Today, I’m welcoming Julianne Snow to my blog for a guest post on the Author’s Perspective. She is the author of Days with the Undead. Please enjoy.
Days with the Undead: The Author’s Perspective
When I first set out to craft an engaging story, my mind didn’t automatically jump to the Zombie genre. At the moment, it’s a bandwagon full of offerings with fans joining the ranks in exponential numbers. Zombies are popular at the moment; there is no doubt about it. The difference with Days with the Undead is that in the beginning I started out to write a story about survival. The perfect backdrop for that story just happened to be a Zombie Apocalypse and I’m not going to lie, the genre is one of my favourites.
In order to catch the attention of potential readers, you have to have a story that captures them from the very beginning. Most stories tend to start on the first day; it’s almost an oxymoronical statement to suggest otherwise. With Days with the Undead, I place you right into the action. There is no gentle build to the crux of the story; instead you are thrown head first into the flight of the main characters as they evade the Undead. There really isn’t even an introduction to the cast of characters until a little later. The idea behind that is to place you in the heat of the moment with the other survivors – kind of like walking into the room just as the gunmen starts shooting but without prior knowledge that a standoff was in progress. Catch my drift? You do get introduced to the characters and discover what each of them bring to the survival of the group. As they traverse the landscape, you are invited into the mind of Julie, the main character. It’s her voice that you are reading and while she appears to have her wits about her, there are times of pure vulnerability.
“The sound of the first shot ricocheted off the surrounding foliage in the relative silence of the early morning. Before my eyes the pimpled face of what was once an adolescent boy exploded, shards of bone along with infected brain tissue flying out like they were searching for their next victim even in death. I quickly turned my face, hoping to shield it from the spray of grey matter and connective tissues. Thank heavens I was just out of splatter range as the Undead kept coming at us in what felt like increasing numbers.”
How does one keep a story of struggle fresh? Well, you add some Zombies and put them into different situations with your cast of characters. In the middle of the book, you learn more about what the world is being transformed into. Nothing has been able to stop the spread of the Undead and as a result, the tension of their flight is still readily felt. The cast of characters has gotten smaller and their interactions and reactions with the world around them are chilling and poignant. Julie wants people to fight; her words are a constant reminder that fighting is important and that survival is a necessity. As the story continues to unfold, the sense of desperation is mixed with hope; if they can only find somewhere not affected everything will be okay.
“At what point to people actually pass from just being stupidly informed to being actually stupid? I do understand the mob mentality. It happens in all kinds of situations and I’ve seen it’s after-effects in my morgue. But this was just insanity in its purest form.
They stood on the street corner with their signs and page boards. Dressed in their Sunday best, some holding their bibles high as if in protest. Their countenances almost defiant in their hatred of the Undead. For a moment, you could almost laugh at the stupid singularity of their message. They carried signs that were almost hilarious in their injudiciousness.”
The ending of a book is just as important as the other two parts. You don’t want readers to feel cheated for having stuck with you to the end. In Days with the Undead, there is a tension-filled build to the very last moment. Is there room for more? Absolutely, but there is a point where one chapter of their flight is resolved and the next one can begin. That’s what readers ultimately want; a little bit of closure but the idea that the story could continue.
“How silly that sounds. If the living world is about to draw its final breath, there will be no one left to read this. No one left to transcribe our struggles into the history books. Every freedom that we have ever fought for, forgotten. All of our wars now seem pointless. There was only one war that we should have been preparing for; the one against the foe we assumed would never arise. We were stupid, but one can only see that in hindsight…
If I could go back to a time before VanReit was even the name synonymous with walking undeath, I would have spent more time preparing. I would have spent more time at the range, honing my marksmanship. I would have read more about the things that would have been useful. But the time to prepare has obviously passed us by and each of us trying to struggle through this Undead world can only use the skills that God gave us. And hopefully pick up some useful ones along the way; the type that will ultimately help you to survive.”
Ultimately Days with the Undead is about survival set against the backdrop of a Zombie apocalypse, but there is so much more to the story. It’s about the breakdown of society as it twists and turns through the landscape but also through the narrative as well. At times, you’ll wonder how they manage to go on and in others you’ll wonder how they managed to escape. As you read you will encounter situations that could happen if the dead were to rise and walk the earth. Would I like to you to read my book? Of course I would, but I would much rather find out that you devoured it, leaving you with an insatiable hunger for more.
It was watching George Romero's Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of six that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has prepared 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.
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. You can find Julianne’s The Living Dead of Penderghast Manor in the anthology Women of the Living Dead and stories in upcoming anthologies called Childhood Nightmares: Under The Bed and Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity from Sirens Call Publications.
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.
Date Released - February 29th, 2012
Available in print and digital formats.
Purchase Links - Print:
Purchase Link - Digital:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Days-Undead-Book-One-ebook/dp/B007F14OTA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1330471120&sr=8-2
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007F14OTA
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B007F14OTA
Amazon FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B007F14OTA
Amazon ES: https://www.amazon.es/dp/B007F14OTA
Amazon IT: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B007F14OTA
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.