Hi guys! Today I’m featuring a guest post by poet, journalist and short story author Angeline Trevena, whose short story “Being Superhuman” appears in the upcoming zombie erotica anthology Fifty Shades of Decay, available just in time for Valentine’s Day. (I know, right? “Zombie erotica.” I never even thought there’d be call to type those words, or even think them. Well here we are, 2013!) Read what she has to say about creating her short story for the anthology, and then go see if some zombie erotica might be just the thing you’ve been missing.
Essentially, I’m a horror writer. I have always found fun in things that frighten me, from roller coasters to the scariest of horror movies. But not spiders. They are just scary. I also write fantasy and love the melting pot between the two. So when a call for zombie erotica stories hit my radar, the concept seemed so bizarre, so unique, so disgusting, that I just had to write something to submit.
The submissions call challenged us to find what was sexy about zombies. I have to admit, that really stumped me. I scoured the internet for pictures of sexy zombies, but found little more than the cliché zombie cheerleader. I made a few false starts until after Christmas, with the December 31st deadline looming, when I finally did what I should have done from the beginning. I turned the whole idea on its head.
I had been so wrapped up, and overwhelmed, with my lack of knowledge and experience when it came to writing erotica: I was setting myself up to fail. So I wrote what I knew. I wrote a strong female main character. I wrote dark and gothic. I wrote horror. And then I added the sex.
My story, ‘Being Superhuman’, follows Carmilla and her boyfriend Jones as they leave their home in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, setting off to find a safe encampment they find out about. They make it there, but they don’t both make it there alive.
One of the challenges of this story was the extremely narrow word limit of just two thousand words. In the world of storytelling, that’s not a lot to play with. In my first draft, I found myself at 1,500 words and only one third of the way through the plot. So then I had to start cutting. Writing within a small word limit forces you to make the most of every single word. If a word or a sentence isn’t bringing something important to the story, it has to go. Out with physical descriptions of the characters, out with unnecessary dialogue tags, out with characters walking from here to there. Every word had to be vital, and everything had to be expressed in the simplest of terms, the most streamlined way.
I love editing short stories. It’s like tidying up a messy room, or organising a bookshelf. I take something chaotic, something overstuffed, and I smooth it out, control it, and pull it into line.
The 50 Shades of Decay anthology is due for release on Valentine’s Day, published by Angelic Knight Press. It contains 50 zombie erotica stories; the perfect flesh-eating romantic night in.
Check out Angeline’s blog for more updates and writerly thinky-thoughts. Thanks for joining us today, Angeline!