Had you told me one year ago that I would become know as ‘the zombie girl’, I would have laughed in your face. Or punched you, depending on hormone levels.
“What?” I hear you cry. “But you’re the freaky zombie love anthology writer
everyone is raving about a couple people have vaguely heard about!”
“Errrr,” I respond eloquently. “I suppose I am.”
But see, you know how in school, you didn’t really set out to become known as the girl who could turn grown men into little crying puddles — or the one who could fold her tongue backwards, or do something else noteworthy and unusual — but somehow it happened anyway?
Well, I didn’t really set out to become ‘that zombie girl’.
As a matter of fact, zombies terrify me. Which, of course, begs the question as to why my debut is a collection of zombie stories.
Rather embarrassingly, the main reason is sheer hard-headedness on my part. I’m terrified of zombies, so why not challenge myself to write about them?
That was how Hungry For You started. At least, that was my original reasoning, but as I wrote one story, and then another, and then another, I began to fall under the zombie spell.
For some people, the appeal of these decaying, disgusting, ever-hungry once-humans must be hard to fathom. But I’ve given the matter some thought, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason zombies are so fascinating is because they turn our fears into something we can fight.
A zombie represents our elemental fears — fear of the unknown, of death, of sickness, of danger — while also giving us a safe way to tackle those fears. We know how to fight a zombie; it’s a a monster we can understand. Shoot it in the head and move on.
As soon as I realised this, it was no great leap to mix zombies and love together, and from there more and more story ideas kept coming, until I had an anthology in my hands and a newly-minted ‘that zombie girl’ badge. Go figure.
“Zombies and love?” you say. “Still not seeing the connection.”
Put it this way: the zombies in Hungry For You represent our fears about love — fear of loneliness, of heartbreak, of relationships gone sour, of bitterness and betrayal. They turn these fears into something you can manage, something you can fight.
And if a zombie breaks your heart, at least you know how to fight this monster. Shoot him in the head and move on.
After all, all’s fair in love and zombies.