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How I Overcame Fear and Wrote a Zombie Novel

Guest Blogger: Michele Israel Harper

I hate zombies. So I decided to write a zombie book. Of course.

Zombie Takeover cover

Candace Marshall and I may not be a whole lot alike, but we share one thing glaringly in common. We both hate zombies. Thankfully, I wrote her, and thankfully, she has to deal with the zombies, not me. Whew!

You see, I was so tormented by night terrors as a child, and even as a teenager, I couldn’t handle movies with even the slightest touch of horror. It was too real. I couldn’t even watch Signs with Mel Gibson. Yep. That sucker made me lose two weeks of sleep, and I hid my eyes for most of it! LOL!

So I hadn’t seen a zombie movie, read a zombie book, or even watched a zombie show when I had this dream. It was the most stinking fun adventure ever—and it had zombies in it. They didn’t scare me (probably because I didn’t have faces to put with the nasty creatures—yay!), but I definitely didn’t want them anywhere near me. Ew!

It took me about a month to pound out the story, turning my dream into my book, Zombie Takeover. I was so embarrassed I’d written a zombie book, I can’t even tell you how long I kept it a secret.

Enter my writers’ group. I deleted the title (which had that word in it), chose a scene without the dreaded word, and read it. Out loud. To people. It was terrifying! But they loved it. I know, right? Best feeling ever for an author! It just about drove them crazy, though. They wanted to know what was going on but couldn’t figure out what she was so scared of! Hurray!

Six months and multiple sneaky readings later, I finally took a scene that had that word. As I read, I was sweating, my voice shook, and I stumbled over the horrid word. Every time. But they loved it! This sweet group of church ladies and encouragers and writers of devotions loved it! Wow!!! And I’d read that word!

I’m still not a fan of zombies, but I no longer carry the overwhelming fear of all things scary. My husband took authority over my night terrors and commanded them to leave in the name of Jesus. I never knew what peaceful sleep was before that! I used to go to bed, taking two to three hours to fall asleep, terrified of what I would see once I closed my eyes. It’s so nice to be free!

Since then, I’ve watched World War Z, seen snippets of Resident Evil (eyes pretty much closed the whole time—wouldn’t recommend it), and even read one non-grotesque zombie book (amazing book! The End Came with a Kiss. It’s so good, in fact, I’m giving away a copy at my Facebook Launch Party for Zombie Takeover). But I refuse to watch the Walking Dead. There’s only so much I can take, you know? My husband is so sweet to do my research for me, cause no way am I Googling “zombies” and seeing a picture of that or a vampire (book two! Vampire Feud!) or something else as horrible. Bleh!

So this hater of zombies wrote a zombie book—and loved every second of it. Who knew?

Candace Marshall hates zombie movies. She hates anything scary, in fact. In his usual, not- so-thoughtful way, her boyfriend surprises her with advanced screening tickets to the latest zombie flick, complete with interactive features and a tour. She refuses to watch it, but it doesn’t matter.

Horror becomes reality when an experiment gone wrong transforms her peaceful town into a mess of slathering zombies. Thrown together with the only other survivor, Gavin Bailey, her favorite actor and secret crush, she somehow fights her way through the mess, making plenty of blunders and surprising herself with…courage?

But, just when Candace thinks it can’t get worse than zombies, it does.

Zombie Takeover is available at all the leading retailers:

Michele Israel HarperMichele Israel Harper spends her days as a stay-at-home mom and her nights typing away furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… A member of the Heartland Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, as well as the treasurer for the Indiana chapter of ACFW, Michele has her bachelor’s degree in History and can most often be found with her nose in a book when not chasing her two rambunctious boys or cuddling her new baby daughter. Visit her website to learn more about her.

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7 comments on “How I Overcame Fear and Wrote a Zombie Novel

  1. Like you, I am part of a writing group consisting of mostly church ladies who write devotions, women’s fiction and blog pieces. At first many of them cringed at my elves, orcs and aliens from outer space, but they all appreciate good writing. I’ve had them intrigued several times. The stories I bury because they don’t seem like “me” tend more towards the romance side, but God gives us that creative spark for a purpose. This story sounds awesome. I look forward to checking it out!

  2. […] Interview: “It’s a Zombie Takeover!” Friday, July 8th: Kristen Stieffel (www.newauthors.wordpress.com) Guest Post: “How I Overcame Fear and Wrote a Zombie Novel” Saturday, July 9th: Laurie […]

  3. […] let me write a guest post about “Why on earth did you write about zombies?” for New Authors’ Fellowship. So much fun! I bet you never knew this particular fact about me. Find out […]

  4. Thank you so much for featuring my new release, Kristen! I am so thankful for what you do for New Authors’ Fellowship, and I am honored to be on your blog today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  5. Good for you! It’s really hard to write about something that used to scare you … but sometimes those things make the best stories. You can channel your honest loathing.

  6. CONGRATULATIONS! You have joined the brave but rare Christian souls who dare to write…THAT…and actually “live” to tell the tale, as it were.

    God bless you, your book and your sleep. Always.

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