Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Little Behind…

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I know I promised a weekly free flash piece starring Darlene Bobich and her zombie tale, but another story has caught me by the you-know-what’s and I’m writing fast and furious, trying to get this book out before I lose it…

You know how that is, right?

I’m about 40,000 words into a novel tentatively titled “Chelsea Avenue”, a horror tale set in Long Branch, New Jersey starting from the night of the Long Branch pier fire on July 8th 1987…

More to follow, and Darlene, too!

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Guest Blog Interview – W.D. Gagliani

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Tell us about your story appearing in the “Undead Tales” zombie anthology (no spoilers, please!) 

“Until Hell Calls Our Names” was my first zombie story, although I believe I’ve only written two more after that one! (Need to remedy that!) It was inspired partly by my reading of S.P. Somtow’s DARKER ANGELS, an incredible Civil War novel only one facet of which included zombies. That book was constructed as a mind-blowing set of concentric tales told by characters to other characters, and it inspired me to do a second-hand kind of story too. Plus I’d been reading about the Confederate submarine, the Hunley (this was before they actually found it and raised it), and wanted to use it in a story. When the Memphis-themed anthology More Monsters From Memphis came up, it seemed perfect because the battle of Memphis was fought by gunboats on the Mississippi. How simple to slip a Confederate sub into the historical facts! It’s a bit of an alternate history tale, too, as well as horror. It’s one of my favorites.

 

Is this your first zombie tale? 

It was indeed, though I didn’t think of it as a zombie tale at the time. My friends John Everson and Dave Benton and I are working on a zombie novel called Sing Zombie Electric, so I imagine I’ll revisit the world of zombies a bit more in the near future.

 

 

What do you think of the horror book market, and the zombie subgenre?

The entire book industry in transition right now! I think there’s room for both paper and digital, and I like both. I use both. I have a foot in each camp. I have ebooks out there, and I have traditional books. I think horror lends itself to ebooks because people can load up their devices and go to town. But there’s something cool about a paper book with a great cover you can see better. The transitional phase makes it hard to assess the horror market by itself – it’s inextricably linked to what’s happening throughout the industry.

The zombie subgenre has been surprising, in a way. It’s been taking some of the vampire’s thunder! But – as a werewolf guy – I hope my favorite werewolves will get a turn. In the meantime it’s true that zombies have somewhat taken over – the zombified classics are testament to that! As long as readers don’t tire of the shambling dead, there will be zombie apocalypse tales. Hit TV shows like The Walking Dead haven’t hurt, either.

 

 Some of your favorite authors that inspired you?

Tim Powers, whose “secret histories” have blown my mind since 1984 – and who did zombies pretty early on in On Stranger Tides (yes, it was optioned and adapted for the Disney Pirates franchise, but the book predates all that and it’s so much better). His books The Anubis Gates, Last Call, The Stress of Her Regard (among others) are touchstones in my formative years. Of course, Stephen King turned me from thrillers, my first love, to horror – in 1976 when I read ‘Salem’s Lot! I grew up on Jules Verne, then kids’ books like the Brains Benton and Three Investigators series, then jumped to adult stuff like Ian Fleming, Alistair MacLean and writers of thrillers, many of them British (which may have shaped my style as sometimes more formal than average). Then King came along and I went in that direction, eventually finding the so-called splatterpunks of the 80s: Laymon, Lee, Schow, Skipp & Spector, Lansdale, Garton. I was a huge mystery and crime fan, as well, in my high school years – grounded myself in Chandler, Hammett, and later Block, Westlake, Parker and so many others. In the 90s and later I came to love the short stories of people such as Gary Braunbeck, Brian Hodge, and Brian Hopkins, for instance. My roots led me to create thriller-crime-horror blends that are exactly like the kinds of stuff I prefer to read. Of course, I could add about three or four dozen authors to this brief list! (For instance, I’m neglecting to mention my large SF phase, as well, in which my favorite authors included Harlan Ellison and Philip K. Dick.)

 

What is your ultimate – realistic – goal as a writer? 

I have always wanted to be a writer, to tell stories. I also love reading the stories of others (which is probably why I became a book reviewer as well, starting in 1986). It’s probably too late to make writing my full-time career, but a realistic goal is to continue to explore the themes and characters I love and which intrigue me, and at the same time watch it grow into a credible second income. That’s one goal that has eluded me so far, but there are signs of that changing. The main thing is to have happy readers, though, and my mail referring to my werewolf cop series about Nick Lupo has been so overwhelming and satisfying that I could see writing about him for years to come. Maybe he’ll meet some zombies, someday. So part of my goal is to continue to tell stories I like and which I hope readers will also like, whether or not about zombies…

 

 What are some of your influences?

See question 4 for some of the authors – and I stress some – but movies and TV shows also helped. I’ve been a Bond fan since I was four or five and my folks took me to “Goldfinger.” Ian Fleming and Bond had a huge impact on me, both the literary and the film versions. I was a science fiction fan and fantasy followed, though never much the Tolkienesque… I preferred urban fantasy and dark fantasy, and the Tim Powers version of historical fantasy blended with horror. But as a kid, I thrilled to the 50s and 60s SF and monster movies. On TV, the 70s were a gold mine: the ABC Movie of the Week managed to hit all the horror subgenres! There were great shows from The Twilight Zone (earlier but I caught up in the 70s), Night Gallery, Ghost Story, and so many others. Eventually I was an X-Files fan because, like Mulder, I wanted to believe… in terrible conspiracies, horrifying creatures, and the bizarre. The traditional horror movies helped – I saw “Jaws” three times the summer it opened. I saw “The Omen” three times, too, and “The Exorcist.” The Universal monster movies were concurrent joys for me, and Creature Features, because, again, I was catching up. I dare anyone to watch “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” and not see the roots of what so many of us do, creating laughs and shivers both – and with the classic actors, too. I consider all of those influential. And I have to thank my parents because they never censored my viewing habits. In fact, they took me to R-rated movies when I was too young! And I love them for having done that. Sheltering kids is a terrible crime. I have an open mind because of that.

 

Give us a typical day in your writing schedule.

Well, since I have a day job, a typical day involves finding a few minutes here and there to write or take notes. As a book reviewer (not as active as I was, but still active), I’m often drafting a review in those short opportunities. After work I may head over to my local Starbucks where I tend to veg out and work on something, though nowadays that includes a fair amount of social media for marketing purposes. Sometimes I fall asleep at the computer, trying to do some writing – I think ultimately I do a lot more writing on weekends, since on weekdays my opportunities are few and far between… and shorter. But plotting is something I do in my head almost constantly – whatever I may be working on is on my mind from when I’m standing in the shower, to lunch, to breaks, and so on. I think a writer is always writing, even if there is no pen or keyboard in his or her hand. It’s more a calling than a job or a hobby, that’s for sure. I find that I can’t not write or work on something related. And when I can’t actually write, then reading is a perfect alternative because I love it so much.

 

What story/book of yours are you most proud of, and why? 

Right up there with “Until Hell Calls Our Names” is my story “Icewall,” which can also be found in my Shadowplays collection. It was my first big fiction sale, and it went to Robert Bloch’s Psychos, an HWA anthology edited by Robert Bloch (the master who wrote Psycho) and which included stories by some of my idols including Stephen King and Charles Grant and Gary Braunbeck. I’m proud of pretty much all the stories I wrote in the 90s, because they all found homes here and there. A couple appeared in cd-rom anthology projects by Brian Hopkins, who is himself an exquisite writer. Those sales gave me confidence when I might have surrendered – I’d been submitting stories since 1976, while still in high school! Those stories, and a couple contest wins and close calls, and later Honorable Mentions in Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies, all helped get me through dark times while I worked on my first novel.

Wolf’s Trap took nine years, was heavily workshopped with author Elaine Bergstrom’s group in the mid-90s, was published in the small press, and went on to earn a nomination for the Bram Stoker Award. Then it went to Leisure Books, sold well, and led to three sequels. I’m especially proud of that book because it was hard work, writing without knowing if anyone would ever care, and I let it all hang out – pushing my own boundaries – and the response was gratifying. I’m proud of all my Wolf novels, but the one coming in October 2011 from Samhain, my new publisher since the shake-up at Dorchester, is also a proud moment because it involves a parallel story that arose out of anecdotes my parents told me of growing up during World War 2 in Italy, first occupied by the Germans and later bombed and re-occupied by the Allies. I wrote some heavy scenes for that book, scenes that made me highly uncomfortable and touched too close to home. I wrote a scene that had me in tears, which doesn’t usually happen. And I think that’s what it takes – our work (call it “art” if you will, but I just think of it as “the work”) should make us uncomfortable, push our buttons and boundaries, and challenge us and/or our emotions in some way. Because if it doesn’t, then it’s not really effective. Even simple genre work, just like the pulps we now tend to revere, can be an effective bearer of what I call “cosmic truth,” or narrative honesty, which I think is what writing is all about. I’m proud when someone tells me that something I wrote affected them somehow. To me it’s ultimately better than financial reward. Though I wouldn’t mind some financial reward, too, I hasten to add!

 

What are you working on now?

I’m working on that zombie novel with Everson and Benton I mentioned earlier, as well as Wolf’s Deal, which is a Nick Lupo novella that fits between two of the novels, a couple projects for younger readers (also with Dave Benton, with whom I have also written a batch of adult short stories), plus another collaborative project that’s just getting started in the creation phase, plus doing the plotting for a fifth Lupo novel, and allowing a few ideas to brew and bubble at different paces. I tend to get ideas when I can’t begin to deal with them, which is frustrating and can affect my focus. I like to say I have more burners than stove. Or time. I definitely feel the sands of time rushing out the bottom of the glass, but it’s not making me more prolific – just more harried and out of sorts.

 

 

 Shameless plug time… where can we find your work and you?

I have a supply of copies for sale of all three prior Lupo novels in paperback, so anyone who wants to catch up before Wolf’s Edge comes out in October from Samhain (first as an ebook and then in trade paperback a couple months later) can just write to me for details. It’s not necessary to read Wolf’s Trap first, though it helps, but Gambit-Bluff-Edge form a loose trilogy so they should be read in that order. The novella Wolf’s Deal should be a ready by fall (I keep putting it aside to work on something else). Dave Benton and I have Mysteries & Mayhem, a short collection, and a story from that – “Mood Elevator” – which is erotic horror we had published in the legendary Hot Blood series, in Dark Passions: Hot Blood 13, are both available as ebooks. We share a blog here: http://moodelevator.wordpress.com/ where I have also started to post old book reviews as well as our musings and those of some selected other guests. I can be found on Twitter at @WDGagliani, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wdgagliani . And my main websites are www.williamdgagliani.com and www.wdgagliani.com , through which I can be contacted as well.

Thanks for giving me the chance to spout about some of my favorite subjects!

W.D. Gagliani

Books by WD Gagliani:  http://amzn.to/obZAok

Guest Blog Interview – Tim Lieder

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 Tell us about your story appearing in the “Undead of Winter” zombie anthology (no spoilers, please!)

Well, it’s a love story. Obviously, you can see the Katy Perry references throughout especially Teenage Dream. After all, I think I was listening to that song pretty heavily when I wrote it and it shows, especially in the scene where the old lady eats her own fingers.

 

 Is this your first zombie tale?
 
I believe that every story in some way is a zombie tale.

 

 
What do you think of the state of horror books, and the zombie subgenre?
 
Ever since F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote Tender is the Great Zombie Fucker, zombie literature has been an integral part of American letters. Where would we be without Raymond Carver’s zombie stories from the 1960s or the Toni Morrison pre-Beloved novel Brains? I am happy to see that Stephanie Meyers will be writing a fifth Twilight book in which Bella fucks a truckload of zombie rock stars on their way to a gig in Colorado Springs but I am a little worried about what that will do to the Jacob/Edward dynamic. Still, Bella has always been a zombie and this will finally be a chance for her to be with her own kind.

 

 
Some of your favorite authors that inspired you?
 
Well obviously Dan Brown and Stephanie Meyers. I am paying direct homage to that scene in the Da Vinci Code when the zombies are sucking cock and biting them off due to some bullshit about Jesus’ inbred descendent. But really, I think that Stephanie Meyers really nails the post-apocalyptic zombie world and telling an entire love story from the perspective of a brainless hunk of flesh who walks around looking stunned because she has yet to open up a skull and scoop out the brains. I wanted to incorporate that in my story and I really think that I captured the dream-like prose of Twilight, especially the bit with the dog eating the fingers.
 

 
What is your ultimate – realistic – goal as a writer?
 
New York Times Bestseller list. Required reading in many class curriculum after a brief sojourn as the writer with the books that people pass around to their friends. Also I want a cult following and a planet named after me.

 

 
What are some of your influences?
 
I really like the Czech orgy porn. That might have something to do with having a bit of the ADHD.

 

 
Give us a typical day in your writing schedule.
 
Most of my writing schedule involves sitting in front of the television and writing term papers because those make the most money.
 

 

What story/book of yours are you most proud of, and why?
 
Um, the one with the cat and the cow. I think there’s also a vampire or a clown in the thing.
 
 


 What are you working on now?
 
 A business paper for a client who will put her name on it and turn it in as if she wrote it herself. I’m so ashamed.

 


Shameless plug time… where can we find your work and you?

I edited She Nailed a Stake Through His Head: Tales of Biblical Terror. It features authors Elissa Malcohn, Catherynne Valente and Christi Krug. There’s also a Stephanie Meyers story in it called “Fuck Joseph Smith with a Vampire Dildo!” which was a tough sell for me, but I bought it because I really think I want to give Stephanie a chance to try something more romantic.

Guest Blog Interview – Scott Nicholson

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Tell us about your story appearing in the “Undead Tales” zombie anthology (no spoilers, please!)


I just wanted to do a moment-in-time mood piece of impending zombie doom. But aren’t all zombie tales of that mood?

 

Is this your first zombie tale?

No, I’ve written a decent handful, and most are collected in the ebook Zombie Bits, with bonus stories from Jonathan Maberry, J.A. Konrath, and Joe McKinney.

 

What do you think of the horror book market, and the zombie subgenre?

I think the digital era is opening up a lot more audiences to new material. It’s great, and of course zombie fans can find stuff more easily than ever.

 

Some of your favorite authors that inspired you?

 

Stephen King is the main one. After that, probably dozens of influences, mostly the old-school writers, though I do sample widely.

 

 What is your ultimate – realistic – goal as a writer?

 

I’m already living my goal of doing this for a living. There are no guarantees but I just need to keep working consistently and with good intent.

 

What are some of your influences?

 

As a former musician, I like to feel the mood of the music while I am writing. Any art that is thought-provoking and not just mindless entertainment is worth it to me.

 

 

Give us a typical day in your writing schedule.

 

I spend the mornings handling business tasks and some promotion. For some reason, I write at night now, even though I used to write in the mornings. Being an indie writer means running a small business, so there’s more than just writing.

 

 

What story/book of yours are you most proud of, and why?

 

The Red Church has been a perennial favorite and seems to attract a steady audience even after eight years. The audio version is about to be released and it’s fun to listen to the words you once typed.

 

 What are you working on now?

 

I’m finishing up the Liquid Fear sequel, and Chronic Fear should be out at Christmas. I am doing another book with J.R. Rain and will probably have another story collection out later this year.

 

Shameless plug time… where can we find your work and you?

 

My books are at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com and I’m “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter and Facebook. You can also find me in most of the ebook stores.

 Thanks, Armand, for having me.

“Hey, I have an idea for you to write..”

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If I had a dollar for every time someone approached me with that line… people seem to think that us writerly types are completely out of ideas, just wandering around asking non-writerly types for their totally original and insightful ideas so that we can make a great book and split the millions with them…

The truth is – and I speak for myself here, but I’m sure it pertains to most other authors – that I have enough ideas to write three score books, a couple hundred short story ideas, and perhaps another hundred flash fiction pieces…

What I don’t have is time to do it all…

I made the mistake this morning of listing all of the unfinished work I have saved as well as the multiple ideas jotted down on scrap paper, napkins, unpaid bills, cardboard boxes…

The real problem becomes: where to start?

Usually an idea will hit me and I’ll run with it, punching out a few pages until the muse leaves me. I always have 3-5 stories up at all times and I work from one to the next as the mood strikes. Some days I can stay with one story and punch out a couple of chapters, but other days I write a few paragraphs on five different stories.

I have five novels pulled up right now, in various levels of completion… one is at the 38,000 word mark and the smallest just broke 2,400 words. Everything else is in between.

Back in the far, far past (2010) I would have rushed to finish them one at a time and then hunker down and send them out to publishers, crossing my fingers as I kept one eye on the rejection/acceptance pile and the other eye on the next book.

Now? Thanks to writers I admire like Scott Nicholson (who, coincidentally, is featured tomorrow right here as a Guest Blog Interview) I’ve ‘seen the light’.

I now write for me, and when it is finished I decide whether its worthy enough to be published… by me.

I’ve been going back and forth between publishing my own work and doing anthologies under the Rymfire eBook name, melding the two of them slowly together.

Of course, I’ll keep searching for great anthologies to get published in, but for the most part I’ll be simply publishing my work for me and my fans out there. You are out there, right? 

Guest Blog Interview – Blaze McRob

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Tell us about your story appearing in the “Undead of Winter” zombie anthology (no spoilers, please!)

My story “Snow Of Blood” just leaped out of me. When Armand asked for Extreme, I figured, “I can do extreme.” So I did. As with everything I write, once the first sentence is done, the rest materializes. My story people decide what’s going to happen, and I go along for the ride. All my fiction tales include non-fiction parts. My readers can decide what’s what and even it out in their minds. Does it really matter?  I don’t think so. Real life horror can be worse than contrived horror. A good writer knows how to mix the two. This way no one has to read a boring auto-biography about Blaze. Every bit will be told within my horror. A piece here; a piece there.

 

 

Is this your first zombie tale?

This is my first zombie tale. It was a lot of fun writing it. It won’t be my last. In fact, one of the novels I’m writing now has some of the critters in it.

 

 

What do you think of the state of horror books, and the zombie subgenre?

The general state of horror books needs to freshen up a bit with new monsters or radical changes to the old ones. Stereotypes are getting boring to a lot of readers. Yes, the “purists” are going to pick new books apart and say, “But this is all wrong! These new writers haven’t done their homework.” Hey, following the old ways is passe unless you’re writing within a particular age and want your story to fit the times. Take Carole Gill for example: she writes Gothic literature which happens to be horror based. She has to get the history right. And she does a damned fine job of it. She is my favorite vampire author. Blaze, on the other hand, writes from time periods he knows. My little nasties can be whatever they want to be. No restrictions. Fresh meat. No formulas for me.

Zombies are no exception. We don’t simply want the old. Does anyone care about the exact x/y chromosome count in the blood or the specifics of the virus that devastated the world? I would dare say no. Action is what readers want. New reasons for zombies arriving on the scene. Originality. Yeah, baby! That’s what rocks the zombie world. Zombie stories are huge at the moment. We writers want to keep the flames alive.

 

 

Some of your favorite authors that inspired you?

Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Earle Stanley Gardner, Stephen King, Brian Keene, Mario Acevedo, John Saul, Dean Koontz, Patricia Cornwell, Peter Straub, Carole Gill, E.A. Irwin, Marissa Farrar, Yvonne Bishop, Sue Midlock, Todd Card, Tyr Kiernan, William Cook, Robert Frost, Kathy Rowe, and sooo many others. Obviously, I read a lot in different genres and find inspiration in many words.

 

 

What is your ultimate – realistic – goal as a writer?

I want my stories to be remembered, not for artistic literary genius, but for a good read. A good tale. That means selling a lot of novels. The only way for Blaze’s novels to be remembered is to get them into readers’ hands. Simple fact. Two hundred novels read by friends won’t cut the mustard. Readers, not writers, will have to buy them. Okay, I’ll have to learn marketing, won’t I? So be it. I will.

 

 

 What are some of your influences?

My influences come from life: good and bad. There is always both. I am inspired by struggles of heroic people around me and sickened by the despicable actions of demons who call themselves humans. Many times, those who are under the worst possible pressure achieve the greatest things, show the most compassion. This is as far as I have to look.

 

 

 Give us a typical day in your writing schedule.

A typical day for me includes checking my emails for emergency type messages-I answer the rest later- then I’ll write a thousand words. Following that it’s off to the gym on my bicycle. I exercise 3 to 4 hours a day. Back to the office to work on my blogs and answer more emails. I average 500 to 700 emails a day. Then at night, I’ll write another thousand words or more. This will all change this fall when Yvonne and I finally get together. Great changes.

 

 

What story/book of yours are you most proud of, and why?

My first novel because I was the one who had to rise from the ashes to write it. I conquered disease and became a writer at the same time. Sorry, it was a ghostwritten novel so I can’t divulge what it is.

 

 

What are you working on now? 

I am editing ” ’68 Buick,” a Grim reaper novel for Vamplit Publishing that I recently finished; I’m writing “Bokor,”the sequel to ” ‘ 68 Buick”; and I’m also writing “The Butcher’s Brain,” another novel. I have another novel series getting ready to come out called “The Devil’s Tongue”- all these novels will be published by Vamplit Publishing if they want them- and I’m working on some short stories. Soon Yvonne Bishop and I will publish some short stories through Angelic Knight Press.

 

 

 Shameless plug time… where can we find your work and you?

I am on Facebook and will soon have an author page there. I will be starting Twitter soon.  My blog sites are Blaze McRob’s Tales Of Horror, blazemcrob.com, and Angelic Knight Press, angelicknightpress.com, which is the small publishing house Yvonne and I started up for non-Vamplit things. I have some big news coming out for the press this week.

Thank you for giving me a bully-pulpit this week Armand. Much appreciated.

Guest Blog Interview – Rich Orth

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 Tell us about your story appearing in the “Undead Tales” zombie anthology (no spoilers, please!)

       To not spoil will be simple… I wrote 8 poems… some humorous, some darker… hope everyone enjoys… short stories are great for people with short attention spans… my poetry is perfect for those with no attention span!

 

Is this your first zombie tale?

       I have written a few Undead poems prior but writing 10 full poems and 7 partial drafts in 2 weeks is a first.

 

What do you think of the horror book market, and the zombie subgenre?

       I enjoy Horror in general… I like the fact that Zombies have taken off and to new levels… not just the old school stories…

 

Some of your favorite authors that inspired you?

      The one and only is Edgar Allan Poe…

 

What is your ultimate – realistic – goal as a writer?

      To be seen and heard… and truly to just have as many people as possible get a taste and hopefully enjoy!

 

What are some of your influences?

     As I stated before… Poe!!  but also Hammer Films and old Universal Horror films… Jim Morrison… serial killers (in my writes)… and mostly just whatever word or thought or sentence that triggers my mind to coerce my hand to push the pen and bleed my words onto paper!

 

Give us a typical day in your writing schedule.

     I sometimes write all day… never set time aside for writing, except when a friend says he needs 2 more in a few days…  My goal is to write as many very good poems as possible in the time I have here on Earth…

 

What story/book of yours are you most proud of, and why?

      I have a poem, My Night as Poe!   I love it… and after placing 1st in a contest, that Poem is now walled up in a time capsule in the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in the Bronx NY… a thrill that could not make me more ecstatic… this is the last home Poe had and his love, Virginia died within those walls!!

 

What are you working on now?

      I am working on some more Zombie poems… have a friend Lord Never ready to make youtube vids and another friend Nick is making a Zombie puppet to use (his work is amazing)
Also, I have a series of poems (Poe based, surprise) which I call my dead girl series… my goal is to have that published by December!  Many other things, you can even find my lyrics Cemetery Girl on the new DemonBoy CD Dawn of the Demon!  demonboyband.com

 

Shameless plug time… where can we find your work and you?

       ok… here are the sites… and thanks Armand for getting me involved… I appreciate you and Todd Card having faith in my musings…
https://www.facebook.com/groups/109463050123    https://www.facebook.com/groups/109463050123#!/richorth    https://www.facebook.com/groups/109463050123#!/profile.php?id=100002303276383     http://www.ravenxthelivingdeadgirl.com/   some prose on here  http://williamcastle.com/blog/scare-it-forward/scare-it-forward-angel-island/
demonboyband.com    aea zine  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002303276383#!/profile.php?id=100001086755145 
and finally… something I am doing to support the troops… sending CD’s, books, toothbrushes, notebooks, zines, … any slice of home… please check out my friend’s page www.slapshotfan.com
We started with just sports pennants and pucks and bumper stickers in mind, but it is growing quickly to be all inclusive!!  Thanks for listening… enjoy the Undead Tales!!

Guest Blog Interview – Brent Abell

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Tell us about your story appearing in the “Undead of Winter” zombie anthology (no spoilers, please!)

 

 It is a tale about an older man who has holed up in his hunting cabin and the extent that some people will resort to for survival.  I find myself more fascinated by the human side of the zombie apocalypse and how human nature shows its true face when the structure of society breaks down.

 

 
Is this your first zombie tale?

 

No, I have found that most of what I write ends up becoming a zombie tale in some way, shape, or form.  “A Winter’s Feast” is my second story to be accepted, but is the first to see print.

 

 
What do you think of the state of horror books, and the zombie subgenre?

 

I think we are on a down swing right now.  The mass market seems to be stalled, so I hope the small press can thrive as it fills the void.  As far as the zombie subgenre, I think that it is strong.  As long as there is good quality zombie lit out there, then the readers will keep coming back for fresh brains.

 

 
Some of your favorite authors that inspired you?

 

Hands down it is Brian Keene.  I met him at Mo*Con V last year and his kind words and encouragement have meant a lot to me and my drive to write.  I’ve only been doing this for a year so having two stories accepted in such a short time since I decided to get serious about writing is great.  Reading wise it is Stephen King, Edward Lee, John Everson, J.F. Gonzalez, Douglas Clegg, Graham Masterton, Simon Clark, and Tim Lebbon.  I also have to thank my friend and fellow writer Wes Southard for the way we drive each other to get better.

 

 
What is your ultimate – realistic – goal as a writer?

 

I just want a wall of books and stuff I’m in.  If I get some cash out of it, great.  I don’t think that I can quit my day job yet, but it would be nice to do one day.

 

 
What are some of your influences?

 

My wife and kids, metal (lots and lots of metal), comics, and horror books.  I would also thank my parents for not taking my music and books away when I was a kid. 

 
Give us a typical day in your writing schedule.

 

I have to find time to do any writing at all.  Some times I sit with a beer and sometimes it is whiskey, writing makes me thirsty.  I have ADD when it comes to what I focus on.  I might screw around with 3 or 4 stories plus the novel in a sitting.  For having an hour, I jump around a bit.

 

 
What story/book of yours are you most proud of, and why?

 

“Stonewall” and “A Winter’s Feast”.  They are the first two sells, so they will always have a soft spot in my heart. 
 

 

What are you working on now?
A ton of other short stories, a novella that is on its forth draft, and the first draft of the novel.
 


 Shameless plug time… where can we find your work and you?

I can be found at www.plan9reloaded.com/btabell.  I have a spot on the forums and links to Twitter and Facebook. 

Guest Blog Interview – P. David Puffinburger

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Tell us about your story appearing in the “Undead Tales” zombie anthology (no spoilers, please!)

    I wanted to right a different type of zombie story, one that starts off the same people trying to survive, then there sharp twist that blind sides the reader and put them in a whole different crisis.

 

Is this your first zombie tale? 

 No the first zombie story I wrote was a novel (Dead Infection) about a gun store owner that finds himself in the middle of an infection that is spreading everywhere, and it turns people into mindless cannibals. The story is full of different types of horrors and a lot of twists and turns, I have been told by the people that have read it that it is sick, disgusting, and twisted it has made a few people throw up when they read it.

 

 

What do you think of the horror book market, and the zombie subgenre? 

 It is too small it needs to get the attention of large publishing companies so they can see that a lot of people love horror and zombies. Case in point the TV show the walking dead (which is a pile of crap) has done way better then the producers thought it would, showing them that people love zombies.

 

 

Some of your favorite authors that inspired you?

  Brian Keene, Joe McKinny, Armand Rosamilia, Scott Sigler, J.F. Goanzalez, Brian Keene, J.L. Bourne, Z.A. Recht, Brian Keene, Conrad Willaims, Edward Lee, and Brian Keene

 

 

What is your ultimate – realistic – goal as a writer? 

To become a professional writer and get a book deal.

 

 

 What are some of your influences?  

George Romero, zombie movies new and old, horror books, horror magazines.

 

 

 Give us a typical day in your writing schedule.  

 Go to work get bored then my brain starts making up stories to entertain itself, then when I come home I write down the stories.

 

 

What story/book of yours are you most proud of, and why? 

 The first story I wrote (Dog Boy), about a boy that is extremely abused by his alcoholic father. He is beaten everyday and has to work on his father farm while his bones are broken and his skin his ripped off. He has a younger sister that is the only person that is nice to him, one night while drunk and high his father sells his sister’s virginity to his friend, after the boy is beaten almost to death by his father and friend they go in the house to rape her. He prays to god for help and to save her, of course god doesn’t help but an evil spirit does. He makes an offer to the boy, and he accepts. Later after the demon had entered his body and giving him the power to have his revenge he realizes he made a big mistake and tries to get out of the deal.   Why- it was very personal to me I felt that I was the boy and the father rolled into the same person. It was hard to write some of the abuse parts and go into so much detail. I want people see what it is like to be an abuse child and feel the hopelessness, and to be completely powerless to stop it, and to feel the desperation while being abused.

 

 What are you working on now?  

A series of novels that takes place in a post apocalyptic world where six volcanoes erupt at the same time. They throw millions of tons of dust in the air blocking the sun, and causing a nuclear winter. The earth slowly dies and people do anything they can to survive including cannibalism. 10. Shameless plug time… where can we find your work and you?  Dog Boy can be bought at Barnes&Noble.com   Dead Infection will be sold at Barns&Noble.com and soon when they both will be on Amazon.com when I stop being lazy and put them on. You can find me on facebook or email me at d2cck@aol.com.

Giving Yourself Away

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I’ve been on a roll in the last few months. Since October 2010, with the release of my extreme zombie novella Highway To Hell, I’ve amassed a fair share of acceptances in anthologies. I’ve also been able to release my extreme zombie Dying Days novella as well as a re-release of my urban horror novella Death Metal

I set up a couple of my bookshelves and faced out these titles, which I am proud of… anthologies like Damned If You Don’t, Daily Bites of Flesh, Unquiet Earth, Undead of Winter as well as a dozen more… and it seems like each week another one or two gets added up onto the bookshelf…

I’ve also been asked to submit stories for some great new anthologies coming up in the next year, by publishers who didn’t even know my name at this time last year. I’m humbled and excited to hopefully work with them.

I started out 2011 with the simple goal to get my name out there, to garner new readers any way I could and keep a momentum going. I think I have so far…

But the one nagging problem I have, looking over the shelf of anthologies I’ve been published in, is the number of them that were non-paying or minimal payment. Realistically, even with a discount for authors I still came out behind in that respect.

Some people will tell you that ‘exposure’ is a great thing, and it builds a career. In the beginning of 2011 I thought it was, but now I’m wondering if it really helped me to get where I am. I’ve pretty much given away a dozen stories that I guess I’ll be able to re-sell or self-publish, but that doesn’t help me now.

Your thoughts?

 

Guest Blog Interview – Jonah Buck

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 Tell us about your story appearing in the “Undead of Winter” zombie anthology (no spoilers, please!)
 
“Day of the Varmints” is my contribution to Undead of Winter. I’m currently a history major at the University of Oregon, and it’s my first published story. Abusing my history degree, “Day of the Varmints” takes place during World War I as German troops try to survive the horrible effects of a new chemical weapon.

 
Is this your first zombie tale?
 
Indeed it is.

 
What do you think of the state of horror books, and the zombie subgenre?
 
I really like the state of horror books; in fact, I’ll even be appearing in State of Horror: Georgia. Personally, I think that a great setting can add a disproportionate amount to a story. The American States, with so much variation between them, provide a fantastic template for writers. Each state has its own particular traits, from dusty plains to endless fields of corn to bustling cities, which provide each anthology with a unique arsenal of horror options. A cannibalism story could have toothless rednecks in Texas or greasy city slickers in New York and enjoy its own twists and turns dictated by the setting.

As for the zombie subgenre in general, I love it. Zombies are the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of the horror world. They’re simple, light fare that go well with anything and take significant effort to screw up. That being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing more, well, monstrous monsters in the future. Giant intestinal parasites, unnatural sea beasties, and mutated bat monsters need love too, and there’s plenty of room at our flesh buffet. Zombies are in vogue right now, and I couldn’t be more pleased with that; however, I hope that creature horror will enjoy a similarly bloody renaissance in the near future.

 
Some of your favorite authors that inspired you?
 
Cornea-blistering action sequences: Matthew Reilly
First interested me in horror: Stephen King
Can’t-put-it-down pacing: Lee Child
History goes (horribly) awry: Harry Turtledove
Slick characterization: writing duo Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
 
There are a plenty of authors who inspire me, including the late Michael Crichton, Shelby Foote, and Robert Ludlum, but if I were some sort of talent-vampire, skulking through the night and feasting on the skills of others, I’d start with those six guys. I’m consistently blown away by their books.


 
What is your ultimate – realistic – goal as a writer?
 
I’m brand new to writing, so until very recently, it was to get published. Perhaps I don’t have a good sense of what’s realistic or not, but I’d love to someday appear in the same anthology as any of the horror authors who shaped my sense of writing.

While I have the floor here, let me throw down some advice to the ranks of fellow aspiring writers out there. There are three important steps to getting your short stories published, regardless of the genre. First and foremost, make sure that your story is in line with what an editor wants. Things like word count, font, and theme are probably explicitly spelled out somewhere, and you should take a moment to format your story and make sure that you’re not sending in a vampire story to a zombie anthology. Second, edit everything multiple times. Really read the crap out of your story. It’s guaranteed to improve the quality. Most importantly, don’t give up!

 
What are some of your influences?
 
I grew up on a steady diet of Twilight Zone, Monty Python, & Mystery Science Theatre 3000 reruns in addition to huge piles of novels. I think that comedy (in the form of Monty Python and MST3K in my case), which requires timing, economy of language, and a general audience awareness is worth studying for any author. It’s impossible to quantify why, say, Dave Barry is hilarious, but his writing techniques have applications outside of humor.
 
More traditional influences, such as The Twilight Zone or Goosebumps novels, showed me easy access horror. When I was younger, I associated horror with crumbling Gothic castles and undead Eastern Europeans, but I was later exposed to sources which took the everyday and flipped it inside-out to create macabre, little tales. They were short, sweet, and appealed to common experiences and ordinary characters.

 
Give us a typical day in your writing schedule.
 
Schedule? What schedule? My writing is generally crammed into marathon weekend sessions and late night spurts after my school work has been completed.

 

 What story/book of yours are you most proud of, and why?
 
As my first story, “Day of the Varmints” holds a special place in the dark, dank recesses of my heart. Of course, my other story, “The Founding of Port Doyle”, was partially a nod to my love for exotic poultry…wait, that could be interpreted the wrong way.

 

 What are you working on now?
 
Well, I’ve been kicking around an idea for State of Horror: Massachusetts…


 
Shameless plug time… where can we find your work and you?
 
My two published stories can be found in Undead of Winter & the forthcoming State of Horror: Georgia, both from Rymfire eBooks. Anyone interested is welcome to share thoughts or spittle-flecked outrage with me on Facebook.

A Slew of Guest Blog Interviews This Week!

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Thanks to the great response for the two recent zombie anthologies Undead of Winter  and Undead Tales I’ve gotten quite a few of the authors together and did some interviews about their stories and their writing… I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed working with each of them… more will be added as they are finished…

Wednesday, July 13th… Jonah Buck

Thursday, July 14th… P. David Puffinburger

Friday, July 15th… Brent Abell

Saturday, July 16th… Rich Orth

Sunday, July 17th… Blaze McRobb

Monday, July 18th… Scott Nicholson

Tuesday, July 19th… Tim Lieder

Wednesday, July 20th… W.D. Gagliani

More will be added!

 

“Undead Tales” Zombie Anthology Now Available!!

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The “Undead Tales” zombie anthology is now available!

Eighteen Tales of Zombie Horror! Plus Zombie Poetry! Featuring Joe McKinney, Carole Gill, Eric S. Brown, Todd Sprague, W.D. Gagliani, Rich Orth, Scott M. Goriscak, JD Gillam, Lawrence R. Dagstine, Armand Rosamilia, P. David Puffinburger, Zach Brunner, Scott Nicholson, Ian DG Sandusky, Chantal Boudreau, Mark Tufo, Jeremiah Coe, and Ian Woodhead

Only $3.99 eBook and $12.99 Print

http://rymfireebooks.com/undeadtales.html

 

Guest Blog Interview: Carole Gill

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Interview with Carole Gill

Tell us about your story appearing in the “Undead of Winter” zombie anthology (no spoilers, please!)

Zombie Winter just came to me. I pictured a film crew working out in Colorado during early winter. One day some zombies show up. The crew thinks it’s a joke but it isn’t!

It’s an interesting theme we were given. It’s not a typical Zombie apocalypse, it’s about zombies and people who hope to survive. I liked that. I hope those of you who read my story like it too!

Is this your first zombie tale?

No, it’s my second! I generally write gothic horror but I had a lot of fun with this. Zombies are just misunderstood undead folk who get a little hungry and tend to be a little rough around the edges. All they need is love and maybe hearts, lungs and brains occasionally but why not?!

What do you think of the state of horror books, and the zombie subgenre?

I love the State of Horror books! I think it’s terrific to have themed writing like that. I wish someone would want something that takes place in Yorkshire! But as a former New Yorker, perhaps I’ll just wait!

As for the zombie genre, I think it’s great. There are all sorts of different ways zombies can be presented and I think that’s amazing.

Some of your favorite authors that inspired you?

Well gothic writers inspired me. The Brontes, Daphne DuMaurier, Poe and Anne Rice, I also enjoy Stephen King. I’m kind of going for Anne Rice/Carole Gill kind of fiction, stay tuned!

 

What is your ultimate – realistic – goal as a writer?

I want to write two novels a year. I’m giving myself a five year plan, thereby hoping for ten novels! If I fall apart, I’ll know it was too much!

What are some of your influences?

I just have this desire to write. I can’t NOT write. I’m either working on the sequel to my novel or short stories or working on the four blogs I write for! I’m driven!!!

Give us a typical day in your writing schedule.

Walk dogs, write from 10 am until 1 pm. Then research, promotion and finish up writing early evening.

What story/book of yours are you most proud of, and why?

The House on Blackstone Moor because it is my first published novel. I am widely published in sci fi and horror anthologies and I’m very proud of that, but this book was a work of love for me. I was truly inspired to write it and I’m glad I did. It’s been very well received and I’m very proud of that! I want gothic horror to be a lot more intense and dark than it’s ever been. This is not a novel that would have been acceptable years ago in the gothic market and I’m delighted!

 

What are you working on now?

Due to reader response I’m writing the sequel, Unholy Testament.

The sequel features the villain of The House on Blackstone Moor: an evil, mad, campy demon who gets to recount his immortal existence and discusses everything from his beginnings to the Black Death to Elizabeth Bathory (Blood Countess) he had the hots for her btw and so on. There is even a bit about Burke and Hare and the time they tried to kill some of his vampires and got the shock of their lives!

Shameless plug time… where can we find your work and you?

Me, I’m in Yorkshire in the U.K., I live on Facebook, lurk on Twitter

My author blog is a great place to find my fiction and my news!

http://carolegillofficialauthor.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carole-Gill-Author/120405794703293

http://twitter.com/#!/carolelynngill