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5 Questions With A Zombie Hunter In The Desert

West coast based blogger and horror enthusiast Jamelle Shannon will probably be one of the zombie apocalypse survivalists with a well stocked bunker. In the mist of her pre-occupation with our imminent demise by flesh eaters, it was important we understand her perspective so hopefully, those of us reading will survive too.

Zombies seem to be a popular theme with you. What are some of your first memories of what made you so interested in them?

Zombies have always been on my horror/pop culture radar, but it wasn’t until I read Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide shortly after it came out that I really found them interesting. Here was a book that took the question of what to do during a zombie apocalypse and gave answers. My friends and I debated on what kind of zombie-proof fortresses we would build, what kind of supplies we would need, and who would be useful in our rebuilt society. It’s an interesting thought exercise that you don’t get when dealing with vampires or ghosts. No one talks about the impending werewolf apocalypse.

Do you have a favorite horror movie, book, or television series?

Given the zombie thing, it’s probably no surprise my favorite book is World War Z. I love that it’s broken up into multiple stories that give the overall picture of before, during, and after a zombie apocalypse. I also like that it’s global in scope, with people of color's (POC) perspectives. I was very disappointed in the movie and felt it could have been titled anything other than World War Z and still be an ok zombie movie. WWZ should have been done as a miniseries or even a TV show to rival The Walking Dead.

I know with my moniker people would think my favorite TV show was The Walking Dead, but I can’t get past season 2. American Horror Story takes that place in my heart. I’ve loved it since Murder House and I’m going through season one right now on my blog detailing the horror in each episode. I was very disappointed in Coven. There was a lot of potential with the setting and the cast, but I don’t think the writers knew what they were doing.

My favorite movie is The Lost Boys. I can quote it line for line. Every time I catch it on TV, no matter where in the movie it is, I stop and watch. I think it was one of the first DVDs I owned. I love it because the vampires are actually monsters, much like teenagers can be monsters.

Has there ever been a time you felt 'different' for enjoying horror?

My whole life has been a feeling of being “different” and not just for liking horror. I was the only black girl in my group of friends and we were the übernerds. We were into Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, RPGs, Magic the Gathering--before a lot of that stuff was mainstream and before being a nerd was “cool.” I was already different because I liked those things and I liked to read. Horror was just another facet of that.

Are there any Black women in horror whose work you admire?

Before Graveyard Shift Sisters, I didn’t know of any black women in horror!

I mean, it shouldn’t have surprised me because I’m a black woman and I like horror so why wouldn’t there be others like me? That’s what’s so great about the internet and about Twitter specifically. Because of this site, I’m learning about authors like Sumiko Saulson and Tananarive Due and they’re in my Kindle now next to H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King.

How would you like to see the presence of Black women and women of color in horror change in the future?

I would love for there to be even more visibility for black women and women of color in horror. More WOC Final Girls in mainstream horror films. More black women authors’ stories being turned into mainstream horror films. More WOC behind the camera, telling great stories. I don’t want us to be seen as a niche market in a way that keeps us in the corners of horror fandom.

Follow Jamelle on Twitter! (@mellemelles)
Read her life & pop culture blog, A Zombie Hunter in the Desert

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