Ed the undead read all over
2011-12-08 / Lifestyles
What does it take to be a published children’s author? According to Edward Kent of West Seneca, it’s much simpler than most people would expect.
West Seneca author writes zombie children’s book
“If you’ve got a laptop, are able to upload files, you can do it,” said Kent.
Kent had the idea to publish his own book after he began looking for ways to turn a manuscript by his late father into a professionally bound, hardcover reality.
After independently publishing his father’s book through Lulu.com, Kent realized that with his artistic talent and knowledge of children’s books — he’d read them to his daughter and two sons — he wouldn’t have a difficult time producing one of his own. Thus, the Zombie Ed series began.
Kent published his first book in 2010, titled “Zombie Ed Counts to 20!”
The series now includes other titles such as “Zombie Ed Knows His ABCs” and most recently, “Stop Bullying Me! I’m a Zombie. So What?” and Kent has begun to use the independent publishing site www.createspace.com. Zombie Ed, the protagonist of the series, is a young boy who is an atypical depiction of a zombie. “He’s not a scary-looking, brain-eating, blood-thirsty zombie,” said Kent. “He’s just depicted so that kids know that he’s different.”
Kent said he has always had a fascination with all things just a little spooky. Halloween is his favorite time of year, and he said he has always harbored a greater affinity for zombies than any of the other ghoulish characters of the season.
In his most recent work, using Ed as the victim of bullying just made sense, Kent says. Giving the character realistic features that singled him out to be picked on might have alienated some young readers or made them feel bad about themselves, he said.
“Ed is just a universal figure for being different,” said Kent.
The books themselves take roughly a week to write and illustrate, and Kent says he gained inspiration for his newest work after Williamsville North High School student Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide in September after being bullied because of his sexual identity.
“I wanted to do something — lend a hand or help in some way,” said Kent. “I feel like up until that point people hadn’t thought about bullying enough.”
The book teaches its readers about the effects of schoolyard bullying in rhyme, which makes the lesson powerful, yet enjoyable.
After having published a streak of Zombie Ed books in the last year, Kent said he is going to give them a rest for a while and take time to work on a young adult novel that also features a zombie boy as its main character. Kent described it as a “young adult thriller romance.”
He hopes the book will be completed by early 2012.
Kent will also be taking time to do some promoting of the Zombie Ed series, which will include a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Shoppe on Main, 2714 Main St. in
Some of the children’s books are available on Nook and Kindle and through Amazon.com, but Kent will also be talking with both local and chain bookstores to see if there is a place for Zombie Ed on their shelves.
To learn more about Kent and the Zombie Ed series, visit www.ZombieEdFun.com Page design: firstname.lastname@example.org