Sunday, October 20, 2013

Red Dust: The Fall

Hey Guys and Girls,

Long time no post. Life got in the way as usual but we are back. We've recently published our third zombie western short story - The Last Rider and a collection book -Red Dust: The Fall.

With The Walking Dead coming back to our screens why not enjoy more zombies and checkout some of the authors we have hosted on here or read some of our works ;)



Monday, September 16, 2013

How working at a haunted house helped my mystery writing by Dave Core

For the past few years I’ve spent my October weekends guiding tours of a local haunted house. The folks who run the haunt have one rule for the guides – make sure the folks are entertained. They hope the people leave terrified. They want to see people running from the building – their eyes bulging, their jaws pulled back, and their flesh pale and sweaty indicating a fast heart rate and a burst of adrenaline. There’s even a chalkboard tally kept to keep track of how many patrons wet themselves. But if they leave laughing, that’s almost as good.
The point is they recognize that not everything that scares one person is going to scare the next. The creepy old lady wearing a wedding dress and rocking a baby doll, the crazed masked man wielding the roaring chain saw, the army of undead coming from the gap under the wall, the electrical burst of sparks and the malfunctioning elevator that suddenly feels as if it’s dropping, the laughing clown, the silent child; ask a dozen people which of these images elicits the most dread and you’ll get at least a half a dozen different responses – maybe more. Because when you invite a fickle public into the haunt you’ve spent months preparing, it’s all but certain that some fraction of those guests will leave saying that nothing they saw was particularly frightening to them; and that’s okay, so long as they also say they had a good time.
For me though, as a writer, leading these tours represents the ideal opportunity. To tell the truth, I’m not a particular fan of the fright milieu. I don’t especially care for horror films, I don’t read ghost stories, and I don’t personally believe in the supernatural. My genre of choice is thrillers: mysteries, spy-stuff, and political intrigue.
The thing is, though, because of my time spent with those who love gore and monsters and demons and insanity my writing has improved. Horror as a specific genre is the foundation for the tension aspect of any tale. When you get right down to it, Bram Stoker wrote detective fiction. Mary Shelly wrote a travel log. Edgar Allen Poe wrote love stories. Stephen King’s It – is it a story about a psychotic, undead, killer clown; or is it a story about a group of friends rallying to overcome adversity? To me, It is Stand by Me plus Pennywise.
What I have learned running guided tours of the Goucher Haunted Hotel in Toronto, Ohio has made my mystery fiction all the better. I can sum up the lessons I’ve learned in four simple observations, each of which has improved my ability to build suspense and to shock my readers.
Lesson one: anticipation. When guiding a tour, one is usually following a prior tour. There’s no way to keep the guest from hearing the slamming doors being experienced by the tour before them when they are only two or three rooms behind; but very often the suspense elicited hearing some other group being startled by a bang was more frightening to my tour than the bang itself once they reached it. Alfred Hitchcock was a master at this and Steven Spielberg learned the lessons well. Think about the movie Jaws; it’s what you expect to happen almost more than what actually does happen that causes you to leave the theater afraid to go in the water.
As a writer, this kind of atmosphere is surprisingly easy to generate. You know what’s coming. Heck, it’s your story; of course you do. So why wait until the moment that it happens in the narrative to reveal it to the reader? Let them know that it’s coming … and then write up to it slowly. Throw in a few false starts. Go off on a tangent about the color of the bedspread. Use punctuation to your favor. See that ellipses mark a few sentences back? It made you read the sentence more slowly than a comma would have, right?
Lesson two: red herrings. Disorientation is a powerful thing. Often times, a tour in the haunt would be ruined by a guy who thought he could see all of the scares being telegraphed. The best way to deal with him – I learned – is to hint at a scare that never comes. “If you could all stand over here and admire the chandelier that Mrs. Goucher had installed for their jubilee celebration,” I might say. The group’s resident spoiler then tells everyone to watch out – it’s going to fall. That’s when he backs up against the wall and a zombie arm grabs him by the shoulder scaring the bejeezus out of him.
The secret to a successful red herring is the details. The more you, as a writer, focus on the distraction, the more focused your reader will be on that distraction. It’s why the magician spends so much time flourishing the drape while the assistant scrunches into the cubby hole. He doesn’t want you thinking about what the assistant is doing.
Lesson three: feel it. Last year, at the beginning of our tour, two portraits morphed into a set of demonic eyes as a disembodied demonic voice told the guests that they’d been assigned a guide who they should heed if they hoped to make it out alive. The second week of the haunt, the director realized that we had been missing an opportunity, and he asked the guides to go into a trancelike state when the voice came on – pretend the demon has control over you, that he controls this hotel and everybody in it. After that, as soon as the eyes lit up some of us fell to our knees. Some of us stood and shook. The thing is, it set a mood, and it established our character for the tour.
When writing a scene, put yourself as deeply into that space as you can. Feel the terror so that you can describe the terror. The more you immerse yourself into it, the more immersed your reader will become. For me, the best way to accomplish this is deep background. Write a history that the reader will never see. Know how your protagonist did in school, what her first boyfriend smelled like. Know what the villain thought about his grandma. Name his pets. Know his medical history.
In my mystery series, I hint that the female narrator and the male detective have a shared family history. The reader is never privy, but I know every detail of that history and it informs every interaction. I know why she says X when she does, and it rings true because of that time she said Y. The reader feels this even if she never understands why, and it makes the danger more real.
Yet no matter how adept you become with the first three items, never forget that not everyone is frightened by the same tropes. Your book about giant spiders is not going to frighten an arachnologist. So how do you assure that everyone leaves the story entertained?
Lesson four: comedy, which – believe it or not – relies on two of the same three techniques: expectation and misdirection. Only rather than empathy, comedy relies on release. A pratfall isn’t amusing to the one who fell. A pie in the face isn’t funny if you feel sorry for the person with cream in her nose. They’re funny when the tension – which is built on anticipation and confusion – releases.
A good story can entertain without comic relief, but it cannot hope to entertain everyone. That’s why everyone from Shakespeare to Wes Craven has banked on it. Think of any popular horror story or thriller. If it didn’t have comic relief, I’ll bet it got mixed reviews. Now, I’ll grant you, it’s true that Ingmar Bergman didn’t rely on humor, and his films are critically acclaimed; but I ask you, how many people do you know who rave about how entertaining Bergman’s movies are?
Expectation, misdirection, and empathy: three powerful tools in a horror writer’s – or any writer’s arsenal. The better acquainted you become with them, the more likely you are to have your readers turning pages and running for a change of pant. However, if you want to assure that every reader who opts for your genre is at least happy with the experience, make sure to leave them laughing in the end. That’s what my time with the ghouls taught me.
I’m Dave Core, the author of the Lupa Schwartz series of mystery novels. Book one in the series, Extreme Unction, is available in print and ebook formats and can be found on -
My facebook author page is
My writing blog is
My next release, Confessions of the Cuckold will be available on September 2.
The Goucher Haunted House in Toronto, Ohio begins conducting tours at the end of September -

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How to survive the zombie apocalypse by Glyn Gardner

Ok. You’ve scoured your house for everything useful. You’ve shoved everything in your backpack as you can fit. You’ve unpacked it in order to get those last few things in. You’ve finally decided you can do without those Vienna Sausages and the last can of Coke from the fridge. You have your 50 pound pack on your back. You have a knife in your belt and a pistol on your hip. You have a shovel that is doubling as a walking stick. You are ready to beet feet, bounce, un-ass your current residence.
But, how? Do you just walk out the front door and start walking? What other modes of transportation do you have? What are the pros and cons of each?
Let’s look at our most often used mode of transportation: The car. Oh how nice it would be to just cruise out of the hot zone in my nice SUV; passing the shambling, slow moving zombies in the air conditioned comfort.
1. Capacity: Cars have a large cargo capacity. You can offload that heavy rucksack for a few hours.
2. Speed: Cars have a huge speed advantage over other modes of transportation. Not even sure if the “Rage” zombies can keep up with even the most underpowered, overloaded car.
3. Protection: Cars are generally covered in glass, metal, and plastic. You’re probably safe from the random zombie just reaching out and grabbing you.
4. Range: Range is a huge factor. You can cover a lot of ground with a car. You have a chance of getting ahead of the outbreak, or of exiting the area before the government quarantines the area.
1. Require roads: Most cars, light duty trucks, and SUV’s don’t really do well off road. They don’t have a high enough ground clearance to make it over even moderate obstacles.
2. Fuel: Cars are hungry little creatures. The better they are at hauling our stuff, and protecting us from zombies, the hungrier they’ll be.
3. Target: That’s right. You’ll be a target. Imagine if you’re walking out of the hot zone and some jackass drives past you in a nice comfy Caddy. Think you might wanna try to take it from him. Damn right. Every time you slow down, someone is going to try to take your car. Some might not even wait for you to slow down. Desperate people will do desperate things. You might get shot at by everyone you pass.
4. Noise: Cars make noise. Noise travels. Zombies, bad guys, even desperate people are going to know you’re in the area. You may not like the attention you get.
So, does this mean you abandon your car and just start hoofing it? I’d say for 80% of us, the answer is no. Get as far away from the known danger area (where you are now) as you can. Just keep in mind that at some point you may have to start walking, and/or find another mode of transportation.
Motor cycle
I’ll just touch on motorcycles. They have limited range, carrying capacity, and offer no physical protection. They are generally more tolerant of rough terrain, especially if the bike is made for off road use. Be warned. Off road bikes are generally not muffled, and are that much louder. You may still be the target of robbery, so, keep that in mind.
Most homes in America, and around the world for that matter, have a bicycle or two in them. They are really a pretty good option.
1. Fuel: You’re the power source. You don’t have to find a working gas station, or carry fuel.
2. Flexibility: You don’t have to ride a bike. If you get tired of pedaling, you can always dismount and walk with your bike. The bike can still carry your gear the entire time.
3. Mobility: A bike can go just about anywhere. Rivers and mountains being a few notable exceptions. When everyone else is sitting in the traffic jam waiting for someone to help them, you can veer over to the shoulder or the grass, and keep right on going.
4. Easy to maintain: Unlike a car, most 12 year olds know the basics of bike maintenance: keep the chain greased and on the sprockets and air in the tires. What happens to the car when it’s sitting stuck in traffic for an hour with no air blowing over the radiator? You can even ride a bike with no air in the tires in an emergency.
1. Limited range: Unless you are an avid biker, or in very good shape, you’re realistically only going to be able to make 70 or 100 road miles per day. This will of course decrease if you have to go off road. While this number is not bad, remember it is about what a car can cover in about 1-2 hours if traffic is light.
2. Protection: A bike has little protection from the elements or zombies. One lucky grab and you’re on your back holding your busted melon with a zombie eating you. That reminds me: Safety First. Wear a helmet. It would suck to escape the zombie hoard and then die from a brain bleed when you fall off your bike.
3. Limited carrying capacity: In reality, you won’t be able to carry much more on your bike than you can on your back. Oh, if you turn it into a pack mule like the Vietnamese did during the Vietnam War, and then you can carry a butt-load. You just won’t be able to ride it in an emergency.
Some folks have access to horses. If you have access and know how to ride, then this is an excellent form of transportation. They require grass for fuel, they have a large carrying capacity, and can travel long distances. Be warned, most horses are a bit skittish around things like snakes. I’m betting that even the best horse out there may buck when confronted with a zombie. That would suck to get thrown from your ride as a couple of zombies come at you.
Airplanes are a good form of transportation. They can cover extremely long distances in a very short time. They can carry large amounts of people and cargo. They do require fuel, a lot of fuel. An airplane has one disadvantage that no other form of transportation has. Once you’re in the air, you have to land. Run out of gas, or can’t find a place to land, and you get to become one with the earth at a high rate of speed. When I refer to airplane, I mean the little air strip planes. You couldn’t pay me to try to jump on a Delta flight out of the hot zone. Airports are going to get overrun quickly. And, I don’t want to be on American flight XYZ when someone decides to turn from living to dead at 30,000 feet.
This is my personal favorite form of transportation. Boats have it all. They can be powered by you or a motor. He’ll, you can even get ones that are powered by the wind. You don’t have to power them at all. You can just let them float down river.
They can carry a bunch of stuff. Even a little boat can carry more than you can carry on your back. They can even carry a you and your friends to safety. Just don’t tip them over, and wear your life vests. Don’t want to drown as you’re on the verge of rescue.
They are relatively safe. Put a few hundred yards of flowing water between you and your hoard, and you can almost rest easily. Almost. I read a friend’s book, Until the End by Tracy Ward, this summer. I was reminded that rivers have bridges, and bridges can hold zombies. Some of which may try very hard to fall into your boat. So, watch those bridges.
Food. Boats are generally used on water. Water usually has fish swimming in it. Catch enough of those little guys, and you got a meal. Just remember, zombies may be in the water. If you snag on something it may be a zombie. Be careful.
Now, all of these recomendatio0ns depend on where you are. If you live in the desert of the Southwest U.S., then you probably don’t want to try to get to a boat. So, keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you.
My plan is to get as far as I can with the car. The family bikes are strapped to the luggage rack. When I get to something the car won’t get past, I’m going to the bikes. I’m making for a river and looking for a boat. From there, I have either the Red or Mississippi River to take me out. I can go west, north, or south.
Don’t forget to check out APEX. My characters don’t always follow my advice. But, that’s the nature of my characters. They don’t always listen.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How to kill your zombies by Glyn

So, how do you want to kill your zombies? Fire? Bullets? Big assed sword? Let’s think about this for a moment. The dead are roaming your neighborhood. Your house isn’t secure. You have a backpack full of clothes, food, water, and maybe even your toothbrush. What weapons and tools do you grab on the way out?
There are a lot of factors that go into this decision. I’d have to say weight is going to be the first thing you think about. You’re already carrying something like 25 or 30 pounds on your back. What else do you want?
Do you want a gun? If so, what kind? You may want a gun. There’s pro’s and con’s to guns:
Cons- Noise. Guns are noisy. Under the right condition, a gunshot can be heard a mile away. If you shoot someone or something everyone in the neighborhood is going to know you’re there. Shoot more than once and most people can tell what roughly where you are. Do that during the zombie apocalypse, and either you move, or you’re going to have a lot of hungry new neighbors.
Guns are hungry little creatures. You have to feed a gun. If you run out of ammo you have a 5 pound block of metal and plastic. You can of course hoard ammo, and carry it with you. But, ammo is heavy. I was looking at my stash today, and realized I have about 500 rounds of several calibers, and it weighs about 30 more pounds
Training. Most people aren’t trained to use a gun effectively. Don’t forget, zombie don’t die unless you shoot them in the head (at least in my world). Most military and hunter types are taught to shoot at the largest target, the chest. Remember the movie The Patriot “aim small, miss small.?” Head shots are tough under the best of conditions. Throw in the stress of a zombie trying to eat your brains, and you have recipe for disaster.
Along with training, comes the fact that guns are dirty little creatures. If you don’t clean them regularly, they will eventually stop working. Some guns handle the dirt better than others. The AK-47 is known for it’s ability to fire after rolling in enough mud to drown a pig. The AR/M-16 types are more finicky. It has to do with the self-loading system, and the fact that the tolerances are tighter, which means less dirt=more problems
Pros- Lethality. If you hit a zombie in the right spot, it’s dead with one shot. IF.
Guns are about the only practical weapon that lets you kill a zombie, or person, from range. The best zombie is a dead zombie. The best dead zombie is a dead zombie over there.
Guns are versatile. You can use them to hunt, if it’s a rifle. You can use them to defend yourself from the terrified masses out there struggling to survive.
So, what kind of gun do you want? The question of use and training are going to be for you to answer. Some people are proponents of the.22 caliber rifle. It’s small, light, and accurate, it is relatively quiet, and the ammo is very light. My problem with the .22 is that unless you plan on living off of raccoons and rats, it’s not a good hunting gun. Plus, it is not a man stopper in a real firefight with live humans.
The AR or other 5.56 semiautomatic is not a bad choice. You can hunt descent sized game. They definitely can kill a human at very long distances, and it’s a very accurate round. You will have to sacrifice weight, and everyone will know you’re shooting one when you do. An added bonus is that you will probably be able to scavenge a large amount of ammo after the military collapses, at least in NATO countries.
AK’s are not a bad option, but it can sometimes be inaccurate, and the round is bigger, therefore heavier.
Hunting rifles are great for super long distance shooting. If you’re going to pick zombies off from 200 yards with headshots, you want a blot action hunting rifle.
For closer in defensive situations, a good pistol is a must. Just, keep in mind that most people who are trained can’t hit headshots regularly outside of 15 feet. Add stress to that, and you’re really only going to be able to headshot a zombie about 10 feet away from you. That’s really close.
What type of pistol? High capacity, high capacity, high capacity!!! I don’t care if a .45 is a man stopper and a 9mm might not be. If you hit a zombie in the head, it goes down. I say find a good reliable 9mm with a lot of bullets, and get good with it.
I’ll lump shotguns in with pistols due to the limited range. Capacity, capacity, capacity! In the apocalypse, a .410 is as good as a 12 ga. Shotgun’s are also easy to use with a relatively low level of training.
The thing to keep in mind about a shotgun is that generally they have low capacity, BUCKSHOT is a must. The pump action makes noise, and the shells are bulky and heavy. That being said, one of my main characters in APEX carries a shotgun. She’s quiet the badass with it.
So, you’ve thought about what gun you’re going to use. What else do you want? You don’t want to just go around shooting every zombie you see. You need something quiet.
There are several tools I’m a big fan of. Anyone who has ever been in a discussion with me about zombies can tell you I love a pitchfork. Here’s why: It’s long. You can keep a zombie a good 5 or 6 feet away from your face with it. It has 3 or 4 tines. This means it’s harder to miss. It’s like a short spear with the added bonus of extra sharp points. In the Middle Ages, when they called up the local peasants, they didn’t give them sword. They gave them spears. Why? All you need to know how to do is thrust.
But, most people don’t have a pitchfork. Plus, it’s pretty heavy. Again, keep in mind how much you’ll be traipsing through the woods, mountains, or desert with.
Here in America, I’m also a fan of the baseball/ softball bat. Most men in America and a fair amount of females know how to swing a bat. They’re not too heavy. I would avoid the $100 and up models though. Those tend to be very thin walled; good for sending softballs over fences, but pretty fragile. You don’t want to break your club in the middle of a fight.
Let’s take a moment to talk about sword. Some people are huge fans of the katana (Thanks Michone). But is it really a good choice? First, how many people have access to a katana? I don’t mean the sword shop, comic shop version. Those are not live blades usually. They’re show pieces; another tool that will fail you when you really need it.
How about a real katana? Do you want to grab that? Yes, if you have any idea how to use it. Different swards are made for different things. The katana is truly a slicing weapon. You don’t hack with it, but draw it rapidly and forcefully against your target, much like a kitchen knife cutting chicken.
The gladius, from Greeks and Romans, is made a stabbing weapon, not a slicing weapon. Imagine stabbing a zombie in the head, and the point doesn’t pierce the skull, but skims off to the side. Uh, oh! I’d rather carry a good hunting knife, or even a machete. They machetes on the market now are all live blades, and made to cut through woody brush.
How about a broad sword? Again, most examples out there are for show. If you do happen to find a good one, it wouldn’t be too bad. This is truly a hacking weapon. It’s meant for the weight of the sword to help it drive it’s way through armor. If you happen to hit a zombie in the head with it, you will probably cleave it’s skull and brain.
What other household items can we find to use as a weapon? What else should I consider before walking out the door?
Shovels make pretty good weapons. You can use it to crush the skull of a zombie; as well as using the sharp point to decapitate a zombie. Don’t forget the tip of a shovel is made to pierce the ground and could do that for a zombie’s neck too.
Hatchets are ok. They are made to cut deep. I’ve found that a good hard swing with a hatchet can throw you off balance, exposing you to attack from an undefended quarter. Think twice about this weapon.
Claw hammer is a must! Not only can you use it as a weapon, (claw to the brain!) but you will need a hammer at some point and time. It’s light, and doesn’t take much space.
Axe, mauls, and sledge hammers are out! They’re heavy, and you have to be able to control them. Again, imagine swinging at a zombie with a 10 lb sledge hammer, and you miss. The hammer hits the ground, your teeth rattle, and that zombie is nibbling on your shoulder. Keep the heavy weapons that you have to swing in the shed.
Screw driver. I like a good screwdriver as a tool, but not as a weapon. Plus, you can get a multi-tool and have a blade, screwdriver, and even pliers. Plus, don’t forget you’re going to need a knife for food. You don’t want to cut your food with your zombie-gut-covered hunting knife.
My personal load out is about 50 pounds. I’ll have a .45 cal pistol, semi-auto 5.56mm rifle, baseball bat, hunting knife. Plus all the survival gear and ammo I’ll have on my backpack. Hopefully I’ll have my family with me, and we can split the load a bit. Plus, I would love to have the shotgun, but I ain’t Rambo, and can’t carry three guns.
None of my characters in APEX have thought ahead, so they travel much lighter than I would. But, then again, it wouldn’t be a good book if it was all about people sitting around joking and eating peanut butter crackers.
Don’t forget to give APEX a read for more weapons ideas.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How to survive the zombie apocalypse: Part 2 by Glyn Gardner

Hello everyone, it’s Glyn Gardner; your favorite (I hope) budding zombie author again. Today I’m going to continue talking about how to survive the zombie apocalypse. Last time I discussed whether to run, or to shelter in place. Today we are going to assume it’s time to run. For some reason the place you find yourself when you first realize the zombie apocalypse is happening will not support you or protect you for very long.
What next? Do you just run out into the streets willie-nillie? Maybe screaming and yelling for help? No! To steal a page, or the cover actually, from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: DON’T PANIC! If you’re going to survive the end of the world, you have to keep your wits about you.
OK, you’ve taken a deep breath or two, and counted to ten. Again we have to refer to Maslow. What do we need next?
Water! First and foremost, you need water. Depending on your environment, your water intake may need to exceed two gallons per day. There are a couple of ways you can acquire the water you’ll need. One, you can carry it with you. Do you have something like a Camel Back? If so, you can carry enough water on your back to last a good half day. If you don’t have a Camel Back, what do you have? Do you have bottled water? How about juice bottle or a thermos? How many can you stuff in your back pack?
The amount of water you carry is also going to depend on your fitness/ strength level. Water is heavy. A liter of water weighs about 2.2 pounds. This means that gallon of water you need will be about 9 pounds, and take up a pretty big chunk of space. This will affect your water strategy.
An alternative to carrying all of your water on your back would be to carry some way of purifying water. As I said last time, about 8 drops of household bleach will purify a gallon of clear water. This means that a quart of bleach that takes up very little space can purify several weeks’ worth of water. Your geography is also important here. If you live in the Southwest U.S., you might not come across much water in your travels. You need to carry more. I live in Louisiana. I can find all kinds of rivers, streams, creeks (called a bayou here). I can get away with a few bottles of water and my Camel Back.
So, you’ve loaded your backpack with all that you’ll need to stay hydrated. What now? Gun? Knife? Ninja stars? NO! Get some food. When we discussed food last time we talked canned food and dry food. If you’re going to be in one spot for a long time, those are the ways to go. They don’t spoil very fast. Well, they are also full of juice usually, and are heavy. In this case, I’d say ditch the canned food unless it’s meat. SPAM, deviled ham, and tuna are all excellent forms of protein. Unless you plan on wandering around hunting and fishing, protein is going to be a problem for most people. You can of course eat some of the 6 legged creatures you run across, but most people won’t, at least at first.
Now what else do you take? Dehydrated food (IK consider rice and pasta in this category, even though they aren’t technically dehydrated) is easy to transport, but you’ll have to use some of your precious water to rehydrate it. At this point you need to think weight v. calories. Look in your cupboards and find the things that are calorie dense. Peanut butter, crackers, fruits (Most will be ok out of the fridge for a couple of days.), any candy or granola bars will also be good sources of calories.
The mantra to keep in mind when it comes to food is: You have plenty of fat. You need plenty of water. NEVER EVER leave water for more food.
Now you’ve got a pack full of food and water. Everything a growing survivor needs right? Wrong. You’re just getting started. Do you plan on hiding in the Ritz Carrolton with a nice warm robe and blankets tonight? Nope, you’re most likely going to be on foot, and if you’re lucky you’ll be out of town and away from a bunch of people. That means shelter is going to be a problem. You might be able to find a nice warm bridge to sleep under, or maybe even a fairly clean trash bind to sleep in. You’ll probably be able to find a roof over your head one way or another. You may not however be able to find something warm to sleep under.
So, you’ll need to pack something to shelter you from the environment. If the ZA happens in January, and you live in Maine, you need a lot of cold weather gear, or at least a good coat, gloves, and hat. Always have a hat. It holds in heat when it’s cold, and can protect your head from the sun when it’s hot. I’d also suggest AT LEAST 1 pair of extra socks. As an old soldier, I can never have enough socks in my bug-out bag. I hate wet feet. I even have a pair of shoes in my bag, but again: I hate wet feet. Imagine walking all day, and then having to sleep up against a tree in the woods. What would you absolutely need to keep from freezing to death in your area? That’s what you need.
So, you now have water, food, and a bag full of clothes you’ll need to survive the elements. What now? Are you ready to go out into the big bad world of zombies? No, you aren’t. You need weapons and tools. Zombies are slow and stupid. What separates them from us? TOOLS! We can be slow, and can definitely be pretty stupid, but even the dumbest of us knows how to hit a nail with a hammer. So, arm yourself with the best tools you can find…NEXT TIME

Don't forget to check out APEX for more zombie!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Why I write about Zombies by Armand Rosamilia

Brian Keene is the reason. End of post.
Oh, you want more info?
I'd always been a huge fan of zombie movies, ever since being scared as a kid watching Night of the Living Dead. While everyone else was into vampires, I was the teen getting excited over zombie movies, which were hard to come by. Back in the days before the internet you had to actually go to a video store (no Blockbuster, no RedBox) down on the corner and hope that mom or pop that ran the place were fans of zombies. I remember the closest video store to me had a huge horror section, but mostly these obscure slasher flicks. I had to go a couple towns over because there was a video store that had an amazing collection of zombie movies, and I ended up renting them all.
But I'd never read any zombie books, even though I read a ton of horror. I was more into scary monster books without honing in on vampires, werewolves and zombies. Instead, demons and ghosts and serial killers were a huge part of my reading experience.
Until The Rising.
I remember being in the local Books A Million and searching for another paperback. The horror section had disappeared, leaving you to search through thousands of fiction books for that hidden gem deemed horror. Sure, King and Koontz had huge sections devoted to them, but everyone else was relegated to being lumped in with general fiction.
As if by fate, Brian Keene's book was facing out and the cover immediately caught my attention. I can still remember reading the back cover blurbs and being excited, because reading zombie fiction had never interested me before. The few short stories that I'd read were either about voodoo queens or cliché brain-eating zombies that had no real plot.
This was something quite different, and I read it in one day, amazed at the characters and how the zombies were not the whole story. In fact, I got so into the characters that, at times, you forgot it was even about zombies and just about survival.
I had never read anything from Keene, but went back to the store and bought every paperback he had available, including the other zombie books, City of The Dead and Dead Sea.
Within a few days I was heavily immersed in zombie fiction. I started surfing the internet for other zombie fiction, finding some great anthologies like The Dead That Walk and The New Dead.
I was also amazed at the amount of zombie authors putting out quality releases, and had to read them all.
Then I started writing my own zombie fiction, something I had never done before despite twenty years of writing stories. I thought there was nothing new, nothing fresh about it. I was wrong, and as I started thinking about my own ideas.
As a writer you never want to toss a few cliché ideas and worn plotlines together and get a story. But once I had an idea I thought was unique, I went with it. Suddenly there were more characters, more ideas than I had time to write. What started out as a simple flash fiction piece, "Anything But Luck" (released in Daily Bites of Flesh 2011 by Pill Hill Press), became a world of extreme zombie fiction from me. Another half dozen flash fiction zombie pieces took shape, followed by my Highway To Hell novella. Since then I've written and published a slew of zombie short stories, followed up Highway To Hell with Dying Days (now with 2 sequels and more to come).
And I owe it all to Brian Keene and that paperback book staring at me.
Armand Rosamilia 

Armand Rosamilia on 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Today I’d like to talk about the basics of surviving the zombie apocalypse By Glyn Gardner

My name is Glyn Gardner. I’ve recently published APEX, my first zombie/thriller. Today I’d like to talk about the basics of surviving the zombie apocalypse. Maslow tells us that physiological needs always take precedence over safety needs. So what, right?
What this means to us in the zombie apocalypse is this: It’s all well and good to discuss how to kill zombies and secure your house from the walking dead. But, if you can’t feed and hydrate yourself, or shelter yourself from the outside elements, then you will still die during the zombie apocalypse.
So, rule 1 of the zombie apocalypse: Have a source of food and water. You can either have it on hand, or know how to easily obtain these things quickly when the dead begin to walk the earth. One good strategy is to have a large amount of canned/ dried food in your home at all times. If the dead begin to rise, or any other disaster for that matter, move that food to the most secure location in the house.
The military estimates that a soldier in combat needs at least 2000 calories per day to stay fit to fight. If you’re hunkered down waiting on the undead to break down your door you won’t need as much. But, you do need some. Read the labels on cans. Green beans last a long time in a can, and most houses have a bunch. But, they have very few calories; great for losing weight, not so good for surviving. Crackers are always better than bread. Peanut butter has a long shelf life, and is calorie dense, as is SPAM.
Don’t forget about water. Bottled water is your best bet for long term storage. But, most people won’t have enough water for them and their families just sitting in the garage waiting for the apocalypse. So, how do you get enough water? Almost every house has a bath tub. Use it. As soon as the zombies show, or any other disaster for that matter, fill your bathtub with water. A family of four can survive for a good week on the water held in the average sized bathtub. Coolers, buckets, pots, pans all make good storage for water.
And for God’s sake don’t forget to grab the bleach from the laundry room. It takes about 8 drops of bleach to sanitize clear water. If and when you decide to run, or if you still have running water, you can ensure you have clean drinking water
Rule 2: Find Shelter. If you are in your home, you already have a roof over your head. This is the part that crosses from Maslow’s basics to the next level. While physiologically, we need to be protected from the elements, we also need to be safe. This is also your most important decision during the first few days of the zombie apocalypse. As the Clash said in their song: “Should I stay or should I go, now? If I stay there will be trouble. If I go it could be double…”
So, the moment you realize that the dead have started walking, you have to ask yourself: “Can I survive here? And, is it safe where I am, or do I need to move?” Those two questions will determine what you do next.
If you’re in, let’s say, a restaurant; then you know you have access to food and water. Yes, you can survive. But, there are huge windows in front of the restaurant and three doors into the place. The answer to your second question might be No. Time to move.
Or, you’re in your nice cozy midtown apartment on the third floor. You may only have access to enough food to last a week, and enough water for about two weeks. Well, you might have some time. I’d answer no to the first question. Unless the ZA is over in a week, then you’re faced with starvation or trying to evacuate through a city full of hungry zombies. Don’t even look at question number 2. Run! Grab the basics and run like hell. We’ll discuss the basics another time.
So, where do you draw the line? That is up to you. If I’m in the country and have enough supplies for two weeks, I may hunker down and see how things play out. If I’m in the middle of Dallas or New York, I’m on the first thing smokin’ out of the city.
Today we’ve covered the very basics of survival. Next time I will discuss weapons. That’s what everyone likes anyway. It’s not the zombies that are cool, but the opportunity to kill a few dozen of them that is so inviting.
For other ideas about surviving, check out APEX by Glyn Gardner. See how some made good decisions, and some made poor decisions in this action packed zombie horror/ thriller set in Louisiana.

You can find it on Amazon at:

You can also like it on Facebook at:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Interview with George L. Cook

Name: George L. Cook IIII

Book Title: The Dead War Trilogy

Author Questions

1.   How long have you been writing for?

I started writing right after seeing Star Wars for the first time. So I have been writing since I was about 10 years old. I didn't publish an actual book until 2008. But i had a few poems and articles published in magazines and newspapers.

2.   What do you think sets your work apart from others in the genre?

I think there are three things that set The Dead War Trilogy apart from other books in the zombie genre.

The first being a sense of hope. Many zombie books are all doom and gloom. I think that readers have to have a sense that the characters they have come to care about will not only survive but have the chance to actually live their lives in peace again.

The second is the level of action. I grew up on 80s action movies so I love lots of action sequences. This being a story of soldiers battling the dead ( and other things / person ) there is plenty of action to spare.

 There is also a scifi element that many stories lack. There is also what I believe to be a possible and realistic explanation for the cause of the zombie apocalypse.

3.   Do you have any tips for new writers?

WRITE! Don't keep checking on your sales figures or worrying about your reviews. The only way all of us get better as writers is to write.

Also write in a genre you like not one that's popular right now just to make a quick buck. To me that's not very satisfying and i feel my lack of enthusiasm for a genre would show up

4.   What books do you read and do you have a recent recommendation?

I read everything. Science fiction, horror, fantasy, and biographies. I just recently finished by Ian Woodhead and would definitely recommend that book.

5.   Where can readers find you?

They can find me here:




Zombie Survival Questions

1.   You see a hand gun, a bat and a knife. Which do you choose as your weapon for the apocalypse?

I'm from New Jersey ( US ) so I have to go for the baseball bat. Itdoesn't need reloading and I don't have to worry about it getting stuck in someone's skull and not being able to pull it out.

It's also relatively silent so it wont make a ton of noise to attract more of the dead.

2.    Place of survival. Your own house, a shopping mall or The Winchester pub?

All zombie fans know that malls are a no no. That always ends badly and besides there are too many doors.

In theory the pub sounds like a good idea. Hey if you gotta go you might as well get pissy tail drunk and have a good time at it. But because many pubs have a lot of windows this is probably not the most defensible place.

That leaves me with home sweet home. I can better defend my house and block off the staircase and hold out for as long as possible. If I'm going out I would rather go out in comfortable  surroundings with the people I know and love.

3.   You see an underground parking centre. Do you go in?

Hell no. Again I'm from New Jersey and I wont use an underground parking garage pre zombie apocalypse.

Seriously though I think anything underground with entrances that big would only become an underground tomb.

4.   You see your boss is now a zombie but is no immediate threat to you. Do you still use your last bullet on him/her?

What kind of person do you think I am? I would not do such a foolish thing. I would use a baseball bat and bash their **uking brains in.

5.   What luxury item would you keep in the apocalypse?

The expensive car that I just sold from the recently down guy down the road.

6.   You're bitten, do you
A)   Shoot yourself before you turn?
B)   Ask a friend to do?
C)   Turn and enjoy the all you can eat human buffet?

It would have to be A. I would opt out rather than become a danger to my family and friends.

Feud - Red Dust (Short Story 2) Out Now

Feud - Amazon

Feud - Smashwords

If you missed The Lost Party it is currently free on smashwords with the coupon provided on the site.

The Lost Party - Smashwords

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Of kings, warriors, and Oreo Blues by By Carole McDonnell

Of kings, warriors, and Oreo Blues
By Carole McDonnell

The Constant Tower is a story about Psal, a lame prince who is unable to go on a journey. It’s not the lameness that’s keeping him from traveling. It’s the world he lives in. No one travels outside at night on Odunao, a planet with three moons, one sun, and a night that tosses people to disparate parts of the planet.

But being lame is not Psal’s only problem. Or rather, his being lame is problematical in that he is not a warrior. On Odunao, a sickly, over-sensitive, limping boy is a blight to the warriors of his clan. It doesn’t help matter that Psal is a prince.  

I don’t know why or when I developed a love for kings, royalties, and warlords.
I can only chock it up to Shakespeare and the Bible. Certainly, growing up Black in the US, I should perhaps  have developed an attachment to freedom-fighters, democracy, underdogs, and equal rights. Heck, as a woman, I should have developed a love for female protagonists. Alas, no such luck. Of course, many American female fantasy writers write about royalty. But my main characters are often male. They often belong to a race that is different from mine. They are often royalty, which I am not.

So why this identification?  I hate to admit it but I’ve begun to think that although I like to think of myself as enlightened, it appears that I am a product of my childhood education. As a kid, I grew up in a Jewish-Italian  neighborhood, and have always found myself somewhat “out of my element.” I even wrote an essay once called “Oreo Blues.”  For better or worse, I seem to always be interested in how the other half lives. And I always seem to want to challenge the clans to which I belong.  

At first, I tried to be aware and self-aware enough to write about women. After all, women were supposed to write about women. And I tried to write about Black folks because I am Black. But childhood education sticks. Unlike many of my Black and/or female writer friends, I didn’t feel like taking courses to shake the evil British canon out of my mind. I liked English lit and I grew up with fantasy/quest stories of boys going on journeys — and that’s what I write about. I grew up reading about kings and hearing characters speak to Prince Hal and Prince Hamlet as “My Lord.” So the whole class system is woven into my fantasies, whether I like the class system or not. I grew up reading the Bible so I wasn’t going to get all super-enlightened and throw away my faith in order to cast off Imperialism.

So the child is father of the man…or of the woman.

Of course, there was a time I felt guilty about all this. I thought I should write about strong women instead of weak oppressed women. Little girls need to see strong women, right? I thought I should populate the world with dark-haired, dark-skinned icons whom little Black children could love and honor. But, why change myself? I write about what I see, and not about what I feel the world might be or should be. 

And it turns out that I have somehow managed to merge my own issues with those literary icons I studied during my childhood. So, while I write primarily about male heroes, I do approach those guys with my own Black female sensibility. And although I write about outsider-princes and wounded warriors, (I’ll thank Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Othello, Edmund, Shylock, and Hal for that), I do write about racial oppression and I do seem to write truly multiculturally. My books are populated with people of all races, and the races of my heroes —and their love interests— don’t generally matter. I’d like to think that my writing is ambassadorial, touching people of all races and I hope The Constant Tower will find readers from all over the world.

Writers are supposed to write what they wish to read. As the saying goes, “Wells are dug by those who are thirsty.” I suppose the easiest way to think of it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nicolas Wilson - What do you look for in a book?

Question: What do you look for in a book?


I read to get to know people. Depending on the book, this may be the author, this may be the characters... I look for a distinctive voice. Not just fun action sequences, new and exciting places, thrilling plot twists, striking fantasy worlds. Those are nice, but the work needs a strong underlying personality.

Especially with the emphasis on commercial viability, it's getting harder and harder to find good, honest writing. Maybe we've gotten more scared of confrontation in our personal lives, especially now that employers may view our facebook, and penalize us for our words or choices. Maybe we're just used to more and more scrutiny, and don't feel a sense of safety to develop our own view of the world. Or maybe we've lost our capacity to research and interpret, when even the news channels can't be assed to ensure the accuracy of their reporting, in the rush to present breaking news picoseconds before the competition.

My wife rants a lot about the "fantasy disconnect."  She describes it as a writer getting carried away in their story and concept, and failing to look how that lifestyle or action would emerge. Kings are cruel to their people, enslaving and killing at will, long past the point when the people would have risen up, and their own counselors would have betrayed them. Clothing uses materials that would not, could not, should not exist with the lifestyles and technology available. I think this is most egregious in television and film, where you can easily see that the peasant girl is wearing a hair style that would take seven hours to create- leaving her no time to work the fields or gather food. My point, though, is that I look for books that consider their perspective, and choose one. Catharsis is great, but how will readers relate to it, and differentiate it from any of the other fictional worlds out there?

I think the age of twitter and Facebook has changed the nature of creation. Audiences connect very deeply with the authors they love, and though the reasons may vary, it all comes down to specific pieces of them that they shared in their work. Admittedly, I don't have a lot of time for reading. I'm shamefully underread for an author. But there's very few finish-a-novel-a-day readers out there. and I'd venture to say that most readers are similar to me, both in their time commitments, and their desire to see something human and relatable in their literature.

Hunter S. Thompson has long been a favorite of mine, because his writing was honest, right on down to the pieces of his own bias or social conscience that emerged. I've tried hard to emulate that in my own work, to let readers know me a little better, or at least let them know how I interpret the world around me. I don't want to see stories set in a vacuum. I don't want the author to whitewash their work to avoid pissing people off, or "unfairly" presenting things.

Poe, for all his personal demons, wrote with an unwavering optimism. This may sound like a strange reading of his work, but his symbolism is all very upbeat.The mystery was solved. Characters broke free of restrictive mortal elements or institutions. While his stories might not have a happy ending in the everybody-lived sense, while the world did its absolute damnedest to crush the man, he never relinquished that strand of hope- even if he was often forced to invent it for himself.

Garth Ennis, my foulmouthed hero, turned beautifully illustrated pages blue with the strange, obscene, and flawed. He's definitely a niche taste, if only for his fascination with the seediest elements of the world, but he infuses even the most ridiculous characters with a humanity it's impossible not to relate to. It's a unique combination of world-building and humanity that makes it feel like I know Garth, though I've never met the man.

Though those are my all-time favorites, I've stumbled onto a few Indie authors with similarly unique outlooks. Jonathan Moon is a favorite, right now. Read a few pages of his novel, Heinous, and you'll see what I mean.

I hope that the factors leading to more restrained writing are cyclical, and we soon find ourselves with an abundance of honest stories.  As things get progressively more restrictive, I hope that our authors don't find their voices silenced or distorted in the search for immediate profits, a clean online record for employers, or our own limited attention to hear their stories.

About Nicolas Wilson
Nicolas Wilson is a published journalist, graphic novelist, and novelist. He lives in the rainy wastes of Portland, Oregon with his wife, two cats and a dog.

Nic has written eight novels. Whores: not intended to be a factual account of the gender war, and Dag are currently available for e-reader, and will soon be available in paperback. Nexus, The Necromancer's Gambit, Banksters, Homeless, The Singularity, and Lunacy are all due for publication in the next two years, as well as several short story collections.

Nic's work spans a variety of genres, from political thriller to science fiction and urban fantasy.

Follow Nicolas Wilson's Work: Nic's site, with links to purchase Nic's work from all available retailers.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Interview with Rose Wynters

Name: Rose Wynters

Book Title: Phase One: Identify (Territory of the Dead series, Book 1)

Writer Questions

1. How long have you been writing for? I have a background in website design, blogging, and article writing and have worked in this field for years. I started putting serious effort into novel writing last year, and I have been writing books ever since. I have another series currently. It's a paranormal romance series called The Endurers.

2. What do you think sets your work apart from others in the genre? It would definitely be the plots in my books. There is a tremendous number of creative writers out there, each one of us distinctive by the plots and characters of our books.

3. Do you have any tips for new writers? My best tip would be don't be afraid to put your books out there! I think for many new writers, the thought is daunting. I know it was for me. We live in a huge world though, made up of people with different tastes. I truly believe there is a reader out there for everyone's books.

4. What books do you read and do you have a recent recommendation? I'm an avid reader, and I enjoy a little bit in just about every category. I don't have any recent recommendations, though. I do enjoy a lot of paranormal romance and books from the horror genre. It has been awhile since I've had the chance to sit down and enjoy some newer releases!

5. Where can readers find you? I spend a lot of time on Twitter (author_rose), my website (, and I recently started a Facebook at

6. What level of research do you do for your writing? It varies. Some of the research I've done has actually involved taking a trip to a certain city or area.

7. Do you ever consider one of your characters to be a reflection of yourself? Not really, but I'm sure there are some characteristics somewhere that would be similar. I think the same could be said of any writer and their characters!

Zombie Survival Questions

1. You see a hand gun, a bat and a knife. Which do you choose as your weapon for the apocalypse? This is definitely a hard choice! I would say the handgun, and pray I find some bullets for it somewhere. Otherwise, I am really going to wish I chose the bat or knife when the zombies get a hold of me.

2. Place of survival. Your own house, a shopping mall or The Winchester pub? My own house, until the zombies run me out! After that, it would depend on how much fire power I have and how many survivors are in the group.

3. You see an underground parking centre. Do you go in? Nope, I think I would have to avoid that one. There would be something waiting in the dark I'm sure, and it wouldn't be a pleasant experience, at least for me.

4. You see your boss is now a zombie but is no immediate threat to you. Do you still use your last bullet on him/her? No, I'd be on the move searching for a more secure location and other survivors for sure.

5. What luxury item would you keep in the apocalypse? My computer, but it wouldn't be much fun without the Internet.

6. You’re bitten, do you
A) Shoot yourself before you turn?
B) Ask a friend to do it?
C) Turn and enjoy the all you can eat human buffet?

Wow, this is a tough one. Could I get an option D, lol. I couldn't imagine shooting myself or eating everyone around me, so I'd have to say B. Once you're bit, there is really no fairy tale ending for you!

Here is some book information for my zombie release, Phase One: Identify

Blurb: From author Rose Wynters, comes a new zombie horror series set in Pleasant, Louisiana. Can this checkout girl learn how to survive in a world full of zombies?

Tabitha Alexander is an 18 year old that has just graduated from high school. Working as a checkout girl in the small town of Pleasant, her long-term goals for the future don't go beyond enjoying the upcoming summer and enjoying her freedom. Maybe even possibly finding a boyfriend.

Fate has something else in store for her, though.

One night, right before closing time, her world is turned completely inside out with the first screams and sounds of gunfire that tear through the darkness. Nothing will ever be the same again..... If she even survives.

This is book one in a new series called, Territory of the Dead. Best suited for ages 16 and over.

This book tells you how the nightmare began...... Pleasant will never be the same again.

Buy Links:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Science Fiction and Real Science by Jennifer R. Povey

Science Fiction and Real Science

I've talked to quite a few people who think you have to be a scientist to write really good science fiction. Well, some of the top science fiction writers have indeed been scientists. Isaac Asimov was a chemist. The amazing editor Stanley Schmidt holds a PhD in physics.

So, does this mean that you shouldn't try to write science fiction without at least one degree in a science, ideally two or three? Not at all. I only have one undergraduate degree, and it's in archaeology. It's not even a B.S. in's a B.A. What's the trick to writing science fiction without a PhD hanging on your wall? Here are some tips.

1. Develop an understanding of the basic laws of physics. You don't need to have a formal training in physics, but your readers will catch you if you say there's no gravity in space, have green stars (without a very good supertech or other explanation) or think you can fly through a black hole.

2. Read science articles. I don't mean you have to read peer-reviewed journals, but look for popular science articles written by people who know what they are doing. Analog Science Fiction & Fact magazine runs at least two science articles an issue, specifically written for science fiction readers and writers. And, while outdated, any article by Isaac Asimov is worth reading - the man had a true genius for explaining scientific concepts in a manner the rest of us can understand.

3. Know what's being worked on now. At the very least you should check a news aggregator with a science section regularly. I've also stumbled across some great stories by following the right people on social media. First of all, you can get great ideas this way. Second of all, it helps keep you from going off in the wrong direction and making predictions that are proved wrong within a year of releasing your story.

4. Only include the science your story actually needs. This is absolutely the most important. Yes, there are people who write rigorous science fiction in which the story serves the science - and those are the ones with the multiple degrees, or at least who have spent a lot of time studying science. Gene Roddenberry once pointed out when working on "Star Trek" that the cowboy in the western does not stop the action to explain how his revolver worked. (Sadly, once Roddenberry was out of the picture, later Trek series did exactly that on numerous occasions). As long as you don't make actual factual errors (one of my embarrassing ones was not researching what Olympus Mon looks like - I owe my editor for catching that) then it is absolutely fine to gloss over how something works, especially when dealing with technology that hasn't been invented yet.

Good science fiction does require an awareness of how the world works. But it certainly doesn't need an advanced degree. (And all writing requires research. Trust me on that).

Jennifer R Povey - Information and Self Promotion 

Humanity fired first

First Contact. With aliens so strange and predatory that humans could only react with revulsion and primal rage. And so, humanity fired first. Now, the ky'iin are raiding the solar system. The potential key to mankind's salvation? An unlikely pair of diplomats. One, a brilliant young linguist from Mars with a profound social disorder. Through her autism, she sees the beauty within the ky’iin. The other, a ky’iin negotiator who looks beyond humanity’s violent actions to the potential within. Can they serve as the bridge to unite the two species and stop the Contact War? Or will war-mongering saboteurs destroy them before they can act?


Jennifer R. Povey is in her late thirties, and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband. She writes a variety of speculative fiction, whilst following current affairs and occasionally indulging in horse riding and role playing games. She has sold fiction to a number of markets including Analog, Digital Science Fiction, and Cosmos. Her first novel, Transpecial, was published by Musa Publishing in April, 2013.

Book links:
Publisher web site:
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Zombieland by Jen Minkman


I’m totally addicted to The Walking Dead. When one of my friends recommended it to me half a year ago, I was a bit skeptic, though – it’s entertaining to watch 28 Days Later because it only lasts for about two hours, but an entire TV series about a zombie apocalypse? Hmm. I wasn’t convinced. But my husband wouldn’t stop talking about us having to watch The Walking Dead and give it a chance, so one night, we sat down and agreed we’d watch the first episode. But we didn’t; we watched the first THREE episodes, and then we had to stop because it was past our bedtime (we are very disciplined people, you know). But the next day, we downloaded the rest of Season 1 and tore through it in one weekend.What drew me in? The fact that the show has really interesting characters. They feel so human. They all have flaws, but because you follow them on screen so intimately, you grow to love them.And then they die.

That’s right; the makers of the show trick you into loving these people, and then they make zombies eat them. Regular cast members are not spared. You never know (I don’t even think the actors themselves know) who’s going to live and who will be the next zombie dinner. And this, in my humble opinion, is the winning concept of this show. It never fails to shock; it never does what you expect it to. It’s like life, in a way, and it is so believable and gripping that it won’t let go. It makes you think after you switch off the TV.

Zombies are pretty hot at the moment. There’s even a zombie romance showing in cinemas right now: Warm Bodies. It had me in stitches when I first saw the trailer. How could this possibly work? But then I went to see the film anyway and it did work. Zombies and romance, an unlikely combination if there ever was one. It’s a nice new concept amidst the slew of rather cheesy paranormal romance books and films out there (that, quite frankly, usually don’t bring anything novel to the scene after the whole Twilight hype). What do YOU think should be the next paranormal/sci-fi/romance combination in YA literature or movies? What hasn’t been done to death by now? Leave a comment!

Jen Minkman is a Dutch author of paranormal romance & dystopian YA fiction who has set out to do something new in the genre and make her books more character-driven and less fluffy. Her work is available on all Amazons.

Jen Minkman/ Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Useful sites for new Authors


We have not tried all of the above sites but, we have tried acouple and saw some sales. Whether these sales came from the promotions it is hard to tell, so always be cautious with your money.

Covers/Editing    ---> We highly recommend for fast and excellent service

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Interview with Ian McClellan

Name: Ian McClellan

Book Title:

Zombie/Apocalypse 2012: A Political Horror Story

Writer Questions

1.      How long have you been writing for?

Since I was seven or eight. I'm thirty-five now. I used to write little stories about my brothers and sisters that made them look ridiculous. It pissed them off something terrible. My mother, God bless her, never admonished or discouraged me. She'd just read them and say, "Oh, Ian, do try to be a little more flattering toward your siblings in any future stories."

2.      What do you think sets your work apart from others in the genre?

To my knowledge, I don't think anyone has taken such a close look at the potential political implications of a zombie outbreak. I hope that's because no one has ever thought to do so and not because the idea is terrible. Oh well, no going back now. I'm really snarky. I'm working on something now that is much more of a serious zombie novel (not that my first isn't, there's just a ton of political and social satire in there with the story) but there is still a lot of snark thrown in. I can't help it. It's my nature.

3.      Do you have any tips for new writers?

Not really a tip, but a heads up. If you decide to self-publish you should know that the hard part comes after the book is out. Promoting is brutal and time consuming. If it's an option, try to save up a few bucks and hire a professional so you can stick to writing.

4.      What books do you read and do you have a recent recommendation?

 Funny, I've always read horror and have loved zombie movies since I was a kid, but never read zombie books until recently. Also, I've been trying to go the indie route more. I just didn't really know it was there before. I've been dabbling a little in fantasy because of some friend recommendations. There's some decent stuff out there and some awful stuff, like everything else. I also read political books from a wide variety of authors. It's important to get different perspectives on the issues. I'd rather read a book with a conflicting opinion on something than one that supports my own. I know what my opinion is and why I have it. That's a huge part of the problems we have today- no one wants to hear what the other side has to say.
I liked Sven the Zombie Slayer by Guy James quite a bit. Really good story, lots of dry humor, and fantastic characters.

5.      Where can readers find you?

More often than not at work, unfortunately.
My home page. You'll find all the pertinent links there, and some other good stuff, as well.

Zombie Survival Questions

1.      You see a hand gun, a bat and a knife. Which do you choose as your weapon for the apocalypse?

I'd say the bat. I like distance between me and anything that wants to eat me, which rules out the knife. I own a couple of hand guns, but I'm not a great shot and bullets won't last forever.

2.       Place of survival. Your own house, a shopping mall or The Winchester pub?

Wow, that's a tough one. My house might work. I live in Florida and have hurricane shutters. They should keep out the undead, but once they're up I only have one way in or out. As much as I love beer, The Winchester is a bad idea. Too many big windows. I hate malls. I guess I'll have to be a homebody in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

3.      You see an underground parking centre. Do you go in?

No way. Those places are creepy even under normal circumstances.

4.      You see your boss is now a zombie but is no immediate threat to you. Do you still use your last bullet on him/her?

I like my boss. My job is hard, but I work with a lot of great people. Even if I never write for a living full-time, I'd be fine where I am.

5.      What luxury item would you keep in the apocalypse?

Probably my Kindle. There are a lot of books on there and I'll need something to keep me entertained. Now that I think about it, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. I could finally catch up on some reading.

6.      You’re bitten, do you
A)    Shoot yourself before you turn?
B)    Ask a friend to do it?
C)    Turn and enjoy the all you can eat human buffet?

Definitely B. I want to live as much life as I can without turning.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Interview with Scott Baker

Writer Questions

1.         How long have you been writing?  I’ve been writing in this genre for close to ten years.  I started The Vampire Hunters in late 2003 when I returned home from southern Iraq working for the government, and it was eventually published in 2010.  Since then I have published the entire The Vampire Hunters trilogy and Rotter World (my first zombie novel) as well as several short stories almost all of them zombie related.  

2.         What do you think sets your work apart from others in the genre?  I introduced vampires into the plot.  In Rotter World, vampires release the Revenant Virus against mankind hoping to distract humans from hunting down them down, only to discover that zombies feed on the undead as well as the living. Both species are nearly wiped out.  Two small groups of humans and vampires agree to set aside their hatred to band together if they hope to survive.  It’s this concept of humans joining forces with one mortal enemy to fight an even greater threat that sets Rotter World apart.

3.         Do you have any tips for new writers?  I have three tips.  When I was starting out, every published author I met told me the same thing, and they were right.  First, write.  Every day.  It doesn’t matter if you write 50 words or 5000, as long as you’re getting the story down.  You’ll never get published if you never get anything written.  Second, submit.  Don’t fear rejection letters because you’re going to get a lot of them.  But you will know when you’re getting close when the letters start offering constructive feedback.  Third, hang in there.  It takes on average eight years to get your first novel published.  No one who has ever given up has ever been published.

4.         What books do you read and do you have a recent recommendation?  I jump back and forth between vampire/zombie novels and histories, mostly of World War II.  Unfortunately, when I was working a full time job and writing on the side, I had little time to read.  Now that I write full time, I’m able to read more.

I’ve read three zombie novels recently that bring something unique to the genre:

Hissers by Ryan C. Thomas – Trust me, just read this one.  If you are a staunch devotee of slow zombies, you will hate this book because Ryan brings a whole new concept to zombies.  I couldn’t put this one down.

The Unlikely Event by Joshua Daniel Wright – A zombie outbreak occurs aboard an airliner.  Joshua makes the story believable and throws in some clever plot twists.

Zombies of Byzantium by Sean Munger – A really well done novel that winds a zombie outbreak into the historical siege of Constantinople by the Saracens.

5.         Where can readers find you?  Readers can check out my blog at, which includes some of my short stories as well as links to my published works.  Or you can follow me on Facebook (Scott M. Baker, Author) or Twitter (vampire_hunters).

Zombie Survival Questions

1.         You see a hand gun, a bat and a knife. Which do you choose as your weapon for the apocalypse?  The knife.  The gun is limited by the amount of ammunition available, and the bat can break.  My ideal weapons, however, would be a shotgun (for masses of zombies) and a machete (for those times when you need to get up close and personable).

2.         Place of survival. Your own house, a shopping mall or The Winchester pub?  My house.  It has cinder block walls and a flat roof, and it’s in the suburbs, so it should be easy to defend.  Unless every zombie in Gainesville descends on my house at once.

3.         You see an underground parking centre. Do you go in?  Hell, no.

4.         You see your boss is now a zombie but is no immediate threat to you. Do you still use your last bullet on him/her?  Yes, but only because I really liked my last boss, and would want to spare her from being a zombie.

5.         What luxury item would you keep in the apocalypse?  Cigars.  At that point I figure screw it, I’ll probably be eaten long before the cancer gets me.

6.         You’re bitten, do you
A)        Shoot yourself before you turn?
B)        Ask a friend to do it?
C)        Turn and enjoy the all you can eat human buffet?

I ask a friend to do it at the moment I turn.  If I’m alone, then I’ll shoot myself at the last minute and pray God cuts me some slack on the suicide provision considering the circumstances.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Interview with C Martin

Name: C.E. Martin
Book Title: (ongoing series: Mythical)
Mythical: Heart of Stone ( A supersoldier returns to life and sets to remember who, or what, killed him.
Mythical: Brothers in Stone ( Two heart-eating, prehistoric shapeshifters take on the U.S. Military in modern America.

Mythical: Blood and Stone ( Kukulcan returns to the Yucatan, plunging Mexico into chaos.

Author Questions
1.   How long have you been writing for?
I started indie publishing in May 2012. I've been amateur writing since about 1986.

2.   What do you think sets your work apart from others in the genre?
My speed. I'm able to conceive, research, plot, write and publish one of my New Pulp adventures in about three months. If I could write full time and retire from my current day job, I could get that down to one month.

3.   Do you have any tips for new writers?
Writing is easy- promotion is hard. Very hard.

4.   What books do you read and do you have a recent recommendation?
I prefer classic pulps, like Doc Savage, hardcore Scifi (Azimov, Anderson), fun Fantasy/Scifi (Piers Anthony and Keith Laumer) and pulse-pounding men's adventure- the Destroyer (and it's new spinoff series, Legacy) by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir.

5.   Where can readers find you?
I lurk twitter @troglodad, and I sporadically post on facebook as C.E.Martin.1039. I have a blog for my series at, and I'm one of the many writers contributing to the newly re-launched Amazing Stories webzine.

Zombie Survival Questions

1.   You see a hand gun, a bat and a knife. Which do you choose as your weapon for the apocalypse?
Depends on which zombie apocalypse we're talking. If they're the slow, shuffling types, I'd pick a huge Bowie knife over a bat. But if these are sprinters, and there aren't that many, I'd take the gun and hope for a melee weapon later.

2.    Place of survival. Your own house, a shopping mall or The Winchester pub?
If I was at home, I'd stay. At least for a few days until things settled down. The Winchester is the last place I'd go as I'm sure lots of other folks would head there for the booze. Not sure any of the Malls in our area would be suitable for holding up in. But we do have a Basspro, Cabelas and an Amazon distribution center- they'd be ideal for living in comfortably. Assuming I could get in.

3.   You see an underground parking centre. Do you go in?
If I'm driving a suitably armored vehicle, have a belt-fed machine gun, or found a suit of Tony Stark's armor laying around. Otherwise... heck no.

4.   You see your boss is now a zombie but is no immediate threat to you. Do you still use your last bullet on him/her?
Absolutely. I'd hate to get bit later on and then realize I had let a chance pass by earlier.

5.   What luxury item would you keep in the apocalypse?
Toilet paper.

6.   You're bitten, do you
A)   Shoot yourself before you turn?
B)   Ask a friend to do it?
C)   Turn and enjoy the all you can eat human buffet?
I don't like those choices... C is the best- I'd want to go out fighting them with a stick of dynamite or something.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mob of the Dead (COD:Black Ops 2 Zombie DLC Review)

For  you gamers out there here are a few of my thoughts on the new zombies map on Call of Duty Blacks ops 2.

Mob of the Dead features four famous actors for the characters and voices (A good cast in my opinion):

Ray Liotta
Michael Madsen
Chazz Palminteri
Joe Pantoliano

These four gangster convicts of the infamous Alcatraz Island must fight for their lives against wave after wave of the Undead, while trying to track down a build a makeshift plane for their escape. Feeding the dogs of hell and fighting the Brutus boss are nice additions to this new map.

Overall the map is a fantastic piece of artwork, for anyone who has been to Alcatraz the map is nearly identical to the real prison. The flow of the can be difficult at times, running up and down narrow stairs isn't ideal with a hundred flesh hungry zombies chasing you from all sides. However, the overall game play is fun and the guys/girls who created it should give themselves a pat on the back for creativity.

Interview with Daniel J. Williams

Name: Daniel J. Williams

Book Title: Mace of the Apocalypse

Writer Questions

1.      How long have you been writing for? I have been writing all my life. I worked on Mace of the Apocalypse on and off for about 5 years before publishing. I finally decided to get serious. I now have 3 books in the series and am working on the 4th, which is scheduled to be released this October.

2.      What do you think sets your work apart from others in the genre? I really wanted to give some depth to the characters. I wanted to make them real people and not just caricatures. Facing something as shattering as a zombie apocalypse would test the metal of anyone.

3.      Do you have any tips for new writers? Keep writing. Learn from your mistakes. Don't be afraid to put your work out there and don't take criticism personal. Use it to better your craft.

4.      What books do you read and do you have a recent recommendation? I love horror and thrillers. Off the top of my head I'd say check out the "Prey" series by John Sanford.

5.      Where can readers find you? They can find me in a few places:

Zombie Survival Questions

1.      You see a hand gun, a bat and a knife. Which do you choose as your weapon for the apocalypse? I'm going with the bat. The gun will run out of bullets or could jam and the knife puts you too close to danger. I love swinging a bat. Bashing zombie skulls would be the safest and most gratifying way to kill the walking dead.

2.       Place of survival. Your own house, a shopping mall or The Winchester pub? Oh, why did you have to mention a pub?? As enticing as that sounds (fighting zombies with a buzz), it would have to be the mall. As cliche as that sounds, it just makes sense. It would be even better if there was a pub in the mall...

3.      You see an underground parking centre. Do you go in? Hell no. End of story.

4.      You see your boss is now a zombie but is no immediate threat to you. Do you still use your last bullet on him/her? My last bullet? Nope, I'm sticking with the bat, and I'm going to enjoy taking him out.

5.      What luxury item would you keep in the apocalypse? I'd go with the Ray-Ban sunglasses. Keep the glare out and still look cool.

6.      You’re bitten, do you

A)    Shoot yourself before you turn?

B)    Ask a friend to do it?

C)    Turn and enjoy the all you can eat human buffet?

I'm going to be the master of my own destiny if given the opportunity. I'm eating a bullet by my own hand.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Interview with Armand Rosamilia

Armand Rosamilia

Dying Days zombie series

Dying Days (Amazon)

1.      How long have you been writing for?

Since I was twelve, but semi-seriously since about nineteen… and 'professionally' since about 2010, and full-time in the last eighteen months.

2.      What do you think sets your work apart from others in the genre?

I'd like to think I can hang with the big kids because people like my writing. For me, it is more about characterization and readers connecting with the characters and wanting to read what comes next.

3.      Do you have any tips for new writers?

Be professional, take this seriously, and treat it like a job and your own business. Keep your political and religious rants to yourself or someone who cares, because the internet is forever. Start building your Brand, which is not your book… it is You.

4.      What books do you read and do you have a recent recommendation?

I read constantly, but rarely read anything fiction anymore unless I want to do a blurb for it. I mostly read biographies and non-fiction books, where you can get so many great ideas.

5.      Where can readers find you?

I am everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, New Myspace, Pinterest, etc. etc. I have my wares for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, SmashWords, etc. etc. A good place to start to find out all about me is

Zombie Survival Questions

1.      You see a hand gun, a bat and a knife. Which do you choose as your weapon for the apocalypse?
I have never actually held a gun, so that is scary. With a knife I'd probably cut myself, so the baseball bat… unless it is a model from a Yankees player. I'm a Red Sox fan so I'd rather die than have to rely on an A-Rod model.

2.       Place of survival. Your own house, a shopping mall or The Winchester pub?

Anywhere I can get a banana bread beer, so any of the three will work for me.

3.      You see an underground parking centre. Do you go in?

Only if I want to die. You never go into dark places… never go into the basement, attic, parking garage, women's bathroom or vegan restaurant.

4.      You see your boss is now a zombie but is no immediate threat to you. Do you still use your last bullet on him/her?

I am my own boss, so this is quite a conundrum. Therefore, I am a zombie… I need to sit down and think this through.

5.      What luxury item would you keep in the apocalypse?

 My first and most important job is getting to a supermarket and stocking up on every bag of M&M's I can get my paws on. Life without M&M's isn't worth living.

6.      You’re bitten, do you
A)    Shoot yourself before you turn?
B)    Ask a friend to do it?
C)    Turn and enjoy the all you can eat human buffet?

I'd have to ask someone to kill me. I get nauseous at the sight of blood, so I'll probably end up being pretty sick and pass out. I am not who you want with you in the zombie apocalypse. Trust me.

Armand Rosamilia