The First Time I Read . . . Welcome Christine (C.A.) Verstraete

I have many favorite authors, but I’ll admit that when I read my first zombie book, which happened to be Jonathan Maberry’s Dead of Night, I got hooked on zombies. Like watching The Walking Dead the first time, it was the uniqueness, the sheer horror of these monsters and the terror they evoked that somehow drew me in—and kept me hooked. So I began writing about them, too.
I think zombies are the perfect characters since:
1 They don’t need fancy clothes or costumes. No research required unless you’re using a historical setting.
2 They don’t complain. Usually. At most, you’ll get a loud Ugggh or Argggh.
3. They don’t eat. Not unless they’re the modern, Romero-cannibalistic type. Then don’t ask questions—Run!
4. They can be put in any setting. I’ve seen zombie stories set on the Titanic, in regular towns, even the White House. (No comment on that.)
5. You can write them however you want.
In my book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, I chose to write about a teenager who turns part-zombie, and the things she has to face. No brains or human flesh-eating here, though, she does have a certain “fowl” diet requirement. Like any teenager, she is concerned with more than the full Zs and is a bit self-absorbed, but she also wants to protect her family however she can.
While some are tired of the whole zombie thing, I find them interesting for their flexibility, and I don’t mean the limb-loss kind. Zombies are a kind of foil for problems, or they can be a representation of the world’s horrors or the things that scare you the most. Plus, it’s rather fun figuring out how to describe them and make a zombie attack seem real. Then there’s the humor aspect. Who says you can’t have a little humor with your horror?
I like to write different than the zombie “norm,” so the next book I’m submitting features a historical figure, a real life crime and zombies.
I think that’s the fun, if you will, of using zombies as characters. Like most book characters, they don’t fight you or talk back about who they want to be and what you see them as. They simply are. In that aspect, the author is fully in control.
Now if writing the rest of it were only that easy! Ha!

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About GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie
Life can suck when you're sixteen. It can suck even worse when you're not-quite-dead.
Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager's biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.
Becca's life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he's becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.
The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for.
But time is running out... Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late...

Bio: Christine (C.A.) Verstraete is an award-winning journalist and author who enjoys writing the unusual. Her stories have been published in several anthologies including Timeshares and Steampunk'd from DAW Books and in Athena's Daughters from Silence in the Library.
Coming up is a long short story featuring her GIRL Z characters in the YA anthology, Young Adventurers: Heroes, Explorers & Swashbucklers, and a “sweet” zombie story, “Second Chances” in the Baby Shoes anthology. Learn more at and her blog,