This is the story that happens when you think sod it, let’s write the daftest thing we can think of and tie it in to all our teenage memories. Rock Zombie is a novel about a young lad drinking at the Beach Park on Redcar seafront… he dies… he comes back as a ghost… but his body also reanimates as a zombie. The spirit of Robbie Neville then spends the rest of the night trying to stop his body from eating everyone and causing a zombie outbreak in the streets, pubs and clubs of the author’s hometown. Cast your mind back to your first real night out (in the 90s no less) – only instead of navigating the social labyrinth of short skirts, Kickers shoes and tracksuit-clad scallies, you’re dealing with an unstoppable wave of the walking dead.
Okay, I guess they are kind of the same thing.
Rock Zombie was probably the most fun I have had writing a book. Many of my stories are littered with subtle (and not so subtle) references to pop culture and music but this one wears them all on its ragged, teeth-marked sleeve. In fact, there are so many references I had to do a number of edits because it simply wasn’t possible to get copyright permission to use all the song lyrics. Each chapter of Rock Zombie is the title of a classic tune from the 90s (here’s the playlist). Robbie Neville is, after all, a wannabe rock star who models his look on those of a certain well-known grunge icon. In fact, when we meet him, he is riding the wave of his new-found, small-town celebrity status after appearing on ITV’s Stars in Their Eyes.
Tonight, Matthew. I’m going to be… Kurt Cobain!
For those of you who aren’t British or have no memory of the 90s, Stars in Their Eyes was like the pre-cursor to Britain’s Got Talent, Ex-Factor and The Voice. It was basically a karaoke dress-up show where people splashed on a bit of make-up, revealed themselves via a smoky stage, and sang one song… before returning to their lives never to be seen again.
But it’s amazing what a person can get away with when they’ve been on TV… even in the 90s… even if they’re now a zombie.
So, yeah. This daft little book found a publisher and is due for release pretty soon. I figured I’d write this short post as an introduction because the honest truth is, I don’t really know what is happening. I received an email before Christmas saying the date was set for the end of January but as I haven’t read anything, seen anything, or signed anything I’m not entirely sure what is going on. In my short experience though I can say that the publishing world is full of these little foibles and so I’m just going to wait and see. Hell, if it doesn’t happen I’ll try again and if it still doesn’t happen there’s always the Reindeer Games route of self-publishing. But with only a few weeks to go I figured I should at least try something in the way of advertising.
So watch this space… there’s rock zombies in it!