reformed governments put bounties on the creatures and each citizen is rewarded $100 per zombie. This act of putting down the creatures became known as a Dead Kill. (Killing something already dead). This brought the population of undead down dramatically and for a few years provided a good way for many people to earn a decent living. There are new strict government regulations for dealing with the dead and dying since the virus lives in every human and is only activated at time of death.
Citizens now live in protected fortified cities which are constantly expanding and taking back more land all the time. They travel well-armed from city to city passing through what are called the “outlands”, which are populated by not only remaining zombies but by bands of wild and savage motor cycle riding renegades, who are often more dangerous than the zombies themselves.
The book is a thriller set in this post-zombie-apocalypse world. Zombies are not the main focus of the book. The main focus of the book involves a psychopathic character who makes his living illegally in the dark and perverse drug-infested underworld of the outlands. That being said, I still found plenty of opportunities for good old fashion zombie gore.