I like literary novels and short stories and poetry. Right now I’m reading Junot Diaz’ incredible new collection of short stories: “This is How You Lose Her” and Lionel Shriver’s devastatingly thought-provoking “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” I’ve written a literary, realistic young adult novel: LIE.
But I also like end of the world, we-are-all-at-risk, flesh-eating zombie stories. I think it makes me less afraid of the day–to-day fears (today, my 7-year-old daughter didn’t get off the bus today, was she kidnapped? Is she hurt? Is she crying out for mommy – no, they didn’t announce her bus and she’s waiting in the main office with a half a dozen other kids who didn’t hear their bus being called. I can go calmly pick her up. I can do this.).
I didn’t once think: did zombies attack her? It would almost have been a relief to focus on zombies because everything else could have been an option. In the celluloid/digital world we watch in horror as the innocents go into the dark doublewide trailer or into the bucolic woods – and you know-- and everyone but that person knows – THAT’S WHERE THE ZOMBIES ARE. When there are flesh-eating zombies on the screen, somehow my world, with my day-to-day fears seem somewhat manageable. The zeitgeist of zombies is that they are unpredictable, driven by base passion and not by reason. Zombies are the Zen of our time. I can put all my irrational fear into them – and be calm -- except when my daughter isn't on her school bus and she should be.
Of course, this love of zombies makes me a fan ofAMC’s The Walking Dead – and on an upbeat thing to share: I just noticed that they are right now running a sweepstakes-- a trip for two to the Walking Dead Set – co-sponsored in a weird bit of promotion by the Red Cross (Use Your Brains, Give Blood is the tagline - go to www.amctv.com).
Critically-acclaimed YA for adults