INTERVIEW: Catherine MacLeod, Author of “Zombie Season”

Tell us a bit about your story. What’s it about?

It’s about a small-town zombie hunter who understands his prey too well.

What was the genesis of the story–what was the inspiration for it, or what prompted you to write it?

I found the guidelines for Bits of the Dead” by accident, and couldn’t pass up a chance to do some flash fiction. I’ll try my hand at any length, but I especially like writing flash. Also, my friend Kevin Cockle dared me.

Was this story a particularly challenging one to write? If so, how?

Keeping it under 500 words was a challenge, but I enjoy editing.

Most authors say all their stories are personal. If that’s true for you, in what way was this story personal to you?

I live in a village with a kind undertaker and well-tended cemeteries. We put perpetual care on our family graves and take good care of our dead. But I guess if they came back there’d be no point in saying, “How could you try to eat us after all we’ve done for you?”

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

Not much, to be honest. I don’t know if embalming fluid actually burns.

What is the appeal of zombie fiction? Why do so many writers–or you yourself–write about it? Why do readers and film viewers love it so much?

I’d never written it before “Zombie Season.” But Kevin is a huge fan–he’s written a lot of zombie fiction–and he got me hooked. Maybe film-goers like it so much because it’s the ultimate “Us against Them.”

What are some of your favorite examples of zombie fiction, and what makes them your favorites?

My favorite zombie story is “Death and Suffrage” by Dale Bailey, because he just wrote the hell out of it. I also like Stephen King’s “Home Delivery,” and the novel Night of the Living Dead. I tried to watch the movie, but spent so much time with my hands over my face I can’t honestly say I’ve seen it.