Guest post by author Michelle Hartz
I’ve never seen a minority more repressed than zombies. Our books, movies, video games, and media as a whole not only depict the differently animated in a negative light, they encourage violence against them. No zombie is excluded: women, children, the disabled, even babies, no matter how helpless they are. Even in the 21st century, the undead are discriminated against, not by extremist groups, but by the general public at large.
My eyes were once clouded as well. I showed up to a public screening of Night of the Living Dead 3 years ago in greenface, mocking the zombies that may desire my brains. All the while, Rule #2: The Double Tap, was in the forefront of my thoughts.
That is, until I met the fine folks at the Zombie Rights Campaign, who showed me the discrimination that the differently animated face in all aspect of life, especially the right to life (or unlife) itself. They introduced me to some zombies that were present. I conversed with them, and came away with not only my brains intact, but with some new friends.
I shared the book I had recently written at the time, Helpless. My horror novel based on a wind farm, with an antagonist that calls itself the Helper who doesn’t even have a physical form, surely didn’t have anything to do with zombies.
After reading it through, the Zombie Rights Campaign brought to my attention the poor corpses who are seemingly animated only physically by the Helper. Not only did these reanimated deformed beings display that they in fact did have memories of their past lives, they exhibited a sadness about what they had lost. In addition, the Helper subjects them to such cruel working conditions, the Zombie Rights Campaign was compelled to distribute a new pamphlet, “Zombies in the Workforce” (available on their website along with many other valuable resources).
Obviously, before I wrote my next book, I needed to do more research about the differently animated. I went in search of literature for zombies, and found none. In hopes of understanding more about undead society, I got my Ph.Z. at the The Capon Académie of Port-Au-Prince (with the help of Ace Your Zombie Exam!: The Official Ph.Z. Study Guide) but was disappointed at the lack of education I really received about zombies themselves.
And then I realized how ignorant I had been. Why was I looking at information from the living? So I went out and talked to individual zombies. Oh, the way their stories broke my heart! I collected their tales into a book in an attempt spread the warm fuzzy feeling I got from the zombies that have overcome their own struggles.
Brains for the Zombie Soul is written not only for the differently animated, or even the living interested in zombies, but for anyone who seeks the inspiration to turn their own life around. The stories in Brains for the Zombie Soul are intended to stir passion into the reader. They are stories of love, of anger, and of perseverance. Hopefully, they will inspire you to overcome the difficulties you face in everyday life, and warm your heart, whether or not it still beats.
(Brains for the Zombie Soul is a parody and is not affiliated with Chicken Soup for the Soul.)
Find out more about my novels and upcoming appearances at hartzdesign.com/novels.