Write of the Living Dead

WotLD Cover largeWrite of the Living Dead
Araminta Star Matthews, Rachel Lee and Stan Swanson
Retail Price: $24.95
Publication Date: March 15, 2012
Publisher: Dark Moon Books
Pages: 342
ISBN: 978-0-9834335-8-3

Two redhead educators and a horror publisher walk into a bar . . . during a zombie apocalypse. Armed with only their wits and a fully-charged-laptop battery, they hammered out the world’s darkest writing manual amidst the flurry and chaos of gnashing teeth and rotting cadavers. Each chapter of the handbook is devoted to a different genre of writing—everything from academic writing (complete with MLA and APA sample essays), business writing, and even poetry and fiction—all of it with a dark and undead twist. Developing or improving your writing skills has never been so enjoyable. WRITE OF THE LIVING DEAD is the spawn of two scholarly writers and a publisher conspiring to create a freshly dug look at writing for different genres and media. Spattered with popular horror culture and written with horror enthusiasts in mind, this book raises the struggling writing handbook from the dead. Addressing methods of voice, style, function, and formula, WRITE OF THE LIVING DEAD is the perfect tool for students, writers, poets, authors, business writers, and teachers with a dark side.

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“Imagine if George Romero and Hammer Films decided to rewrite Strunk and White’s beloved guide The Elements of Style. Well, I think Write of the Living Dead is pretty close to what they would come up with. This book is not only good fun for the horror set, but a great resource for any writer, no matter he or she is writing. This book deserves a place on any writer’s desk.”
—Joe McKinney (Bram Stoker Award®-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Dead City)

“I will wager you have never seen a book like this–one part humor, one part homage to the horror genre, and it is all layered over a solid foundation of serious instruction . . . an instant classic.”
—Rocky Wood (HWA President and Bram Stoker Award®-winning author)

Teachers of writers in high school, college, and beyond will find one helpful, engaging example and explanation after another. (My favorite chapter title? The sixth: “Persuasive Writing or Please Can I Eat Your Brain: A Zombie’s Guide to Writing Persuasively.”) In the first chapter, Reginald Spittoon (an author hurrying to write his chapter before his zombie bite becomes an urge and new identity that overtake him) provides an example of an effective opening to an essay—a challenge, more specifically: “The hunting and slaying of vampires is inhuman and should be outlawed. According to existing laws, there is nothing wrong with taking a sharp wooden stake and pounding it cruelly through the heart of creatures that, in many cases, possess more intelligence than their living brethren” (21). You’ll find full model essays in there, too. Write of the Living Dead’s engaging points of view and sense of humor make each chapter’s teaching all the more approachable and exciting. I’m excited to share this fresh (or rotting, decaying, and rancid?) new voice with my students. I’m going to recommend your textbook to our high school teachers. It does just about everything our traditional Hacker books do and much more engagingly. Honestly, as much as I enjoyed the dark outlook and sense of humor (I love lots of the examples), perhaps what’s most impressive is just how functional and professional this all is. It’s a true writing guide, not gimmicky at all. Well done.
—Andy Hueller, Middle and Upper School English Teacher, St. Paul Academy and Summit School

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