Guest Post: Jonathan Winn


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SYNOPSIS:

And cradled in her kindness, I dove back into the blood soaked memories of this, my life. 

With those words, the immortal Maruk’s tale continues. 

From modern Paris, he speaks of his life in the religious chaos and pagan magic of 3rd century Antioch. Of his friends, a man haunted by grief and regret, and a woman with secrets as thick as the woolen of her constant cloak. Of days marked by the greed of Rome and the ambitions of those driven by dangerous delusion.

He remembers wandering souls who returned with their own stories to tell. Who shared their own memories of blazing deserts and a darkness with teeth. Of being imprisoned in a myth built by the lies of others. And then Martuk recalls a magic so dark it summons demons from a cloudless sky and rips the sleeping dead from their slumber.  

The past revisited, Martuk ends his tale with a confession. A modern-day betrayal so cruel, the rest of his life everlasting threatens to be one of searing regret and never-ending shame.

This sequel to Jonathan Winn’s Martuk … the Holy is a tale of stumbling humanity and shocking brutality. Forgiveness and release. Death. Immortality. And the tenuous hope for blessed redemption. 

This is Martuk … the Holy … Proseuche.

Bio:

Screenwriter, playwright, actor, and author of Martuk … the Holy and The Martuk Series, Jonathan Winn was born in Seattle, WA. He currently lives in the US. Martuk … the Holy: Proseuche is his second full-length novel. 

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LLLGBF0

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/martuk-the-holy-jonathan-winn/1119920244?ean=2940149790333

Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/455863

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What are you waiting for?


Armand Rosamilia:

RCC speaketh the truth…

Originally posted on C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m:

Here are Ten Rules About No One:

1. No one is waiting for you to get your life together. They want results, not excuses.

2. No one is waiting for your next book. They say they are, but they will forget you soon and they have plenty of other things to do. Be memorable and come back quickly.

3. No one is waiting for your next blog post, so don’t apologize when you miss a day or three. Get to the topic instead.

4. No one is waiting for you to organize or self-actualize. That’s your business. Organize to build your business. If business is good, you’ll get closer to self-actualization, too.

5. No one is waiting for you to get past your procrastination, so write now.

6. No one is waiting to rescue you. If you need help, ask. Otherwise, everyone assumes you’re fine. Chances are good you’ll still have to…

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Kindle Unlimited: The Key Questions


Armand Rosamilia:

Kindle Unlimited

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

amazon_kindle_unlimitedAmazon launched Kindle Unlimited on Friday, giving self-publishers a big decision to make.

The long-rumored subscription service will allow users to download unlimited books for $9.99 a month, and reader reaction has been, from what I can see, overwhelmingly positive – especially because they will be able to test the service with a month’s free trial. Writers have been a little more cautious, for all sorts of reasons I’ll try and tease out below.

The main stumbling block for self-publishers is that participation in Kindle Unlimited is restricted to titles enrolled in KDP Select – Amazon’s program which offers various additional marketing tools in exchange for exclusivity. Author compensation will be similar to borrows under the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – a percentage of money from a fixed pool. The only real twist is that payment will be triggered when 10% of downloaded books have been read.

At the…

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Kindle Unlimited: Connection and Market Correction?


Armand Rosamilia:

Kindle Unlimited… What does RCC think? #amazon #kindle

Originally posted on C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m:

Kindle Unlimited is up and running at Amazon. For about ten bucks a month, readers can read a lot and authors will get paid if 10% of the book is read. Across the writerverse, we are speculating. Is it good news or bad news?

I suspect it’s good news. Here’s why I’m not worried:

1. There are other subscription services and there wasn’t really much outrage about them. Questions, certainly. Usually the question was, “Is this new thing I’ve never heard of legit?” Since it’s Amazon, the question is often, “Why are they out to destroy the world?”

The answer is, they want to own it, just like every other company. Competition and all that. That’s all of us. We’re all selling something, so let’s keep calm and bang a gong. 

2. Those other subscription services have failed to usher in The End Times. This is one marketing idea among many. Some of…

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Interview with Author Armand Rosamilia


Armand Rosamilia:

Rebecca Besser Interviews Armand Rosamilia #dyingdays

Originally posted on Author Rebecca Besser's Blog:

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Author Armand Rosamilia

Bec: Armand, welcome to my blog once again! It’s been awhile since I’ve last shared you with the world. For those that don’t know you, please tell us a little bit about yourself –

Armand: No. I am a very private person. Actually, I’m a New Jersey boy currently living in Florida. I write full-time and feel blessed I can pay the bills doing what I love doing. I just got engaged to the perfect woman and can’t wait to be married to her. She supports me and allows me to write and not worry too much about the business side of my career. I like M&M’s, no walks on the beach and air conditioning.

Bec: Tell us about your book/s –

Armand: The latest is Dying Days 4, the next part in my extreme zombie series. The zombies have begun to evolve and now they’re starting…

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Guest Post: Ken MacGregor


KenMacGregor

Kid Stuff

Ken MacGregor

 

There are challenges related to being a writer that I never would have imagined prior to doing it. Which is funny, because imagining stuff is what writers are good at, right?

My son, who is seven, was talking about some pretty disturbing stuff (blood, decapitation, guts) and I told him I was worried about his brain. I may have mentioned his needing therapy in years to come.

“But, Dad,” he said, “I need to know about horror. You write horror, and you’re my Dad.”

Now, before you think me beastly, I don’t ever let my kids read the scary, gross stuff I write. I’ve written some children’s books (unpublished as yet, though one has been accepted – Yay!) and some light fantasy I’ve read to them, but I keep the horror on the highest shelf. However, my Facebook feed shows posts from other writers who frequently put up horror images. My own story collection, An Aberrant Mind has a seriously creepy clown on it. When my kids first saw it, both were taken aback. Now, they’re used to it, but my four-year-old daughter still occasionally shrieks when she spots it. But, I’m pretty sure she’s just pretending now.

So, the concern is that the kinds of things I write are having a negative impact on the mental health of my own children. I know it’s not really likely to damage them (so long as they don’t actually read it), but I worry anyway. They’re my kids; of course I worry.

Conversely, I know my son is proud of me for being an author – few things in this world are better than hearing your child tell someone else: “My Dad’s (or Mom’s) a…” with pride evident in their voice and body language.

It’s tough, because I want them to be excited about what I do, but I don’t want them to be adversely affected by the horror genre. I was talking about this with David C. Hayes yesterday, in fact. He’s the fellow who wrote the introduction to An Aberrant Mind. David’s great. He doesn’t seem to have any filters at all. Anyway, I mentioned being worried about my kids getting into horror too young, and he said, “We all did.”

He is introducing his niece to the old Universal monster movies and slowly working up to more modern horror as she gets older and better equipped to handle it.

I have already taken my boy to see The Creature from the Black Lagoon (in 3-D!) at the local art house theater. He loved it. I think we’ll have to hang out with Karloff, Cushing and Lee sometime soon. Because, David (who is a hell of a nice guy, by the way) is right: we all started young. And I turned out all right. Sure, there are some very strange things running around in my brain, but they’re not real and they can’t hurt me or my kids.

Right?

AnAberrantMind_KenMacGregor_FrontCoverPromo

An Aberrant Mind

Ken MacGregor

 

ABERRANT is defined as unusual, abnormal or different. The stories in this book not only differ from most of what you read, but also wildly from each other. A retired school teacher takes on an elder god and his minion; a werewolf picks fights with sea creatures; a neighbor’s lawn may be eating people. Twenty-two stories: scary, funny, weird and different.

 

In these pages, you will find darkness and fear, revulsion and terror. Mixed with it, however is quite a bit of humor. Sometimes both happen at the same time. So, open it up, join Jim as he fights off zombies with a potato cannon; witness the bloodbath reunion of the first man and his homicidal son; enjoy the monsters, the demons and the deranged.

 

A word of warning, though: you may never eat a bagel with lox again.

 

Available for purchase at:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil

CreateSpace

Smashwords

 

***

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ken MacGregor’s work has appeared in over fifty anthologies, magazines and podcasts. Ken is a member of The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an Affiliate member of HWA. You can find Ken on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and at ken-macgregor.com. Ken’s the kind of guy that, if he found himself stranded somewhere with you, would probably eat you to survive. Ken hopes you enjoyed the stories in this collection and that you sleep just a little less well because of them. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and two unstable cats.

 

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Giveaway information:

 

Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGregor to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!

 

Win 1 of 5(five) copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGreogor

Armand Rosamilia | Authors are People | DYING DAYS 4


Armand Rosamilia:

Eli Constant interviews Armand Rosamilia #dyingdays

Originally posted on The Blog of Eli :

Armand Rosamilia

Author Superhero with Over 120 Releases, Radio DJ Extraordinaire, Good Samaritan (Authors Supporting Our Troops)

armand

Armand celebrates the release of his 4th installment in his Dying Days Series!

dying days 4

Over 120 releases. The latest is Dying Days 4 in the continuing zombie series (Find on Amazon). Praise for DD4: “I got an advanced reading copy of Dying Days 4. Here’s my honest reaction: I read it all in one evening and had a great time! The pace is fast. The characters are fun though the story has some genuinely scary elements. My favorite character isn’t Darlene, though. I loved the villain. Any enemy that’s so difficult to defeat makes for great heroes and challenging plots. The author is really working here to do something more with zombies than you might expect. I love clever zombie stories with depth. This has that, plus jokes. Best of all for me…

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Arm Cast Podcast: Episode 3 – Karner And McKinney


Armand Rosamilia:

Arm Cast Podcast: Episode 3 – Karner And McKinney #podcast #horror #interview

Originally posted on Arm Cast Podcast:

Coming Friday July 18th to iTunes, Stitcher and my rss feed… 

For the third podcast, I wanted to mix in a non-author. How about a horror filmmaker? I know Dave personally, and we spent a long weekend writing a screenplay for my Keyport Cthulhu novel. Before I untied him I forced him to do my podcast. It was actually the first interview I did for it… 

Dave Karner grew up making Super 8mm films with his friends throughout high school. After a stint in the USMC, Dave wound up at the USC School of Cinema-Televison in Production. After college, Dave worked for various directors in Los Angeles on commercials, informercials and specialty shows. In 2006, he founded and is owner/designer of a web design company. Recently, he began redirecting his efforts to film by volunteering as a camera operator for a local filmmaking club. This led to his first position…

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Reblog: Why You Need To Review My “Dying Days” Series


Armand Rosamilia:

Reblog of a Reblog: Importance of Reviews #dyingdays #zombie

Originally posted on Dying Days:

I wrote a heartwarming guest post for Leah Rhyne’s blog… and I think you need to read it, especially if you are a reader. If you can’t read you’re probably not reading this anyway, so ignore it… but if you do love to read, you need to help out an author! (Like me, for instance…)

http://www.leahrhyne.com/2014/07/guest-post-armand-rosamilia.html

Dying Days 4 Cover with Blurbs

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Guest Post: RJ Sullivan


RJSullivanPhoto

Introducing Haunting Blue

 

 

Starting a Series with a Great Hook

 

Hello, and welcome to the R.J. Sullivan Blog Tour. Thanks to Armand Rosamilia for hosting this entry. I was asked to choose between introducing either the novel or the series. Luckily, I can do both.

 

Haunting Blue is my latest release from Seventh Star Press. It’s also the first novel I’d ever published and the first book in my loosely connected paranormal thriller trilogy.

 

When you know that Haunting Blue is a re-release, it’s not that confusing. Haunting Blue originally came out in 2010, my first novel, originally put out by another publisher. Seventh Star then published my second and third books, and then in December 2013, the rights to Haunting Blue reverted back to me.

 

I love the editions that Seventh Star put out for Haunting Obsession and Virtual Blue, and having SSP reprint the first book gave me several advantages. 1) It created a unified set of covers and interior art by the fabulous Bonnie Wasson. 2) The entire series now has a similar branded look, and 3) It gave me a chance to fix little errors and make some enhancements to the first novel. I added a new poem, and I fixed a timeline problem from the original edition. 4) A better, higher quality e-file (at a better price for the reader) and greater distribution, through outlets not originally available.

 

Since December and until recently, my novel, Virtual Blue has been available through Seventh Star. Virtual Blue is a direct sequel to Haunting Blue, which meant I was trying to sell the second half of a bigger story without the first half available. As of May, that is no longer the case. Haunting Blue is back, and there’s never been a better time to check out my series.

 

Though all three books can be read on their own, the series is best enjoyed in this order:

 

Haunting Blue: is the story of how new student and punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer meets computer nerd “Chip” Farren at the high school of small town Perionne. Blue’s mother moves her from a suburb of Indianapolis to a conservative small town. Whether Blue’s feelings of alienation are real or a self-fulfilling prophecy, the odd couple are drawn together. Her friendship with Chip takes a romantic turn, and he draws her deep into a local mystery. Back in 1990, Gunther Stalt, a psychopath with a hooked hand, pulled off a daring daylight bank robbery and was never captured. Ignoring numerous stories of the “Ghost of Gunther” Blue is determined to help Chip solve the mystery of the robbery, even though it may cost her more than she can possibly imagine.

 

Haunting Obsession: is another ghost story–this one about Daryl Beasley and his girlfriend Loretta Stevens. Daryl has a fixation on the Hollywood icon and sex symbol Maxine Marie, who died tragically in the early 60′s. Daryl purchases a rare but arguably tasteless souvenir from Maxine’s past, and to his surprise and delight, finds himself “haunted” by the object of his desire. Loretta is not amused, but her warnings fall on deaf ears. Soon, Daryl’s encounters take a turn for the worst, and Loretta seeks help from the mysterious Rebecca Burton, a paranormal investigator and woman of many powers and secrets.

 

Virtual Blue: picks up two years after Haunting Blue. With their relationship on the rocks due to problems brought on by the events of Haunting Blue, Blue travels to Indiana University over Thanksgiving Weekend to confront Chip and resolve their relationship one way or the other. At the same time, an extremist cult has targeted Chip’s work-in-progress multi-player heroic fantasy video game, and plans to use his technology to teleport a demon into the real world. From ghost hunter to demon slayer (and a healthy dose of techno-thriller), this may be more than Blue and Chip can handle, even together. Fortunately, paranormal investigator Rebecca Burton is already on the case.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of R.J. Sullivan’s “trilogy” as it now stands. An upcoming short story collection will include two additional tales of Rebecca Burton, and a fourth novel is in the works!

HauntingBlue_Cover

About RJ Sullivan:  Haunting Blue is the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer. This is the 2014 revised edition by Seventh Star Press. Seventh Star also released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, and Virtual Blue, the second book in Fiona’s tale. R.J.’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Dark Faith: Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His newest project is the Red Lotus series of science fiction novelettes.

R.J. resides in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks coffee from a Little Mermaid mug and is man enough to admit it. http://www.rjsullivanfiction.com

 

Haunting Blue Book Synopsis: Punk, blue-haired “Blue” Shaefer, is at odds with her workaholic single mother. Raised as a city girl in a suburb of Indianapolis, Blue must abandon the life she knows when her unfeeling mother moves them to a dreadful small town. Blue befriends the only student willing to talk to her: computer nerd “Chip” Farren.

Chip knows the connection between the rickety pirate boat ride at the local amusement park and the missing money from an infamous bank heist the townspeople still talk about. When Blue helps him recover the treasure, they awaken a vengeful ghost who’ll stop at nothing–not even murder–to prevent them from exposing the truth behind his evil deeds.

Haunting Blue is Book One of the Adventures of Blue Shaefer

 

Author Links:

Website: http://rjsullivanfiction.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/R.J.SullivanAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5199299.R_J_Sullivan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rjsullivanauthr

Why I Went Into Podcasting


Armand Rosamilia:

Why I Went Into Podcasting

Originally posted on C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m:

Guest post by author Armand Rosamilia

Armand            I know the general consensus for doing something is because you see or hear someone else do it and think (in your infinite wisdom and arrogance) that you can do it better. I am here to tell you, at least with me, it was not the case. I went into podcasting because it was my next challenge.

            I’m a blessed man. I am truly living the dream, being able to write full-time and stay home in my Big Bang Theory sleep-pants and drink coffee and get even fatter (almost at will, that last one). I do two music radio shows from the comfort of said home as well. I have a wonderful fiancé and great kids and I keep doing what I want to do: write books.

            In fact, let’s get the heavy-handed plug out of…

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Wattpad – Do I Dare?


Yes, actually, I’m going to. And you have Robert Chazz Chute to blame, because any time he mentions something I haven’t immersed myself in, I jump in, add 57,006 people to follow, and give it a spin.

Case in point: this coming week I’m going to play around with a new Dying Days story I’ve had spinning in my head for awhile but didn’t know where it would fit in the actual books. I figured I’d leave it alone until I decided to write short stories for perhaps Still Dying 3, but I’m going to explore it now… a few sentences or paragraphs or chapters at a time on Wattpad, and see where it goes. I’m also going to be writing a bit different than I normally would… yep, going to try it with a YA angle using one of the characters from Dying Days 4

Care to join me and see where I go with it? You can follow me at http://www.wattpad.com/user/ArmandAuthor and let me know you’re reading and hanging out. Sound good?

We’ll see what happens… as usual, I love a new challenge.

Armand

Dying Days 4 Cover with Blurbs

Guest Post: Michael West


HadesDisciplesTourBadge

Writing Cross-Genre Fiction

 

When I sit down to write, I don’t think to myself, “Today, I’m going to create a Horror story” or “I’m going to do a Sci-fi tale.”  No.  Instead, I sit down to tell the best story I can, about characters that appeal to me, and who I hope will also appeal to readers. 

     Most of my novels can fall firmly into the Horror camp.  They have ghosts, demons, and supernatural monsters.  But my Legacy of the Gods series is classified as Urban Fantasy by my publisher.  This fits, because the novels do take place in our modern world; in small towns and major cities like New York and Tokyo. And while they feature creatures like satyrs and dragons, which are more common to epic Fantasy fiction, they also feature aliens and more bloody, horrific elements as well.

     The downside to writing cross-genre fiction is that it is much more difficult to sell.  When I first started shopping the first manuscript for my series around, the traditional Horror publishers came back and said, “It’s not scary enough to be Horror, and it has these fantastic and Sci-fi elements which we don’t do.”  Then, when I sent it to the Sci-fi/Fantasy publishers, they told me, “This is too horrific for us.  Try the Horror markets.” And I kept going in those circles for years.

     But I did not want to cut out the horrific elements to make it more Sci-fi, just as I did not want to get rid of the more fantastic elements to make it pure Horror.  All those aspects helped to tell the story I wanted to tell, and I felt they were equally important to the mythology I was creating.

     Finally, the publishing world seemed to catch up to my vision.  Cross-genre stories became more commonplace.  And Urban Fantasy seemed to become a catch-all term for those square pegs that did not fit easily into the old-fashioned round genres. 

     Seventh Star Press released Book One: Poseidon’s Children in 2011.  Since that time, the novel has gone on to sell copies in England, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada, and of course, the United States.  And now, with the release of Book Two: Hades’ Disciples, the excitement for the series has only grown. 

As I sit down to write book three of The Legacy of the Gods series, I am not thinking about the genre elements that make up the tale.  I’m thinking about the characters and their individual storylines.  I’m thinking about the story that I want to tell, and if it ultimately gets classified as Urban Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, or something in between, I hope that my readers will enjoy it.  That, after all, is the only thing that really  matters.  

    

About the author

Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, The Wide Game, Spook House, and the critically acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

West avoids manhole covers and sidewalk grates whenever possible. He just doesn’t know what’s down there, and he’s not sure he wants to find out.

  

Book Synopsis for Hades’ Disciples

 Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

 

Hades Disciples is Book Two in the Legacy of the Gods Series.

 

Author Links:

Website:  http://www.bymichaelwest.com

Twitter: @bymichaelwest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bymichaelwestpage

 

Amazon Links for Hades’ Disciples

Print Version

http://www.amazon.com/Hades-Disciples-Legacy-Gods-Michael/dp/1941706002

Kindle Version

http://www.amazon.com/Hades-Disciples-Legacy-Gods-Michael-ebook/dp/B00KBIB6W2

Arm Cast Podcast: Episode 2 – Robert Chazz Chute


Armand Rosamilia:

Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Podcast Episode 2 – Robert Chazz Chute #podcast #zombies

Originally posted on Arm Cast Podcast:

This week’s episode will debut on Friday July 11th and features only one interview, because once Robert and I start chatting it never stops… so instead of two interviews you get an in-depth 45 minutes or so of my Canadian Brotha From Anotha Country

Me B&W

Robert Chazz Chute is a suspense novelist best known for This Plague of Days. Host of the Cool People Podcast, you can find out more about his books at AllThatChazz.com and ThisPlagueOfDays.com. He writes a blog for writers at ChazzWrites.com.

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Why you’re going to make it


Armand Rosamilia:

Ahh, Positive Vibes from Robert Chazz Chute!

Originally posted on C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m:

As indie authors, we’re all encouraged to work harder. That’s frustrating to hear because I don’t know any indie authors who aren’t working hard. But I’ve got good news. Your chances of achieving some measure of success are better than we’ve been led to believe. Here’s why:

1. Businesses fail all the time, big and small. But our overhead is so low, we can continue after we fail! When your hardware store goes out of business, you’re done. We get a few kicks in the ass, but authors also get more kicks at the can.

2. Every business that ever made it to sustainable got there because the boss/producer didn’t quit. Many of the biggest success stories come from people who failed and failed and failed at their chosen path but were too dumb to quit. Stubborn is our advantage.

Being a writer isn’t just a job. It’s an identity. It’s a compulsion. How…

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Guest Post: TW Brown


Spring_new

Behind the curtain of the DEAD series

 

When I first sat down and wrote the opening line for the DEAD series, I was thinking, “Maybe I have a five book series here.” By then end of that book, I knew it was going to take more than that. My mind was made up that I was going to write the “Wheel of Time” equivalent for the zombie crowd. I was set to build an entire world and then take the reader on a whirlwind tour of the apocalypse populated with a cast of characters that might reach a hundred in any given book. And yeah…I knew it was risky. But I also felt that the zombie fans were a group that deserved something with depth.

The formula that I chose was inspired by George R.R. Martin. If you have dipped your toes in the books that the very popular “Game of Thrones” series is based upon, then you know how he does each chapter from a different perspective of one of his characters. I tweaked it for my own devices and came up with “Steve’s Story”, “The Geeks”, and “Vignettes” as my three rotating chapters. If you have read any of my DEAD series, then you know that each book is always 18 chapters long (6 per story line). However, things have changed some since that first book. I learned some lessons.

Of course, Steve’s chapters are all in first person. That lets you really see things from one person’s perspective. You are only as clued in as he is during any particular moment. The Geeks was my homage to every single zombie fan who thinks that the Zombie Apocalypse would be so freakin’ cool. This is the story that I get to sink in to as I write it. I channel many of my friends and the snippets of conversations that we have had since that day in the 70s when we all came out of the original Dawn of the Dead with some fairly silly adolescent fantasies. However, it is the Vignettes where I think I have learned the most as a writer. And that is sort of my focus here as I let you peek behind the curtain.

The vignettes were initially just supposed to be snapshots of the world in chaos. I even toyed with the idea of folding every one of those stories in to my two main story lines. Somewhere along the way, many of those shorts began to take on a life of their own. In fact, they are the source of the most hated and loved (according to reviews and personal emails) of my character; Garrett being the former and Juan the latter.

In the first book, DEAD: The Ugly Beginning, I wrote the vignettes as they came to me. So, there was no order, rhyme, or reason. However, as some of the stories began to take on a life of their own, I started to really get invested in what would happen. By the second book, DEAD: Revelations, I realized something: I needed to keep the stories in the same order chapter by chapter. By the third book, DEAD: Fortunes and Failures, I had a refined formula. What I would do was continue to keep the main vignettes in order, but I would give each vignette chapter what I termed as a one-timer. This would be a single open-and-closed short.

Funny thing about when an author sits down with an idea. They are usually the only one who understands it. So was the case with Vignettes. The idea is one that I would not change as a whole, but I do think that I would have modified it to some extent. And that is where I believe it to be now.

Readers of the series have had to go through this process with me, but I do think what I have now is the way to go. Now, in Vignettes, there are the main story lines that have endured since the first book or two of the series. However, since I try to complete the main ideas of a story arc in each three-book offering, I now introduce a new vignette at the start of books 4, 7, and 10. That will allow me to write a bit of a novella-length story. Some will fold in to the main stories, some will simply reach a climax and end, and others might be melded into one of the other vignettes.

Now, I realize that I still run the risk of “too many characters” as some critics have pointed out. However, I believe that, once you become engrossed in this DEAD world, you will find it a very rewarding experience.

At least that is what I am hoping.

As book nine, DEAD: Spring, hits the ground, I am more excited than ever before. For one, I can’t be sure, but this might be the largest (in terms of word count) of any zombie novel out there to date. And if you find a longer zombie novel, you have to let me know because I am as much a fan as anything else and I would love to read it (if it is good).

Book eight was the riskiest for me due to all of the cliffhangers. But I was fairly confident that, if you have come along for this much of the ride, then you are probably a fan and will be on board for the next one.

So, I hope that you enjoy it. I think that it is my best to date.

TW Brown on Amazon

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Guest Post: Anthony Armstrong


Interview with Anthony Armstrong, author of Cadavar Dogs

TonyArmstrong

How long have you been writing? 

I started writing at about eight, but that was pretty much only when stories were assigned in school.  I knew I liked the process and thought about writing a lot, though.  My desire to really be a writer was cemented in sixth grade when my teacher sent me to a junior writing seminar that only allowed two children from each elementary school in town.  I was one of the lucky two, and when he sent me, he told me he expected to see my face on the back of a bestseller someday.  Still working on that one, Mr. Weaver.

Where did the inspiration for Cadaver Dogs come from? 

The title came from a tv show I had on in the background.  It was some true crime show, and even though I knew what cadaver dogs were and had heard the term many times, it stuck out to me that day and I wrote it down on a scrap of paper, saving it until I had an idea to go with it.  The story itself came out of the ether.  I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling.  I had an idea of the tone, and I knew I wanted it to be about someone struggling with loss, but not being able to grieve or stop and wallow in their sorrow because of some outside horror that had to be dealt with immediately.   I wrote about 3,000 words of it and got stuck.  It sat untouched for probably two years, then I discussed the idea with a close friend and she inspired me to finish it.  (‘Inspired’ in that last line should be read as: ‘threatened bodily harm’) 

What is your writing routine? 

I try to be a disciplined writer and set aside time to write every day, always in the wee hours, but that doesn’t happen as much as it should.  When I get an idea, I make notes first, especially when I think it will be a longer piece: title, character names, plot points, settings, etc.  Then it’s a matter brainstorming and typing.  Sometimes in my notes I will write every thought that comes to me, sort of freewriting, trying to plot things out to the end or as far into the work as I can see.  Once I get a first line written, it begins to spill out and I let it go.  Once I’ve started, I try to write a set number of words each day.  As for the writing itself, I put on mood appropriate music and lose myself in the words that are flowing.

Are you a pantser or plotter? 

Both, actually.  Short stories I usually get the idea and fly by the seat of my pants.  For longer works, I put as many plot points as I can in my notes and the stuff in between getting my characters from one point to the next is on the fly.  Some of the time, my characters disagree with where I think they should go, so they kind of rewrite my plotlines.

What scares you? 

The world we live in scares me more than anything I’ve seen on the screen or read.  I’m kind of an ostrich.  I can only take so much news, politics, reality television, etc.  I also kind of hate it when my printer turns on by itself at 2:30 in the morning.

What do you do for fun? 

Other than writing, I love reading.  I also love horror movies, and I play bass in a band called November Mourns www.facebook.com/novembermourns.  The record we just put out is very horror influenced as well.

If they made Cadaver Dogs into a movie, who would play Father Englund?Why? 

Yeesh…as long as Robert Rodriguez directs it, he can choose who he wants.  I trust his judgment.

Are you a zombie fan? What’s your favorite zombie movie? 

I am a zombie fan, but I think the over-saturation of them in media is getting pretty heavy.  The idea for Cadaver Dogs came before they really took off.  Way before The Walking Dead and such.  As for favorite movie, I have to go with the start of it all and say Night of the Living Dead.  Honorable mention to Fulci’s Zombi.

The book ends on kind of a cliffhanger. What made you decide to do that? Will there be a Cadaver Dogs sequel? 

That was completely intentional, and originally I had no plans for a sequel at all.  The reason I chose to end it that way was simply because I love books and movies that are brave enough to leave open ends, give you something to think about, ponder over, obsess over.  I really wanted people to finish it in their heads.  I’ve heard many thoughts on what happens after I ended the story and I guess it really bothered some people, a couple of co-workers in particular.  I am glad to say that there is a sequel written, and I like to think what happens is unexpected and will please readers.  It’ll see the light of day, providing Angelic Knight Press likes it and wants to put it out there.  (Don’t tell anyone this, but it was written out of fear of being shanked in the parking lot after work by one of two or possibly three co-workers upset by the end.)

Do you have a zombie apocalypse plan? 

No, but I can run fast and I’m not above tripping people.

CADAVER DOGS

CadaverDogsFinalCover

David P Forsyth Teaser for #SummerZombie


David Author pic1

Excerpt from Interludes in Hell

By David P. Forsyth

“LUKAN”

 

I’m a dead man walking, but I’ve been having the time of my life. If everything goes according to plan there might not be anyone left alive to read this, but I still want to record my experiences during this apocalyptic odyssey. Yes, it is quite possible that nobody will ever read this. So why write it? Under normal circumstances nobody would believe it anyway. Yet maybe aliens or some other species will arrive or evolve and wonder about us. Like we wondered about dinosaurs.  So I am using my tablet to record the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Before this plane lands in Sydney I will upload my testimonial to several secure servers and embed a time delayed release. Some people may read it and learn the truth before they die. And, if there are any survivors, they might be curious about how the world ended.

We are all dying. We don’t want to face it, but it’s true. From the moment you are born the clock is ticking. Most of us never know when the timer will hit zero. For me that all changed four months ago when a doctor told me that I only had six months to live.  It’s cancer. Brain cancer. An inoperable tumor. Hopeless. I know some of you will think, “Ah, the tumor made him crazy,” but you would be wrong. The modern world is the disease that did this to me and I am the cure.  For the past ten years I held a cell phone next to my head for at least three or four hours a day. Damned unlimited talk plans! I’m pretty sure that is what gave me the tumor, but it doesn’t really matter anymore. Besides, that is not what I want to tell you about. It is only important as far as it goes to explain how I got into this.

My name is Alistair Dane Lukan. You might have heard of me, but probably not, at least not yet. I was a blogger and small time fiction writer, when I wasn’t selling life insurance for a living. Is that ironic, or what? In my spare time I used to blog about politics and write cheap science fiction eBooks. Some of my stuff was well received, but after my diagnosis everything changed. Prior to that I had written several blog posts about the problem of global overpopulation in which I promoted birth control and abortion. One of my first blog entries after the diagnosis expanded on that subject, telling people they should be happy that my death would be a small contribution to solving the problem of overpopulation and encouraging folks to kill themselves and take other people with them as a way to further the cause. It was a bitter, tongue in cheek satire, but not everyone took it that way. I got a lot more hate mail than sympathy, especially after a right wing news program linked to my blog and excoriated it. Of course that only made me angry, as if I wasn’t already, and I lashed out with additional postings in which I listed all the human suffering caused by overpopulation, as well as the resulting environmental destruction from our exploitation of the planet.  Some of my blog posts included impassioned pleas to God or governments to rid the world of the burden of mankind through plague or war. The hate mail grew and simply fueled my hatred of the human race at large. I was, quite simply, sick in the head.

Then, about two months after my diagnosis, I got a very different type of message on my personal email. The sender was sympathetic to my plight and agreed with my positions on overpopulation, even offering to help me spread the doctrine in the little time remaining to me. All they asked me to do, if I was interested in learning more about their offer, was send a reply within one hour of opening the email. I thought about it for at least half an hour before drafting a reply. Even then I hesitated, unsure if I should proceed. My mouse hovered above “send” as the hour expired. What happened next both frightened and excited me. The original message deleted itself from my inbox! I had heard that high tech programs could now send messages that would self-destruct, but had never witnessed it.  This was like something out of Mission Impossible. My outgoing reply window was still open and I clicked on “send” more out of curiosity than conviction. The reply went through and what was left of my life changed dramatically.

****

One week later I was sitting in a first class seat on a flight to Seattle, paid for in full by my new and still nameless online friend. What convinced me? The offer was quite sweet. The person, or persons, who had contacted me would pay for me to live in luxury for the time I had left and help me spread my philosophy to others around the world. It sounded as if I would be a poster-child of sorts for the cause of depopulation. It certainly sounded better than sitting in my apartment waiting to die, with nothing but morphine to look forward to in the way of comfort before the inevitable end overtook me. Of course there was more to their offer than met the eye and I should have known it. Yet even now I think I made the right decision, although you probably won’t agree with me.

When I arrived in Seattle there was a limo waiting to take me to a hotel near the airport where a prepaid room was reserved in my name. Actually it was a luxury suite with more square footage than my apartment at home. A note told me to use room service and watch as many movies as I liked, but not to leave the suite or make any calls until I was contacted the following morning. It was a pleasant night. The next morning at 9:00 sharp there was a knock on my door. I was almost finished with my room service breakfast. My appetite had suffered as the cancer progressed, but I could still stomach eggs and juice. I pulled on a T-shirt and opened the door to admit who I assumed would be my benefactor.

Two people stood waiting in the hallway. One was a genial looking middle-aged man with greying hair and wearing a tan suit. The other was a young and quite attractive woman with black hair and penetrating eyes. They introduced themselves as Bill and Linda. I welcomed them into the living room of the suite. There was some small talk, which I can’t remember at all, having been focused almost exclusively on Linda’s body. It’s a strange thing about dying. Even for someone like me who opposed reproduction on practical and philosophical grounds, the biological drive to procreate is strong. When facing certain death it gets even stronger. I was captivated by the curves of Linda’s breasts when Bill brought me back to earth.

“You need to make a decision now, Alistair,” he intoned. “If you are truly committed to the philosophy that you have been promoting online, we can help you set it in motion before you die. You, and several others, have been chosen to leave a legacy unlike any other in history. But once you leave this room with us you will be sworn to secrecy and committed to the cause. Are you ready for that?”

Slightly taken aback, I said, “Can you be more specific? Exactly who are you people and what do you want me to do?”

“Those are questions that can only be answered after you have sworn an oath of secrecy and committed yourself to the cause,” Linda answered softly. “But after reading all of your work, I am sure that you will be in full agreement with our plans.”  This was a brilliant approach on her part, playing to my vanity as a writer.

“In that case,” I smiled, “let’s get this show on the road. I will agree to keep your secrets. That shouldn’t be too hard anyway, seeing as how I only have a few more months to live. And if your plan includes giving me the VIP treatment like this, then it can’t be too bad.”  Little did I know how wrong I was.

Without disclosing more information, but taking my commitment on face value, they waited while I repacked my bag before escorting me out of the suite. Upon entering the elevator I was a bit surprised that we went up instead of down. Exiting onto the roof area I was delighted to see a helicopter waiting for us. I had never been on a helicopter before. What an adventure this was turning out to be!

My excitement peaked as the helicopter lifted off from the roof and headed towards downtown Seattle. I could see the Space Needle in the distance and hoped we would fly close enough for a good look. But excitement turned to trepidation when Linda pulled out a black hood and slid it over my head.

“What are you doing?” I said, reaching up to remove it.

“Leave it on,” Bill said firmly. “This is part of operational security. It’s vital that you don’t know exactly where we are taking you. We will divulge many things to you, but the location of our base of operations is not one of them. No matter how committed you are to the cause, we can’t take the risk of the wrong people finding us.”

This cloak and dagger stuff didn’t sit well with me, but I must admit to being intrigued. I felt the helicopter bank steeply and it must have circled several times before straightening onto a course that I had no way of guessing.  The flight was not long, perhaps half an hour, and I was taken by surprise when the wheels hit the ground, bouncing slightly. Without removing the hood my new comrades (coconspirators? captors?) escorted me off the helicopter, across a paved lot, and into a building. Only after we were deep inside did Linda remove the hood from my head. I blinked at the bright lights in the white hallway and tried to regain my bearings. “Where are we?” I asked. “And who are you people?”

Linda smiled as she led me into an opulent bedroom without windows and said, “We are the Tabula Rasa and this is our North American base. This is where you will learn our secrets before embarking on a grand adventure. I will do everything I can to make sure you enjoy your stay here.” Before I could react to any of that, she leaned towards me and planted a kiss on my lips. Not just a friendly kiss either. Suddenly her tongue was in my mouth and all other thoughts escaped me.  My time with Linda was too personal to share with you in detail, although those moments still replay constantly in my mind. Linda proved herself to be quite a minx and the consummate hostess. After assuring me that she was using birth control she proceeded to show me what would undoubtedly be the time of my life. No pun intended.

****

Over the next few days, when I wasn’t otherwise occupied in bed with Linda, I learned that the Tabula Rasa was a secret society dedicated to reducing the global population to sustainable levels. It was exactly what I had been preaching, but it sounded like they had a real plan to make it happen. They didn’t disclose the whole plan immediately, not until I was in way over my head. By that time I was hopelessly in love with Linda (or maybe it was just lust) and had expressed full agreement with the goals and objectives of the Tabula Rasa. I was hooked and willing to agree to do anything to support them. That’s when Bill and Linda dropped their bomb on me.

“Alistair,” Bill began, “I truly wish that we could cure your cancer and invite you to join our long-term mission. You seem to be fully dedicated to the cause. Unfortunately, the medical tests we put you through over the past two weeks have confirmed your prognosis. You have less than two months to live and I’m afraid the final month will be quite painful.”

I thought I had moved past the stage of denial, at least to anger, if not acceptance, but Bill’s words stung me to the core. I had tried not to think about the tumor growing in my head during my time at the Tabula Rasa base. The Vicodin and Oxycodone were keeping my splitting headaches in check. And I was starting to think that I could find purpose and contentment in whatever time I had left. It just wasn’t fair. I had a woman that I was falling in love with and a cause that was dear to my heart. Bill pulled the rug out from under my fantasy. Life is not fair. But you know that by now too, don’t you?

Linda stepped into the silence and said, “There is still a way for you to make a difference for our cause and help bring about the kind of world we dream of.”

“What is it?” I asked without displaying my emotions.

“We want you to help us trigger a depopulation event,” she said softly.

“Huh?” I guess I was still a bit dense, or maybe the shock and pain killers slowed my thought process. “How?”

“We want you to spread a virus that will reduce the global human population to sustainable levels,” Bill explained. I just stared at him.

“It’s what you talked about on your blog,” Linda chimed sweetly. “You really can make a difference by reducing world population before you die. You can fulfill your vision and we can ensure that you have a great time doing it too.”

“I don’t understand,” and I didn’t. Not at first anyway. Bill had to spell it out in detail.  They wanted to send me on a final vacation around the world, spreading some virus at every stop and on every flight. I asked them what kind of virus I would be spreading and told them I didn’t really want to kill millions of people. Bill and Linda exchanged glances. Then Linda made it sound like a good thing.

“It’s just a sterility virus,” she said. “It won’t actually hurt anyone, but it will keep them from having children. It will reverse the astronomical growth rate of the human race. Only those who receive the antidote will be able to reproduce. Within a few generations the scourge of humanity will be reduced to numbers that our planet can sustain. All you have to do is take a grand vacation and release a little bit of the virus at every stop. Will you do that for me, Ally? For us? To help make your vision of a better world come true? You’ll be remembered as a hero to the cause!”

What could I say? She had me pegged and I was a sucker for flattery. I wanted to be remembered for something, even if the vast majority of people would curse me for cutting off their bloodlines and posterity. Still, the plan made a certain kind of sense to me. I’m not sure if I would have agreed to do it, even then, had I known the true nature of the virus I would release. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. The long and the short of it is that I agreed to be a martyr for the cause. I would become their Trojan horse carrying a virulent pandemic on a “make a wish” odyssey to oblivion.

****

It was the first week of March when I fully committed to the plan. They told me I would have one more week to spend at the Tabula Rasa base memorizing the details before leaving on a two week all-expense-paid trip around the world. All of the reservations and tickets would be pre-paid and retrievable online, but they wanted me to memorize the details of the lengthy trip, down to the flight numbers and addresses of hotels I would be using, as well as popular tourist sites I would visit. I followed their instructions, but truth be told I spent more time memorizing Linda’s body and the things we did together. It was hard to imagine my global journey being any better than the time I spent with Linda in that underground bunker.

Bill and Linda handled most of my training during that time. I can see now that it was as much brainwashing and indoctrination as education, but I doubt that made much difference. Eventually they succeeded in convincing me to look forward to my final adventure. “Just think of all the places you’ll see!” Linda would say. “You’re going to Mexico City, Panama, Rio, and Buenos Aries… And that’s just the first few days. Then you’re off to Cape Town in South Africa! And Cairo, Egypt. We even made time for a helicopter flight to the Pyramids. Then Athens, Rome and Paris with a day in each!  You’ll take a train to London for the final flight to Sydney, Australia, with a short layover at home in Los Angeles. I wish I could go with you!”

“Me too,” I replied honestly. I guess the meds I was taking were effecting my thinking, because it took me quite a while to ask the most important question. “But what do I do after that last flight to Australia? How do I get back here to see you again before I die?”

“Don’t worry about that, honey,” she replied. “It’s all taken care of.” I should have seen through her lies right then, but I was still thinking with my smaller head and we were in bed at the time.  It wasn’t until my final days at the Tabula Rasa base that the cat was let out the bag.

My final phase of training involved learning to operate the instrument I would use to spread the virus around the world. It was quite ingenious. An oversized bronchial inhaler like they gave to people with asthma. The one I trained with was inert, of course, but they wanted me to get familiar with it. The man who introduced it to me was some sort of big shot in the organization. The others called him Dr. Strangelove, but I knew that wasn’t his real name. Nevertheless, that’s how I was told to address him. He was sort of spooky and confined to a wheel chair, so I could see how he got the nickname.  He was also a bit absent minded, which is how he let the true nature of my mission slip.

When Linda and Bill introduced me to him they seemed to stress the fact that I was the one who would release the sterility virus. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, assuming Dr. Strangelove would already know that. But in the course of a private conversation during my last full day at the base, when Bill and Linda were occupied elsewhere, I asked a question that was still bothering me.

“Dr. Strangelove?” I said. “What happens after my final flight to Australia? Should I get rid of the inhaler device?”

“No need,” he replied. “By then it won’t matter at all. In fact, you should probably use up the rest of the charge in the canister while you are still on that plane. But within a few hours of your arrival it won’t matter what happens to it. And it certainly won’t matter to you.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“That is when you and everyone you have infected, as well as everyone they spread it to since being infected, will all turn at roughly the same time.”

“Turn?” I asked softly.

“Yes, the virus will complete the process of mutation and convert the hosts.”

“Convert them into what?”

“Come now, young man!” Dr. Strangelove exclaimed. “They told me you were a willing volunteer. A martyr for the cause.”

“Yes, sir, I am a volunteer. I have terminal cancer and I want to help release this virus so that my last acts will promote the cause of reducing global population to sustainable levels.”

“Indeed it will,” the doctor replied in a calmer tone of voice. “It’s good that you are doing this willingly and for the right reasons. Too many of the other carriers are being sent out to do this blind. We had to hire stupid thugs, even terrorists, to disperse the virus in some parts of the world. Of course they have no idea what they are really being paid to do. I might worry about them compromising our organization, if I wasn’t certain the virus will take care of them before anyone starts asking questions.  But it’s much better to have a true believer such as yourself.”

“Yes, sir,” I replied, trying to keep the shakiness out of my voice. “But since you are the expert here, can you tell me what to expect when it comes time for me to turn? What will happen to me when I arrive in Sydney?”

“Best not to dwell on it, young man. Suffice it to say that one form of existence will end and another will begin, but I can assure you that both will be dedicated to your goal of depopulation.”

“And the people I infect?”

“Exactly the same thing will happen to them at almost the same time as it does to you. This virus is a brilliant construct. Once activated it mutates at a steady rate, even inside the canister you will use to release it. So everyone you come into contact with after you leave here will unwittingly join you in your mission by spreading the virus to every person they come into contact with. Then, after the transition from passive to active phases, you will all continue that mission together. In a very real way you will be leading a legion in furtherance of a good cause. Does that make you feel better?”

It did no such thing, but I wasn’t stupid enough to say so. Instead, knowing my voice would betray me, I simply nodded dutifully and turned away. I spent the rest of that day and most of the night conflicted with feelings of horror, disbelief, and delusions of power. Yes, power. I had already felt it when I thought that I would be ending the population explosion through sterility and attrition. To think that I could actually do it immediately, myself, was a heady concept. It sounded as if a lot of pain and suffering would be involved for a lot of people, but I faced the same thing alone if I tried to live out my final month of life with terminal cancer. The idea of bringing a meaningful percentage of humanity with me had more than a little appeal to it. I was also angry. No, I was mad. Mad at God. Mad at the world. Mad at myself for not being strong enough to fight off the cancer. And mad at Linda for lying to me. I probably could have taken it out on myself by committing suicide right then and there, knowing no other way to avoid the fate I had agreed to. But I was not strong enough to do that. For my weakness and sins countless others will pay dearly.

I probably should have killed Linda on that last night at the Tabula Rasa base, not that it would have changed much of anything, but I couldn’t bring myself to even discuss what I had discovered. I settled instead for rough and even sadistic sex. She seemed to enjoy it. I know I did. We were spent and exhausted when we fell asleep together. She whispered that she would miss me. I pretended to already be asleep.

I left the Tabula Rasa’s secret base the same way I had arrived, on a helicopter with a blindfold hood over my head. I can’t tell you much about where it was, aside from being less than an hour by helicopter from Seattle, and I smelled the ocean. Other than that I only saw the inside of the building, which was quite large. If anyone out there survives to read this, I hope you hunt down those bastards and kill them all. I really had no idea what I was getting into until I read the notebook I stole from Dr. Strangelove’s office. Oh, did I fail to mention that? No matter. It didn’t come into play until days later, but perhaps I should go back and tell you about how I acquired it.

****

It was pocket size black notebook that had fallen under a desk where I was told to sit while the others prepared the infernal inhalers for my mission. It turns out the virus needed to be activated before I could release it. The mad doctor and his assistants were busy activating several of them while I was waiting. I even overheard where some of them were going. “These three go by overnight FedEx to your carriers back east. Those two are for Japan. We already sent the ones for China, Kenya, Nigeria, and Indonesia this morning. I’ll activate the ones for Central and Eastern Europe next, but I’ll hold them for the carrier to arrive.” Or something like that. Anyway, while I listened to all of that I saw a little black notebook on the floor. I bent down to tie my shoe and slipped the book into my sock. It was a crazy thing to do, but so was the rest of the mess I had become involved with. I just didn’t know how crazy until it was too late.

So I flew away from the secret base with a hood over my head, a little book in my sock, and two deadly inhalers in my carry-on bag. The helicopter also carried packages with other inhalers destined to be shipped across the country and around the world. I almost felt like James Bond, except I knew that he would be trying to kill me if this were one of his movies. I was the bad guy and I knew it. What I had learned about the virus did alter my perspective, but they had done a good job of convincing me that the cause was just. So, instead of putting up a fight and trying to kill the pilot and bring down the chopper, I sat there meekly and plotted my own revenge on the human race. Yes, I was a sick fuck, or hadn’t you figured that out yet? I could blame the cancer, or the oxycodone, or the brainwashing, or the girl, take your pick, but the truth is that I knew I was going to die and didn’t mind taking as many of you with me as I could.

The rest of my story is more of a travel diary than a confession, but some things still need to be explained. I was dropped off on the roof of the same hotel and I asked Linda to accompany me to the airport to say goodbye. I could see her hesitate and hardened my heart to act there and then, but after a moment she agreed. I was glad, but not for the reason you might think. There was a limo waiting for me, just like before, and I asked the driver to close the privacy divider when Linda and I got into the back. Nothing unusual about that, right? I just wanted to cop a final feel. Well, not exactly. I brought my carryon with me, having been instructed to never let it out of my sight. During the short trip to the airport I did kiss Linda, passionately. But as I was doing that I withdrew an inhaler from the bag and sprayed a dose into her face. It went into my face too, of course, but I had nothing left to live for.

Linda’s reaction was priceless and unforgettable. It was as if her whole life flashed before her eyes, followed by the comprehension that it was soon to end. She pulled away from me and started to scream, but I put my hand over her mouth and said, “Shush…. It’s all part of the plan, right? You don’t want to bring children into the world any more than I do. So now you can join me on my journey.” I removed my hand slowly and saw that she was shaking in terror, her eyes wide in fright.

“You have no idea what you’ve done,” she blurted.

“But you told me this virus was harmless, except for making people sterile or infertile. You even said there was an antidote. You didn’t lie to me about that, did you?” I’m sure that some bitterness leaked through my words because her eyes narrowed and her breath quickened. I saw none of the love or compassion she had shown me over the past few weeks, just anger and fear. “So why not join me on my vacation?” I pressed.

“You bastard!” she blurted. “Of course it’s more than a sterility virus. I just told you that to make you feel better about spreading it. And what’s the harm in that? You were going to die anyway. But now you’ve killed me too! What were you thinking?”

“I was thinking that I don’t like to be used and lied to,” I replied as smoothly as possible. “I was thinking that since you want me to take millions of people out with me, it’s only fair for me to take you along for the ride. So what do you say? I’m sure the credit cards you gave me will pay for your tickets to join me on this adventure. We could have another few weeks of fun and games.”

“Fuck you!” she screamed and tried to attack me.

I backhanded her across the face and sprayed another dose of the inhaler between us. She cringed away from me and started to cry. The limo was pulling up to the terminal and it was time to make a decision. I could have killed her right then and there, but I figured I already had. Better to leave her in terror for the next few weeks to spread the virus herself. With any luck she would go back to the Tabula Rasa base and infect the rest of them. But I doubted she would.

As I grabbed my bags and got out of the car I turned back to her and said, “Let’s start over with a clean slate, a tabula rasa so to speak. No hard feelings. I actually enjoyed our time together. And just so you know, I’m still going to follow through with the plan. My options were always limited, more so now that I let the genie out of the bottle. But it puts us on even ground. So this is your last chance to come with me on the vacation of a lifetime.” Linda just cowered and cried on the far side of the limo.  I turned away and strolled casually into the airport, smiling sadly as I walked through a crowd of strangers.

 

“Lukan” is continued in “Interludes in Hell” ($2.99) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FPNUI1I which is composed of three prequel novellas to David Forsyth’s “Sovereign Spirit Saga” series that began with “Voyage of the Dead” (currently a FREE download @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006Y3XF4A).

Interludes In Hell (cover art)

 

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie

https://www.facebook.com/events/286215754875261/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&source=1

AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in June, here’s the complete list, updated daily:

http://armandrosamilia.com/2014/06/01/summer-of-zombie-blog-tour-2014-post-links/

 SoZBanner

Writing: Where the money is


Armand Rosamilia:

Robert Chazz Chute imparting more wisdom

Originally posted on C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m:

Everybody wonders what the next big thing will be in our expanding industry. In other words, “Where’s the money?”

As it relates to writing as an industry, money looks sparse at first glance. I mean, banking, drugs and guns is where the big money is. However, for our industry? The big money in writing is in the beams and braces. Infrastructure. The money will go to people who service our needs as indies. So ask yourself, what do we need?

1. Book apps. We don’t really understand book apps. Programmers do. Book apps with a subscription service could work, especially for certain authors who are in traditional publishing now but will soon make the leap to self-publishing.

2. Author cooperatives. Box sets may already be on the way out, but I think more authors will share resources and trade skills, either in small, structured groups or as part of a time bank organization…

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Advance Praise for “Dying Days 4″


Armand Rosamilia:

Advance Praise for “Dying Days 4″ #dyingdays

Originally posted on Dying Days:

Dying Days 4 will be officially released on Tuesday, June 24th in eBook and print.

Here is the cover art as well as some great praise from three zombie authors that have raised the bar with each new release and forced me to write the best book I can. Keep that bar high for the rest of us, guys!

Dying Days 4 Cover with Blurbs

“Level up with Rosamilia’s take on smarter, scarier zombies! They don’t sleep and neither will you. Read this now!” ~ Robert Chazz Chute, author of This Plague of Days

 

“Armand Rosamilia has masterly crafted a unique zombie book with many moving parts. Dying Days 4 should be on every zombie fanatics TBR list” ~ Mark Tufo, author of the Zombie Fallout series

 

“With Dying Days 4, Armand Rosamilia continues to carve his own glorious path through the zombie apocalypse.  His unique blend of sex and violence, well-rendered melancholy…

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Guest Post: Sarah Lyons Fleming #SummerZombie


photo (3)

ZOMBIES WILL NEVER DIE

You’re here because you love zombies. Who doesn’t? Well, I guess the people who keep telling us that zombies are so over. In the “what’s hot, what’s not” columns, they love to tell us that zombies are dead.

They’re right. They are dead, but they’re not DEAD, no matter what the naysayers say. After all, you wouldn’t be here if they were, would you?

Zombies never die, and that’s why we love them. They’re relentless. They can ruin a day at a moment’s notice. Zombies offer us a quick ride to the apocalypse, a way to swiftly bring the world to its knees. An opportunity to imagine how we’d stand up to not only limited resources, but also to hordes of undead bent on our destruction.

And that’s why I write about them, but I don’t really write about zombies. I write about the people facing the zombies—their fears, their strengths, their weaknesses. Every decent zombie book does. And that’s why we keep coming back. Sure, we love to discuss which ammo or machete or bludgeon would be best, but what we really want to know is: How do the characters survive? How does a world like that change you (for the better or worse)? What do you do when there seems to be no hope for survival?

Remember in high school, when we learned about the three basic types of conflict in fiction— man vs. nature, man vs. man, and man vs. himself? A good story has at least one, but zombie fiction often gives us all three. It’s a story of man—or woman, of course—against nature (the zombies, in this case), against himself and against other men.

And all of that makes for a rollicking good time, at least for us readers. The characters, maybe not so much. We scream at them from our armchairs, shake our heads at the stupid things they sometimes do and hope that in a world such as that we wouldn’t make the same mistakes. But we can’t be so sure, can we?

So we keep reading zombie stories. Almost as relentlessly as those zombies we love. We read for the conflict, for the characters and maybe even as a primer in case the zombie apocalypse really does happen. We have to cover all our bases.

And you know what? Those folks who say zombies are so over are gonna be toast. Which means more ammo, food and supplies for us. And, from what I’ve read, that’s not a bad thing.

 UTEOTW cover 300

Sarah Lyons Fleming

Until the End of the World (Book 1) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DX73ZPY

http://www.SarahLyonsFleming.com

http://www.facebook.com/SarahLyonsFleming

 

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie

https://www.facebook.com/events/286215754875261/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&source=1

AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in June, here’s the complete list, updated daily:

http://armandrosamilia.com/2014/06/01/summer-of-zombie-blog-tour-2014-post-links/

 SoZBanner