Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lisa Acerbo

Guest Post and Excerpt by Lisa Acerbo

Why are Zombies Popular?

My love of zombies started with watching movies such as Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978). Soon after, I moved on to films such as 28 Days Later (2007), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Resident Evil (2002) and Zombieland (2009). My feelings on one of the latest zombie genre releases, Warm Bodies (2013), still undecided.

From World War Z to The Walking Dead graphic novel, zombies also make their presence known in books. While watching zombie movies and reading books in the genre, I came to a few realizations about people’s fascination with the undead. These movies and books are some of my favorites. They are gross, grossly funny, and engrossing, and in doing so both scare and entertain me. More importantly, they teach lessons.

1. Zombie movies and books provide commentary on society. We all have days when we feel like the walking dead, overwhelmed with work and stressed with life. Zombies help remind us that we need to put negative feelings behind us, break away from complacency, and live for the moment.
2. The zombie genre often combines humor and horror allowing viewers to laugh at their fears and learn lessons. While each story is unique, there is often a deeper meaning behind all the hoards of brainless undead roaming the streets and eating the living. We just need to figure it out. The process to do so is often as fun as the results. 
3. The fears played out on screen and in books are universal. While movie stars battle and kill hordes of zombies, most individuals have little control over global warming, economic downturn, or school shootings. 
4. Similarly, zombies provide some catharsis over the problems people hear about or have to face in daily life. Reading or watching as others overcome their fears and survive unbelievable situations provides escapism and hope. If protagonists can create a happy ending in fiction and film, maybe we have a chance to conquer whatever problems come our way. 
5. Zombies reflects the best and worst of humanity. The zombie genre movies and books shed some light on what it means to be human. Do we fight for ourselves or for others? Do we turn to each other for comfort or destroy one another to survive? While no clear answer emerges, zombie movies and books offer different scenarios about humanity at its best and worst.

If you get the chance to read Apocalipstick, I hope the zombies are heinous, the characters human, and the book makes you think.

Lisa Acerbo

Twitter @Apocalipstick_


“By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes…” ran through Jenna’s mind, another remnant of her former life. Now the graveyard was the safest place. Evil openly roamed the streets and it was coming for her.

Jenna blinked the sweat out of her eyes and took a deep breath. She swayed with exhaustion. Angels, symbols of all things God and good, adornments of the dead, swam in and out of Jenna’s clouded vision. She placed a scarred hand on the peaceful, cold stone markers, embellished with the names of forgotten loved ones. Nowadays, loved ones wanted to come back from the grave and claw your face off, devour your insides.

Jenna wanted to lie down and give up. She was tired and had lost everyone she knew. Hair lank and greasy, mud splattered clothing, old and mismatched. Instead of admitting defeat, she forced herself to stay alert, pushing matted, raven hair out of her eyes with a dirty hand. Jenna could not remember a time in her recent history where she felt clean or had a moment in which she was not fighting to stay alive. Looking around the darkened landscape, she wanted to live. She shoved to her feet once again.

Gingerly, with a limp, she started walking deeper into the cemetery. She had twisted her ankle during the jump from the gate. The last sprint had been hell. Her stomach ached where the scar stretched from side to side, but her ankle worried her most. If she could not run, Jenna would be food for the dead. Hopefully, she’d find shelter soon.

A noise echoed through what should have been deserted gravestones. Jenna froze for a second, panicked, but then instinct kicked in. She pivoted on her good foot, grabbing for the knife in her pocket. It was all she had left, after losing the gun during her escape yesterday.

Jenna ran back into the oldest part of the graveyard, until she came up to a small mausoleum. It looked more like a shack, a collage of tumbling stone and wood. She pulled on the door, but it stuck, even as everything around it decayed. She felt her way around the side. Her hand slithered across the remains of what once was a delicate, stained glass window. Shards of color caught her coat. Using her elbow, shielded by her jacket, she knocked out the remaining pieces and then painfully pulled herself inside.

Crouched on the ground, she was tempted to give herself over to tears, but instead searched for anything useful. A sturdy casket dominated the tiny interior of the room. The dilapidated mausoleum housed little of use, but someone must have been there before her. Rusty tools, wrenches, hoes, and a beat up shovel lay scattered across the floor, abandoned. They might make good weapons, but were heavy to haul. The handle to the shovel would be usable if she could dislodge it from the base.

She’d try. In addition to the mostly useless tools, Jenna found a box of matches near the charred remains of a former fire which littered the corner. Maybe, if she ever felt safe, she could light a fire and feel warm. For once. Jenna hunkered down, shovel in hand, and began to ply the handle apart from the base. She had to hurry. They would soon be upon her.

Lisa Acerbo

Genre: Horror, paranormal romance, Urban fiction
Publisher: Eternal Press

ISBN: 978-1-62929-017-1
ISBN: 978-1-62929-018-8

Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique

Book Description:

Jenna should be having the time of her life at college. Instead, her only desire is survival. She lives in a world gone insane after a virus kills most of the population. Being alive after the apocalypse is bad, but when the undead return, hungry for humans, times turn darker. For Jenna and a small group of survivors, the goal is to reach the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna develops feelings for Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human. Will this new utopia last?

About the Author:

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and two horses. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education--she's working towards an EdD.


Twitter: @apocalipstick_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Apocalipstick/131636053705754

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18320279-apocalipstick


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