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When Zombies aren’t Zombies, and When Zombie Stories Take You by Surprise

Today, Amelia Gormley, author of The Impulse Trilogy is guest blogging for Keira and me. Let’s welcome her warmly!


Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, let me just say up front that I haven’t followed the zombie movement very closely. I don’t read zombie novels, watch zombie movies, or even watch The Walking Dead. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I will so not be prepared.

You say “zombies” and my mind goes blank. I don’t dislike them, not at all (well, aside from being vaguely skeeved out by understanding that lately, zombies are sometimes heroes in romance novels and seriously, how does that work? Because the whole rotting corpse thing?) They just haven’t captured my imagination or interest (yet. I am, however, an avid Plants vs. Zombies player.)

I know nothing about the genre and have no opinion. Which, um, made it just a leeetle interesting when Leta Blake approached me about doing this guest post. What can I possibly say about zombies? It’s a shame Leta wasn’t face to face with me when she made the offer because I imagine I would have had a rather priceless deer-in-the-headlights expression on my face.

Now, of course, there is an exception to every rule. In this case, I’m going to take the opportunity to plug someone else’s writing. The one zombie apocalypse story I’ve read. I think the only reason I began reading it was because someone posted a full-throated rec for it (over on Tumblr, maybe? I don’t remember) without mentioning that it was a zombie story and it started so strong that I was caught up in it and laughing my butt off before I realized that yes, I was indeed enjoying a zombie story.

That story was El Presidio Rides North by Domashita Romero for Shousetsu Bang*Bang. (The link to the—free, btw—story is on the GoodReads page there, I just wanted to include the GR link so people can rate and review if they choose to do so.) I just…I’m not even sure how to describe this story. I mean, what do you say about a story whose main characters are named Mercury and Gaga because they live in a world where they don’t dare become attached enough to know each other by name in case they have to kill one another, so instead they choose their names from the stack of CDs on the floorboard in their rolling fortress? A story where the (presumably straight) alpha hero dresses in (female) stripper clothes and gives the beta hero a lap dance because the beta hero had never been to a strip club before the apocalypse and that just wasn’t right.

It’s hilarious and absurd and yet it also becomes a very compelling romance. It’s short. It’s free. Read it. Just read it. Even if, like me, zombies aren’t your thing, read it. You won’t regret it.

Anyway, getting back to me and zombies. I know so little about the upcoming zombie apocalypse that when I tried my hand recently at writing a post-apocalyptic novel, I had to actively avoid venturing into zombie territory because I was afraid I would commit every cliché known to man in the process. I did, however, need a monster so I ended up writing someone kinda-vaguely-sorta-quasi-zombieish where I could make my own rules a little bit while still hitting that kind of note.

Unfortunately, I can’t really pimp that story yet because I’m not sure just when it’s going to be published, so instead I’ll just say, if post-apocalyptic worlds and zombie-esque monsters appeal to you, be on the lookout for Strain, which should be coming sometime later this year.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on the release of my upcoming novel, Velocity, the final installment in my Impulse trilogy, concluding the story of Derrick and Gavin that began in Inertia and Acceleration. It releases on March 2nd. Hope you enjoy!






For Detroit handyman Derrick Chance and his lover, Gavin Hayes, the holiday season is filled with the promise of new beginnings. Gavin’s officially moving in, and after the New Year, they’ll begin house hunting. But they both know all the talk of gift exchange, whose holiday ornaments go where, and what repairs and remodels will be needed to put Derrick’s house on the market is only a smoke screen.


Before the month is over, Gavin will have the final verdict on whether or not his dangerously delusional ex, Lukas, infected him with HIV. No matter how good Gavin’s chances appear with the three-month hurdle already passed, neither he nor Derrick knows what the future holds for them.


The holidays have always been a time of loss and mourning for Derrick, but now he has to stay strong as Gavin’s own fears and doubts assail him relentlessly. And when Lukas returns, unexpectedly penitent amid troubling revelations, Gavin has to ask himself whether he can offer Derrick the future he deserves, or whether these first few months of happiness are the best they will ever get.


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