Zombie Love – the Next Big Thing?

Those of you who have been following the blog know that I like to speculate every now and again on what the “next best thing” will be in publishing. Today I’d like to talk about something I’ve been seeing more and more in romance novels — zombies.

Come on, be honest…when you think zombies, you think romance, right? ūüôā

It’s obvious that zombies have a fan base. There are numorous zombie movies, one of the most popular being “Night of the Living Dead.” There are zombie survival guides , zombie days at college campuses, amazon reading communities¬†dedicated to zombie love,¬†zombie walks,¬†and¬†— for the die-hard zombie fan — zombie swag.¬†¬†

But the question is…are they worthy romantic heros?

Let’s face it, creepy paranormal creatures have long been a part of romance. Vampires have the erotic bite thing going for them. Werewolves have that primal,¬†intense personality. Demons are the ultimate “bad boys.”¬†I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone thought of the zombie hero.¬†Zombies have that… ahem… Zombies have that…

What do zombies have to offer a woman?

We could probably deal with¬†the body decomposition and smell¬†if they had¬†some sort of glamour spell, right?¬† And the fact that there is no blood flowing¬†shouldn’t stop them in the bedroom. (I mean, vampires are dead, too. It doesn’t stop them.)¬†All paranormal creatures have their quirks. Vampires have the sunlight thing and werewolves are slaves to the moon. On the surface pasty skin or drooling dog isn’t very sexy. It’s all in how¬†an author spins the mythology. It could¬†work — and the fact that romance¬†publishers are¬†embracing a hero who likes a woman’s brain more than her body is a good thing, right?¬†(*sic*)¬†

Zombies aren’t just the heros, however. Sometimes the zombie is the heroine, as in Kate McAlister’s short story in the anthology “My Zombie Valentine,”¬†and sometimes¬†the couple are zombie hunters, as in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” In the upcoming year, I think it will be interesting to see¬†how people¬†try to make the brain-eating creatures of horror flicks romantic.¬†Personally, I think¬†that zombies will need a face-lift (har har) if they are ever to compete with the well-established vampires and werewolves…. but it could happen. Why not?


So…¬†what you think about the zombie invasion on the romance genre.¬†Do you think¬†they are the ‘next big thing’? Or do you think should they be left in the grave? (Sorry, couldn’t resist, lol.) Tell me about it!

4 Responses to “Zombie Love – the Next Big Thing?”
  1. I’m sure there are many ways to write around the obvious problems, but I just don’t think a zombie hero or heroine is for me. (The Corpse Bride is one of my favorite movies, but it isn’t live action after all!)

    That said, there are zombies in HUNGER and I think they can be great as a paranormal element of danger or even humor. I can imagine a zombie sidekick in an Urban Fantasy, for instance.

  2. I’m with Barbara on this one; having a romance with zombies in it is fine. Having the hero or heroine BE a zombie is something else.

    Sure, vampires are dead too, but they’re not rotting sacks of carrion. And zombies generally have no more intellect than some primal need to feed on the living. That’s not sexy either.

    But a necromancer/voodoo queen/mage that controls the dead…someone who just works closely with the zombies could be sexy.

    I can’t imagine a face-lift to the mythos doing anything to make zombies hot. Although, a slightly tragic romance where the one she currently loves slowly becomes a zombie, and she tries to love him anyway until she’s forced to do him in…THAT might work.

  3. sadstateofaffairs says:

    Zombies are just another horror archetype that the romance genre is trying to make money on. Started with vampires and werewolves. Who takes a vampire or werewolf seriously nowadays? Now they’re all sexy and whatever, rather than the bloodthirsty, brutal, amoral killers of legend. Or worse…*shudder* they’ve gone all emo and they SPARKLE. Dracula sure didn’t sparkle!

    Romance authors…leave the zombies to the people that appreciate them as they are–undead and rotting!

  4. In the interests of full disclosure, I am one of the authors in this anthology, but I still think that HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE: An Anthology of Zombie Romance, edited by Lori Perkins and published by Ravenous Romance has done a nice job of covering all sorts of angles that the term “zombie romance” might conjure up. Obviously every story isn’t for every taste, but there are some excellent writers involved including John Skipp, Brian Keene and Francesca Lia Block.

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