Saturday, January 12, 2013


...Even though I'd understand it if you said that you're growing sick of the tired old zombie tale: Attractive heterosexual couple is on a date/returning home for the first time in years/at a college party when their town is suddenly inundated by a ravenous horde of undead that they must fight off, which they somehow manage to do without getting too messy. (Although it's acceptable if the girl gets sexily disheveled.)

Yeah. It's been done to death.

That's why I was so excited when I found a couple of zombie tales that approach the whole idea from truly unique perspectives. The stories? Locked In: Zombie Bedtime Stories #1 by Thea Isis Gregory and Leroy Stacks vs The Zombies  by Adam Griffin. Let me tell you why I enjoyed these stories so much.

First, these are short stories. I'm a short story writer and a short story reader, and I just love it when I stumble upon a new short tale that really packs a punch. Short stories are a literary entity unto themselves, an entirely separate art form from the novel. And these authors have a real understanding of that.

Second, the main characters of each story are so perfectly flawed that you just want to take them home and bake them cookies (well, maybe not Haley. Read Locked In and you'll understand why). Haley is just beginning her career as a paramedic, has a wonderful boyfriend in Jake, and her whole life ahead of her...or should. She's such a real, likable character that you just can't help but sympathize with her plight.

Leroy Stacks, who stars in his own adventure vs The Zombies wants what Haley has. He's reached an age where he feels that he should have a career locked up or at least in sight, and he should have a satisfying relationship with a woman. But he has none of those things and doesn't really know what to do about it. It takes the arrival of The Zombies to shake his world up and introduce him to his fate.

And here's why I really love these stories. Locked In and Leroy Stacks vs The Zombies are about more than just zombies. In Locked In, Haley is bitten by an undead hobo and becomes a zombie herself fairly early in the tale. The rest of the story is about her experience trapped inside a body that is really no longer hers to control. Her humanity is intact even as her physical self hunts down and feeds on other people. The story raises questions of the nature of humanity and of the true nature of the self.

Locked In: Zombie Bedtime Stories #1 is a gruesome story, to be sure. But it is also deeply emotional. I highly recommend it.

Leroy Stacks vs The Zombies is a coming-of-age story of sorts, with a funny and flawed main character that most readers will recognize. Leroy is the sort of super hero any community would hope for. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him.

And good news! Locked In is only the first Zombie Bedtime Story! Read all three! And Adam Griffin promises more Leroy Stacks adventures soon!


Asked to share three things about herself, Thea Isis Gregory said: she's a nerd, she likes to cook, and she writes horror and science fiction. Here's her nerdy quirky corner of the web 

Follow Thea on twitter!

Adam Griffin has an irrational hatred of capri pants. his favorite 80s movie is Ghostbusters and he admits he sometimes mispronounces words on purpose.
I get the impression he would be good friends with Leroy Stacks.
Online, Adam hangs out at

Follow Adam on twitter!


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