Joe McKinney Guest Post for #WinterZombie2014


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Why I Write the Dark Stuff

 Joe McKinney

 

 

In my day job, I’m a patrol supervisor for the San Antonio Police Department.  I work the west side of town.  The police officers who make the calls, who make the arrests, who keep the peace in the busiest part of the city, they work for me.  I’m the one they call when they have major crime scenes that need managing or when something just doesn’t look right.

 

What that means is that I have to see a lot of dead bodies.  And I mean a lot of them.

 

Like last week.  One of my officers called because he had a decomp (police parlance for a body that’s been rotting in place for a good long while) and he wasn’t sure if it was suicide or homicide.  So I showed up to the apartment and there was the dead guy, seated on the floor (or almost on the floor, his butt was about two inches off the carpet).  He had a noose around his neck, though you could barely see it because his skin was so bloated and gummy with rot that it had sort of oozed over the rope.

 

“So, what do you think?” the officer asked.

 

“Suicide,” I told him.

 

“But he’s sitting down.  Wouldn’t he have rolled over or something when he started to choke?  That’s like an instinct or something, isn’t it?”

 

“No,” I said.  “What you’re looking at is an act of will power.  If you want to do something bad enough, you’ll see it through.”

 

He looked from me to the body and shook his head.

 

“Besides,” I added, “look at all that medication in there in his bathroom.  Those drugs are for hepatitis and cancer.  He did this because he was hurting pretty bad.  And look up there.”  I pointed to the ceiling where our dead guy had nailed the rope to the rafter.  “He did that because he didn’t want the rope to slip off.  And look at where he chose to do this, here in the bedroom, so his relatives coming in the front door wouldn’t have to see him.  I bet if you look around here, you’ll find a note.  Probably in the other room, out of sight of the bedroom.”

 

The officer nodded.

 

We both stood there, staring at the body.  The apartment didn’t have air conditioning, and it felt like standing inside an oven, even though it was the middle of the night.  The smell was really bad.

 

The officer kind of chuckled and said, “So, Sarge, I guess this is one for your next book, huh?”

 

I offered him a bland smile.  Cops develop their gallows humor long before they learn that it’s actually a defense mechanism against the horror of confronting your own mortality, and this officer was one of the young ones.  He still had a lot to learn.

 

“Go look for the note,” I said.

 

He stiffened.  “Yes, sir.”

 

When he was gone, I found myself looking at that dead man’s face.  Suicides always get to me. Something about standing in the presence of someone so desperate to take control of their pain and their emotional devastation that they would resort to this makes me feel numb.

 

In the other room, the young officer was clumsily knocking around.  Something fell over and broke.  I almost called out to him to be careful, but held my tongue.  You see, my mind had drifted from my day job to my night job.  I was thinking about what he’d said about my next book.  So many people seem to have that opinion about horror, and about zombie fiction in particular.  To them, a book about shambling dead things eating the living must be nothing but gratuitous violence and gore.  What else could it be?

 

Well, I take exception to that.

 

I started writing because I was scared of the future.  My wife and I had just gotten married.  Then we had a daughter, and the world suddenly seemed so much more complex.  In the wink of an eye, I went from a carefree young cop—a lot like the one in the other room knocking stuff over—to a man with more responsibilities than he could count.  I had obligations and commitments coming at me from every angle.

 

I’d been writing stories for a good long while at that point, starting sometime in my early teens, but never with the intention of doing anything about them.  I would write them out on a yellow legal pad, staple the finished pages together, and leave them on the corner of my desk until the next idea came to me.

 

Never once did it occur to me to do something with what I’d written.  I just threw those stories away and forgot them.  But then came adulthood, and parenthood, and I found myself groping to put the world in order, to regain some of the control I felt I had lost.  I realized that writing could help me with that.  I realized that I could focus my anxieties and make something useful of them.

 

And so I started writing a science fiction novel.  It was a big space opera epic, and it was pure trash.  Every word of it was awful.

 

The reason?  Well, it wasn’t authentic.  It wasn’t me.

 

The real me, the kid who sat at his desk filling up yellow legal pads rather than going out bike riding with his friends, was a horror junkie.  I was crazy for the stuff.  Horror was my first literary love, and I figured, seeing as love was what drove me to return to writing, that I should write what I love. I was feeling like the world was rushing at me from every side, so I wrote a zombie story about characters who had the living dead rushing in at them from every side.  That’s when things started to click.  That’s when it all made sense.

 

But it wasn’t just that simple.  You see, I sincerely believe that fear is the most authentic, and the most useful, emotion available to the storyteller.  It is as vital as love, and indeed, gives love its profundity, for what makes love, and family, and everything we treasure so valuable but the fear that it could all go away in the blink of an eye.  For me, fear goes far beyond monsters.  It is the catalyst for my creative process, and without that creative process, I’m afraid I would wither up inside.  I’m not saying I’d end up like that suicide I just told you about if I couldn’t write anymore, nothing that melodramatic, but absence of that creative outlet would be a hole that nothing else could fill.

 

So that’s why I write the dark stuff.

 

Joe McKinney

San Antonio, Texas

September 11, 2012

Plague of the Undead

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The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

 

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! #WinterZombie2014

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1524813084430035/?ref_notif_type=plan_user_joined&source=1

 

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

 

http://armandrosamilia.com/2014/11/01/winter-of-zombie-post-list-winterzombie2014/

 

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#NaNoWriMo Day Three of Bleh


This post will be short and sweet, filled with excuses and then a bold statement which may or may not come to fruition (I love using fruition whenever possible)

Excuses

Since the calendar flipped over to November 1st I have:

1. Been very, very sick. I know I’ve been very, very sick by the amount of times I’ve complained loudly to Special Gal by saying ‘I’m very, very sick’ to the point she keeps quiet but stares at pillows and other items and imagines putting them over my face to shut me up.

2. I went to a very cool surprise birthday party and met special people in Special Gal’s life. Only it was a 4 hour car ride (damn you, Orlando traffic!) and I felt like crap the entire time. Luckily, I hardly ever drive. Another reason Special Gal sometimes stares overlong at pillows and my face. 

3. The hotel room on Saturday night took turns being too cold and then too hot and the bed was horrible. Would it kill a good hotel to spend an extra buck on pillows that don’t fold down to paper-width as soon as my head hits them? Even if Special Gal wanted to kill me with these pillows I think I’d survive. If I got 3 hours of sleep I’d be surprised. 

4. The ride back to Jacksonville sucked because… yep… now we were both sick. We spent Sunday in different rooms moaning and napping on and off. Oh, and Thug Life was also sick when we got home. Three sick people. Not cool. 

5. I woke up this morning to the neighbor delivering fill to his yard. At 8 am on a Monday. Loudly with giant trucks. Of course, behind our house is a wetlands you’re not supposed to build on. The builders were very specific. You can’t build on it. The neighbor is obviously special, because he cut down about thirty feet behind his home to put in his own pool. I hope it sinks into an evil burial ground while he’s in the pool. 

6. I have 3 Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast interviews to do today. I can kinda breathe and can talk for short bursts and can cut out the hacking up a lung parts (I hope). I also have e-mails and Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 things to get done and catch up on… and a million other things, like finding socks because my feet are cold right now and this is Florida and ridiculous I might need to put on pants another day and…

Bold Statement

By the end of November I WILL have my 50,000 words in on this thriller novel. You’ll see. But now I am 3 days in the hole and need to catch up…

Armand

Winter of Zombie Post List #WinterZombie2014


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Here is the complete list and link to every post for the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014… updated daily!

Saturday November 1st

Kickoff! 

*

Sunday November 2nd

Jack Wallen interview

Jaime Johnesee guest post

*

Monday November 3rd

Mark Tufo teaser

Shawn Chesser interview

*

Tuesday November 4th

John O’Brien guest post

Jack Wallen Interview

*

Wednesday November 5th

Jay Wilburn teaser

Bobby Adair guest post

*

Thursday November 6th

Eric A. Shelman interview

*

Friday November 7th

Joe McKinney guest post

Jay Wilburn interview

*

Saturday November 8th

Jack Wallen teaser

*

Sunday November 9th

Jaime Johnesee interview

Shawn Chesser guest post

*

Monday November 10th

John O’Brien guest post

Jay Wilburn guest post

*

Tuesday November 11th

Armand Rosamilia interview

Eric A. Shelman interview

*

Wednesday November 12th

Mark Tufo short story part 1

Bobby Adair interview

*

Thursday November 13th

Mark Tufo short story part 2

Joe McKinney interview

Armand Rosamilia guest post

*

Friday November 14th

Mark Tufo short part 3

Eric A. Shelman guest post

Jaime Johnesee interview

*

Saturday November 15th

Shawn Chesser teaser

*

Sunday November 16th

Jack Wallen guest post

*

Monday November 17th

John O’Brien interview

*

Tuesday November 18th

 Jay Wilburn teaser

Shawn Chesser interview

Joe McKinney guest post

*

Wednesday November 19th

Joe McKinney teaser

Bobby Adair guest post

*

Thursday November 20th

Jaime Johnesee teaser

*

Friday November 21st

Jay Wilburn guest post

John O’Brien teaser

Mark Tufo interview

*

Saturday November 22nd

Jay Wilburn interview

Jack Wallen guest post

*

Sunday November 23rd

Jaime Johnesee guest post

Jack Wallen teaser

*

Monday November 24th

Shawn Chesser guest post

Jaime Johnesee teaser

*

Tuesday November 25th

Bobby Adair teaser

John O’Brien interview

*

Wednesday November 26th

Jay Wilburn guest post

*

Thursday November 27th

Happy Thanksgiving!

*

Friday November 28th

Mark Tufo interview

Armand Rosamilia interview

*

Saturday November 29th

Armand Rosamilia guest post

Eric A. Shelman teaser

*

Sunday November 30th

Jack Wallen guest post

Jaime Johnesee guest post

Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 #WinterZombie2014


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Another November means another zombie blog tour!

 

The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

 Armand Rosamilia

Mark Tufo

Joe McKinney

Bobby Adair

Eric A. Shelman

Jay Wilburn

John O’Brien

Jaime Johnesee

Jack Wallen

Shawn Chesser

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! #WinterZombie2014

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1524813084430035/?ref_notif_type=plan_user_joined&source=1

 

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

 

http://armandrosamilia.com/2014/11/01/winter-of-zombie-post-list-winterzombie2014/

 

 

Another Great Box Set I’m In! #horror


Yep, I’m in another great box set with some great authors. I’ve been very lucky to have been part of three of them with author Mark Tufo so far… and hoping we do many more in the future together. But wait… there’s more than just Mark and I to peruse… 

First, the latest one… and only 99 cents!

Hallowed Horror

HALLOWED HORROR

The supernatural comes to life in this limited edition box set. Featuring some of the best names in horror working with some amazing new talent, this collection is full of terror and suspense.

This set includes 10 paranormal stories of ghosts, demons, vampires, shifters, and witches. Grab your copy today. Any paranormal occult fan will love the creatures crawling within Hallowed Horror.

The Spirit Clearing – Mark Tufo
All the Little Children – Christine Sutton
Fangs in Vain – Scott Nicholson
The Unsaintly – Lisa Vasquez
Generation Evil – Eric A Shelman
Pride – Chantal Noordeloos
Whispers – Heath Stallcup
Shifters – Jaime Johnesee
Tool Shed – Armand Rosamilia
Dust to Dust – Eden Crowne

What’s fun for me is my offering, Tool Shed, is no longer available anywhere else in print. So this is the only place to read it right now if you haven’t, and you can read it for pennies. Pretty cool. 

Previously, we offered a killer box set and it is also only 99 cents!

Horror Within Box Set

HORROR WITHIN: 8 BOOK BOXED SET

****8 Book Boxed Set**** For a limited time at $0.99! Something for every horror lover in this 831 page set.

Armand Rosamilia – Dying Days
Travis Tufo – Red Sky
Tony Baker – From The Ashes
Eric A. Shelman – Dead Hunger
Ian Woodhead – The Unwashed Dead
Robert Chazz Chute – This Plague Of Days
Mark Tufo – Zombie Fallout + Bonus Short Mayan Prophecy
Scott Nicholson/ J.T. Warren – Meat Camp

Tons of great zombie goodness in this set, and the introduction to my Dying Days series (currently working on Dying Days 5)

And the first one we did together… and also only 99 cents!

New Box Set3

EPIC APOCALYPSE – APOCALYPTIC HORROR BOXED SET – 6+ BUNDLE

Epic Apocalypse Boxed Set

Welcome to the Apocalypse

Tis’ the season for all things that go bump in the night. Today’s top selling horror authors bring to you this boxed set of six full length apocalyptic tales and a teaser from award winning author Joe McKinney. Turn the lights off, enjoy the ride and find out what is lurking under your bed.

Mark Tufo – Zombie Fallout
“Working as both straight up survival fiction and comedy, Mark Tufo’s FALLOUT is a gory, laugh out loud tale of a community of heroes, cowards and misfits struggling against zombies. Tufo’s unlikely hero is one of the funniest and most endearing characters I’ve seen in zombie fiction.” – Craig DiLouie, author of TOOTH AND NAIL and THE INFECTION

Heath Stallcup – Return Of The Phoenix: Monster Squad
Stallcup’s debut is a fun, rollercoaster ride of a story, and easily the best that I’ve read all year. It’s part military fiction, part horror, with elements of fantasy and science fiction thrown in the mix. Yet somehow, this novel has the stark realism and well-researched detail you would expect to find in nonfiction. The author’s vivid characters and comfortable writing style left me believing in all the things that go bump in the night and more importantly, in the men and women who hunt them down! – Jaye H

John O’Brien – A New World: Chaos
Once I picked up this novel and began reading I could not put it down. The characters are well developed and the story is filled with edge-of-your-seat action. I dare you to pick up a copy and read it. – Troy D

Armand Rosamilia – Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer
Upon finishing this book, I asked myself “What makes this one different from all the others I’ve read?”. I’m here to tell you just that. Armand is meticulously descriptive, his characters are colorful & he doesn’t fail to leave out any gory zombie details. His zombies are still creepily human, with desires beyond eating brains. Darlene is loveable, strong, & heroic, while being fragile & very female at the same time. I found myself holding my breath more than once, wondering what was waiting around the proverbial corner for our little band of survivors. The end is surprising, & leaves you craving more. A wonderful, entertaining read. I’m a fan for life!! – Susan M

Joe McKinney – Dead Wait Teaser from Bram Stoker Award winning author
“One of those rare books that starts fast and never ever lets up. . . a rollercoaster ride of action, violence and zombie horror.” –Bram Stoker Award-winning author Jonathan Maberry on Dead City
“Gritty suspense. . .You’re gonna like this guy.” –Tom Monteleone
“A rising star on the horror scene.”–Fearnet.com

Shawn Chesser – Trudge: Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse
Author Shawn Chesser has written a zombie story full of scares, excitement, sadness and kick-butt action. Unlike other authors, even some of the big names, Chesser understands female character as well as male. This is such an important thing in a book with strong characters that are of both sex. I would recommend this book to all zombie fans, it’s a good one. – examiner

James Cook- No Easy Hope: Surviving The Dead
I absolutely adored this book! The storyline and the characters kept my interest and I couldn’t put it down! This has to be in the top five of my favorite zombie books so far. For those that love zombie stories this is a must read! – G. Atkinson

Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer is the prequel to the Dying Days series. A novella I am very proud of. And you should read it. 

That’s a ton of cool books for less than $3.00 (I used a calculator)… seriously, if I wasn’t already in these box sets I’d be buying them myself!

Armand

Spotlight On Jack Wallen #Imaginarium


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SPOTLIGHT ON: Jack Wallen

 

How did you get involved in the upcoming Imaginarium convention?

I remember someone posting about them looking for panelists on a writers group. I thought “Why not? I have some wisdom that might help SOMEONE…surely. Right?” And seeing as how the event is being held in my home city, it was a zombie-esque no-brainer.

 

What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My latest release (by the time this posts, I’m guessing), is Cry Zombie Cry. It’s horror and the eighth book in my I Zombie series.

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Quick description of it.

With the Guignol Gang fully armed and prepared to defend the castle, Bethany and company are off to see the Wizard of Odd

The long-awaited entry to the I Zombie series has arrived.

And it’s ready to rock.

Bethany Nitshimi is back and ready to crush the Zero Day Collective with a wall of sound. Together with the metal band Unsun, Bethany will have the undead horde banging their heads until brain runs thick in the streets.

If it’s too loud, you’re too old…or dead.

 

Something unique about it.

This is the first in what I’m calling my “Rock Cycle”. The Polish metal band, Unsun, stars in this novel and served as the inspiration for me continuing that theme into The Last Casket series (starting Kitty in a Casket) and a new series (starring another band that  I will announce very soon).

 

Links for people to buy it.

The book will be live August 21st. Until then, you can check out the official page for the book on my site (which will have the purchase link once the book is live).

http://monkeypantz.net/cry-zombie-cry/

 

Your promo links.

http://www.jackwallen.com

http://www.zombieradio.org

http://www.facebook.com/author.jackwallen

https://twitter.com/jlwallen

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+jackwallen/posts

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004MZWR3W

 

Your short Bio.

Jack Wallen is a seeker of truth and a writer of words. Although he resides in the unlikely city of Louisville, Kentucky, he likes to think of himself more as an interplanetary soul … or so he tells the reflection in the mirror. Jack is a member, in good standing, with the Horror Writers Association.

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“Imaginarium is an entire convention centered on creative writing taking place September 19-21 in Louisville KY, featuring over 140 panels and workshops organized into 12 categories.  Over 130 professional guests will be featured in the programming, covering all aspects of creative writing in the worlds of books, eBooks, screenplays, comics/graphic novels, and even game design.  All of it is set within a fun, convention atmosphere that includes activities like a Masquerade, gaming room, film festival, and more.  Please visit www.entertheimaginarium.com for further information.”

Spotlight On Peter Welmerink #Imaginarium


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SPOTLIGHT ON: Peter Welmerink

 

How did you get involved in the upcoming Imaginarium convention?

I am an author/writer working with Seventh Star Press.

 

What is your latest release and what genre is it?

TRANSPORT: Book One is my latest release. It is a cross between a Military Action-Thriller and Zombie Apocalypse.

 Transport Book One

Quick description of it.

Captain Jake Billet and his quirky crew of military misfits have to covertly bring a much hated lakeshore government official roughly 40 miles across West Michigan while trying to avoid everything and everyone who wants to stop, kill, eat and dismember them along the way. And not necessarily in that order.  

 

Something unique about it.

It’s a post-post zombie apocalypse world. We’re still here. They’re still here. The local zombie “civilians” are protected. The outside city limits ones, fair game if they don’t get you first. A very militarized WALKING DEAD-type series with a 72-ton armored heavy transport vehicle and crew dealing with it all.

 

Links for people to buy it.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Schuler Books

iTunes Books

 

Your promo links.

A review of TRANSPORT landrewcooper.com/transport/

 

Discussion on Action, Adventure, Adversity and the Undead in TRANSPORT http://beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.com/2014/06/peter-welmerink-talks-action-adventure.html

 

An excerpt from TRANSPORT http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/2014/06/transport-by-peter-welmerink-exclusive.html

 

A review of TRANSPORT http://ragecircus.blogspot.com/2014/06/book-review-transport-by-peter-welmerink.html

 

 

Your short Bio.

Peter Welmerink was born and raised on the west side of pre-apocalyptic Grand Rapids, Michigan. He writes Fantasy, Military SciFi, and other wanderings into action-adventure. His work has been published in ye olde wood pulp print and electronic-online publications. He is the co-author of the Viking berserker novel, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, written with Steven Shrewsbury. TRANSPORT is his first solo novel venture. He is married with a small barbarian tribe of three boys. He can be found at peterwelmerink.com and, for TRANSPORT-related additional goodies, grandrapidsaltered.blogspot.com.

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“Imaginarium is an entire convention centered on creative writing taking place September 19-21 in Louisville KY, featuring over 140 panels and workshops organized into 12 categories.  Over 130 professional guests will be featured in the programming, covering all aspects of creative writing in the worlds of books, eBooks, screenplays, comics/graphic novels, and even game design.  All of it is set within a fun, convention atmosphere that includes activities like a Masquerade, gaming room, film festival, and more.  Please visit www.entertheimaginarium.com for further information.”