Love, Adventure, and Zombies: Inside “The Wanderers”
Tucked away in one of WLTL’s production rooms, Emma White carefully drags bits of audio files into place. She’s making sure that everything looks good enough for publishing when it comes to her passion project - The Wanderers, a radio drama that she wrote and produced herself.
“I’ve wanted to make a radio drama for a really long time,” Emma says. “I’ve had ideas to do one in the past, but I never thought one would actually come into existence.”
The Wanderers thrilling 2-part drama follows a couple, Daisy and Kurt, on their cross-country journey to see each other in the middle of an epidemic. On their journeys, they face many challenges, some more life-threatening than others. In her own words, Emma described it as “Love during Covid, but with zombies.” You heard that right. Zombies.
“One of my favorite things to write is realistic fiction, but making it really fictional. I started to make a cute story about romance, then turned it on its head. One day, we could have a virus that turns people into zombies. Who knows?” Emma White, creator of the show said.
When talking about making the show, she revealed a lot of things nobody would’ve known otherwise. One thing she was passionate about were characters that didn’t make the cut, including a neighbor of Kurt and a friend Daisy would meet - she mentions that the latter character was introduced in a very early version of the show. Other things she revealed were scrapped bits of dialogue and different story arcs - especially in “Daisy’s Wanderer trio,” she notes. “I love looking back on old drafts of the show and seeing what was kept and what was changed entirely. It’s a really interesting thing to do as a writer.” One thing that was changed entirely, she adds, was the ending of the show.
“Originally, I had Kurt die,” she admits, “and I wrote multiple drafts! Each draft was much sadder than the last, but as much as I loved writing it, I struggled with making something stick. I also felt bad about killing him off, so I changed the ending once more to the one that’s out now. One of my friends says I should’ve kept the original draft for angst purposes, but I prefer happy endings.”
When asked about the thing she was proudest of with the show, Emma sat and thought for a bit. She then asked, “Does all of it count?”
She continued, “The whole show took two months to complete, so there’s a lot to be proud of. It’s one of my favorite projects that I’ve been able to do. At the end of the day, though, I’ve made something I’m really proud of, and I’m grateful for that.”
Both episodes of The Wanderers are now available on Spotify and on our podcast page.