What Will Come After - Scott Edelman
"When Peter Crowther agreed to collect my many zombie short stories for publication by PS Publishing," recalls the Scott Edelman, "he asked only one thing of me - that I write a new piece of fiction for the volume to entice readers who might already be familiar with my undead oeuvre. Which I, of course, immediately agreed to do.
"But having already pushed the zombie envelope as far as I thought it could go with the story I'd written most recently at the time, 'Almost the Last Story by Almost the Last Man', and wanting to make the new story truly special, I realised that there was only one place to go. I had to get personal. Very personal.
"And so, I wrote a story in which I was the protagonist, and looked ahead to what would happen after my own death . . . and rebirth. It was an emotionally difficult story to write, but what I didn't realise was that it would become even more emotionally difficult for me as time went by.
"What I should have known when writing 'What Will Come After' was that it would become more difficult for me to reread as time went on. You see, because the story is about me, it is also about the people I love. Even though within the story, many of them are dead, at the time I wrote the tale, they were all alive - and I still had trouble not losing it at the ending during a public reading.
"It's been a rough couple of years since I wrote this story, and when I next read it aloud, one of those loved ones had died, and my voice cracked and I had trouble keeping it together during the section that mentioned that death. Now yet another relative is gone, and I had difficulty even proofing this for publication.
And there are other relatives still alive, but they, too, will go someday . . .
Christmas with the Dead - Joe R. Lansdale
"I wrote 'Christmas with the Dead' simply because I wanted to write a holiday horror story," Lansdale admits. "This was the result."
Fort Clay, Louisiana: A Tragical History - Albert E. Cowdrey
"'Fort Clay . . .' had its genesis long ago in picnics and snake collecting expeditions to the defences originally built to protect New Orleans from the British fleet," explains Cowdrey. "(By the time they were completed, the Battle of New Orleans was over - the Brits didn't come back, but the Yanks did.)
"Fort Jackson, Fort St Philip and Fort Pike were as close to castles as I could get - grand places, shadowy and creepy and cool even in the hottest weather, beloved of serpents and the small boys who pursued them. Later, as a researcher for the Interior Department, I worked at Baltimore's Fort McHenry - where the British fleet did come, provoking Francis Scott Key to write 'The St