Dead Heat or Dead Lock?

Do you prefer your zombies with a side order of humour and pop culture references or with a side of blood and guts? Not all zombie stories are created equal. That’s why I am giving you a choice:

  • A bromantic zombie horror comedy in the form of Dead Heat or
  • A dystopian horror thriller in the form of Dead Lock

Both stories feature the same characters on the same island with the same goal – to escape zombies. There is no obligation to read either but the intention is that the reader feels that both stories (which are alternate universe versions of each other) will enrich the overall narrative.

“Corporate team building days can be fun and when three friends: Jim, Mike and Tony are told this year’s event would be the Dead Heat race, where they would be chased by aspiring actors of mixed talent pretending to be zombies, they thought it would be worth it for a day out of the office.

But this day off soon turns sour as nobody – not even the organisers – realise that real zombies have gate-crashed the party, and it’s not the after-event barbecue and free beer they want.

Unable to tell the difference between the hammy acting of amateur thesps and real rotting corpses looking to snack on human flesh after hundreds of years of slumber, the three friends must escape the island and definitely, definitely not end up killing any actors on the way.

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If you could see your story in a mirror, what would it look like? Imagine the same people on the same island in a different time and place. Three strangers, not three friends. Where what is a blossoming romance in one world is a long-since finished relationship in another.

In this alternate world, Mortwich Island is not a leisure facility where actors dressed as zombies chase people on corporate team building days to improve their morale. It is not where couples get married against a beautiful coastline or where the local cricket club practice.

It is a maximum security prison linked to the mainland by a single heavily-fortified bridge, high cliffs, even higher walls and hundreds of zombies outside the prison gates.

In this world, Mortwich Island is a prison from which there is no escape. An island where “parole” means you run in the “Dead Lock”. Released prisoners are given a chance of freedom to cross a zombie-infested island to reach the sanctuary of the mainland in the totalitarian Britain that lies beyond.

It is a world where the trust between friends becomes the mistrust of strangers, knowing that not everybody incarcerated by a dictatorship is innocent. Is your companion one of the many imprisoned political opponents of the government, or is he a mass murderer?

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