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Monday, April 30, 2012

Fried Zombie? Check.

          I have a thing for zombies…okay, so it’s more like an obsession.  Just ask my kids, who are mortally embarrassed by the bobblehead undead perched atop the dashboard of my mini-van.
          The kids decided I’d officially crossed the line last November when I forced them to perform as zombies that I systematically slaughtered during a “how-to” speech for an oral communications class.  My speech, “How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse”, was born out of desperation when the sole criterion for the speech was announced:  “It must be captivating to your audience,” my instructor said.  Captivating?  What did I have to offer in the way of captivating to a room full of classmates between the ages of 17-20?  Parenting tips?  No.  Scrapbooking?  Definitely not.  How-to Divorce Guide, maybe?  Yeah, right.
          My boys were game and actually helped me bloody their faces and clothes with make-up; however, Princess #1 needed more persuasion.  Namely, a two hour guilt trip about the many school projects I’ve painstakingly crafted with/for her over the years and my agreement to the stipulation that she be able to whack her brothers in the knees with a prop shovel to simulate how a crawling zombie is slower than a staggering one.  Her little sister, Princess #2, begged to be included.  “Please let me go.  I’d make a good baby zombie, Mommy,” she said.  I was afraid that as a four year-old she wasn’t ready for the gruesome business of zombie killin’, though…even the pretend kind.
          The speech was a success and people still stop me from time-to-time on campus to ask if I’m still preparing for a zombie plague.  Truth is, now that I’ve stock-piled my food, water, weapons and ammo, I’ve decided that the best strategy for preparedness is to become as informed as possible about the walking dead.  For this reason, I’m watching and reading pretty much everything I come across about zombies.  Some of it is good:  AMC’s series Walking Dead is my fave, but the show is on hiatus until February, and this has left a giant hole the size of a half-eaten brain in my Zombie Emergency Preparedness Checklist.
          It was with hope of filling that void that I purchased Susan Abel Sullivan’s new independently published ebook Fried Zombie Dee-light! Ghoulish, Ghostly Tales, billed as a “fun collection about ghouls, ghosts, zombies and an advice column featuring dead letters from the lovelorn” on barnesandnoble.com.     

          The cover is by writer and video game artist Abby Goldsmith, who happens to also be a friend of Susan’s.  It’s precious and has led me to reserve a place on my dash should Abby and Susan ever branch-out into bobblehead zombie design.
          I enjoyed Susan’s first collection, Cursed:  Wickedly Fun Stories from World Weaver Press.   Fried Zombie Dee-light! is even better.  I’ve decided that what appeals to me most about Susan’s writing are her characters.  I finished Wanted:  Certified Zombie Instructor wishing that I had come up with Mr. PanZee, the heavy metal fairy that comes off as a cross between Dog the Bounty Hunter and Tinkerbell, myself.  I think that’s one of the ultimate compliments one writer can offer another, by the way.  Honestly, where does she come up with this stuff?!
          Aside from being highly entertained by Susan Abel Sullivan’s latest offering, I also picked up a few tips.  After reading Zombie Hunting With My Mother, I’ve decided to add a chainsaw to my weapons cache and a case or two of beer to my provisions when my Southern nature insists that it’s time to deep fry some of the hoard.
          There is more to the collection than zombies, however, including an advice column that has left me sure I’ll never be able to read Dear Abby without mentally interjecting some of Susan’s zaniness and an imaginative monologue from your average Ghoul Next Door.
          Fried Zombie Dee-light!  Ghoulish, Ghostly Tales is currently available on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle.