Writing my first novel, Dead Assets, seemed like a good idea at the time. In fact, it was. I penned the original, eponymous story, which eventually grew into a full-length book, on New Years Day, 2011. This was before I’d ever even heard of the awesome and, arguably, the best show on television, The Walking Dead, led the charge of flesh-eating ghouls. I initially enjoyed that I was counted in that seeming ever-growing number of horror writers, artists, and filmmakers.
Then, like the ever-inflating sphere from a snotty-nosed kid, the zombified bubble burst.
I looked up and the undead were EVERYWHERE. There were zombie walks and other events geared to lovers of cannibal corpses. When I would go to bookstores and on sites, I was bombarded by images of lumbering things that refused to die. I felt as if I’d been transported to a few years back, when bloodsuckers began sparkling…
The final, inevitable straw was when zombies got the YA treatment and a leading lady fell in love with a rotter… Of course, her father just didn’t understand why she was enamored with that boy. (NOTE: Having a daughter of my own, I could definitely empathize–whether alive or reanimated, fathers have a natural dislike for anyone their baby girls swoon over.)
Some folks blame the great George A. Romero for the popularization and bastardization of the subgenre. Say what you will, the man breathed life (pun intended) into a gazillion-dollar industry that spawned literature, video games and, of course, more movies about those who would rather consume than remain buried. I call the man a genius.
But, true to form, when something good comes along, the taboo becomes cool, then redefines trends, before there is a glut that goes POP (remember the days before Hip Hop became commercial? Colonel Sanders would roll over in his grave if he saw his animated effigy breakdancing while trying to sell chicken).
So, what does this mean for me? It means I’m going to find something else to write about besides throngs of the damned…for now, anyway. Maybe when zombies have overcome the terminal velocity that allows sitcoms featuring them, I’ll return to their ranks. In the meantime, I’m going to find other monsters and characters to develop, while anticipating the next satisfying episode of TWD.