The Writing Week That Was(n’t)

Bad week last week as far as writing, I completely dropped the ball. I don’t think I hit 3,000 words of anything important, and it sucked.

My personal life (which I won’t get into) is in the process of a huge upheaval, with me having to suddenly move at some point later in this week, many problems where I live and who I have been with for five years, and all that mess.

I’m also waiting patiently (but growing impatient, if I’m being honest) with a publisher about a certain series I’m supposed to be working on for them. Instead, I rushed to get the first one done and now I’ve been on hold for over two weeks. I need to write, and it is such a big project mentally I don’t want to dive back into another one. Endless phone calls is all we’re doing, but it isn’t the publisher’s fault, it’s the higher ups… this will make much more sense once I can finally let the cat out of the bag and tell you what I’m working on, and it is a pretty huge move for me and my writing career…

I did manage to release Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days, and I am quite proud of this zombie book with thirteen short stories set in the Dying Days world. It came out this weekend and already sold a few copies, which I am quite happy about.

Still Dying on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and SmashWords (Kobo coming soon), as well as in Print.

I’m hoping I can get the green light to write the second part of the thing I’m working on now asap. If not I might try to ignore it and jump back into my other work like the third Keyport Cthulhu story, “Cabal” or Death Cult: Death Metal 2. We’ll see. Dealing with an actual publisher instead of making your own schedule is so different, but the rewards for this one make it worth it… but let’s get a move-on already…

Hope you all have a great week of writing and reading ahead of you.


In-Depth Review of “Darlene Bobich” and “Dying Days”

I just wanted to share a great, in-depth review Anthony Servante has done of the Dying Days series (Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer, Dying Days and Dying Days 2) at his website… I am truly honored every time someone reads my work, and takes time out of their life to review it… 


Great thoughts about Supporting Indie Authors from Tim Baker!


I wanted to open this post with a video.

It would have been about 90 seconds long, but so agonizingly painful to watch it would have seemed like an hour.

A mournful voice moans over a lonely acoustic guitar…fade in…your favorite Independent Author sits at his/her desk. Their clothes look like they’ve been slept in. The desk is littered with papers, fast food wrappers, an overflowing ashtray and a two-day-old cup of coffee.

If it’s a man – he hasn’t shaved in three days – if female, her hair would need to be primped for an hour to look as good as bed-head. Their eyes plead with you for rescue.

The image dissolves into pictures of other authors in similar states of down-trodden-ness…the voice of a familiar actor speaks;

“Every year thousands of Independent Authors spend countless hours in front of their computers, forsaking their families, their health and their…

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Guest Blog – E.Z. Graves of Horror On The Installment Plan

Horror on the Installment Plan’s New Issues

I’m Jim Musgrave, or “E. Z. Graves” as I’m known on the pages of my new horror ezine, Horror on the Installment Plan.  I’m happy to say that my stories are now available in all formats (even print), and I’d like to give a shout out to the authors and the stories they’ve created.

Issue 1:  “Zombies and Children” (review thanks to

In our introductory issue we have five stories and an interview with up-and-coming dark fiction author, Nat Robinson.  We also post interviews with our authors on our Purgatory Blogs.  You must register and login to view these interviews.

The first story in the June issue of Horror on the Installment Plan is The Flesh Eaters by Andrew F. Rey. It’s about a guy named Dwayne who is living alone in a California town looking for food and keeping away from the zombies that seem to be everywhere. This story reads like any other zombie story but has a twist ending that makes it a good read.

The next story is by Stacy Bolli called The Undead Addiction. This story includes zombies but is not your normal zombie story. The zombie outbreak has been contained but now there is a different problem. It has been discovered that a highly addictive drug can be made from a female zombie’s brain called zombion. One dose of zombion leaves you addicted and if you go into withdrawal you’re as good as dead. Problem is there aren’t a lot of zombies left and people are killing each other to get the drug. I loved this story because it was an original look at the aftermath of a zombie outbreak.

Basic Nature by Karen Dent is next up and looks at a father trying to save his daughter from himself as he changes into one of the undead. This one is followed by Back Seat Letter by Chris Castle which is told from a letter written by a little girl who is in a back seat of a car trying to escape a zombie infestation. Both of these stories were great character driven pieces and a lot of fun to read.

The last story in this magazine was by the publisher E.Z. Graves and called Born this Way. This was a fun little zombie tale that has a very funny musical part. Each story in this issue of Horror on the Installment Plan was a very different look at the zombie genre and each story was an excellent read. I’ve read a lot of horror magazines in my time and it’s very rare to find a magazine where all the stories are good but this issue of Horror on the Installment Plan succeeds. The best part is that this magazine can be purchased on Amazon for 99 cents.

Issue 3:  “Home Alone”

Were you ever left home alone?  McCauley Culkin made a career for himself out of the experience, but perhaps you were less enthusiastic.  There are always sinister shadows lurking about, windows that bang open, and creaking floorboards that  echo when you walk.

     This week’s theme brings you four stories that involve circumstances that happen inside our abodes.  Whether in the basement or flying around outside above our heads, danger and evil can occur when we’re home alone.

     For example, in our lead story, The Basement, author Jeff Poole brings us a situation we may have all faced.  Somebody we know may be missing, and we are aware of where he could be.  But, should we enter to find out?  You will find out when you enter “The Basement.”

     Next, J. T. Seate, in his second HOTIP appearance, takes us inside This Old House where the rivalry of two sisters leads to a tale of horrendous proportions.  This story could just as well have appeared on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” back in the day.

     The third story is from yours truly, and it concerns a problematic search on the web where a military wife finds out a lot more than she ever bargained for.  Are drones becoming the new terrorist weapon of choice?  Find out in Pterodrone.

     Finally, to complete our quartet of stories for this week, we have HOTIP regular, J. G. Faherty’s True Love Never Dies.  This story is a cozy little tale about a husband who has trouble getting to sleep.  What keeps him awake will also keep you awake.

Issue 4:  “Freaks of Society”

Freaks are popular because they represent the misshapen values of commercialism and our need for freaks to make us look better to ourselves.  However, in the film, these freaks take out their revenge on the strong man, and in this week’s issue of Horror on the Installment Plan you will see other freaks who also get some amount of revenge.  However, in J. G. Faherty’s Jennifer’s Body, the woman becomes a freak at the very hands of our specialized medical profession.

     We hope you enjoy all of these stories, and that you’ll continue to subscribe each month for another roll of the dice in our themed issues.  Freaks are merely unlucky with the genetics they are given, and any one of us could be a freak due to fate or accidental dismemberment.

     We introduce Nick Medina, a writer with a flair for the dramatic, and his On the Edge of Town, gets down to earth about our freakish souls.  Following his fascinating story of freaks, Tracy Carbone gives us “Etta and Jojo,” which, she tells us, was inspired by the painting of a lunatic asylum.  Finally, Best Foot Forward, by writer extraordinaire, Troy Seate, takes us into the life of a modern-day hunchback.  It reminds us that we are just an accident away from freakdom, and we must count our blessings, lest we forget the lessons these stories teach us.  Until next week, enjoy the inner world of Horror on the Installment Plan!

Download samples at our web site:

Guest Blog – Julianne Snow

I would to thank Armand for the gracious opportunity to introduce myself to his audience. When he made the offer to allow fellow authors the chance to guest on his blog, I jumped at the chance. As a fellow Zombie author and lover of the genre, I knew this would be a great opportunity. But before I tell you about that, I want to share a question that I often get asked and how it relates to my love of the genre.

Why zombies?

I often wonder if the authors that pen tales about vampires, or psychopaths, or alien races ever get asked a similar one. While probably innocent, it seems like such a loaded question at first glance; almost a challenge to defend what you write. My answer has always been why not?

I have great affection for the Zombie genre. Its roots are deeply seated in my childhood where I happened to catch Romero’s Night of the Living Dead on television. I was six and the black and white grainy visual, made all the more terrifying because the channel it was on was always shrouded in a minimal amount of static, seemed more like a news account than an actual film. I knew at the time that it was a fictional movie, but the film’s austerity has stuck with me as I grew up. And each and every time I watch it, I’m still a servant to those same emotions of fear, revulsion, and tension. It’s a heady combination, but one that I look forward to like the embrace of an old friend.

On a broader note, I love watching films from the genre, reading the books that are written, and playing the games produced. I have friends that think I’m crazy because of it, but then I look at their love of sparkly vampires and wonder the same thing… to each their own; I will certainly stick with the undead. That’s not to say that I’m not a fan of other genres – I am, it’s just different when it comes to zombies!

Does that make it a logical step into actually writing about zombies? Yes and no. When the idea for Days with the Undead came to me, I was at a point in my life where literally, it was do or die. My struggle to survive is infinitely tied to the struggle that you encounter within the pages. I wrote the first book in just under a month and then decided to release it online day by day. The reasoning for that was to judge the level of interest in the journey, and my own writing. I didn’t know at first if I could write well enough to engage an audience but the response that I received soon let me know that I had created something special.

At the end of February, I released Days with the Undead: Book One through Sirens Call Publications. Knowing that I had released the story online for free initially, I added scenes and explanations that I felt would deepen the story. At the end of the process, I was pleased and proud of what I had accomplished.

So what’s Days with the Undead about? It’s a story of survival. The zombie apocalypse has actually occurred and while the world is trying to process that fact, one small group decides to put as much distance as they can between themselves and ground zero. You’re dropped into the action on the third day, and from there you’re immersed in their journey of survival. Told as journal excerpts, it has a very different feel than most books in the genre, and has been compared to DeFoe’s Journal of the Plague Year. You can find it on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and CreateSpace.

You can also read my short fiction, though not all of it is zombie related in Women of the Living Dead, Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed, Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity, along with stories in the online magazine The Sirens Call.

Twitter: @CdnZmbiRytr

Authors I Like Professionally and Personally

I know I haven’t been around much this week… sometimes your personal life gets in the way. My personal life is like an eighteen wheeler that locked up the brakes and is thundering down the highway at me, fish-tailing… and I’m not exaggerating.

I’m trying to remain positive and decided to spread some of that by doing a quick post about some of my favorite authors in the indie scene, ones I like both their work and their personalities as well. This isn’t a fluff list. There are quite a few people I am friendly with on social media that I’m not a fan of their work, or I love their stories but they have zero personality. Simple enough. So… in no particular order:

1. Bryan Hall and his marvelous Southern Hauntings Saga series, currently getting the royalty treatment from Angelic Knight Press… find him on Facebook (but the dude doesn’t have a Twitter account… odd)

I recommend: The Girl

2. Tim Baker writes thrillers set in Palm Coast Florida, where I currently reside. We met by chance and have become fast friends. Thankfully, the dude can write a great rollercoaster crime/suspense/thriller/funny book.

I recommend: Pump It Up

3. Vincent Hobbes (don’t call him Vinnie) is one of those cooler than shit writers (scruffy beard, mirror sunglasses) you’d think was an extra in The Big Lebowski… but he’s actually a great author.

I recommend: THEY

4. Jeffrey Kosh is not only a great writer but a great cover artist as well (check out my own Keyport Cthulhu series, which Jeffrey does!) and I always look forward to his next story.

I recommend: Dead Men Tell No Tales

5. Allison M. Dickson is a prolific writer, and her body of work covers many genres and subgenres, but everything I’ve ever read from her is wonderful. Seriously. I always look forward to seeing what’s next.

I reccomend: Dust

*   *   *   *   *

I might make this a weekly or occasional feature if I get responses to it, showcasing five of my favorite indie authors currently out there.

Weekly Writing That Was

OK, so last week was another ‘write whatever I want to’ week, and word-count-wise I didn’t come close. So, in that respect I failed. I’m human. I make mistakes.

I did, however, write a 7,500 word short story in under 3 of those days I am quite proud of. I’m going to have to be super-cryptic, but I’m excited because things are turning behind the scenes right now that could lead to some huge things in my writing career. I’ll let you know when I hear more.

And that was pretty much it. I wrote another 1,000 words on “Cabal”, the third Keyport Cthulhu story while I was waiting for information on the secret story, but my head wasn’t in it. Or any other writing in the last week.

My personal life took a big dump on me as well for a few of those days, so it was hard to focus when everything around you is crashing down. It was a very up and down week for me.

This week? I think I’ll play it by ear again. I hope my author friends get some good writing in, and my reading friends find some great stories to read and review.