The Greatest Subject: Me

I took today off from my day job. Started growing a beard, which I’ll just have to shave come next Thursday. It snowed in my city last night and has set traffic to a near standstill. So, having all the time in the world, I began to reflect on the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. My wife? Please. Kids? Each one nothing more than a swirling vortex of wasted money and mounting stress.
No, I’m speaking of Brian Panowich.
You see, all those moons ago I got a friend request on Facebook. Just some dude I vaguely recognized from Shotgun Honey. I put a comment on his story; now the dude thinks we’re all best friends and shit, trying to get in my junk on FB. I accepted the request, feeling pity and generosity.  Then every now and again he commented on my posts or a picture. 
I should interject and say that I am former military, and spent two years in the great state of Georgia. Their peaches and sweet tea tickled my loins. They fried all their foods and I can agree to that. They ate gator, and even though I never developed the intestinal fortitude to try it, I admire a group of people so intense they eat an apex predator.
Brian is from Georgia. So, I associate my love of peaches with him. 
Like a gentle cascade, our friendship blossomed. Just two dudes testing the waters here and there. First my toe in his “pool,” later my hand. Later still, all of me. He did the same.
And one day I read an interview (Sept. 6th, 2012 entry) with him where he said he wanted to write about John Wayne versus the zombie apocalypse. And I said to myself, “I love this man.”
So we started talking about doing a split. Him writing one story, me writing another one, both contained inside the same universe after a true, world-ending zombie apocalypse. We came up with some rules, creamed over our grand idea, and went for it like two freshman kids at a party finding some chick drunk and unconscious.
Brian wrote about his wife’s Christmas party. How a small group of friends just celebrating the holiday looked out their window and saw as the neighborhood went to shit. Brian’s narrator, a zombie nerd who has found himself smack-dab in the middle of his dream/nightmare come true, that one moment you prepare for life that could not possibly happen. It just happened. Then all that horror came inside the party.
I thought that, even in a post-human world, you’ve got a lot of tail being wasted. Right? I mean, even hot chicks are going to get turned. It’s a numbers game. So I wrote about a guy who trapped zombies, “adjusted” them to be as safe as one could expect, and sold them harem-style to a small group of scoundrels who buy time with the females through bartering. By the time the narrative starts the group had been whittled down to one last scoundrel who brings a live woman as his bartering trade. 

And that, my friends, is when things go wrong.
Brian found a fella by the name of C D Regan to do the art. Regan, no doubt shocked and awed at finding himself in our presence, agreed to do the greatest zombie book cover ever. So, with our near-divine inspiration, he splooged onto his digital canvas and the result was breath taking.
Brian and I wrote a two-part prequel and posted them on our blogs. Part I is available here and Part II is here.
The eBook version is on sale now at Amazon. I trust you will find it, buy it and thank God you read my column. If not, I will eat your children.

-Ryan Sayles