Joe McKinney’s zombie novel Apocalypse of the Dead is the January/February selection of the ZRS Book Club. We’ll be posting an exclusive interview with him right here next week, and then he’ll do a live twitter chat to answer all your questions early next month. In the meantime, tell us some questions we need to ask him in the comments section below. And then check out this guest posting from McKinney himself about what it takes to survive a real zombie outbreak:
THE SURVIVOR TYPE
So, the door is barricaded. The windows are blocked by whatever scraps you could cannibalize from the furniture. Perhaps you’re even armed. Things look bleak, I know, but don’t be afraid. This is actually a time for celebration. After all, think how close you came to being one of that dead horde moaning and pawing at your front door. You made it! You’re alive!
But now it’s starting to sink in, isn’t it? This new world overrun with zombies is going to be a scary one, and your continued survival is going to be hard. At times, it might even seem impossible. Or worse, when you start to think of all the loved ones you’ve lost, your continued existence might even seem pointless. That’s the real danger right there, the pointlessness of it all. How, and why, should you go on living when everything you care about is gone?
You’ve got some soul searching ahead of you, to be sure. Can I give you all the answers? No, of course not. What would your life be worth, after all, if somebody could answer all the hard questions for you? But I can help. I can point you in the right direction. And to that end, I’m sharing my three rules for surviving the zombie apocalypse.
1) Think of yourself as a survivor
No matter what Zombieland has to say on the subject, rule #1 is NOT cardio. Rule #1 is to think of yourself as a survivor, as opposed to a victim. Physicality has very little to do with survival, actually. Sure, it helps. But it isn’t a deal-breaker. Your state of mind is, though. State of mind is where you live or die, because a strong will and a tenacious love for life creates the means for continued survival. Without that, cardio will do little more than give you a beautiful corpse.
2) Make solutions your business
Rather than wallowing in your misery for all that’s been taken from you, begin to build the world anew. Fortify yourself and those lucky enough to take shelter with you. Play defense for as long as you have to, but don’t make defense your survival strategy. Take the offensive by establishing a steady and reliable source of supplies. Teach yourself, and others, the skills you need to know to survive. And now that Wikipedia is finally gone, rediscover the joys of sifting through the library stacks. Books on everything from building a fire to planting a garden to splinting a broken bone await. Now is the time to study, and the time to get the job done.
3) Imagine the world ahead
Above all else, you need a clear picture in your mind of what the world will look like in the future. Motorcycle cops are taught during evasive driving training that the bike will go where they look. In other words, if you’re looking at that chair in the middle of the road, chances are you’re going to hit that chair in the road. The same is true with surviving the zombie apocalypse. If you imagine misery, hardship and death in your future, guess what you’re going to find. The world will become what you imagine it to be. Just make sure when you imagine the future, you imagine yourself in it.