The Stories Behing the Stories

Our Lives in ZomTopia
Written by
M. R. Struble
Time to read
4 minutes
Last Updated

I always liked zombie movies. I don’t know if it was the undeads’ endless chase of their victims, the stupid decisions of the panicky survivors, or just the overall concept that we all eventually face our own death, but I always found zombie movies fascinating. All throughout my youth I used to come up with different ways to survive the zombie apocalypse with my friends, we would plan different scenarios that we would have to survive. Like what we would do if we had to survive in high school, or Wal-Mart, or any dozens of other possible scenarios.

One day this new show came out, about dead that walked again, and I was excited as can be, finally a zombie show, not a movie. Sometime during the first season, I was watching the show with my friend Sarah and my wife. I remember making a comment about something that happened in the show and Sarah made the comment, “If you don’t like it why don’t you write your own story” and that was that, mostly.

The original concept for OLZ, and the reason for the name (yes, I know it is not the best) was going to be several short stories about a guy who had to travel to different ZombTopias fixing their defense equipment for ZombCorp, a zombie defense company. It was going to be called ‘My Life as a Zombtopia repair guy’ (or something close to that). It was going to be short stories following the main character and his colleagues as they traveled the deadlands to repair these places.  

Once I decided to start writing though I changed my mind, a few times, until I settled with a story that would follow a group of survivors and their struggle in the apocalypse. I knew I did not want to write something that was commonplace zombie horror, and I always loved high fantasy and adventure, so I decided to make this more an action/adventure than a horror. While the story changed, I kept with the original name, albeit a little different. This also started the Our Life/Lives for my other worlds.

I started with the prologue that was supposed to be a couple pages about this group who was kicked out of their home by a group of bandits, and they make their way to the others. They were originally going to be a few sub-characters, until I let the characters grow and felt their stories. That is how the first prologue became Hunter and the Hunted. I started a second prologue and that eventually became Richard & Johnny (Blood & Snow now), I realize I am not good with prologues 😂

This was all built over years of slowly building and writing the stories. A lot of Hunter and the Hunted was written inside an ATM while I waited for it to reboot, or run a test, while I worked on them, yes, my old job was to travel to various locations fixing their broken equipment, sound familiar 😅.

Well, writing on a cell phone inside an ATM or in a vehicle, or wherever I was working at the time. was not always conducive to quality content. So, I started a rework, but got sidetracked with some other stories and ended up putting OLZ on the backburner. While the stories and worlds never stopped growing in my mind. With my work on the other stories, I gained some better writing skills, new ideas for OLZ, and other stories as well.

OLZ has a lot of stories to it, a vast living and unliving world. I plan to have many stories from OLZ, some simple side stories, or back stories, others vastly important to this world. I already have the beginnings of several stories within this world that need telling, and the main story has a true path it will follow.

I am now in the process of cleaning up the stories I have, getting them to connect with the bigger idea, and hoping to make something others can enjoy, and I hope you will! 😁 I will post these stories as I complete them, things may change as the stories evolve and things need to adapt, but all main events will live once posted.

error: Please do not copy this content, thank you 😊