My Writing Reality When Not Writing

Today was supposed to be the day where I relaxed, did some reading and reviewing of eBooks I’ve been ignoring, and generally take it easy. It’s hot outside (I’m in Florida) and I was going to do some quick writing in the morning, finish up a chapter of the horror novella, and maybe do some of the zombie novella or the Dying Days screenplay I’ve been way behind on. I had an upcoming call from author Carl R. Moore to talk about some strategies for his upcoming Slash of Crimson novella Rymfire Books will be releasing soon, and I wanted to end the day with Game of Thrones and The Killing before bed. Tomorrow I would dive back into my writing schedule.

But no…

Sometimes real life gets in the way. Kim’s truck is acting up, so we had to drive that to the mechanic, pick up my car (that finally got fixed), pick up two different kids, go to lunch, go to the food store, and kill several hours.

And all the while, here I am, pissy because I have to be out in the real world doing non-writing things, unshaven, my goatee long and gray and straggly like a homeless person, wearing my tight, bright red Boston Red Sox T-shirt (the David Ortiz one, I have six of them), fading blue jean shorts, my Red Sox cap on backwards, my Kerry King sunglasses, and slippers.

Yep, slippers. Big, black fuzzy slippers.

It seems that when I was rushing last-minute to get ready, whining I had to go out into direct sunlight and see actual people, I forgot to slip on my boat shoes (Kim hates them, too, but at least you can wear them in public). We got to my parent’s house and got out of the car before I realized what was on my feet.

It didn’t bother me in the least, but Kim was now the pissy one. Imagine sitting in Chili’s over lunch with my big size 12 feet encased in fuzzy slippers.

I just pray the next time I have to leave the house (hopefully not for a few months) I remember to put actual pants on…


Animals In Your Story

You know those people in your life that love animals, show you pictures of Mr. Buttons and Fido in hilarious poses, with sunglasses on or curled up on top of the TV or making that funny face you love and need to share with everyone, be it in person, on Facebook, at the grocery store or as your Twitter profile pic?

That ain’t me.

I’m not an animal lover, at all. I don’t necessarily hate them, but if I never see another cat, dog or goldfish again I won’t lose any sleep over it. There are currently two cats and a small dog that run around my house that I pretty much ignore. I get yelled at when Kim comes home and there’s dog crap in piles in the living room. I gently remind her that I was completely against animals and the main reason I reluctantly agreed to have them near me was that I didn’t have to feed, walk or clean up after any of them.

The reason I bring this up, is because one of my readers (yes, I have readers, as in plural, baby!) pointed out that I have a dog in one of the stories in Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer that plays a very small part and then… well, spoiler alert: he simply runs off, because that’s what pets do when you leave the damn gate open.

I couldn’t really think offhand about any of my other stories (and I’ve written a ton in my lifetime) that had any other pets, especially a pet that had anything to do with the plot.

I grew up reading Dean Koontz books, which I loved. He seemed to always have a psychic dog or a special dog that saved the main characters in the end. Some amazing pet in his stories, and that never really bothered me… I also never thought about it until now.

So, me being me, I took a hard look at other authors that profess to love animals and write them into stories, and figure out… why. Here’s what some of them had to say about it (and then my own two cents directly after):

 *   *   *   *   *

“Here’s the reason I like to include animals, okay – dogs (I’m really a sucker for dogs) into my stories: I like my stories to resonate with people on a personal level. My goal is for readers to identify with the story, to think “Wow, this could happen to me” and dogs are a very common element in life. Let’s face it, the average person has never been shot at, but everyone has had an encounter with a dog.” – Tim Baker, author of four novels. His fifth novel, Pump It Up, will be released in July of 2012. From 1991-1998 he raised, trained and socialized puppies for use as guide dogs for the blind. His web site is


I can understand that. Tim has animals, especially dogs, in many of his stories, and you can tell by reading his work he is a dog lover. I’m scared of dogs.

*   *   *   *   *

“First and foremost because I love them, if a Zombie Apocalypse (or insert Armageddon event) happens I can’t imagine not going forward without my furry buddies! There is a scene in ZF1 where Talbot risks his life to save Henry, his wife thinks he’s off his rocker for doing it but the main character Mike never even thought twice about it. He considers the dog to be his 4th kid and that’s the way I feel. Animals give us their loyalty unquestionably. I definitely feel the need to return the favor. Animals are such a huge part of my normal life, I think that is why it is so easy for me to bring them over into the written world.

And for those ZF followers that are reading this HENRY IS FINE I PROMISE!” – Mark Tufo, author of the zombie Fallout series.

Mark also wrote a story I published in Undead Tales about a dog’s POV, “My Name Is Reilly”. The story is awesome, and it stars a dog. So I might not hate dogs completely, or maybe the story was just too damn good to leave out of the anthology.

*   *   *   *   *

“I was down in the dumps when I had to put my 12 year old blue heeler, Jackson, to sleep.  His heart was giving out and his lungs were filling with fluid.  I wanted to find a way to immortalize him beyond my own memories.  To fulfill that desire, I wrote a post-apocalyptic story about a wanderer who traveled with his dog, Jackson.  The wanderer had medical training, but his methods of curing the suffering people he encountered were not the least bit conventional.  It is the most violent story I have written.  Jacksonnever took part in any of the wanderer’s madness.  He was just included in the story as a loyal companion.  Always at his master’s side, showing unconditional faith and love.  “A Greater Love” can be found in End of Days volume 3.” – Dane Hatchell is the author of over 30 published stories. His first novel Resurrection X: Zombie Evolution will be published by Post Mortem Press in the June/July time frame. Amazon:

I’ve had dogs as pets growing up, never cats. My mother hated cats. My first dog was Darby, he was a white mutt, I got him when I was five. He was really the only animal I ever bonded with, but when he had to be put down it was tough. I remember I was probably eighteen when it happened, so the dog lived almost fourteen years. I’m softening up a bit.

*   *   *   *   *

“Since my stories are more character-driven than plot-driven (even the mysteries) it works for me to round out the people in them by providing them with animal interactions. Characters will say and do things before an animal that they would never say or do in front of a human. And animals– and their views of the world– are just fun to write.” Melanie Jackson lives in the California Gold Country with a cat (also a writer who has a page on myspace) and their dog (who is hoping to get a page on facebook as soon as she masters typing). Melanie likes gardening but hates the deer who also like her garden, and she volunteers at a local animal shelter.

A valid point, but one I don’t know if I’d be comfortable with as a writer, unless it was more of an info dump situation, with the main character telling his trusted doggy companion what he was going to do or what he thought. It might be a good exercise for me to write a scene with just a man and his dog and see what happens. Hmmm…

*   *   *   *   *

“I used to have aNilemonitor.  I named him Smaug.  I had him out of his cage and was holding him just like the pet store owner told me to do so; to train him somewhat to human contact.  Those of you who have a monitor and don’t train them by getting them out everyday know all too well the nasty temper they quickly acquire.  So I was holding Smaug one day and gently petting him.  He turned and tilted his head and looked at me in just that odd mystical sort of way.  A look that said he was smart and was trying to tell me something.  I said to myself, “Now wouldn’t it be neat if he started talking to me.”  The story came together in about five minutes.  After Smaug was safely back in his cage and no pain stinging bites I began writing and finished the story in one sitting.” – John Prescott lives in the deep South with his wife Edie, son Grafton Caine, and their two cats. He loves to spend time with his family, take long walks, and draw, and he is, of course, an avid reader. He somehow finds time to umpire fast-pitch softball and be an art director. He also has a website dedicated to his writing at

I had a lizard when I was a kid, one of those you take home from school. We named him Izzy, which is odd now that I think of it, because my oldest daughter is Isabella, and everyone (except me) calls her Izzy. Just realized why I don’t call her Izzy.

*   *   *   *   *

“I love my dogs, and they really can become close companions.  I started thinking of a world where nobody was left alive except for one person.  No zombies, just a world of corpses and this one poor guy.  All the animals, however, survived.  I think that the bond you would create with a dog – or any animal, really – would be incredible in that kind of scenario.  And if you take it to the next step, the loss of that animal would be crushing – even more so if you accidentally caused the death to occur.  I can’t imagine that with my dogs now, let alone if they were the only friend I had in the world.  That’s where “When it Rains it Pours”, included in my collection Whispers from the Dark came from.  The ending of that one is probably one of the most horrifying I’ve ever written, although not in the way most people think of horror.” – Bryan Hall is the author of numerous short stories, some of which are collected in Whispers from the Dark as well as the novel Containment Room 7 from Permuted Press and the upcoming Southern Hauntings Saga from Angelic Knight Press.

I remember the scene from the I Am Legend movie with the Fresh Prince starring, with him and his dog. People found that quite jarring, but to me it was no big deal. Sorry, but don’t rip my head off. I just haven’t had that bond in my life, or haven’t had it in over twenty years. But I could see dog lovers grimacing at that point.

*   *   *   *   *

“I don’t consciously add animals into my stories, but they often end up in them anyway; I’ve always had pets, so animals are to me part-and-parcel of everyday life.  The very first story I had accepted for publication, “Metal Mouth”, featured pig-hunting dogs (they lived, in case you’re wondering).  Unfortunately, it often ends up badly for the poor creatures in my fiction.  I’m especially hard on birds and cats.  In “Trading Up”, I kill off a bird ANDa cat – one accidental death by impact with a window, the other deliberately from carbon monoxide poisoning.  But then, I’m a horror writer, so it usually ends up badly for the humans as well. It’s always a risk, killing off animals, especially cats, in fiction, because so many of my peers are verging on becoming crazy cat ladies.  Stephen King got hate mail for killing a dog in “The Dead Zone”, and he had to patiently explain to readers that IT WAS NOT A REALLIVE DOG.” – Tracie McBride is a New Zealander who lives in Melbourne, Australiawith her husband and three children. Since making her first fiction sale in 2004, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in over 80 print and electronic publications.

The Stephen King part is funny, but I can see that. Some people are nuts, and you never mess with crazy cat ladies in fiction or real life. I made the mistake on Facebook about six months ago of pointing out all the inane cat pictures people kept posting and it was annoying. The venom sent my way was unreal, and some of it from grown men. Scary to see what their mom’s basement (you know, where they live with ten cats and play PS3 all day at 35) looks like.

*   *   *   *   *

“While writing The Lazarus Stone (Conspiracy Edit), I realized that I had hit a bit of an emotional wall. There was a nuclear annihilation, and there were some survivors. My cat, Mr. Pants, came walking in at that moment and I realized I didn’t like the idea of all those pets being blown up or worse, surviving and dying of fallout exposure. I mean, I write horror, but it doesn’t mean I remain completely unaffected by what I put to paper. The idea of Mr Pants and all the other animals dying horrible human-inflicted deaths so disturbed me that I had to deal with it. So I did something that made the most sense at the time. I made all of the animals disappear just before the blast.” – Suzi M writes for fun and occasionally profit. When not busy with her own work or getting pictures and autographs of people who recognize her on the street, Suzi helps support the efforts of independent artists, writers, musicians, and film-makers. You can follow her on Twitter @xirconnia or join the Suzi M Facebook fan page at!/pages/Suzi-M/54616181082

Looking at the many stories I’ve written over the years, it would seem I simply create worlds or characters where pets don’t exist. I’m too busy worrying about how to kill a human or evil trying to take over the world, rather than worry about anyone’s pets. Might have to think on that one further. I sense a story there in itself…

*   *   *   *   *

“I loosely based the homicidal feline in my short story “Unleashed” upon my catMidnight. She was tough and must have been abused as a stray. She was deathly afraid of all humans other than me and my sons. I wanted to make a statement about animal abuse with it. I will also be adding two additional pets named Miro and Monkey (also cats) to some of the sequels for the short-story series “Unleashed” – Lori R. Lopez is the author of works spanning multiple categories, from Nonfiction to Fiction; novel to story to verse collection, children’s fiction and storybooks and more, usually with a blend of genres including Humor, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural and so on. She is a songwriter, poet, artist, musician, actress, conservationist, wildlife and abuse advocate.   She writes a humorous and darkly horrific column titled “Poetic Reflections” at

I never had a nasty cat living with me. They usually just lay about, and lick their privates while I’m trying to watch the Red Sox game. I remember having the two cats we have now both licking their privates on the couch next to me at the same time. Very distracting, and I think they were showing off.

*   *   *   *   *

“Two dogs play important roles in my novel, Frankenstein’s Daemon, a sequel to Frankenstein. The first is what I call an ‘Inuit’ dog of the north, which allows the monster to have a ‘save the cat’ moment in the plot. The monster saves the dog from Robert Walton’s burning ship. I did this to build sympathy for the creature that up to that point has been seen as a murderous beast. Ernest Frankenstein, Victor’s brother, also has a dog, an Irish Wolfhound. The dog acts as a minor character, leading Walton to the creature’s forest hut. I love writing animals into books because they give a novel added depth. They touch human needs and instincts.”- Michael Meeske writes across genres, including horror, romance and gothic fiction. His latest novels from Usher Books are Poe’s Mother and Frankenstein’s Daemon.

I seem to remember Dean Koontz having one of his dogs being an alien or some weird thing like that, who leads the humans to the spaceship at the end. Or maybe I was just imagining that. Again, I don’t trust myself enough to write a dog into a story, especially as a major part of it. Of course, I also swore I wouldn’t write about a woman as a main character. I’ve written about a hundred thousand words on Darlene Bobich so far.

*   *   *   *   *

“Animals, at least to me, represent, doing things right. We are supposedly the advanced species on earth but instead we seem to have been the only one to have received the memo detailing ‘self destruction, bad parenting, and putting weak people in charge of leadership positions.” Thus, I put them in stories where I can to represent the purity human beings lack.” – Alan Dale has been a sports and news journalist (for on and off) the last 25 years. He has won national awards for sports writing and received numerous accolades for his work. Recently he completed “The Enternet: Trapped Inside AWEB” and the first two parts of the “Dead Nations’ Army” horror-zombie-political-fiction series with four more left to go. He is hoping to getDNAcompleted by the beginning of 2013 and then he aims to work on his “NIGEL” Vampire trilogy and his “Resurrection of Game” young adult series. Currently, he lives inPortland,Oregonand enjoys time with his girlfriend, cat Kid, and two dog friends, Qi and Puck.

Advanced species my ass. Explain reality TV then. Holding the animal to the higher power is an interesting concept, the old ‘they know better than their master’ concept. Which leads e back to Koontz and his super dogs. Now I get it. We’re screwed up, we’ll end up killing each other, but our pets can save us, and ultimately make us more human.

Or, our dogs are space aliens and they’re waiting for the mother-ship to come and rescue them.

 *   *   *  *   *

So what did I learn? That quite a few of my author friends like their dogs and cats and lizards and birds and…

Will let you know when I sit down to write a tale with animals playing major roles in it. Until then… I’m going to ignore the licking cats.

Armand Rosamilia

4 FREE eBooks in 4 Days

Starting Wednesday, April 25th, I will be giving away some FREE eBooks via Amazon. It’s my way of saying thank you for the great month of sales I’m having and to (hopefully) gather some new readers that might not have read my work yet… and I’m always in search of the elusive Reviewer of my work as well… trust me, Amazon reviews help out authors!

Anyway, here’s the days and the links to each eBook… they will only be FREE on the specific day, so come back here each day and pick up the next one… and once again, thank you!


 Zombie Writing!










Dying Days 2 









Dying Shortly Volume Two









Death Metal 







Whining About Reviews

In the last few days I’ve gotten some reviews in, and I’m quite happy… two came in for my Bones. Death. Cenote three-story collection in the last 3 days, a 5-star and a 4-star review. You can read them yourself… I’ll wait… here.

For my zombie novella Dying Days I got a new review, a 4-star review. Read it here. It’s a solid review, and the reviewer points out what they liked and didn’t like about the story, and I can’t complain about that. I have five 5-star reviews already, so I’m quite happy with all 6 reviews so far.

I also just posted the review links on Facebook maybe twenty minutes ago but already had several ‘congrats!’ comments from other authors, friends and fans, which is neat.

Then I had some e-mails, and most were also good… except for one. I’ve already told the person I would be sharing their views in a post and asked if they cared. They encouraged it, thinking they had the right point. I won’t judge it here, I’ll let you, and I’d love some feedback from authors and readers alike… I ommited their name because I thought it would help… either way…

(Author) Saw that review of Dying Days. What an asshole.

(Me) Really? No way. I thought it was a great review. They pointed out the good and bad of the story in their opinion, and I think potential readers will make an educated guess based on that.

(Author) Is that guy a writer? He seems like he’s trying to point out the bad things like spelling and grammar but even says he couldn’t find many. whats the point of that?

(Me) Again, I don’t see a problem with the review. I’ve purchased more books off of in-depth 1-star reviews than 34 5-star reviews for a book that only say ‘this was great’.

(Author) Just seems like you don’t do that to a fellow writer. if they are any good themselves they know how hard tis is and will give slack to a fellow author. and he talks about cliches in zombie books!!! so what! aren’t all zombie books cliche?

(Me) I don’t think so. That’s like calling all vampire books cliche and dismissing them. Or all horror books, or all romance books. And actually he said that the cliches in my book are handled well enough that they don’t ruin it, and I’ll accept that. He liked it, he gave his opinion, and now that will lead to others reading the review and making their own decision on buying or passing on it. Simple as that. And your point of a fellow author not giving slack? Don’t buy that argument. I read and review as a reader, not a fellow author. If I like it I like it, if not you’ll know. Honest reviews. I’d never want someone to sugarcoat a review for me because they are a fellow author. Rather not have the review that a fluff piece as my friend.

(Author) Iguess we still have some differing opinions on how this business works.

(Me) I guess so. But isn’t that the fun of being in this at this point in time, anyway? Anything can happen, the rules are changing every few weeks or months, and we’re all on the learning curve.

(Author) Still think it’s wrong to do, like publishing your own work. yep bringing up that arugment again.

(Me) You can have your opinion. I don’t agree with it, and not sure why you’re bringing it up again.

[side note: we’ve recently ‘argued’ because another writer made a comment on their facebook page that they would NEVER publish one of their stories in an anthology they publish with their company, even though that author had published their first work that way… and called any company that does a vanity press. I guess Rymfire Books is a vanity press, because I publish all my Dying Days books myself and use the imprint instead of my own name, not that it’s any difference. My opinion: if the story goes through the same rigorous hoops as the other stories, and isn’t just added, i have no problem with it. I’ve bumped several stories I wrote with an anthology in mind but the accepted ones were just better.

And someone pointed this out to me this morning: “Michael Korda was editor-in-Chief of Simon & Shuster, the company that published his novels and auto-biography. Not quite a vanity press. So as long as all the quality is the same I see no problem with publisher/editor being published by their own company.”

But that argument is for another day… just want to illustrate that this isn’t the first time we bumped heads on things, although to me it is great dialogue, letting the other know our honest opinion]

(Author) To show you you’re wrong again.

(Me) Wrong about what? beacause I don’t agree with your thought process?

(Author) yes. i’d be mad at that review. if I ever got one lower than a 5-star I’d be mad because there are no errors in my books, the plots are great and my writing has been compared to King and Layman.

(Me) Then you should probably stop worrying about my reviews and bask in the glory of yours. Have a good day. Any objections to me posting this e-mail on my blog? You’ve given me a great idea for a post.

(Author) Not at all. I’m sure most people will agree with me.

(Me) We’ll see. Either way I’d like to stop wasting my time going back and forth with you everytime I post something, if that’s OK. I think we’re both losing writing time. Would you agree?

(Author) no.

(Me) LOL… off course not. We’ll butt heads tomorrow over that. For now, I’m going to sign off and go post.

Well, what do you think?

Guest Post: Rebecca Besser

I’m not only a horror writer but I’m a reader, so when Rebecca told me about her unique series and asked if I would post a quick not about it, I jumped at the chance. I’m looking forward to reading the series as it progresses!

Check it out!

The Series of Fears has been unleashed on the world! In this series, written by Jim Bronyaur & Rebecca Besser, fears are explored…but not in the way you might think!

In each book of the series, they take a fear and pair it with a horror element. For instance, in book one they pair the fear of glass with zombies, and you get zombies encrusted with glass. They aim to scare you in new ways with things that you might not have thought to be afraid of…or maybe you have!

The first book – Crystallophobia (fear of glass) – is now available for Kindle and Nook!

Kindle Link:

Nook Link:

The next book in the Series of Fears will be on technology and demons, so stay tuned to what they have going on!

You can keep up with the latest news by liking the Series of Fears Facebook page where they announce blog posts, reviews, and upcoming releases!


If you’d like to learn more about the authors (Jim and Rebecca), you can visit their websites:

Rebecca Besser:

Jim Bronyaur:

When You’ve Written So Much For So Long…

I’ve had another great day of writing, promoting and editing today… even caught up on some e-mails, read some stories for the upcoming State of Horror: Florida anthology, and had a big meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Great day, prefect day, sun at my back as I write, cool breeze blowing , the swimming pool behind me…

I finished a short story for the upcoming Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days collection, and finished another chapter for Dying Days: Origins as well as added another thousand words to a short story, “Serial Famous”. I have no idea where the short will end up once I’m done with it, but I decided to finish it first and figure it out later.

While I was going through my e-mail I noticed an ‘invite only’ for an upcoming anthology and was intrigued. I’m still amazed when someone thinks of me for these things, and enjoy it. I looked at the theme and knew I had a story for it, already finished from a couple of years ago, and just needing another edit to catch it up. Piece of cake.

Except I can’t find the damn thing. I have an external drive, two thumb drives and a bunch of hard disks I can no longer get to (damn laptop) but I’m almost positive it’s not on there.

You also have to remember that I’m 42 and used to type my stories as a kid on a typewriter before moving up to a word precessor and those little hard disks. When I moved up to a computer in the mid-90’s it was heaven, and I quickly bought boxes of the newer hard disks and put all my stories, ideas, fragments, scenes, sentences, etc. onto (literally) a hundred of them since they never held too much info.

If the younger readers are confused, I apologize. Go ask your mom or dad about it, they remember this crap.

Anyway, back to the problem at hand. As I was going through my external drive (which I’d dumped everything from the hard disks onto and took up about 3% of the room on it) I started to see short stories that I’d finished years ago and trunked, fragments of short stories, a bunch of unfinished work, and random scenes and things I don’t even remember writing).

Two hours later, here I am… still haven’t found the story but I’ve amassed so many ideas I forgot my head is spinning. Like I didn’t have enough to write as it was.

I’m thinking of putting a list together of my stories, into different categories:

1. Finished and Published

2. Finished and Unpublished

3. Unfinished (and obviously unpublished, I’m not that good)

4. Fragments, Ideas and Thoughts

How do you keep track of everything you’ve written, whether you’re a new writer or someone who’s been doing it for years and years?

I’d love to get some advice before I lose another story I know I’ve written…

I know it’s here somewhere… I just hope it’s not one of the handwritten ones from high school… that would suck…


Plenty Of News Today

I’l cut right to the chase… I have a bunch of things going on today and in the next couple of days, so I thought I’d share…

First, Dying Shortly, the two-story zombie collection, is FREE today, so grab a copy!

FREE on Amazon Today!


Undead Tales zombie anthology has a new Print version (the cover should be uploaded soon) but it’s available to purchase for only $12.99!

Print Version is Here

I’m also featured on the Carole Gill Official Author Blog today as well with an interview


A second interview today, this one at The Peculiar Life of A Writer blog

And still going…

The Metal Queens Complete collection is now available, bundling all seven issues of the Metal Queens series as well as the special Metal Queens Models issue in one huge eBook (over 650 pages, 65,000 words and over 650 photos!), all for only $4.99

Available only on Kindle Here

And finally (for now, still early!)

Undead Tales 2 will be available this weekend as well, with print and eBook versions coming!

That’s all for now… time to go write something before I run out of products to sell!