Today I have the author Greg McCabe joining my blog. His newest book, The Undying Love, is a zombie apocalypse novel and his guest post will be on his recipe for zombies!
For Diane and Jackson, life is just about perfect. They’re healthy, happy, and madly in love with one another. Unknown to them, a virus is sweeping across the globe that instantly kills the infected and turns their corpses into mindless, murdering cannibals. In short: zombies have taken over the planet.
Diane and Jackson find out about the epidemic the hard way when their wedding is crashed by friends and family who have succumbed to the virus. Now, fighting for survival, they’re faced with unthinkable decisions.
Follow their story across Southeast Texas as they meet unforgettable characters and face challenges that will put their love, and lives to the ultimate test.
A Zombie Recipe
People often ask me how I came up with my “brand” of zombies for The Undying Love, a zombie apocalypse novel I wrote that was recently released by Sirens Call Publications.
After much thought, I realized that putting together conceptual elements of zombies for fiction was much like putting together a good recipe: mixing the right ingredients and lots of love.
I approached the construction of my zombies the same way I approached any of my characters. I defined their motivation, evolved them, and even gave them an epiphany, so to speak, instead of just saying, “Hey, they’re zombies, they’re scary and you run from them.”
In addition to developing their identity throughout the book, I also think that having a pretty firm grasp on the zombie mythos helped. I’ve been really into zombies for almost a decade now. And a few years after discovering my love of this obscure sub-genre, I started working on The Undying Love. That’s when I really immersed myself in the world of undead fiction.
I’ve seen every one of George A. Romero’s Dead films. I’ve seen dozens of zombie movies—from the big blockbusters to the indie flicks that hardly anyone has heard of. I’ve played zombie video games and read zombie books. I’m currently watching the hit AMC television series, The Walking Dead, and have read the entire first compendium of graphic novels the series is based from.
So when it came time to create a zombie recipe for my book, I drew upon years of great (and not so great) zombie fiction and picked ingredients from some of my favorite zombies that I’ve come across in TV, film, and print.
First, I knew I wanted a classic, Romero-esque, living dead zombie, not a pre-Romero voodoo zombie or a new-age “smart” zombie capable of basic thoughts and emotions.
Something else I had to consider was how my zombie plague was spread. Zombie fiction has always seemed to play on society’s fears of global disasters. In the sixties, seventies, and eighties, we were in the height of the Cold War and the threat of nuclear attack was ever looming. As a result, many zombie movies attributed the undead plague to atomic radiation. As the Cold War ended and pandemics like Ebola and SARS started to grab media headlines, society’s global disaster fears shifted from nuclear war to deadly viral outbreaks. Thus, the viral zombie was born. I elected to use the viral zombie in my zombie recipe to stay hip with current societal fears.
Another aspect of my zombies I wanted to carefully feature was their eyeballs. The eyes, as they say, are windows to the soul. I’ve seen zombies with white, blue, grey, red, and black eyes. And while I’m not sure why, I’ve always been a fan of red eyes, they just seem the most menacing to me. So, my zombie recipe included blood-red eyes.
Lastly, I added something to my zombies in an attempt to make them a little unique. In zombie fiction, I’ve seen where zombies start congregating together, either because of a food source or because something from their old life told them to go there. I liked this concept, but took it one step further by making it an intended side effect of the virus. In The Undying Love, at a certain point, the zombies start traveling together in ‘packs’ or ‘swarms’. The purpose was to give them a better chance of finding food, but it also added a unique twist that I thought could make for scarier scenarios.
That just about sums up my brand of zombies. I guess if I had to write out the recipe for them it would look like this:
-Start with a big heaping bowl of classic, living dead zombies
-Add a scoop of viral plague to help modernize
-Stir in some congregating zombie swarms for uniqueness
-Sprinkle in some red eyeballs
-Mix well and serve bloody
About the Author
Greg McCabe is a proud Texan. He was born and raised in Midland, Texas, received a degree in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University, and currently resides in the Lone Star State. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Mandy, his daughter, Annabelle, and his dog, Walter, as well as traveling, sports, movies, reading, and writing. He enjoys all genres of fiction, but seems to gravitate towards horror and science fiction. The Undying Love is Greg’s first book.
- NEW RELEASE: The Undying Love by Greg McCabe (sirenscallpublications.wordpress.com)
- An Interview with Greg McCabe – Author of The Undying Love (sirenscallpublications.wordpress.com)