I originally wrote a story called Razzed, which appeared in Tabloid Purposes IV anthology. The story is about a ruthless entrepreneur, who is having PR problems with his clothing company. After continually getting flack for his use of sweat-shop labor in third world countries to make his apparel, he needs to find a solution to be able to make cheap clothing without using third world labor. His solution—use zombies under the control of a shaman from Tanzania, Vuyani Kaunde.
My story, My Kingdom, was originally the backstory for my story Razzed. The problem was that the backstory of how the CEO was able to procure these zombies to use in his factories went a bit long and bogged down Razzed, so I did what all authors must do from time to time—chop away a part of your story that you really enjoy that doesn’t help your story. But this material was too good to just let die a lonely death on my computer’s hard drive, so I expanded upon the original material, and My Kingdom was born.
Mark Evans, the protagonist in the story, can aptly be described as someone who is capable. He is intelligent, adventurous, and has some serious fighting skills. Early in his life, after a stint in the special forces in the US military, he is seeking adventure around the globe and lands himself a job as a bodyguard for wealthy tourists travelling in Africa. As part of a safari in Tanzania, he and his tour group encounter zombies, who kill a few members of the group. After disbanding the trip, Mark’s curiosity gets the best of him, and he returns to learn more about these zombies, which lead him to Vuyani Kaunde. Unbeknownst to Mark, conspiracies and treachery are afoot in regards to Kaunde’s zombies.
Writing about zombies is tricky because there is so much material out there in literature and film that it’s hard to write about something that hasn’t already been done to death, which is why I set my story in Tanzania. African zombie stories are about as rare as black rhinos, and zombie stories are fun to write.
My Kingdom can be found in the most recent issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly, which can be purchased at Smashwords.