Guest Post: Kirk Allmond


Kirk Allmond Is a Jerk


Do you know those store cards?  The ones that fill up most people’s keychains?  My father has a special one just for them.  Gas cards, grocery store cards, drug store cards, everyone has a card now.  Hell, even Lowes has one now.  I hate them.  I hate everything about them, from the tracking of purchases to the supposed ‘discount’ you get for using them.

About a year ago, I gave them all up.  Instead of paying the artificially inflated “non-cardholder” price, when they ask me for my member card, I say, “Oh geez, I forgot mine.  May I use the store card?”  Every time, the cashier seems grumpy, and says, “Okay.”

Which is fine.  I’m really not there to brighten their day, I’m there to pay for some groceries and go home.  So, yesterday, I’m at Weis Markets.  It’s a Pennsylvania grocery chain, I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of them, they’re terrible.

I really try very hard not to shop at Weis, for one reason.  The cashiers aren’t given a store card, they aren’t allowed to use their own, and they aren’t allowed to memorize a bunch of numbers to type one in.  They have to turn on their flashy light and wait for the manager to come over and use theirs.  It’s a ploy to make it as difficult as possible, forcing people to get their own card.

Instead, I politely explain to the person behind me that they’re being held up by Weis’s policy.  Most of the time that person just lets me use their card, but on this particular day, young Colton was checking me out and there wasn’t anyone behind me.  I said, very politely, “May I use the store card, please.”

The pimply faced, mop haired twit replied in the most sarcastic tone ever, “I don’t have a card,” and twisted his face in disdain, as if my asking had ruined his day.

I lowered my voice a little, just above a whisper.  I locked eyes with the arrogant young prick in my most intimidating stare and said, “I didn’t ask you if you had a card, I asked if I might use the store card.  Now, flip on your flashy light and get the manager over here.”

I know, I know.  I can hear you saying it.  “Whoa, Kirk… That escalated quickly.”

Colton not only flipped on his blinky light, he walked over to the manager and got the store’s discount card personally.

Consider this.  After the inevitable zombie apocalypse, who are you going to follow, me or Colton?  I am a survivor.  I am a survivalist, stuck in a pre-apocalyptic world.  I am a character from a novel, waiting for the plot twist that allows my true self to take over.  I’m the guy who does things, and gets things done.  Sure, I’m an asshole when I have to be, but the situation didn’t start off that way.  I was very polite.  I used proper grammar and inflection, because I was the one doing the asking.  It was only in response to Colton’s disparaging look and complete disregard of customer service that I escalated the situation.

Think about your favorite book character.  Would Darlene Bobich from “Dying Days” have let someone talk to her that way?  Would Jack Walker from “A New World: Chaos?”  Would my very own Victor Tookes of “What Zombies Fear” allow that situation?

No.  Victor, Darlene, and Jack are survivors.  They are strong, interesting characters that kick ass and take names when the situation requires it.  The trick is to balance the asshole with redeeming qualities.  In the case of Victor Tookes, his abrasiveness is balanced out by his absolute love and devotion to his son Max, for whom he would (and does) go to the ends of the earth to provide a safe-haven in a post-apocalyptic world.

In my own case, I’m not sure there are redeeming qualities.  But that’s why Victor Tookes is a better man than me.

You can read much more about Victor at, and join the community of Maxists on Facebook.



Summer of Zombie Blog Tour – Zombie Fanboy for Joe McKinney by Armand Rosamilia

Fan Boy Armand Rosamilia with a Zombie Idol…

Graeme Reynolds's Blog

998598_425130924268525_1601096954_nA couple of weeks have passed since the sights and experiences of World Horror Convention in New Orleans. I had a great time meeting old friends I’d never met in person, meeting new people I have since become Facebook friends with, eating in NOLA, getting to do two book pitches and seeing how it worked, seeing many great panels, selling some books, posing for many pictures… I had a great time and I know it helped build my career and my networking.
But of all the people I met that great weekend, Joe McKinney was easily the one I wanted to meet the most. Sure, I was super-excited to meet John Everson finally, see Jonathan Maberry and his shirts, see Jeff Strand again and his amazing better half, Lynne Hansen, and Tim Marquitz is a mountain of a man, but Zombie Joe is where it’s at for me.
I went…

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Guest Fiction: Matt Soresina

One More Day

Matthew Soresina

            It’s been three hours since we blew Flagler Beach into an island and separated ourselves from the rest of the peninsula entirely. The well-to-does and the officials claim “it’s to stop the Zombies from infiltrating from Volusia County.” The truth is, we would have blown the bridges out too if it was for safety, not for economic reasons after the military cleans this mess up. That’s right, they still believe the military can save us, They slept through the first wave of the “undead.”

            The paramedics were first on the scene. Right outside Finn’s just before 2 a.m. What we expected  was just someone that had to many, what we got was a ride in an attracting beacon with flashing lights as we rolled into a feeding frenzy. I slowed my bus as ‘people started crowding around, pounding on the glass, head-butting the glass. Jesse was in the back screaming about driving into a riot when my window shattered. I unclamped my seatbelt as a woman started grabbing at me, blood was everywhere in seconds. They were starting to climb in through the window en’masse. I forced myself into the back and within seconds we had followers. It  looked like ladies night at the morgue, Jesse and I fled out the back door, the accident was right behind us, a mini-van turned the SR100 side of Finn’s into a drive thru. They ate him or her, and came after us. Jesse drug me to the 7-11 explaining that most on duty cops only leave that parking lot at night if they have no other choice.

            The scene at the 7-11 was like something out of a low budget movie, The zombie clerk was trying to eat the scanner while the still human clerk was being ripped apart by zombies next to the ice cooler outside. Lousy smoke break, if you ask me.  Jesse and I froze; I don’t know if she was scared or, like myself, suffering from the complete inability to accept the things my eyes we’re showing me. I’ve been driving that bus for the better part of a decade and this is the first time I’ve seen a dead person walking, let alone trying to eat me.  I had three thoughts at the time: steal the cigarettes, save the cookies and get out of here. Jesse ran inside, pulling me behind her and locked the door behind us. Just like that, we’re in a glass box with a monster looking out at more monsters. Before she noticed the zombie clerk had her by the hair. She screamed so loud I ducked, but only for an instant. I bludgeoned the young flesh eating clerk with his scanner, feeling quite guilty, he was a good kid.

            “Where’d he come from?” Jesse stammered behind me. I just shook my head and went to cut off the lights.

            The National Guard drove past and according to the local SURF radio they were on their way to contain the outbreak that had started with a bunch of bar hopping spring breakers. Numerous bars and clubs were destroyed by the blood thirsty beasts. All my mind could fathom was Daytona’s main strip drenched in blood, while flesh-eating, half-dressed corpses in 5 inch heels chased drunks down the streets. According to the radio, the National Guard was having difficulty keeping the dead down. They were steadily moving north.

             Apparently this town really does have everything, because 15 minutes after the word got out they were coming north, the DJ was calling for the able bodied to get together and blast the narrow section of the peninsula into a new inlet. Jesse heard that and bolted out the door running to the station over by the pier. She left the door unlocked, I should have been on my way to help, I should have at least went and locked the door, but I just sat behind the counter with the radio going, chain smoking, why not? The world is ending.

            It happened when I got out of the bathroom, this was my fourth trip. If you got free access to the 7-11’s Slurpee machine you’d totally understand why. I lit a cigarette as I came out, I went in the bathroom with the radio telling me how the ‘recon’ team had come back with a lot of explosives. They didn’t say where any of it came from, but they did say that we’d lost four of the nine that had went to Palm Coast and only one person of the two truckloads that had gone to the armory in Daytona. When I came out of the bathroom she grabbed my hand. I thought it was Jesse excited about her run to the armory or whatever. Suddenly I got pain. She had bit into my forearm which caused me to beat her in the head and jerk my arm away. I was bleeding profusely and the zombie’s got in my castle so I ran.

            I ran straight out the door and jumped over the fence, why lie?  I tumbled through the cactus’ into the sand of the beach. I wrapped my bleeding arm in a towel I found next to a garbage can on my way up to the pier. I figure I was bitten by a zombie this morning why not blow something up before dinner, but by the time I got there everyone had left.

             Gun shots have been ringing up and down the island, the bodies are everywhere, some getting back up and some being put down. The screams are just as bad as the gunshots, the living screaming for sanity, the dying screaming for mercy and the dead screaming for food. It’s such a shame to have all this horror on such a nice spring day.

            The explosion rattled people that hadn’t yet been privy to our situation, shook them to their feet on the zombie infested weekend. I have been hiding in the radio booth under the A-frame at the pier. It’s been quiet here since the “boom” so I’ve been calling people on the air and getting them to call me on the bait shop line, trying to get a good account of our situation. The abounding truth is we can’t find anyone that was part of blowing out the peninsula, most of us think they we’re collateral damage of the boom. South A1A is certainly gone and the explosion made a nice deep inlet about two hundred feet south of High Bridge, it also made the zombies more alert. They’re looking for us. No word of what happens if you get bit, so I am left to wonder, am I going to die?

Books, Beer and Blogshit Interview with Armand Rosamilia

Once again, those two fine fine gentlemen from Books, Beer and Blogshit interview me… haha, I’m sorry, I can’t keep a straight face. Frank and Jeff actually interviewed me.

Guest Post: Julianne Snow


Should A Horror Author Scare Themselves?

Julianne Snow

 Julianne Snow

To write? Or not to write? That really isn’t a question for me. I have to write. It’s a feeling that consumes me. There are times when I should be sleeping or catching up with friends… Where can you find me instead? Either furiously typing on my computer or at my desk, scribbling out a story longhand.

There are always those tales that end up being tedious to get out. You start off with a great idea, only to have it disintegrate as you lay the words down.

Others come together so beautifully that you sit back and wonder where a particular phrase came from. Sometimes you are just able to hit the emotions and imagery on the head and it reads exactly how you saw it happening in your mind.

There is an interesting facet of writing that deserves some consideration – how does an author write stellar horror without scaring themselves? How do they evoke the reactions of fear and unease without falling victim to their own words?

I’d bet there are authors out there writing in the genre that would maintain they are immune to their own words. I can’t help but wonder if that is a good thing – how can you hope to scare, to evoke feeling, if you cannot even scare yourself?

It’s a benchmark that I strive to attain each and every time I craft a story. I know that I’ve hit the mark when I can sit back and let the shudder course through my body or feel that tingle of fear run up my spine. Emotion is a universal concept; we all feel. Injecting your writing with emotion is the best way, in my experience as both a writer and as a reader, to engage your audience.

As I write each of the books in my Days with the Undead series there are times when I genuinely have to sit back and take a break. The living dead are some of the most sinister monsters that anyone can imagine – when you look into their slack faces what is it that stares back at you?

A reflection of humanity’s demise.

Now, add any situation that could likely arise during the Apocalypse. Car crashes, extreme weather, the death of the loved one. In some cases, it’s the element of surprise that gets you; and in others, the gentle, sustained build of tension and fright that makes it hard to swallow.

If I were being honest, I want all my readers to feel the same emotions I do as I write. I want the tense moments to quicken your desire to devour my words. I want each page turned to make you pause for a moment, if only just to catch your breath before the next scene. When you are finished reading a scene in its entirety, I want it to stick with you for long moments after; to take up residence in your psyche and for you to mention it at the oddest moment in unrelated conversation. I want to take the things that you think are unimaginable in the horror realm and creep you out to the utmost level. Those are the emotions that I want you to feel, but I don’t want to simply do it in the most graphic way. Simplicity and subtlety are the tools that I prefer to use. That, and just a little touch of poignant creepiness. When you read my words, I want you to feel uneasy, the same way I did while writing them.

 DwtU Cover

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour Continues With the Amazing Joe McKinney!

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour with Joe McKinney

Our Darkest Fears

Well folks, hold on to your hats and watch your step, the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour bus is pulling in again.  This time, the bus brings us Bram Stoker Award winner and all around cool cat… Joe McKinney!  Before trying his hand at the fiction game, Joe earned his keep as a police officer.  He has stopped in to share how that helped to shape his work in the horror genre.  If you want to read more from the man you can go to his website and see what he has to scare you with.  His work is superb and if you haven’t read Joe’s work, go and take care of it.  I am deeply humbled to have him here on the blog and without further delay, here is Joe McKinney…


Why I Write the Dark Stuff (Blog Post for Library Journal)

By Joe McKinney

In my day job…

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Another Fictional Character Based On TikiTender?

Mark Woods thinks he’s the Woody character in my Flagler Fiction Series… hmm…

Have You Had Your Tiki Today?

Just finished “Kokomo’s Cafe“, the first in a new series by Armand Rosamilia, based in Flagler Beach.   This Andrew “Woody” Woodson seems like a familiar character.

“Woody seemed to know everyone in Kokomo’s Café, nodding and acknowledging everyone by name. He was the main bartender at the Golden Lion, having run the tiki bar for the past six years. Woody knew everyone in town, and everyone knew him. He was the local celebrity, with his quick smile and flirty attitude toward anything female. Woody played the part and he played it well. Mac thought it must be exhausting to have to play the part twenty-four-seven. You couldn’t step outside your front door without having to play a character, a bigger than life version of who you really were.”

Yes, another character based on the persona of “TikiTender”.   Looking forward to seeing what sort of mis-adventures I (he)…

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