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Mountain DeadLESLEY CONNER grew up along the Ohio River in Ravenswood, WV. In 2004, she graduated from WVU with a BA in English. Today, she lives near Hagerstown, MD with her husband and two daughters, where she’s a Daisy Girl Scout Leader, horror writer, and editor for Apex Publications. She’s currently working on an alternative history horror novel titled The Weight of Chains. To find out more about Lesley and her writing, check out www.lesleyconner.com, or follow her on Twitter at @LesleyConner.

Lesley is the author of “Let Me Come In.”

Get the Mountain Dead eBook for free or buy a print copy.

Do you have a zombie apocalypse emergency plan?

My brother and I have had long conversations about this very thing. The majority of my family lives high in hills of West Virginia, while I live nearer to DC. When the zombies come, I’m thinking the mountains are a better idea than the metro, so I’m heading home. My brother is going to meet me at a rest area in the middle of nowhere that’s about halfway between our two homes, then we’re gathering up our kids and going deep into the mountains.

During the zombie apocalypse, would you rather be wearing running shoes or steeled-toed boots?

Running shoes. I’m not a marathoner or especially fast, but I do run a few times a week. I’m pretty sure I can out run the average couch potato, especially if it’s a life or death kind of race. Plus, unless steel-toed boots are broken in, they typically give me blisters. The last thing I’d want to do is ruin my feet trying to wear shoes I’m not accustomed to wearing.

What draws you to zombie fiction?

I grew up watching horror films, staying up all night long, dissecting each scene. I liked them all (even the really awful ones) but my favorite were always the zombie movies. Watching loved ones lose their humanity, the isolation, desperation. It made my skin crawl and I loved it! George Romero was my hero. My love of zombie films bled into my reading habits and eventually my writing. You can mold them to represent whatever you desire or use them to tear through characters with a gruesome crunch, throwing the plot into a panic.

Basically, zombies are a lot of fun to watch, read, and write.

Excerpt from “Let Me Come In.”

Louie backed away from the straw wall of his house. It sounded as if the forest had erupted outside of his home, the sound of breaking sticks, crashes, and growls creeping through the crevices. Why had he built his house out of straw? His sister, Penny, had told him it was ludicrous, but it’d been quick and cheap, and he hadn’t wanted to spend ages building something just to keep the rain off his head.

Something heavy thudded against the door.

“Little pig, little pig, let me come in.” The wolf sounded frantic, enraged by hunger.

Louie’s heart galloped as he pranced in the center of the floor. Air squeaked past his throat, whispering “No.”

Straw and dirt rained from the ceiling, stinging his eyes as the wolf pounded at the door.

“Little pig, little pig, let me come in!”

Louie heard the wolf huffing and puffing, and both walls and pig trembled, but he managed to say “No.”

A roar of frustration answered him. As the walls tumbled down, Louie caught one look of the wolf—eyes bulging, claws and teeth destroying everything in their path—before he turned and ran straight for his brother’s house.

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