Even White Trash Zombies get the Blues by Diana RowlandIt’s true. I absolutely 100% cannot stand, tolerate, sit through, or view gore on the screen. And it’s not that I have a moral or ethical issue with gore on the screen. I don’t. I swear. It just truly freaks me out.

“But, Diana,” you say. “Didn’t you used to work in a morgue? Weren’t you a cop? Haven’t you seen plenty of blood and guts in your time on this fair earth of ours?”

Well, yeah. I have seen quite a bit of gore. I have literally been elbow deep in the dead. I’ve cut bodies open, used pruning shears to cut through ribs, used bone saws on skulls, taken brains out of bodies, stuck needles into eyeballs… all without flinching, batting an eyelash, or losing my lunch. I’ve seen, up close and personal, the aftermath of accidents, and murder, and suicide. But show me anything like that on TV or in a movie? I’ll be the chick cringing and covering her eyes.

My theory is that when I’m faced with things that are truly horrific my clever little hindbrain gives me a defense mechanism and tells me that all those bodies and body parts etc. aren’t “real.” It’s just meat. Plastic. Stuff. Not remnants or remains of actual people. But when I’m faced with it on the screen, my stupid hindbrain says, “Oh, that’s not real. This is make-believe. Therefore, no defense mechanism is needed. Have fun!”

And Diana gets freaked the hell out!

Fortunately, writing the icky gory scenes that fit so deliciously into my books apparently falls nicely into the category of stuff my hindbrain thinks is real, and thus it lets me go wild with it. Much of the truly yucky stuff is (unfortunately) drawn from experience. Even before I worked in the morgue I had plenty of experience with the blood and gut end of things during my career as a police officer—all the various ways bodies get maimed, as well as the lovely and pungent stages of decomposition. (My first body was an elderly woman who’d been dead for about two weeks… in a trailer with the heat turned way up. The smell was… well, even after two showers I was convinced I could still smell it.)

(Also, did you know that a body that’s about six weeks dead with maggot activity looks DISTURBINGLY like sesame chicken at first glance? Yeah, I can’t eat sesame chicken anymore.)

However, there are “gross” aspects that I do completely make up. Please trust me when I tell you that I have absolutely NO idea what a brain tastes like, or what kind of consistency it has. I really don’t know how well it would work to mix brains with tapioca pudding, or whether it could be confused for tofu. And, hopefully, I don’t have any readers who can correct me in the event I’m wrong about any of my brain-food related details.

Or, at least, none who will admit it.

But here’s the thing: I don’t set out to be gross or disgusting when I write the scenes that have gore in them. I’m not trying to freak the reader out. I’m simply doing my best to add a visceral layer of realism in an attempt to let the reader feel the impact of the scene. It’s part of the description, a way to set the tone and to let everyone know just how high the stakes are. Sure, I don’t have to describe the way the flesh gapes, or the smell of the bone dust that the saw kicks up as it carves through the skull. But I also don’t have to describe the scent of coffee as a character walks through a café. I don’t have to describe the feel of her lover’s skin beneath her hand.

Yet, of course, I do. Because it’s how you make your book come to life. That being said, I try hard not to go overboard on the gross-and-yucky. There’s a fine line between adding depth to the scene and simply being disgusting for the shock value.

There are times when I’m sad that I can’t get into horror movies the same way so many of my friends can. I know that it puts me at a bit of a “cultural knowledge” advantage at times, since I can’t wax eloquent on the philosophical implications of various horror movies. And sometimes I’ll force myself to get through one because I’m aware that those moments of “GAH!” are there to set the scene and add to the tension in a really excellent story and are not there simply to disgust or shock. (It took me about six tries to get through Alien. Yes, in some ways I really am a weenie.)

But, yes, I’m probably the only author of zombie fiction who can’t watch zombie movies.

::Hangs head in shame::


Diana Rowland has lived her entire life below the Mason-Dixon line, uses “y’all” for second-person-plural, and otherwise has no southern accent (in her opinion.) She somehow managed to eke out a BS in Applied Mathematics from Georgia Tech, and after graduation forgot everything about higher math as quickly as possible.

She has worked as a bartender, a blackjack dealer, a pit boss, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant, which means that she’s seen a helluva lot of weird crap. She won the marksmanship award in her Police Academy class, has a black belt in Hapkido, has handled numerous dead bodies in various states of decomposition, and can’t rollerblade to save her life.

Diana is the author of police procedural urban fantasy, including the Kara Gillian-Demon Summoner series (Mark of the Demon, Blood of the Demon, Secrets of the Demon, Sins of the Demon, Touch of the Demon) and the White Trash Zombie series (My Life As A White Trash Zombie, Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues.) She presently lives in south Louisiana with her husband and her daughter where she is deeply grateful for the existence of air conditioning.



PUBLISHER: DAW | RELEASE DATE: Dec 2012 / July 2012
BUY IT: Amazon UK / UK / Amazon US / US

TOUCH OF THE DEMON: Kara Gillian is in Seriously Deep Trouble. She’s used to summoning supernatural creatures from the demon realm to our world, but now she’s the one who’s been summoned. Kara is the prisoner of the demonic Lord Mzatal, but quickly discovers that she’s far more than a mere hostage. He has his own plans to use Kara and keep her from Rhyzkahl-the demonic lord she is sworn to serve. However, waiting for rescue has never been Kara’s style, and she has no intention of being a pawn in someone else’s game. Yet intrigue and treachery run rampant amongst all lords, and Kara is hard pressed to keep her wits about her. Her abilities as a homicide detective are put the the test as she seeks the truth about FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff, Rhyzkahl, and herself. But, the answers she finds only raise more questions. She soon discovers that she has her own history in the demon realm-one that goes back farther than she could have ever imagined. But that history may yet spell her doom as she’s faced with a peril beyond mortal comprehension. She’s going to need all the strength and tenacity she’s developed as a cop and a summoner, or the hell she endures may well last forever.

EVEN WHITE TRASH ZOMBIES GET THE BLUESAngel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right—the zombie mafia. Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower—and maybe a brain smoothie as well—in order to get through it without falling apart.


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Diana is giving away TWO (2) paperback ARCs of Touch of the Demon

For entry please answer the following question then fill out the form below: Tell me your favourite brain recipe! (Can be something that is real food mean’t to look like brains, or a (hopefully) fictional recipe that would actually contain real brains. 😀 )

This giveaway is International and ends 12:00am GMT 30th November 2012



Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!


Birgit November 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I will obviously go for the vegetartian version: Cooked cauliflower (whole) with white bechamel sauce – for that FRESH BRAIN look!


Jennifer November 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Brain savoury cupcakes – (fictional) gently fry slices of brain (2 pieces hens egg sized, sliced) in butter add to 3oz flour 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 ounce butter and half to 1 raw egg, mix up together.
Place in greased cupcake tray.
Bake 12 mins in a moderate oven, check to see that they don’t stick!
Zombie treat!


Mel S November 21, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Shepherd’s Pie – made with with real Shepherds brain mince plus carrots so it’s balanced! :-)


keith November 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm

for me spaghetti bologbrains! pretty straight forward really, cook spaghetti as normal, DONT overcook the brains (we all know frazzled brains aint good!) and finally add tomato sauce. lovely!! 😉


Melissa (Books and Things) November 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Well, I’m more likely to read zombie fiction than watch it, so I know where you are coming from.

…and I used to like sesame chicken… 😛

As for a brain recipe? Lightly toasted with a side of greens. I mean you should still take care of your undead self… LOL


Nora-Adrienne November 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Brain Food? Hmmmmmmmmmm

I do a mean Tilapia in olive oil and butter, and a good white wine for the sauce reduction. I also enjoy using the imitation crab and lobster bits to make a kosher version of Chinese dishes.


Stephanie November 21, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Definitely brain tacos.


Natalia J November 22, 2012 at 2:16 am

Does eating an apple a day count ? Also I love salads I can make different types and I love the one with nuts and cheese . 😀


kara-karina November 22, 2012 at 2:35 am

Birgit you got me with your cauliflower, girl! 😀
I’ve never cooked food that looks like brain but if I did it would be something involving mashed raspberries and strawberries with white chocolate on top in shape of a brain. So when you cut through it, it’s all red and juicy inside… Mwahaha!


Barbara Elness November 22, 2012 at 4:05 am

Um, ewww. I’d go with cupcakes with brain looking frosting. They might look icky, but they’d taste yummy.


Lizzy November 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Oh, God. I can’t cook regular food nevermind Brains.

So, if I cook for you it will be burnt brains…

(BTW, I love horror books and psychological horror movies…but I cannot sit through gory movies like Saw because it drives me crazy! I prefer my horror books with gore and my movies without. So, I definitely understand the author’s mentality.)


LadyVampire November 23, 2012 at 9:38 am

I had a Halloween party and I found this recipe online…
Bloody Brain Cupcakes. Making or getting a brain mold is the hardest part so I just shaped aluminum foil into brain like molds and poured red jello in it, then froze overnight. They looked awesome on the cupcakes. Regular cupcakes, yellow butter recipe that I made and a vanilla frosting sprinked with red food coloring to look like blood. I must warn you though, the jello melts so keep your cupcakes cold and dont move them much or the brain can slide off the cupcake. 😉


Annabelle H November 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Mince Meat looks like brains! Especially when it’s all bloody!


Lia Oxanne November 23, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Everytime I hear something about brain, I’m stuck with that image from American Horror Story when Violet’s mom was eating row brain. So I guess that would work :))


Solange November 24, 2012 at 4:22 am

Rice pudding with jam


Irene Menge November 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Actually, brains aren’t too bad. My mother, who was born on a farm in 1903 and married on the day the stock market crashed, used to tell me how good they were and was disappointed that she couldn’t get them at the supermarket. I avoided brains for quite some time until my French professor played a nasty trick on us when we went on a school trip with the French class to see Tartuffe and ate at a French restaurant after the theater. He ordered sauteed cerveaux for our table and told us it was a delicacy. It didn’t look much like brains so we tried it. Not bad until he told us what it was. I never ordered cerveaux of any sort after that!


Kelly Nicholson November 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Blond chick crunchy brain..

1 blond chick
2 grapefruits

drink lots of water afterward!


Judith Rachmani November 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm

The trick is to buy a brain mold and, then, anything (chopped liver, jelly, etc.) can be poured into the brain mould.


Ileana A. November 27, 2012 at 1:24 am

Definetely bloody fingers fondue! Yum! 😀


Peter Gilby November 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

Brain Lasagne, just replace the mince with Brain’s add hard cheese to taste :)


Cristine Natkin November 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Drain Elbow Mac in a strainer let it sit for a few minutes, turn it over onto a platter. Looks like a brain, then smother it with cheese sauce (goo)


Julie Phiffer November 28, 2012 at 12:37 am

spaghetti for brains


Joani S November 28, 2012 at 2:16 am

I’d do my meal like liver and onions, 1 brain cooked in the oven with LOTS of onion, so moist it falls apart!


Mickie Bull November 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

Brain Haemorrhage Shot

1/2 Archers Schnapps
1/2 Baileys
2 drops Grenadine

Pour Archers into shot glass. Gently spoon baileys in on top. The Baileys reacts with the schnapps and becomes brainlike. Add grenadine as fake blood as it will sink through the drink.


bn100 November 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

macaroni with spaghetti sauce


Annamarie Riddiford November 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I would take two large men’s brains (appreciably, they are much smaller than women’s but are more pristine as they have far less use). Sautee in butter gently, and add two pints of stout. Simmer for two hours on a low heat to prevent from falling apart.

Serve simply on toast with a side of asparagus.



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