Recently, my friend the brilliant writer and artist J.A. Johnson approached me with an impossible-to-resist offer: collaborate with him on a zombie novella.
And not just any novella, mind you! Nope, this was the opportunity to co-write a story based on an album by the indie rock band The Gifted Children. J.A. had already done the hard work: he'd roughed in a plot and, as all of us know, plots are not my strong point, me being a serious and dyed-in-the-wool-seat-of-my-pants writer. So going into a story with a plot already in place was certainly a plus.
And the musical tracks by The Gifted Children were eerie, creepy, strange; they'd been created, in fact, as a soundtrack for an imaginary zombie movie.
J.A. and I named our alternate chapters after the track titles. The end result, the complete package as it were, has a variety of interesting bonuses:
1. Links to the music, so the reader can hear what inspired us.
3. Deleted scenes.
5. An alternate ending.
7. Interviews with the band and the authors.
9. A 'from-music-to-words' page.
11. Alternate cover images.
13. Band and author pictures.
15. End credits, just as if it were indeed the zombie movie it was intended to be.
[Note: I like odd numbers; so sue me.]
So be on the lookout for the soon-to-be-released THE REGINALD PANTRY: A ZOMBIE CHRONICLE! In the meantime, to whet your appetite, here's a teaser trailer.
And here's the cover art, also by J.A. Johnson, who continues to amaze me with both his writing and artistic skills: