Dead Love: An Interview with a Zombie Writer

My favorite book, my favorite writer … basically because it is all about my struggle. Thanks, ForeWord!


Dead Love
by Linda Watanabe McFerrin
Stone Bridge Press

“My disgust had a smell: the smell from the hospital, from the apartment—the telltale odor of death. My heart raced. I could feel them behind me: a thirsty pack, their hunger, a thick tongue of horror, snatching at my back, creeping greedily up my spine.” Awakening from death, her body decomposing to a zombie’s corpse, Erin Orison is horribly aware of her new world. Smells, sounds, tastes, the living humans who attract and repulse her—it’s a sumptuous, sensual landscape, painted in lush detail by Linda Watanabe McFerrin in the new novel Dead Love.

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Linda Watanabe           McFerrin AUTHOR PAGES

The Author Pages feature interviews with authors whose work has been reviewed in ForeWord Reviews. This week we feature Linda Watanabe McFerrin, author of Dead Love (Stone Bridge Press, 978-1-933330-91-4).

Do you have any particular story to tell concerning the writing of this book?

Dead Love was actually inspired years ago when I read a book by noted ethno-botanist Wade Davis, who also happens to be one of my literary and travel heroes. Davis’s book, The Serpent and the Rainbow, was about his search in Haiti for a kind of zombie formula—the substances that bokors, the Vodou shamans or witchdoctors, have been using for generations to drug their victims into a death-like stupor. This is actually a crime in Haiti. I have an old newspaper clipping about a man who was sentenced to prison for the crime of zombification. Zora Neale Hurston famously wrote about real zombies in Tell My Horse. Because my novel is truly bizarre fiction grounded in fact, I include the truth about zombies in the first chapter of the book and I footnote many of the ultra-weird things that are fact-based. The blurred line between fact and fiction, between truth and lies, is the fascinating boundary I try to explore in Dead Love.

How did you find the publisher for this book?

Finding a publisher was a zombie crawl. When I first started sending out the novel, years ago, nobody cared about zombies. The manuscript went out to tons of agents and editors who scratched their heads and said, “Zombies? No one will want to read about zombies!” Of course these were conservative agents and editors who had nothing to do with the punk or neo-goth movements. I’m so glad that I found a publishing partner who is both creative and visionary. Peter Goodman (founder and publisher of Stone Bridge Press) came up with the idea of a manga insert in the hardcover edition. I think that was inspired.

Read the entire interview:

—Erin Orison, DEAD LOVE/the Daily Slice


  • Anonymous

    Hey Erin, doesn’t Linda Watanabe McFerrin do great interviews? Whether its poetry, essay or straight-out discussion, she’s “da bomb”! Dead Love wouldn’t be the same (or be period) without her! Thanks for the interview. Stagger on!