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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Meljean
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 23:52:17

    I love zombies. I don’t think they are sexy, however. I don’t think a zombie (especially a brain-eating one) would work as a hero/heroine in a romance, unless it was a zany comedy.

    Now, as the friend, sidekick, and/or evil thing that has to be defeated, the more zombies the better.

  2. kirsten saell
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 01:28:16

    Oh, dear, it seems I’m the lone voice in the wilderness, yet again, lol!

    Yes, zombies are sexy. Or rather, they are sexier an idea to me than vamps or weres, which I generally find more yawn/blink/nod-off than sexy. Which is to say that it would probably be easier to interest me in a story that features zombies than one with werewolves or cat-shifters or whatever. Which is not to say that I couldn’t be convinced to enjoy a very well done vamp or shifter story. Just that it would be easier to hook me with a competently written zombie novel.

    And I imagine the right author could make them hot, too. Clearly, someone needs to try.

  3. Laurie
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 02:30:11

    I have read sexy (also v. funny) zombie fic, actually. Never say never, apparently.

  4. Ann Somerville
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 03:29:25

    I think I prefer a lover who, when he says ‘you took away a little piece of my heart’, doesn’t mean it literally.

    Though you could take him shopping and hang the bags off his arms, I guess :)

  5. Angie
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 05:02:30

    I think zombies can be comedy gold if handled right. They’re not at all sexy, though. Ick!


  6. Jia
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 05:23:39

    I love zombies but they are definitely not sexy.

  7. Anion
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 06:29:07

    I think zombies can be comedy gold if handled right.

    Angie, have you read Mark Henry’s zombie books? “Happy Hour of the Damned” is the first one and “Road Trip of the Living Dead” will be out soon. They’re hysterical. He’s a fantastic writer.

  8. joanne
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 06:53:52

    by Ann Somerville December 18th, 2008 at 3:29 am
    I think I prefer a lover who, when he says ‘you took away a little piece of my heart', doesn't mean it literally.


    All I can see when someone mentions zombies is Michael Jackson’s Thriller video and all those men and women dancing while body parts fall off….. no, definitely not sexy.

  9. Antonella
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 07:42:16

    Sexy zombies? Oh hell no.

    Scary? Absolutely. Comedic? At times, depending on the book. But I just can’t buy into sexy. I’m with Joanne – when I think zombies I think of MJ’s old Thriller video (and Romero’s movies) Blech.

  10. KMont
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 07:56:03

    I really enjoyed Henry’s Happy Hour of the Damned, but no, Amanda, the heroine, is not sexy and neither is the zombie guy/”hero” mentioned a lot throughout. And we get details about her sex life post zombie-fication too. Not sexy at all, but I don’t think that was the author’s goal. You know what that goal is if you read the book – humor. Gross humor a lot of the time, but still humor. Not sex appeal.

    Why? Please tell me there are not paranormal romances out there trying to sex up the zombie. Please? Zombie’s decay, that process doesn’t stop. Actually, I have to stop now because the thought of a zombie being sexy in any way is kinda nauseating.

  11. Lori
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 08:17:59

    Oh I so disliked Happy Hour of the Damned. And I really wanted to like it, but I thought it just out-clevered itself too much. That one was a wall banger for me.

    Trying to think of any other fictional zombies… I know Kelley Armstrong had some in one of the were stories, but otherwise I’m blank.

    by Ann Somerville December 18th, 2008 at 3:29 am
    I think I prefer a lover who, when he says ‘you took away a little piece of my heart', doesn't mean it literally.

    It’s not the piece of his heart I’d be afraid of him leaving **shivers**

  12. Angie
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 09:12:07

    Anion — I’ve heard of Happy Hour of the Damned” but I haven’t read it yet. That’s definitely one of the books I was thinking about for zombie!humor though. Peter Jackson’s early zombie movies were also hilarious. Gross, but hilarious. :D


  13. Anion
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 10:09:13

    Well, Angie, Lori’s experience notwithstanding, I hope you’ll give it a try. :-)

    Lori, I don’t agree with you, but I do understand where you’re coming from. I didn’t get the “look how DAMNED CLEVER I am” feeling from HHotD, but I’ve read a few books where I did (I’m thinking specifically of Judd Winick’s “Barry Ween” comics/graphic novels–bleh, the smugness just flies off the page and beats me over the head.) Nothing ruins a reading experience faster.

  14. votermom
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 10:13:35

    I don’t get the appeal of zombies, personally.

  15. Helen Burgess
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 11:05:07

    Reg from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is a great zombie – re the bit about arms, at one point he helps Angua upstairs with her bags, she says she had to help him pick up his arms afterwards!

  16. Jill A
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 11:48:37

    @Lori: I just silently screamed at my desk – now I’ll be trying to forget that mental picture ASAP…

  17. Leah Hultenschmidt
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:03:01

    I’ve actually had this conversation with our horror editor several times. In horror, zombies had a huge wave about two years ago with Brian Keene, David Wellington and then the various knockoffs. And I saw a little of it starting to bleed over into romance with a Katie MacAlister novella and even more so in submissions. And I couldn’t help thinking, “Really?”

    I think it’s a matter of changing perception. The horror ideals of vampires aren’t really that attractive either, yet that didn’t stop romance writers from tweaking the attributes and creating an appealing heroic figure. Zombies could only work if they’re not the shuffling, trailing-body-parts creatures we typically associate with the term.

  18. rebyj
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:40:04

    Isn’t there a zombie named “George” in the Queen Betsy vampire books?
    Other than George who was interesting as he comes out of his zombizm(?), zombies are just target practice in my opinion. They don’t really make for interesting reading but they do explode nicely on my xbox games LOL.

  19. Antonella
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:45:52

    I think the George in the Queen Betsy books is a vampire who was deprived of blood for a long time, causing him to turn feral, so to speak. But there was a zombie lurking around Betsy’s house in one of the more recent books, IIRC.

  20. Randi
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 13:16:56

    In my experience, only the zombies in I Am Legend (the book, people, the book, becasue the movie…NOT anything like the book [insert rant here]), have the capability to be sexy. All other zombies=comedy and horror.

  21. rebyj
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 13:54:20

    Thanks Antonella, it’s been over a year since I’ve read any of those books and I think there are one or two newer ones I’ve yet to read in the series. I think you’re right although his character is a zombie in my lil head. I guess he was just zombie-ish lol.

  22. Ann Somerville
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 14:11:49

    One of the best short stories I’ve ever read (m/m) was about zombies – Autophobia by Lydia Thorne. I’d love to give you a buy link but her contract with Torquere has expired – she didn’t sell any copies, which is astonishing, considering how good it is. (Oh wait, maybe because Torquere don’t know zip about marketing and only care about their bigname author/owners).

    She’s just written and offered to send a PDF to anyone who’s interested, so email me (logophilos at gmail dot com) and I will put you in contact with her. It’s a really good, somewhat sad story, works as horror and romance both. (Hard to believe, I know!)

  23. Jane O
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 16:38:45

    Zombies could only work if they're not the shuffling, trailing-body-parts creatures we typically associate with the term.

    If zombies will work only if they aren’t zombies, why bother?

  24. Ann Somerville
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 19:26:40

    If zombies will work only if they aren't zombies, why bother?

    Jane, in a world where people are happy to write Transformers slash mpreg, and stories where a Mary Sue can turn the Joker into a fluffy widdle kitttenwitten and skip off into the sunset together farting rainbows and butterflies, reality is not as important as you would think ;)

  25. Vanessa
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 20:23:01

    Oh. Man.

    Zombies are one of my most favorite topics to read about, they can be funny and scary, but in a romance novel? IDK about that…

    However, should there ever be a zombie uprising, I highly recommend The Zombie Survival Guide to help you get through it.


  26. Moth
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 22:53:06

    It would only work for me as a comedy. And it would only work if it were a romance between two zombies might be potentially cute or interesting, but a romance between a living person and a zombie just…bleck.

  27. Ani D
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 14:46:22

    I enjoyed the zombie/live person romance in “Bone Song” the SciFi/Fantasy by John Meany. They’re just looking for love like the rest of us even if the sex is a little “icy.” Of course, Meany’s zombies don’t chew on living flesh. They are sort of spirit robots. But, I confess, my hard-boiled hard sighed a little over the ending.

  28. Shreela
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 00:12:54

    I enjoy zombie stories because I enjoy apocalyptic stories. But in most of the zombie stories I’ve read or watched, the only romance going on was between the surviving humans fighting off the zombies.

    There was a zombie movie recently with Carrie Ann Moss that I mostly enjoyed, until there was a little potential romance between human and zombie, even though that particular zombie was controlled by his collar thingee.

    And another movie that came out recently (obviously these movies weren’t that awesome if I can’t even remember their names LOL) that had a bunch of vampires working in a factory. But these vampires didn’t just eat blood, they ate human flesh, albeit they mostly ate them served in their cafeteria prepared by the vampire cooks. Other than them not rotting, I considered them to be more zombie than vampire, because they ate flesh. There was some vampire/human flirting in that movie (I don’t recommend it, whatever it was called).

    I read a very popular scifi/romance writer’s zombie story, and even though it was apocalyptic, and the romance didn’t involve zombies, I was somewhat disappointed at the “type” of zombies in that story, mostly because I enjoy the “destroy, or run away from the zombies” stories.

    As far as romance between zombies and humans, or zombies with other zombies, there’d have to be some pretty good explanations about how the zombie virus mutated, or someone came up with a vaccine, so that there was no more rotting, and the zombies weren’t brain-dead retarded.

    But, I take that back, even if a mutation or vaccine prevented rotting and stupidity, how would a zombie be with a human, and not expose the human to the disease via body fluids from kissing, and other fluid-exchanging activities?

    I expect that 99.9% of my zombie stories will be the apocalyptic kind, where the only romance is with humans, cuz otherwise, ewww!

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