Guest Post: Dunne Brothers #WinterofZombie

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G’day Everyone,
Comedy in horror writing? How do you do it? It’s not easy, but i think it makes for a better story. Especially in horror stories. It’s the ying to the yang, the calm in the storm, the flash of light in the dark, the held back smile in the face of fear and the kung to the fu.

If done properly it can add to the story in a big way. Done incorrectly it just seems amateurish. One of my best lines I ever wrote was when we were still in school: The devastation was overwhelming, my heart sank and I softly farted. – See? Amateurish.

My favourite type of humour is the awkward, everyday, relatable humour. You know those awkward moments that we all encounter but most of us ignore. e.g. you drive down the freeway on the way to work, all alone on your own version of auto pilot. Not thinking of anything, maybe you don’t even notice the grin on your head listening to the morning crew chatting and laughing. Maybe you don’t realize your wearing your resting bitch face because you hate the world and everything on it because you shouldn’t be up, yet let alone driving to work. But for some unknown, unexplainable reason you look out your window, not the front window, but the side window. It may be fate, it may be dumb luck or it could be the force, because for one brief second you look out the side window at that exact same time the driver in the car next to you looks out their window and you lock eyes for a few brief awkward seconds. You both see each other’s dumb grins or resting bitch faces. For a brief few seconds you see into the other persons little niche but neither of you admit it’s awkward and both parties continue on their ways.

It’s hard to explain awkward humour in writing. On screen, in a movie or on TV it would only take a few seconds to build the awkward humour, however when writing it, it takes a lot more explanation and can often lose the subtlety of the situation. For instance I find great humour in that little patch of awkwardness that can come not following the unspoken life rules. An example would be not following the rules on the required distance that is acceptable to hold the door open for the person following you. If you’re standing there looking like an idiot for to long because missed judged how long the next person will take to get through said door it can be very awkward. You can’t just close the door behind you and enter the room alone that would just be rude. Do you pretend that you weren’t ready to go through the door yet and close the door and wait for this person to catch up a little bit? And then there is the ordeal of letting the person in, do you walk through and hold it behind you, or do you sort of stand half in the door way half in front of the door struggling to hold it open, but pretending it’s easy while the person has to slide to closely past you.

Another example can be as simple as saying “You too”

Take-a-way employee: “Enjoy your burger Sir.”
You: “You too.”

You expect the take a way employee to say enjoy your day, instead he says something else, but you already have your answer in the chamber and you accidentally discharge before knowing what your doing. Of course you don’t want the take a way employee to also enjoy your burger. You didn’t order enough for you to both share because you weren’t intending on sharing. You’re only logical course of action is to find another burger joint and never speak of this again.

There is also the ‘set up and knock down’ type of humour. I have an example below that I made for a friend as a novelty wine label.

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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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Teaser: Brice Chandler #WinterofZombie

new whiskey jack cover

Whiskey Jack

Chapter 1: Red Cast Sky

Jack Criley’s trembling hand smeared blood across his face as he rubbed his pulsing head. The other hand, steady and calm, squeezed the grip of the .45 as he stumbled out of the house in a plume of black smoke. The trembling hand groped his shirt pocket and clinched a busted cigar. It didn’t feel like his hand, but nothing felt right. The body reacted and worked as if it were being controlled by the subconscious.

He was detached, drifting away and watching someone else below. The world was a void, absent of sound except for a constant ringing and the haunting memories. It was a self-centered place that he referred to as ‘going internal’ and he was lost in it.

The shaking hand thrust the cigar into his unresponsive mouth.

Need it to calm down. His conscious returned.

The cigar dropped from parted lips once the hand had searched his pockets and discovered his lighter missing. Fingers, damp with blood, grasped the glass neck of a pint of whiskey stashed in his cargo pocket. His thumb spun the lid off, sending it to clatter along the walkway. The warm liquid fueled his eyes with scorching tears as he drained all that was left in the bottle.

You got to do something. The thought was overwhelmed by others. Then her voice echoed in his mind.

“Daddy… love you.” His daughter’s whisper wrenched his heart.

He shattered the glass on the walkway in one swift and violent motion as his feet shuffled into the grass. His conscious mind raced through the decisions that had led to this point.

Why? That was the main question. Was there another way? Why couldn’t you figure out another way? The damning question always led back to ‘why’.

“You’re not like us,” his wife had said. “We’re different.” The whiskey was beginning to boil in his stomach.

“There had to be another way, you stupid bastard.” he whispered. The world spun and his feet fought to keep him from toppling over. His mouth was dry and the empty hand brushed his lips before he realized the bottle was gone.

Creatures raged towards him from the quiet homes. Dozens crashed out of windows and doorways, but he didn’t care. “Fuck um, Fuck me too.” he said through clenched jaws. His steady finger caressed the trigger. It itched to kill something.

His eyes winced tightly, rolling tears down his cheeks, as he revisited the mistakes he had made like a song, stuck on repeat. It replayed each step up to this point, trying to find another way, but the end was still the same. He had murdered his wife and little girl.

Fury threatened to blind him as he stalked out to meet the creatures. His mind pushed deeper into memory, looking for answers.

#

Exhausted and filthy, he searched the ruined vehicles that were abandoned on the highway. He had once been a member of United States military, but that seemed like a lifetime ago.

Originally, there had been three remaining to survive the dismal fate of humanity. Left alone in a harsh and altered world, they fled from the ghoulish entities that had evolved from the human population. They hunted aimlessly for any semblance of survivors, but their time together didn’t last. In a remote area of Colorado, Jack’s last two friends died.

His blue eyes gazed out from a weather worn face. The eyes of a once care free, mischievous soul were now framed by dark circles. In the past he maintained an average build, if not a little heavy. He had obsessed over new ways to build mass and fight the spare fat thickening his mid-section. Now tight knotted, lean muscle encased his body. He was tone, yet near the point of starvation from the search for food. His dark hair had grown out and was disorderly. He didn’t worry about it. Haircuts and shaving didn’t matter anymore. He was clad in loose clothing that he had found in an old shopping mall. They shielded him from the battering sun as he labored on the scorching blacktop.

Slung to his back was a .308 rifle and in his leg holster hung a .45 pistol. Dangling from his belt was an old military Ka-bar knife, now deemed his lucky blade. The knife and plenty of ammo for both guns were always on hand. The need for powerful weapons had come up before on his travels across the country.

Weapons and vehicles were the key to survival. Operational transportation was hard to come by. Vehicles that could take him along any path he needed to cross were favored. Once, he had fled on a dirt bike from a pack of starving beast. Dozens of miles blurred pass before they gave up the chase. Vehicles like that were dangerous, but it had its purpose.

Fuel was even more elusive. Upon finding a safe gas station he made sure to fill his vehicle along with several spare containers. Operating the pump was a different matter altogether. Sometimes he gave up in frustration, only to discover that siphoning a car’s gas tank was easier. His mouth had grown use to the taste of gasoline. Slowly those methods brought him from San Diego, California to this city, Jacksonville, Florida.

His intent was to find his wife and daughter. Their shining faces ignited unfathomable desires within his soul. To see them once more drove him onward. The memory of his wife’s tight embrace, which had stayed with him like a heavy weight wrapped around his shoulders weeks after he last left her, kept him alive. His little girl’s smile and wondrous bright eyes made him grin along with her. Their absence left a void devouring him. Searching for them was madness, but he pushed on. He knew in the deep chasm of his heart they were likely dead. Got only one hope left in this world. After that, nothings left.

 

Brice's most hated pic

Follow the below links to read more Whiskey Jack:

Amazon:

www.amzn.to/1JorHFv.com

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whiskey-jack-brice-chandler/1028941714?ean=9780982821817

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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: Duncan P. Bradshaw #WinterofZombie

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Great Bitten – Apocalypse in the UK

Let’s get this out of the way now, only two of my top five favourite zombie films are based in the UK, (Shaun of the Dead and Zombie Diaries if you’re interested), which I think is probably two more than most people’s. The reasons for this are many, but to be brutally head-smashingly obvious, American based films, with copius amounts of firearms and gusto, will always out. If you’re after a popcorn chewing film with some gore, the odd one liner and plenty of action, you’re gonna settle with something a bit more tried and trusted.

However…one of my main aims when I started writing was to shine a light on the UK, our little quirks, ism’s and habits, to show how the zombie apocalypse on these fair isles would be a little different.

For one, there is the notion that nothing should be tackled without at least one cup of tea, and possibly a biscuit or two, maybe even a slice of cake? In the first days of the outbreak, this would be 100% true. Only when our nearest and dearest are lying in dismembered heaps of bloodied appendages in the corner of the living room, with a dented cricket bat resting on your lap, telling yourself over and over again that ‘it’ll be alright, honest’, would you decide to focus on the practicalities of putting tea and nibbles lower down the daily to-do list.

In many parts of the country, getting to know your neighbours is considered heresy. In the end days though, you will be busting a gut to know how the old girl next door is doing, when you hear screaming and patting at the walls. Hoping that she’s just uncovered a secret stash of Custard Creams, whilst really, the daft woman has opened the door, thinking it’s the postman, instead it’s a hungry zombie looking for some well cured meat.

Our stiff upper lip will be in full effect though, of that I am certain. Regardless of which family member you’ve had to take care of, probably in front of everyone else, should you deign to show any hint of emotion, well…that’s just not the done thing. Best to suppress it all, and shed a solitary tear when no one else has seen you. If at all possible, many years in the future.

Lack of firearms would pose a problem though, with no benefit of keeping the shambling undead horde at a safe distance, survivors are naturally inclined to meet them in hand to hand combat. Knowing which implement to use would, for the uninitiated, be a deadly game of trial and error in the early days. Working up the courage to smash in the skull of the bloke you’ve seen come back from rugby every week, with a golf club or rubbish bin, is going to end up with you bleeding to death, whilst being eaten alive and shouting for mummy pretty quickly.

Only the stoutest will survive, those who think fast. We are blessed with an array of countryside and tricky terrain (see Wales and/or Scotland), so providing you have packed your loved ones, and ample supplies into the back of your people carrier at the first whiff of putrified flesh, you should be okay. Likewise, those who still view their home as their castle and steadfastly refuse to leave, in case Dave from across the street, breaks in and steals their toaster, should make it through the first few weeks at least. Providing they can scavenge for supplies, amply barricade the entrances/windows and close the bloody curtains.

The oft discussed weather will also help more than hinder. We don’t experience extremities such as your blood boiling within your own body, or your toes cracking off due to frostbite. The rather clement weather means that getting around the place, even when the infection is full-on brown underwear mode, you could still cycle around the place without fear of dying from dehydration, or being lost in a snow drift. The rain will help get rid of all that morale sapping blood and guts laying around the place too. There is no greater mood killer than seeing puddles of blood, or stringy intestines in the street, especially if you’ve just managed to find some lunch.

Our sense of humour will also help to lighten the mood when you’ve spent half an hour trying to get into a haberdashery shop, only to find it overrun with the zombified staff. A typically British quip, a scathing putdown, and you’ll be off down the road, onto the next place with a smile in your heart and the next barbed witticism forming in your brain.

Yes, we don’t have guns, shun most kinds of tactile contact and drink way too much tea, but life in the UK, overrun by the undead, wouldn’t be too bad a place at all. Our never say die attitude and general distrust of people we haven’t known for at least twelve years will stand the survivors in good stead. So when the last of the zombies is dealt with, and the Union Jack is hoisted up over town squares the length and breadth of the country, we can get back to what we do best. Drinking tea and wishing that everyone would keep it down a bit.

 

Duncan is allowed to remain, unfettered and free, within the town of Chippenham, in the south-west of the United Kingdom. Having taken a wife a few years ago, he must now divide his free time between household chores and writing about the undead. His least favourite job is removing the mould from the bread, as he is forced to do this in a darkened cupboard and using only his toothbrush.

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Hit him up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/duncanpbradshaw

Or his website right here http://duncanpbradshaw.co.uk/

 

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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: Michael Robertson #WinterofZombie

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Why Zombie Tales Resonate With Me

 

 

I’m always interested to hear what it is about zombie stories that captures the attention of so many people. Like vampires, they may peak and trough in their popularity, but the love for them never seems to die.

 

What zombies represent for me is the fragility of our socially constructed existence. Every big society or system in human history has failed, so there’s no reason for me to believe that the one I live in won’t. Be it the collapse of capitalism through revolution, a natural disaster, a disease like ebola, or even riots from dissatisfied members of society; when our world falls, I expect it to be violent, rapid, and damn scary.

 

This is why zombie stories resonate with me. They’re the tipping point realised. Unlike a natural disaster, the collapse of civilisation takes on a human form in zombie yarns. This seems a lot closer to the reality of our world. At any one time, many people on this planet are on the move as they run away from a very real threat to their existence caused by other human beings. Chaos happens on a grand scale already. Be it a change of government brought about by revolution, or something like a new regime enforced on people like what happened in Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge. Civil war in Syria has displaced more than eleven million people and seen the death or around two hundred thousand (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26116868). The image all over British media this week has been of a three-year-old Syrian boy, limp and lifeless as he lies, face down, in the sand on a Greek beach. His bid for a better life failed when he couldn’t remain on an overcrowded raft. As a parent to young children, that tragic image has hit me hard and will stay in my mind forever. In some way, zombie fiction can tap into that pure fear that seems to be a reality for so many people, and a worry for many others. It shows that moment when the bullshit’s been stripped away. Playstations, the local sports team, and how big your house is suddenly doesn’t matter anymore. Survival is all that’s left. You either do it, or you don’t.

 

I heard an interview with an artist the other day who told of how her Jewish mother left Hitler’s Germany with very few possessions. But among those possessions were the pictures the artist herself had drawn. At the time, the artist was an eight-year-old child. Fearful for her life, when it came down to it, one of the most important things to that artist’s mother, were the doodles she’d done for her. If ever a child needed an inspiration to follow her dreams…

 

For me, the greatest zombie tales capture the human spirit to survive; the willingness to keep going. They show us the sheer grit that sees people lose everything, and often become the subjects of intense trauma, yet they still find the courage to push on. The love and need to protect that burns bright in many of us, and when called upon can turn the most average person into a hero. Be it in refugee camps, or hiding out in places away from the chaos, it seems that people are driven to find other survivors like themselves. We find strength and support in others. It seems that in humanity’s worst moments, we also see its greatness. Although not a zombie tale, The Road by Cormac McCarthy captures this perfectly and is one of my favourite novels. Despite the dark and bleak setting where many people have turned into cannibals and rapists, the father of the story keeps hope alive for his son. He keeps ‘carrying the flame’. It’s a love letter to fatherhood and a commentary on humanity and morality. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful because it shows the one thing that keeps us going. It shows how the main characters ‘carry the flame’. It shows us one of our greatest qualities as a species. It shows us hope.

 

Author Profile Photo

 

Michael Robertson is a writer of dark post-apocalyptic fiction, horror, and science fiction. He’s been writing for over fifteen years and has been published in several anthologies and magazines, as well as being published by HarperCollins.

 

His series of books entitled The Alpha Plague, is a post-apocalyptic world inspired by 28 Days Later.

 

He has plans for several science fiction books and is currently writing the first draft of New Reality 3: Fear, which will finish off his New Reality series.

 

As a father of two young children, he writes when he can, which is mostly before they get up and after they’ve gone to bed.

 

He loves reading, writing, watching movies, and spending time with his family.

 

To see more of Michael’s work, go to his website at:

http://www.michaelrobertson.co.uk

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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: Jay Wilburn #WinterofZombie

Middletown

Winter of Zombie 2015

All the Zombies in Middletown

by Jay Wilburn

 

First, it is important to understand that Jack Wallen may be insane. I think his writing is brilliant and he has the soul of an artist, but he’s packed full of crazy ideas. Middletown Apocalypse may not be his craziest idea, but it is on up there. Jack took a single story idea and gathered a number of authors together to retell it each in a different way. This then became the zombie outbreak in Middletown over and over again.

That anthology is available here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0161KA5FW

The eleven authors that took on this challenge were Joe McKinney, Mark Tufo, Armand Rosamilia, Shawn Chesser, Brent Abell, Mike Evans, John O’Brien, Eric A. Shellman, Heath Stallcup, Jack Wallen, and Jay Wilburn. I am easily the tenth best author in this list – maybe even ninth when the others are drunk. Which means I am ninth on the list most of the time. This is all beside the point.

Jack Wallen is crazy. He set out the story parameters. Charlie Noble is a shared character that has the unfortunate distinction of being the recipient of a misdelivery of a deadly virus. As happens with most misdelivered viruses, zombies ensue. The stories share the character and the university where the virus arrives. They share the fictional town of Middletown, Indiana. One of the keys to this insanity is that the stories are not eleven stories that take place in the same universe during the same outbreak. No, they each take these same story details and retell eleven different versions of the story with these and a few other story details in common.

What we end up with then is eleven very different stories even though in theory they share the same premise. Some stories follow Charlie Noble. Others follow different characters fighting to survive in Charlie’s wake. Jack chose the authors for their diversity of story telling using the zombie trope and the dystopian landscape in their various works. Some took a military focus. Others were highly character driven explorations. Some characters make it while others don’t.

Each story, though essentially built from the same framework, demonstrates in a very real way how much potential is in the zombie story. Really every zombie story is building off a common framework. The rules and settings change, but all zombie authors are building with some recognized construction materials. Jack Wallen, who is insane, took this to a new level to show how truly great and diverse the potential of the zombie really is. By making more common within the story lines, he went a long way to make it even clearer how different each zombie story can be under those conditions.

Jack recognized something essential in the appeal and potential of the zombie story. There are limitless divergence points upon which this trope can explore themes, characters, society, and action. A zombie story can run the range from horror to literary. The creature has the power to transcend the genre and outgrow the story outline in the hands of the right author.

The Middletown Apocalypse anthology does a lot for the zombie sub genre and zombie authors seeking to make great stories with this trope. It delivers for readers and serves the fans that believe there is still something great to be discovered with zombies. Charlie Noble and Middletown, Indiana are going to have a real bad day and they are going to relive that day eleven times. Spoiler: Jack Wallen is out of his mind.

 

 

 

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

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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: Mike Evans #WinterofZombie

zombies and chainsaws

Figured out?

By Mike Evans

                Do you think that you are a killer? Can you take someone out without having second thoughts? Can you do the impossible and the necessary to keep your loved ones alive when the shit hits the fan? I ask this question because you much like myself would be interested to see how a zombie apocalypse would actually turn out. Questions that I have would be, will there be food, and if so enough of it? Will people stay as a community or will they branch off and make survival of the fittest the way to live? When I start getting into hordes of the dead will I have the supplies necessary to kill them, well kill them again? Even more important when I do kill them, when I close my eyes at night will I see them when I dream? Will they haunt me and make me have nightmares eventually making me no better than one of them, making me insane with the thoughts that I’m literally a serial killer but only preying on the dead? These are things I present to you not to scare you but things to consider. Having a mental preparation for the dead rising is just as important as having a physical preparation for them coming after you and being able to keep moving.

The thing that makes me nervous is that people’s good humanity will not be there when the time comes, that there will be worries and stresses that we are not prepared for. Those that rely on medicine both for physical and mental health will not have the supply that they need. What I ask is what will happen? You will not be able to go to a pharmacy and with laws on medicines our best bet would be hiking it to Mexico where people are allowed to buy drugs over the counter, cheaper, and without a prescription. You won’t be able to drink the water, but when the people who make sure that your water is safe now to eat are gone how long do you think it will be safe?

In closing supplies, get supplies, get prepared, put that shit away in your head that will make you doubt yourself and others in your family because in the end they might be the only ones you can count on. Also if you are like me you have day dreamed about where you will go when the shit hits the fan, make sure you have a second place, if you need to drive to get there what if a EMP hits with the initial outbreak. Could you get there by bike or foot? What would you do if you had to have a second spot to go to, do you have a second spot to go to? Are you scared, are you thinking, are you ready?

http://www.amazon.com/Zombies-Chainsaws-Dead-Rise-Book-ebook/dp/B013NMYJYY/ref=la_B00IQ9Z75A_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441373061&sr=1-8

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Mike-Evans/e/B00IQ9Z75A/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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

My author page http://tinyurl.com/mikesauthorpage

Twitter @mikee1123

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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.

*   *   *   *   *

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!