My years in journalism are well behind me. I do still hold on to one of my instructor's biggest lessons. A headline will bring them in, and your writing has to keep them. That is why I sometimes "tabloid up" with my blog headlines. I think that is the deal today. I really did not know how to label this one.
For those of you waiting, DEAD: Snapshot--Portland, Oregon now has an OFFICIAL release date. April 3rd, 2015. Also...on the side of the bad news, DEAD 11 is delayed until May 4th. Sorry folks. This is what happens when you bite off more than you can chew. I am really trying to get everything done on time, but the new recording studio is proving to be "a bit tricksy" to quote Gollum. Toss in the wedding (vow renewal) in Vegas next weekend, my workout schedule as I close in on the new obstacle course racing season, and just life in general, and I am often left each evening feeling like I spent most of that day chasing my tail.
So, today, I have a very serious question for all my zombie fans. What is more important in a GOOD zombie novel? Characters with depth (regardless of whether you would like them or hate them as people if you ever met)? Or lots of action and people being ripped apart?
I ask this because I feel that I have found my voice in this genre (after only twenty or so books have been published...wowzers!?). I feel it is about the people and the "realness" of them. I want you to like some and HATE some. But, and I have said this before, but sometimes I hear Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm character in my head saying, (use your best Goldblum voice impersonation here) "Ummm, hello...now, uh, eventually...you, uh, you are going to have zombies in your zombie novel, right?"
I don't think there needs to be a person ripped apart on every age, but as I prepare to launch this spin off "Snapshot" series, I worry about the new reader that stumbles across my book for the first time. I won't lie when I say that I really believe that this series holds my future in its hands. This has the potential to launch a good forty or fifty novels. I have all these cool ideas including the small town that actually withstands the zombie menace, an entire book of "evil" (think nasty Garrett McCormick types) some who die horribly...but, some who get away with their evil schemes in a lawless world, and all sorts of things, including at least one novel told entirely from a zombie child's point of view, one from a prison, and one that is a tribute to our armed forces members.
So, what do you think? Can a zombie novel reach "greatness" without horrific violence in abundance? Or, do I need to bow to the masses and stay away from the faces of evil, tell only happy, rainbow and pony tales, and make sure that a zombie appears on practically every page?