Guest Post: Greg P Ferrell #WinterofZombie

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In honor of being a part of this year’s Winter of Zombie blog tour, here is a set of short stories written exclusively for the visitors to the tour. These were started back during the Summer of Zombie tour. They’re from the perspective of one, Tony the Zombie, and his personal gripes against us humans. Typed out by Greg P. Ferrell because really, have you ever seen a zombie use a keyboard? It’s not pretty.

 

 

A day in my dead life!

Chapter 4

By: Tony the zombie

Translated by: Greg P. Ferrell

Well this seems to be more relevant than I thought it would be after my last post. So let’s talk about traps.

 

I have just recently crawled out of a large hole in the ground that was lightly covered with sticks and leaves. I also have two large pointy sticks stuck in my legs and they are really hindering my normally graceful lumbering stride. Really people, do you have to keep setting up so many of these traps everywhere? I’m not just talking about the large holes even though they are some of the more annoying of the traps. Just the other day I was meandering about with a few of my fellow undead, I was asking them something really important and when I didn’t get an answer back, I turned to find that I had been talking to myself for quite sometime since they had fallen into one of those big holes a ways back. I had to look like the biggest idiot just lumbering along talking to myself.

 

But there are other traps that you like to set up that are really annoying too. Those spring loaded ones that come swinging from out of nowhere with a sharp blade or ax attached to them are not cool at all. I watched the kind hearted man that brought me into this existence catch one of those in the head, and he went down faster than a zombie on top of a slow fat kid. Then there are the fire traps that really, pardon the pun, burn my ass up. Come on, fire doesn’t kill us, it just makes us well done. Plus I know the smell has got to bother you because it really disgusts us. I smell one of my brothers on fire, and I will immediately turn and go the other way.

 

Those are just the common ones but I’m really talking about any traps you use. You spend all that time making a trap, and you get maybe one or two of us when you could’ve spent that time doing something useful like eating something and fattening yourself up a little. Regardless of your thoughts on them, just stop doing it. They slow us down but never stop us. So that’s my thoughts on that for today. Now please excuse me while I go look inside this large hole on the ground and see what it is. Till next time remember Zombies are not your enemy, we’re… oh wait yeah we are.

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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

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!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

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Guest Post: Russell R James #WinterofZombie

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The Staying Power of the Undead

 

You can’t keep a good zombie down. At least not without a bullet to the head, and certainly not since 1968. Why does this fictional terror maintain its hold on our psyche across generations? Because zombies are relentless? Remorseless? Repellent? Nope.

Because they were once us. Sure, aliens and demons are scary. I’m not in a hurry to meet any of those. But there’s a separation between them and humanity, a line they cannot cross that places a subconscious, psychological distance between us and them. Zombies, however, were once human, and in the same horrific way that a serial killer was once a cute little Cub Scout next door. There’s a relatable reference point to see just how awful this creature has become.

But that brings on the ultimate zombie-inspired spine-tingle. You could become a zombie. The terror that physically hunts you while you are awake continues to psychologically, subconsciously hunt you as you sleep. Turning zombie separates us from our humanity, the only thing that places us above the beasts. The infection melds the horror of a diagnosis of ALS with the curse of having it never be fatal. Imagine an eternity spent existing as an undead monster, with no escape except through your execution by some other terrified human being, who you’d just as soon kill before he did you the favor. There’s no silver lining to this black cloud.

It is the sum of many fears we all harbor: aging, Alzheimer’s, cancer, the list goes on. All these afflictions eventually turn us into someone we never were before, and someone we definitely don’t want to be. And as with all of them, there is no return, no cure. How better to try and subjugate that fear than by dealing with it fictionally before we have to deal with it factually.

We are about a decade into America’s latest danse macabre with the zombie phenomenon. Is it about to burn out? After almost fifty years going strong, I’d say no.

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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

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!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Ted Nulty #WinterofZombie

Other side of me cover (2)

Zombie Tour

 

Zombies, I’ve loved them since I saw ‘Night of the Living dead’. The overwhelming sense of dread at facing a swarm of the living dead is a rush. But they really became cool when they got fast, Dawn of the dead, 28 days later fast. Now single zombies were a threat where before it took a whole town to be scary.

I wrote ‘Gone Feral’ as a homage to all the zombie writers before me, but I wanted it to be real, I wanted it to make sense where sometimes some of the other tales left a little too much gap in the realm of plausibility. Watching CNN in a bar one night with some Marines, we saw a naked man going cannibal on another man on a freeway overpass in Florida. The story about bath salts was my inspiration for the series. You see every single aspect of the chemical poisoning of the population was ‘Gamed out’ at the Marine Corps EOC (Emergency Operations Center) at Camp Pendleton. I learned how many airplanes it would take to disperse a water soluble drug to 60% of the population. Throw in a little artistic license, and I was ready to go.

I did want to stay as close to the zombie “rules” as I could. So I made the chemical transferable through a bite. I also made the affected, immune to pain and hard to kill. Add in some rage and you are looking at as close to a zombie as I can realistically get.

The positive response from readers was quite a shock, and I immediately began work on book II at the behest of my small but growing fan base. I wrote ‘Barry’s Walk’ in response to that feedback and it turned out to be wildly popular with folks. Barry was a minor character in the first book that people said they wanted to know more about. I wrote it as a stand-alone novel and therefore had to include some of the story from the first book for continuities sake. I burned that sucker out in 30 days and had a blast doing it. I left a little cliff hanger there at the end just because I had another novel in mind. But I had another flight of fancy first and decided to scratch that itch.

‘The Other Side of Me’ is my homage to Jekyll and Hyde. I wanted to write about a really good person who through no fault of his own becomes a very evil monster, then I want that tortured character to face the challenge of reconciling his acts with the knowledge that it wasn’t his fault. Kind of a PTSD on steroids type of thing. Again the plot twist bug bit me, and I had to throw a few curve balls in there. The story is set in the ‘Gone Feral’ universe, and the drugs the terrorists use are the vehicle used to catapult this whole new cast of characters through a wild journey.

Did I mention I’m a Marine? Well I am, and we like challenges. So not only did I make my zombies hard to kill, and fast. I made sure that all mammals were affected by the drug, making Cats, Rats, Dogs, and Pigs (Especially pigs) susceptible to the effects of the toxin. This made the world exponentially more difficult to survive in. It also gave me more ways to herd, corral, push, or otherwise guide my characters into more trouble.

I can’t get through a day without some form of humor, so I have taken the task very seriously to introduce some form of off color shenanigans into my books. It’s what us Jarheads do to cope with stress, and I know it would happen in the real world. I have to confess that the kid humor is always taken from my devil spawn children. You’ll have to take it with a grain of salt (pun intended).

So thank you for joining us here on the Winter of Zombie Tour. I am humbled to be included with this very talented group of authors. I hope you enjoy our work, we enjoyed writing it for you.

 

Ted Nulty

Author pic

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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

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!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

 

Guest Post: Brice Chandler #WinterofZombie

new whiskey jack cover

Mutated genre

Some like um slow. Some like um fast. Others don’t mind when they’ve still got some brains all their own. Me? I like all of those well enough, but I most enjoy when they’ve mutated. Clarification: I like reading and writing about mutated zombies. In my writing, I’ve used mutated zombies as a way of upping the stakes for the characters. Not that the protagonists need additional challenges after witnessing their friends and family turn into zombies or devoured by the creatures, but I enjoy seeing them handle the situations. Maybe it’s the influence of all those video games, comics, and anime that consumed my childhood now resurfacing in my stories. Don’t know.

Understanding the why for me is similar to Jack Criley’s – the protagonist in my book, Whiskey Jack – thought process for understanding why everyone has changed into mutant zombies: For Jack, the reason doesn’t matter. The outcome is what’s vital. The outcome for me was a story that fueled my imagination as I wrote and continues to do even today.

There are a plethora of great authors putting their own spin on the zombie genre and creating new unique mutations of zombies. Amongst fans of the genre, I’ve observed that people tend to prefer the slow zombies but would most fear the fast ones. People also seem to prefer that their zombies not retain any intellectual prowess. This makes sense since most sources agree that a zombie is a reanimated corpse.

So where do mutant zombies stand in those preferences? Good question but first, what exactly makes a zombie a mutant zombie? According to Google, “a mutation is the changing of a structure of a gene resulting in a variant form…” So a mutant zombie is a variant form of the reanimated corpse. That helps a little, kinda. I think there is a lot of room for personal interpretation with that definition, but ultimately a mutant zombie is something different from the running and slow stumbling zombies.

I can safely say that many of the zombies in Whiskey Jack are mutations (it’s arguable that they’re not entirely zombies in the sense of reanimated dead). Without spoiling the story with a detailed explanation, there are chemical reactions that take place inside the body that mutate some of the zombies and create a new creature. None of the characters in my novel are genetic scientists or even a medical coroner, so they don’t know what has actually happened to the world. They can only guess that people have become zombies, that, or really grotesque cannibals.

The characters are able to entertain that idea until they run into one of my favorites in the story: The 15 and 20 foot giants (For those interested, inspiration came from three sources: The film The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, A dream I once had, and when I lived in Jacksonville, Fl I imagined a similar creature plowing through the trees and chasing my car on Southside Blvd.). You might say; “Okay, that’s stretching too far, and it’s not realistic. How could a reanimated corpse that should already be deteriorating grow so large? How could a normal human grow so large?” You’re right but this is fiction. It’s not like normal sized zombies ravaging the earth is realistic? Besides I wanted to write it because it made me happy, it made my small fan base happy, and it’s fun.

That’s probably the most important factor as to why I enjoy writing and reading stories that utilize mutant zombies. They’re fun. I’ll always love well written stories that have various types of zombies, but I urge you to consider giving mutant zombies a chance, even if it’s outside your normal preference. Otherwise, you might be passing on a fun story.

 

Brice's most hated pic

Brice J. Chandler is a Mutant Zombie advocate and also a US Marine Corp veteran. He deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit which responded to the tragic events of Sept. 11th, 2001. He later earned the Purple Heart during combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq in 2006/2007. Since then he has worked in factories and as a pewter-smith before graduating from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His military background and work experience are often reflected in his writing. Although he writes in many genres, he considers zombie, apocalyptic, and dystopian stories his true love. Brice and his wife, Kimberly, currently reside in a small river town in North Eastern Missouri under the harsh rule of their three daughters: Emilie, Charlotte, and Piper.

 

Check out Brice’s novel, Whiskey Jack on Amazon: www.amzn.to/1JorHFv.com

Also,

He sometimes tweets: https://twitter.com/TheWriteBrice

And socializes on FaceBook: www.bit.ly/facebookBrice

Other places to find Brice’s writing:

www.BriceJChandler.com

www.Themomoweeklyobserver.com

www.TwistedRiverproductions.com

www.bit.ly/AmznAutorPage

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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

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!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Rhonda Hopkins #WinterofZombie

Survival - Rhonda Hopkins

SURVIVAL: SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE WE MAY NEED WHEN THE ZOMBIE SHTF

 

So I’ve been thinking. Yeah, I know. That can lead to dangerous situations. (Or funny, considering what a klutz I can be.) But hopefully not this time. This time, I’m actually trying to think of things I might need to know to keep me out of trouble in the event of an apocalypse. I know those zombies are just around the corner! And writing about the zombie apocalypse, I need to know at least these basics (or know where to get the info). I’m always coming up with something that I need to know when writing. Thank goodness for the internet and experts that are willing to offer up their knowledge.

Anyway, there are some skills that would definitely be valuable after TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World As We Know It). Now I know I can’t learn all of this. At least not quickly. But maybe having one or two skills to barter when cash is worth less than a pile of manure (after all, you can you manure for fertilizing) might be essential to survival.

So what kinds of things will we need? Here are a few of the things I think will be important skills and knowledge (things I’ve had to research while writing the SURVIVAL series or have on my list to research for my next book) in no particular order:

Farming — growing crops/gardening and raising livestock

Butchering (I hope someone else knows how to do this because it’s not on my want-to-know-skills list. But you do what you got to do, right?)

Hunting/Fishing/Trapping

Knitting/Crocheting

Curing/Tanning Animal Skins

How to Store and Preserve Foods – canning, drying, curing, pickling, etc.

Sewing

Making Soaps/Candles/Cleaning Supplies

Carpentry

Plumbing

Mechanical Knowledge

Knowledge of Solar Power

How to Operate a Ham Radio

Knowledge of Weapons – how to use, clean, and maintain

First Aid

Self-Defense

Now I know I’m not likely to learn how to set up a building to function on solar power, but there are a few things I can do, and most of you can do, to be more self-sufficient in a world turned upside down. For instance, we can all learn about self-defense, take a first aid class, learn to prepare and store food without a refrigerator or other appliances.

We can learn about a weapon or two. I already know how to handle my Glock, so adding one or two other weapons to that shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve fired other handguns when target shooting with friends. And I’m pretty good with a bow and arrow. I’d love to learn to use a crossbow effectively.

I’ve also gathered quite a collection of eBooks on canning and food prep as well as candle and soap making. So, I need to start putting those to use. And my aunt’s been trying to get me to let her teach me to crochet. I think it might be time. Hey! Those crochet hooks and knitting needles can become weapons if needed!

By the way – did you know you can make a candle out of a stick of butter in an emergency? While this might not help during an apocalypse, it might help if the electricity goes off and you don’t have any candles in the house.

Even if you never need any of these for a zombie apocalypse, just think how handy these survival skills could be in your everyday life. At least you’ll be a well-rounded person with a lot of different expertise for others to admire. So take a few classes, watch a few videos, read some books, and practice.

So that’s it. What did I miss? Let me know in the comments what skills or knowledge you think will be important after a zombie apocalypse.

Rhonda Hopkins

Award-winning author, Rhonda Hopkins, has learned firsthand that truth is stranger than fiction. Her two decades of experience as an investigator provide her characters with a depth and realism that gives truth a run for its money. Having come in contact with the best and the worst that society has to offer, Rhonda’s imagination is filled with story ideas. Rhonda writes horror, suspense, paranormal, and YA urban fantasy. She is the author of the zombie apocalypse series, SURVIVAL, and the award-winning paranormal novella, THE CONSUMING. She also has a non-fiction book, NAVIGATING FAMILY COURT: IN THE BEST INTEREST OF YOUR CHILD, to assist those going through custody litigation.

You can connect with Rhonda at:

Website: http://rhondahopkins.com

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/RhondaHopkins.Author

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/Rhonda_Hopkins

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/rhondahopkins

Google+:  https://www.google.com/+RhondaHopkins

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rhondarhopkins

Find more from Rhonda at Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Rhonda-Hopkins/e/B009KWDCCW

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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

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!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Jack Wallen #WinterofZombie

jack_hands

Winter of Zombie 2015

Suspension of disbelief

One of the issues we horror writers often deal with is the readers willingness to suspend disbelief. What exactly is this magical turn of phrase? It was coined in 1817 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge who suggested if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fictional (and fantastical) tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the believability of the circumstances in the story.

 

This is something every reader of zombie horror fully understands. The problem, however, lies in just how much the reader is willing to suspend. Consider this:

 

You’re reading a novel about the apocalypse, one where humans have died and come back to life as brain/flesh eating machines of love and grace (or hate and indecency, depending on your bent). That is the big suspension. Why? As of this moment, the human creature, once dead, stays dead. There is no coming back from the big nap. You’ve willingly ignored that one essential component of the human condition, because without doing so would drive you mad otherwise – you’d spend every page, paragraph, sentence, and word cursing the writer for penning such improbable fiction.

 

Once we get beyond the big bad of suspensions, things start to get a bit dicey. How? Because as we climb down the ladder of intellect, rung by rung, we start dealing with topics that are much more “binary” than the idea of human re-animation. Add to that, we run across topics that certain cross sections understand quite well.

 

Take, for instance, the topic of weapons. There are some readers out there who know very little about guns. So when a writer says “Weapon X does Y”, that reader just buys into it. Other readers aren’t so ready to toss this aside. Weapon aficionados probably know that Weapon X doesn’t actually do Y, it does Z. So those readers are apt to toss up their arms and shout “I quit!”

 

Another hot topic in the realm of apocalyptic fiction is that of power. When the virus takes hold, there are varying schools of thought on how long the power grid will hold up. Some countries would go down quite quickly, whereas others might hold fast for a longer period. Certain types of power generation will last longer than others. Hydro-electric power will last quite a bit longer than coal. Solar will last indefinitely, so long as there is a sun. Where the idea of electricity gets very tricky in the world of fiction is when you attempt to apply the laws (and loss) of power, you wind up losing out on a great number of constructs that are often necessary to move along a plot. One good example in my I Zombie series is that of Zombie Radio. The DJ has managed, on a number of occasions, to save the day (or the sanity) of various and sundry groups. Without him not only would Bethany not be as capable, but the Zombie Radio series wouldn’t exist.

 

Another big suspension is that of biological engineering. I am not a bio-chemist (though I have played one on the stage), so the depth of my knowledge for creating cures for the Mengele virus (or any virus for that matter) is kiddy pool shallow. Thanks to the fact I didn’t get my Phd in bio-chem, readers have to be willing to suspend disbelief when it comes to matters of the molecule.

 

You see where this is going, right?

 

Post apocalyptic fiction is one of my favorite genres to write and read. Collected in the Winter of Zombie 2015 are some of the best writers in the genre – each of which delivers a particular spin on the story. Some of the writers rely heavily on military, some on militia. Some writers lean more on the global/social aspect of the apocalypse, while others depend upon the human story. Regardless of what each writer uses as their tools of the trade, there will be some suspension of disbelief necessary in order to get through the stories. That is part and parcel to the drama. We use our imaginations to get characters in and out of situations and drive the story (and series) arc forward. Sometimes, we have to bend the concepts of reality and physics to meet our needs. Hopefully you, the reader, are willing to bend as well.

 

I want to take a moment to thank each and every reader here; not only for your continued support, but for your willingness to suspend disbelief as you navigate the words of our post apocalyptic fiction. Without your wonderful and willing minds, none of us would be here right now.

 

Bend on ladies and gents, bend on.

 

Get more Jack

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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

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!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!