The Creative Mind is Occasionally Deranged

Sometimes my imagination gets away from me and visits odd places. I've begun thinking about my next book, you see and my subconscious has conceived some interesting stories. More than once, I've mentioned my desire to write about zombie mermaids, and although I'm not sure I could sustain an entire novel on the subject, it could certainly form a part of some book. This is, as many have told me, downright weird. Guess what. I know. And I don't care.

Now and again, I consider writing a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel. Well, the ol' noodle got a smidgen out of control this time, and ventured into some dark recesses. What if... Oh, did I mention that all excellent stories begin with, "What if". So, what if some time in the future, people are living underground, in caves, or some other subterranean locale, because of a catastrophic nuclear war in which humanity tried to defend itself from an invasion by powerful and quite hostile aliens hell bent on setting up shop on earth. Sounds reasonable so far, right? Good. You're still with me.

Now, let's complicate things some more. The aliens are humanoid, and in general look very much like us. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. They live above ground, sheltered from the effects of nuclear winter through some neato technology. And ... there are actual humans living among the conquering aliens -- the rich, the powerful, the complicit. Naturally, the folks living under ground are the less privileged folk. Getting interest? Okay. Has this been written before? Maybe. Don't know. I haven't checked. It's all me, at the moment.

All right, this is where Mr. Imagination checks into the psych ward at Bellevue.

As a result of the war, there is little or no vegetation, and there is zero animal life, except for the well-off humans living above ground, and the less so underground. All the animals that had provided food for humans died off before the aliens could fix things up. Yet, topside, there are farms raising a form of animal upon which both the aliens and their human accomplices may dine. Periodically, the farmers descend underground, or wait for the poor folks underground to emerge looking for food, and then WHAM! Can you say, "Soylent Green is people!"

When I mentioned this idea to Rona and Rachel, they looked at me. Well, I was driving, but I could feel their eyes drilling into the back and side of my head. Rachel (my daughter), put it simply, "No, Daddy. You can't write that." Rona just said, "Uh, no."

I mean it is a combination of post-apocalyptic and dystopia, right? Right? Anyone? Hmm. Maybe I could slip in some zombie mermaids.


Dawn Embers said...

Psh. That doesn't sound that deranged. I've got a clown/chemist serial killer. Turns womens' bodies into mannequins and at one point kidnaps a detectives boyfriend, messes with his vocal chords so he can be a pet for him. Yeah. I thought of that.


Annie McMahon said...

Um... Not exactly the kind of book I would personally read, but hey! Whatever makes you happy. :D

Jay said...

You've made me feel more mainstream, Dawn. Thanks!!!! Sounds middle grade to me!

Kate Larkindale said...

Doesn't sound any more or less deranged than a lot of other stuff. I'd probably read it. I'm sure zombie mermaids could fit in there too. Just not sure it's really MG.

Jay said...

Oh, Kate. This would definitely NOT be middle grade. But I was aiming for YA. I think I'll keep brainstorming. :-)

Ralene said...

In the words of Rona--"Uh, no."


But yes, the mind of a writer can be a pretty deranged place to be. That's what makes us good at what we do. :)

Mary Campbell said...

I think your idea sounds like a cross between I Am Legend and The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I'd probably read it if you had a really strong protagonist and YA.

Jay said...

Yes, Ralene - my mind was up late one night. :-)

Mary - thanks! I'm not exactly sure what sort of YA protag I might be able to work in this, but you never know!