Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection: Field Notes by Dr. Robert Twombly Zombies discussion


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Eric Pablo Just a random idea i had after reading this, i thought to myself "This would make a great movie". Now i know there are HUNDREDS of zombie movies that have done things like this, but all fans of this book might agree. I'm in a video Production class and i could easily write a script for this no problem. I wanna see what everyone else thinks...


message 2: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Allen I really really like the illustrations in this book. For me they're what makes it, so I think it would be an easy-ish story to turn into script form but to replicate the illustrations into moving images would be difficult.

Go for it though man, why the f*** not?!


Holden Attradies I definitely think if you could bring a this amazing book the film with the story in tact you would pretty much have the Vegan market locked down, I mean, they get to save the day, right?


message 4: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Roff A movie version was in the works in 2010, but unfortunately, like so many would-be movies, was squashed by legalities.

I wrote a 15-page treatment for the film, which includes much more information than the book and a wrap-around story.

Since I already had written the book, I wanted to explore new territory with the film. Perhaps I'll share it someday.


Alexis Winning Don wrote: "A movie version was in the works in 2010, but unfortunately, like so many would-be movies, was squashed by legalities.

I wrote a 15-page treatment for the film, which includes much more informati..."


Don, This is one of my favourite zombie books of all time. I lost my copy in a house fire this summer, and I am planning to replace it very soon. It would make a fantastic movie. Stupid legalities.


message 6: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Roff Thanks, Alexis. Sorry to hear about your house fire. That's terrible.


Alexis Winning These things happen I suppose :/

So what was your inspiration for the book? I must say I really like the idea of compounded amounts of food additives. One of the more original cause of zombies around :) Also, the Canadian setting, but I may be biased.

So what aspects would you bring to film? Different mediums require differing interpretations, so I'd be interested to hear what you would keep/change.


message 8: by Don (last edited Mar 11, 2012 03:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Roff Here was an interview with me regarding the books' creation. It's fairly informative and a quick read: http://undeathmatch.wordpress.com/200...

Regarding the food additive, that actually came from my daughter, Autumn, who was 6 at the time I was writing it. She's hyper sensitive to artificial colors and flavors (actually most of us are and aren't aware of it).

There's scientific proof that that kind of stuff changes behavior, makes you eat more, kills you quicker, et al. I didn't want to create cannibalistic zombies just because people think they should be that way. I wanted to give them a REASON to be cannibalistic.

So, if people are inundated enough with the stuff, they change.

Other people who haven't become the living dead still have the C88 compound in them (it's in virtually all processed foods). So the zombies don't so much want to eat people as they want that excitotoxin compound WITHIN the people. (A clue was the zombie tearing off its own arm and eating it.) When these zombies are desperate, they self-cannibalize.

As I was writing the book, Manitoba popped into my mind (and I don't know why). Doing more research, it made sense for Twombly to go there. That's the Canada connection. I've never been up there, only Vancouver, but it seems lovely -- and cold.

For the film, I wanted to expand the book a bit. The publisher only wanted a 15,000-word book so I had to drop lots of details and characterizations regarding Dr. Twombly. I wanted to explore more of his reasons for doing this and characterize his past, having him go to some of his old haunts, like his childhood home. I also had some ideas for scenes that I came up AFTER the book was being printed. Some suspenseful, scary stuff I'd never seen in a zombie story before.

As I said, I might share the movie treatment since it's a, um, dead project. If I do, I'll post it on my blog and on the ZOMBIES: A RECORD OF THE YEAR OF INFECTION Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zombies...

Thanks for your interest, Alexis. Always love talking to a fan, a horror lover, and another reader.


Alexis Winning Oh yes, with regards to the food additive, I really loved the whole explanation. I'm kind of a whole foods kind of girl, and I try my best to feed my son the same way too. It's scary what they put in there! My four year old turns into a monster about 20 minutes after he eats white processed sugar.

Haha, Manitoba is much colder than Vancouver! Good call, Churchill (that's where it was-yes?) would be a great hideout as long as you are prepared.

In any case, glad I got to chat with you Don. This is my favourite part about Goodreads-getting to chat with the authors who's books I have loved. Love your take on the whole thing.


Alexis Winning Don, I FINALLY got my replacement book, and now I have questions! But first, I must immerse myself in the latter half of the book :)


Holden Attradies I should re-read my copy so I can add to the discussion. Have to say after reading through this, I'm a little heartbroken knowing someone looked at this and said, "no make it shorter."


Alexis Winning Good call Holden! I shall report back this weekend. Mostly because that's when I will have time to discuss ;)


message 13: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Roff I look forward to your comments.


Holden Attradies Half way through my re-read, taking it slow and enjoying it.

My first thought/question Don is how much back and forth was there between you and Chris Lane? From the interview you linked to I got the impression you handed in your text and he just added pictures to it and you didn't see it till it was pretty much all done. Is that how it went down or did you get to have some back and forth with him?


Holden Attradies Okay, so finished with my re-read. Don, I always really enjoy in zombie lit when thinks are left unanswered, it makes it so your mind can fill in the blanks and it can be all that much more suspenseful, and you really excel at it in here. As I read through it, even on my fourth or fifth time, I still get the feeling I know as little as Dr. Trowmbly knows.

The only "unanswered" type thing that I kind of am left wondering if you had an actual answer for was the last bit of the book, beginning with the 6 days of no zombies at the farm. My impression was that the zombies were holding back and building up and that the hoard eventually caught up with him in Churchill. Is this kind of what you were trying to imply, am I way off, did you really not have anything planned and were hoping people would just come up with their own crazy answers?


message 16: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Roff Happy for the re-read, Holden. When I was writing the section of the book regarding The Farm, Edgar Allan Poe's story, "The Masque of the Red Death" was firmly planted in the front of my mind. If you're not familiar with Poe's immortal tale, it concerns a group of privileged people who attempt to wait out, and even mock, a deadly plague that has swept the countryside. They throw the most amazing parties ever in a secure fortress, thumbing their collective noses at mortality. Of course, no one escapes death, and well... Check out Poe's story if you haven't read it. It's wonderful.

My thought, regarding the attack on the Farm, was that though zombies are considered "mindless," I believe that over time, despite their inevitable decomposition and degradation, that they still posses their inherit human traits. Humans are social animals. A herd or a pack mentality would most likely occur if not at once, then over time. Like the party members in Poe's story, the Farm residents grew a little too complacent and cocksure, they let their guard down, and the reaper, in the form of an undead barbarian horde, came calling.

That's one way I'd interpret it anyway, but certainly not the *only* interpretation.


Alexis Winning Good call Holden!

I guess my question would be about formatting, and why you chose to use the idea of a journal or graphic novel? This is my absolute favourite way of inhaling a zombie story. It makes it so "real" in a sense. I also get a kick out of the sections in the journal which are crossed out. I imagine in this type of format you'd almost have to be extremely deliberate in your structure of story telling.


message 18: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Roff Alexis: Gnomes by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet was the original inspiration. The idea was to lampoon Gnomes with zombies. Gnomes is an illustrated observation in the life of the little woodland creatures. They build houses, protect the forest, get married, and all that.

The problem with zombies is that they do none of that. They just shuffle around, kill, eat, repeat. That’s it. This was supposed to be a 144-page book. So there didn’t seem like a way to have somebody just observe “zombie behavior” without it getting, well, a little dead. So I created an entire story of a survivor and why he was documenting this information as he also tried to stay alive. I thought the "found journal" idea would add a bit more suspense and immediacy to the story.


Holden Attradies Well, it was a stroke of genius don! I actually initially thought it was poking fun at that books when I saw the cover but thought that was too crazy of an idea and figured it was just in my head.

I've never actually read any of Poe's stuff, but now I have a very good reason to go get some and give it a read!

Any chance you will ever do any kind of sequel? Some kind of companion work of fiction set in the same world as this book?


Alexis Winning I think I read that somewhere Don, about your book being inspired by Gnomes. It's absolutely one of the most unique books out there. I actually think Holden and I connected on Goodreads cause we both mentioned it in a group discussion.

I love the journal style of story telling with this genre. After all aren't we supposed to "connect" with the characters we read and watch? This is a direct "connection".

I'm with Holden, any plans for a sequel?


message 21: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Roff I'd love to do a sequel, most likely a POV from another character (probably Katharine since she has "insider" information). However, the publisher doesn't seem to be interested, I've approached them, and they control the book rights. So there's that.


Alexis Winning Wow, Bureaucracy eh? (crap, there's my Canadian showing).

It must be incredibly frustrating to have all these wonderful ideas, only to be shot down. I actually saw your book for sale at the Calgary Comicon. It made me smile.


message 23: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Roff Well, my agent, Bree Ogden, is in final negotiations for the ZOMBIES sequel (I wrote a 5000-word outline in January). I'll keep everyone updated. We're about 90% there. Just some haggling over royalty numbers. This survival story from a new character will pale the original. Excited to begin writing...


Holden Attradies Oh my Lord! I have never been so surprised and excited by a comment on Good Reads! I will be pre-ordering as soon as I can Don!


message 25: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Roff :-)


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