Most young 'uns have a tough time making it through those volatile teenage years unscathed. Spare a thought then for Lazarus Stone, the adolescent lead in David Gatward's new action horror trilogy, who discovers he's got much bigger problems than school bullies. The Dead are coming to our world and it's his job to send them back to hell.
"Initially, like most teens, Lazarus thinks his dad's rubbish," Gatward tells Red Alert. "He's away all the time, but then he goes missing and Lazarus discovers his dad's been living this secret life - keeping The Dead away from our world - so it's up to Lazarus to find him and send The Dead back."
Gatward is a self-confessed horror fanatic, but insists the walking corpses in The Dead aren't your average grey matter guzzlers. "I didn't want them to be the brainless, knuckle-scraping dead you generally find. They lust for life and they'll do anything to get back - all they need is a nice warm body to take over."
The first chapter in a trilogy (The Dark and The Damned hit shelves in october 2010 and April 2011, The Dead is infused with an anarchic, breakneck, heavy metal sensibility - and tons of gore.
"I'm writing what I would have loved to have read when I was younger. I'm trying to get a story that you could see as a series of action movie set-pieces, so you're almost out of breath when you get to the end. I want the gore in it to be the kind of stuff kids don't want their parents to find out about. It's very over-the-top and ludicrous, like Evil Dead violence, it's just not horrendous or malicious." (SFX)