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Z is for Zombies #atozchallenge

I enjoy a good zombie story or movie, but man, it takes me some psyching up to get through it.

Movies are tough, because if you’re at the theatre, you can’t pause it. If you’re at home and watching with other people, you can’t expect them to pause it while you ease your stress. That’s one of the reasons I’m not watching The Walking Dead anymore. I just can’t handle the stress.

Which brings me to the zombie story I’m picking my way through right now.

I started Salby Damned, a novel by Ian D. Moore, because it has good reviews. They say it’s not too graphic. But there are zombies in it. There’s already been one attack.

Because I anticipate more violence and brutality, it’s damn hard to pick up the story and keep reading. But I want to find out what happens, so I’ve made a vow to read a little each day, and then follow it up with a romance novel-reading session.

Lately, I’ve been reading mostly romance novels. They typically have a Happily Ever After (HEA) ending, or at least a Happy for Now (HFN) ending. I can expect the hero and heroine to be together at the end, or, if it’s a series, to be headed in that direction no matter how dire it gets.

Anything other than a romance doesn’t make that promise. This certainly doesn’t.

What if Moore is another Stephen King? King, in case you haven’t read any of his novels, doesn’t believe in HEA or HFN or even letting characters you fall in love with live to the end of the story. If you hit “The End” in a Stephen King story, you’re just happy if the main character is still alive.

And unlike some people I know (you know who you are), I refuse to read the ending first to verify. I’ve done that before and regretted it every time.

Of course, that determination not to peek made me unable to finish King’s Gerald’s Game. I couldn’t take the stress. I guess that means the book was so good I couldn’t finish it.

This will not happen with Salby. I will keep going on this one.I’m determined.

I know what you’re thinking: “So don’t finish it if you can’t handle it.”

It’s not like I’m miserable when I read books like this. Yes, it’s a kind of torture, because I’m a wuss and can’t handle the prospect of violence and brutality. But if it was all rainbows and unicorns, I’d be bored.

And yeah, it’s ironic, considering I wrote The Valiant Chronicles and Storm Lake. Trust me, I suffered just as much over deaths in those as I do over those of characters I read about in other books.

At least as the author I know going in who survives at the end–most of the time, anyway.


7 Responses

  1. Excellent last post, Val. Congratulations on finishing the challenge. I’m afraid its the presence of zombies that has put me off reading Salby so far. I will have to steel myself and do it soon.

    • Thanks, Frank.

      I will keep reading it. I’ve been assured it’s about more than just zombies, which will help keep me invested in the story.

  2. I’m not much of a zombie fan either – I’ve never seen an episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ as a matter of fact. ( I do own a few ‘Resident Evil’ movies but that’s because, shoot, I’m a guy with a crush on Milla Jovovich.) That said, all I can say is I really enjoyed ‘Salby Damned’ and urge you to finish it because… well, just because.

    • I like the Resident Evil movies too. I’m going to finish Salby for sure. I can’t publicly say I’m reading it and then not finish. Based on the reviews, I won’t regret it.

  3. I’m not much of a gore fan, so I can’t do movies. I can read horror books with violence and gore. The last of visual imagery is what gets me. Words on pages lets my imagination tone down any gore.

    Congrats on making it to the end of the challenge. =)

    • Thank you.

      Interesting you should say that words on a page let your imagination tone down the gore. My imagination makes it worse. But whether movies or novels, I have a difficult time with not just gore but brutality.

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