We talked with Seanan McGuire (AKA Mira Grant) about her contribution to the anthology 'Nights of the Living Dead,' which Jonathan Maberry and the late George Romero edited together. She discussed the inspiration for 'You Can Stay All Day,' which is her story in that collection, as well as other aspects of her career.
It was interesting that you chose a zoo as the setting for your story. What inspired that choice?
I studied herpetology in college, and I absolutely loved my time volunteering at the zoo. Zookeepers are amazing people, and so passionate about their animal charges. I’ve always wondered what they would do in this sort of a situation, and now finally, I got to write about it.
Why did you choose the news industry in particular as the setting for your News Flesh series?
Was it a reaction to the militarization in much of science fiction and horror?
Honestly, it was a suggestion from a friend of mine, who pointed out that journalists have a built-in excuse to go anywhere and do almost anything. I wanted people who had an excuse to investigate, yet weren’t law enforcement or private investigators, as I had already been there and done that.
You also have another zombie-influenced series -- Parasitology. What motivated you to write it? It is interesting in that it focuses on ZINOs (zombies in name only) in the manner of 28 Days Later.
I really, really, really love tapeworms.
You use your Mira Grant pen name for your zombie lit. Why? I hope that is an appropriate question.
My work under my own name is primarily urban fantasy. I love it very much, and I’m very proud of it, but there’s a strong divide between urban fantasy readers and horror/science fiction readers. Having a name to separate them helped to make sure I could reach as many readers as possible.
What sparked your interest in the zombie genre?
I honestly don’t remember. I’ve grown up loving zombie stories. The earliest one I can remember is Night of the Living Dead on a local public access station, but I do remember loving zombies even before that.
Do you have other zombie or horror stories coming?
Oh, always. Into the Drowning Deep, out in November from Orbit Books, is about killer mermaids attacking a scientific research expedition. I’m really excited about it. No zombies, though. It’ll be a little while before I go back to them.