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: TW Brown


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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)

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

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

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

 

*   *   *   *   *

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

Summer Of Zombie Interview: Rebecca Besser #SummerZombie


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Summer of Zombie 2014 SPOTLIGHT ON: Rebecca Besser

 

What is your latest zombie release?

Cursed Bounty

 M3367S-4504

Quick description of it (no spoilers)

When a zombie bounty hunter is sent to a small western town after bank robbers, things get complicated…and deadly for the local sheriff and his men. 

They must fight the battle for moral good against a powerful, corrupt politician and the zombies he controls. 

 

Something unique about it.

It’s a story with a twist on the normal zombie set in the Wild West.

 

Links for people to purchase it.

http://www.amazon.com/Cursed-Bounty-Rebecca-Besser-ebook/dp/B00H89BGDG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400694461&sr=8-1&keywords=Cursed+Bounty

 

Your promo links.

http://www.rebeccabesser.com

http://blog.rebeccabesser.com

 

Your short Bio.

Rebecca Besser resides in Ohio with her wonderful husband and amazing son. They’ve come to accept her quirks as normal while she writes anything and everything that makes her inner demons squeal with delight. She’s best known for her work in adult horror, but has been published in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a variety of age groups and genres. She’s entirely too cute to be scary in person, so she turns to the page to instill fear into the hearts of the masses. She’s currently seeking an agent with her first novel, Nurse Blood, with hopes to expand her reach of dread through a mass market publication in the future.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

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

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 Post Links


SoZBanner

Here is where all of the posts for the #SummerZombie blog tour will be updated on a daily basis in the month of June. You can expect 3 posts a day during the tour from various zombie authors. 

Sunday June 1st

Kirk Allmond (interview) on Blaze McRob’s Tales of Terror Blog

Shana Festa (guest post) on Yours In Storytelling Blog

Monday June 2nd

Christine Verstraete (teaser) on Graeme Reynold’s Blog

Jay Wilburn (interview) on Author Rebecca Besser’s Blog

Jack Wallen (guest post) on G. Elmer Munson’s Blog

Stevie Kopas (interview) on Books, Beer & Blogshit

Tuesday June 3rd

Charles Ingersoll (teaser) at The Bookie Monster Blog

Chris Tucker (interview) on Horror After Dark Blog

Timothy Baker (guest post) on Sweet Southern Home Blog

Wednesday June 4th

Claire C. Riley (teaser) on Buy Zombie Blog

T.W. Piperbrook (interview) on Chris Tucker Books Blog

Stevie Kopas (guest post) on Richard Schiver’s Blog

John O’Brien (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit

Thursday June 5th

Melanie Karsak (teaser) on What Zombies Fear Blog

Rhonda Parrish (interview) on Jay Wilburn’s Blog

Shawn Chesser (guest post) on Manuscripts Burn Blog

Rebecca Besser (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit

Friday June 6th

Stephanie Kozeniewski (interview) on The Darkness Goes ‘Round Blog

Erik Gustafson (teaser) on Darkness Abound Blog

Mark Tufo (guest post) on Leah Rhyne’s Blog

Kirk Allmond (guest post) on Rhonda Parrish’s Blog

Jay Wilburn (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit

Saturday June 7th

Julianne Snow (teaser) on The Twisted Mind Blog

Bryan Cassiday (interview) on Day Zero Blog

Christine Verstraete  (Guest post) on Rhonda Parrish’s Blog

Sunday June 8th

Sarah Lyon Fleming (teaser) on Brewed Bohemian Blog

Thomas M. Malfarina (interview) on Hobbes End Publishing Blog

Ian McClellan (guest post) on Reviewing The Apocalypse Blog

Monday June 9th

Robert Chazz Chute (teaser) on Author Candy O’Donnell’s Blog

Peggy Martinez (interview) on LiteraryEllyMay’s Blog

David P Forsyth (guest post) on Zombie Evolution Blog

Charles Ingersoll (interview) at Books, Beer & Bullshit Blog

Tuesday June 10th

TS Alan (teaser) on Six Feet From Hell Blog

Ian Woodhead (interview) on Zombie Rising Magazine Blog

John O’Brien (guest post) on The Dark Fantastic Blog

Claire C. Riley (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Wednesday June 11th

Jaime Johnesee (teaser) on Girl Zombie Authors Blog

Rebecca Besser (interview) on Armand Rosamilia’s Blog

Alex Laybourne (guest post) on Paranormal Tendencies Blog

Kirk Allmond (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Thursday June 12th

Shana Festa (teaser) on A Life In Limbo Blog

Jack Wallen (interview) on Zombie Guide Magazine Blog

Jay Wilburn (guest post) on Cupcake’s Corner Blog

Chris Tucker (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Friday June 13th

Chris Tucker (teaser) on Darkness Dwells Blog

Charles Ingersoll (interview) on Bones Along The Road Blog

Armand Rosamilia (guest post) on Get Jack’d Blog

Saturday June 14th

Timothy Baker (teaser) on Horror Tree Blog

Stevie Kopas (interview) on Claire C. Riley’s Blog

TW Piperbrook (guest post) on Words, Words, Words Blog

Sunday June 15th

Shawn Chesser (teaser) on Visionary Press Collaborative Blog

Claire C. Riley (interview) on Violet VanDoren’s Blog

Rhonda Parrish (Guest post) on Whatnot Blog

Monday June 16th

Stephen Kozeniewski (teaser) on Zombie Pop Blog

Erik Gustafson (interview) on Under The Oak Book Reviews Blog

Melanie Karsak (guest post) on Storyteller – S.K. Gregory’s Blog

Mark Tufo (interview) on Courtney Rene’s Blog

Shana Festa (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Tuesday June 17th

Thomas M. Malfarina (teaser) on Bryan Cassiday’s Blog

Julianne Snow (interview) on Heath Stallcup’s Blog

Bryan Cassiday (guest post) on Terrorphoria Blog

TS Alan (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Wednesday June 18th

Ian McClellan (teaser) on Chazz Writes Blog

Robert Chazz Chute (interview) on Sparky Lee Geek’s Blog

Sarah Lyons Fleming (guest post) on Armand Rosamilia’s Blog

Timothy Baker (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Thursday June 19th

Peggy Martinez (teaser) on Trip Through My Mind Blog

David P Forsyth (interview) on Word Wenches Guilty Pleasure Blog

TS Alan (guest post) on Darkness Beckons Blog

Ian Woodhead (teaser) on A Book Addict’s Delight Blog

TW Piperbrook (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Friday June 20th

John O’Brien (teaser) on The Flip Side Of Julianne Blog

Jaime Johnesee (interview) on TS Alan: Dark Horizons Blog

Rebecca Besser (guest post) on Whispers From The Abyss Blog

Armand Rosamilia(interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Saturday June 21st

Alex Laybourne (teaser) on The Cerebral Writer Blog

Shana Festa (interview) on Fabulous And Fun Blog

Chuck Ingersoll (guest post) on Brewed Bohemian Blog

Mark Tufo (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Sunday June 22nd

Kirk Allmond (teaser) on The Darkness Goes ‘Round Blog

Christine Verstraete (interview) on Graeme Reynold’s Blog

Chris Tucker (guest post) on Manuscripts Burn Blog

Monday June 23rd

Armand Rosamilia (teaser) on John M Whalen’s Blog

Timothy Baker (interview) on The Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn Blog

Claire C. Riley (guest post) on One Book At A Time Blog

Bryan Cassiday (teaser) on Rhonda Parrish’s Blog

Julianne Snow (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit

Ian McClellan (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Days With The Undead Interviews: Introduction

Tuesday June 24th

Jay Wilburn (teaser) on Zombie Horror Blog

Shawn Chesser (interview) on Chasing Steampunk Blog

Erik Gustafson (guest post) on Self Publish Or Die Blog

John O’Brien (interview) on TS Alan: Dark Horizon’s Blog

Robert Chazz Chute (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Jaime Johnesee (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Days With The Undead: 10 Word Challenge

Wednesday June 25th

Jack Wallen (teaser) on Stuart Conover’s Blog

Melanie Karsak (interview) on Kirk Allmond’s Blog

Stephen Kozeniewski (guest post) on The Bookie Monster Blog

Shawn Chesser (interview) on Melanie Karsak’s Blog

Rhonda Parrish (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Bryan Cassiday (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Days With The Undead: Would You Survive Your Zombies?

Thursday June 26th

T.W. Piperbrook (teaser) on Kulz’s Captured Imagination Blog

Sarah Lyons Fleming (interview) on G Elmer Munson’s Blog

Julianne Snow (guest post) on Sweet Southern Home Blog

Jaime Johnesee (guest post) on Horror After Dark Blog

Days With the Undead: Pop Quiz Time!

Thomas M. Malfarina (interview) at Books, Beer &Blogshit Blog

Jack Wallen (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Friday June 27th

Stevie Kopas (teaser) on Bufton’s Blog

Alex Laybourne (interview) on Author Candy O’Donnell’s Blog

Thomas M. Malfarina (guest post) on Day Zero Book Blog

Rebecca Besser (teaser) on Blood, Sweat And Books Blog

Days With The Undead: Which Celebrity Would You Want?

Stephen Kozeniewski (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Sarah Lyons Fleming (interview) at Books, Beer & Blogshit Blog

Saturday June 28th

Rhonda Parrish (teaser) on Yours In Storytelling Blog

Ian McClellan (interview) on Someone Read This Blog

Robert Chazz Chute (guest post) on Rhys Christopher Ethan’s Blog

Days With The Undead: Musical Survival

Sunday June 29th

Mark Tufo (teaser) on Zombie Guide Magazine’s Blog

TS Alan (interview) on Darkness Dwells Blog

Peggy Martinez (guest post) on The Power of Passion Blog

Days With The Undead: The Unexpected…

Monday June 30th

Armand Rosamilia (interview) on Trip Through My Mind Blog

Ian Woodhead (guest post) on Author Rebecca Besser’s Blog

David P Forsyth (teaser) on Armand Rosamilia’s Blog

Days With The Undead: Human Vs. Humane

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 – Amazon Author Links


SoZBanner

Here are links to the 33 authors involved in the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 for their Amazon Author page

Check out all the releases they have to offer, and not only purchase a couple-three but make sure you kindly leave reviews so they can continue to bring you great stories in the future… and follow the entire tour posts in June on the #SummerZombie event page! 

Alex Laybourne

Armand Rosamilia

Bryan Cassiday

Charles Ingersoll

Chris Tucker

Christine Verstraete

Claire Riley

David P Forsyth

Erik Gustafson

Ian McClellan

Ian Woodhead

Jack Wallen

Jaime Johnesee

Jay Wilburn

John O’Brien

Julianne Snow

Kirk Allmond

Mark Tufo

Melanie Karsak

Peggy Martinez

Rebecca Besser

Rhonda Parrish

Robert Chazz Chute

Sarah Lyons Fleming

Shana Festa

Shawn Chesser

Stephen Kozeniewski

Stevie Kopas

Thomas M. Malafarina

Timothy Baker

T.S. Alan

T.W. Brown

T.W. Piperbrook

*   *   *   *   *

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

Don’t Believe Your Own Hype


the thought process

Open letter (OK, blog post, get off my case) to Myself today from Me three years ago… 

I’m damn proud of you. It is unreal how much you’ve accomplished and how many goals you set before you and have surpassed. If you’d said three years ago you’d have over 100 releases on Amazon, worked with some great small press companies, attended World Horror and other conventions not just in Florida but in many other places, had stories published in some great anthologies with other great authors, had a couple of your story ideas turned into upcoming movies, signed a thirteen book deal with a Hollywood production company, got on the actual radio to talk and play the songs you grew up with, met the woman of your dreams and STILL own the beat-up Kia AND it still started, I’d have laughed. 

All amazing things, and a ton more you’ve accomplished in the last 36 months or so. You got away from a horrible, mind-numbing relationship filled with daily fighting, jealousy over a potential writing career and following dreams you’ve had since you were twelve years old. You set many goals and keep setting goals, and you are easily in the best place you’ve ever been in your life. 

Pat yourself on the back, smile as you sip $20 a pound Death Wish Coffee and eat expensive meals in fancy restaurants and live comfortably in a big new house watching the 55 inch TV you bought with some of your earnings over the 36 months. Pat that growing belly, filled with that expensive food and coffee, and keep smiling. 

And then…

Stop acting like a Big Shot, because you haven’t written a damn word in the last three days and your daily writing goal of 2,000 words a day is kicking your ass. When is the last time you actually hit the goal, or hit it feeling good and not just relieved you actually made it but dreading what tomorrow was going to bring?

When was the last time you actually shut Facebook off or didn’t answer an e-mail immediately? How many Pinterest and New MySpace followers do you actually need? Is breaking 70,000 Twitter followers really more important than writing today? Right now?

Remember Joe McKinney at World Horror Convention? While you drank and laughed with a bar filled with other authors, Joe was upstairs in his hotel room writing. Yep, working. Why? Because he gets it. You have a deadline, remember? Which is now getting closer and closer. 

Sure, you finished Dying Days 4. It only took you about 14 months since Dying Days 3 was released, which you swore wasn’t going to happen. God forbid you start on Dying Days 5, right? By the time that comes out Mark Tufo will be on Zombie Fallout 19

So… sit back and Google your name again and read another wonderful review about a release you wrote two years ago. Enjoy the praise from your many, many followers and your peers in the writing world. 

Who, if they are better than you, got that way because they don’t stop writing and doing the important things, the top three…

1. write

2. write

3. write

Now, shut up and turn off the damn internet and get in your work before you check your Amazon sales for the fifth time today. 

Armand Rosamilia

snoopy

FanBoy Moment: Meeting Brian Keene at WHC


About eight years ago I was a completely newbie author with a couple of fantasy books out and maybe three horror short stories published to my credit (I have a lot more horror stories published now), and I went to Horrorfind Weekend convention in Baltimore, Maryland. I sat at a table in the dealer room and sold a few books and met a few people. It was fun. 

But I stayed in the dealer room for 99% of the weekend, convinced no one there would give me the time of day. And, unfortunately, I was kinda right. A couple of authors were friendly (Michael Laimo said hi to me) but I was just there. And it was my own fault, because I didn’t talk to anyone or make any effort. Believe it or not, I was shy and insecure among all these great authors. 

Cut to the bar area that night. 

Brian Keene was sitting there, and I knew who he was thanks to MySpace (remember MySpace?) and because his book The Rising had completely knocked me off of my feet. I kid you not. I owe the Dying Days zombie series to this man, because without his book I wouldn’t have attempted zombie fiction. I even wrote a piece about it conveniently titled “Why I Write About Zombies” (feel free to read it and then come back for the rest of this post… I’ll wait…)

Brian Keene - The Rising zombie

I walked up to the bar, as close to Brian as I could get without bumping into him, and casually turned and stared at him like a little schoolgirl. Brian Keene turned to me with a smile and said hi. 

I said blahbehchickablehblehugghhhh and felt my chest and throat tighten. Then I did what every cool person does when meeting an idol… I ran away like a little schoolgirl.

Cut to eight years later and across the country in Portland Oregon. 

The World Horror Convention, and while I’d come a long way but had much more to do and to rise, I felt I’d earned a place at least at the kid’s table. And I was fine with it. And when I heard Brian Keene was going to be the Grandmaster of the weekend, I was excited. And then nervous. 

I wanted to meet him. I needed to meet him. I posted on Facebook about my last and only encounter with him, and how this was going to be cosmic payback. I would stride up to him with a grin, pat him on the back and we’d hug it out like real men. Or something like that. 

Of course, on Thursday afternoon, as Special Gal and I had lunch in the hotel restaurant, Brian Keene walked into the lobby and I might have squealed a little. She thought it was quite amusing and ‘threatened’ to call him over, but I was not ready. I needed time to prepare. 

Cut to a few hours later. 

Special Gal and I were walking through the lobby, minding our own business, when I saw Brian Keene chatting with a few people. As I went to go past him he suddenly turned and noticed me. He smiled and said hi. He put his hand out and I turned my brain off and gripped his hand, shaking firmly. 

He said something but I have no idea what because I was too busy trying not to talk or say something incoherent. I nodded, smiled back, and walked away. Special Gal busted my chops the rest of the night but I was flying. 

The next time I saw Brian Keene was at a zombie panel, and as it wrapped up Special Gal turned to me and said in no uncertain terms we weren’t leaving the room without a picture of me and Brian together. 

I nodded dumbly. She asked him to take it and he smiled and took us into the hallway.

Then he put his arm around me and said “we need to do the Devil Horns, right?” 

He had either done his homework and knew who I was (and that I was a fellow Metalhead) or it was an excellent guess. Either way, I was damn proud as the picture was taken. But, wait… there’s more…

“Are you going to the Gross Out Contest tonight?” Brian asked me.

I had no intention of going but I said yes. Of course I was going to go! 

We made small talk for a few minutes and the guy was just genuine. He gave me a few minutes of his time and even said to find him at the bar that night so we could have a drink. 

I learned three things from this encounter… 

1. I am still such a FanBoy when it comes to him but at least I strung a few sentences together

2. THIS is the way you treat fellow authors, no matter how big or small they are. Brian Keene’s WHC posts aren’t just about what he did and accomplished but about pointing out all the new writers he met during the con, and praising the new batch of authors who are inspired by him

3. Special Gal is the greatest woman I have ever met and I am damn lucky to have her in my corner to help me fumble through the non-writing parts of this career. Friends lucky enough to have met her in Portland can attest to this

Brian Keene 

My goal for years to come is not only to emulate him but also to remember this lesson. Oh, and now I want to hang out with him again and pick his brain for hours… and I’ll try not to make it too creepy…

Armand

99 Cents Month Week #3 from Armand Rosamilia


A day late and 99 cents short, but here is this week’s three new 99 cents releases… get ‘em now because they’ll go back up in the near future

highway1

HIGHWAY TO HELL

The end of the world is upon us… the zombie plague has taken over… and your former friends and loved ones don’t want to just kill and eat you… they want to violate you… 

includes the bonus short story “Rear Guard” 

The kickoff to the extreme zombie “Dying Days” series! 

warning: extreme violence, extreme sexual situations, extreme zombies

Highway To Hell

MQBestBandsCover

METAL QUEENS: BEST OF THE BANDS

“Metal Queens: Best Of The Bands” features 19 Interviews taken from the first six issues of the “Metal Queens” eBook series Bands including Arch Enemy, Vixen, Girlschool, Echoes of Eternity, Holy Moses, Queen Diamond, Battlelore, Wykked Wytch, Seven Kingdoms, and more!

Metal Queens: best of The Bands

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DEATH METAL

No one had ever connected Daniel as the brains behind seven brutal concept albums about Satanism and the dark figure Natas, but when a teenager quotes lyrics from his musical work, Daniel fears his ten-year old daughter, Missy, is in trouble. His fears are founded when she is kidnapped. The kidnappers want Daniel to complete the last three albums for his former band – and return him to the demons he had tried to escape. Daniel can save her, but can he save himself?

“Rosamilia jams the E-major of dark crime in Death Metal. That scream you hear is the electric-soaked feedback of scorching prose.” ~ Scott Nicholson, author of Scattered Ashes

Death Metal is a sharply written tale that starts quick and works its way to an edge-of-the seat ending you won’t forget. It’s one of those stories you just can’t stop reading. Bravo! Or should I say Rock and Roll! ~ Laura J. Underwood, Author of The King’s Wind and The Green Women 

With Death Metal, Rosamilia keeps you anxious to turn each page, and leaves you wanting more. A spectacular read that will not disappoint. ~ C. S. Johnson, author of The Watching

Death Metal

99 Cents Month Week #2 From Armand Rosamilia


As promised, another 3 of my releases have been temporarily knocked down to 99 cents each. Get ‘em while they’re hot… and 99 cents

UndeadWinter

UNDEAD OF WINTER

Frozen Limbs… falling sheets of snow… blood on the ice… frostbite… and the undead trying to bite through your icy neck… 

Nine Zombie Tales from Armand Rosamilia, Brent Abell, Suzanne Robb, Jonah Buck, R.S. Pyne, Tim Lieder, Blaze McRob, Lisa McCourt Hollar, and Carole Gill

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0054GP4OM

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Undead-Winter-Armand-Rosamilia-ebook/dp/B0054GP4OM/ref=sr_1_5_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1397172733&sr=8-5&keywords=undead+of+winter

SkullsAndBones

SKULLS AND BONES

Nine tales of Horror from author Armand Rosamilia, including “Memorial Site”, “Vacation’s End”, “1920 Gallery Card #4″, “Stairs To The Ocean”, “Beastie”, “Crow Mill Bridge”, “Rainforest of Bones”, “South American Death Cap”, and “The Devil and The Cenote” plus a preview of the urban horror novella “Death Metal”

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AKMHDWG

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skulls-Bones-Armand-Rosamilia-ebook/dp/B00AKMHDWG/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1397172774&sr=8-1&keywords=skulls+bones+armand

Fashion & portrait

METAL QUEENS: MODELS

Featuring Kindra Ravenmoon, Eden Celeste, Demoniccunt, Sinna DeVeigh, Rachael Death, Elenyx, Gypsy Rhodes, Brittany Blasph3my, Alecto Mania, Acid Candy, Laureli Slaughter and more!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004PLNNGI

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Metal-Queens-Models-Armand-Rosamilia-ebook/dp/B004PLNNGI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1397172801&sr=8-3&keywords=metal+queens+models+armand

Spotlight On: Eric A. Shelman #HorrorWithin


Shelman Crime Scene

SPOTLIGHT ON: Eric A. Shelman

 

What is the title of your book in Horror Within box set?

Dead Hunger: The Flex Sheridan Chronicle  (Book one in a series that currently consists of six full-length novels – with number seven being written now.)

 

Quick description of it (no spoilers)

Flex makes a phone call to his sister, Jamie.  During that call, he can tell she is deteriorating fast, and by the end of the call, his two nieces screaming puts him on the road in his truck. 

After discovering his brother-in-law’s mutilated body, and finding his sister and older niece are nowhere to be found, he encounters Gem Cardoza, his ex-girlfriend, who has come there to find him.  She tells him of similar experiences in Miami.

Now they set out together with Flex’s infected sister wrapped in a pool cover and her six-year-old daughter, Trina.  It is the beginning of an epic ride unlike any other zombie apocalypse series you have ever read.

 

Something unique about it.

My zombies are slow shamblers, but they have a special ability, borne of their decaying insides combined with the component that turned them, allowing them to paralyze their victims for later consumption.

 

Your promo links.

http://smarturl.it/deadhunger?IQid=qr

http://www.twitter.com/EricAShelman

www.facebook.com/authorshelman

http://www.ericshelman.com

 

Your short Bio.

Eric’s married to Linda – for nearly 28 years – and lives in south Florida.  His first book came out in 1999, and around 2001 he simply quit writing for eleven years, finally picking up his pen again in 2011 to write Dead Hunger: The Flex Sheridan Chronicle, his first zombie novel.  From there, people liked it so much he wrote another and another, then decided to write a witch novel and a serial killer novel.  Then he wrote another couple of Dead Hunger novels, and side-stepped again to write a time travel / serial killer novel called Shifting Fears.  Now he’s completed book six of the Dead Hunger series, entitled Dead Hunger VI: The Gathering Storm, and while nobody’s disappointed in ANY of the series, they certainly think that book six might be the best so far!  

When Eric’s not writing, he likes to sing … search, and you’ll find over 300 videos of Eric on YouTube.  Try searching for:  Eric Shelman Brown Eyed Girl.  That video is approaching 4,000,000 views.

Oh, by the way.  Eric is thrilled to be included among the other talented authors in The Horror Within collection – and it’s just the beginning …

 Horror Within Box Set

http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q/ref=la_B002I7PJ68_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396432629&sr=1-1

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1396534660&sr=1-1&keywords=mark+tufo

My Writing Year – Halfway Point


better-writer-graphic

October 1st 2013 was a Tuesday. I know because that was the date I got really serious about keeping track of my daily writing and Special Gal put together a very cool Excel spreadsheet so I could keep track of my daily, weekly, monthly and yearly writing. My goal is 2,000 a day Mon-Fri and the weekends off, if possible. 

If I average 1,429 a day I will hit 10,000 words per week and 520k for the year. Not too shabby, especially when most of the stories I’m writing are going to be printed at some point. At this point in my career about 85% of what I write already has a home, so I’m very thankful for being able to build this to where I am now. 

Am I bragging? You bet your sweet candy ass. 

It has taken me years to get to this point in my career, where the sales of my self-published books, such as the Dying Days series, are paying the bills. My work with AK Waters Productions LLC has me venturing into movie deal territory, and I’m being invited to invite-only books with some impressive names. The goal for the rest of 2014 is to keep building it and maybe find a suitable match for some graphic novels. I’d love to see Dying Days in comic book form…

But all is not well in the Kingdom of Mando…

Remember the 1,429 a day goal I spoke of? I’m falling short. Yes, I write almost every day, but not every day. And not every day do I hit my 2,000 word daily goal. There have been a few weeks lately I’ve fallen quite short, in fact. A few weeks ago I wrote 575 words. In the entire week. Followed by 5 straight weeks well under 10,000 words. 

Why am I telling you this? Because I like to see it down on paper. I like the world to know when I succeed and when I fail, because it puts it out there and helps me to see I’m only human. It lets me know that you know when I’m not doing well, and when I need to step up my game. Several people online call me The Machine because I write and write and write, but sometimes I don’t write as much as I want. 

Last week I did, hitting 12,000+ words, but my average is still well below where it should be…

March 31st marked the 182nd day and halfway point for my first year actually keeping track. 

I should be:

182 days @ 1,429 words = 260,078

Instead, I’m currently:

182 @ 1,369 words = 249, 157

I’m about 11,000 words behind… but now that I have it in black and white (on this nifty blog) I need to re-focus and catch up so I can hit my 520k yearly goal… or write even more and break it. 

The hope is this post will be my reminder about where I’m failing and get me back on track to succeed. 

Now, back to writing about zombies and whatever else I feel like writing about…

Armand

Spotlight On: Robert Chazz Chute #HorrorWithin


Me B&W

SPOTLIGHT ON: Robert Chazz Chute

What is the title of your book in Horror Within box set?

This Plague of Days, Episode 1

Quick description of it (no spoilers)

A pandemic is killing billions. A strange boy on the autistic spectrum in Kansas City, Missouri will become our unlikely champion against people who become bio-weapons.

Something unique about it.

Well, the autism angle is pretty weird. Also, the protagonist, Jaimie Spencer, is a selective mute. He hardly ever speaks, but when he does it’s in Latin phrases because words and the depth of their meanings is his special interest. Like me, he can get lost in a dictionary.

Your promo links.

You can check out all my books from the author page at AllThatChazz.com. That’s also where you can hear the All That Chazz podcast. To find out more about This Plague of Days, go to ThisPlagueOfDays.com.

Your short Bio.

I have a worthless degree in journalism. I’m a former journalist and columnist who spends most of his time writing and podcasting now. I worked for major newspapers and magazines, back when that was a thing.

 

Horror Within Box Set

http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q/ref=la_B002I7PJ68_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396432629&sr=1-1

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Horror-Within-Book-Boxed-Set-ebook/dp/B00JEQUW8Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1396534660&sr=1-1&keywords=mark+tufo

 

 

99 Cents Month Week #1 from Armand Rosamilia


As promised, I have two releases I’ve lowered the price down to 99 cents beginning this week and running until the end of April!

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Kokomo’s Cafe Complete

Flagler Beach Florida is quite the small town, eclectic and quirky… and filled with many unique characters. 

Kokomo’s Café owners Mac and Ginny see their fair share day in and day out. Come meet the locals and the tourists! 

Contemporary Fiction and a fun beach read! Includes Ten Short Stories set in Kokomo’s Cafe!

http://www.amazon.com/Nerdz-Comics-Flagler-Fiction-Series-ebook/dp/B00JG4V4ZQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396551062&sr=8-1&keywords=nerdz+comics+armand

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kokomos-Complete-Flagler-Beach-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00DIK7XOK/ref=sr_1_2_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1396559435&sr=8-2&keywords=Kokomo%27s+Cafe+armand

ZombieWritinge

Zombie Writing!

So, You Want To Write About Zombies?

Learn secrets, opinions, styles, and get advice on creating your own zombie story, from 44 Masters of the Zombie Genre, whether they’re talking about books, short stories, movies, television and influences for your work, and talk about their own Undead Tales. 

Neil Kloster * Mark Clodi * Richard Lee Byers * Joe McKinney * Jason S. Hornsby * Rie Sheridan Rose * Christian Jensen * Mainak Dhar * JD Gillam * Mark Justice * Michael D. Griffiths * Dane Hatchell * T.S. Charles * David Moody * Todd Brown * Craig DiLouie * Lee Pletzers * Andy Taylor * Kevin Coryell * Brent Abell * Sharon M. White * Kelly M. Hudson * Chantal Boudreau * Carole Gill * Marissa Farrar * Tim Waggoner * W.D. Gagliani * David Lee Summers * Lou Antonelli * Shawn M. Riddle * Keith Gouveia * Ian DG Sandusky * Tony Monchinski * David Dunwoody * DA Chaney * Adam Millard * Thomas Scopel * Jeremiah Coe * Jasper Bark * Ray Wallace * Eric S. Brown * Blaze McRob * Kate Madison * Armand Rosamilia

http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Writing-Richard-Lee-Byers-ebook/dp/B006YZDIE0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396559560&sr=8-1&keywords=zombie+writing%21+armand

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zombie-Writing-Richard-Lee-Byers-ebook/dp/B006YZDIE0/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1396559520&sr=8-1&keywords=zombie+writing%21+armand

Spotlight On: Robert Chazz Chute #ASOT2014


Me B&W

SPOTLIGHT ON: Robert Chazz Chute.

 

How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

Armand told me to do so. Armand is the All-father in the Asgard of Horror. I am Thor. Or his robot slave. I forget.

 

What is your latest release and what genre is it?

This Plague of Days, Season 3 comes out this spring. It’s the finale, so I’ll also release This Plague of Days, The Complete Three Seasons.  

 TPOD season 1 ecover

Quick description of it.

It’s the apocalypse and an autistic boy is our champion against dark forces. The zombies aren’t supernatural. The humans get that way. It’s epic and operatic and goes great with sandwiches.

 

Something unique about it.

The autistic boy that’s supposed to save us from extinction hardly ever talks, and when he does, it’s in Latin. So it’s horror and suspense and a Latin primer. It’s funny in spots, too, between the slayings. Oh, and Season 3 gets into our place in the universe, so there’s that.

 

Links for people to buy it.

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1ilbXbf
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1g17Zl5
Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/1drte4B

 

Your promo links.

Author site: AllThatChazz.com and ThisPlagueOfDays.com

 

Your short Bio.

A former journalist, but newspapers and magazines are dead. Everything else is better left unsaid. Find out more at AllThatChazz.com.

This Plague of Days Season 2 0918

Spotlight On: William R.D. Wood #ASOT2014


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SPOTLIGHT ON: William R.D. Wood

 

How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I stumbled over one of Armand’s early posts about the event. I served in the Navy for eight years and my oldest son is currently an Army EOD tech, recently returned from a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan. The isolation can really weigh on a person. It’s a privilege and an honor to provide a few pages of entertainment and distraction to those men and women for those quiet moments that come between the noisy ones.

 

What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My current project is an online horror-scifi serial called Zulu Time hosted at JukePop Serials. Oh, and be warned, love them or hate them, this tale contains zombies.

 Zulu Time Cover

Quick description of it.

Nash joined the Navy to play it safe. The way he saw it, he could wait for the New Draft to pull his number and probably wind up hip deep in the muck, face to face with zealots and maniacs, or he could sit out the rough stuff, all nice and cozy on a steel boat, shooting missiles from a hundred miles away.

Only the Navy didn’t prove to be the lesser evil Nash had hoped.

Something unique about it.

Since Zulu Time is a novel being presented in serial form, readers can interact with the process, with the author, and potentially the story itself. So far, it’s been a lot of fun.

 

Links for people to buy it.

The current chapters are available at:

www.jukepop.com/home/read/1071

The story is free, but if you enjoy the read please click the green SUPPORT AUTHOR button and follow the prompts.

 

Your promo links.

writebrane.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/writebrane

www.amazon.com/William-Wood/e/B004FVPPR8

 

Your short Bio.

William R.D. Wood lives in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in an old farmhouse turned backwards to the road. His profound love of horror and science fiction routinely leads him to destroy the world, whether by alien artifact, zombie apocalypse or teddy bear.

“Dying Days” 2-pack Sets only 99 cents this week!


I’ve decided to practically give away a few of my books this week and see what happens… the obvious goal is to hook new readers into the Dying Days zombie world, so they will continue to read the entire series… we’ll see what happens! 

Siege graphic

Dying Days: Siege 1 And 2 Set

TWO zombie novellas for only 99 cents? Tim Baker and Armand Rosamilia must be insane! This won’t last long!

 Two Novellas for the price of One! 

Dying Days: The Siege of European Village 

European Village in Palm Coast Florida is the last bastion of defense against the unending zombie horde. 
Darlene Bobich and John Murphy are fighting for survival, and their feelings for each other. 
They are surrounded: The defenders of European Village ahead, mysterious strangers from the rear, and zombies everywhere. But inside European Village, a small band of survivors are doing whatever it takes to stay alive – but are they risking their own survival by keeping the new strangers out? 

Dying Days: The Siege of European Village is the latest release in the Dying Days series by Armand Rosamilia, and first with author Tim Baker (Water Hazard, Pump It Up) and combines their favorite characters in one rousing story! Includes an Author interview detailing how the story came about, as well as sample chapters from both authors! 

Dying Days: Siege 2 

Just when they thought they were out… 

The last survivors of the zombie raid on European Village find out they have nowhere else to go in this post apocalyptic world. 

Darlene Bobich must once again team up with Ike in order to survive! 

Dying Days: Siege 2 is the sequel to the successful collaboration between authors Armand Rosamilia (Dying Days, Keyport Cthulhu) and Tim Baker (Pump It Up, Unfinished Business) and  includes two bonus short stories, an interview with the authors as well as samples of their latest work! 

Over 70,000 words and usually $3.99!

http://www.amazon.com/Dying-Days-Siege-And-Set-ebook/dp/B00IRJ9QZG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1393886521&sr=8-3&keywords=dying+days+siege+armand

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dying-Days-Siege-And-Set-ebook/dp/B00IRJ9QZG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394405825&sr=8-1&keywords=dying+days+siege+armand+set

 

DDDouble1

 Dying Days: Bundle Set 1

Two Novellas For The Price Of One! 

Dying Days: Origins 

The prequel tale to Tosha Shorb, featured in Dying Days 2 zombie novella as well as short stories set in the Dying Days world. 

Includes two bonus stories: Dying Days: Randy Jackson, featuring the main character from the Highway To Hell zombie novella… and Dying Days: Eric White, the origins short for the character featured in the Dying Days series and written by Lisa McKinney! With Author Notes… 

Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days 

Thirteen zombie tales set in the world of the “Dying Days” series… stories about old friends and new, including Tosha Shorb, David Monsour, Steve ‘The Breeze’ Brack, Russ ‘Madman’ Meyer, Jeff Beesler, Morris Chambers, Michael Ross, and many more! Welcome once again to “Dying Days”… 

Over 70,000 words and usually $3.99!

http://www.amazon.com/Dying-Days-Double-Set-1-ebook/dp/B00IXOPVBS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394554625&sr=1-1&keywords=dying+days+armand

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dying-Days-Double-Set-1-ebook/dp/B00IXOPVBS/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1394556333&sr=8-11&keywords=dying+days+armand