I often like to reflect on what got me interested in the whole Apocalyptic/zombie subject in the first place. As a reclusive, I'll admit schizotypal, person, the idea of the end of the world as we know it really appeals to me. Non-people persons like myself are tailor made to thrive since we don't require human interaction all the time.
At an early age I saw movies on the subject; the original Dawn of the Dead, Damnation Alley, and read books; I am Legend, '48, and Swan Song. I became fascinated. My imagination took off with the possibilities of the entire world being your playground with no limitations as long as you can survive. Once you add the menace to the paradise the game changes, enter zombies.
There are just a few scenes that hooked me on the walking dead. Certainly the original Night of the Living Dead rubbed off on me, but what really got me was a movie from 1991 called 976-EVIL 2. This wasn't exactly a zombie movie, but in it the villain has dominion over electronics. Two girls are arguing over whether to watch a zombie flick or It's a Wonderful Life and the guy merges the two and pulls them into it. "Every time you hear a bell, a zombie takes a soul to hell."
Another is a movie that I don't know the title to and have been looking for, perhaps you can help me. In this movie the characters tie bells to the trees to hear when the dead are getting close. There's a bride zombie that chases the heroes through the woods. And, when the dead are locked together in a confined space they seem to panic and devour one another. Sound Familiar at all? If so, please tell me what this movie is so I can see it again.
My inspiration to write my post-apocalyptic book Anthills was simply a Beta reader telling me that she'd be interested in reading a PA by me. I took that and ran with it. In Life Among the Dead I wanted to write a great zombie book while trying to avoid the typical clichés of the genre, or use them and just turn them on their head. It doesn't matter where we get our inspiration as long as we make it ours.