Zombie Apocalypse

I wrote Cocaine Zombies some time back but it does take time to go from pen and paper to a book. I am shocked by the current trend of zombie news stories. I hope people are still thinking about zombies in November of 2012 and buy my book. At the same time I hope we are not heading towards a zombie apocalypse.

The real life nightmares in the news certainly support the saying that “truth is stranger than fiction”. The recent case in Miami is a reminder of how close fiction and fact are in today’s society. In a case that reminds me a little too much of my book Cocaine Zombies a homeless man believed to be under the influence of drugs chewed the face off another man. He was shot dead by the police. The alleged substance the alleged perpetrator consumed was referred to as “bath salts”. Bath salts are synthetic drug yet to be made illegal in some states. Illinois did make “bath salts” illegal in July of 2011. It is said to provide a hallucinogenic high similar to ecstasy. I have also heard it is similiar to LSD combined with methamphamine. Apparently this new synthetic drug is gaining popularity. One problem with synthetic drugs is that once a substance is made illeagle manufacturers can slightly modify the formula to skirt the law. 

Perhaps in another blog I will have a further discussion of synthetic drugs. Lets just say the less natural the worse it if for the user. Natural drugs tend to get more refined  and more potent. They also get more dangerous. In Victorian times opium was used by wealthy house wives with little ill effect. Heroin however is far more addictive and more easily results in death by overdose. Coca leafs have been chewed for centuries by native people in Peru and Bolivia with no ill effects but crack cocaine can be deadly.

That being said as unhealthy as crack and heroin can be the impact of a truly synthetic drug is worse. Methamphetamine seems to be among the worse offenders. If you look at before and after photographs of meth users the impact is extreme. People seem to have the life sucked out of them.”Bath Salts” may become another example of a synthetic drug taking a toll on people.

This brings me back to zombies in the news. The recent discovery of radioactive tuna also gives me cause for concern. Genetic mutation based on radioactive fish could be the start of a zombie apocalypse. I maybe overstating the problem, I also maybe overly influenced by seeing the movie Chernobyl Diaries this weekend (a movie I enjoyed far more than I thought I would). Yet radioactive tuna scares the hell out of me. I know I will die some day but death by sushi just seems undignified.

Next we have the blog from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggesting how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. I would have assumed that this was simply a joke if not for the rest of the news related to zombies. It does make you wonder. I would suggest in an attempt to be helpful, when preparing your home preparedness kit please include a copy of Cocaine Zombies. It may not help kill zombies but surviving the zombie apocalypse will involve a lot of sitting and waiting. Television is unlikely to survive past the first week or so of the apocalypse and it might help pass the time to have some reading materials..

Ruler of Demons

I have written Cocaine Zombies a while back. As such much of the process of writing it has slipped though my mind, as things tend to do when you get older. Ruler of Demons however is still fresh in my mind. I though I would talk a bit about the process of writing it. I tend to write quickly and than go back and make changes over time.

In Cocaine Zombies the central premise related to the religion and the folklore concerning voodoo. I did do some research on voodoo and tried to be as accurate as possible. At the same time, in the back of my mind, I though that if I failed to be accurate there were few people who actually practice voodoo today.

Don’t get me wrong I realize there are some. I met a woman at the voodoo museum in New Orleans who claimed to be a practitioner of voodoo. In Africa, Haiti, New York and various Caribbean Islands the number of voodoo practitioners could increase to a respectable size.

That being said Ruler of Demons concerns more popular and mainstream religions than voodoo (that is not intended as a slight of voodoo). Mostly Ruler of Demons concerns Catholicism and Judaism yet it does make reference to Islam. As such it seemed disrespectful not to strive for even greater accuracy in my research.

I have seen and read the Exorcist and thus thought Catholicism was a good place to start when it comes to demons. I should note the book by William Peter Blatty is very good and translates well over time. The movie is of course a classic. Although, I started with Catholicism I was surprised at how prevalent demons are in all of the major religions. I took this as a good sign. I wanted to build on a fear that down deep at a subconscious level could cause even a modern civilized person to run screaming into the night.

If one was to take the Bible literally, there are many references to demons. Not demons as metaphors but the real deal. Jesus healed the sick by casting out demons. The old testament and the new share references to demons. The Quran references demons as well.

I wanted a religious sec for the book that existed before the time of Christ. Yet I did not want to go back so far as polytheism. I had heard of a Jewish sect that believed they could bring about the coming of the Messiah by performing acts of evil. That was my starting place. It was not until after I wrote the first draft that I took the next reasonable step. I endeavored to speak with someone who actually knew something about religion.

The religious leader I contacted recommended I read the book Satan in Goray by Isaac Bashevis Singer. The book was written in 1955 but the story took place in the mid sixteen hundreds in a small Jewish village in an area around Poland. Although, prior to reading this book I had not heard of Singer I came to learn he had won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1978.

Satan in Goray if nothing else provided an insight in to how superstitious people were at the time. Demons and ghosts were commonly believed to be real. This concept was very helpful in creating the idea of the mythical sect trying to bring forth the messiah by engaging in human sacrifice.

Although in some ways Ruler of Demons is a battle between good and evil that does not make it black and white. In Cocaine Zombies I wanted there to be an arguable position that mankind would be better off without free will. In Ruler of Demons I wanted there to be an arguable position that mankind would be better off ruled by the Devil.

The main character Sam looks at things with no preconceived notions. He must piece together the impossible and the improbable and try to determine the truth. Sam is not in search of a religion. Unlike R.E.M. he is not loosing his religion either. Sam is detached without historical baggage and is simply trying to save the world and protect his friends. Sam’s occupation as a lawyer and his prior experience make him skeptical of most things but willing to believe anything provided there is sufficient proof.

The point of this book is not to promote or dissuade someone from religion.The point is to entertain and perhaps provided a few chills and laughs at the same time. Unlike Mark Twain I do not seek to banish anyone for searching for a moral in it. On the other hand you might find a moral I did not intend to place there.

Ruler of Demons concerns some fundamental questions as to the nature of mankind. Yet, at the same time the reader can simply enjoy it as a fun frivolous read. If anyone has had actual dealings with ghosts or demons please let me know.


Random thought on my book Cocaine Zombies

I would like to say that Cocaine Zombies is a literary classic. I would like to say that but that would be lying. Then again a lot of literary classics are not that fun. Let’s face it Flaubert could have used some more zombies in his work. I have often thought that Kafka was a bit of a downer and could also benefit from a zombie or two. Yes, Cocaine Zombies is unlikely to win the Nobel Prize in litrature (Although if you are on the prize committee feel free to prove me wrong). That being said you should read it anyway.

Why should you read Cocaine Zombies? One, I spent a lot of time writing it so I would appreciate someone reading it. Two, it is a fast paced and fun book to read. Three, it is the type of book that makes you think.

This book is about more then just cocaine and zombies it explores the nature of humanity. Do we as a people deserve the freedom we have? Do we willingly give away too much of our freedoms to the government? Are we as people essentially good or evil?

I don’t intend to go into a lot of details about the book in my blog until it is available for sale. After all it is silly to talk about something no one else has read. I also do not intend to talk a lot about the process of writing Cocaine Zombies since I am done writing it. I will spend some time in this blog talking about movies, other books or what ever is on my mind. Obviously the opinions in this blog are mine alone and do not reflect those of Camel Press. I should warn you that I can also be fickle. Thus my opinions in this blog may not always reflect my own opinions a year from now. Thanks for reading.