If you've been following me on facebook, you know that I have spent the past three weeks knee deep in zombies - zombie romance stories that is. We received 110 stories for HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE, our zombie romance anthology that will pub around Halloween.
I sent it to the copy editor on Saturday, and we already have a cover and an offer for reprint rights form a major house (but the book might go into auction, so I can't leak the details yet - do stay tuned.)
I wanted to share the introduction to the anthology with you, because I am really excited about this book. I think it's the best anthology I've personally edited, and I am hoping that it will become part of the conversation on the zombie zeitgeist in American pop culture.
They said it couldn’t be done.
And like the undead, I rose to the challenge.
This anthology was born in July 2009 at the 29th Northeastern Writer’s Conference, affectionately known by its regular participants as “Camp Necon.” Every year since its inception, Necon has what we also affectionately call “that damn vampire panel.” But this year, we had a zombie panel instead. The revolution had begun.
As soon as the panel opened, someone brought up the question of whether or not the zombie mythos could possibly have the staying power of the vampire appeal in American pop culture.
And I said yes.
As soon as the words had left my mouth, the audience responded, “but you can’t have zombie romance.”
And I said yes, you could.
As soon as I got back to the Ravenous Romance office, I informed my colleagues that we would be doing a zombie romance anthology. They were emphatically skeptical. We posted the thesis on Facebook and hundreds of readers said they couldn’t imagine romance with rotting corpses.
Oh, ye of little faith.
The zombie mythos is the perfect metaphor for the end of an era, for a society beset with change it doesn’t understand but knows is here.
Vampires were the cultural embodiment of the end of the millennium: seductive immortals with (literally) cutthroat greed. Then came the recession and the end of the Bush boom, and with it came the realization that we were all worker drones paying off our bloated mortgages, bloodsucking corporations and even each other.
We are the dead.
So, in these pages you will find zombie tales that span the possibilities and boggle the brain. Jeremy Wagner’s Love Ain’t Dead and Michael Marshall Smith’s Later are two of the most romantic stories of lost love you will ever read. Dating the undead? Try I Heart Brains by Jaime Saare and Elizabeth Coldwell’s zombie threesome in Everyone I Love is Dead. Love among the dead? Take notes from Francesca Lia Block’s Revenants Anonymous or S.M. Cross’s Through Death to Love.
And what about undead exes? Gina McQueen’s Apocalypse as Foreplay gives you one take you’ll never forget; then there’s Jan Kozlowski’s First Love Never Dies. And leave it to zombie master Brian Keene to show us how we can find love and revenge in the time of the zombie apocalypse in Captive Hearts.
But it’s not all George Romero’s zombie hordes in these pages. Old-fashioned voodoo zombies make their presence known in Isabel Roman’s Zombified and Mercy Loomis’s White Knight, Black Horse.
There’s even a tale of zombie noir in R.G. Hart’s My Partner the Zombie, and some classic paranormal romance in Regina Riley’s Undying Love. And if Lois Gresh’s Julia Brainchild doesn’t make you laugh, well, then you are a zombie.
And just because this is a Ravenous Romance title, we have some zombie smut for you from two of our favorite RR authors. Dana Fredsti lets you know just how hot and bothered you can get from zombie hunting in First Date and Kilt Kilpatrick gives us the unforgettable erotic zombie escapades of a high school senior in Las Times at Ridgemont High.
There’s something for everyone.