Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Under the Influence--GD T-Shirt Giveaway--Video Review

I was interviewed yesterday by Dylan from (I'll post a link when he posts the interview). We did the interview through IM, which was sort of weird to begin with, but I was thrown when he asked a question about my influences as regards to GD being a zombie novel.

I was thrown initially because there really weren't any zombie novels per se that we're top of mind when he asked the question--certainly not novels I'd consider an influence. Maybe the answers are buried more deeply inside my brain (my braaaaiiiiiin), and I no longer consciously recall what my influences are, at least with regards to the zombie-ish aspects of the book. Anyhow, I did come up with a few titles, which you can read about when the interview posts if you'd like.

The question of influence has been an odd one to wrap my mind around, maybe because my starting point is that everything we've read, is influential in some way. There are stylistic influences, thematic influences, and influences on one's world view. I'm going to write about my literary influences over the next few posts, I think--fair warning!


Before I do that, I'd like to ask a favor--if any of you who've read the book could take the time to post a comment about who you see as my influences, I'd really appreciate it. I think I know which authors and books had the greatest influence on me, but I want to know what you think.

I'll even sweeten the deal--anyone who post will be entered into a drawing for a Generation Dead t-shirt.

Also, check this cool video review out at OneMinuteCritic.


BloggingBooksGalore said...

oh yay! another chance at a shirt!

ok so I'm not sure who I could pin point your influences as. All I can say is that throughout the novel my "english teacher brain" started clicking away. I though how amazing this book would be to use in a compar/contrast to something having to do with the early treatment of slaves and their status or how they were viewed.

I really can't wait to use this book as one of my summer camp book club readings.

Anonymous said...

Oddly Enough... I think that some inspiration as you may want to call it was from possibly... Dawn of the Dead... and some other books I do not recall.
All I know is I love the novel and can't wait for you to create some more lovable characters. I couldn't lay the book down. Have an awesome Day!

hmoon09 said...

really i havent read many zombie books. the only other one would be the zen of zombie its kinda like a self help book thats 5v62ery funny and goes on to say people should be more like zombies. but your book is pretty awsome.

Stone said...

Well I couldn't really tell you what you know already, but I think that you might of had infuleses from the Rising, City of the Dead, not really sure about this one but - The Zombie Survival Guide, not sure what elce,
Your book is a comletely oposite to most of the zombie books I've read and I really loved it, but I think I'm out of gas for this one.

Daniel Waters said...

Living Impaired--Dawn of the Dead was definitely an influence.

hmoon9--haven't seen that one.

iGoth-- I have read the Rising and the City of the Dead and many of his other books. I don't think they were an influence--Mr. Keene and I aren't similar stylistically, and we definitely approach zombies from different places.

Good books, though!

Take care,

Daniel Waters said...

Oh, and I haven't read The Zombie Survival Guide either. Is it about surviving zombies, or surviving as a zombie?

Daniel Waters said...

Oh, and I haven't read The Zombie Survival Guide either. Is it about surviving zombies, or surviving as a zombie?

Anonymous said...

i want more :]

Anonymous said...

hi its me angelica,
ok so first i would like to say that i would love to get a shirt! but i know i wont win it sooooo were can i buy one?
next i would like to say that i have no clue as to who would influence you to write about zombies because i have not read any books or seen any movies about zombies!

take care

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Dan... I actually DON'T comprehend this post.. È tutto fuori posto..! [it's all out of place] (for me anyways) Maybe it's TOO straight forward, and I'm trying to read between the lines ;) I'm not too sure.. My brain hurts now :(

Anonymous said...

That's just it...

While there are certainly more than enough VAMPIRE novels out there, (almost too many; bookstores have become over-saturated with them lately,) there really aren't that many in the way of good zombie books. At least, ones featuring zombies as something other than mindless, brain-eating filler.

In both books and movies, zombies are either this generalized horror or something to make fun of. (Shaun of the Dead, anyone?) So while they might have laid the ground work for Generation, I don't think anything particularly *influenced* it. Your novel is one of a kind. ;3


Daniel Waters said...

Hi Kristin-Nicole!



Hi Angelica!
The thing is, i think most of my influences aren't zombie related. I'm thinking style and theme as opposed to zombies.


Hi Kyla Marie!

I'm sorry I made your brain hurt--I make mine hurt a lot as well.

What I was trying to find out by posting was what people thought my influences were. Sorry!

Take care,

Anonymous said...


I don't really know much about "zombie-esque" influences...but then again, I didn't write it. Hah.

Something clever I did notice that you used - in one of Tommy's blog entries (in the book, not on the website), you used the line "will the falcon not be able hear the falconer." Possibly a reference to "The Second Coming" by Yeats?

I love that poem. If so, good choice!

P.S. - Yes, this is the same GloryDazed who comments on "Tommy's" site. It's a lot of fun. I read your book and really enjoyed it - being 17, it's sometimes hard to find literature I enjoy, (it's either too young or too old) but yours was very interesting. Keep up the good work! I'll look for your name in the future.

Anonymous said...

This book that you wrote was amazing!!!!! I fell in love with Tommy Williams!!! I was wondering if you are going to make a second one?? I would be so so so happy if you did!!! I glued to that book like cement on bricks!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm becoming a regular presence on your blog, aren't I?

Oh, how I would love to get a GD T-shirt...but I know my chances are slim. Very, very slim. (OK, not quite so dramatic. But it gets the point across that yes, I tend to over-dramatize things.) Not only did I finish GD in about two days, I also got my friend to read it, too, and I did a couple (very awful) drawings of characters. Namely Phoebe and Margi. (I tried to draw Adam, but...eesh, did it come out wrong. I gave up and threw it out.) So...yeah. (I posted this mainly because I had literally nothing to do while home all day from school on a giveback snowday.)

HydroJen said...

Hey, glad you liked my One Minute Critic video! Such a small digital world, right?

Your influences... tough one! I would say a combo of fantasy/horror reading in your youth, some strong female role models and one too many Zombie movie?

Oh, and I blogged about your book on my YA Lit blog, in case your interested!

P.S. Write a sequel!

Daniel Waters said...

Hi Jen!

Thank you for all the great press, I really appreciate it.

Right you are regarding fantasy and horror, as well as strong female role models. But--can their really be one too many zombie movies?

Take care,

Nick Cato said...

Having read countless zombie novels, I can say GD was in its own world (yes, that's a compliment). The VERY bad film, ZOMBIE HONEYMOON, attempted a zombie-romance thing and failed (it wasn't even fun on a campy level).

I'd say ANY novel/film dealing with zombies HAS to have been influenced in one way or another by the films of George A. Romero.

SkinnyJeanQueen said...

Daniel what was your insperation for Karen and Pheobe? because I really loved them they are amazing. Who is the differently biotic person on the cover is it Karen?

oh and one more thing..i need your advice,my parents are really over protective just like Pheobes...and I dress differently and my mom really doesn't like it and the fact that im Bi and she doesn't like the fact that i really like horor movies and zombie books.

write back

SkinnyJeanQueen said...

oh well influces...well i really like fatasy and tough metal music and sweeny todd is just amazing, i really like Zombie books and yours was one that was the first one iv ever read!! those shirts in the book sound aswome!! i love reading them and colors and how you said the font and everything..gosh it reminded me of Goosebumps..with the scary

Daniel Waters said...

Hi Zoe!

The girl on the cover is almost exactly how I picture Karen. As to where the inspiration for where she and Phoebe came from, I'd have to say that is one of life's little mysteries. Phoebe appeared sort of fully formed in my mind, whereas Karen initially wasn't even a real character in the book! But when I wrote the first line of the book she started to take shape and she hasn't left my brain since.

As far as your other question, my advice is the easiest and hardest advice to act on: talk to your parents. And if it doesn't work, talk some more to your parents, and keep talking until you--all of you--figure things out.

I was a "skeery" kid--I loved horror movies, heavy metal, and played role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons for hours and hours. I'm sure these activities terrified my parents--and they were right to be terrified!--because they didn't understand my fascination with these things. How could they? When they began to talk to me about things, I was hesitant at first. I couldn't get the right words out sometimes. But eventually, I was able to make them understand that I liked horror as a genre because A). I liked being scared and B). Most of the horror I liked really was more "dark humor" than anything. Metal was loud and fast and that was my attraction, and the role playing games were a fun way to spend an evening with friends, not an opportunity to get into trouble. Now that I'm a parent, I'd react them same way they did if my kids started wearing only black, listening to metal, liking my books, etc.

Phoebe's parents have some real issues with her friendships and actions in Generation Dead--and they should, because they are good parents. The more Phoebe talks to them and includes them, the more understanding they are.

Keep trying, don't quit.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm a little late to the game on this, but I only stumbled across your blog today.. When I read GD (great book, btw), I thought the tone was sometimes reminiscent of Neil Gaiman.