In my new book, I have an entire chapter on the history and evolution of the zombie novel from its beginnings in Voodoo to its modern form as based on the films of George Romero.
But this past weekend the Wall Street Journal, had this extremely interesting essay about how the discovery of rabies played a huge role in the popularity and spread of the zombie tale. This is something I never thought of before, but it makes quite a bit of sense when you read the essay.
The essay is by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy the authors of the new book Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus. Although nonfiction and not even a tiny bit supernatural, I think this book will be a big hit with your horror fans. Keep it in mind. It comes out tomorrow and is already on order at a bunch of libraries in my system.