My love of zombie movies arrived long before my love for writing. I was 10 when I saw a girl about the same age sink her teeth into her father, a scene that hooked me on “Night of the Living Dead” and one the genre as a whole. I would embrace writing much later, but it has had a much more lasting impact. After graduating from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, I packed the back of my Datsun B-210 and headed to Colorado, relying on the $600 my parents gave me as I walked out the door (“We don’t think this is the smartest move,” my father said as he handed me the cash, “but we’ll always be there for you.”) Over the next 35 years as a newspaper reporter, I would cover sports, crime, courts, travel and much more. I’ve spent nearly 30 of those years in Phoenix, and am now a features reporter at The Arizona Republic. My 18-year-old son Bryson has turned out to be a pretty cool kid, even though he dislikes reading and writing. When it comes time for him to find his own path, I may not think it’s the smartest move, but I will always be there for him.