Guest Post: Jack Wallen #SummerofZombie

Summer of Zombie 2015

 jack_hands

Women and the apocalypse

A long time ago I wrote a little something called I Zombie I. Initially it was to be a stand-alone story. By the time I completed the book, I realized I wasn’t ready to let it go. But when you’ve crafted a main character doomed by the end of the first book, what do you do?

You make sure you’ve got a strong enough supporting cast around him to take up the mantel.

In the process of writing the book, Jacob (the main protagonist of I Zombie I) fell in love with a brilliant hacker named Bethany Nitshimi. When I finished writing that first story, I myself had fallen in love with the red-haired hacker and realized, beyond any shadow of any doubt, she had to take over the reins of the series. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense … even if for only one reason.

At the time, women in the zpoc genre were nothing more than eye candy and romantic fodder. This notion was hit home with the coming of The Walking Dead. Even a show with that much pull and popularity couldn’t seem to give women their due – even to the point of taking their best character, Carol, and screwing her over for a season or three. Thankfully, in the end, logic and the double X helix won out.

Before I started writing I Zombie I, I dove into reading as much of the genre as I could. One of the first things to hit me was how poorly represented women were (understand this was quite a while ago – things have since changed). I wanted to help be a voice to change that. Oddly enough, I have caught flak for placing a female protagonist – one that survives primarily by using her brains – at the heart of my series. This is flak I will happily take.

This is, if I recall, 2015. Issues such as “Which gender is better prepared to survive the apocalypse?” should no longer be on the table. The answer to that question is quite simple – both. One without the other is simply failure waiting to happen.

But being the most capable isn’t really enough (it never is). Even under the guise of survival (and being equally qualified to do so), women still manage to get the short end of the skirt.

I meant that, literally and figuratively.

Let me explain myself. Hop on over to any Facebook or Google+ group dedicated to the apocalypse or zombies; or watch just about any given film in the genre. What will you inevitably see? Scantily clad women. Again, I’ll refer back to The Walking Dead. Remember when the character of Rosita Espinosa first ventured into the storyline? Remember her dressed like Lora Croft? Short shorts, midriff-baring, sleeveless top, and combat boots? Don’t get me wrong, the woman was sexy. But how in the hell of hells does that outfit help her chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse? It doesn’t. When zombies have that much leg to NOM … they will. If I were a zombie, you can be sure I’d head straight for the gams.

What it does is sell tickets. Same with the rampant posting of overly sexualized women in photos. Again … don’t get me wrong, we all like a bit of eye candy now and again. But when said eye candy becomes the single selling point of the genre,  we’ve got trouble in Raccoon City.

That’s where Bethany Nitshimi comes into play. Although her beauty is referenced, she is never objectified. The women in my apocalyptic series serve a very specific purpose – survival of the human race. Bethany, Morgan, Echo, Rizzo … they are all strong women who could probably kick my ass (should I mistreat them).

In the end, if you’re looking for a zpoc series that does its best to strike a balance between chromosomal evolution, you might enjoy the world I have crafted. If, however, you are looking for scantily clad women ready to rock your zpoc world, you could try such films as Zombie Strippers or Zombeavers or Jennifer’s Body (which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone).

*   *   *   *   *

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: Mark Tufo #SummerofZombie

mark1 copy

I have the honor of being on Armand’s blog again the problem was I couldn’t figure out what to write about, I turned it over to my fan base who thankfully came up with some awesome suggestions! So without further ado here is one such suggestion:

Twyla DeShazo I would like to hear about the impact your incredible imagination has had on your life. And a list of goals you have for the future!

Way back in the year 2000 I got the funny idea to go back to school, took a bunch of computer classes in the hopes I could leave my blue collar behind and put on what I believed to be the much more coveted white collar. It still amazes me how we always think the grass is greener on the other side. Any way I got a job right out of school really thought it was the right move, more money more bennies it made the hard work seem worth it. Yeah that was right up until I got laid off the first time. While I was looking for more work I stumbled across a story I had started back in college entitled Indian Hill. Luckily I found work at a great company but I still pecked away at the IH series finishing book 1 and 2 and even starting 3.

In 2008 my wife read the first book and was thoroughly impressed! Okay that might be an embellishment, but she did like the story. So we shopped that thing to EVERYONE, I got more NO’s than I care to count, so we slapped on a stock cover and did something that was relatively new at the time, and gave self-publishing a go. Bad editing, crappy cover equaled about zero sales. I was working a traditional job so writing was on the back burner, I didn’t even bother finishing IH3. So fast forward a bit to late 2009, I once again find myself in the unemployment line but this time the economy has tanked, what I figured was going to be a two week ‘staycation’ ended up being close to six months of panic as we struggled to pay bills and keep food on the table. I’m about as stressed as I’ve ever been, couldn’t sleep worth a shit, started reading like a fiend to divert my mind, then when that stopped working, I started writing again, it seemed that was the balm to soothe my soul.

I no sooner finished Zombie Fallout 1 and I landed a job. We once again relied on my less than adequate editing skills, got a cover and ‘published’ the book. Sold 3 copies in seven months, I didn’t give a shit, writing did something for me I’d never felt before, it energized my head, so I kept doing it. Blazing through ZF2 then ZF3 and then even finishing IH3 just to see how the series ended. As I was writing the 4th installment of the ZF series was when we began to see a shift, we were going from some extra scratch money in the house to actually being able to pay some bills. My writing was helping us financially, we turned some of the money back around, hired an editor revamped the covers and marched on. By the time we were set to release ZF5 I’d quit my job and decided to pursue a writing career full time. Did it scare the shit out of me? Oh hell yeah, it still does. I’m a blue collar man at heart, I don’t think that’ll ever change and now my livelihood and that of my family depends solely on sales, that fear roots around in my head like a persistent, relentless worm. Self doubt is a bitch.

I no longer work the grind of the 9 to 5, but oh how I miss the hours! Being self-employed I work constantly, easily amassing 80 or more hours each week and I had to will myself down to that amount just to hold on to what little sanity I still possess. So in a nutshell being an author in a few words is: surreal, awesome, and terrifying. It has fundamentally changed my life and for that I have you the readers to thank. My goals are to ultimately see one of my creations on the screen that would be the penultimate thing as far as I’m concerned or maybe get on wikipedia!

*   *   *   *   *

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: Mike Evans #SummerofZombie

The Shaun Fox Interview

By

Mike Evans

the-orphan2

Washington 4 years after outbreak. Location The Orphans Brigade Headquarter

I can’t say that our meeting was chance. I had heard of Shaun Fox the great and brave Shaun Fox. I hadn’t planned on such an in depth interview at the time, all I wanted to do was ask him the same thing that everyone asked him, what’s next, can they be stopped, when do you quit trying? Will you ever quit trying. While looking for him I caught him after the end of a gun fight, there were turned lying everywhere, as well as his own men and women on the ground and roof. It was a blood bath and it was difficult to be able to walk without getting the blood on your boots. He knew from the description that he thought he’d seen shaun it was a man that was six foot five inches tall. I walked up to him and I said, “Hello, My name is Jack…Jack Wallen. I want to interview you about.”

The man turned around smiling shaking his head. He said, “My name isnt Shaun it’s Freddy. You are looking for that kid over there, the one helping stack bodies.”

I said, “But that guy isn’t a giant, there’s no way that he could be -”

“No way he could be the saviour of everyone, the one who is going to save us, the one who will finally be able to take those things to the grave that they deserve and that they stay there. No he isn’t a giant, but he is twice the man that any one of us you included could ever strive to be.”

“But I always thought that yu know the stories about him.”

“Simple enough, the men that change the world can look like ordinary ones but it doesn’t make them any less of men. You go over there, tell him that you spoke to me. I will say I vouched for you. What is it you want to interview him for? It isn’t like there are any papers still running.”

“I’ve got paper and one day much like when Washington was elected the first president of America people are going to need to learn about our founders, and about the men that made this country great. Well i’m going to be the one with it there outstretched in my hands so that there will be a record for it.”

Freddy nodded pointing in his direction. He said, “Watch it, he’s kind o in a shit mood today.”

I walked over slowly staring at Shaun. He was tossing men off of the side of the building. I cleared my throat trying to get Shaun’s attention. He looked up his eyes were dark and looked tired but more intense than anyone elses that he’d seen before it. I said, “Hi my name is Jack.”

Shaun cut in, “Nice to meet you Jack, what do you want?”

I need to speak to you. “I’m a reporter, I heard a rumor that you used to write yourself, when you aren’t out killing the Turned.”

shaun said, “You don’t kill the Turned you just keep them from putting anyone else through misery. Yes I used to write, but today i’m busy throwing bodies off the side of the building.”

“What about burials?”

“Burials are a commodity that we no longer have the ability to afford the dead. These are Turned anyways they get no sympathy from me.”

“You don’t feel for them?”

“It’s hard at times when there isn’t anything to sympathize to. They got bit, they turned, they are no longer human all they do is take from those that I try to help. What do you want to know.”

“Uh oh shit, you are going to answer my questions. Are you kidding, oh my god this is great. Ok tell me what is up with you and Ellie, i’ve heard the rumors.”

“Next question.”

“Seriously it’s what everyone wants to know, besides the obvious.”

“You know the obvious, will we ever stop them, will we ever find a cure?”

Shaun pulled out his knife dropping the man onto the ground. He said, “You want to see if there will be a cure? He pulled a pair of latex gloves out of his pocket sliced him down the middle and spread the man’s chest wide open.”

I ran to the side of the building where I sent a rainbow colored arch of puke down off of the building. “I, I don’t understand what is going on. What are we going to do with this.”

Shaun pushed up ripping the chest apart and pulled out a handful of rotted black guts and heart.
“You see this, do you Jack? What is there here to cure? What can be done with this, i’ll tell you what, nothing, not a damn thing. Once that infection happens, once you take the first flesh from your own arm, you are dead and you will stay that way. Now if you want to have a interview I suggest you make it quick.”

“Ok so ellie is off limits right?”

Shaun tilted his head and I said, “Ok, ok fine, that sucks but whatever. What about your dad, is that a touchy subject to?”

“Do many people like you Jack?”

“Depends on the person really. Your dad though, do you resent him, do you hate him?”

“You sure you don’t want to interview Ellie?”

“Your dad Shaun? People are going to want to know, maybe not for a long time, but you might not know this but you are a hero.”

“God I hate it when people call me that. Fine you want to get down to the dirty shit lets rock. Ellie, I love her, I always will, but I don’t know if we can ever be together, its a difficult question. There have been decisions i’ve had to make that she hasn’t liked, decisions that have kept, her, myself and others alive. Hard choices wouldn’t be called that if that isn’t what they were. My dad oh hell, I don’t know. Do i understand what it is that he thought he had to do? Sure I do, do I think he would have continued if he would have had the information that he needed, thats questionable but i’d lean towards no. Love is blind I guess, and he just proves that doesn’t he.”

“Do you resent him for leaving you when you were young? When your mom was losing her fight?”

“No, not anymore. I’ve given up on resentment on hating him. It was what my mom was trying to tell me on her death bed, about putting those ahead of you that you love, or that you can help, to fight for the greater good. He was doing that, it just didn’t go the way any of them wanted it to, they came up with the devil when they were looking for a blessing.”

“Wow that’s good, like really good. I just have a couple more questions for you.”

“Sorry kid, these things don’t take care of themselves. If you run across me again, look me up. I might even answer you some more questions Jack.”

Mike Evans lives in Iowa with his wife and children. He writes for character depth because he wishes for you to love the character, regardless if they are the villain or the hero. He likes to write from a unique perspective, doing things with books that no one has done before. He keeps his characters realistic, there are no superhero like events that will happen. There are no perfect characters in his books, everyone has their flaws much like that of life.

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Mike-Evans/e/B00IQ9Z75A/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/pages/M-Evans-Author/1438259789750360?ref=bookmarks

Twitter @mikee1123

Email m.evansauthor@gmail.com

amazonauthor

*   *   *   *   *

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: Eli Constant and B.V. Barr #SummerofZombie

Summer of Zombie 2015

Teaser  – Z CHILDREN: AWAKENING

Z Children 1 Cover eBook

The second scream did nothing to calm Grandma’s nerves. I patted her arm, all the while searching the store for the source of the agonizing yells. “It’s okay, Grandma. It’s okay.” I murmured; trying to soothe my own brittle nerves as much as those of the little, white-haired lady beside me.

“Clary, Clary, it’s Momma. Sweetie, Baby, stop. Please stop.”  The voice was desperate, full of fear. “Please, Baby. I know you aren’t feeling well. I’ll let you pick out any kind of ice cream you want, Baby. Just please stop.”

A woman in dark wash jeans and a burgundy blouse stumbled out of aisle five. Pasta-Sauce-Canned Vegetables. Her jeans and shirt were damp, but the dark coloring made it hard to discern the liquid on her clothes. Just marinara or maybe olive oil. Bonnie assumed. Some jar must have broken. Maybe her daughter threw a fit and tossed some things around. Brat needs a spanking. Daddy would never let me act like that, let alone offer me ice cream. No wonder so many little kids act like animals.

I was about to comfort Grandma and turn back to the bacon, when a small girl came stomping out of the same aisle. Her mouth was painted red and her face was contorted in pure hatred. I wasn’t the only person staring now. The belligerent, bloody child had attracted a crowd of store clerks, shoppers, and cashiers. “Clary, Clary… please, Baby. Baby, what’s wrong with you?”

The woman’s body was pressed up against the beef display now; her hands were behind her, pushing into packages of ground chuck as she desperately tried to get further away from her own offspring. I wasn’t sure why, but the thought inappropriately popped into my head that I could understand a mother leaving a child who behaved like that… I mean… if I had been like that, I could understand my own mother leaving.

The woman’s shrieks sliced into my thoughts, bringing me back to an unreal reality where the brunette girl Clary was mounting her mother’s body, her small face buried against delicate neck. The squelching sound that accompanied the girl ripping away a dripping chunk of flesh turned my stomach like a tilt-a-whirl on acid.

“Grandma, I think we need to go home.” I pulled on her hand roughly. She was still calling for Grandpa. I wanted to slap her, scream at her, but that wouldn’t help. For a split second, I debated leaving her. She’d lived a good long life and… well, I hadn’t! I wanted to get out of this town, do something big with my life, not get attacked in the pork aisle with a demented senior citizen.

Eli Author ProfileDad Bio pic

*   *   *   *   *

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

Excerpt from Changes, a GIRL Z Prequel by C.A. Verstraete

http://cverstraete.com

changes--sm-verstraete

About the book:

* 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.

Chapter One

It wasn’t the way Spence Sanchez had wanted to leave Wisconsin, flying out the front door of his childhood home, bag in hand, his mother yelling at his back, but he knew it was time. She’d been right, of course, not that he’d ever admit it out loud, let alone tell her. He’d turned into a bum. He needed to move out and get on with his life.

Spence remembered standing on the sidewalk and looking back, taking in the familiar white, ranch-style house and his mother’s stocky frame in the doorway. “Call you later,” he’d yelled and waved.

He did call home after arriving in Kentucky for his new job, but when his mother didn’t answer, he’d left a curt message about getting there safe. Nothing else.

Regret gnawed at him. He should’ve said more, lots more.

Chapter Two

“Bloody hell.”

Spence bolted from bed, his heart pounding. He stared at the alarm clock—the damn silent, non-working, no-alarm clock— and scrambled to his feet. Late. He was frigging late again. His super Joe Blowanski, (yeah, they called him Joe Blow behind his back) had warned him about coming in late again. Third time this week. Pretty bad when he lived just down the road in a dorm, right?

Spence swore as he raced to dress and get out as quick as possible. The door slammed behind him and he’d almost made it to the stairs when an odd moan caught his ear. Was somebody sick?

Ugggggghhhh.

He stopped, the hairs standing up on his neck. That sounded like at lot more than somebody being sick. What the—? His stomach cramped in fear. Don’t turn around, he told himself. But he did.

His dorm-mate Darren—or at least what used to be him—stared back from rheumy white eyes.

Spence stumbled backward, not sure he wanted to get too close. “D-D-Darren? What the hell happened to you?”

The old Darren would’ve joked and laughed. This one didn’t say a word. His co-worker simply moaned and stumbled toward him…

* C.A. (Christine) Verstraete is the author of GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie and several short stories. See details at her website http://cverstraete.com or visit her blog, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com.

All Amazon countries: http://authl.it/B00XWWO79S

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/543942

Blog: GirlZombieAuthors

Website: http://cverstraete.com

verstraete1

*   *   *   *   *

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: Julianne Snow #SummerofZombie

Zombie Lit That Has Influenced Me

Julianne Snow

JulianneSnow5

I have been reading Zombie literature for quite some time. It makes sense though; I love anything to do with them. I’ve been thinking for quite some time about the Zombie literature that has influenced me and I ended up coming up with a relatively short list in comparison to the troves of treasures out in the world.

The first book that really made me realize that Zombies had invaded the pages of literature was Herbert West – Reanimator by HP Lovecraft. It is something I read in high school and it opened my eyes to a whole new realm of horror literature. I had been watching Zombies for quite some time but I hadn’t really read that much about them. Nor had I really even looked, to be honest. I had my favorite authors already firmly entrenched and while I read books from other authors, my favorites kept me busy. When I stumbled across it, though, I found that Lovecraft has such a specific style in what he writes. Even with the simplest words, he can strike a chord of fear deep down inside. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you get to it!

One of the next books that I read was Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. While not a traditional Zombie story, it has all of the requisite elements. It was a piece of work that helped me understand a Zombie story can take on any form that you really want it to. The circumstances are totally up to you and you can take the story in any direction as long as you have those requisite elements of undeath and fear. What makes Frankenstein even more amazing is the lasting effect that is has on readers close to two hundred years later. Just think – Mary was only eighteen when she started writing it. Eighteen!

David Wellington’s first book in his Monster trilogy, Monster Island introduced me to the concept of a serial novel. (For those of you that are unfamiliar with what a serial novel is, it’s a way of presenting a larger story in manageable chunks. The format drives interest and can develop quite the following that all wait for the next installment to be delivered to them via different and expanding mediums.) Monster Island is a magnificent story and another great take on the genre as a whole. It was absolutely encouraging to come to the realization that serial novels presented first on the internet can and do get published. If you have yet to read the series, I suggest that you pick it up – there are moments that will chill you to the bone and make you fear some of the aspects of our world.

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks – who doesn’t love this book? Many tout this tome as a how-to book for survival in a world full of the Undead, but it’s so much more than that. Inside is not only a guide for survival but there is a brilliant story that those tips weave around. If you consider yourself an aficionado and you don’t have this one, may I suggest picking up a copy and making your collection complete? A definite must-read for lovers of the genre!

The last book that I want to talk about is probably going to raise a few eyebrows. Cell by Stephen King is one of those books that you either loved or hated. Most people that I have discussed Zombie Lit with said that Cell was a story that started off so well, but then… Stephen King has a way with words – there is no question about that. It was an interesting take on the Zombie genre and I have to give kudos to King for coming up with an original concept. The reason that so many people are torn on their admiration for the book is the ending. I am firmly entrenched on the side of the fence that enjoyed the book. I even learned a little something – there are just as many consequences as there are benefits to extreme character development in a Zombie or Post-Apocalyptic story. Check it out if you haven’t already, I found it to be one of his better reads.

So there you have it. I have given you top five examples of Zombie Lit that have helped to shape my own writing styles and skills. If you’ve never read a Zombie story, what are you waiting for?

***

Julianne Snow is the author of the Days with the Undead series and Glimpses of the Undead. She is the founder of Zombieholics Anonymous and the Co-Founder and Publicist at Sirens Call Publications. Writing in the realms of speculative fiction, Julianne has roots that go deep into horror and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. With pieces of short fiction in various publications, Julianne always has a few surprises up her sleeves. Be sure to check out The Carnival 13, a collaborative round-robin novella for charity which she contributed to and helped to spearhead which was released in October 2013.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @CdnZmbiRytr

Facebook: Julianne Snow

FB Fan Page: Julianne Snow, Author, Days with the Undead, & Zombieholics Anonymous

Amazon Author Page: Julianne Snow

Goodreads: Julianne Snow

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/cdnzmbirytr/

Google+: Julianne Snow

Blogs: Days with the Undead, The FlipSide of Julianne & Zombieholics Anonymous

TheDeadOfPenderghastManor_JulianneSnow_FinalCover

*   *   *   *   *

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!