Damaged Melody, My Contribution to Libidinous Zombie

Libidinous Zombie - Edited by Rose CarawayHorror comes in all shapes and sizes, most of all, it comes when you least expect it. Painting fear across one’s heart comes with a carefully mastered palette of atmosphere, panic, and surprise. When Rose Caraway invited me to write something for her monstrous project, it honored and (surprisingly) frightened me all at once. I’ve been toiling away on my novella The Girl Alone for the past 2 years now, letting life’s daunting tasks distract me from writing The End. I paced the house wanting nothing more than to return to my email so I could decline the offer. I wrote the email and nearly hit send…but then I didn’t. Instead, I grabbed my notepad and started brainstorming.

Libidinous Zombie is an erotic horror anthology featuring today’s rockstars of erotica: Rose Caraway, Jade A. Waters, Raziel Moore, Janine Ashbless, Remittance Girl, Malin James, Tamsin Flowers, and myself, Allen Dusk. When I initially gazed upon the names listed upon the invitation I took a step back. I don’t think I’m worthy to headline among such explicit royalty. The challenge of crafting a story that was meant to lie between the covers with these sexy writers disturbed me deeply.

Fucking thee Remittance Girl? Are you kidding me? I’m going to be included in an anthology with her level of writing talent? For me that honor is as great as having the privilege to sip Earl Grey with Clive Barker, or slap dicks with Barack Obama.

It seems every time I publish a new story, there is always a comment from somebody waiting for a sequel to my horror novel Shady Palms. I’m not certain if a direct sequel to the book will ever come about, but I’ve wanted to spin off some of the minor characters into their own stories. It didn’t take me long to choose the one character I always wanted to spend more time with, Juanita, the one-armed housekeeper who only graced a few chapters of the novel.

The challenge to writing both a spin-off, and a story about a one-armed woman, was to never focus on either of those facts so much that it would detract unfamiliar readers from the story. There are allusions to her past, and her future, and mention of her arm here and there. The prosthetic and the challenges that come with it are an everyday part of her life, so I felt some of its use and origin required further exploration. I didn’t want to write an outright amputee fetish story, because the limb is a part of her, and her character needed to reflect this.

Libidinous Zombie - Collected by Rose CarawayThe most daunting part of the Libidinous Zombie project for myself was meeting the word count requirement. This was in part because  I originally layered the story with folklore and history of an old seaside inn, and when it came down to it, I had to cut 90% of it out. My original concept for the story was more of an awkward girl meets boy plot line – however the more I looked at my story arc and the word count, I needed to cut to the chase and land readers in the midst of a secret affair. It took me three attempts with different approaches before I settled on the final narrative, and even after that, Rose made some final suggestions for trimming the fat. In the end, I’m pleased with the effort I have put forth for inclusion in the Libidinous Zombie project, and I hope readers will enjoy lapping up the trail of blood and jism I’ve slopped around in my wake.

It’s been an honor to be apart of this project, and I look forward to curling up with you in the shadows.

Libidinous Zombie: an erotic horror collection is now available through Amazon.

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