It is coming along nicely. I really love this tale of a little boy named Josh and his motley crew of friends facing the zombie apocalypse. It has been a little rough at times to put the kids into the situations they are facing. I feel so mean! Except for Robert R Best's Lakewood Memorial, I haven't read a zombie novel with the children as the central focus. I'm not saying they aren't out there, but I just haven't read one, so this is all new territory for me.
For a short period of time, I toyed with the idea of flashing back and forth between the kids and some adult counterparts. The first draft of the first few chapters included adults, but it felt off. I finally ripped the adult sections out, reordered the scenes, and did a new read through. This time it felt right. So Living Dead Boy is just about the kids and their attempt to survive the zombie hordes.
As usual, I created my characters in Sims 2. Here they are:
Josh is the lead of the story. He's just turned 12 when the story begins and is a die hard zombie fan. He's also dealing with his mad crush on Corina, his parents struggling to make ends meet, and a little brother that drives him crazy.
Corina is the older woman that Josh loves. She is his former babysitter and still treats him like he's a kid. But once the zombies rise, the pretty 14 year old finds that Josh is probably her best chance at survival.
Drake is the bane of Josh's existence. The three year old is opinionated, loud, and used to getting his own way, and often wars with his older brother. When things go horribly wrong for the boys, Drake has only his brother to protect him.
Troy and Roger are adopted brothers (Troy from Haiti, Roger from Cambodia)named after their parents favorite Dallas Cowboy players. They are good friends with Josh and are part of his Zombie Hunters Club. Though they are the same age, Troy tends to act older and Roger naturally follows.
Arturo is Josh's best friend and neighbor. He tends to be the more sarcastic of the kids and is often very opinionated on what they need to do. The only child of a single parent, his main concern when the zombies arrive is to rescue his mom, but he soon realizes his own survival is in jeopardy.
I don't have a Sim for Sam yet, but Sam is the school outcast and the son of the county sheriff. He has no social skills and tries too hard to either be a bully or a friend to the Zombie Hunters. When the zombies arrive, Sam tags along, hoping to find his dad and be rescued.
Jamie, Josh's dad, is home from the war, but struggling to move his family out of the Texas Hill Country to Austin. He loves his family deeply and wants to do the best for them. He is in Austin applying to become a police officer when the zombies arrive. Josh tries hard to fulfill his promise to his father to take care of his family while his dad is away.
Lynnette is Josh and Drake's mom. She is trying to recover form the deaths of the grandparents who raised her and get her family back on track when the zombies rise. She is a substitute teacher at the local school and witnesses the zombies arrival. When she and Josh are separated, she rushes to save Drake from his daycare.
In the end, Living Dead Boy is about Josh and how he tries to save his family and friends from the zombies he has been obsessed with most of his life. It is a little rough writing about children facing the shambling dead, but I know some pretty cool kids who would be more than ready to fight the zombie scourge. My nephew immediately comes to mind. He keeps telling me this is HIS book and that I better make Josh cool.
I hope I don't let him or my other fans down.
I'll keep you posted as Living Dead Boy continues its path to publication by the Library of the Living Dead Press.