Zombies scare the hell out of me.
You can’t reason with them. If you try, they’ll just eat you alive. They stink. They drop body parts all over the place. I seriously doubt they’re house broken. And if they bite you, they infect you and you become a ravening dead person. Oh, sure, werewolves infect with their bite, too, but at least you remain human 25 days out of the month and you get to shape shift during the full moon—or at will, depending on whose mythos we’re talking about.
So, if I find zombies so horrifying, why in the world did I build a short story collection around them?
The answer is simple: in order to enjoy zombies, I have to find the absurd humor in them. Because otherwise, they’re too much like rabid serial killers, another horror trope that scares the pants off of me. I like the thrill of being scared, but I also find comfort in the safety of being able to tell myself: It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real. Zombies are too much like crazed maniacs to me.
But darkly funny or silly zombies—those I can handle. That’s why I love the movie ZOMBIELAND, but have to watch NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with my hands over my face. The first time I saw the latter, it was showing on the big screen and had to make fun of it out loud as if I were at THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW because it was just too terrifying to deal with.
In my newest short story collection, FRIED ZOMBIE DEE-LIGHT! Ghoulish, Ghostly Tales, I explore the humor in zombies & ghouls (and ghosts—oh, my!), ranging from wickedly sly to outright silly and everywhere in between with stories such as:
“Wanted: Certified Zombie Instructor”
“Zombie Hunting with my Mother”
“The Girl Next Door”
“Giving up the Ghost with Gabrielle Ghostly” or “Dear Gabby” – a mock advice column
And even a song, “Fried Zombie Dee-light!”
I’ve also included a slyly humorous poem originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine titled “Crushed” and one serious piece of magical realism, “Finding the Way Home.”
So, when you ask yourself what you want for dinner, try a little Fried Zombie Dee-light. And be prepared to laugh yourself silly (or at least smirk a little). You know you want to.
Bio: Susan Abel Sullivan is the author of CURSED: WICKEDLY FUN STORIES and the forthcoming THE (REAL) HAUNTED HOUSEWIVES OF ALLISTER, AL from World Weaver Press. She lives in a Victorian house in northeastern Alabama with two dogs, way too many cats, and a ball python named Pi. When not writing she likes to get her groove on by teaching Zumba classes. She is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop for speculative fiction. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous online and print publications, including Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, ASIM Best of Horror: Vol II, Beyond Centauri, New Myths, AlienSkin, and Writers’ Journal. She is currently working on a YA novel about the supernaturally challenged and a sequel to Haunted Housewives, THE WEREDOG WHISPERER. Visit her website at: http://susanabelsullivan.weebly.com/
FRIED ZOMBIE DEE-LIGHT! Ghoulish, Ghostly Tales:
A fun collection about ghouls, ghosts, zombies, and an advice column featuring dead letters from the lovelorn! You'll want to steer clear of Bubba's Cafe after you find out what they serve, and if you teach Group X, you'll be leery of job postings for Certified Zombie Instructors. Quiver, quake and chuckle at these quirky tales of the paranormal.
Delightfully fraught with humor and the macabre, Sullivan's FRIED ZOMBIE DEE-LIGHT masterfully mixes the mundane with the fantastic in her tales of the strange and ghoulish.—Heidi Ruby Miller, author of AMBASADORA and GREENSHIFT; co-editor of MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT
"Susan Abel Sullivan's talent shines in FRIED ZOMBIE DEE-LIGHT!—a collection full of wicked humor and quirky charm."—Sherry Peters, author of SILENCING YOUR INNER SABOTEUR
“Eerie, delectable, and filled with Southern charm, Fried Zombie Dee-Light will leave you wanting more.”—Rebecca Roland, author of the forthcoming SHARDS OF HISTORY from World Weaver Press