Interview with Zane Bradey & Bruce Clothier

Reflections on the Zombie Culture

On May 5, 2012, I finished reading and then reviewed A Darkness Shattered by Bruce Clothier. I fell in love with one character in particular, Herbie, a Newfoundland dog. Since this was a novel about Zombie Apocalypse, I searched Herbie through the book to make sure no zombies got to him. I even mentioned how much I loved Herbie in the review, prompting Bruce to send me a photo on Twitter of this beautiful dog. This left me wondering about the role of dogs in the zombie culture, since I am certainly no zombie expert (and did not even consider there was such a thing until I started soliciting book review suggestions), but I am an animal lover who cannot watch “sad animal movies”. On Twitter, I asked Bruce my burning question, including Zane Bradey in the mix, since he is, in my humble opinion, one of the great Zombiologists of our modern times, having written After Effects: Zombie Therapy, also reviewed here. S.T. Wickersheim, author of The Penitent Assassin, contributed to the discussion as well. I have immortalized this interesting and enlightening conversation here.

B.L.L.: Do zombies even go for dog flesh? Can we include Zane Bradey in this one?

Zane responded very promptly: They ate the horse in The Walking Dead.

B.L.L.: Show off! Was there a person on it at the time?

Z.B.: It was in the 1st maybe the 2nd episode. He accidentally rode into a horde & they got the horse letting him get away.

B.L.L: That is absolutely terrible. I am cracking up, though. Maybe it is the whole Zombiology thing. I love it!

B.C.: Also don't forget Carl's zombie ate the cow, then got Dale when he had the misfortune to show up (referring to A Darkness Shattered)

B.L.L.: A cow, though, that is food anyway. Dogs are family.

S.T.W.: Poor horse. I wonder....would the horse turn into a zombie too? Or does it only happen to humans?

B.L.L.: Yes, that is what I wonder, but then there is that whole Resident Evil dog thing, as Zane explained...

B.C.: And that's a good one. My feeling is the human brain is developed enough to allow reanimation, but that's me.

Z.B.: Even better, in the original Resident Evil the dogs were zombies.

B.L.L.: I am new to this culture; you two are really my first Zombie acquaintances. Zane, your knowledge is impressive.

Z.B.: The Dobermans in Resident Evil were susceptible to the T-Virus. Author's choice... Audience preference {o;

S.T.W.: I remember the dogs turning - has anything else turned in The Walking Dead?

Z.B.: Don't get people started. People will fight to the death over whether a zombie should run or not. Worse than religion.

B.L.L.: Bruce claims that noise attracts them; was that true of the ones in Aftereffects? I don't remember...

Z.B.: Yeah they will have human instincts that would tell them to follow noise. Noise = food

B.C.: In the second book, we will find other "attractants" as well :) (Referring to the sequel to A Darkness Shattered)

B.C.: Here's one: if saliva from the bite infects, why don't brains and blood in your eyes/mouth also infect?

Z.B.: If you watch the scene in TWD where she stabs the one in the eye with the screwdriver again. Look how they made her face. The blood is perfectly done so it misses eyes and mouth. Smart writing and great make-up team.

B.C.: Good point. Only one other time did I see precautions taken: when they chopped up the one in Atlanta to use for odor masking, they wore face shields for protection. I caught that right away and liked it a lot

B.L.L.: Why is the running important? I remember they were kind of slow in NOTLD.

Z.B.: I like Gary Streiner's quote on slow verses fast zombies. "The most important thing is that they are scary." The funny thing about it is that people say "Romero" zombies don't run and in fact, the Streiner's will be the first to say that is not true. Zombie #1 chases the car.

B.C.: That's correct, Zane. He also used a tool (rock) also in Dawn, one used a tire iron to smash the truck window

Z.B.: And Kyra Schon uses a trowel to kill her mother in the end scene.

B.C.: IMHO, slow moving zombies increase the tension for the humans. Should be able to escape but...

Z.B.: "They're coming to get you, Barbara."

B.C.: Classic!

Z.B.: But I wrote mine as slow for those reasons. Better to give the survivors a fighting chance that is realistic.

B.L.L.: What are trowels actually used for other than killing mothers in horror movies (Anthony Perkins, Psycho 2)?

B.C.: The trowel really is an overlooked implement of terror now that you mention it!

B.C.: My opinion on running zombies: They are decaying!!! Hello, I believe they would be leaving pieces behind. Lol.

B.L.L.: That makes sense to me, totally, the parts falling off (we need some erotica authors to comment too).

S.T.W.: LOL. Well, if you're (un)dead, you're probably not worrying about 'parts' falling off.

Z.B.: Also keep in mind that I didn't write "undead" zombies. I am a sinner in the genre.

ZB.: I wrote this a long time ago but moved it to the top for you to see.

B.C.: Excellent piece Zane! I liked it on FB.

Z.B.: Thanks! Don't get me wrong. My heart is in the classics, but it doesn't stop me from branching out and liking new stuff

B.C.: Oh absolutely right. If we don't do that, the genre(s) grow stale

B.C.: As it turns out, I think it's what people find interesting in the story so I'm glad I went with my gut feeling. Until I hit "publish", I had a large storyline highlighted to delete on my book. I was afraid it wouldn't be accepted.

Z.B.: I get tons of crap from people but the bottom line is my books sell... all 5 star ratings tons of likes on Amazon & FB! Let the haters hate....

B.C.: I guess it just goes to show-you never know what will spark a conversation! This has been a blast! Thanks guys :)

B.L.L.: You both do what you do very well; not only do you entertain, but also you provide an expert and credible voice.

B.C.: Welcome to our twisted world! Hahaha. Hope you sleep well tonight...:D