INTERVIEW: Jamie Lackey, author of “The Other Side”

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

It’s about high school students almost twenty years after a zombie apocalypse.  And unrequited love.

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

I wanted to write a different kind of zombie story, and I started thinking how the world would be different if there were zombies, but they’d been driven back decades ago. The zombies might still be a threat, biding their time, waiting to strike again, or they could have all rotted away without anyone noticing.

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

The narrator’s conversational tone was actually pretty easy to write, but when I’d finished my first draft I had no objective idea if the story was good or terrible. I was a little afraid to show it to my writing group.

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

The emotions in the story are what make it personal to me–the need to fit in, the fear, and in the end, the sorrow and regret.

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

I didn’t have to do much research.

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?

Zombies are just fun. Plus, they are terrifying because there’s the very real threat of the characters becomming infected and losing themselves to something so much worse than death.

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

Night of the Living Dead is a classic. 28 Days Later is one of my favorite zombie movies, and Zombieland was a lot of fun.