INTERVIEW: Molly Brown, author of “Living with the Dead”

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

I saw a television documentary in which a number of people who’d had near death experiences were interviewed, and what they all seemed to have in common was that on “coming back from the dead” they’d found their priorities had changed and things that had once seemed terribly important–such as careers and material possessions–no longer held the same interest.

Several of them actually said that all they wanted to do since they’d come back was just sit on a park bench looking at the flowers and the sky, at which point it occurred to me that a real-life Night of the Living Dead wouldn’t be about the recently-revived dead attacking you (or wanting to eat your brainzzz), it would be about them sitting on a park bench and looking at the flowers.

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

The town in “Living With The Dead” is not based on Centralia, Pennsylvania, but I drew more than a little inspiration from that particular real-life example of how quickly a thriving community can decline and die, and how there are always those few people who refuse to leave no matter how bad things get.