Crossing Genres; Why Faeries and Zombies Belong Together
By Melanie Karsak
**Before I begin the post, I want to let readers know that I will be talking about some of the “other” paranormal creatures in my series, “The Harvesting.” I will do my best not to give away any big surprises, but you will discover one minor spoiler here.
My book jacket mentions that in “The Harvesting,” we have the story of Layla’s struggles during the zombie apocalypse. I also allude to the fact that zombies are not her only problem. Other creatures have been lurking about in our world waiting for mankind’s fall from power. In the world of “The Harvesting,” there are several supernatural creatures creeping about. One of the first “otherworld” players Layla encounters are “forest spirits.” Now, why in the world would a book about zombies include forest spirits or faeries? Some die-hard zombie readers hit the fantastical wall in “The Harvesting” then turn the novel aside in confusion. But one must consider what zombies and faeries communicate about us and the duality of their metaphor.
The zombie is typically depicted as an undead, unthinking creature who likes to do nothing but eat. It consumes flesh as it ambles mindlessly in search of the next meal. Zombies don’t seem to notice other zombies. They walk over others as if they do not see them. They have no consciousness of the physical environment. They have no consciousness of their physical self—save hunger. They just move, absently, through their world while they consume. Sound about right? Now, let me ask you something: have you ever been in Walmart on Black Friday? Notice much difference? Save entrails gnawing, our current culture seems to have generated a league of zombies. How different are we from the undead in the way we interact with our environment and others. Zombies have become the very symbol of a culture that feels dead inside. So what does that have to do with faeries?
When you think of the faerie folk of lore, the human-sized, magisterial beings of the Celtic past, what do you imagine? Do you envision creatures that are sensitive to emotion? Do you envision creatures that are so in-tune with the earth that they are often one with the natural environment? Do you envision creatures gnawing on a massive hunk of processed meat or someone daintily eating a fist full of berries? Faeries, forest lords, the ancient ones, are symbolic of mankind at its purist. It is a form of our legendary self. Lore suggests mankind’s rough ways sent the faerie folk into hiding, but that we may be, in part, descended from them. Both zombies and faerie folk are one step removed from human, but are related to mankind nonetheless. And they create a perfect duality.
In “The Harvesting,” I present both of these mythical creatures, zombies and faeries, to get people thinking about the “sides” of mankind. The unconscious verses the conscious self. Zombies depict what is worst about us, our lowest, id-driven thinking. Faeries depict us at our best, our highest level thinking. It might seem odd to mix the genres, but when you pair these two against one another, the results are pretty interesting. The forest lords of my novel seem to want to help mankind. The question is why? If you enjoy dark fantasy, I invite you to consider these and other creatures in “The Harvesting.”
Thank you so much for the tour stop today!
The Harvesting Series, Book 1
Publisher: Steampunk Press
Number of pages: 394
Word Count: 71000
Cover Artist: Michael Hall Photography
TV interview with book info:
When mankind finally consumes itself, can any spark of humanity survive? Layla fights to keep those she loves alive when the zombie apocalypse unfolds, but she soon learns that zombies are not the only problem. With mankind silenced, those beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power. Layla must learn who to trust, fast, if she hopes to save what is left of our kind.
About the Author:
Melanie Karsak, steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Visit the author at her blog, melaniekarsak.blogspot.com, to learn more about upcoming projects.
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Thanks so much for having me! I love your blog . . . my next series is Steampunk. Glad to hear you guys are fans!
What an interesting concept!!! I never thought that zombies and faeries could "coexist" :) Definitely going to have to go check this out! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the release!
Well, besides the name (cough, cough) I am intrigued by the metaphor. I applaud your engaging the narrative and mythical (ancient and modern) images of our human states and relations with the earth and our fellow inhabitants.
Recognizing how we express the invisible (emotion and connection) through story is a HUGE step. Not everyone makes it or wants to make it explicit. Looking forward to what you do with the Steampunk, now. No pressure. No, really. Not at all.
m (the other Melanie :-) )
What an interesting sounding read. I most definitely want to check this one out. Thank you so much.
It's definitely a good read! Had to stop at that place and was late to work because I had to WAIT until I could stop. Saving for savoring on the ride home. Good thing my Kindle has text-to-speech!!
Thanks so much, Melanie! I graciously accept pressure, but only from other Melanies. :)
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