Came across this article I wrote in 2012 while working on a draft of what would later become Rise of the One-Eyed King.
I live in a little fishing village near Vancouver, and a couple times a week I take a walk past all the ports into the village. There are a couple places that I think would make great zombie apocalypse encampments, though I have had interesting conversations where friends disagree. However, this one by the water seems kind of ideally suited to the cause.
First of all, it’s gated within an open lot. There is nothing inside the lot that zombies could hide behind, and there is enough room that containers could be brought in for gardening. There is also a long parking lot leading to the compound, so zombies (or any other enemy) would have little place to hide. Plus, there’s the bonus of being on the water where a major river meets the ocean. Easy escape if needed, plus access to food/water source.
There is also this lookout on top of two stacked containers. This lookout is weather protected (for mild West Coast weather) and has an antennae for transmitting broadcasts.
What I think really makes this a sound design is that the top container could be transformed into living quarters with the bottom used as cold storage for food supplies. Access to both from inside (ladders that lead from top to bottom) so, if under attack by zombies, there would be no need to leave the shelter until the problem is taken care of.
I found this website for a few ideas of what the top container could be turned into, though one wouldn’t want to use too much glass in case it came under fire from rival colonists. The doors on either side could be made to swing open, so they could be shut quickly if necessary.
What’s your ideal zombie apocalypse shelter idea?
In 2010, I was trying to decide what kind of book I wanted to write and a friend of mine in tae kwon do suggested zombies. At the time, I laughed and told him that zombies were not scary and maybe a little stupid. “I’m going to bring you some reading material next class, and your mind will be changed.” I’m always up for a challenge, so I accepted.
He brought me the Walking Dead comics, World War Z: Recorded Attacks graphic novel, and World War Z the novel. My. Mind. Was. Blown. This sent me on a spiral of discovering George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (plus the remake by Zack Snyder), playing Left for Dead 2 on STEAM, and coming up with my own story that started my then named novel, Zombiepocalypse.
At the time, I used to take a yearly trip from Vancouver to Williams Lake to sell books for Vancouver Kidsbooks at a teacher’s conference. This particular year, after all the literature given to me by my tae kwon do pal, I wound up stopping in a little town called, Clinton. Clinton has a population of just under 600 people and is quite beautiful. It looks like an old frontier town, and gives its visitors a sense of history. As I pulled over my rented van filled with books for the conference, I knew that I had found the place where Zombiepocalypse would take place.
First, a few highlights from the town. In a lot that’s been for sale every year I’ve visited, there are posts with shingles nailed to them. On each shingle is someone’s name and where they are from. This was an incredible sense of history to me–kind of like a library, but with carvings instead of paper books.
I started to imagine where my character might have grown up, who he was, what kind of upbringing he had. Unlike a big city where zombies would thrive by the thousands, what would small town life look like?
More importantly, who would be his enemies? Who would he compete with for the scraps of what was left? As I drove down the highway wondering where his enemies might hold up, I came across Hat Creek Ranch and knew, instinctively, that this was where the my main character would find his nemesis.
Equally important, was knowing the topography of the area. While I was lucky enough to be able to drive the area (over the course of a few summers, too) I also had the benefit of Google Maps.
It’s been a long time since 2010 when I wrote the first draft, and now, six years later, I have the final draft and a final title: Rise of the One-Eyed King. Over the next few months, I’ll let you know when you can pre-order a copy for your very own. It will release July 1st.
One of the many songs that inspired the novel, and the theme of this post: