Author's note: Zombie Kong was my first novella. Of course, the very concept of Zombie Kong is preposterous, but I figure that’s what makes the story so much fun. I didn’t write this tale “tongue-in-cheek”, nor did I bother with explanations regarding how the monster came to be. I just pulled the old George A Romero move: here’s a bunch of zombies, deal with it. Or in this case: here’s a 50-foot zombie monster kicking the shit out of the city, deal with it.
Kong, for the record, isn’t really what the story’s about. He might be the Godzilla of the tale, but I keep the focus on a woman named Candice and her son, Jake. The story is about them, and what they have to go through as they attempt escaping the city. And of course, I don’t make it easy on them. I throw a villain into the mix and set Candice and Jake as his prime target.
As far as the writing style goes, I keep the prose simple and clean, as I always do. And I structured the story in a way that I know people enjoy. Unlike my novels Into Hell and Terror Town, I wasn’t experimenting with this one. I put the right amount of characters, plotlines, and drama into the mix and I didn’t make it overly gory, either. I gave the people what they wanted; while I was writing I was well aware that descriptive death scenes gets labeled “torture-porn” and the label is not meant as a compliment. So, for those of you that loved my first novel, The Dead Parade, I guess you could say this is a return to my roots: straight up, non-diluted, storytelling.
Rick Amortis over at Hellnotes said, “I found Zombie Kong so intriguing and captivating that I’ll confess I’d engaged in a little over indulgence and read it cover to cover in one sitting. The literary prose is unprecedented and despite the fact the tale is presented in novella format I’m positive I’d approach the read with the same enthusiastic vigor if it were a six hundred or one thousand page epic. Daley not only has a gift for slapping his audience across the face to acquire their attention, he keeps you there in virtual hypnotic fascination.”
I’ve got to be honest here, I love that review. When I write I try to keep things simple, making the readers forget they’re reading. From my point of view, that’s the whole gig. Keep the words simple, and make the plot interesting.
So, is this fun little nugget of a novella right for you? If you want a great story that packs a punch, then yes. You should read this one today. If you want literary gymnastics, I’d say you should keep looking. My job isn’t to have you running for the dictionary; my job is to put you in a trance, and keep you there in hypnotic fascination. Like I said… that’s the gig.
~James Roy Daley