Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer of Zombie blog tour with guest Alex Laybourne

The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don't miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie

Paranormal Tendencies welcomes Mr. Alex Laybourne and his thoughts on being a zombie writer.

So, you are a Zombie Writer?
I am blessed to have a job that has afforded me the opportunity to travel to several wonderful places. As I pen this post, I am sitting in a hotel in Midtown, New York City. So I cannot complain about my life, and do not intend to. When on these business trips, it is inevitable that my writing will come up. Why? Well, mainly because I tell everybody about it. I jest. However, it is true that more often than not the subject of my writing comes to the table, and when I say I am a horror writer, many people get the same look on their faces; a mix of apprehension and intrigue.
They like being scared, the want to know more. Yet, when they ask and I tell them that I have written a zombie book, you can see that (for the most part) their interest is already starting to slip.
Why I can hear you cry. Well, because not everybody, it would seem, truly understands that there is more to writing zombie fiction than just hordes of the undead walking around eating folks. Yet the moment they hear that infamous z-word, they turn off.
Sure, a portion of zombie fiction will involve eating people, and yes, there will be body parts flying, and there will be blood, lots of blood, and you can get pretty low paying odds that there will be some brains thrown in for good measure. People should look deeper than that however, they should look beyond the zombie face and see that there is a real story to be told.
Zombies are the perfect metaphorical horror device. They stand for survival, for triumph over adversity, for perseverance and much more. You do not merely wind up a character in a zombie novel and wander around until the final pages. You are made to work, you are put through hell, and for good reason.
I write in many genres, but zombies have always been a very usable genre for me, and it is often a shame that more people do not realize what is really going on. The zombie apocalypse does not need to mean the end of the world, the connection between zombies and the apocalypse is strong, but again the mindset can be readjusted. A single characters world can end, or be changed in ways that they never believed. It could be restricted to them. Is that apocalyptic? Their world has ended, but existence itself has gone on. Ok it may form part of a large picture, or allude to a large image, but it makes people think.
I am not a survival expert, and I am not a military figure. What I write is however, well researched and I hope puts a fresh look on a genre that can be used to lead a story in almost any direction possible.
While I may lose people when I say I write zombie fiction, I soon win them back when they hear my passion for the craft, and when their eyes are opened to the bigger picture, the three dimensional side of story-telling.
Sure, a zombie novel may never make it to the Penguin Classic lists, but that doesn’t mean that they should be written off as pulp, or trash.
The stigma associated with zombie authors is beginning to be changed, people are waking to the notion that zombies can be a plot device to tell a much larger tale, and that is great. There are a great number of awesomely talented authors, who deserve to have their work read by the a wider audience. The barriers that genre created for so long are coming down, their edges blurring and people are reading outside what was once considered their comfort zone, and I for one hope this trend continues and consumed the zombie genre too. Maybe then people will understand that zombie books are interesting, they are well written, they are full of character and purposeful story, and are actually wickedly good fun to read.

About Alex Laybourne:
Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that I became a horror writer.
From an early age I was sent to schools which were at least 30 minutes' drive away and so spent most of my free time alone, as the friends I did have lived too far away for me to be able to hang out with them in the weekends or holidays.
I have been a writer as long as I can remember and have always had a vivid imagination. To this very day I find it all too easy to just drift away into my own mind and explore the world I create; where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue
I am married and have four wonderful children; James, Logan, Ashleigh and Damon. My biggest dream for them is that they grow up, and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.
For people who buy my work, I hope that they enjoy what they read and that I can create something that takes them away from reality for a short time. For me, the greatest compliment I can receive is not based on rankings but by knowing that people enjoy what I produce, that they buy my work with pleasure and never once feel as though their money would have been better spent elsewhere.