Body Farm Z
by Deborah Sheldon
Genre: Horror

To solve murders, you must understand the process of decomposition.
Australia’s newest body farm, the Victorian Taphonomic Experimental Research
Institute, is hidden in bushland some four hours’ drive from Melbourne.
Scattered across its 150 acres are human donor cadavers and pig carcasses
arranged to mimic some of the ways in which police might find murder victims:
exposed to the elements, buried in a shallow grave, wrapped in tarpaulin.
Forensic scientists and graduate students meticulously track each stage of
putrefaction. Today, Detective Rick Evans of the Homicide Squad is at VITERI
for the re-creation of one of his cold cases. A human donor will be locked
inside a car. But the donor has other ideas... So begins a facility-wide
outbreak of the reanimated dead. 

Australian stories
One of the many things I admire about US writers is their willingness to write their own stories in their own words, and this is true for all types of media including prose fiction, TV and film. US writers tend to document their own culture in detail. As an Australian, I want to do that too; I want to write stories that only an Aussie could write.
Now, there’s a “cultural cringe” element in some quarters of Australian publishing – “Don’t be too parochial because a story needs universal appeal!” goes the mantra – but I disagree. I don’t much care for stories that are set anywhere and nowhere. Instead, I adore stories that immerse me in another world, another identifiable place. For example, I have a particular fondness for early- to mid-twentieth century American crime fiction, with its emphasis on slang. Kicked in the slats? Yeah, that means kicked in the ribs. Getting yourself properly organised? That means getting drunk. Wonderful! Don’t give me generics: give me specifics. Let me feel, smell and taste the story. Take me somewhere I’ve never been before, and I’ll love you for it.
And that’s what I’ve tried to achieve in Body Farm Z. It’s set in the Australian bush, a few hours’ drive northeast of Melbourne. I wrote Aussie characters of British, Finnish, Greek, Chinese and Indian descent – since Australia is a nation largely comprised of immigrants – and exposed them to a zombie apocalypse within the high fences of a forensic body farm.

Other important characters in Body Farm Z include a kookaburra and a kangaroo. I told you I was an Aussie!

I'm an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. I write short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum. 

My latest releases, through several publishing houses, include the horror novels "Body Farm Z", "Contrition", and "Devil Dragon"; the horror novella "Thylacines"; the crime-noir novellas "Dark Waters" and "Ronnie and Rita"; and the dark fantasy and horror collection "Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories" (winner of the Australian Shadows Best Collected Work 2017). 

My short fiction has appeared in many well-respected magazines such as Quadrant, Island, Aurealis, SQ Mag, and Midnight Echo. My fiction has been shortlisted for numerous Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, long-listed for a Bram Stoker Award, and included in various "best of" anthologies. I'm also guest editor of this year's edition of Midnight Echo. 

Other credits include TV scripts such as Neighbours and Australia's Most Wanted, feature articles for national magazines, non-fiction books published by Reed Books and Random House, and award-winning medical writing.
Publisher: Severed
Facebook: @SeveredPress  Twitter:

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