I had a rousingly crazy night being interviewed by Jason Brant on his excellent podcast… between his sweet tea and my coffee, it is a wonder we didn’t get arrested!
On this week’s exciting Arm Cast Podcast you’ll hear two authors being interviewed by me. Pretty much like the previous 47 episodes had, more or less…
Samantha Gregory was born in Northern Ireland in 1985. She is the author of several series of books including Daemon Persuasion, which was published by Mockingbird Lane Press.
She loves horror movies, reading and archery. All of her works are available to purchase through Amazon.
Dave Lund’s Winchester Undead series combine the zombie apocalypse with practical tactical skills, prepper knowledge, conspiracy theories, intrigue, secret government agencies and characters that quickly pull you into the story. Accuracy in detail defines the background of the Winchester Undead series, with many of the themes, objects, weapons, and tactics used in the Winchester Undead series are based on the author’s experience in survival camping, prepping, law enforcement, and training. Many of the locations visited by the characters in the series are real, although often artistically changed to fit the needs of the characters and plot. There is no cache site in Maypearl that we know of, and the presence of any secret underground government facilities really depends on whom you ask, as it is regarding the presence of Chemtrails.
Now published by Winlock Press (Permuted Press), the Winchester Undead series continues to grow with more releases currently in the works. You can find the first book of the series, Winchester: Over here: http://www.amazon.com/Winchester-Over-Undead-Book-ebook/dp/B00STNF97E (just copy and paste into your browser’s URL bar). Dave Lund’s writing style and attention to detail will pull readers into the story, cheering for the good guys, and worrying about the bad, non-stop reading that puts the human condition at the front of an undead war.
ODIUM III The Dead Saga
In this life, nothing is simple…not even DEATH
In the third instalment of the Odium series, having distanced herself from Mikey, Nina is on a mission. She’s seeking a woman who could be the answer to all their problems…or just another nightmare made reality.
Travelling alongside Nova, the two women are faced with countless threats and inexplicable circumstances…just another day in the land of the dead.
But Nina is changing, feeling the strain of this life, and beginning to rethink the choices she’s made and the woman she’s become. New allies will be forged on this road of self-discovery, bonds will be broken, and old enemies will resurface. Nina will be forced to make a decision that could have devastating consequences.
However life is nothing without someone to love, or a family to love you in return. And in this new world, there is only one way to prove that love is still possible. Sacrifice.
ODIUM III The Dead Saga Excerpt
I reached the first one, side-stepping as it stretched its one bony arm for me. The other arm was barely a nub of bone left jutting out of its socket, yet it still moved. I managed to get behind it and I raised my katana high, slamming it through the back of the deader’s neck before it could turn around. The force of my blow knocked it to its knees but didn’t cut it all the way through, and I grunted as I struggled to wrench the katana free from the thick flesh and bone of its neck. I pressed down, begging the sword not to snap.
Finally the blade cut right through and the head fell from its shoulders with a resounding splat. The body slumped forward with a thud, and thick black gore that smelled like rotten eggs and three-day-old sewage pumped slowly from out of the hole in its neck. The mouth of the head continued to snap, and I slammed my sword through the side of its temple to end the deader’s eternal misery and then I moved on to the next one.
Nova was surrounded by two deaders and the ankle-biter, and I hurried across to help her. I jogged to her side, ignoring my own slow-moving deader, and I stabbed through the ankle-biter’s skull. Ankle-biters were scary, because you never freaking saw them coming. I had drawn the attention of Nova’s two deaders, but she stabbed one in the back of the skull before it could even take a step toward me, and the other followed swiftly afterwards.
I turned back to my one, sidestepping it and letting it follow me until its back was to Nova. She used both knives to hack either side of its neck in one swift movement, and the head popped up into the air like a jumping bean and landed on the ground with a small thud. It was still moving, jaws snapping away as it persistently tried to get to me, and I grimaced. It was possibly once a fairly attractive male. Cloudy blue eyes stared up at me hungrily, its teeth still relatively normal instead of broken and black. Even its skin, though pale and sallow, was still covering a full face, instead of having rotted away in parts, leaving us with a gory view of what lay underneath. I presumed this man had died from injuries other than the more standard facial bites, which were what usually got people killed.
Death brought on the zombie infection, not saliva or blood transference, and a chunk out of the face or neck was almost always a sure killer.
Nova’s boot made contact with the head and sent it flying through the air and into the fields to the left of us. Black blood trailed through the sky in an arc and she whooped and fist-pumped the air.
“Touchdown!” she yelled ridiculously. She raised her hand in an attempt to high five me.
“That’s not cool. You need to go find that head and end it.” I bent down and wiped my blade across the now headless deader’s body, cleaning it free of the gore.
“What? Why?” She bent down and cleaned her knives on a different deader’s back. “You’re just miserable. You’re always miserable, especially when you’re sick,” she huffed.
“You don’t know what I’m like when I’m sick.”
Nova rolled her eyes. “Well you’re sick now, and you’re a moody and miserable, so looks like I was right.”
“Whatever. You can’t leave a dangerous head out in the wild like that. What if someone is walking through here and doesn’t see it? What then? A dangerous head like that could kill someone.” I scowled and stood back up, releasing a hearty sneeze. “Go find the damn head.”
Nova stood back up, giving me a hard glare. “No, you go find the damn head if it’s so important to you.” She turned away and started looking through the pockets of another of the dead bodies at our feet, looking for anything useful. “No one would be stupid enough to walk through a field barefoot anyway. People wear shoes, Nina!” She pocketed several items, not bothering to show me what they were, which only pissed me off more, since we were supposed to be sharing everything.
“That’s a dangerous head, Nova. Go kill it.” I bent back down and started to fumble in my deader’s pockets, finding some gum and a lighter, plus a picture of a pretty woman. The picture did nothing to temper my growing anger. “Do they not deserve any goddamn respect?” I muttered to myself more than her. So I was surprised when Nova replied.
“No, no they don’t. I hate them all and they deserve to die a horrible death.”
My eyes snapped to hers. “You’re being a dick now.”
“Since when did you become a union leader for the Undead Society? These aren’t humans anymore,” she snarled.
Claire C. Riley Bio.
Claire C Riley is a Bestselling British Horror Author, whose work includes: Odium The Dead Saga – book 1, 2 and 3, Limerence 1& 2 (The Obsession Series) Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella – book 1, 2 and coming soon 3, and several other full length novels including Thicker Than Blood co-authored with USA Today Best Selling author Madeline Sheehan.
She writes characters that are realistic and kills them without mercy.
Claire lives in the UK with her three young daughters, husband, and scruffy dog.
GR Link – http://bit.ly/17e6HWL
From Gutenberg to Rosamilia
Books have come a long way. They used to be written and copied by hand which took years working at it full time. That’s why medieval Europe left that work to monks: because you couldn’t possibly earn a living doing such work and someone had to feed you, house you and clothe you while you occupied yourself in such a mad and tedious pursuit. Imagine sitting there in the same room day after day from morning ‘til night for months on end just writing a book. You’d have to be nuts, or getting there.
And when you were finished with it all you had was the one book. If you wanted a second copy you had to start all over again or pass it on to other monks who copied and recopied you in the same silent room, year after year, quietly going insane, until some Viking burst in and stuck a sword through your guts, stole your gold crucifix and grabbed your book on his way out—as an afterthought—to wipe his butt with your pages. That was the best use he could find for your life’s work because he couldn’t read but he sure could use some toilet paper.
Then Old Joey Gutenberg rigged up a way to write a book just once with some letter blocks like the ones you played with as a child. The idea was to wet those blocks with ink and press some paper over them and voilà, the birth of the printed page. And you could print as many copies as you wanted if you had the materials. The hand-made paper, bought and sold by weight even after being printing upon, was worth more than the content you printed on it.
You see, anybody could string some words together but not everyone could pay for the paper. And don’t even get me started on the cost of binding those pages into a book. Most books printed from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries don’t survive today because the printing and binding of books were two separate endeavours, the second of which was extravagantly expensive. Many people could scrape together a few coins to buy a book from their local printer but only the wealthy could afford to have those pages bound.
I am a life-long book reader/lover/collector—thirty years of rummaging through dusty used book shops and even dustier thrift stores all over North America, chatting it up with dusty old book dealers who used to be bibliophiles like me before they spent decades up to their eyeballs in the damned things.
I’ve spent my life buying and reading them, organising and shelving them, packing and moving them over and over—sometimes clear across the continent. I’ve spent a small fortune just keeping my books housed and shelved and near me, on top of the small fortune I’ve spent acquiring them.
At its peak my collection ballooned to twenty thousand volumes before shrinking back to a more reasonable twelve or thirteen thousand books. I achieved my childhood dream of living in a home that looks and smells like a used book shop, similar to the first one I frequented as a kid in my old neighborhood.
When that shop closed after fifty years in business I bought up their remaining stock at pennies on the dollar and took home one of their shelving units that had been hand-built by the shop’s original owner, the nice old man from whom I purchased my first books: The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Frank Herbert’s Dune, Asimov’s Foundation, Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword, Lovecraft, Zelazny, Donaldson, Wolfe, Steve Jackson, Choose Your Own Adventure, Dungeons & Dragons modules and stacks of comic books.
My love of books can be traced to that old shop. I fell in love with them for the imaginary worlds they transported me to and I learned to love books as objects, the look and feel of them, the smell of them, and I loved my own lust for them, how I wanted mountains of books so that I could read whatever I wanted whenever I felt the urge and they would all be there at my fingertips. I didn’t understand how any book dealer could stand to part with any of them.
Now, decades later, I’ve come to realise that actually owning thousands of books is a total pain in the ass. And no matter how many thousands of them you accumulate you’ll never have every book you want and you’ll never find the time to read them all anyway.
Even once you’ve got them all in your apartment they’re not truly at your fingertips. That familiar book you just saw mentioned in an online post, one that you know you’ve got somewhere has to be found in your giant mess that’s attracting paper-eating bugs and trapping humidity to form mold. That one book you remember buying half a lifetime ago and suddenly want to read could be randomly placed in that massive pile of painfully heavy boxes in the corner, the ones you never got around to unpacking after your most recent move.
So I’ve been selling off chunks of my collection. It’s simultaneously a relief and heart-breaking. I feel the weight of them off my shoulders but I miss them already, even the ones I haven’t sold yet. I don’t want to see them to go but I can’t wait to be rid of the damned things. I have become the crusty old man sitting in his dusty book room both in love with and burdened by his rows upon rows of wonderful, beautiful, smelly, heavy, endlessly tiresome books.
After many jobs and a couple of small businesses of my own I now work full time for a national chain of book sellers. I live in a large apartment surrounded by my vast collection of books that I’ve always wanted to read or reread. In my spare time I’m working on my first novel. More so than at any time in my past my whole life right now is all about books in various aspects: as objects to be treasured, as a commodity to be consumed, as an outlet for creativity and a labor of love.
A few weeks ago I bought my first e-reader. Mostly I bought it for my wife, who’ll be spending this summer visiting family overseas. She’s a voracious reader who can devour a six-hundred-page fantasy novel in forty-eight hours or less. She can read clean through a prolific author’s career within a few weeks. The e-reader is a way of providing her with a summer’s worth of reading material without dragging an entire suitcase of books along with her. Also, I’d been itching to read a few novels that I know are only available as e-books (Thraxas books nine and ten, among others).
Within a few days we were fighting over this amazing device. I can tweak the font size and light up the screen to read in the dark so my wife’s sleep isn’t disturbed by a bright lamp. It remembers where I stopped (every time!) so I don’t waste precious reading minutes on the bus or subway figuring out where I left off. It’s the same size and weight as a single mass market paperback but it can contain more books than I have in this whole apartment and I can carry them around with me everywhere and read any one of them with a touch of my fingertip to the screen.
I was one of those people you hear saying they’re not interested in e-readers because it’s not the same as the feeling of a printed book in your hands. And those people are right, it isn’t the same—it’s better.
I went from averse to astounded in less than a week, after a lifetime devoted to the printed book. From now on I want to read everything on this e-reader. I never want to read a big, heavy hardcover book again. I’m ready to sell every one of these bound paper volumes, keeping only my autographed copies and rare editions.
I wish every book ever made in the history of civilization were available as an e-book. Many are. In fact, there are millions of books available as safe, legally free downloads online without even touching any illegal file-sharing websites, and millions more available for purchase, all mine to browse without the hassles of obtaining and storing a physical book.
The first book I read on my new e-reader was Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer by Armand Rosamilia. I thought it appropriate since Armand and I met (eleven years ago, Holy Shit!) through a discussion forum about books and writing. Our first encounter was over a transaction in which I handed over some of my hard-earned cash for a stack of his early fantasy novels (keep growing in popularity, my friend, while I sit on these rarities of increasing value) and I’ve followed his burgeoning career with interest ever since.
A whole new world of indie authors whose works are only available in e-book form are now open to me thanks to this wonderful device. I can participate in the publishing revolution happening online right now and feel even more immersed in the industry of storytelling than I already was.
The future of how those stories are disseminated is literally in the hands of readers and authors rather than being decided upon by a few big corporations and I’m now one of those readers. Lately I’ve been working for the man again after two failed businesses but maybe in time I can change that and in the meantime I can help change the lives of indie authors. The power to do that is in this little device I bought on a whim. It is small but it contains multitudes.
I’ve always said we live in a great age. I wouldn’t want to live in any other, except maybe the zombiepocalypse…
I am nearing the first draft finish line for the next installment of the Dying Days series, Dying Days 5 (which is up as a pre-sale) and I am truly excited.
For those of you who have been reading along since Dying Days (and, perhaps Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer or the original extreme zombie novella, Highway To Hell, the story and world has progressed into even more divergent paths. Ones I am quite proud of!
With Dying Days 5 I continue to tell the story of not only Darlene Bobich, but old and new survivors as well as the zombies themselves.
My schedule for the release will be as follows:
Today… Pre-sale of Dying Days 5 is now up. Get your copy as soon as it goes live when you pre-order.
Sunday April 5th… Beta Readers will get their hands on a copy. I am very blessed to have some great pre-readers who offer me some valid points, and I will be reaching out to 3-5 of them right before this date to see if they have time to read and give thoughts on it.
Tuesday May 5th… By this date I’ll have all the notes in and will have done my rewrite. Taking into account my wedding on April 18th and then the week honeymoon, and this last weekend I will be in Atlanta at World Horror Convention, I know I am cutting it close. But I do love a crazy deadline. At this point I will send it off to my editor, Jenny Adams, to start ripping it apart.
Monday June 1st… hopefully uploading the finished copy a week ahead of schedule.
Tuesday June 16th… Dying Days 5 will go live, right in the middle of the upcoming Summer of Zombie Blog Tour! I actually plan this each year, and have had one out during the tour. More info on the tour itself coming soon, as well…
I have another new Dying Days zombie short story in this release!
2014 was another fine year for me and my writing, as well as other things in my life… as I’ve done for the last couple of years, I’ll spell it all out for ya… I also do this so I can go back and see what I’ve actually accomplished. I especially like to re-read these yearly posts when I’m struggling to write and feeling like I haven’t amounted to much so far. You know… typical manic writer stuff.
Here goes the Year In Review for 2014
The first day of the year saw the Kokomo’s Cafe Complete audiobook released. Narrated by the wonderful Jack De Golia (who will end up doing the entire Flagler Beach Fiction Series), it is still one of my favorite set of stories I’ve written. And Jack’s voice adds so much more to each character.
Also released on the first of the year was my movie adaptation of the zombies vs. Navy SEALs story Zulu Six: Origins in paperback, ahead of the movie (actual movie release sometime in early 2015 as far as I know). I’m looking forward to seeing how the film matches the book, as i wrote it while they were filming and got to see the dailies to see the actors and action.
January 2nd was the release of the beginning of the fifth book in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series with Nerdz Comics And More Part 1. It follows the rest of the series with the two opening shorts.
January 7th the Epic Apocalypse – Apocalyptic Horror Box Set was released. I’m proud to be a part of this massive collection, with fellow authors Mark Tufo, Heath Stallcup, John O’Brien, Joe McKinney, Shawn Chesser and James Cook.
January 9th I released Nerdz Comics And More Part 2, with 2 more short stories to add to the growing series.
A week later, on January 16th, Nerdz Comics And More Part 3 was released.
On January 20th the audiobook version of Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer was released. Narrated by Carolyn Nicely, who did an excellent job.
January 24th saw another audiobook release, this time Golden Lion Cafe Complete, the second in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series and again narrated by Jack De Golia.
January 27th was the release date for Zombie Football, another book for the movie company. Surprisingly enough, it’s about zombies attacking during a football game. Hopefully at some point they’ll get around to making the movie version of this one.
The next day the movie company released Football Espionage, another book I wrote for the movie guys. This one has no zombies (wild!) and pits the Russians vs. Americans trying to manipulate the Big Game.
January was a busy month for releases for me, with 10. What a great start to the year, right?
On February 18th the third short story in my horror erotica series (released by Hazardous Press) came out: Holiday In The Sun. Lots of sex and horror once again.
February 20th the audiobook version of Keyport Cthulhu was released. Narrated by Mike Chadwick, who was able to capture the gloom that is an homage to Lovecraft.
Not a busy month as far as releases, but I got in some great writing in the small month. Stories that would see the light of day before the end of the year, too.
On March 2nd I released Dying Days: Siege 1 And 2 Box Set. Both novellas I’d written with author Tim Baker in one handy eBook, and all for the great price of 99 cents (as of this writing… get it before it goes back to $2.99, still a bargain)
Lets Scare Cancer To Death was released on March 8th, a charity anthology I had a Dying Days story in. Proceeds go to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
March 10th I released another box set, this time Dying Days: Double Set 1, which combined Dying Days: Origins with Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days. A bargain at $2.99 for both releases.
March 25th the third Flagler Beach Fiction Series audiobook was released, J And J Fitness Complete. Once again narrated by Jack De Golia with his unique voices.
Also in March: The Authors Supporting Our Troops event technically came to an end. We collected 2,500 author-signed books for the soldiers in remote areas of the world. Want to learn more about the even bigger 2015 event about to begin? https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASOT2014/
Not an April Fool’s joke, the Horror Within: 8 Book Boxed Set was released. Featuring my first Dying Days novella as well as books from Travis Tufo, Tony Baker, Eric A. Shelman, Ian Woodhead, Robert Chazz Chute, Mark Tufo, Scott Nicholson and JT Warren. And it is currently 99 cents so grab a copy!
April 2nd saw Nerdz Comcs And More Part 4 released.
The next day Flagler Fish Company Complete audiobook (the fourth in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series) was released with another excellent job from narrator Jack De Golia.
April 14th and Nerdz Comics And More Part 5, the final release for this book, was out.
On April 18th Nerdz Comics And More Complete was released with all ten stories in one print book.
The rest of the month was spent writing and playing too much on social media.
May 30th I released the Dying Days 2 audiobook, narrated by Amanda M. Lehman, who did a great job on this and the first audiobook in the series.
And that was it for May! Of course I was writing and doing fun stuff like going to the World Horror Convention with Special Gal the beginning of the month. Yeah, it’s a dirty job but somebody has to hang at the bar with Mark Tufo, Joe McKinney and Brian Keene and look interesting…
June 19th Dying Days 4 was released, right in the middle of my annual Summer of Zombie Blog Tour. I even planned it this way, if you can believe it. I’ll chat more about the blog tour on my Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast episode #28. I swear.
June 23rd the fourth Necromance horror erotica short from Hazardous Press was released, Downtown. More horror and more erotica and what more could you ask for?
Another slow month as far as actual releases were concerned.
On July 4th the Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Podcast made it’s debut, with interviews with Mark Tufo and John O’Brien. 2014 will end with episode #28 (the Year In Review episode) and 2015 should still see new episodes every Friday.
A month almost passed before A Quick Bite Of Flesh: An Anthology of Zombie Flash Fiction was released on eBook from Hazardous Press, giving me an actual release for the month. One of my flash fiction shorts kicks it off. The print book has been out for a long time, so I’m not sure if July 30th is the actual date this version was released but according to Amazon it was, so…
More writing in July without any real releases. I can distinctly remember wondering if all the work I was doing would ever see the light of day, as several short stories for invite-only anthologies were finished in these weeks without definite release dates. Some of them saw the light of day by the end of the year and a few are scheduled for 2015.
On the 3rd of August Change Jar Books Part 1, the beginning of the sixth book in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series.
August 6th the Fairly Wicked Tales anthology from Angelic Knight Press was released, featuring my short, “The Wolf Who Cried Boy.”
August 11th Change Jar Books Part 2 was released.
On August 19th the eBook version of the soon-to-be-released zombie vs. Navy SEALs movie, Zulu Six: Origins, went live.
August 23rd saw the State of Horror: Illinois anthology from Charon Coin Press get released, with a new Dying Days short story.
The following day (according to Amazon) State of Horror: New Jersey anthology from Charon Coin Press was put out. It featured another new Dying Days short story.
August 28th I had yet another new Dying Days zombie short story in a new anthology, namely Fading Hope. This story is really, really dark.
It looks like some of those stories I’d been writing finally got released…
On September 3rd an interview I did was added to the Interviewing Authors Anthology Volume 1 from Tim Knox, where I talk about writing zombie stories.
September 8th brought out the audibook version of Nerdz Comics And More Complete, once again ready by Jack De Golia.
Also on the 8th my debut full-length traditional horror novel, Chelsea Avenue, was released by Ragnarok Publications. After having written so many shorts and novellas, it was great to have a longer piece published after all this time. I’m damn proud of this story, too.
september 11th another short I’d been working on, a creepy horror tale, made it into Suspended In Dusk anthology, with an introduction by Jack Ketchum. How cool is that?
September 16th Change Jar Books Part 3 was released.
On October 6th Change Jar Books Part 4 was released.
October 17th the final part was put out: Change Jar Books Part 5. You can expect the audiobook version (once again narrated by Jack De Golia) in 2015.
Hallowed Horror was another box set I got to be in in 2014. On October 21st it was released and is currently only 99 cents so grab a copy asap! Featuring Mark Tufo, Christine Sutton, Scott Nicholson, Lisa Vasquez, Eric A Shelman, Chantal Noordeloos, Heath Stallcup, Jaime Johnesee, Eden Crowne, and featuring my “Tool Shed” horror novella you can’t find anywhere else!
November 11th saw Dying Days: Origins 2, featuring David Monsour (the character in the book and the real man on the cover), released right in the middle of the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour. More on the tour in the podcast.
Change Jar Books Complete came out November 16th, with all ten stories in it.
Most of November was spent writing several projects, including another movie adaptation that should be filmed in early 2015 and then the book will be released as well.
December 15th the audiobook version of Highway To Hell was released, and read by none other than Jack Wallen. Why did it take so long to get released? That’s a story for the podcast.
Even by my standards December was a slow month. I worked mostly on a movie adaptation novel as well as a few short stories for upcoming anthologies in 2015. I wrote a big chunk of the first draft of Dying Days 5 as well.
* * * * *
43 more releases in 2014!
What will 2015 bring? Hopefully many more releases and many more new readers
Here’s to another great year coming up!
To hear the podcast version of this Year In Review, visit