My buddy Angela Kulig asked me to take part in a blog tour she was helping to organize and I happily accepted. I had no idea what I was getting when I signed up. They may have been sending a guest post, maybe something else. I ended up getting the guest blog and quite a bit more! Enjoy Larry’s thoughts on the end of the world and then see what his book is all about 🙂 There’s even a rafflecopter involved! – Jamie
But if there’s a criterion that defines pop culture, it’s pervasiveness—it doesn’t matter if you’re partake or not, you can’t help but hear about it. And post-apocalyptic themes have started to get popular in the last few years.
Zombies have been part of the scene since Night of the Living Dead premiered in 1968 (the link takes you to the actual movie, available for legal download at archive.org). Since the turn of the century, zombies have become one of the most popular monsters in horror fiction. In the book realm, one decent example is Amanda Hocking’s Hollowland series, free at Amazon as I type this. If you’re online at all, or just hang around the water cooler at work, you can’t miss hearing about AMC’s wildly popular series The Walking Dead. Closer to home, posting a zombie-themed flash story or series on your blog is a sure way to spike your pageview counter. In the “stranger than fiction” realm, even the CDC has a zombie preparedness page!
But zombies are only one kind of apocalypse. I started writing White Pickups three years ago, and some readers compare NBC’s new series Revolution to it. Both the TV show and my book revolve around a central mystery, although the mysteries themselves are different. And if White Pickups features zombies, they’re a strange, passive variety that never stop driving around.
So what is it about post-apocalyptic scenarios, zombie or otherwise, that capture a reader or viewer?
The biggest draw is that the apocalypse is contemporary. The characters could be the reader or viewer, or at least the people next door. If it could happen to you… well, why not be one of the survivors?
The struggle against an implacable enemy is a close second. Zombies just keep coming. In other post-apocalyptic scenarios, the enemy might be more passive—but even a mild winter can be deadly when there’s no heat, the grocery stores haven’t been restocked in months, and potable water is hit-or-miss.
Finally, I think a lot of people have an unconscious desire to see the end of the world. Maybe the dead are the lucky ones, but at least the survivors have something more meaningful than the Rat Race to contend with. And there’s always that hope of rebuilding something better, once the pesky zombies, pickup trucks, or militias are out of the way.
Blurb from Goodreads
At summer’s end, mysterious white pickup trucks take to the roads and compel nearly everyone to “drive off.” Some of those who remain gather in a suburban Atlanta subdivision, and struggle to cope with a world whose infrastructure is rapidly crumbling. One of the few who are mentally and emotionally prepared for the end of the world is Cody Sifko, a youth who quickly becomes the inspiration for the others. When a strange homeless woman names him “Father of Nations,” is she seeing his future or her own delusions? As winter and a hate group try to destroy Laurel Hills, can Cody overcome personal tragedy and seize his destiny?
Love, hate, survival, and an apocalypse like no other—White Pickups is ready to take you on the ride of your life!