Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2013 Starring Julianne Snow!!!!!

Julianne SnowThey hunt us.  They can’t think, can’t breath, and can’t talk.  They only want to eat our brains and feast on our flesh.  They are zombies and they are us.  Once again, I am taking part in the Summer of Zombie Blog Hop by hosting a guest blog.  Last year I welcomed Mark Tufo to the land of carnage and this year is no different.

She comes to us from the north, Canada that is, and she packs one hell of a zombie punch.  Her work is featured in various anthologies and her novel, Days With the Undead, is fun trip to the land of the brain eaters.  You can find her at her zombie site for the book as well as her regular blog site.  I want to introduce you to the one, the only, the deadly… Julianne Snow!

And a few words about zombies from Julianne…


The Elements of a Zombie: An Assessment in Credibility

Julianne Snow

Credibility. That is an important word. There are a multitude of Zombie archetypes out there at the moment, and who is to say what is credible or not? While I write, I am a purist and that’s something I cannot hide. Please note the title again – everything that I plan to include in here is going to be from that purist standpoint. While I can appreciate each of the different archetypes, they are outside of our scope today. One might wonder what the hallmarks of a credible Zombie may be. For the most part they fall into four related but unique categories. Let’s begin by discussing the first.


Human versus Animal: From the purist standpoint, a credible zombie was once human. Sure, animals may be infinitely creepy, but it the breakdown and takeover of humanity that speaks the most. In Days with the Undead: Book One, I do break this rule slightly but when you read it, you can certainly see how effective that can be. The psychology of this can be demonstrated by the fact that when we stare into the faces of the Undead all we see is ourselves reflected back at us. A bloated, putrefied and decomposing version, but it’s a reflection of our faces all the same. Part of the thing that makes the Zombie such a formidable enemy is that reflection of humanity. It’s not recognizable in intent but it is in form. Someone famous once said that our greatest enemy will be ourselves…


Mobility, Speed and the Effects of Decomposition: This next aspect is one that many factions debate intently. My knowledge of how the human body works and what happens after death makes it impossible to believe that there is no way a credible Zombie could move quickly or in a coordinated manner. That’s just fact. Dead tissues are meant to decompose; that is the natural order of life. Even in the unnatural order of the Undead, decomposition is still something that has to occur. As the tissues, tendons and muscles start to break down, it’s going to have a direct effect on how easily a body can move. Once tissue dies, there is nothing that can halt the natural process of decomposition forever. The process of embalming can certainly slow it down via the act of preservation, but nothing can halt it all together. The longer the living dead walk the earth, the greater the extent of decomposition that one would expect to see. Without the natural order in an unnatural situation, nothing is going to make much sense. There are certain things we have to bank on and this is one of them.


Lack of Sensory Deprivation: The classic archetype always comes equipped with an uncanny compass that cleverly seeks out humanity. It’s against the natural order of death but… The Undead have a unique way of changing some of the rules on us. For some reason they can see, they can hear, and they can track you without fail. This distinct lack of sensory deprivation is what makes the classic, purist archetype a greater reflection of humanity. This may seem in direction opposition to the effects of decomposition but it is important to note that while decomposition is a natural factor, a Zombie’s left over sensory abilities are a supernatural factor.


Insatiable Need to Destroy: What makes any zombie a force to be reckoned with? It’s the relentlessness with which they pursue the living, reducing it to all that is horrible and destitute. It’s this insatiable need to destroy that defines their existence. The classic Zombie consumes everything though not necessarily in the classic definition of the word. Not only are they driven to consume flesh but they eat away at the tissues of humanity and of hope. They gnaw away at it until there is nothing left. It’s that facet that makes them ultimately so dangerous – once our humanity is gone, what really separates us from them? Nothing. The scary thing is that the sense of hope never dies until the last possible moment. Humanity will always believe that it can outsmart and escape its weaker and slower counterpart and this example is no different. If you’ve ever seen Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead, I’m sure you’ve thought to yourself – why didn’t they just run when they had the chance? Why did they let them close in before attempting to escape? It was the misjudgment of an adversary (read humanity) that caused them to wait. We react only at the last second not fully realizing that being proactive would have saved our lives. We react only when the foe is coming at us in increasing numbers. One or two are never an issue, but one or two hundred of the shambling corpses always prove to be.


So to sum everything up, the purist version of the Zombie is one that reflects humanity in form and moves at reduced speed with little coordination as it is decomposing. They supernaturally retain quite a few of the senses they had while human, and have an insatiable need to destroy. I could maintain that the purist archetype is the scariest one, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide. I know that many out there prefer other ideals, and that’s perfectly okay. I just know I wouldn’t want to come up against a horde that can run faster than I can…


DwtU Cover

I would like to thank Julianne for stopping by and giving us some thoughts on the zombie epidemic and what it means to try writing in the zombie world.  I also want to thank Armand Rosamilia for putting it all together again for the Blog Hop this year!



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