“Zombies are hot,” a friend told me.
I found this news hard to believe. Zombies? Hot? I imagined zombies would be sort of cold, not to mention moist and sticky. They’d smell worse than the average person too. Not “hot” material in my estimation. My face must have betrayed my disbelief.
“The genre,” she said.
That made more sense, but for the romance writer inside me, no sense at all. I digested the entire conversation as a challenge. Same friend gave me an anthology of zombie romances to read and use as inspiration, none of which sparked my interest or creativity. So I decided to go my own way. Writer friends jested and laughed about my reanimated love story, making me more determined to write the Romeo and Juliet of zombie romance. But where to begin when writing a zombie romance? That was my dilemma.
Enter CC, aka Cecilia Denton, my sassy, kick-ass heroine who will tangle with the Grim Reaper and demand an audience with God himself to protect the people she loves. When it’s suggested to her that perhaps she jumped too quickly at a deal with Death to save her commitment-phobic zombie boyfriend, CC says, “If he’d asked me to reach up your colon and pull your tonsils out your butthole, I would have jumped at the offer.” Her loyalty knows no boundaries as she searches for goodness in mankind even if that means propositioning a nun or being the oldest prom date ever. There’s nothing she won’t do to restore Death’s faith in humanity. Well, almost nothing.
Add a hero who appears to have a lot to live for but is determined to die and CC’s boyfriend who is already dead (sort of). CC is caught in a love triangle with life or death consequences for all concerned.
And let’s not forget our misunderstood villain, Marvin, the soul stealing Angel of Death who isn’t such a bad guy once you get to know him.
I had my cast of characters, my setting and my plot. I strung letters into words and words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs (you get the picture) until I had a story with scenes and chapters. I printed out my story and asked my mother to read my zombie romance. She held her hands up and took a big step backwards. I reminded her about the time I drove her home after outpatient surgery. She owed me. Flash forward a few days. She loved This Side of Dead. I hope readers will too.
What do you think? Do zombies and romance go together? Leave me a comment and your email address to enter a chance to win an E-copy of This Side of Dead.
On Memorial Day weekend, Cecilia Denton hopped out of her boyfriend Brad’s car and leapt off a bridge. Far from suicidal herself, she did it to save a jumper, but she had no idea of the chain of events her heroic stunt would set in motion. Because Cecilia cheated the Grim Reaper, Death claimed her boyfriend instead. Now, Cecilia and Malcolm, the stranger whose life she saved, must go on a scavenger hunt of redemption. Either they prove to Death that there’s more to humans than greed and despair, or Death claims both Malcolm and Brad.
Malcolm Manchester didn’t ask to be saved, and he sure doesn’t want to be Cecilia’s partner in a game of Beat the Clock to restore Death’s faith in humanity. The heat is on Cecilia to give Malcolm a reason to live before time runs out—or send him off with a bang.