Zombie Complex is set in a fictional apartment complex that is inspired by a real one. It's a complex that my wife and I have lived in on and off for far too many years. When we had a dog, I walked every square inch of this place and even into many of the surrounding wooded areas. I know where the possums are, where the racoons hide, and I'm familiar with at least three generations of stray cats in the area. In real life, the inspiration dog behind Dale was quite a character and we miss him every day. Nothing gets you familiar with the topography of a place like walking a dog every day and every night.
|The real life inspiration dog behind Dale|
When I write of cooking smells, bugs, and residents who can't park, that's my truth. It's a truth that my wife and I lived for a long time as residents of this complex and several other apartment communities. Even the weirdest neighbors draw a little inspiration from real neighbors that I have had over the years. If there is a stretch, it's probably in the strength of the gates. In real life, they break or get sabotaged all the time.
An aerial photo of the inspiration apartments doesn't reveal much. If you read Zombie Complex, you may recognize some of the features. I just hope that I was able to breath life into the place and threaten it with death by a thousand zombies. When I look at the photo, I can immediately pick out the gates, the garbage area. the mailbox hut, the pool, and the vegetable garden. It's easy for me to distinguish between the little bungalows and the big buildings. I can also imagine where many of the key battles in my novel take place. For me, the complex is a place where heroes live and die and it makes the location much more meaningful to me.
|An aerial view (from Google Maps) of the inspiration apartment complex behind Zombie Complex|
I hope you enjoy getting familiar with my world and I appreciate everyone who has joined our fight for survival. I hope that the authenticity of the place and its population shines through in my pages.