Friday, March 16, 2012

Put Your Undead Hands Together and Welcome Horror Author Julianne Snow...




My name is Julianne Snow and I kill zombies. Literally. Okay… Not literally, but in literature. I’m currently on my first virtual book tour in support of my newly released book Days with the Undead: Book One. It’s about Zombies so if you like that sort of thing, consider giving it a read. Now back to the task at hand –




"As soon as Max started the craft’s engine, a noise came out of the woods to our backs. As I hurried to release the moorings, I ordered Ben and Bob to get the rest of our gear and themselves into the boat as soon as possible. I remember thinking, feeling almost intuitively that we didn’t have time to waste.



Somehow I knew that noise was being made by them.


The noise we were hearing is hard to explain. It was like the sound of a stampede of cattle, only softer, more ominous. Ominous only because we know that only a significant number of the Undead would be able to make that much noise. The sound waves pushed at us, allowing us to feel their approach. If this is what it felt like to be on the front line during wars fought on the battlefields of old, I now understand what it must have felt like to stare down your enemy as it marched forward. You knew they were coming."

  

The Hallmarks of a Credible Zombie: A Purist’s Perspective

Credibility. That is an important word. There are a multitude of Zombie archetypes out there at the moment, and who is to say what is credible or not? While I write, I am a purist and that’s something I cannot hide. Please note the title again - everything that I plan to include in here is going to be from that purist standpoint. While I can appreciate each of the different archetypes, they are outside of our scope today. One might wonder what the hallmarks of a credible Zombie may be. For the most part they fall into four related but unique categories. Let’s begin by discussing the first.

Human versus Animal: From the purist standpoint, a credible zombie was once human. Sure, animals may be infinitely creepy, but it the breakdown and takeover of humanity that speaks the most. In Days with the Undead: Book One, I do break this rule slightly but when you read it, you can certainly see how effective that can be. The psychology of this can be demonstrated by the fact that as we stare into the faces of the Undead, all we see is ourselves reflected back at us. A bloated, putrefied and decomposing version, but it’s a reflection of our faces all the same. Part of the thing that makes the Zombie such a formidable enemy is that reflection of humanity. It’s not recognizable in intent but it is in form. Someone famous once said that our greatest enemy will be ourselves…

Mobility, Speed and the Effects of Decomposition: This next aspect is one that many factions debate intently. My knowledge of how the human body works and what happens after death makes it impossible to believe that there is no way a credible Zombie could move quickly or in a coordinated manner. That’s just fact. Dead tissues are meant to decompose; that is the natural order of life. Even in the unnatural order of the Undead, decomposition is still something that has to occur. As the tissues, tendons and muscles start to break down, it’s going to have a direct effect on how easily a body can move. Once tissue dies, there is nothing that can halt the natural process of decomposition forever. The process of embalming can certainly slow it down via the act of preservation, but nothing can halt it all together. The longer the living dead walk the earth, the greater the extent of decomposition that one would expect to see. Without the natural order in an unnatural situation, nothing is going to make much sense. There are certain things we have to bank on and this is one of them.

Lack of Sensory Deprivation: The classic archetype always comes equipped with an uncanny compass that cleverly seeks out humanity. It’s against the natural order of death but… The Undead have a unique way of changing some of the rules on us. For some reason they can see, they can hear, and they can track you without fail. This distinct lack of sensory deprivation is what makes the classic, purist archetype a greater reflection of humanity. This may seem in direction opposition to the effects of decomposition but it is important to note that while decomposition is a natural factor, a Zombie’s left over sensory abilities are a supernatural factor.

Insatiable Need to Destroy: What makes any zombie a force to be reckoned with? It’s the relentlessness with which they pursue the living, reducing it to all that is horrible and destitute. It’s this insatiable need to destroy that defines their existence. The classic Zombie consumes everything though not necessarily in the classic definition of the word. Not only are they driven to consume flesh but they eat away at the tissues of humanity and of hope. They gnaw away at it until there is nothing left. It’s that facet that makes them ultimately so dangerous - once our humanity is gone, what really separates us from them? Nothing. The scary thing is that the sense of hope never dies until the last possible moment. Humanity will always believe that it can outsmart and escape its weaker and slower counterpart and this example is no different. If you’ve ever seen Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead, I’m sure you’ve thought to yourself - why didn’t they just run when they had the chance? Why did they let them close in before attempting to escape? It was the misjudgment of an adversary (read humanity) that caused them to wait. We react only at the last second not fully realizing that being proactive would have saved our lives. We react only when the foe is coming at us in increasing numbers. One or two are never an issue, but one or two hundred of the shambling corpses always prove to be.

So to sum everything up, the purist version of the Zombie is one that reflects humanity in form and moves at reduced speed with little coordination as it is decomposing. They supernaturally retain quite a few of the senses they had while human, and have an insatiable need to destroy. I could maintain that the purist archetype is the scariest one, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide.



Press Release - Days with the Undead: Book One by Julianne Snow

Days with the Undead: Book One Synopsis:
It’s a journal of survival.
Five people set out to escape the Undead who have risen too close to home. Join the emotional and physical struggle as they began on the third day after the awakening of Brooks VanReit, as they are recorded from the point of view of Julie, a former pathologist and part-time survivalist.
Each entry is geared toward helping those who want to help themselves and maybe give a few that don’t a swift kick in the ass. Join our group of survivors on their journey through these Days with the Undead.
ISBN: 1468007998
ISBN-13: 978-1468007992

Available in print and digital formats.
Purchase Links - Print:
Purchase Link - Digital:

About the Author - Julianne Snow
It was while watching Romero's Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of 6 that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead.
As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own. The horror and forensic/crime thriller genres top her list of favourites, but she can never turn down a good science fiction, fantasy or mystery read.
Julianne appears in the anthology Women of the Living Dead with a story entitled The Living Dead at Penderghast Manor. Look for her short stories in future anthologies. Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name.
Date Released - February 29th, 2012

2 comments:

  1. Awesome! Snow is an incredible zombie writer. Check me out when your finished killing;) EDDIEROTTEN.com BTW GREAT BLOGSITE!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the compliments Eddie!

    ReplyDelete