Guest Post: A. Giacomi #SummerofZombie

Zombies with a Pulse

I know what you’re thinking…since when do zombies have a pulse? What I mean is zombies have been getting a bit of a reboot over the past couple of years. With the success of The Walking Dead, others began to see that zombie tales weren’t solely for the horror market after all, it seems the entire population is fascinated with these once human creatures…and why? Because there’s still a lot of humanity, tragedy, and strength to their stories. Zombie stories allow us to reevaluate our lives, and define what is most important to us: our families, love, safety, clean water…pudding? (TWD reference I pray everyone gets)

What I’m getting at is that anyone can relate to zombies. Just imagine for a moment one of your loved ones had been bitten, would you kill them without batting an eye? Could you? I think there is an internal struggle between what needs to be done and what the heart wants. Many of us would claim bravery and would do what had to be done, but when it comes down to the wire how do you say goodbye? I believe some would even keep them as pets because humans are sentimental. Think of all the trinkets you might keep around your house because they hold a memory you treasure…memory and our desire to hold onto it, and preserve is dangerous when it comes to zombies.

Today I want to highlight the ever shifting zombie genre. Here are five zombies with a “pulse” in other words…they’ll make you care about them.

  1. Most recently we have Liv Moore from the CW’s adaptation of the iZombie comic released by DC’s Vertigo imprint. Whether you’ve read the comic or seen the show, or both, it’s difficult not to feel for her. She had a family, a promising career, and now? She eats brains to solve crimes and there isn’t much room for more in her life. The show is entertaining and a lighter taste of the zombie genre, it definitely shows Liv aka Gwen as a zombie trying to recreate some sort of “normal.”

  1. Warm Bodies brought us R. The zombie version of Romeo, not very romantic, but oh so very comedic. R is a zombie that refuses to be a zombie, he doesn’t enjoy it, he fights it with all he has, but the only cure for this zombie virus is love. A zombie love story? What could have a stronger pulse than that?

  1. Not all zombie tales are comedic. In fact this one is quite sad. The film Contracted follows Samantha, the victim of poor choices. This film treats the zombie infection as an STD. When Samantha is infected she begins to slowly show signs of decay. Her suffering is great, and she eventually succumbs to the virus. The amount of pity I felt for this zombie was like no other, I wanted her to find a cure, I was rooting for her, but alas poor choices sometimes are ones undoing.

  1. Another tragic tale leads us to The Returned. Alex is a former zombie, cured of his infliction by a magic potion or injection if you will. People could retain their humanity as long they continued to take their medicine, but when the drug they need is in short supply, zombies begin to resurface. Alex is running out of time as his girlfriend desperately hunts down the remaining doses. The ending of this film is done with such loneliness and abandonment in mind. It’s one of the saddest endings to a zombie film I’ve seen in a long time.

  1. The final zombie is one of my own creation, Eve Brenner. Her story is somewhere between quirky and tragic. I want you to feel for her, she’s a zombie still desperately trying to lead a human life. It’s not easy, and perhaps not even possible. If you pick up the Zombie Girl Saga you’ll immediately feel something for Eve, she’s young, curious, and gets more than she bargained for when she sets out on an adventure. I can’t tell you how it all ends especially since book 3 and 4 aren’t even out yet 😉 Guess you’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

I hope all my zombie sympathizers out there enjoyed reading and will check out my Zombie Girl Saga. A zombie with a pulse is quite tempting, you get sucked in by their desire to remain human, and Eve is that strong character willing to do anything to regain her humanity, if she will succeed has yet to be seen…

A.Giacomi  is the author of the wildly entertaining Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl Saga.

She is an educator, writer, and artist from Toronto, Canada. She is a zombie enthusiast, a wife, and mother to one small human child.

For more on A.Giacomi visit her on

Twitter @thepoeticzombie

Facebook A.Giacomi

or her official Blog http://www.poeticzombie.com

http://permutedpress.com/books/eve-brenner-zombie-girl-the-zombie-girl-saga-book-1

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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!

Guest Post: Candy O’Donnell #SummerofZombie

Fast zombies vs. Slow zombies:

**In numerous films and books people are always looking at fast zombies and the slow zombies. The are thoughts about fast zombies? “Hell, No!” or “Yeah!” I say “No, Way!”

Fleeing from a fast zombies like the ones in ‘World War Z’ could be very intense and frightful..in World War Z, these fast moving zombies keep the viewer on the edge of their seat and keep everyone guessing how to get away from them. I personally love this movie and can watch it over and over again.

The Walking Dead has slow moving zombies, but their numbers can gain up on a single person if they have no where to hide. The scenes in this show reveal individuality of characters and keep the viewer on the edge of their seat, but it keeps us watching to find out what will happen next.

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About the Author

Candy O’Donnell lives in California with her best friend and husband, Jim, and their two enthused teenagers. This family also includes two happy dogs, a languid cat and an energetic cockatiel. At the age of twelve, she wrote her first mini book and has not looked back when her first title was published in 2007. Today, Candy writes whatever story crops up in her imagination. She composes numerous genres as a way of expressing herself fluently. Her early years were spent reading the works of Walter Farley, Stephen King, and other titles focused on history.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and culture in 2010 and she also has 6 grad units in criminal justice.

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCandyODonnell

http://authorcandyodonnell.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @Candyodonnell

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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!

Guest Post: J.E. Gurley #SummerofZombie

Zombie Defense through the Ages

As we all know, zombies have been around for a long, long time. To survive a zombie apocalypse, or even a small local undead uprising, knowing your weaponry is essential. The tool must fit the task. In killing zombies, one had two options – long distance or close up. Long distance is safer but sometimes impractical. What effective weapons have zombie killers through the ages employed?

If you were in China during the Qin Dynasty, you had many options, all of which required skill and strength. If you were a poor, malnourished peasant, your chances of survival were low. You would probably become one of the walking dead. The most effective weapon for long-distance zombie slaying was the Gung or bow. An arrow through the head usually did the job. For closer quarters and multiple zombies, the Nu, a semi-automatic crossbow firing 10 bolts in 15 seconds made you a very popular defender of village maidens. Swords were excellent for removing heads. The Jian, a double-edged straight sword, the Dao, a curved, single-edged weapon, the liuyedao, a moderately curved sword, and the piandao, curved like a scimitar or shamshir, and the much heavier niuweidao, a two-edged broadsword.

The Chinese also employed axes, such as the fu, a curved double-edged axe, and the yue, a single-edged heavy ax, both very effective at lopping off heads or cleaving limbs. Spears (Qiang), and heavy long pole weapons such as the Ji with a sharp metal tip at its base and a curved blade on the other end. The guan dao, pu dao, and tang dao had long, weighted, curved blades whose long poles allowed its user to deliver a powerful blow capable of cleaving both horse and rider, if a zombie happened to be mounted.

Much later, during medieval times, swords, weighted weapons, lances, bows, and later, guns kept zombies at bay. The longbow; the crossbow, which could fire wooden bolts or spherical metal balls; the arbalest, a heavier crossbow with a 900-yard range; and the hand-held pistol crossbow allowed some distance between zombie and defender. They were especially useful as zombies gathered at moats or closed drawbridges. Knight code of honor required a more intimate approach to zombie slaying. Clubs, maces, war hammers, flails, and Morningstars, were all battering weapons designed to crush armor or zombie skulls.  Lances, spears, pikes and javelins were hurled or used for stabbing. Pole arms – glaives, halberds, bariches, correques, and fauchards were similar in scope and use to Chines Dao weapons. The guisame had a hook at the tip to dismount riders. It could be used to bring zombies within sword reach. Halberds had an axe blade on one end, backed by a hook on the other side and a spike in its tip.

Falchons were one-handed, single-edged swords, while long swords were two-handed, doubled-edged swords. Daggers, such as the anelace, the poignard, the stiletto (An Italian favorite), and the rondel, made hand-to-hand killing of undead foes close up and personal. The bardiche, the pollaxe, and the throwing axe required less training but were quite effective.

Little in Zombie Defense changed until modern weaponry came along during the Civil War. Swords were still used, but bayonets attached to the barrels of rifles saw more use. Pistols included the Moore’s Belt revolver, which fired 7-.32 caliber bullets, the Smith and Wesson, the Colt, the Remington, the Lemat, which had an over-and-under barrel capable of firing 9-.42 caliber rounds from the top and a 16-gauge shotgun shell from the lower barrel. Two very useful weapons for zombie defense were the Walsh revolver with its 12 shot capacity and the Elgin pistol with its large, curved blade on the barrel. Only two hundred of the Walshes were manufactured, so finding one was matter of luck.

Rifles included the Hawken Rifle, the Springfield and its Confederate copies, the Mississippi, the Fayetteville, and the Richmond, the Sharps, and the two lever-action rifles, the Henry and the Spenser. The earlier muzzleloaders fired heavy lead Minnie balls of .88 caliber or .69 caliber. Later bullets resembled today’s ammunition. What sets this era apart from earlier eras is the introduction of mass killing weapons, the machine gun. The Gatling gun and the Agar gun, each capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute, would have been very useful in a full-tilt zombie frontal assault.

WWI saw the advent of killing on a massive scale. The ingenuity of the entire civilized world went into the design of new, more destructive weaponry. Rifles improved in accuracy and ease of use. The British Enfield, the American Springfield, and the German Mauser would allow the killing of zombies at long distance, safer and more confusing to zombies. For mowing down groups of undead attackers, improved machine guns – the Maxim gun, the German Maschinengewehr, the Lewis gun, the Gatling gun, and the French Hotchkiss gun – could deliver 800-100 rounds per minute to their targets.

Today, the weapons are much the same as in WWI and WWII. They are more accurate but no more effective. Faced with a horde of deadly zombies, I would prefer a sword, a guan dao, or a crossbow. Each is silent and just as deadly as a firearm. In a pinch, a tire iron, a baseball bat, or a chainsaw will do the trick.

Killing zombies is not a sport. It is a means of survival. Choose your weapon carefully. Always take into account your skill level, strength, and squeamishness about busted or decapitated heads.

Aim HighShoot Straight

JEGurley Amazon Author Central page: http://www.amazon.com/JE-Gurley/e/B007TKXRBI

Website: http://www.jamesgurley.com

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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!

Guest Post: John Palisano #SummerofZombie

WHERE YOU COME FROM

Settings in Zombie fiction

 

By John Palisano

When the zombie craze first started back up again several years back, it seemed the market quickly got overwhelmed with novels and stories that basically transposed George A. Romero’s Living Dead mythos into the author’s hometown. I read countless tales that seemed to be ripped from the cloth of the author’s life––names slightly changed––that basically cast the author as the hero in a tale against the living dead invading his or her hometown. Once, at a convention, I even made a joke about it during a panel. “Maybe I should write a zombie story in Los Angeles.”

Famous last words.

The question got me thinking. Is it important where a story takes place?

Absolutely it does. Especially in the world of zombie fiction. The setting as a character reveals so much, and brings with it a unique set of obstacles.

A great example of this are Walter Greatshell’s great Xombies books. They begin normally enough, but soon we are transported to the living dead in frozen climates, and it’s a remarkably frightening place. It makes the stakes far different than a roaming band of suburbanites gearing up at a gun store in a shopping mall in the middle of America. Xombies was one of the first of the new wave of zombie books that really broke new ground. Seek them out.

The southern settings in the comics and graphic novels of The Walking Dead were paramount to its success. We’d never seen what a zombie plague would look like down south. Atlanta proved a very apt starting point, and the groups travels up toward Washington D.C. painted images we’d never seen. We also learned that so much of where people live defines more than just their architecture and fast food joints––it defines them, as well. Rick Grimes and crew were very southern in their mannerisms, but also, and this is important: in their morals. It was those inner conflicts, brought out realistically, that set The Walking Dead away from the herd.

Who could forget the great British-isms of Shaun of the Dead? It would be a completely different story if it were set anywhere else. There were so many uniquely British settings that were ripe for the picking. It was this voyeuristic look at what zombies…up until then explored as a mostly American phenomenon…that made Shaun of the Dead so damn enjoyable and unique. Would it be as prescient if it were set in an American bar? Perhaps, but it would be different.

Of course, books have been written about Romero’s metaphor of the shopping mall and zombies in Dawn of the Dead. The Monroeville mall was every bit as much a character in that film as Flyboy, Franny, and Cooper. Think about those elevators guiding zombies to and fro, or the big glass doors that keep the undead from the living at the entrance to the Macys.

So how would this all play together for a modern author? What hasn’t been explored? What hasn’t been touched upon? How can a new story be interesting?

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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!

Guest Post: Samantha Gregory #SummerofZombie

Zombie Fiction- Young Adult

Zombies aren’t just for adults. The genre is becoming increasingly popular with Young Adults and there are some great books on the market. Here are my top five zombie young adult novels that everyone should read:

  • Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter – Alice Bell’s family is killed. Wiped out, leaving her alone. Ali is a fighter though and starts out on the road to revenge.
  • Undead by Kirsty McKay – A school skiing trip takes an undead twist. Bobby is the new kid in school, hailing from the US of A she struggles to fit in at an English school. Despite wanting to avoid her new classmates, Bobby is thrown together with them when a zombie virus turns most of the class into undead monsters. This book is fast paced, exciting and has some great one liners.
  • Zom-B by Darren Shan – B becomes a zombie after an outbreak at her school. After she sacrifices a fellow classmate to save herself, she spends her time as a zombie trying to deal with her guilt. Darren Shan is a master when it comes to horror and this book really deals with moral issues and hard topics like racism.
  • Zombie Youth by H.E. Goodhue – Once again an outbreak occurs while a group of students are in school. Old rivalries must be put aside and school bullies become allies as this plucky group of teens create their own fortress in the school and battle the undead forces that surround it.
  • Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick – Alex hikes into the woods to say goodbye to her parents who have passed away. While out there, she witnesses an electromagnetic pulse which wipes out most of the world. The survivors are left to face off against zombie like bad guys while trying to stay alive in this harsh new world. Gritty, with a great cast, this is a brilliant book.

All these great books are available to buy online and should definitely be on your bookshelf if you love zombies.

 sam

 I live in Northern Ireland. I have been writing since I was a child and I was officially published in 2012. I write horror and paranormal stories. In my spare time, I am learning to play guitar, watching movies, reading and spending time with family.

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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!

Guest Post: Saul Tanpepper #SummerofZombie

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rotter

Alan Sillitoe’s short story, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, was required reading when I was a freshman in college, and one with which I had formed a profound and abiding intellectual connection. I was a budding scientist working on an ecology project deep in the backcountry above Santa Barbara, California. The site was quite remote, requiring a ninety-minute hike through some fiercely dense scrub along the bottom of a seasonal creek named after the cut it had dug through the rock, Rattlesnake Canyon. I often lost myself inside my own head during those hikes and would be startled upon reaching my destination having only the faintest memory of the ground over which I had just traversed. (At least until the day I stumbled upon an actual rattlesnake sunning itself in my path, but that’s different story.)

Suffice it to say, there was a period of time after finishing Runner that I entertained taking up the sport of cross-country. Fortunately, twenty minutes later, the takeout pizza I had ordered was delivered, and sense returned to me. So ended my brief foray — well, mental exercise — into track-and-field.

Fast forward roughly thirty years and once more I find myself revisiting that story, its main character Smith, and the theme it embraced— not of what it must be like to be a working class young man in 1950s England, but the mental processes that Smith uses to escape thinking about his dismal prospects beyond petty crime. As a writer of zombie fiction, I can’t help but wonder what it must be like to be trapped inside the mind of one of the undead slogging through the apocalypse, nothing to do but to contemplate a future far bleaker than Smith’s, no hope and only the slimmest promise that the slow eternal jog through hell will eventually lead to some blessed salvation.

All too often the zombies in stories are mindless, soulless creatures, machines made and molded from the flesh and spirit of man, but otherwise lacking anything human about them. Stolen from them are the very ingredients which make us human: our self-awareness, our sense of moral right and wrong, our self-control. To my way of thinking, what makes zombies so frightening — and fascinating — isn’t what they are capable of doing to the living, although there’s enough to be said about that, but in the things they are no longer able to do for themselves. In particular, it’s their lost capacity to guide their own future that haunts me. What must it be like to become a passive witness to one’s own criminal acts perpetrated by a body no longer under one’s control?

That has to be the ultimate betrayal, the worst sort of insult an individual could ever imagine. All our lives, we cultivate ourselves through our choices. We choose whether to act and how. To have that all stripped away from us robs us of our humanity. To be simultaneously aware of it and unable to stop it is a fate so much worse than death.

The idea of the aware zombie resonates deeply with me, and several of my stories touch on it in some form or another. But nowhere is it explored more deeply than in the mind of Cassie in the novella, Velveteen. Cassie first made her appearance as a minor character in my GAMELAND series, mentioned only very briefly during a chance encounter with the series’ main character.

In Velveteen, Cassie is a zombie, turned at age six a dozen years before. She has spent the next dozen years trapped alone inside a dark bathroom with nothing to do but to think about her situation. She reflects on the events which lead to her infection and subsequent death and resurrection. She exhibits a terrifying patience, waiting until the day she believes her parents will return to rescue her, as they had promised. But the inevitable degradation of her adolescent mind, the untrustworthiness of her slowly decaying memory, and the perpetual darkness and silence, all create an otherworldly and counterfeit sense of what is real and what isn’t, yet no clear means to distinguish between the two. In the end, we are left with a heartbreaking tale that is as unnervingly horrific as it is undeniably, yet uncharacteristically, human.

Cassie so fascinated me that she became a focal character in the later prequel to the series, A Dark and Sure Descent, although this time in her pre-infected state. The trio of stories put together provides a singular glimpse into the mind of a person who has lost everything in life and yearns for its return in death. Yet despite her decade-long run within the prison of her mind, she still manages somehow to retain the faintest traces of hope and freedom.

And to me, that is what is at the heart of the best zombie fiction, not that they are machines and monsters, but the realization that they are innately and undeniably human.

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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!