Brand spankin’ new interview with me is up today! You should really read it!
Brand spankin’ new interview with me is up today! You should really read it!
2016 was supposed to be a slower year for me with book signings, conventions and leaving the house… so far it looks like another busy year is upon me.
After a nice and relaxing opening 6 weeks I’ve started to pack everything in…
Friday February 12th
Book signing for Dirty Deeds with author Wayne Stinnett at Golden Lion Cafe in Flagler Beach, Florida
Saturday March 19th
From 11am-5pm I’ll be a vendor outside of Mythical Mountain in Mandarin FL selling some books, hanging with other cool vendors and seeing some excellent cosplay, too!
Tuesday March 22nd
Release Day for the haunted house novel The Enemy Held Near, co-written with Jay Wilburn and released by Devil Dog Press
Thursday April 7th – Monday April 11th
The Novel Experience Event (TNEE) convention in Atlanta, GA
I’ll be there with the newest releases as well as a huge back stock of books. Sharing a table with author Jay Wilburn, so you know it will be wild.
Tuesday April 5th
Release Day for the contemporary fiction novel Belford Stories, featuring photography from Tammy J. Kelly
Friday April 15th
Belford Stories book signing with me and photographer Tammy J. Kelly at Belford Brewing Company
Will feel great to be back home after more than 12 years away! Details
Saturday May 7th
Free Comic Book Day book signing at Nerdz Comics And More
Flagler Beach FL
Tuesday May 31st
Release Day for Dying Days 6
Friday July 22nd – Sunday July 24th
Scares That Care Weekend convention in Williamsburg VA
My favorite convention, looking forward to it. Will be sharing table space with Jay Wilburn, Mark Tufo and Devil Dog Press. There will also be a special taping of Arm N Toof’s Dead Time Podcast with co-hosts Armand and Mark wearing kilts and joined by Joe Ripple and Brian Keene (also in kilts)
Spooky Empire convention in Orlando FL
I will return to hang with cool authors, be on jam-packed panels and check out the celebrity guests! More information like set date as it gets closer
That’s just the start of everything coming up in 2016. Look for many more releases and appearances!
2015 was another solid year for me when it came to releases. While the amount of new product slowed, the same amount of words was released in my estimation. My goal each year is to hit 400,000 words written and except for a couple of short stories currently awaiting publication, everything else was released via self publishing or through a small press in 2015.
I had 30 releases, which was less than the 45 a year average I’ve done the last two years. I also went through my works and eliminated all of the serialized stories that made it into complete collections as well as redundant releases I did myself.
Box sets were still a big deal for me in 2015. A lot of my secondary sales through them as well as key Amazon ranking came because of the box sets and I hope to continue to be involved in a few more in the future.
OK, time for the breakdown by month for me and 2015…
The last day in January Dying Days was published in this box set along with notables Joe McKinney, Bobby Adair, TW Piperbrook, Michaelbrent Collings, Sarah Lyons Fleming, Shawn Chesser, Rachel Aukes, David Moody, Timothy W Long and Eric A Shelman. The best part? it’s still only 99 cents!
February 8th I was in another State of Horror anthology (you already know my initial involvement in the franchise, so I won’t digress) which featured some really cool stories by Nathanael Gass, Frank Larnerd, Randal Keith Jackson, Kathryn M. Hearst, Spencer Carvalho, Kenneth W. Cain, Frank J. Edler, Stuart Conover/Kerry Lipp, Susan Hicks Wong, Matt Andrew, L.J. Heydorn andMargaret L. Colton
The audiobook for State of Horror: Illinois came out on February 20th (narrated by the wonderful Jack Wallen)
The audiobook for Dying Days: Origins came out on March 3rd, narrated by Jack Wallen. Obviously I enjoy working with Jack on these audiobooks.
March 13th the audiobook version of this came out, narrated by Jack Di Golia, who did the entire seven book run for me. I couldn’t be happier working with him, either.
Also on the 13th, the first part of a trilogy came out, a horror humor tale written with Jack Wallen, Jay Wilburn and Brent Abell. This was fun to write. We debuted this at Mid South Con in Memphis to rousing success. Fine, we sold 5 copies.
March 16th State of Horror: Louisiana I debuted, with more great stories, this time from Chad McKee, Pamela Troy, Tommy B. Smith, Amanda Hard, Allie Marini Batts, Sarah Glenn, Armand Rosamilia, Ethan Nahte, J. Jay Waller, Alexander S. Brown, Henry P. Gravelle, Jay Seate, and Margaret L. Colton.
March 30th saw the second part of LA being released, this time with stories by Stuart Conover, Herika R. Raymer, Teresa Bergen, J. Lamm, Nathan Pettigrew, Armand Rosamilia, Ambrose Stolliker, B.A. Sans, Edward Moore, Anthony Watson, Jonathan S. Pembroke, J.M. Lawrence, and Melodie Romeo.
April 19th Fairly Wicked Tales: Dark Fantasy Anthology was re-released and featured one of my short stories, “The Wolf Who Cried Boy.” Over 20 great stories are in this one, so buy it. Now.
On the 26th of May my short story “Down In A Hole” was featured in this Simon and Schuster release. Tim Curran, Jeff Strand, Rebecca Besser, MontiLee Stormer, Lee Moan, Tonia Brown, Jake Bible, Faye McCray, and Jimmy Pudge were all involved as well. Get it.
Tim put 19 of his stories together in this fine collection, and had other authors (such as myself) give him one of our stories to promote. He’s a swell guy. This came out June 6th. I had “Dying Days: Noah Stern” short in there.
This audiobook came out on the 10th. Narrated once again by Jack Wallen and once again featuring a Dying Days short from me in it.
June 16th Dying Days 5 was released. Putting this together I realize its my first self published full release for the year, as everything else was an anthology or audiobook previously out. I’d been writing up a storm up to this point in the year but most of it would be released later (as you’ll see) or written for the movie team and those books sometimes come out months in the future. Anyhoo… this is part 5 and it was released right in the midst of my annual #SummerofZombie blog tour.
The second book in our trilogy was released on the 21st. Another fun time was had by all: me, Brent Abell, Jay Wilburn and Jack Wallen.
This was a really cool charity anthology to help a friend in need who is such a big supporter of zombie authors. Over 30 authors contributed a YA zombie story, including my first-ever, a Dying Days story featuring the children of the family. It will definitely lead into my first-ever Dying Days YA novella in late 2016, too.
This is the updated version. I changed the crazy sex parts and over the top violence and made it more in line with the rest of the Dying Days books. So far people have enjoyed the less intense version, although it still isn’t for the kids. I’d give it a solid R rating instead of the NC17 it used to be.
September 4th this cool anthology came out. It’s a shared world anthology and written by Joe McKinney, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Joe Mynhardt, Aurelio Lopez III, and Alex Laybourne. You don’t get any cooler than that group. Am I right?
On the 8th, right in time for the Imaginarium convention on Kentucky, we released the third and final part. Single digits of people flocked to our signing tables, creating such a noise the car alarms went off in the parking lot.
On the 17th Dying Days 4 audiobook (narrated once again by Amanda Lehman) was released.
I wrote this novella based on a movie that was filmed but some people weren’t happy with it. So (because it is Hollywood and beyond me) I was listed as editor, the cover is just words and it has distanced itself from the movie by changing the title. The book is much better than the movie, by the way. Much.
October 14th saw this extensive collection released. Nonfiction essays and interviews by film legends and authors such as Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Ray Bradbury, Ed Naha, Patrick Lussier, Stephen Volk, Nancy Holder, Tom Holland, John Shirley, William Stout, and John Russo. For some crazy reason they thought I had something to say on the subject, too.
On the 30th Devil Dog Press re-released this book, one of my favorites and my first real full-length novel. Look for longer books from me in 2016, and most of them more thriller and less horror as I change things up a bit. This book is one of my favorites I’ve ever written, and you need to read it and tell me I’m right or wrong. As long as you read it.
On the 18th this anthology was released. My short story, “Black Tooth Grin,” joined Melodie Romeo, Rick Scabrous, Silas Green, D. S. Ullery, Brian W. Taylor, Diane Arrelle, Bryan Best, Tanya Nehmelman, Mariesa Inez, Rachel Hogan, S. H. Roddey, Jenner Michaud, Scott McCloskey, Heidi Lane, Brian Fatah Steele, Eric I. Dean, Herika R. Raymer, Lee Pletzers, and Jerry E. Benns writing fun stories about death.
The seventh and final release in the contemporary fiction Flagler Beach Fiction Series was out on the 20th. The audiobook followed in November, too, once again narrated by the great Jack Di Golia. This wraps up the series although I have a feeling we’ll see some of these characters again in the future.
Halloween saw the release of this cool anthology, where eleven authors took the kernel of the same basic story and made it our own. Hi-jinx ensued. Abel, Chesser, Evans, McKinney, O’Brien, Rosamilia, Shelman, Stallcup, Tufo, Wallen, Wilburn. So cool you don’t need first names.
November 3rd, at the basic start of my annual #WinterofZombie tour I always release a new Dying Days book. I still technically did, and it nicely combines characters from the first Highway To Hell as well as Dying Days: Origins.
Four novellas set in the Dying Days world are included in this massive box set: Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days, Still Dying 2, Dying Days: The Siege of European Village and Dying Days: Siege 2
Plus… the two-story Dying Shortly set (now out of print except here) and 2 short stories previously only available on a website: “Dying Days: Downtown From Hell” and “Dying Days: The Scorpion”… Over 500 pages and more than 174,000 words in all! This special box set will only be available for a limited time at a special price of $9.99 but right now its only $3.49, so get a copy. Look for the second one in early 2016, too.
November 23rd I released all three of these glorious books Jack, Brent and Jay and I had written in a convenient box set. Now you have no excuse not to read them. And its priced right now for only $3.49, so you really have no excuse at all.
I told you I liked box sets this year. On the 30th I put all 7 of the Flagler Beach Fiction Series books together in one massive 190,000+ word ebook collection and priced it at only $3.99. You’re welcome.
My last release of 2015 and one of my favorite stories. I liken it to a Bentley Little weird tale and so far readers have agreed. A little different from my traditional horror work, which I will be getting slightly away from in 2016. I’ll still have many horror releases and more Dying Days but this book (as well as Chelsea Avenue, both released by Devil Dog Press) will further expand what I’m doing.
Also look for my Kindle Scout-winning Dirty Deeds crime thriller in early 2016, too! Mark Tufo and I wrote an apocalyptic tale together (no zombies!) featuring Darlene Bobich and Mike Talbot. Look for that in 2016 as well… big things on the horizon for me in 2016.
Is Darlene Bobich missing? Have I misplaced her? Not quite.
When I first began writing my Dying Days series I had no real idea it would take off and people would want more and more. I needed a cover for it, something a little different, so I decided on zombies on a beach since the setting is in Florida. Simple enough. Ash Arceneaux did a wonderful job creating cover after cover for me, but the lag time between releases (about a year apart) meant there was no real consistency in the covers, something I wish I’d done.
One cover I really liked was the redone Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer. I thought it kinda caught the essence of who Darlene was…
An average blonde in her late twenties. No super sexy hot mama look, no total bad ass action movie star wearing a steampunk-ish outfit and high heels carrying two shotguns and ammo belts wrapped around her hourglass figure. Just your typical everyday woman who happens to be caught up in the zombie apocalypse.
It got me thinking, which I sometimes do.
I’ve scoured the model sites, Pinterest and the stock photo places. Countless hours searching for Darlene.
I don’t want to use the same stock photos of a blonde woman everyone else uses. I want something fresh, a real person who wants to be on the cover of a continuing series. Not looking for zombies, either.
Now, for the fun part…
Do you look like Darlene?
If you do I want to put you on some book covers. Nothing crazy, just a few different poses with a background that compliments each cover as it is re-released and for future Dying Days books.
We’d need to work out the details of what is involved as far as payment/swag/gratitude for being the model for the covers, and the way to get the photos done, etc. etc.
Bottom line… are you Darlene? Do you know someone who would be perfect as Darlene?
An average blonde in her late twenties. No super sexy hot mama look, no total bad ass action movie star wearing a steampunk-ish outfit and high heels carrying two shotguns and ammo belts wrapped around her hourglass figure. Just your typical everyday woman who happens to be caught up in the zombie apocalypse.
Have I said that enough?
Send all serious inquiries to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have quite a few releases coming out in the next year or so, and projects on my dry erase board and Excel spreadsheets. I decided to post them up here to see if I can actually get them all out. These are just the self-published works and don’t include anything for anthologies or books published by actual publishers, just the stuff I’m working on and putting out.
Of course, as always, this is very subject to change. It mostly likely will, since I can’t take into account the movie adaptation contracts until they suddenly appear and I get paid in advance to do them, knocking everything else to the side for a few weeks and pushing the schedule further into 2016.
That being said… here we go!
November 3rd 2015 – Highway To Hell 2
December 2015 – OPEN
January 2016 – Creeping Death (re-release)
Since the demise of the previous publisher I’ve decided to release this once again but this time myself. Pre-sale link once the new cover is finished.
February 2016 – Green River Blend
A horror novel and one of my favorite stories. Working on the cover now. This one is all about a small town being overrun with horrible things because of coffee. Yep. Coffee.
March 2016 – Dying Days 6
The next part to the zombie series. Also working on the cover as well as a slight revamp for the previous books (expect a post about that in a few days or so). Follow along as Darlene Bobich does her thing during the zombie apocalypse.
April 2016 – Belford Stories
Think my Flagler Beach Fiction Series. A contemporary fiction book, set in the little fishing village I grew up in and set in 1987. Photos throughout by photographer Tammy Kelly, who I grew up with in Belford.
May 2016 – Necromance (re-release)
The horror erotica series of short stories was never completed before the publisher went under. I am in the process of rewriting it into a single novel, with much less on the erotica and more on the paranormal aspect of the tale. She’s a demon hunter with a warlock for a dad and the minions of Hell trying to kill her. Working the cover soon with the same great model used on the shorts.
June 2016 – Dying Days YA novella
This will be the continuation of the Dying Days: Emalee And Mason short story I wrote for Bite-Sized Offerings anthology, furthering the story of the two children as they traverse a deadly world of zombies. Very excited to write this one.
July 2016 – Tool Shed Massacre (re-release)
The original Tool Shed horror novella is out of print. I’m going to expand it into a full-length novel and give more of the backstory. Still one of my favorite works and it never got much notice, so this will be fun to update.
August 2016 – OPEN
September 2016 – Death Metal (re-release)
Another book I loved that never got the release it deserved, in my humble opinion. I’ll rewrite and expand it into a full-length thriller novel and already have the ideas for a sequel if it does well. Fingers crossed.
October 2016 – OPEN
November 2016 – Dying Days 7
Seriously? Two Dying Days in the same year? Yep. Darlene and company’s story will continue sooner than later for the first time in… well, since I started writing the series. With the rest of the secondary books completed except for the YA novella, it’s time to do 2 a year from this point out. Until no one wants to read anymore and I don’t want to write it anymore.
There ya have it… hopefully this list will work out nicely and I can add a few more releases within the open months, although I’m going to relax a bit this coming year and enjoy it all more.
Anything you see you’re interested in reading?
A SLOW ZOMBIE NOD
The TRANSPORT Series. A fictional Military Action-Thriller, set in Michigan 2025-2026, with zombies.
The series was fun to write. I am told it is a good read in all its POST-post apocalyptic glory.
“…faced with the two most common threats in modern horror, zombies and human nature…it does not feel like something we have seen time and time again.”
The Rage Circus vs The Soulless Void Reviews
“…a fascinating sign of where zombie narrative, road narrative, and narrative in general might be moving…”
But you know what? The guts of the book would have been pretty boring if I hadn’t been able to work with the great editors and beyond-awesome artists that I was graciously provided to work with.
Rodney Carlstrom proofed and edited the first TRANSPORT book, and also HUNT FOR THE FALLEN. (Prior to getting the first book picked up by a publishing house, Tyson Mauermann went through it, and helped me polish it for publication most certainly.) We worked together via email and phone conversations.
Scott Sandridge did the editing of UNCIVIL WAR, the third and final book in the series. Again, through mainly emails, we volleyed the manuscript back and forth until we felt the piece was ready for readership.
Through all these professional editors, they offered their thoughts on the mechanics and technicalities in and of many aspects of the books contents. They were an invaluable asset when bringing the final pieces to the table.
Typically my publisher enlists one artist to do the cover art AND the interior illustrations. I got lucky to work with a cover artist, Jason C Conley, and an interior artist, Tim Holtrop.
I had been in touch with an old (as in years known, not age LOL) illustrator who was excited about the TRANSPORT concept before it had been accepted for publication. Tim Holtrop (who had done work for DC Comics and Sony Entertainment) had done some sketches of THE HURON, the big armored personnel carrier starring in the series along with its crew. I wanted to bring him into the mix as I knew he’d do fabulous stuff for the project.
Again, I got very lucky after the publisher and Tim corresponded, and the publisher (Seventh Star Press) brought him into the fold.
Jason C Conley had been contracted to do the cover art for the three books. After some emails back and forth with my vision for each book cover, Jason came back to me one day asking if I’d be interested in him doing a triptych. I had to look up the term, figured out kind of what he was getting at, and let him run with my ideas and his vision of doing ONE BIG EXTENDED COVER that could be divided into three covers BUT, when placed side by side, became one illustration.
Jason, like Tim’s work, hit it out of the ballpark.
Jason did a kickass full color, extended cover with a depiction of THE HURON, agitated zombies, embattled soldiers, an Abrams tank, a close-up of Captain Billet (though he made him with blond hair) standing over a reaching, rotting Zee, and a hovering Apache helicopter…all before the skyline of the main city in the story: Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Tim did awesome illustrations of all my main crew members: Billet, Phelps, Stokes and Mulholland. He did an excellent B&W illo of Billet, Bob the 1950’s gas station attendant zombie, and Black Hair the Zombie Assassin, duking it out for UNCIVIL WAR. He also did a great illustration of Sister Mary Mirose standing over Billet with her AA-12 shotguns roaring.
I gave my editors and artists a slow zombie nod of appreciation as it all came to fruition.
I can’t thank these gents, editors and artists (and publisher!) enough for all their work on bringing my little insane vision to life.
At one point, before the first book was available to the public, and I had seen all the great artwork to adorn the inside and outside, I commented, “Cripes, I hope the guts of the book (the crazy drivel I wrote) is as good as all the fantastic artwork.”
In the end, I am very proud of this book series, and I think you’re going to enjoy it immensely.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Welmerink (www.peterwelmerink.com) was born and raised on the west side of pre-apocalyptic Grand Rapids, Michigan. He loves his hometown and West Michigan, which is why he writes about it. He writes Fantasy, Military SciFi, and other wanderings into action-adventure. His work has been published in ye olde wood pulp print and electronic-online publications. He is the co-author of the Viking berserker novel, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, written with Steven Shrewsbury. TRANSPORT is his first solo novel venture. He is married with a small barbarian tribe of three boys.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
grandrapidsaltered.blogspot.com (TRANSPORT-related posts)
darkheroicfantasy.blogspot.com (author interviews and all things fantastical)
TRANSPORT (Book One)
Barnes & Noble
TRANSPORT (Book Two) HUNT FOR THE FALLEN
Barnes & Noble
TRANSPORT (Book Three) UNCIVIL WAR
Another November and another Winter of Zombie event.
This year will be even bigger, with over 40 zombie authors!
Get ready for interviews, guest posts, teasers from their zombie books, giveaways, contests and so much more
In October we’ll begin slowly rolling out the authors involved and come November 1st it will begin!
Make sure you follow Dying Days Zombie blog so you don’t miss any of the posts
Join the Winter of Zombie FB Event so you don’t miss the contests and giveaways
Is a Zombie Apocalypse Really Possible?
There are so many TV shows, movies, documentaries, books and a whole lot more about zombies. Some people are even so obsessed about zombies and believe that they could actually exist that they build their own zombie apocalypse survival kit. While some would regard this as fictional and just simply impossible, could there really be a scientific basis on which zombies could one day exist?
The Killer Fungi Cordyceps
If you’ve ever come across the term Cordyceps, then you must have already heard how this killer fungus has affected different types of insects the same way a “zombie virus” would. Similar to the game “The Last of Us”, the fungi attacks ants and other insects and alters their brain turning them into “zombies”. After a few weeks of being infected by the Cordyceps, the insect dies and can its “virus” affects insects around him. It can wipe out an entire population of insects at a time and make them all zombies! The question though is how Cordyceps can infect humans. We’ll never really know if there’s a hidden science lab out there already conducting and experiment about this or if anyone will ever volunteer to become the subject of the experiment. If Cordyceps or a similar kind of fungi affects humans, though, then most possibly, a zombie apocalypse could actually take place.
Top Secret Laboratories and Virus Experiments
Biologists and other scientists just can’t get enough of experiments. They always need to feed their curiosity, or they need to find out information so they can provide knowledge for the rest of the world. There are so many crazy experiments, and we wouldn’t be surprised if a zombie-fanatic scientist has already begun studying how one can be a zombie and how one can be cured after he’s become a zombie. All those episodes of The Walking Dead just won’t let you sit down and do nothing, right? Before it even happens, you have to prepare. These are the thoughts perhaps of that scientist who’s aiming to become a world hero one day. What if an experiment has gone wrong or what if that experiment actually succeeded, and a zombie was created? With the limitless possibilities offered by science and technology, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if an actual zombie would exist out of an experiment!
While zombie movies and TV series could be exciting and thrilling, in reality, it would be difficult to survive a zombie apocalypse even if we are equipped with amazing technology. In order for an apocalypse to actually happen, at least a few hundred or thousand people should be affected. People will die the moment they get bitten by a zombie, and the world will be in chaos. Even if there should be a medication created for it, your brain is already dead so it would be useless. However, we do not disregard the possibility that it could actually happen. If that day comes, shouldn’t we be prepared with our survival kits and weapons?
I DIDN’T LIKE WHAT YOU WROTE
By Peter Welmerink
Hello, my name is Peter Welmerink. I have a day job, yet write on the side, in the wee morning hours, when the family and world is still sleeping, and seem to get a few short stories and/or novel length books (or close to) out. And occasionally get the published.
Why? Why do I write?
I don’t know.
I was at a family gathering this past Sunday. A somber whole family gathering, a memorial celebration of the life and passing of my cousin who fought the good fight against cancer, but ultimately lost.
So I was sitting with some of my relatives, and my aging mother. My mother asked my uncle if he’d read any of my TRANSPORT books. You know, my post-POST apocalyptic military-thriller zombie mayhem series that is currently out now (and the last book, TRANSPORT: UNCIVIL WAR is coming out in September). He said YES, he read book two (TRANSPORT: HUNT FOR THE FALLEN) but, though well-written, he said, he didn’t like it. Not his cup of tea: shambling undead, a big ass military vehicle and its quirky crew finding adventure in a land trying to re-build itself.
Even based in my uncle’s home state of Michigan USA! Nope, he didn’t like it.
Now, I don’t know. That might kill some writers, some artists, enthusiasm to continue on, to continue to create, to write in a genre that they love. What’s the use? One person didn’t like it, and told you bluntly. Give it up, man. This endeavor is a waste of time. Story telling. Pah-sha!
No, it didn’t faze me. You know why?
1. At least the guy read it.
2. He might not have liked the book, BUT if he just so happens to run into someone who just so happens to like my book subject, he might tell them to check it out. And if that person likes it, or doesn’t, and perchance passes the word on…and then THAT new person passes it on…
I guess what I am saying, not everyone is going to like the written shit that gushes forth from head, mouth and fingertips. But as long as you keep pushing onward, getting the job done, getting your work out there, there is still a chance of you possibly turning that day job and wee hour writing job around so you can call the latter one the main job.
If not, the main thing is: keep writing. It’s in your blood, boys and girls. Keep writing.
Peter Welmerink (www.peterwelmerink.com) was born and raised on the west side of pre-apocalyptic Grand Rapids, Michigan. He appreciates his hometown and West Michigan, which is why he enjoys writing tales about it. He writes Fantasy, Military SciFi, and other wanderings into action-adventure. His work has been published in ye olde wood pulp (paper) print and electronic-online publications. He is the co-author of the Viking berserker novel, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, written with Steven Shrewsbury. TRANSPORT is his first solo novel series. He is married with a small barbarian tribe of three boys.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
grandrapidsaltered.blogspot.com (TRANSPORT and other Alt History Michigan-related posts)
darkheroicfantasy.blogspot.com (author interviews and all things fantastical)
TRANSPORT, a Michigan-based Military Thriller…with zombies and other beasties (that includes humans), is out now through Seventh Star Press and all fine booksellers. Support your local bookstores and ask for it by name: Peter Welmerink’s TRANSPORT books. Thank you. Rock on.
Yep, I’ve made the decision to update Highway To Hell from the NC-17 graphic story to a more R rated one. I haven’t rewritten anything other than some of the really sexual parts, while still retaining the rest of the story.
In the end, I thought the excessively graphic sexual parts did nothing for the story itself. It even took away from it once I went back and reread it. Again, I wrote this novella five years ago and haven’t read it since it was published.
I also wanted it more in line with the rest of the Dying Days series as well as fit seamlessly with the sequel, Highway To Hell 2, which will be coming on November 3rd. It will also be a kinda-sequel to Dying Days: Origins as well, wrapping up both stories at the same time.
So on September 1st I will upload the newer version of Highway To Hell. If you want to read the original first, feel free to buy it asap. Once it is gone it won’t be changed back. I’m not sure how Amazon works but I think you can get the updated version if you bought the original previously, as I’m just updating the files.
I will also be changing the print copy, too… so the few I have in stock at home will eventually be sold at cons and direct from me, too.
If you’ve read Highway To Hell and have been asking for the sequel, Highway To Hell 2 is now up as a pre-order. It goes live November 3rd but feel free to show the love and loyalty and place your order now.
What We’re Really Writing about when we Write about Zekes
I’m not saying you shouldn’t read Zombie Novels and think we’re not just writing zombie novels for fun. We are. We’re having fun doing it. What I’m saying is there might be a little more going on than meets the eye. Go ahead, read all the zombie novels you can get your hands on. They’re great. From JL Bourne’s Day by Day Armageddon Series to any of Maestro Armand Rosamila’s horro-romps. Even that cat everybody like, what’s his name… Max Brooks.
Zombies are hot and they’re only getting hotter. Which is ironic. (They should be cool, when you think about it.)
But let’s step back for a moment. Zombie Stories. What’re they really all about? Are they really about Zombies? No. There actually about two other things. There about us, and, they’re about survival. I’m absolutely convinced that people who read zombie books, and watch shows like The Walking Dead, are playing the home game all along, inside their heads. At home, or wherever it is they’re reading that book. No, zombie books are sort of a sweet little training simulation for what we’re all coming to believe might be some sort of societal collapse heading toward us on the interstate like a crazed trucker hopped up on Meth and Monster. The need to take our health, welfare and security into our own hands is becoming apparent with each passing horror show some call the nightly news. The problem is we get dangerously close to unwanted extra attention from Big Brother when we write/read directly about those things. So, instead we use the zombie scenarios. I don’t mean “we” the writers. I mean a lot of readers are the “we” and in their own way their sim-ing the Meltdown by reading Zeke-Books. This is nothing new. It was actually one of the first accusations leveled at the Zombie Genre way back in the sixties. That is was mere cover for the coming “Race War” we were all s’posed to throw on each other’s behalf.
So, there’s that.
The other thing we’re writing about is ourselves. Not the mindless monsters chasing us through the halls of the mall, or banging on our boarded up front door. No, we’re writing about the monster who’s sharing our space, our rations and running and gunning alongside of us. Because, isn’t that the real monster you should be afraid of. The one that really scares you. To death. After all, who have you thrown in with, exactly? The zekes, well… their just mindless. But the sociopath next to you, watching your back, watching you while you sleep, what kind monster is that freak. When police and government services have gone down and there’s no one to restrain them from all the booze and unlimited ammo they can do, well, you’re about to find out who, exactly, has your six. And that’s what we’re writing about when we write zombie PA fiction. We’re writing out our survival fantasy and the obstacles we’re going to encounter just to make it through the night. Some of us may even be writing our own personal Day at Disneyland. Watch out for those, it’s probably going to get a little dark. Zombie novels are about a lot more than just chills and thrills. A lot more.
Nick Cole is the author of The End of the World as We Knew It.
‘In the future, an artist specializing in historical records creates a piece of art based on three separate accounts of the Pandemic. What follows is a patchwork tale of survival and horror as two lovers struggle to survive the undying dead and the collapse of an America turned charnel house. Told as memos from Ground Zero, and later in the journal of a Dark Tower-like quest by train and foot across a nightmare landscape of ruined cities and raving corpses, the three accounts reveal more than just the grim realities of society’s collapse. The Notebook meets The Walking Dead in this stained glass depiction of the end of the world as we knew it.’
Have you ever heard of an escape room? Being voluntarily locked up in a room with a bunch of friends. You have an hour the time to try to get out. And if you don’t? You fail the game and they just let you out.
Sounds a little anticlimactic doesn’t it? We also had that idea, so we came with something new: Zombie Escape Amsterdam
In our escape room the atmosphere and fear for the zombies is real. Were you are normally pretty comfortable in an escape room, here you really want to get out. With zombies closing in on you, you have to keep focused on all the puzzles en riddles in our laboratory. What kind of genetic modification experiments did these professors preform? Challenge your will power and courage in this escape room full of miserie and mystery.
Opening begin September in Amsterdam.
I’ve been writing intermittently all my life jumping from magazine stuff to commentary. I first trained on screen plays long ago. Never thought I’d be writing about the Zombie Apocalypse.
I’d hit a patch of rough road, when a friend came to me and said he’d dreamed I wrote a musical about the Z-poc. At first I thought he was just trying to give me something to do to get me back on track – but he handed me a song he’d written – that he’d remembered from the dream. So – I wrote the musical and included his song. I quickly put together another fifteen songs to work into the phases of the musical with a script and some ‘glue’ music and six months later I had something.
It was to be, or should I say, is to be (God willing) a multi-media production with a sixteen piece orchestra plus a band playing what I call ‘Southern Symphonic Metal.’ Short version – I couldn’t scrounge the resources to pull it off. What to do eh?
So I have derived a novel from it. I call it “Red Dirt Zombies: The Fight for the River Line.” I thought I was writing a simple zombie-apoc story where the twist was one state, Georgia, fighting and winning. Nothing to it I thought, since I had the script as a starting point; a sort of rough draft. A musical is much harder, right?
Then I started to really engage with my characters and the challenges they would face. No matter what else, I was determined I would not add to the glut of literature concerned with lone survivors scrambling for a can of beans while using exotic weapons they just happened to find, to fight bandits and zombies.
With the premise that Georgia would fight and win I had to figure out what gave the state an edge and how my characters would exploit that edge. I started considering the social implications, mental health crisis, and interaction with central government, at least until central government no longer existed.
Particularly harsh, for me, was the realization that while I’m very much a 2A type, that somehow I would have to reconcile Martial Law with the very real need for all to be armed and the fact that everyone would be suffering from extreme PTSD. Because of the mass insanity, despair and paranoia, suicides and shooting accidents could actually threaten human viability. How would this be handled post war?
One of the solutions is a place called the Q-Zone. It’s based partly on the Austrian Grenzers of Hapsburg times – part time farmers who patrolled the frontiers. In Georgia – the frontiers are called The Final Line – the trace where our forces halted their attacks and declared victory. We’re not sure what is out there really, and comms are shot since the US government went down in a nuclear frenzy early in the war.
The Q-Zone is a place for mind blown soldiers to “Come Down Slowly,” which I took from the musical, which has a video add with a smarmy recruiter noting that chill pills and ammo are free in the Q-Zone and no mental health exam required. It’s a place where two young kids who have been lovers try to figure out what that means since they’ve forgotten how to be ‘normal people.’ I base it on a song called “Life in the Q-Zone: PTSD for Lovers.”
Not clear yet if the Q-Zone will fit in this first volume which centers around the fight my central characters are involved in – for the North River Bridges defending Roswell as the Zs flood down from ‘Pill Hill’ where the hospitals are. It’s where we take a stand and it’s do or die on the river line. There the Armed Citizens, National Guard and State Defense Force people have the fight of their lives. And the first two battalions of the upgraded SDF earn their ‘Whispering Death’ patches.
Somewhat to my surprise I have found that all the work I’ve done will not fit in one volume so I’m probably looking at a trilogy. I’m working on a much different nonfiction piece I’d like to get out the door as well, plus I have to push all my new plotting back into the musical, but I learned as a contractor it’s always better to have too much work than too little.
I’ve submitted a short story / novella version of this first volume to ATZ and would be very pleased to be published there. It’s called “Alice’s Posse” and introduces most of the key characters and the story line.
This will be no surprise to other writers but my characters took control of this work and ran with it. Sometimes I couldn’t believe what was coming up – I’ve grown to love them in a way and it certainly took me off on some strange paths.
One strange path was my zombies. My characters assume not surprisingly, that it is some sort of bio-warfare bug. Perhaps it is, perhaps not; but they cannot isolate it or identify it. All I know is that when these corpses rise they are the nastiest daggone critters you can image. They are fueled by hate for the living and a simple head shot may not do the job – you shoot these things to pieces. They are so full of hate and rage they don’t even mass up tightly because they can’t stand each other. This is about evil.
Research was fascinating – I walked all the North River Line along the Chattahoochee – Roswell is truly a beautiful place. Went to the (fictional) Battle Headquarters at the Roswell Courthouse, the Cultural Center and visited the Governor’s Mansion. Talked to all sorts of folks and found that among police and soldiers you will find many zombie fans!
Atlanta has this massive store of people who almost seem to hope you’ll ask them for assistance. A very genteel Southern lady at the Mansion nodded politely but sternly reminded me not to let my zombies get on the antique furniture!
I need a book cover. I know what it looks like – I can see it in my head. I need a “Whispering Death” shoulder patch – crossed rifles with a skull pointing left with a bony finger extended in the universal ‘shhhhhhhh.’ I need a web site and I have to decide on some publishing options – all that seems very daunting some times. But as our spec ops types like to say, “The only easy day was yesterday.”
Most all, I have to finish this ‘final’ edit. So far I’m on track for the end of August. I hope everyone likes it. It’s been a trip.
* * *
Michael Peirce (Talbot)
As a writer I originally apprenticed under a screen writer through five screen plays. When in Hollywood eh? I wrote much of the dialogue for those and for the sports script, a song called ‘Here’s Johnny Thunder.” Years later I turned on a baseball game and saw Chipper Jones for the first time and exclaimed, “It’s him! Johnny Thunder!”
My personal study guides at the time were “Rolling Thunder” and “Alien,” both of which became well known movies. I read the screen plays, I read the novels, saw the films – it was a blast. A great learning experience but it didn’t take me very far.
Ultimately I’ve published in several formats including “Soldier of Fortune,” “Rockwell-Rothbard Report,” and “Destiny Magazine” off the top of my head. I was also a columnist at LewRockell.com, the libertarian website, for four years.
Being published and paid for it is a trip. I remember living in a cheap motel in Bell, California, where my landlady and her friends were all rooting for me! My first check was photo-copied on their wall!
Additionally, I have been a restaurant manager, a musician/songwriter, a soldier in an African war, a private security agent / bodyguard, a bouncer, a programmer and project manager. I’m self-educated since I’m easily bored and college seemed silly to me as a young know it all. I’ve studied military history all my life.
I’m currently working on my Z-poc books and another called “Observations” about the sort of bizarre situations and people I encountered in Hollywood and Africa.
This link will take you to some of my music. The two songs that are part of the Z-poc Musical are called “I See My Death in Your Faces” and “Life in the Q-Zone: PTSD for Lovers.” I play the instruments and my friend Courtney Hamlet does the vocals. http://www.bandmix.com/miketalbot/
The difference between real and fictional horror
Those who don’t like horror movies often ask, “What’s the appeal? Why do you get off on such horrible things?”
As an aficionado of horror, both good and bad, for more than 30 years, I’ve long believed this question revealed more about the person asking it than anything else. Fictitious horror and real-life horror are completely different things.
Whether it’s someone tortured to death by a serial killer or a regular person watching a loved one die from a terminal disease, the end result is the same: emptiness. The serial killer’s thrill fades and there is only a body to dispose of; the regular person is left with nothing but grief and perhaps a guilty sense of relief that they no longer have to watch their loved one suffer and waste away.
Fictitious horror, especially the movie kind, provides the opposite. As many before me have noted, it is the equivalent of riding a roller coaster at a fun park – it offers the illusion that something terrible is happening, but in the end it stops and when reality asserts itself again it looks better than it did going in. A good horror movie offers a form of catharsis and helps us appreciate our everyday existence.
I’ve always got a rush out of horror movies. Even as a child, when I could barely stand to watch the most frightening scenes, there was a partition in my mind separating reality and fantasy. Some people don’t seem to have that partition, and they are the ones who tend to ask that question in the first paragraph.
Now, does the foregoing sound a touch complacent, even condescending? I wouldn’t have thought so – until I started watching season five of The Walking Dead.
In its third season, this magnificent TV show about the zombie apocalypse introduced a newborn baby called Judith. There was some drama as she came into the world, but then the associated problems one might have while caring for an infant in a dystopia full of mindless cannibals faded into the background. I was so disappointed with this* that I had a go at addressing it in a story of my own, ‘Teething Problems’, which will appear in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine later this year.
The debut episode of season five, however, more than made up for any previous deficiencies.
A quick but necessary aside: in Danse Macabre, Stephen King talks about “psychic pressure points”. The horror writer (or filmmaker’s) job, he says, is to get through the reader’s mental defences and poke these pressure points, thereby evoking terror or horror. My defences, however, had always been nigh on impregnable, so while my heart rate might increase at a particularly terrifying or gory scene, horror never discomfited me.
Little did I know that becoming a father (and nearly two years bonding with my daughter) had put an enormous chink in my mental armour.
In that episode of The Walking Dead, baby Judith is put in serious peril. My heart rate rose, the adrenaline flowed… but I wasn’t enjoying myself. For the first time in my life, I wanted to stop watching, because the empathy was just too strong. What if that was my baby? How could he threaten such an innocent creature?
For those brief couple of minutes, I could sympathise with those on whom I had looked with such disdain for so long.
But I got through that scene and – spoiler alert** – so did Judith. When the episode finished and I returned to the real world, what I felt was elation and a more intense love for my daughter than ever before. So I wasn’t totally wrong. Fictional horror had, once again, done its job. It had given me a new appreciation for what I had.
True-life horror doesn’t do that. It doesn’t restore us; it leaves us bent and scarred, even if there is ultimately a happy ending. Which is yet another reason why those who try to blame horror movies (etcetera) for society’s ills are some of the greatest fools on earth. Not only are they wrong, they don’t know why they are wrong and are too ignorant to ever find out.
* I was a little disappointed, for much the same reason, with the otherwise brilliant 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake.
** I was very slow to abandon DVDs and join the digital download revolution. But when a MASSIVE spoiler from season five appeared on my Facebook feed, I decided – at least where The Walking Dead was concerned – the time had come to embrace change.
Kris Ashton is an Australian author best known for his works of dark speculative fiction. His new horror novel, Invasion at Bald Eagle, is available now at www.grandmalpress.com/Invasion.php
This is more or less a teaser for ya…
Once again, November will be Winter of Zombie blog tour time and this year I am opening it up to not only the great zombie authors I’ve worked with in the past, but the new ones as well!
Starting September 1st (or around there) I will begin accepting zombie authors onto the list who are interested in participating in the event. A few things you need to know before you send me a message in September, though:
1. You have to have RELEASED a Zombie book. Seems common sense, but…
2. Your Zombie release has to be out before October 15th so I can get all the material for it well ahead of time. Unfortunately, I will no longer accept authors promoting books being released in November or beyond, since it’s (quite frankly) a pain in the ass to update posts, especially when you’re talking 150+ posts I put together for the month. You need to have everything ready to go as soon as I ask for it.
3. You’ll be expected to do a Spotlight On interview, 2 (or more) Guest Posts and a teaser for your Zombie release. You’re also expected to share all of the other posts each day and spread the word.
4. The goal is only 35 Zombie authors, and we had three times that many not able to get in during the Summer of Zombie event, so this will be a First Come First Served type of deal. I make ALL decisions and if you’ve been on previous tours you know I don’t take kindly to slackers and those who only promote themselves (those people won’t be on the tour again)
5. Got it? September 1st send me an e-mail to email@example.com with WINTER OF ZOMBIE in the subject line and any questions you have and tell me you want in. I’ll begin putting the list together and asking for material asap. I create a secret group for the authors involved and all the info will be there, too. Deadline will be October 15th for all material to be in. Gives you plenty of time if accepted. NO EXCEPTIONS this year, either. You’re either 100% in or you’re not.
6. The actual event page (where all the actual posts will go and people can join and read all of them) is now live ahead of time at WINTER OF ZOMBIE on Facebook. Join it and feel free to add all of your fans and friends, too!
Why You Should Carry A Rock in the Zombie Apocalypse
We’ve all seen the meme: “Quick! The first thing on your left is your weapon in the zombie apocalypse! What is it?”
It always ends up being a paperclip, a coffee cup, or a guitar pick, and unless you’re Riddick, none of those are going to be useful for killing zombies.
Of course, a kitchen knife isn’t far away, and you’ve probably got a baseball bat in the garage. Those of us who are more prepared may have an arsenal for backup, gun enthusiasts and knife collectors. You might even have a detailed plan for how to survive the zombie apocalypse.
I’m going to propose a different line of thinking, though, and I guarantee you’ve never thought of it before:
You should carry a rock in the zombie apocalypse.
Not a boulder, not a rock the size of a soccer ball. Just a simple stone that will fit into the palm of your hand. And it’s not a big deal if you lose this stone. It’s very easy to find a new one.
Because it will save your life.
You can carry a rock in the palm of your hand, out of sight, and it becomes a projectile weapon. You’ll need to train yourself to aim well, so throw a lot.
You could throw a knife too, but a knife is not necessarily expendable, and it’s harder to throw a knife straight than it is to throw a rock. And again, rocks are easy to find.
If you don’t have a spring-assisted knife or a straight blade in your hand already, then if you get a sudden surprise, you may not have enough time to get your knife out and ready. Holding on to a small stone means that you have an instant weapon for instant surprises, like zombies, or thieves.
A stone is much more dense than your hands, so bashing someone’s face in with it will do much more damage than you could do with your hands.
Plus, if you find yourself in a sudden end of the world situation, and you haven’t prepared for it, you may not have a weapon. Having a rock will give you something hard to hit with.
Thousands of years ago, it was common for people to be killed by stoning them. The blunt force trauma from multiple rock projectiles was enough to do major damage to a person.
You don’t need to have fancy weapons to kill someone if you have to. Carrying a rock can provide you with an easy way to distract a zombie or a person who wants to kill you or wants your stuff.
Even if you’re not under a sudden attack, it’s not noticeable that you’re holding something (go for a thinner, smooth rock), so as long as you have good aim, throwing it at the person should give you enough time to escape.
I guarantee this will work, because no one is thinking like this. Throwing rocks at people is just so unheard of.
Remember when you were a little kid and you were throwing rocks at other kids on the playground? No? Well then, I guess I was the weirdo. Anyway, your mom scolded you, and it’s kind of ingrained in your head not to throw things at people.
No one is going to suspect that you’re prepared to throw a rock at them. Practice throwing, and your impact will send them a very clear message.
There may be times when you don’t want to escape, but instead want to steal whatever that person has (remember, it’s the end of days, and just about anything goes) before they steal from you and leave you for dead. In that case, hitting them with that rock will hurt and distract them long enough for you to close in for the kill.
In case you run into a group of scavengers, though, your best bet is to run and live to fight another day.
For zombies, it doesn’t matter if that rock hurts them, because it won’t kill them, and it won’t send them down to the ground unless you throw a really mean rock. The distraction is what you’re after. Hit them to slow them down so you have enough time to grab your zombie-killing weapon, or to give yourself enough time to run past them.
For multiple zombies, throwing a rock won’t work. For groups of zombies I recommend just hightailing it out of there.
You can also use a rock as a noise distraction, for zombies or people. Use it to trick your pursuers into following the sound, or to distract them from your sneak attack!
I hope I’ve convinced you to add a rock to your arsenal of zombie weapons. It’s an easy item to get, and it has a couple of good uses in certain situations. Give yourself this edge against your enemies, and happy surviving!
About Kevin: Kevin Bond is the author of HelpZombies.com, a zombie-themed survivalist website. It is expanding to include makeup tutorials, survival guides, product reviews, and even a zombie shop!
Armand Rosamilia, author of the Dying Days zombie series, is interviewed:
TJ Redig swears he had an oh-so-metal discussion with Armand Rosamilia, the author of the Dying Days series, the Keyport Cthulhu series, theFlagler Beach series, the Metal Queens series, and God-only-knows how many other things.
TJ Redig does not lie…
Very cool review of the latest anthology I am a part of…
I had a rousingly crazy night being interviewed by Jason Brant on his excellent podcast… between his sweet tea and my coffee, it is a wonder we didn’t get arrested!
On this week’s exciting Arm Cast Podcast you’ll hear two authors being interviewed by me. Pretty much like the previous 47 episodes had, more or less…
Samantha Gregory was born in Northern Ireland in 1985. She is the author of several series of books including Daemon Persuasion, which was published by Mockingbird Lane Press.
She loves horror movies, reading and archery. All of her works are available to purchase through Amazon.
Dave Lund’s Winchester Undead series combine the zombie apocalypse with practical tactical skills, prepper knowledge, conspiracy theories, intrigue, secret government agencies and characters that quickly pull you into the story. Accuracy in detail defines the background of the Winchester Undead series, with many of the themes, objects, weapons, and tactics used in the Winchester Undead series are based on the author’s experience in survival camping, prepping, law enforcement, and training. Many of the locations visited by the characters in the series are real, although often artistically changed to fit the needs of the characters and plot. There is no cache site in Maypearl that we know of, and the presence of any secret underground government facilities really depends on whom you ask, as it is regarding the presence of Chemtrails.
Now published by Winlock Press (Permuted Press), the Winchester Undead series continues to grow with more releases currently in the works. You can find the first book of the series, Winchester: Over here: http://www.amazon.com/Winchester-Over-Undead-Book-ebook/dp/B00STNF97E (just copy and paste into your browser’s URL bar). Dave Lund’s writing style and attention to detail will pull readers into the story, cheering for the good guys, and worrying about the bad, non-stop reading that puts the human condition at the front of an undead war.
ODIUM III The Dead Saga
In this life, nothing is simple…not even DEATH
In the third instalment of the Odium series, having distanced herself from Mikey, Nina is on a mission. She’s seeking a woman who could be the answer to all their problems…or just another nightmare made reality.
Travelling alongside Nova, the two women are faced with countless threats and inexplicable circumstances…just another day in the land of the dead.
But Nina is changing, feeling the strain of this life, and beginning to rethink the choices she’s made and the woman she’s become. New allies will be forged on this road of self-discovery, bonds will be broken, and old enemies will resurface. Nina will be forced to make a decision that could have devastating consequences.
However life is nothing without someone to love, or a family to love you in return. And in this new world, there is only one way to prove that love is still possible. Sacrifice.
ODIUM III The Dead Saga Excerpt
I reached the first one, side-stepping as it stretched its one bony arm for me. The other arm was barely a nub of bone left jutting out of its socket, yet it still moved. I managed to get behind it and I raised my katana high, slamming it through the back of the deader’s neck before it could turn around. The force of my blow knocked it to its knees but didn’t cut it all the way through, and I grunted as I struggled to wrench the katana free from the thick flesh and bone of its neck. I pressed down, begging the sword not to snap.
Finally the blade cut right through and the head fell from its shoulders with a resounding splat. The body slumped forward with a thud, and thick black gore that smelled like rotten eggs and three-day-old sewage pumped slowly from out of the hole in its neck. The mouth of the head continued to snap, and I slammed my sword through the side of its temple to end the deader’s eternal misery and then I moved on to the next one.
Nova was surrounded by two deaders and the ankle-biter, and I hurried across to help her. I jogged to her side, ignoring my own slow-moving deader, and I stabbed through the ankle-biter’s skull. Ankle-biters were scary, because you never freaking saw them coming. I had drawn the attention of Nova’s two deaders, but she stabbed one in the back of the skull before it could even take a step toward me, and the other followed swiftly afterwards.
I turned back to my one, sidestepping it and letting it follow me until its back was to Nova. She used both knives to hack either side of its neck in one swift movement, and the head popped up into the air like a jumping bean and landed on the ground with a small thud. It was still moving, jaws snapping away as it persistently tried to get to me, and I grimaced. It was possibly once a fairly attractive male. Cloudy blue eyes stared up at me hungrily, its teeth still relatively normal instead of broken and black. Even its skin, though pale and sallow, was still covering a full face, instead of having rotted away in parts, leaving us with a gory view of what lay underneath. I presumed this man had died from injuries other than the more standard facial bites, which were what usually got people killed.
Death brought on the zombie infection, not saliva or blood transference, and a chunk out of the face or neck was almost always a sure killer.
Nova’s boot made contact with the head and sent it flying through the air and into the fields to the left of us. Black blood trailed through the sky in an arc and she whooped and fist-pumped the air.
“Touchdown!” she yelled ridiculously. She raised her hand in an attempt to high five me.
“That’s not cool. You need to go find that head and end it.” I bent down and wiped my blade across the now headless deader’s body, cleaning it free of the gore.
“What? Why?” She bent down and cleaned her knives on a different deader’s back. “You’re just miserable. You’re always miserable, especially when you’re sick,” she huffed.
“You don’t know what I’m like when I’m sick.”
Nova rolled her eyes. “Well you’re sick now, and you’re a moody and miserable, so looks like I was right.”
“Whatever. You can’t leave a dangerous head out in the wild like that. What if someone is walking through here and doesn’t see it? What then? A dangerous head like that could kill someone.” I scowled and stood back up, releasing a hearty sneeze. “Go find the damn head.”
Nova stood back up, giving me a hard glare. “No, you go find the damn head if it’s so important to you.” She turned away and started looking through the pockets of another of the dead bodies at our feet, looking for anything useful. “No one would be stupid enough to walk through a field barefoot anyway. People wear shoes, Nina!” She pocketed several items, not bothering to show me what they were, which only pissed me off more, since we were supposed to be sharing everything.
“That’s a dangerous head, Nova. Go kill it.” I bent back down and started to fumble in my deader’s pockets, finding some gum and a lighter, plus a picture of a pretty woman. The picture did nothing to temper my growing anger. “Do they not deserve any goddamn respect?” I muttered to myself more than her. So I was surprised when Nova replied.
“No, no they don’t. I hate them all and they deserve to die a horrible death.”
My eyes snapped to hers. “You’re being a dick now.”
“Since when did you become a union leader for the Undead Society? These aren’t humans anymore,” she snarled.
Claire C. Riley Bio.
Claire C Riley is a Bestselling British Horror Author, whose work includes: Odium The Dead Saga – book 1, 2 and 3, Limerence 1& 2 (The Obsession Series) Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella – book 1, 2 and coming soon 3, and several other full length novels including Thicker Than Blood co-authored with USA Today Best Selling author Madeline Sheehan.
She writes characters that are realistic and kills them without mercy.
Claire lives in the UK with her three young daughters, husband, and scruffy dog.
GR Link – http://bit.ly/17e6HWL
From Gutenberg to Rosamilia
Books have come a long way. They used to be written and copied by hand which took years working at it full time. That’s why medieval Europe left that work to monks: because you couldn’t possibly earn a living doing such work and someone had to feed you, house you and clothe you while you occupied yourself in such a mad and tedious pursuit. Imagine sitting there in the same room day after day from morning ‘til night for months on end just writing a book. You’d have to be nuts, or getting there.
And when you were finished with it all you had was the one book. If you wanted a second copy you had to start all over again or pass it on to other monks who copied and recopied you in the same silent room, year after year, quietly going insane, until some Viking burst in and stuck a sword through your guts, stole your gold crucifix and grabbed your book on his way out—as an afterthought—to wipe his butt with your pages. That was the best use he could find for your life’s work because he couldn’t read but he sure could use some toilet paper.
Then Old Joey Gutenberg rigged up a way to write a book just once with some letter blocks like the ones you played with as a child. The idea was to wet those blocks with ink and press some paper over them and voilà, the birth of the printed page. And you could print as many copies as you wanted if you had the materials. The hand-made paper, bought and sold by weight even after being printing upon, was worth more than the content you printed on it.
You see, anybody could string some words together but not everyone could pay for the paper. And don’t even get me started on the cost of binding those pages into a book. Most books printed from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries don’t survive today because the printing and binding of books were two separate endeavours, the second of which was extravagantly expensive. Many people could scrape together a few coins to buy a book from their local printer but only the wealthy could afford to have those pages bound.
I am a life-long book reader/lover/collector—thirty years of rummaging through dusty used book shops and even dustier thrift stores all over North America, chatting it up with dusty old book dealers who used to be bibliophiles like me before they spent decades up to their eyeballs in the damned things.
I’ve spent my life buying and reading them, organising and shelving them, packing and moving them over and over—sometimes clear across the continent. I’ve spent a small fortune just keeping my books housed and shelved and near me, on top of the small fortune I’ve spent acquiring them.
At its peak my collection ballooned to twenty thousand volumes before shrinking back to a more reasonable twelve or thirteen thousand books. I achieved my childhood dream of living in a home that looks and smells like a used book shop, similar to the first one I frequented as a kid in my old neighborhood.
When that shop closed after fifty years in business I bought up their remaining stock at pennies on the dollar and took home one of their shelving units that had been hand-built by the shop’s original owner, the nice old man from whom I purchased my first books: The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Frank Herbert’s Dune, Asimov’s Foundation, Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword, Lovecraft, Zelazny, Donaldson, Wolfe, Steve Jackson, Choose Your Own Adventure, Dungeons & Dragons modules and stacks of comic books.
My love of books can be traced to that old shop. I fell in love with them for the imaginary worlds they transported me to and I learned to love books as objects, the look and feel of them, the smell of them, and I loved my own lust for them, how I wanted mountains of books so that I could read whatever I wanted whenever I felt the urge and they would all be there at my fingertips. I didn’t understand how any book dealer could stand to part with any of them.
Now, decades later, I’ve come to realise that actually owning thousands of books is a total pain in the ass. And no matter how many thousands of them you accumulate you’ll never have every book you want and you’ll never find the time to read them all anyway.
Even once you’ve got them all in your apartment they’re not truly at your fingertips. That familiar book you just saw mentioned in an online post, one that you know you’ve got somewhere has to be found in your giant mess that’s attracting paper-eating bugs and trapping humidity to form mold. That one book you remember buying half a lifetime ago and suddenly want to read could be randomly placed in that massive pile of painfully heavy boxes in the corner, the ones you never got around to unpacking after your most recent move.
So I’ve been selling off chunks of my collection. It’s simultaneously a relief and heart-breaking. I feel the weight of them off my shoulders but I miss them already, even the ones I haven’t sold yet. I don’t want to see them to go but I can’t wait to be rid of the damned things. I have become the crusty old man sitting in his dusty book room both in love with and burdened by his rows upon rows of wonderful, beautiful, smelly, heavy, endlessly tiresome books.
After many jobs and a couple of small businesses of my own I now work full time for a national chain of book sellers. I live in a large apartment surrounded by my vast collection of books that I’ve always wanted to read or reread. In my spare time I’m working on my first novel. More so than at any time in my past my whole life right now is all about books in various aspects: as objects to be treasured, as a commodity to be consumed, as an outlet for creativity and a labor of love.
A few weeks ago I bought my first e-reader. Mostly I bought it for my wife, who’ll be spending this summer visiting family overseas. She’s a voracious reader who can devour a six-hundred-page fantasy novel in forty-eight hours or less. She can read clean through a prolific author’s career within a few weeks. The e-reader is a way of providing her with a summer’s worth of reading material without dragging an entire suitcase of books along with her. Also, I’d been itching to read a few novels that I know are only available as e-books (Thraxas books nine and ten, among others).
Within a few days we were fighting over this amazing device. I can tweak the font size and light up the screen to read in the dark so my wife’s sleep isn’t disturbed by a bright lamp. It remembers where I stopped (every time!) so I don’t waste precious reading minutes on the bus or subway figuring out where I left off. It’s the same size and weight as a single mass market paperback but it can contain more books than I have in this whole apartment and I can carry them around with me everywhere and read any one of them with a touch of my fingertip to the screen.
I was one of those people you hear saying they’re not interested in e-readers because it’s not the same as the feeling of a printed book in your hands. And those people are right, it isn’t the same—it’s better.
I went from averse to astounded in less than a week, after a lifetime devoted to the printed book. From now on I want to read everything on this e-reader. I never want to read a big, heavy hardcover book again. I’m ready to sell every one of these bound paper volumes, keeping only my autographed copies and rare editions.
I wish every book ever made in the history of civilization were available as an e-book. Many are. In fact, there are millions of books available as safe, legally free downloads online without even touching any illegal file-sharing websites, and millions more available for purchase, all mine to browse without the hassles of obtaining and storing a physical book.
The first book I read on my new e-reader was Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer by Armand Rosamilia. I thought it appropriate since Armand and I met (eleven years ago, Holy Shit!) through a discussion forum about books and writing. Our first encounter was over a transaction in which I handed over some of my hard-earned cash for a stack of his early fantasy novels (keep growing in popularity, my friend, while I sit on these rarities of increasing value) and I’ve followed his burgeoning career with interest ever since.
A whole new world of indie authors whose works are only available in e-book form are now open to me thanks to this wonderful device. I can participate in the publishing revolution happening online right now and feel even more immersed in the industry of storytelling than I already was.
The future of how those stories are disseminated is literally in the hands of readers and authors rather than being decided upon by a few big corporations and I’m now one of those readers. Lately I’ve been working for the man again after two failed businesses but maybe in time I can change that and in the meantime I can help change the lives of indie authors. The power to do that is in this little device I bought on a whim. It is small but it contains multitudes.
I’ve always said we live in a great age. I wouldn’t want to live in any other, except maybe the zombiepocalypse…
I am nearing the first draft finish line for the next installment of the Dying Days series, Dying Days 5 (which is up as a pre-sale) and I am truly excited.
For those of you who have been reading along since Dying Days (and, perhaps Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer or the original extreme zombie novella, Highway To Hell, the story and world has progressed into even more divergent paths. Ones I am quite proud of!
With Dying Days 5 I continue to tell the story of not only Darlene Bobich, but old and new survivors as well as the zombies themselves.
My schedule for the release will be as follows:
Today… Pre-sale of Dying Days 5 is now up. Get your copy as soon as it goes live when you pre-order.
Sunday April 5th… Beta Readers will get their hands on a copy. I am very blessed to have some great pre-readers who offer me some valid points, and I will be reaching out to 3-5 of them right before this date to see if they have time to read and give thoughts on it.
Tuesday May 5th… By this date I’ll have all the notes in and will have done my rewrite. Taking into account my wedding on April 18th and then the week honeymoon, and this last weekend I will be in Atlanta at World Horror Convention, I know I am cutting it close. But I do love a crazy deadline. At this point I will send it off to my editor, Jenny Adams, to start ripping it apart.
Monday June 1st… hopefully uploading the finished copy a week ahead of schedule.
Tuesday June 16th… Dying Days 5 will go live, right in the middle of the upcoming Summer of Zombie Blog Tour! I actually plan this each year, and have had one out during the tour. More info on the tour itself coming soon, as well…
I have another new Dying Days zombie short story in this release!