NOTE: This originally appeared on the fantabulous blog of the super-de-duper Jay Wilburn.
by Mark Ailes
Writing in the zombie fiction genre has been a blast for me. Several years ago, when I was writing a young adult fantasy series dealing with dragons and elves, I never imagined I would become a force in the horror genre.
My whole life has revolved around horror and zombies. I grew up a huge fan of all the horror films from the sixties through the eighties and watched all the iconic creature flicks religiously. I still watch the original Night of the Living Dead several times a year. In the eighties when I was a soldier while stationed in Germany, I appeared in a low-budget zombie film along with my appearance in Moon 44 with Michael Paré, Dean Devlin, Stephen Geoffreys and Malcolm McDowell. I became famous for designing an award winning haunted house in Germany and playing the demented Dr. Gore in 1986. You can see the video here. I also did radio commercials promoting the haunted house. My brother digitally remastered one of the commercials and added animation to it several years back. You can view the commercial here.
With my extensive background in horror, it was only a matter of time before I returned to my horror roots in my writings. When I became a fan of The Walking Dead after seeing the pilot episode on AMC, my passion for writing fantasy fiction ended and a whole new horror chapter began. I didn’t become your typical zombie writer. As I was writing Zombie Park, I started hanging out with many of the horror actors from the horror films I love, including some of the cast of The Walking Dead.
People often message me and thank me for writing Zombie Park and The Z-Day Series, because I zombiefied more than just humans, I zombiefied every animal that would be in a zoo. Can you imagine encountering a zombiefied pack of wolves or a polar bear during a zombie apocalypse? It could happen.
When I write, it has to be fun for me as the writer and fun for the readers. I live in a haunted house. This helps make the writing experience fun. Every time I turn my head, I see something dangling from my ceiling or my wall that inspires something in my zombie fiction. You can see a video my brother filmed of my horror writing studio here.
What the average reader and other authors can take away from this blog post is that writing zombie fiction can be extremely fun. It only takes some cool props, some great ideas, and some horror icons to share the fun with.
Until next time,
Don’t get bit by a zombie unless that is on your bucket list.
Mark Cusco Ailes
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