Guest Post: Edward P. Cardillo #WinterofZombie

Cardillo_author pic

Can Zombie Fiction Be Literary?

By Edward P. Cardillo

All too often I see zombie novels referred to in such a way that they are not considered by some to be “literary” or “serious” literature. “This was great for a zombie book,” or “a fun read, but not a serious book.” Genre literature has always been looked down on by the literary crowd, particularly zombie fiction. While there are poorly written works found in any genre, I seek to debunk this point of view as a generality, and I will elaborate my reasons, but first let’s start out with the definition of “literary”:

“Literary Fiction is a term principally used for certain fictional works that hold literary merit. In other words, they are works that offer deliberate social commentary, political criticism, or focus on the individual to explore some part of the human condition.” (Wikipedia)

1.)Deliberate Social Commentary-While many zombie books translate to fast-paced, action-packed thrill rides, some do stop to engage in social commentary. It can be said that people learn about who they are when in the middle of a crisis. During a zombie outbreak, as society crumbles, much can be learned about who we are as a people as well as individuals. Zombies will initially be mistaken for drunks, drug addicts, or mentally-ill as they emerge. How are these individuals treated in modern society? Do the police open fire on sight, or do they attempt to restrain and get help? Will the authorities suspend civil rights and employ quarantine, or respect individual freedoms and fail to contain the virus? Will the government enact martial law? How will individuals and groups survive in the aftermath? Do they band together or go it alone? Do they try and help others, or do they kill and steal to preserve resources?

2.)Political Criticism-How will Republicans/Democrats react to a zombie outbreak/apocalypse? Firearms are well represented in the zombie genre. However, depending on where you are from and the politics of your region, guns may be readily available or scarce. How will the President react? Will Congress appropriate funds to combat the pandemic in a timely manner, or will they dawdle while the country burns? Will mayors and governors become despots in their own martial fiefdoms, free from the oversight of bigger government? Will taxes still be collected? Will survivors become ruthless mercenaries or join communes after the dead have taken the earth? Do the survivors trade in a barter economy or create a socialist democracy?

3.)Explore Some Part of the Human Condition-Many zombie books examine how individuals react during an outbreak and during a zombie apocalypse. Character arcs are crucial in exploring this. What did characters do before the outbreak/apocalypse? How has the apocalypse changed them? Did the priest become a ruthless killer, the librarian a badass zombie slayer, the police officer a farmer growing crops for food in a commune, or the prostitute the new leader of the human resistance? Do violent criminals thrive in the apocalypse while the meek suffer as prey for the dead and other living? What do the wealthy do when their currency in this world no longer holds any value?

The truth is, many zombie books address some or all of these elements. I’ve heard readers that swore their favorite zombie book made them laugh, cry, check under their beds at night, or want to throw their Kindle across the room. Some stories haunt the reader long after they’ve been finished. Some highlight the ideas of cooperation and altruism, the strength of family, and self-reliance while tapping into the primal fears of disease, death, and being eaten alive while living in a time of political and economic uncertainty. Some zombie novels have inspired readers to become more survivalist savvy. Tapping into zombie fever, the CDC even added a zombie apocalypse page to their website to increase awareness of disaster preparedness.

I believe the argument can be made that some zombie fiction is indeed “literary,” but at the very least I believe it can be much less shallow than some would have you believe.

 

Edward P. Cardillo, a member of the Horror Writers Association, writes horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. He is the recipient of three Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards as well as J. Ellington Ashton Writer of the Year 2013, and has two novels in the Facebook Zombie Book of the Month Club Hall of Fame. Find out all about him and his work at edwardcardillo.com. By day, he is a clinical psychologist working with children, teens, and adults with Down Syndrome and on the autism spectrum.

http://edwardcardillo.com/

https://www.facebook.com/edward.cardillo

http://www.amazon.com/Creeping-Dead-Zombie-Novel-ebook/dp/B00SW5JVWI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1441219494&sr=8-3&keywords=edward+p.+cardillo

https://twitter.com/EdwardPCardillo

 Creeping-Dead-ebook-cover(1)

*   *   *   *   *

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!

Advertisements

Guest Post: Heath Stallcup #WinterofZombie

Caldera resized

Hey everybody, Heath Stallcup here. While I may be better known for my other works, I felt the need to delve into one of my favorite subject matters: ZOMBIES! What came from that attempt was Caldera.  Luckily, I was allowed to take part in this Winter of Zombie Blog Tour and wanted to share a few thoughts.

Winter time. Zombies. One might think you’d be safer. Dead flesh freezes, doesn’t it? It’s hard for reanimated flesh to fight being frozen solid to chase you. There are no internal processes to generate heat.

Unless…the zombies aren’t actually dead. If they’re viral infected rage zombies, you’re toast. They never tire, they never stop. They’re faster than you. And they’re hungry.

When it came time to take that leap into the zombie genre, I wanted to delve into something a little different. True, there are a handful of authors out there who imagine the ZomPoc filled with fast running zombies, but to give them a reason…a cause for being turned? I turned to nature for that answer. We have wasps who supposedly turn their prey into zombies…so why couldn’t mother nature have her own avenue of doing that to mankind? Nice premise if you ask me.

What else makes viral zombies so difficult to face? The fact that they aren’t truly dead plays a huge psychological twist on their intended victims. If you were facing a walking corpse, few would hesitate to pull the trigger or sink a blade deep into their skull. But if your attacker is still alive? If there was even the slightest chance that they could be saved? How easy would it be then to pull a trigger? How easily could you slip that icepick into the base of their skull?

The mere fact that these creatures are still alive is hard enough to deal with, but when their metabolism is jacked so high that they can outrun most Olympic runners? I can’t speak for everyone else, but that scares the bejeezus out of me! I’m not built for speed. Maybe if I could stay behind the wheel of a truck I wouldn’t worry so much, but you gotta go to the can eventually…

Combine the speed, their pain-filled screams and the fact that they can infect others with a bite, scratch or spread of bodily fluids and you have a critter that you definitely do NOT want to run into in a dark alley.  Still, what Apocalypse would be complete without human bad guys? And like many other authors, I turn to the military and government to be my black hat wearing bad guys. At least, in the first novel…there is a sequel being penned where gears are shifted, those who are supposed to help are trying and those who usually prey on the weakness of others simply use the lawlessness of the situation to set themselves up as regional rulers.

Take a trip into the wonder of Yellowstone Park and watch as the end of the world unfolds.

bulldog writer

*   *   *   *   *

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: Rob E Boley #WinterofZombie

Boley_Box_Set_3D_White_Books1-4

Zombies: Rambling about Rules and Relevancy

 

By Rob E. Boley

 

 

Back in September, I had the pleasure of serving on The Zombie Apocalypse! panel at the Imaginarium writing con in Lousville, KY. The panel featured writers Jack Wallen, Armand Rosailia, and Peter Welmerink, and author Brent Abell participated from the audience. Needless to say, I was in good company!

 

Despite being held at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday evening, this panel ended up being the most well-attended and engaging panel that I participated in or attended all weekend. The audience was active, the panelists were witty, and the discussion was lively. One of the audience questions that resonated with me long after the event was something to the effect of, “Why are zombies still relevant?”

 

My co-panelists were quicker and wittier than me, so they immediately offered some snazzy answers, which I can’t recycle for you here because 1) I have a shitty memory; and 2) I was probably too busy trying to think of my own less quick and less witty answer. But a few minutes later in the panel—long after that question had been posed—I added something like: “If you look at the diversity of how this panel has used zombies, I think that speaks to the earlier question about how zombies can still be relevant. We’ve all used these monsters in very different ways.”

 

Okay, realistically what I probably said was, “Uh, well, if you look at the, uh, diversitiosity of how this panel has writed, er written zombies, I think goes back to the more early question about how, uh, zombies are relevant, um still. We’re all used these, uh, monster things in very very very differenter ways.”

 

I write better than I speak.

 

But it was a valid point, nonetheless.

 

Zombies can be a metaphor for AIDS, war, classism, consumerism, or pick-your-favorite-ism. Zombies can come in all sizes, sexes, and races. They can stagger. They can run. They can hiss or they can moan. They can run amok in smoldering urban landscapes or terrorize a fairy tale world. Zombies are versatile.

 

Fast forward a few weeks. I was trying to conjure up some ideas for this guest post, so I posted the following prompt on Twitter:

 

“So I need to write some zombie-themed guest blogs. Any suggestions? What would interest you? #zombies #horror”

 

I received this response from ‏@ZotBakingCo:

 

“What are todays zombies rules for storytelling? Things have evolved so much.”

 

This great question speaks to the question from the panel about zombie’s relevancy. I think part of why zombies are still relevant is because—quite simply—they have no rules.

 

Unlike vampires, zombies have no weakness to sunlight or pointy sticks. Unlike werewolves, they have no aversion to silver. Nor do they rely on full moons or the safety of a coffin. Zombies can come from military experiments, random celestial activity, aliens, a virus, dark magic, or whatever you please. They can be scientific, biological, mystical, or just plain unexplained. Sure, if you opt for adrenaline-crazed virus zombies, some naysayers will tell you those aren’t real zombies. Whatevs. Tell them that real O.Z.’s (original zombies) were possessed by voodoo magic.

 

Zombies are universal.

 

Like a dark blue pair of jeans, they will never go out of style. Over the years, the zombie genre has seen many twists and turns. Whenever it gets a bit stale, a fresh perspective perks it up, be it the dark comedy of Return of the Living Dead, the adrenaline-fueled terror of 28 Days Later, the international politics of Max Brooks’ World War Z, the hilarious satire of Shaun of the Dead, or the tense interpersonal drama of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.

 

Zombies are the beta fish of the monster kingdom. They’re low maintenance, easy to care for, and vicious as all hell. More than that, they’re adaptable. Why? Because they’re so damn simple. Zombies aren’t scary because of what they’ve gained—they have no claws, mummy wraps, gills, fangs, or special powers—but because of what they’ve lost, be it their minds, their lives, and/or their free wills.

 

Zombies will continue to thrive in literature and other media, because on some level we all realize that each and every one of us has a hungry zombie waiting inside us.

 

And that’s a pretty damn scary notion.

 

Boley_Web

About the Author:

Rob E. Boley grew up in Enon, Ohio, a little town with a big Indian mound. He later earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

 

He’s the author of The Scary Tales series of dark fantasy novels featuring mash-ups of classic fairy tale characters and horror monsters. His fiction has appeared in several markets, including A cappella Zoo, Pseudopod, Clackamas Literary Review, and Best New Werewolf Tales. His stories have won Best in Show in the Sinclair Community College Creative Writing Contest and the Dayton Daily News/Antioch Writers’ Workshop Short Story Contest.

 

He lives with his daughter in Dayton, where he works for his alma mater. Each morning and most nights, he enjoys making blank pages darker. You can get to know him better by visiting his website at www.robboley.com.

 

Website: http://www.robboley.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/robboley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RobBoleyAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4097555.Rob_E_Boley

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rob-E.-Boley/e/B00FSM1AD6

*   *   *   *   *

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: Peter Welmerink #WinterofZombie

TRANSPORT Triptych Cvr Spread_with Text

Winter of Zombie 2015 Guest Post

 

BE AWAY WITH YOU, YOU NON-ZOMBIE PURIST

 

 

I am always open to hearing thoughts and opinions from readers and reviewers. Good or bad, I have no issue with such comments being thrown my way. I use any and all of it, for the most part, to (hopefully) improve myself as a writer.

 

Recently, a reviewer friend of mine, who had read a few books of my Military Zombpocalypse series, wrote a decent review, an honest review, and also sent me a little side line, just for my eyes only, commentary elaborating on his book review remarks.

 

Though he enjoyed the overall story, he came down hard on my zombie folk. He said he was a ZOMBIE PURIST, and he had an issue with my zombies because they weren’t, according to him, pure zombies.

 

I have seen my fair of zombie movies, growing up with the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and DAWN OF THE DEAD which are probably the most influential Z-movies in my warped mind, for me.

 

I know, for the most part, the Undead are supposed to move slow, shambling along, growling, snarling, and wanting to eat our brains or consume us entirely like the big meat and blood entrées we are.

 

Okay. Yeah, but IF ALL ZOMBIE STORIES WERE THE SAME who would want to read or write any of it?

 

Our goal, as writers of the Undead, is to bring you something old and known, and make it new and intriguing. If it’s the same old re-hashed zombie shit, who cares—unless you are such a diehard (purist?) that you simply won’t read anything else Z-related.

 

And, hey, that’s okay if you are purist. I just want to let you know that there are GREAT zombie-related tales out there where the Undead walk, and talk—somewhat—with dried-out vocal cords. Stories where the Dead continue to walk the Earth, and the Living are the plague. Stories where we’re still here and they’re still here, and we live on in this brave new Z-world. Stories where the dying and Undead are the main characters.

 

So, I am saying, relax Mister and Missus Zombie Purist. We writers still have you covered, but also, please, open your scabbed-over, bloody, undead eyeballs and chewed-on skullcap and see what else exciting—and undead deadly—is out there.

                       

#

 

Peter Welmerink (www.peterwelmerink.com) was born and raised on the west side of pre-apocalyptic Grand Rapids, Michigan. He loves his hometown and West Michigan, which is why he writes about it. He writes Fantasy, Military SciFi, and other wanderings into action-adventure. His work has been published in ye olde wood pulp print and electronic-online publications. He is the co-author of the Viking berserker novel, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, written with Steven Shrewsbury. TRANSPORT is his first solo novel venture. He is married with a small barbarian tribe of three boys.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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

Twitter: @pwelmerink

BLOGS

grandrapidsaltered.blogspot.com (TRANSPORT-related posts)

darkheroicfantasy.blogspot.com (author interviews and all things fantastical)

BOOK LINKS

TRANSPORT (Book One)

Barnes & Noble

http://bit.ly/1xDXMck

Amazon

http://amzn.to/1M0j8bs

TRANSPORT (Book Two) HUNT FOR THE FALLEN

Barnes & Noble

http://bit.ly/1titw5T

Amazon

http://amzn.to/1IOTgrp

TRANSPORT (Book Three) UNCIVIL WAR

Barnes & Noble

http://bit.ly/1YRFwrG

Amazon

http://amzn.to/1WAgNWI

Welmerink Pic 2015

*   *   *   *   *

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: Jay Wilburn #WinterofZombie

Dead Song Book 2 front cover

Winter of Zombie 2015

The Miracle of a Smooth Edit

by Jay Wilburn

 

I write in a lot of different genre with the ghostwriting I do. I write both fiction and nonfiction for various clients. There are different English conventions for various countries around the world. There are many different written and unwritten rules for various genre and subgenre as well. The editing requirements are a little different for each one and from client to client as well.

With my own work, I benefit greatly from the work of a good editor. I will borrow and experiment from multiple tool boxes for any given work. There are methods for communicating emotion in romance that vary from literary. There are ways of building tension through the mechanics used in horror that are a little different from a build-up in a thriller. The language used in an epic fantasy varies from dark fiction in what is allowed and what isn’t for those markets and target audiences. The aesthetic language of imagery in a steampunk story borrows from, but uniquely varies from historic fiction or science fiction. As I borrow from each of these to try to enrich my own work, sometimes an attempt on a scene has to be dropped or, if it does work, it has to be blended to create a flow over the entire work. After my best attempts to piece these things together, a good editor can fix my efforts to edit myself.

I decided pretty early on in my writing career to trust my editors and let them do their part in my work. Some of them had a heavy hand in edits, but I do feel like I learned something from each of them including the ones that were a little harsher upon my voice as I went along.

I think I benefited most from editors that found a way to smooth over my style without erasing it. If they could leave in the broad strokes and quirks of characters and imagery, but finesse my sentences into a flowing narrative where I failed to get the angles and edges just right, that proved to be the greatest work I put out for the world to judge.

Sometimes, fixing my botched mechanics and grammar has been good enough. Sometimes I want a jarring transition or a rough break for some story reason. I’ve had a lot of smart editors that pick up on those points and have helped me to make those moments even better through their suggestions and surgical cuts. As I said before, all my published work has benefited greatly from the editors I have worked with in big and small markets and paid for through my self-published work.

There is something truly miraculous about a smooth edit though. Sometimes it has to do with an editor that gets that particular genre. Sometimes it is because the voice of the author and the voice of the editor harmonize in a particular way. Some editors are simply artists and they work their preverbal pens or track changes work with the skill of a fine brush on canvas. Something about the mechanics and structure after the edit moves with an ease and rhythm that feels perfect. The words no longer seem to get in the way of the story and the experience. You might be able to point to particular changes or adjustments that helped achieve that change, but it is greater than those individual changes. Even the choice to make the change as opposed to suggesting it or pointing out that it needs to be changed and leaving it to the author to make the call is an art form in and of itself.

I met Sara Marian through author Jack Wallen. He writes a good bit of zombie fiction as well as steampunk, horror, and dark fiction with a literary bent. I’m looking forward to seeing a retelling of Frankenstein that he is currently shopping around. I approached him and others as I needed an editor for book 2 of the Dead Song Legend. I was not dissatisfied with the editors I had used on previous work; it was just an issue of timing and workloads of people available. Jack connected me with Sara. I ended up meeting her in person for the first time at Imaginarium Convention in Louisville after she was already working on the novel.

As I read her edited version of the novel a couple weeks later, it was one of those smooth edit miracles. My voice and story were still there, but the words didn’t bog down the story any longer. As I responded to changes in comments, I saw the difference those changes made too. She also completed the work early so that she could do a second pass after my edits. I think she expected me to argue some of her comments, but that’s not how I tend to work with editors. After her second pass, we had the story smoothed down to a fine piece of work.

I suppose this reads like a commercial for her work which I do recommend. It is also meant to recognize the role that editors play in the professional process even for and especially with self-published zombie novels. That perfect, final, published version of the story is worth striving to achieve. Standing out with readers in the growing sea of work out there comes down to the quality of the product that’s being promoted. The professional touch of the right editor is a vital part of that achievement.

 

 

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

Start the series here è http://amzn.to/1CvxbST

Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 2: February from Vicksburg to Cherokee

Continue the series here è http://jaywilburn.com/book-2/

Check out the first soundtrack to the series, The Sound May Suffer: Music from the Dead Song  here è http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thesoundmaysuffer6

or on Spotify. The hard CD is also available on Amazon.

 

Visit:

http://jaywilburn.com/

Author Jay Wilburn

Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Mainstreet, and Truth or Dare. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels Loose Ends and Time Eaters. He is one of the four authors behind the Hellmouth trilogy. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com

*   *   *   *   *

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: Ricky Cooper #WinterofZombie

Quarantinedc

And here I present for your reading pleasure, the opening pages of file two of the Broadhead Archives, a collection of novellas and short stories that bridge the gaps and answer the questions that were not or have yet to be answered in my series Designated.

So, with further ado, enjoy The Kinkade file.

~: Rick :~

Ricky Cooper is a writer with a love affair of the written word. He is an avid shooter and outdoors man and loves art and sculpture. He can often be found “when not Writing” spending his time designing and sculpting his own figures and models or designing equipment and characters for his books, a fervent supporter of LGBT rights and Equal rights for all. He spent most of his young adult life alongside his family working for a UK based HIV and Aids charity, where he spent time aiding people suffering from the often deadly afflictions brought on by the disease. He lives with his family in West Wales in the UK.

Links to Designated Infected and Designated Quarantined.

Infected: (amazon.co.uk) http://amzn.to/1J85aNk
(amazon.com)  http://amzn.to/1QAJ7oH

               (amazon.com.au)  http://bit.ly/1EYobXE

               (Smashwords.com) http://bit.ly/1ueI1Tl

Quarantined: (amazon.co.uk) http://amzn.to/1Y4vZx7

                      (amazon.com) http://amzn.to/1Mn62oS

                      (amazon.com.au) http://bit.ly/1Fabl8f

                      (Smashwords.com) http://bit.ly/1KuzfHZ

(Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/R.C.books

(Website) http://www.ricky-cooper.co.uk/

(Twitter) https://twitter.com/RJwC20

(Email) ricky.author_cooper@yahoo.co.uk

Broadhead Archives

FILE TWO

DESIGNATED: DECLASSIFIED

Subject: Sarah Kinkade.

 

The wind snapped at her skin as she lay in the gathering powder, the thermal sheeting beneath her doing little to stave off the bone-gnawing chill that was eating its way through her. She scooped a handful of snow, setting it into her mouth to hide her breath as she settled the scope against her eye, the reticule lining up on its brow as she watched it sniff at the air.
‘Breathe in and out, even draw, and squeeze the trigger between heartbeats.’
The muffled pop sent the stock thumping into her Parka covered shoulder as a small business of crows took to the skies. Their indignant cawing filled the air as Sarah pushed herself to her feet, snow crunching beneath her boots like cotton-laced glass as she softly made her way forwards.
The deer lay silent and still, the coils of steam rising through the air, shrouding it slightly as Sarah knelt. The knees of her mud- and dirt-smeared canvas trousers sank into the bloodstained snow, the satin-white carpet coloured crimson as the hot life-giving fluid slowly flowed free.
‘Sorry for this; I just hope you take some comfort in knowing your life goes to extending many others, even if it is only for a night.’
Sarah leant forwards and kissed the deer’s neck, the soft, bristled fur tickling her lips as she sank deeper into the snow. She walked her fingers along her belt, her gloved hands numb to the tactile feel of the canvas and leather as it rasped against the outer layer of her glove.
Her hand found the carved elk horn handle of her brother’s hunting knife and slowly drew it from the sheath. The four-inch-long blade glinted dull in the dwindling light of the noon sun as it pushed its way through the grey blanket that smothered the sky. With a soft grunt, she heaved the doe towards her, pushing its hind legs apart as she gently pressed the knife into the soft skin around its anus and began to cut, her movements quick and practiced as she cut away skin and sinew.
Sweat beaded her brow as the cold bit into her, the heat from the doe’s cooling body warming her as she straddled its chest. She began to slice away the skin, her small shallow cuts carving through the skin and tissue like paper as she deftly revealed all that lay beneath.
Flesh parted like water around a stone as she felt the heat of the doe’s flesh hit her face like a hammer. Sarah grimaced only briefly as she felt the rippling, undulating mass of gastric fluids move beneath her fingers. Shifting her hand forwards, the doe’s stomach bulged, the mass of organs and fluids sliding over each other as she sliced further along the steaming carcass.
Shifting herself off the now rapidly cooling corpse of her prey, Sarah dragged her blood-smeared wrist over her brow, wiping away the prickling layer of sweat as she sat back on her heels and stared at the partially disemboweled deer.
‘Come on, move it, before it freezes or a freak finds you.’
Her muttered words drifted on a boiling cloud of mist as she sank her arm elbow deep into the doe’s chest. She slowly peeled away the diaphragm; its heart sat under her hand like a thick wedge of wet rubber. As she pushed past it, her brother’s knife held firmly in her grip, she traced over the length of ridged cartilage, sinking the knife into the malleable bone with an audible pop before wrapping her hand around the organ and dragging it free.
With a heavy grunt, Sarah dragged the rippling mass from the doe’s eviscerated carcass. Sinew and fat stretched, snapping free as she ran the bloodstained knife against it and continued to pull. The undulating conglomerate of intestines and organs hit the snow with a wet plop, powder spraying out in a red-tinged cloud. Sarah leant down, hooked her fingers into the open chest cavity, and heaved the doe onto her front to drain the last of the blood from its empty form.
As the last of the doe’s crimson fluid hit the crystalline satin beneath her feet, Sarah heaved upwards, sending the rapidly freezing carcass up onto her shoulders before plucking her rifle from where it lay beside her and trudging towards her hidden snowmobile.

 

****

 

The gate rattled shut amidst the chattering rasp of the snowmobile’s engine as Sarah slowly ground to a halt, the snow-glazed carcass of the deer lashed tightly to the rear jump seat behind her. She climbed off and began the soul-wearying task of wheeling the heavy beast of plastic and steel into the motor pool’s workshop.
‘Carl, you lazy English prick, you in here?’
Her mellow tones echoed through the cavernous space, rebounding off the shattered hulks of long-dead vehicles, their gutted shells left abandoned by owners long since dead in a land where only the wandering few were left to lay claim to them.
The clang of metal on concrete filled her ears as she dropped into a ready crouch. The heavy lump of plastic and polymers in her hand filled her eye line as she slowly moved behind one of the hulking lumps of rust and peeling paint.
The hushed whisper of winter filled Sarah’s ears as she leant against the wind-blistered metal. Closing her eyes, she listened intently to the silence that was slowly eroding her mind.
Nature’s call carried on it the breath of death. She could hear the cold-battered chatter of teeth and hunger as they stalked around the perimeter fence, eyes studying, searching for a way in…a way to sink their teeth into the pliant warm flesh that was trapped inside.
Sarah could feel infinitesimal trickling of her own sanity as it skittered and slid into the abyss that was irrefutably claiming her day by day. The shuffling of feet flirted with her ears as Sarah strained against the ever-present drone. Wind whistled over the mouth of the hanger as the shuffling drew closer.

10805141_10152988217667868_2043447579_n

*   *   *   *   *

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!