Guest Post: Jay Wilburn #SummerofZombie

Summer of Zombie 2015

“Art and Beauty of the Undead”

by Jay Wilburn

When “Dead Song” went from a short story to a novel to a twelve book epic, I knew I was going to need to deliver on the story. This had to be bigger than run, hide, fight, escape, die, rise, and repeat. The music soundtrack was a different level of story telling that was uniquely fitted to this project. An invaluable addition to the written story was found in artist Luke Spooner of Carrion House.

I’ve been connected to Luke on a number of projects with small presses including covers for collections and a wide range of anthologies. I approached Luke on my own for the first time to discuss the cover and interior art for Dead Song. He is a humble guy in equal measure to his talent. He was willing to hear out my ideas and apply his talent to the book cover and the interior art.

Luke’s art is distinctive to me. He has a style that translates to many different story types. I see a Spooner piece and I recognize his work. They are each different and crafted to the stories. There is something about his use of color and shadow that identifies him.

He has an interesting process. Luke reads the work thoroughly. His art is not just randomly selected from a catchy scene. He seeks to enhance the story telling for the author. With the interiors in particular, he gives several options and explains why each one presents a good opportunity for the story. Selecting five from all the options is tough because I feel like I give up so much on the ones on which I passed.

Luke uses shading, shape, and line to add unique depth to his illustrations. He shows so much in the subject of each drawing, but then leaves ideas just outside the frame of the picture so that the reader is invited to add their imagination to what is outside the frame. He lets the story guide the formation of the visuals in an emotional way. The direction the characters stand, where they are looking, and how they interact is dictated by the development of the story. In the end, his work adds to the experience of the story and helps to tell it in partnership with the offer. He becomes a partner in the story telling as the artist.

Since there are twelve books in the chute and each one will incorporate the months of the year in order, we talked about the use of Americana in calendars that are oddly creepy in their composition. The story is full of drag queens, evolved musical styles, and the expansive apocalyptic landscape of America. Somehow Luke Spooner managed to incorporate these ideas into something amazing.

Dead Song Book 1 pic 5 color

I’m amazed at the beauty he is able to add into the pictures of zombies and hints of gore. In this picture, he took a scene from the book and brought out the intensity of the undead creature standing still in the midst of new life. The picture above is a color version of one of the interior illustrations in The Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 1: January from Milwaukee to Muscle Shoals.

Dead Song book 1 pic 1

This is the first illustration in the book. Most appear at the end of chapters, but we moved this one up closer to the front to let it appear in the preview. The performer Donna Cash is back stage waiting to go on at a seedy club in Milwaukee. The plywood has bullet holes from previous trouble with zombies. Luke used the light through the holes to create a noir feel for a character that will be struggling with identity and purpose.

Luke Spooner found a way to communicate these layers through the covers and interior art in a way that adds to the story to extents I couldn’t have imagined. And all this for a weird, little zombie story.

Check out the first book in the Dead Song dodecology and the soundtrack The Sound May Suffer for the story told through words, pictures, and music. Always surround yourself with people more talented than you whenever possible.

Dead Song Book 1 final cover

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/

me (1)

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!

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Guest Post: Jessica Robinson #SummerofZombie

Monster Phases

 

By Jessica Robinson

I was watching The Big Bang Theory (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898266/?ref_=nv_sr_1) recently, and while Howard, Raj, and Stuart were sitting around playing video games, they were talking about how zombies are everywhere at the moment.  They then commented that before that it was vampires, and they wondered what the next popular monster was going to be.

I couldn’t help but smile as they had this conversation.  It’s so true.  Monsters come in and out in phases.  Zombies are definitely making a comeback, and I’m sure it has a lot to do with The Walking Dead (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1520211/?ref_=nv_sr_1) TV series.  World War Z (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816711/?ref_=nv_sr_1) also played a role in that, and I’m sure Maggie (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1881002/?ref_=nv_sr_2) will help further the genre.

I’m not complaining about that.  I’m a huge zombie fan, and I love that they are back in style.  However, even when they phase out, I’m still going to enjoy them.  For most zombie fans, I don’t think it really matters if the creatures are popular or not, they like them whenever/wherever.

But it got me to thinking:  what is the next monster going to be?  Vampires were popular for a while, then vampires and werewolves, and then werewolves to a bit lesser of an extent.  None of these have disappeared from our repertoire completely, but we aren’t inundated with them constantly.

The characters on the TV show suggested that there hasn’t been a good Invisible Man recently, but I wrinkled my nose at that prospect.  Has there really ever been a good Invisible Man?  I remember a few films with him in it, but I don’t recall that he ever reached the popularity of the other monsters.  But maybe that’s just because I didn’t pay that much attention.

There’s been a trend of possession films and ghosts recently.  I could see those coming back, especially with the remake of Poltergeist (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1029360/?ref_=nv_sr_1).  Ghosts and the Invisible Man could probably go into the same category since they are fairly close to the same thing.

There’s also a rumor that The Creature from the Black Lagoon is being remade (http://www.the-reelgillman.com/news/remake.html), so maybe that means Creature Features will make a comeback.  I would be OK with that.  I really enjoy Creature Features.  One of my all-time faves is The Thing (the remake from 1982 with Kurt Russell (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084787/?ref_=nv_sr_1) is the best, but the original wasn’t bad (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044121/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3)).

It’s so hard to say how these trends will go and what will be popular.  As I said, I’m just really happy that zombies happen to be the popular creature at the moment.

What do you think the next trend will be?

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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: Stevie Kopas #SummerofZombie

A common moral dilemma present in all zombie fiction is what to do with loved ones when they have been bitten, or when they have already turned.  Most of the time, the story creators have shrouded outbreak origins in mystery, leaving characters emotionally distraught and confused, with hope that there will be a fix-all cure one day and that their loved ones will return to their former selves.  Or better yet, some people just can’t accept that the world has been turned inside out and that their loved ones are gone forever.

But what if there was a cure for those that had been bitten?  For example, in the popular video game franchise, Dead Rising, a miracle cure has been created called Zombrex.  With a daily dose, any infected human being can evade the inevitable and continue to live a normal life.  Though how normal would life actually be?  Every day, your loved one would wake up knowing that coursing through their veins was an infectious disease so dangerous that it could potentially cause the end of the world.  Not only does that burden weigh on this particular person every single day, but the rest of the human race must deal with the fact that at any given time, there are people walking around that could change the fate of the world… and not for the better.

That’s where we then must consider the ever-popular trope, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”  At risk of sounding like a heartless jerk, I’m going to have to say that in the event of a zombie apocalypse, where the human race has the chance to take back the world from the undead, a “cure” just wouldn’t be good enough for me.

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to save loved ones from passing the point of no return?  It sounds incredible, but what happens when that same loved one misses a dose or can no longer afford it, and now they’re a blood-thirsty undead cannibal?  The vicious cycle starts all over again as my loved one turns, bites me, and so on and so forth; and as with all things zombie, there’s never an isolated incident.  So now you have all these pockets of miniature zombie outbreaks all over the place and damn, just like in Dead Rising, the zombies are threatening the world once again.

So the morality of “these are people, not zombies” should be rethought of as “these are people, but they will be zombies”.  Quarantine and separation only work for so long, same with that miracle cure.  Because yeah, our governments and militaries might be able to control these new pockets of infection, but at what cost?  The same thing we tried to avoid to begin with, death.

In conclusion, I really think all aspects of a theoretical zombie apocalypse suck.  Not just because oh, ya know, the dead are coming back to life and trying to eat everyone, but because no matter what happens, at the end of the day, everybody suffers the loss of something.

And if the human race has the opportunity to eradicate the zombie virus, then all zombies must die.

Stevie Kopas - Summer of Zombie 2015

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Stevie Kopas was born and raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  She currently resides in sunny Florida and will never turn down a cup of coffee, or, depending on the time of day, a glass of red wine.  She is the author of The Breadwinner Trilogy and other short stories that can be found in the charity horror anthology, At Hell’s Gates.  Stevie is currently working on her next novel, Earth to Millie, and is also the managing editor of the awesome horror and metal site, horrormetalsounds.com.  She is an avid gamer, obsessed with time travel, and lover of all things apocalypse.  She hopes to come back in her next life as a CL4P-TP, or, Claptrap for short.

Stalk Stevie on Twitter, her username is @ApacoTaco

Become a fan on Facebook at http://facebook.com/thebreadwinnertrilogy

Sign up for her mailing list on the official site http://someonereadthis.com

And check out her Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Kopas/e/B00EX6VU3S/

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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: C.A. Verstraete #SummerofZombie

By C.A. (Christine) Verstraete

verstraete1

I have many favorite authors, but I’ll admit that when I read my first zombie book, which happened to be Jonathan Maberry’s Dead of Night, I got hooked on zombies. Like watching The Walking Dead the first time, it was the uniqueness, the sheer horror of these monsters and the terror they evoked that somehow drew me in—and kept me hooked. So I began writing about them, too.

I think zombies are the perfect characters since:

1 They don’t need fancy clothes or costumes. No research required unless you’re using a historical setting.

2 They don’t complain. Usually. At most, you’ll get a loud Ugggh or Argggh.

  1. They don’t eat. Not unless they’re the modern, Romero-cannibalistic type. Then don’t ask questions—Run!
  2. They can be put in any setting. I’ve seen zombie stories set on the Titanic, in regular towns, even the White House. (No comment on that.)
  3. You can write them however you want.

In my book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, I chose to write about a teenager who turns part-zombie, and the things she has to face. No brains or human flesh-eating here, though, she does have a certain “fowl” diet requirement. Like any teenager, she is concerned with more than the full Zs and is a bit self-absorbed, but she also wants to protect her family however she can.

While some are tired of the whole zombie thing, I find them interesting for their flexibility, and I don’t mean the limb-loss kind. Zombies are a kind of foil for problems, or they can be a representation of the world’s horrors or the things that scare you the most. Plus, it’s rather fun figuring out how to describe them and make a zombie attack seem real. Then there’s the humor aspect. Who says you can’t have a little humor with your horror?

I like to write different than the zombie “norm,” so the next book I’m subbing to publishers features a historical figure, a real life crime and zombies.

I think that’s the fun, if you will, of using zombies as characters. Like most book characters, they don’t fight you or talk back about who they want to be and what you see them as. They simply are. In that aspect, the author is fully in control.

Now if writing the rest of it were only that easy! Ha!

Links:

Website: http://cverstraete.com – Blog: http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com

Amazon:  (all links) http://authl.it/B00E8HCVQM

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/d889gzn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Girl.Z.Teenage.Zombie.Book or https://www.facebook.com/christine.verstraete

Twitter: @caverstraete

About GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

Life can suck when you’re sixteen. It can suck even worse when you’re not-quite-dead.

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager’s biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.

Becca’s life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he’s becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.

The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for.

But time is running out… She needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late

Find out what happens before Spence gets home…

* In Changes, A GIRL Z Prequel story, Spence’s “perfect” job is anything but. He escapes a living dead nightmare when his co-workers turn into flesh-eating monsters. As the plague spreads, follow Spence on his return home to see his family one last time… if he can make it.

This is a short story prequel to my book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie.

Bio: Christine (C.A.) Verstraete is an award-winning journalist and author who enjoys writing the unusual. Her stories have been published in several anthologies including Timeshares and Steampunk’d from DAW Books and in Athena’s Daughters from Silence in the Library.

Coming up is a long short story featuring her GIRL Z characters in the YA anthology, Young Adventurers: Heroes, Explorers & Swashbucklers, and a “sweet” zombie story, “Second Chances” in the Baby Shoes anthology. Learn more at http://cverstraete.com and her blog, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.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: Armand Rosamilia #SummerofZombie

Why I do Summer of Zombie Blog Tour

This will be a short and sweet guest post, since I’m very busy not only putting together this massive tour but pacing to write 5,000 words a day on a project I’m on deadline with. So…

Someone asked me in the beginning of the Summer of Zombie blog tour why I do this. Why have to format interviews, guest posts and teasers for 30+ authors every June? Why?

Because I believe in Karma.

Capital K, too.

Sure, I could spend the month worrying about my writing. I could use the hundreds of hours it takes to get this tour organized writing and promoting myself. I could do my own thing and shout from the rooftops about my upcoming releases… and I always have something coming out.

Instead, I give back. I learned a long time ago it is better to give than receive, and that isn’t just a catchy slogan. If you ask me a question I’m going to give you an answer.

When I was a new author, so many great people stopped and answered my questions. They led by example and kept me honest.

My goal is to return the favor. I want to be known as a great writer, which is what we all want. But I also want to be known as a great person who helped other writers attain their goals. I’m blessed. Very blessed. I wake up every day and I’m able to sit around in my sweatpants and write and talk to people online all day. I create, promote and feel great with every sale. I’m able to live my dream and have no regrets.

I want to give back because I’m in a great place. Simple as that. Each and every June I will sacrifice a huge chunk of my time to help get other zombie authors into new areas and let new readers know who they are. Because I want all of us to succeed.

Sure, it would be awesome for me to be on the top. But it’s lonely up there. I want to get there and have all of my fellow authors hanging out, and if I’ve helped them reach their mountain we can all have fun together.

Simple as that.

Welcome to one of the best time’s as a writer for me… helping my fellow writers.

Armand Rosamilia

Dying Days 5

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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: Jack Wallen #SummerofZombie

Summer of Zombie 2015: Clowns and the apocalypse

Clowns.

How many of you are already cowering under your covers? More than you’d think. People fear clowns. They do. A long time ago, I wrote a play called “The Secret Life Of Clowns” which give an insight into why there is so much hatred for the clown. But that is irrelevant (but fun to mention nonetheless – and one of these days I will publish my plays).

What was I talking about? Oh yes, clowns.

In the second iteration of Zombie Radio (cleverly named “Zombie Radio 2”) there was a short scene that involved an undead clown. The scene was actually an homage to long-time fan Amy Miller (and my attempt at acclimating her to clowns). The reality of that situation was tossing a character into a horrifying situation against a double-whammy of fear.

Clowns and zombies.

Think about it for a moment. Anyone with coulrophobia (fear of clowns) will most like wind up shackled in a straight jacket after having undead Pennywise (or Amy the Clown) chomping for their nom de brain.

For me, as an author, that is where the true horror begins and ends – the point where you can tap into real and tangible fear and layer it with the fantastique. Clowns and zombies.

The same holds true with Clowns and killers. John Wayne Gacy, known as the Clown Killer, cut a swath of terror by donning his Pogo The Clown costume, which allowed him to “regress into childhood”.

The merging of innocence and madness makes for some seriously dark theater. The apocalypse is the perfect backdrop for such juxtaposition. A zombie priest. The undead girl next door. A child moaner or screamer. A husband facing down the act of taking the life of his betrothed, thanks to the virus. But the clown is a special flavor of humanity. No other character is as polarizing. Half the world loves the clown and the other half hates them. An undead clown makes for either serious nightmare or heartache.

Childhood memories or nightmares. Depending on which side you fall, your reaction to the undead clown could easily make or break an experience for you. The fear and hatred for clowns runs deeper than you might think. Google why people hate clowns and you’ll come across a site dedicated specifically to spreading the hatred of clowns – ihateclowns.com – the official anti-clown website since 1996. You can even purchase anti-clown merchandise and show your deep-seeded hatred for the greasepaint smeared entertainers.

But when the greasepaint cracks and the flesh below rots, that’s when the true fear emerges. To Hell with Pennywise, Pogo, or Twisty; once the clown has fallen prey to the undead, the white satin gloves come off and the real party begins.

There was a great moment in Modern Family between Cameron and Phil that went something like this:

Cameron: Hey Phil, are you getting a clown for today?

Phil: Ah … no. Luke’s not much of a clown fan.

Cameron: Really?

Phil: Yeah, he never liked ‘em.

Cameron: Has he ever seen a good one?

Phil: Has anyone? Really?

Phil’s question, though humorous, offers a heavy dose of reality to a lot of people. The fear of clowns is incredibly prevalent … even more so than kinemortophobia (fear of zombies).  In fact, the top five phobias are:

  • Claustrophobia: fear of being trapped
  • Arachnophobia: fear of spiders
  • Coulrophobia: <insert Krusty The Clown laugh>
  • Acrophobia: fear of heights
  • Trypophobia: fear of clustered holes

So imagine if Undead Spiders The Clown trapped you in an elevator and, out of nowhere, the cable holding the elevator aloft splintered and sent you plummeting to the ground floor – all the while Spiders The Clown was crashing your head against the clustered hole floor of the cart to get to the sweetest meat of all.

NOM.

<insert sound of clown horn>

Get Jack’d

 

Find out more about Jack Wallen at the following locations:

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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!