Saturday, October 27, 2012

Guest post by S. Harper, Author of Love and the Living Dead + Giveaway!

Hello fellow readers!

Do you like zombies? Would you survive a zombie attack? I know I wouldn't.

Today I'm happy to welcome S. Harper author of Love and the Living Dead She's here to share her thoughts on zombies. She has also generously offered 3 E-copies of Love and the Living Dead to three lucky readers!

Here's a little information on the book. Then be sure to check out what S. Harper has to say about zombies.

About the Book:

Love and the Living Dead
Ruby Ann, Tina Louise, Mae Belle and Etta Grace are seventeen, and feeling trapped in their small mountain town. Their band, The Shotguns (double barrelled names, double barrelled sound), is starting to gain local aclaim, and the girls are counting down until they graduate high school and can move to the city to concentrate on the band.

When the plague hits, the girls find themselves on the run through a wasteland of walking corpses. Love wasn't top on their list of priorities before the dead turned cannibal, but when they are in danger of their lives, romantic love and their love for each other becomes all they have. The novel follows their struggle to survive, as well as the relationships forged and broken in the collapse of society.

Love and the Living Dead by S. Harper

    I was never afraid of zombies. Serial killers were my great fear, they were what terrified and enthralled me in equal measure as I scoured the internet for information and read any book I could find on the subject. Serial killers and sharks.

    And isn't it often the case that we become obsessed by our fears? We think about them so much that the line between fear and fascination starts to blur. I was even dreaming about serial killers, creating new terrors in my sleep. Whenever I went swimming I'd always have the same thought: sharks can detect movement in the water from 820 feet away! I read books with titles along the lines of Shark Attack! and The Real Jaws; World's Most Infamous Murders and The Urge to Kill. I was insatiable, fascinated, repulsed and constantly terrified. I never even thought about zombies.

    My horror hierarchy shifted in 2004, with the cinematic release of Zack Snyder's remake of the Romero classic, Dawn of the Dead. Of course, I didn't know the original was a classic at the time. I'd never seen a zombie movie. I went to see it with friends and expected, if I'm honest, not very much. I definitely didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, or to be as scared by it as I was. The plot and acting, the soundtrack and cinematography; I was gripped throughout the whole movie.

    It was over the following days that I realised how deeply I'd been affected. An enemy that couldn't be threatened or even hurt, that would always keep on coming, with no thoughts or desires, no instincts other than to consume human flesh? And the sheer number of them caused by the ease of passing on the infection.      

    I began to think about them constantly. Everywhere I went, I analysed the area; how would I get out in an attack? Where would I try to get to? How would I get back to my family? And then, naturally, what if my family were infected? Would I be able to do what had to be done?

    My dreams of being stalked and hunted were replaced by dreams of confusion and panic, just one step ahead of the lurching threat. I saw zombies everywhere, could imagine them shuffling slowly closer, numerous and implacable. I was truly down with the sickness.

    As I grew more and more familiar with the genre, my preference changed from Snyder's remarkably speedy cadavers to the more traditional shufflers; I decided that reanimated corpses who lacked the cognitive ability to climb probably wouldn't have the coordination to run. I read the classics, the zombie bibles, from the practical to the bizarre. I became versed in Romero and steeped in Savini. I bored my friends with survival skills and theoretical weapon comparisons.

    So now, almost a decade later, my personal zombie plague filled me to the point that some of it needed to be siphoned off, and the vehicle for this turned out to be my book, Love and the Living Dead. The theme developed naturally; my zombie obsession mingled with my love of rock music to create a story, and The Shotguns, the band the story follows, were born. An all-girl rock band, juggling adolescence, romance, friendship and the zombie apocalypse. It practically wrote itself.

    I wanted to write, not just about zombies, but about people, too. I wanted to think about how personalities might change in the face of this unimaginable threat, and if love – the driving force behind so much of life – would be able to develop or continue under these circumstances. And so my characters were formed.

    Would fighting for her life force timid Tina Louise out of her shyness? Would ethereal Ruby Ann manage to leave her dreamworld long enough to survive? And fiery Mae Belle; would her anger consume or motivate her? How would practical Etta Grace react to a situation she was so unprepared for? These were the questions my characters posed me, and what I attempted to explore.

    And love, of course. Love was definitely a topic I wanted to look at. Love is one of the most motivating forces on earth; we will work, fight and even die for the people we love. So when society crumbles and so much of the love in the world has died, can love still have the same effect? Would people still get breathless at the thought of that one specific person who makes their stomach tingle? Would romances bloom, or shrivel under the stress? Would people be drawn to love for strength, or drift further apart in fear? Can we truly say that love conquers all?

    Before I knew it, the book was finished. I can’t say that I answered any of the questions above, or that I managed to conquer my zombie fear. I did, however, fall in love with my characters, their stories and personal struggles. They were a joy to write, and if you read the book I hope you enjoy them, too. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Melissa for the space in her Midnight Musings.

About the Author:

I live in a haunted house with my wily cat companion. I enjoy writing horror and fairytales, and spend too much of my time daydreaming about zombie apocalypse.

My favourite authors are Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Margaret Atwood. I spend my free time watching movies, reading and walking in the woodland near my house. I listen to angry girl music and collect 80s Marvel comics.

I want to say a big thank you to S. Harper for stopping by and sharing her thoughts with us today!

And now, for the giveaway!

Giveaway Rules:

3 lucky winners will each win an E-COPY of Love and the Living Dead
This Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY
This giveaway will run until 12:01 EST on November 4, 2012
Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond to their notification email before another winner is chosen.
You DO NOT have to be a follower of Melissa's Midnight Musings to enter. Anyone who does choose to follow is appreciated. :)
There are no mandatory entries, do as many or as few as you like.
All entries will be verified, any false entries will be removed.
The author NOT Melissa's Midnight Musings is responsible for the sending of prizes to the winners.
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This giveaway is NOT associated, sponsored nor endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads,  or any other social media site

1 comment:


Great post ! I live how the zombie genre is expanding into new areas :)