Monthly Archives: March 2012

Armand’s April Writing Goals

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Since tomorrow begins a new month, I decided to post some broad-stroke goals for it and see what happens. Normally I constrain myself to only setting daily goals, which I will still do (2k minimum words written per day, so 60k written in April is the big goal)…

1. Joined the Script Frenzy thing (like NaNo but for screenplays) and the goal is 100 pages in 30 days. I’m not counting this in my word count for the month, preferring to simply write three solid pages a day on average. I figure once I get the hang of writing a screenplay it will get easier… I hope. Anyway, in May Dying Days should be ready for a second draft…

2. Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days collection of 13 short stories featuring old and new characters from the series. I’m already at 11k of a possible 27k, so 16k of writing will be finishing this book.

3. Chelsea Avenue horror novel. The second draft is written but I need about 10k added to it for completion and I intend to have it done by month’s end and a final outside edit. I’m hoping to submit it to a publisher instead of self-publishing.

4. Dying Days: Origins novella featuring character Tosha Shorb (from Dying Days 2) in a prequel of her character. 25k in length.

5. Finish an untitled zombie novella (not tied into Dying Days) and submit to a publisher in the future. 13k of 25k done, so 12k left.

That’s a bit over 60k but I can do it… being positive… I also always end up writing some short stories for anthologies I see, adding new tales to the Dying Days world for future use…

I also have several projects on the backburner right now that I will need to get to at some future point:

a long-planned sequel to Death Metal (tentatively titled Death Cult)

my Metal Queens Monthly series has suffered with all this fiction, but I’m slowly working on it, I swear

Two different horror novellas about halfway done with the first drafts

A sequel to my extreme zombie Highway To Hell novella

Dying Days 3 – eventually, 2 just came out!

Another (non-zombie) short story collection

A collection of all my blog posts with new unpublished posts

A ton of steampunk ideas, some already started

sleep

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Writing Today

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Been nice and busy today, have stayed away from stupid Facebook games (OK, I checked it really quick!) and got some work in…

I finished a shot story (3,300 words) this morning that I started last night… of course, it’s due to be submitted for an anthology by tomorrow, so last minute deadlines once again…

I also wrote 1,500 words (so far today) on a horror short set in South America that stars the same character as the one in my “Rainforest of Bones” short story that is featured in the Skeletal Remains anthology… I have another unpublished story and might put all three together in one 99 cent release sometime in April.

I also dabbled in some ideas for the Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days collection coming next in the series. I’m already 13k into it, and it should clock in roughly 28k if I’m right, but hopefully more.

Finally, I’ll be writing two guest blogs for my continuing Dying Days Blog Tour 2012 and answering questions for two new interviews coming up as well.

Remember, I’ll be randomly giving away free eBooks and Print books as it goes along, and follow my Twitter (@ArmandAuthor) for quick free giveaways I like to run… yesterday I gave away three FREE eBooks to each person who played along…

Finally (finally), I just want to thank everyone who’s purchased a copy of one of my eBooks and Print books this month… my sales have tripled, I’m getting solid reviews, and meeting some great new fans… I hope this can continue to grow! Thanks again!

Guest Blog – Matt Moore

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I’ll be over at Matt Moore’s blog today – http://mattmoorewrites.wordpress.com/ – and he’s here on mine… crazy world we live in, right? Anyway, pull up a chair and learn more about, well, Moore…

 

Zombies don’t get their fair share of attention. Vampires, werewolves and Frankenstein’s monster have had the Hollywood treatment. And while we zombie fans have The Walking Dead, vampires have had Buffy, Angel, Dark Shadows, Forever Knight, Vampire Diaries, Tru Blood and more on TV. Aside from World War Z, what’s the last zombie bestseller you can name?

Why the short end?

Violence.

Vampires can be brutal or sparkly; monstrous or brooding, tragic figures. They can be whatever your need them to be. And werewolves have self-loathing built in—from The Howling to Michael’s Jackson’s “Thriller” video.

Zombies don’t have that complexity. They’re just ruthlessly violent. The only variation is fast or slow, and Romero Rules (all corpses come back to life) or Snyder Rules (you have to be bit or otherwise infected to turn). Compare that to all the various rules for vampires—the effect of sunlight, garlic or silver; do they mentally control their victoms; are they soulless monsters or keep their identity; can they fly or change shape?

So zombie fiction and film are viewed with distain—violent, crass, seen-one-you’ve-seen-’em-all.

While fans of the zombie sub-genre hungers for a good ‘ole tale of blood and guts, the larger horror and speculative fiction community tells us to do something original if we want to be taken seriously. Allegory, metaphor, theme. And maybe they have a point.

A mindless hoard of zombies presents opportunities for storytelling that tragic, brooding or even bloodthirsty individual figures never could. Consider how Romero used the same “ghoul” to explore racism (Night of the Living Dead), consumerism (Dawn of the Dead), militarism (Day of the Dead) and classism (Land of the Dead). World War Z was much more about man’s inhumanity to man where the Great Panic doomed us, not the undead. “Pageant Girls” by Caroline Yoachim gives new meaning to dying to be thin. [“Pageant Girls”: http://pseudopod.org/2011/05/06/pseudopod-228-flash-on-the-borderlands-vii-tableaux-displays/] Heck, even the Borg are a form of zombie. (Hat tip to Adam Shaftoe for pointing that out to me.) [Adam Shaftoe: http://www.pageofreviews.com/]

In my own story telling, I’ve tried to turn zombies on their head in my upcoming story in Undead Tales 2, which will be out soon by Rymfire Undead Books. “But It’s Not The End” uses intelligent zombies—the undead who retain their pre-death personalities. Here, I try to tell a good zombie tale but also ask the questions: What makes someone a “person”. And with more to lose, the zombies are more invested in their own humanity than their human handlers.

Another story is “Ascension”, which you can read on AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review at  http://aescifi.ca/index.php/fiction/35-short-stories/714-ascension] In a very short (750 words) story, I present the zombie apocalypse in full, bloody glory while telling the story from the zombie’s point of view. Rather than mindless horror as the hunger overtakes the main character, something wonderful is happening. As the body goes one way, the mind goes another. Not to give it away, but the title “Ascension” is deliberate.

How else can zombie horror tell new stories and still be horrific? Can zombies breed sexually? What about uber-zombies that only feed on zombies (think the Reapers from Blade II)? Do zombies have the ultimately efficient metabolism and can function for days or weeks on a minimum of caloric intake? Let’s hear your ideas on how we can breathe new life into zombie stories.

SHAMELESS PLUG: If you liked “Ascension” or just want to give zombies their fair shake, consider nominating it for the Prix Aurora Award. If you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident and long-time resident, you can nominate. It costs $10, but registration is easy. Voting closes midnight on March 31. Visit http://www.prixaurorawards.ca/Membership/ for more information. Please help zombie horror win!!!

Lots of Giveaways This Week

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I’ve been randomly giving away eBook and print books this week, at least one eBook per Guest Blog post and then if I like people Retweeting my posts on Twitter, and people sending me direct e-mails asking questions or just saying hi…

I’ve also added both Dying Shortly volumes in this week as KDP Select-only releases, and they will both be FREE on Wednesday… if you’re new to the Dying Days series, they each contain two brand new short stories (that should be included in the upcoming Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days release) as well as a preview of Dying Days. Grab them and let me know what you think, either in a post, e-mail or an honest Amazon review…

My goal has always been to write fun zombie fiction that people can get into, want to read more, and keep me motivated… so far I’m seeing that, sales are nice and steady, and I’m meeting so many great people… this is getting fun!

Armand Rosamilia

Guest Blog – Erik Gustafson

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Today I have the pleasure of being a Guest Blogger on Erik Gustafson’s page, and I kindly returned the favor… read his, read mine, and enjoy!

 

Horror and the Family

Erik Gustafson

The family is the ideal haven for many reasons.  It is a safe place to explore the world, a place to develop your identity when you are growing up.  Home is where we find our food, make love, and lay our heads at the end of the day.  Heck, there is usually candy there!

A family can take on many forms.  A family can consist of a mom, dad, and kids, just like the black and white TV shows of yesteryear–or no kids at all.  It could be two men or two women.  It might include grandparents or close friends.  Biracial, immigrants, single parents.  Endless combos, just like ice cream and toppings.

The family is the basic unit of our society.

Families are the fabric that bind together to form our churches, schools, and activities.

A person should feel safe, warm and loved with their family.

What better place to drop a horror story into?

That’s where I dig in.  The family is a system and each person is a part of that system.  Throw the system out of whack and your have drama on top of the horror.  A delicious combination!

Most of my stories are about the family, in one way or the other.  The characters aren’t generally out there alone…somehow they are connected back to a family that is part of the plot.

Plus, it’s just plain scary to mess with the sanctity of family.

Just look at the movies and real life, you will see scads of examples…Jason and his mommy, Norman and his mommy.  The DeFeo family and the Villisca axe murders – both cases of an entire family slain.  I could go on, and maybe you could comment on some other examples.

For me, those are the type of stories that really knock you on your ass and make you drop an F bomb a time or two.

Here are a few more examples, taken from my own writing:

My coming of age novel “Fall Leaves and the Black Dragon” centers around a terrible family secret.

In “My Lover, My Garden” two brothers are at odds: one is trying to restore the family, the other is trying to start a, um, new type of family.

The tagline from my latest short story, “Ginger’s Marble”, is “The family that feeds together strays together.”  Yep, its zombies, but more than that it’s about that ever-lasting, special bond that families have.

What can I say, I am a family kinda guy!

Don’t just hit close to home, get in the home, with a sledge hammer if need be, and smash that sanctity …

Connect with me on Twitter @Eriktiger and visit my Amazon Author Page at http://www.amazon.com/Erik-Gustafson/e/B004NYCP5M/

Thanks for reading!

*   *   *   *   *

Erik Gustafson spent 20 years in the United States Air Force, where he lived all over the world, including Iceland, Germany and a in a tent for a year in Saudi Arabia.

Always an artist at heart, he produced many paintings during his adventures. After his service, he settled down with his family (wife, two great daughters, 2 cats and a little white fluff dog) in Iowa. Now he helps people with intellectual disabilities and teaches psychology classes at a local college.

He switched from a paint brush to a pen and is now a horror writer by night. He has been published by The Horror Zine. People are saying good things about his stories. “You won’t be disappointed.”

Blog Tour Day 2 Thoughts and a Winner!

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Yesterday the blog tour got off to a great start, and today is no different… check out all the dates Here and follow along… there are many free giveaways of my zombie books, as well as some surprises…

And we also have a winner from yesterday as well…

I had a few comments on the blog, some RT’s in twitter and 9 e-mails wanting to win something, which is awesome! Keep it going, please…

Oh, the winner…

Nomar Knight took the prize from yesterday, a FREE eBook copy of Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer, the first book in the Dying Days series… congratulations!

 

Guest Blog Stop #1 and FREE eBook!

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Today begins my six-week Dying Days Blog Tour 2012!

First stop:

Blaze McRob’s blog

At the end of the blog post is information for the Giveaway, which I’ll be doing daily and posting the winners… many chances to win, so follow along!

Also, today and today only, Dying Days 2 will be FREE via Amazon Kindle! That’s right, I’m giving the eBook away for FREE!

I hope you download a copy, read it, love it (or hate it, whatever) and kindly post a review on Amazon for it… reviews are the life blood of authors, and your opinion (again, good or bad) is valuable, so I hope you take the time to post a review for me…

Dying Days 2 on Amazon Kindle is Here

And keep following the Dying Days Blog Tour 2012 for more posts, not all about zombies (but a bunch of them)…

Writing 20 Guest Blogs

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Better title: Am I Insane?

Between March 13th (this coming Tuesday) and the end of April (I’m currently filled until April 17th completely but a few dates are left after, so if you have a blog I’d love to post a guest blog or (especially) do an interview for it, and trade space that same day on my blog for you to promote…

Right now it will be twenty blog posts, and I fully intend to make each one different… a couple of times in the past I’ve seen these blog tours, where the author writes five different 500-word pieces and then rotates them in each week… I don’t think that’s for me. I’m hoping a few people will read a few (all would be nice) of the guest posts and come away with something unique in each one. And I intend to make each one unique.

And I don’t intend to have twenty different ‘commercials’ for my Dying Days 2 release or the Dying Days series, either… of course, the books will be mentioned in most (it’s kinda the point of the tour, to get people interested in my new work) but it’s a long-term goal to read me as an author for books and stories to come… hence, on a few I’ve finished so far, the only mention of the series will be in the Giveaway posted at the end. I also don’t intend to have twenty zombie – themed posts, either. But don’t expect cookie recipes… unless I run out of ideas.

I’ve also been lucky to get 10 great interviews for the tour as well, with some cool questions… to me, reading an interview with a writer is the most fun, because you get their sense of humor (or lack of it), what they were thinking when they wrote, and what’s coming up. I hope to add more interviews as well…

Well, I’d better stop wasting precious words here… after all, I have twenty Dying Days commercials to write… er, I mean…

A Little Secret…

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Everyone who reads my blog knows I sometimes – OK, all the time – do things the hard way.

Why do a couple of guest blogs to announce my newest release, Dying Days 2, when I can do a six-week marathon of blogging to promote it and me, right?

I’m excited that most of the coming blog tour will be spent on fellow author’s sites as opposed to review sites, horror sites, and the like. Oh, there are a few of those thrown in that I like to read myself, but I wanted to let other authors a chance to post on my site and let you read what they had to say. Win-win, as they say…

Now, for the Little Secret part… I want everyone to buy an eBook version of Dying Days 2 and read it, but that’s not the secret… what I’m going to do to kick off the Dying Days Blog Tour 2012 on Tuesday, March 13th is…

Give the eBook away. For free

Yep. I added it into the Amazon KDP Select Program (I have 3 other eBooks in already of my 40 releases) and want to try this a bit differently… I’m hoping a few things happen:

Lots of people download it and read and review it… lots of people buy Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer and Dying Days in order to follow along… lots of people realize I have a large backlist of titles (not all zombies, but mostly) and take a shot at my other work… and, well, just because it will be a cool thing to do, a nice experiment for me to see what comes of it…

And, if you become a fan I’m hoping you’ll keep reading along since there are many other novellas and short story collections in the works in the Dying Days series… I even have a chance for people to donate to the cause and become the star of their own short story or novella as well! Go Here for the details…

So on Tuesday grab your copy, read it, review it, tell all your friends, tell people at work, tell your worst enemy… and thank you!

Dying Days 2 zombie book off to the printer

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Just uploaded Dying Days 2, my latest extreme zombie novella, to the printer…

What a great feeling! Even though this is my 40th book (or eBook) I’ve had published, I still get that excitement bubbling to the surface when I hit that send button and see it’s getting ready for sale.

Of course, having a physical copy in my hands will be another thrill for me… and it never lessens.

The print version usually takes a day or so to be finished, and then I’ll order my proof copy early next week. Once it’s in my hands and I OK it, we’ll be ready to go live.

Expect the eBook versions on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble and SmashWords by Monday, right in time for my Dying Days Blog Tour 2012…

Now, I’m going to go dance around the living room in my M&M sleep-pants…

Wanna Star In Dying Days?

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Yep, I’m at it again… after the success of my campaign to fund Dying Days 2, I decided to start a new one – bigger and better, as they say…

It is my ultimate goal to have several releases in the Dying Days series out each year, with novellas, short story collections, and longer novel-length releases. To that end, I’ve partnered with IndieGogo to ask for donations again, with several special perks involved…

Go to the Dying Days Zombie Book Series page and look around, ses if you’re interested, and help me out! And get yourself written into a zombie series!

Perks for your contribution:


 
A $5 contribution gets you a Thank You and an eBook copy of the book you’re Thanked in…
 

 
$20 contribution gets you a Thank You and a print copy of the book you’re Thanked in…
 

 
$50 contribution gets you your very own short story (2,500-5,000 words) in an upcoming short story collection of “Dying Days”…
 

 
$75 contribution gets you your very own long short story (7,500 – 10,000 words) in an upcoming short story collection of “Dying Days”…
 

 
$100 contribution gets you your very own novelette (10,000 – 15,000 words) in an upcoming collection of “Dying Days”…
 

 
$150 contribution gets you your very own novella (15,000 – 20,000 words) in an upcoming novella collection of “Dying Days”…
 

 
$250 contribution gets you your very own novella (25,000 – 50,000 words) release by itself in “Dying Days”… you’re the entire star of the book!

The Next 10 Days Worth of Blogs

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For the next week I’ll be ‘sacking away’ most of my blog posts for the upcoming “Dying Days Blog Tour 2012” (the dates are found here, come join me, won’t you?)…

I’ll still be giving you my normal posts about what project I’m rushing to finish and things like that, but my more insightful (yes, sarcasm) ideas are being written and saved for specific days and blogs.

That being said, I’ve written nothing in the last two days and I’m getting annoyed… but there are reasons: a house filled with teenagers, insisting that the pool isn’t that cold and yes, daddy, sto what you’re doing and deep fry thirty-six pounds of veggies and grill chicken at the same time while we splash you…

I’ve also managed to revamp the State of Horror: Texas print book, release the State of Horor: New Jersey book, start to get together the contracts, bios and info on Undead Tales 2, and read two books about pirates for my upcoming steampunk stories I’ll be writing…

As soon as I get three teenagers out of my house.

Pre-Blog Tour Thoughts

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Back in October 2011 I did a small month-long blog tour to promote my Skulls short story collection. I thought it went well, and I did see a small but satisfying spike in sales during certain dates, and not only on the blogs that had a ton of followers.

With the coming release of Dying Days 2 extreme zombie novella I’ve decided to go back on the internet road, the cyber highway, tour the virtual small towns of the world… you get the idea.

I’m also wondering if filling up eight straight weeks of tour dates is worth it. Most of the stops will be Guest Blogs, meaning I need to come up with about forty different posts of 300-750 words each. Average that to 500 words and I’ll have written 20k just in blogs… and wondering if it will be worth it, or would I be better off taking that 20k, writing part of a novel or a novella or a few short stories? Add another twenty interviews I need to answer…

My initial reaction: this will be a good thing. 75% of my time is devoted to promotion each day, and this will be good for getting the word out about my Dying Days novellas and the rest of my 40+ releases.

I plan on doing a daily Giveaway of the Dying Days releases, either eBook or print.

I’m wondering how other authors have done with blog tours, either bigger or smaller, and what came of it. I’d love some feedback, either as comments or e-mails…