Who knows where a writer's influences truly come from? I've always loved horror films and novels because they scared me. I've always hated horror films and novels because they scared me. As a child of the Cold War, post-apocalyptic fiction was a favorite genre and writers like Robert Heinlein and movies like Planet of The Apes, The Omega Man and Soylent Green terrified me.
And when I truly think about it, my voice has been honed from many different mediums. John Steinbeck, Larry McMurtry, and F. Scott Fitzgerald are some of my favorite authors. But also Stephen King, Franklin W. Dixon, Stan Lee, Alfred E. Neuman, Christopher Moore, T. Jefferson Parker and James Lee Burke. But television and movie story tellers like Rod Serling and Steven Spielberg have also given me inspiration and ideals.
Recently two of those influences converged in unexpected ways with the publication of IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE ZOMBIES: A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols and the soon to be published EVERY ZOMBIE EATS SOMEBODY SOMETIME: A Book of Zombie Love Songs. And those influences would be George Romero and M.A.D. Magazine.
With the 1969 release of Night of the Living Dead Romero did his part to convince me that we are one simple viral mutation away from becoming an entire world of shuffling, mindless brain-eating zombies.
M.A.D. Magazine delighted me in my adolescent years as I watched them parody everything from Beowulf to Starsky & Hutch (And I mean the original, excellent television series, starring David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser as the two coolest TV cops ever, not the pales in comparison movie with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson).
So of course a M.A.D. style parody of Zombified Christmas Carols seemed like a natural to me, and when I first saw the concept art by my collaborator Jeff Weigel, I felt we had a hit on our hands. And, I was, as I usually am, right. (Please don't tell my wife I said that!)
In the fall of 2010 you'll be able to pick up a copy of EVERY ZOMBIE EATS SOMEBODY SOMETIME: A Book of Zombie Love Songs, an ideal gift for the undead love in your life. With songs like You've Lost That Livin' Feeling, Chew Me Up Buttercup and Can You Find My Thumb Tonight? It's the perfect marriage of love and zombies.
I hope many additional books, perhaps even a whole Zombie parody library, will follow it. Makes sense right? I mean if we have more books, we'll have extra things to throw at the zombies when they attack.
I'm just sayin'.