Guest Post: Jay Wilburn #SummerofZombie

Summer of Zombie 2015

 

“The Sound May Suffer – Making Music for the Apocalypse”

by Jay Wilburn

 me (1)

When the short story “Dead Song” starting getting attention in Best Horror of the Year volume 5 with editor Ellen Datlow and then later in Zombies: More Recent Dead from Prime Books, it still took me a while before I realized it had the potential to be a novel. After I started the draft for the novel, it took me a while to realize this was the beginning of a series. Eventually, artist Luke Spooner would be involved in the cover and interior art and Byan Eckardt of Wayward Son Productions would be involved in a recorded component for the series. The title of the five song soundtrack The Sound May Suffer has significance to me as well.

As I wrote the story of the characters that traveled around apocalyptic America recording the music of the various groups of survivors, the story seemed particularly silent on the page. The characters were rich and complicated. The story was quirky and funny. I was finding connections between the characters I had not realized would be there when I wrote the short story so long ago. Writing about music with no sound element felt a little flat and empty though. I was asking readers to imagine music without giving them sound. I could have trusted the reader and probably have still had a fine, little zombie story, but I decided to take the story a step further in an effort to honor the reader’s commitment to the tale and the world it created.

I was faced with the daunting task of really creating what I had created. In the original short story and then the novel The Dead Song Dodecology Book 1: January from Milwaukee to Muscle Shoals, I had described in detail a number of musical mash-ups that supposedly happened as a result of disparate groups of survivors ending up together and evolving musical styles that would not have naturally occurred before the apocalypse.

I was also limited by my own musical talent. I play a little guitar, but I’m a hack. Music for me in terms of playing chords is almost more mathematical than it is artistic. I know where to put my fingers to strum different chords, but to identify and E from a G without seeing the placement of fingers would be tough for me.

As with all things, I needed a circle of talent that was better than me. I found that in Luke’s art, in Lori Michelle’s editing and formatting, and Bryan’s production.

I wrote and arranged the scripts for the songs. In their creation, they became like miniature radio plays. The songs included dialogue, ambient noise, interruptions, and distortion as if they were recorded live by the characters of the novel in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. With the help of friends, actors, truly talented musicians, and the enthusiastic creativity of Bryan that went far beyond the notion of just doing a job, the songs became something greater than I imagined. I found myself on the floor of our recording space using a violin bow on a guitar and Bryan found himself in a corner of a stage pulling his cheeks and making zombie noises. The songs became unique, funny, and beautiful in their constructed layers. They are part of the story and add a rich addition that extends forward through all parts of the series. The five songs of the first sound track, The Sound May Suffer: Songs from The Dead Song Legend Book 1 January, are part of the legend in the story.

“Amazing Circle of Suffering” blends two classic hymns from a church in Vicksburg in a Death Gospel classic. “Undead Dinner Bell” records New Swing from a rooftop in Milwaukee used to distract the zombies as scavengers gather food and supplies in the streets. “Don’t Make Me Repeat It” is an original New Wave Slam Jo poem. “Last Lullaby of the Wind” is a Native American Blues song played on the battlefield in a war that is yet to come. “Replay the Life Incomplete” is a Rom Zom track recorded from the moans heard in the streets of post apocalyptic Los Angeles. Together they add to the legend of Tiny “mud music” Jones unfolded in Dead Song book 1.

As I was thinking for the “group name” that would allow me to come up with eventually twelve soundtracks covering book 1, book 2, book 3, etc., I tried to come up with something that would almost apologize or warn that this wasn’t music in the tight, refined sense of a finished song meant to impress the listener with fleet fingered solos or expert vocals. I still think they are good, but vested within the strain and pain of the apocalypse. The Sound May Suffer came as a name that seemed pulled from a warning label. It also struck on the notes of the music expressing the pain of the times and the suffering of the survivors.

While working on the first book and the music, my polycystic kidney disease worsened. This series started to take on the note of a swan song for me – the great thing I wanted to accomplish with my life with the energy I have left to create. This series is my Dead Song. Not that I plan to drop over after uploading book twelve, but we seldom get to plan such a thing even when we do see it coming. The series and the struggles of the characters became more intense for me. The creation of it all meant something more.

Among all the other symptoms of my decline and decay in real life, my ears started ringing. I imagined it was unrelated Spring allergies or a byproduct of the fatigue that was also growing. When it worsened and did not relent, I checked in with doctors. Turns out hearing trouble is around twice as likely with chronic kidney disease as with the general population according to a recent study. I’m not likely to go deaf as a result, but the hearing trouble at forty as opposed to later concerns the doctor that the toxins released into my blood from my failing kidneys may be worse than they thought.

As I continued to work with the team to create the music for The Sound May Suffer book 1, the title and project meant something more again. I never thought I’d create music to sell, but I have. At one point in my life, I never thought I’d be able to write full-time, but I do. Even as life comes apart for me physically and time grows short, I get to dream and fulfill in more ways than I imagined possible. While dreams come true, the sound may suffer.

I feel the urgency of the shortening of time and I try to translate that intensity into the value of what I am striving to create. I hope you feel it and enjoy it too both in the book and the soundtrack that supplements the story in music.

Check out The Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 1: January from Milwaukee to Muscle Shoals

http://jaywilburn.com/cover-reveal-dead-song-legend-book-1-january-from-milwaukee-to-muscle-shoals/

Check out the five song sound track in The Sound May Suffer … Songs from the Dead Song Legend Book 1: January

http://jaywilburn.com/cover-reveal-ep-soundtrack-the-sound-may-suffer-songs-from-the-dead-song-legend-book-1/

 Dead song book 1 CD Cover Idea-001

Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near Myrtle Beach on the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He was a teacher for sixteen years before leaving to become a full-time writer. He writes in many genre. His Dead Song series book 1 is available now along with the five song soundtrack The Sound May Suffer.

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Spotlight On: Timothy W. Long #SummerofZombie

Summer of Zombie 2015 SPOTLIGHT ON: Timothy W. Long

 Tim Bio pic

What is your latest zombie release?

Z-Risen 3: Poisoned Earth (released by the end of May – pre-purchase is up)

Quick description of it (no spoilers)

Machinist Mate First Class Jackson Creed and Marine Sargeant Joel “Cruze” Kelly have faced hordes of undead, rogue military units, and a constant living nightmare as they try to navigate the apocalypse.

Now they are close to their goal of reaching Los Angeles where they hope to learn the origin of the plague that has affected the US. Along the way they’ve been harried by the shadow mercenary group known only as Bright Star but that is all about to change.

Questions will be answered if they can only survive the harrowing trip. Poisoned Earth is the penultimate volume in the Z-Risen series.

Something unique about it.

This is not a book about some ultimate goal of finding a cure for the virus or about someone trying to get back to a family member. This is the day-to-day struggle and is very character driven. I also add a bit of humor to the series.

 

Links for people to purchase it.

http://www.amazon.com/Poisoned-Earth-Z-Risen-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00VVU7L2S

Your promo links.

http://Z-RISEN.COM.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimothyWLong

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimWLong

Tim’s mailing list: eepurl.com/bdji29

Your short Bio.

Tim has been writing tales and stories since he could hold a crayon and has read enough books to choke a landfill. Tim has a fascination with all things zombie, a predilection for weird literature, and a deep-seated need to jot words on paper and thrust them at people.

Tim is the author of 9 novels including the bestselling, AMONG THE LIVING, and the sequel AMONG THE DEAD. His other works include the zombie book BEYOND THE BARRIERS and the deserted island ‘zombedy’ THE ZOMBIE WILSON DIARIES, and his latest, the Z-RISEN series of military styled zombie books.

Tim resides outside of Seattle where he spends time with his partner in crime, Amanda, as well as 2 children, 2 dogs of various sizes and dispositions, and a near constant supply of overpriced and overcooked coffee beans.

Tim can be found tooling around his website at HTTP://Z-RISEN.COM.

Subscribe to Tim’s mailing list: eepurl.com/bdji29

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Spotlight On: Jolie Du Pre #SummerofZombie

Summer of Zombie 2015 SPOTLIGHT ON: Jolie du Pre

 Jolie_du_Pre_2

What is your latest zombie release?

Benton: A Zombie Novel, Vol. 3

 benton3_Ebook_Small

Quick description of it (no spoilers)

Jennifer Benton has made it through the zombie apocalypse and has fallen in love with Mark, the charismatic leader of a group of fellow survivors. He’s brought them from Illinois to hoped-for shelter at his family’s Texas ranch, only to discover it destroyed.

The survivors have one more chance when Mark befriends Todd in a nearby refugee camp; he invites the group to fly with him to his wealthy family’s home in Oklahoma.

But what’s inside Todd’s house may be worse than the zombies outside. And now Jennifer has more than Mark and herself to worry about…

Something unique about it.

The story is told from the perspective of a 20-something female.

Links for people to purchase it.

Benton: A Zombie Novel, Vol. 3 – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UACUHBA

Your promo links.

Website – http://www.joliedupre.com

Blog – http://www.preciousmonsters.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/joliedupreauthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Joliedupre

Your short Bio.

Jolie du Pre is a dystopian author, paranormal romance author, article writer, blogger and lover of monsters, especially zombies.

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Spotlight On: Shana Festa #SummerofZombie

Summer of Zombie 2015 SPOTLIGHT ON: Shana Festa

 Shay2

What is your latest zombie release?

Time of Death Book 2: Asylum

 ToD2-Asylum-Cover-Final-MED

Quick description of it (no spoilers)

Surviving the journey is just the beginning.

The last two months have brought nothing but death and destruction for Emma Rossi. She survived the initial zombie outbreak with her husband, Jake, and their dog, Daphne, but the cost was steep: Sanibel has fallen.

In a world where the only constant is change, the group is pushed to their limits before reaching the gates of Asylum, a coastal stronghold in Sarasota, Florida.

Once again, Emma must navigate an apocalyptic wasteland filled with relentless hordes of the undead and other menacing horrors that threaten her survival.

Only thing is certain. No one is safe from what lurks on either side of Asylum’s gates. Sanity will be tested; and many won’t live to tell the tale.

Something unique about it.

The settings in my books are all inspired by real places. In the first book of the Time of Death series, Induction, I decimate Cape Coral, Florida and its neighboring cities. In Asylum, Emma and the gang travel north to Sarasota. Asylum is based on the Ringling Estates Ca d’Zan mansion.

 

Links for people to purchase it.

http://amzn.com/B00VTV69HM

 

Promo links.

Author Website: http://www.shanafesta.com

At Hell’s Gates: http://www.athellsgates.com

The Bookie Monster: http://www.bookie-monster.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bookiemonstersf

The Bookie Monster Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebookiemonster

Author/Book Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timeofdeath.book

 

Author Bio

Shana Festa grew up in the small town of Northborough Massachusetts. As an impressionable tike, she shared in her father’s love for Horror, and spent most of her childhood hiding under the blankets worrying what nightmarish creature lurked in her closet. She grew up on a healthy diet of classics like Nightmare on Elm Street, Return of the Living Dead, American Werewolf in London, Child’s Play and Poltergeist.

Her writing career was born from her long-time addiction to terrifying tales. Under her alter ego, The Bookie Monster, Shana reviews horror and paranormal books, with an emphasis on zombie fiction. Her altruistic beliefs fuse seamlessly with The Bookie Monster’s mission to provide readers with honest reviews and to provide authors with a platform to promote their labors of love.

Shana holds a degree in nursing and now resides in Cape Coral, Florida with her husband and two adorable dogs. In addition to her apocalyptic series, TIME OF DEATH, she is a founding member of AT HELL’S GATES, a horror anthology series dedicated to supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces through the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Spotlight On: John O’Brien #SummerofZombie

Summer of Zombie 2015 SPOTLIGHT ON: John O’Brien

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What is your latest zombie release?

My last one was A New World: Storm, but Mark Tufo and I have the second book in our collaboration series, A Shrouded World: Atlantis, coming out soon. It’s with the editor at the moment and should be published close to the beginning of June. I also am finishing up with a second book of short stories based on A New World which should be published toward the middle of June.

 Storm cover large5

Quick description of it (no spoilers)

A vengeful darkness…

Gathers in the night…

One threat has been destroyed – another grows stronger.

Even though Jack and the teams have won a major confrontation, their lives still hang by a thread. There are decisions to be made, and ones that have never been more critical.

Leonard continues to try to keep his crew together after being hit by another soul-shattering blow. They’ve only recently become aware of this new world, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon as they silently plunge through the Pacific, looking for answers Leonard knows they may never find.

Michael knows he can no longer stand idle and wait as he feels thousands of his kind disappear from his mind night after night. The weight of the survival of his kind weighs heavily on his shoulders and he pushes forward to end the threats to their existence.

The new world must find its balance…

And the scales are about to tip…

Something unique about it.

The night runners are faster, more agile, cunning, and vastly outnumber the remaining survivors. Genetic alterations have brought about the ability to hear better, smell any scent with the precision of a canine, and can see in the dark. They communicate with each other with a form of telepathy and, to the detriment of those surviving, they are evolving.

 

Links for people to purchase it.

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N4LO8I2/

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-new-world-john-obrien/1120262813?ean=9781501058882

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/a-new-world-storm

Audible:

Soon to be released.

Your promo links.

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJohnWOBrien

Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JohnOBrien

Web site:

http://anewworldseries.com

Email:

John@anewworldseries.com

Merchandise Store:

http://www.zazzle.com/anewworldsupplies/gifts

http://www.cafepress.com/anewworldseries

Your short Bio.

John O’Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry in corporate management. Currently, John is writing full-time on the series, A New World.

As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the Capital Forest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads.

*   *   *   *   *

The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!