Phoenix Author Kevin Wayne Williams on How The Walking Dead Inspired His Zombie Novel

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While his accident inspired him to write a book, it was his love of zombies and specifically The Walking Dead that inspired Everything I Know About Zombies.

In 1968, Williams' dad came home from seeing the original Night of the Living Dead, saying "God, what a gross thing that was!" From them on, Williams was fascinated.

He went on to appreciate undead works like Ed and His Dead Mother and Juan of the Dead.

The spark he needed for Everything I Know About Zombies, though, came from AMC's The Walking Dead -- but not because of the edge-of-your-seat writing or the stomach-turning gore. Rather, Williams was inspired by the show's inaccuracies.

Despite the first season of the show being set in Georgia, a large majority of the cast was white -- something Williams knew was wrong based on his experience in the state.

"You couldn't build that white of a group of people as they have on The Walking Dead if you tried," Williams says.

So Williams knew he wanted to write a book about zombies, and he knew he wanted his main character to be black. But he also knew there was another group of people misrepresented in AMC's hit: children.

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Evie Carpenter is a visual journalist. Using photography, videography, design, and sometimes words, she tells stories she hopes make a bit of difference in the world, even if those stories are in list form and include GIFs.
Contact: Evie Carpenter