Big spoiler for ‘Jack Reusen and the Spark of Dreams’ coming up…there are ‘zombies’ in it. I’ve got ‘zombies’ in inverted commas because I’ve tried to aim along the lines of slightly frightening, irrational people rather than terrifying undead corpses stalking the earth in search of brains. The books are for kids of five and up so, you know, I should probably avoid the brain eating.
So, there are no dead people and there is no brain eating. Other than that I’m running a few standard zombie movie scenarios in the course of the book: the general ‘something’s not quite right’ feeling evoked by the early stages of classic zombie flicks, leading on to irrational people chasing the heroes, and then our heroes are locked in a house with a horde trying to get in. Hopefully I’ve kept the scariness balanced enough for it to be exciting but not nightmare-inducing (don’t worry I’ll test it on my own kids first).
So here’s the fun bit: I was wondering if anyone out there wanted to volunteer to be a ‘zombie’. If I get a big influx I’ll need a way to decide who gets in, so feel free to give me an idea of what kind of behaviour your ‘zombie’ might display.
Here are a couple of examples, a lady with a fixed ‘plastic’ smile, her eyes gazing right through you as she makes paper aeroplanes out of important documents from her briefcase. Then there are two men queuing for coffee who attack each other over a packet of sugar but who forget their fight completely and limp away when someone interrupts them, one limping from being kicked in the butt.
Both of these come from the early ‘zombification’ stage but you could describe your zombie however you like. The basic idea is that people are losing their senses, getting lost in irrational, repetitive, and even dangerous activities (with a slightly comic twist). The best three will make it into the book. I’d particularly like to see ideas for members of the ‘zombie horde’. I look forward to hearing your suggestions/submissions (make sure you pop them in the comments below so I can find them easily), all the best, John