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Shaping The Minds Of America’s Youth: Rebecca Morsman

A couple months ago, Clark Matthews decided to start featuring people who were doing cool things in Oklahoma City. Being the entrepreneurial guy I am, I decided to steal his idea. "Shaping The Minds Of America's Youth" is a bi-weekly series profiling Oklahomans who are doing creative/unique/fun things that make this a better place to live.

Rebecca Morsman is an Edmond woman who has written a book -- the first in a series -- about the very scary topic of zombies, but she's using her powers for good, giving the fine people of Oklahoma a chance to design the cover. Are you an artist interested in doing this? Do you like zombies? Or books in general? Just bored at work? Join me after the jump for a brief interview.

TLO: The most famous book written about Oklahomans is The Grapes of Wrath. I cannot in good conscience continue this interview unless you can guarantee our readers that Ravenous Decay will be far superior to Grapes of Wrath in every respect, and will be taught in high school English classes 50 years from now.

RM: John Steinbeck was a nuisance. He was completely out of his mind to think that people wanted to read half of that terrible book he wrote. A few years ago I went on a read-the-classics-kick. Grapes of Wrath was the second book on my "to read" list. It single-handedly crushed any and all desire to continue with my read-the-classics-kick. Though my books will likely never make it to a book list for school reading, due to the amount of eff-bombs, boobs, guts and gore, I can assure you that they kick the crap out of that pretentious Steinbeck.

TLO: This is your first book. Why zombies? Is it just something you have always been interested in? Are there any zombie movies or books that have particularly influenced you?

RM: Not to go all Stephanie Meyer on you here, GAG, but I honestly had a dream that started the whole book. My husband is one of the biggest zombie fans in the world, so naturally, I am submerged in every zombie movie ever made. Thankfully, I've also discovered that I really love the genre, as well. But, the whole premise of the book began with a dream about zombie dogs attacking a compound-like ranch in Oklahoma.
Of course George Romero started it all. So, in a very direct way, he has been a massive influence on the book's theme. However, I write very differently than I think George would write a book.

TLO: I have to admit I don't know a lot about zombies. I know they eat brains. Your book takes place in Arcadia. Is it possible that the poor zombies in your book are misunderstood and just enjoy a large variety of tasty beverages and are there because Pops is nearby? Or is this theory unlikely?

RM: Hmm...well, my zombies don't just eat brains. In fact, they even eat their own flesh if other's flesh isn't available. While Pops is so awesome, (I especially dig their Dog Drool soda) the zombies would probably choose to dine on the diners over a soda.

TLO: You are hosting a contest for the design of the cover of your book, which I think is a cool way for independent writers and artists to team up in a mutually beneficial way. How does someone who would want to enter that do so?

RM: If people are interested in the contest, they can go here for all the details on how to enter.

TLO: The thing that scares me about zombies is that when a person becomes one, they turn against their friends and family. Do you think it's a good idea for me to get a living will that says, basically, in the event of me turning into a zombie, my family can, you know, use a flamethrower or whatever against me? That just seems like good safety sense.

RM: Though a living will has it's place in life...and dead....I sincerely doubt that if I were a member of your family and you started trying to cannibalize me that I would take the time to consult the will. It is MY living will that I can bash your head in if need be. Furthermore, a flamethrower would not work against a zombie. You must remove the head or destroy the brain. Duh.

TLO: Here's your chance to make the case for Ravenous Decay: Book One to readers of The Lost Ogle. Tell us why it's awesome and why everybody should read it.

RM: It is sarcastic, irreverent, terrifying and gory. Plus it is told by a hot girl (and I don't mean me). In all honesty, I have read the book over fifty times and every single time it excites me, sucking me into the story. I haven't deluded myself into thinking that everyone everywhere will like my story or even my writing; yet, I know that there is a massive society of dorks and z-heads out there that will eat it up, so to speak.


So there. Go to Rebecca's blog and read an excerpt and follow along as the book nears publication. Selected phrases include "orgasm for your brain pussy." I'm just saying.

If you are a writer/blogger/festival/comedian/organizer/musician/independent journalist/podcaster/charity/whatever doing something that makes this a better place to live and want to be featured here, email me at tonyhanadarko at gmail dot com, or tweet me up at @tonyhanadarko.

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