So you can read my books

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Why are we attracted to monsters?

No, I’m not talking about our love life. Ah, maybe I am. But that’s another post entirely.

We are drawn to monsters in our entertainment. Hannibal Lector. Dexter. Edward of TWILIGHT infamy, sparkles and all.

It is the allure of the forbidden. Hence the cover of the first TWILIGHT : outstretched hands holding a bright red apple. The eternal battle : “What I knew was right” vs. “What I wanted.”

We search for the humanity in the attractive monster : yes, he does terrible things, but never to me.

Samuel McCord chides the ghoul, Alice Wentworth, that Victor is basically a Walking Happy Meal to her. Bella is the same thing to Edward.

Should she have chosen Jacob, she would have had to walk on eggshells never to make him angry to escape the scars another mortal woman received who had the misfortune to love a werewolf.

Sure, vampires are sexy. And what a compliment that a sexy man wants your company when he could just as easily have you for dinner.

Our attraction to sexy vampires can be understood.

A vampire Megan Fox would be hard to refuse a nibble on the neck, if sips were all she planned to take. But the ghoul, Megan Fox, is hardly sexy when she develops an appetite for bad, and ultimately, good boys in JENNIFER’S BODY.

Vampires are the ultimate Bad Boy in many urban fantasies today.

Many women want to believe that the right woman could tame even a blood-thirsty monster … at least enough to be the ultimate protector, provider, and lover.

As a former counselor, I cannot stress enough how unrealistic and dangerous that is.

But it sells books.

It just isn’t true to the male nature. But it is a wish that is understandable since most of those novels are written by women –

Who have to guess at the nature of males as men have to with the nature of females.

But then there is our puzzling fascination with zombies.

Zombies embody an “all consuming evil” (pun intended.) A malevolent evil with no mercy, regard, or compassion … only hunger.


If you are only infected instead of ingested, you become one of the hungry dead yourself! No sense of family, friend, or even of yourself.

And you develop terrible table manners!

Zombies are not unlike a force of Nature … and Nature has become unsettlingly dangerous these past months as we remember Japan, New Zealand, and Katrina.

So perhaps we are drawn to the zombie movie because the zombie reflects the all-too-real terrors in our newspaper headlines. Just as you cannot reason with a zombie, threaten its family or its further living … the same can be said of a terrorist.

Terrorists keep on coming until you kill them. The same can be said for the deranged killer who stalks into a schoolroom and begins to open fire with automatic weapons.

Zombies provide similar evils … but non-threatening since they could never exist. We can work out our fears of terrorists, muggers, and insane gunmen in the dark of the movie theater.

We can ask ourselves what would we do in a Zombie Apocalypse, who would we take with us, what we would take, and where would we go. In the unspoken thoughts of our minds, we translate that into a Nuclear War/Natural Disaster Apocalypse.

We identify with the survivors in the zombie movies. We want to believe that we would survive in such a crucible. And deep down that supports our fearful hope that we would survive should Nature, Nuclear War, or terrorism reign over our landscape.

Who would have thought it?

Zombies as therapy!



  1. Zombies are therapy, lol, awesome! Leave it to you to come up with something so brilliant. For the record, I never liked Edward, though I did enjoy the story. Louie from Interview, now that's another thing altogether. ;)

  2. I was just talking about this with a friend... the fantasy of taming a beast and thinking it won't eat you. Better to tell yourself "I am not the exception." Once a violent psycho-- always a violent psycho. (=

  3. A good post. I think readers, and writers, have always seen real-life problems within fictional characters, but I can't think of any that have encompassed such a wide range of issues as the zombies have. They can represent whatever bad you want them to.

  4. You are so right on so many counts. I wrote a zombie short story for a creative writing class, once, and my professor made a fantastic point that zombies really are the embodiment of fears--fears of disease, terrorism, aging, becoming something/someone you don't recognize, etc.

    Also, I love that you point out the fallacy of the main characters of some of these books thinking they can change men from bloodthirsty monsters to productive humans. And here I always thought if you wanted a good man, you just didn't settle until you FOUND one, not converted one!

  5. it is the allure for the forbidden i am sure... i get so scared watching haunted movies but i still watch them!! i did not sleep after watching paranormal activities.. but i watched it nonetheless...

  6. Heather :
    I'm with you about Edward. He was so much older than Bella. He struck me as a pedophile -- I mean what would they have to talk about once the long-delayed sex was over?

    Jo :
    The past is prologue with humans. They are always true to their nature, whatever it has been shaped to be. Sadly, we want the illusion and not the truth in relationships often.

    Sarah :
    Zombies do enclose so many possibilities in examining the human condition, don't they?

    Alexandra :
    The only person we can ever change is ourselves. A tiger kitten looks so cute : grown up, it will only see you as dinner! Your creative writing instructor was very perceptive. You have a lovely blog, Roland

    Flying high in the sky :
    Like you, I shouldn't watch horror movies but I do ... while I'm going downstairs to the outside laundry room at night. How crazy is that? LOL. Roland

  7. Hmm, I'm not a zombie fan. My cure is a flame thrower from a distance.

    These new "angsty" vampires are not attractive to me either. Maybe I'm too old to see them as lovers - a dead dick doesn't seem my kind of date; fantasy or otherwise.

    I like my horror movies/books to be true horrors, not centered around sex. Think the world will ever get away from that as the only lure for interest?

    Me neither.


  8. Donna :
    I like Ripley's solution :
    "Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!" LOL.

    I would always be leary of a girl who I knew saw me as a source of food.

    THE BODY SNATCHERS, the first one, had true horror and a human love interest ... ah, until the end.

    The splatter/gore Summer Camp Horror Sex/Tease movies will always be with us.

    They even have a comedic send-up of the genre : TUCKER AND DALE VERSUS EVIL --

  9. I wrote a short zombie story called "The Zombie Family", but I am so not a zombie lover. Vampires are by far my favorite monster, and I could offer some verbal thrashing here because you stuck Megan Fox's image in my head as a vampire. ;) Yeah, maybe it's unrealistic to seek out humanity in a monster, which is what you do in your books, but it's fun. And my attraction to hannibal lector was more because of his mind--that suffistication Anthony Hopkins brought to the character blew me away. :)