Zombie Author Alden Bell

Zombie Author Alden Bell

Alden Bell is the author of two zombie novels:

The Reapers Are the Angels

Exit Kingdom
Alden Bell is a pseudonym for author Joshua Gaylord

Alden Bell on the Web
Website: Joshua Gaylord AKA Alden Bell
Author Page: Alden Bell at Amazon

About Alden Bell

Alden Bell lives in New York, where he teaches English at a prep school on the Upper East Side.  He has taught at this modern orthodox co-ed Yeshiva since 2000.

Mr. Bell grew up in California and graduated from Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. from NYU. As an adjunct professor at the New School and NYU, Bell has also taught literature and cultural studies.

Bell's alternate author name is Joshua Gaylord. As Gaylord, he writes about prep school girls who live and play in Manhattan.  In stark contrast, The Reapers are the Angels reverses many of our assumptions about teenage girls. Temple is the book's protagonist fighting to survive in a destroyed world:

"God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe.

Like those fish all disco-lit in the shallows. That was something, a marvel with no compare that she's been witness to. It was deep night when she saw it, but the moon was so bright it cast hard shadows everywhere on the island. So bright it was almost brighter than daytime because she could see things clearer, as if the sun were criminal to the truth, as if her eyes were eyes of night. She left the lighthouse and went down to the beach to look at the moon."
 Bell came up with the character of Temple, first, then wrote the opening lines:
I knew I wanted that line to reflect the personality of the protagonist I had in mind (a tough, deeply faithful girl wandering the desolation of the zombie apocalypse).  I wondered what such a girl, whose name I had decided would be Temple, would think about God.  And then I realized, well, she would be pretty impressed by him--a nodding approval like you might give to a magician who pulls off a pretty neat trick before your eyes.  And there was my first line: "God is a slick god."

What Makes Alden Bell Unique?

International Cover
Alden Bell can articulate a unique feature of zombies in literature. He considers them more a part of the setting than as specific adversaries. He explains:
One of the things I like most about them is their facelessness.  It’s very difficult to give zombies personality (though some have tried—unsuccessfully, to my way of thinking).  Unlike vampires or werewolves or other monsters, zombies are only really effective in quantity.  You have a horde of zombies or you have nothing.  That leaves all the personality to the other characters.  
 The question in a zombie story is never “What will the zombie be like?”  The question is always, “How will the character respond to the zombies?”  I guess for me, liking zombie stories is the same as liking postapocalyptic fiction.  Zombies aren’t so much characters are they are settings.  And who wouldn’t want to put on a play in front of a lumbering, oozing, carnivorous backdrop as that?"
It may be this focus on character that enables Bell to move smoothly between two very different genres.

Alden Bell: Five Descriptive Links

Alden Bell