The Dead Walk!
How many times have you seen that headline in a movie or a book? Every post-apocalyptic scene containing a wind-blown newspaper has that line in big, bold letters across the top of the front page. It is extremely fortunate that we, as viewers/readers get to see this paper. Good thing the elements didn’t destroy it or we may be lost. But you jumped into the book or film looking for the undead anyway, so that headline is more than insightful on what’s to come.
I love zombie stories and films. Always have. My first introduction to the undead was when I was quite young, and I snuck up behind my dad while he was watching Night of the Living Dead on our Volkswagen sized console television. I was five years old, and I was hooked. Over the years I devoured anything I could concerning zombies. Be they fast or slow, dead or alive, these creatures all had two things in common: They wanted to eat or kill humans, and there were always more of them than us.
Being outnumbered is one of the scariest parts of any zombie tale. The other scary thing is who these things used to be. The kid on the corner, the policeman who pulled you over last week, your mom. They were once good (or bad) people but now they are something inherently evil, Something looking either to eat you, straight up kill you, or at the very least, make you like them.
With all the movies and books I consumed throughout several decades, I realized that most of them were crap. Fabricated purely in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. Write a book, make a movie, and cha-ching! instant payout. That’s what most these authors were in it for, the money. Eventually, it dawned on me that I could probably write something that at least I thought was great. Bring my own disturbing thoughts to the table. It only took me four decades.
I had written a story (written, with a pen) when I was in middle school. I found it in some of my (very) old stuff, added to it and published it to a website, homepageofthedead.com. People loved it. To be fair, most people loved it, and others thought it was crap. I was used to crap, and didn’t like the thought of people thinking my stuff was crap, so I wrote another story. And another and another, posting them all to the same website. The stories were very well received, and one day a publisher contacted me and asked me if I wanted to get a short story published. I jumped at the chance. Me? Published? Hah!
So I kept writing stories, and they got longer and longer. Eventually I wrote a book. It was called Run! and it was extremely well received on Homepage of the Dead. One of the reviewers said: (and I will never forget this) Dude, become a writer. I got in touch with Severed Press, they liked my stuff, and in no time I had my first published book on Amazon.
Let me tell you, reviewers on Amazon are very different from those on a smaller website. They can be downright cruel. Overall Run is a 70% success on Amazon, with about 15% of the reviews saying it was meh, and another 15% telling me I should gargle with broken glass.
A bit more than two thirds of the reviews being good was unacceptable, so I began writing another story Chaos Theory. I wrote it as a series of blog posts over about three months, which were eventually combined into a book. I describe this book as a comedic romp through an apocalyptic nightmare. My main character is something of a taboo in zombie literature: he’s immune. He gets bitten in the first chapter, gets really sick, expects to die, and then does something nobody else has since the onset of the plague: he survives.
I know, you’re thinking WTF? You can’t do that! The very basis of every zombie tale is that nobody lives after being bitten. Well guess what? It worked! My readers absolutely love it. They love the way I develop the main character. He starts out as a prison convict that has no idea how to survive. He learns along the way with the help of a mute genius and a teenage girl. The characters make dozens of blunders but survive while everyone else is being eaten. Of course if they didn’t make it, there would be no book, so it makes sense really to tell a story about someone who lives through the ZPOC.
Unfortunately for our hero and his group, they run afoul of a competent but fanatical super-spy who figures out the main character is immune. This guy truly believes that killing anyone who gets in the way of him acquiring the main character is not only necessary, it’s his duty to do so. Oh, and it’s fun. He loves to kill folks.
The small group of survivors escapes the clutches of the evil operative, making their way toward the Gulf of Mexico to seek refuge on an oil rig. The agent harries them the whole way, our guys needing to avoid him, the inevitable bad guys who are now unfettered by the law, and of course the undead. Meeting both good folks and bad, and losing many on both sides, the journey brings them to a conclusion and a cliff hanger, which primes for the second book, Conspiracy Theory.
The book is told in journal style, which I generally dislike, but I felt that omniscience would have helped our hero too much. He can only tell you what he sees and feels, without knowing what’s around each corner. He can’t tell you what someone else is thinking or feeling unless they tell him, so he has to figure it out. He has to figure out a lot, and that’s what many reviewers are telling me they like.
If you would like to check out Chaos Theory, Conspiracy Theory, or my other books, Run! and Run II the Crossing, head over to Amazon and search for Rich Restucci.
You can read my short stories here: http://fiction.homepageofthedead.com/
If you would like to contact me, come on over to http://www.zombiefiend.com/ I’m there most days in the chatroom, or you could friend me on Facebook.
I would like to thank Roxanne Rhoads, Owner/Book Publicist, Bewitching Book Tours for allowing me to blog as a guest on Fang-tastic books. It’s folks like Roxanne who help the little guy like me get my stories to you guys. Thanks Roxanne, for all you do!
Thanks as well to you for reading this blog. Now go read some great horror stories!
The Zombie Theories
The world has fallen to a relentless enemy beyond reason or mercy. With no remorse they rend the planet with tooth and nail.
One man stands against the scourge of death that consumes all.
Teamed with a genius survivalist and a teenage girl, he must flee the teeming dead, the evils of humans left unchecked, and those that would seek to use him. His best weapon to stave off the horrors of this new world? His wit.
About the Author:
Rich Restucci is a practicing chemist living in Pembroke Massachusetts. He resides with his lovely wife, three children, and a permanent hangover. He enjoys drinking beer, stocking up on weapons and supplies, playing with explosives and reading/writing anything zombie related. An up and coming writer, Rich has been fortunate to have a few stories published, one in the anthology Dead Worlds 7, two in the anthology Feast or Famine: A Banquet of Tales for the Zombie Prepper. His first novel, Run, is still available, and his second novel, Chaos Theory, has been released. Rich is currently working on publishing several other stories and a few novels. Rich's work can be found on the fiction section of Homepage of the dead.com, or you could check out his blog on Zombie Fiend.com