Reblog: Someone Else’s Sandbox

http://www.jaywilburn.com/someone-elses-sandbox/

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Reblog: A Review of “Dying Days”

Dan Padavona reviews “Dying Days” while reading it on St. Augustine Beach, where part of the action is set! That’s dedication! 

http://www.danpadavona.com/beach-read-dying-days-by-armand-rosamilia/

dying_days_1_cover

Changing Covers #SummerZombie

dying_days_1_cover

When the first Dying Days book came out all those many, many years ago (April 2011) I had no idea it would become a success. The series literally kept me going financially when I was still having doubts about doing this writing thing full-time. I just wanted to write another zombie story. After writing Highway To Hell I knew there was more story to tell in this world.

About halfway through Dying Days I knew there was going to be a backstory for Darlene Bobich but I had no idea if this would be a series or a standalone until I came to the end.

dying_days_2_cover

Looking back, I could’ve easily kept the story going and added another 20k to it. But I wanted a series because I suddenly had ideas for all of these characters and more.

The problem with being a total pantser (instead of an outliner or whatever the cool way of saying it is) was the fact I asked for a second cover with no real understanding on building this as a brand or a series potential readers might immediately recognize as one big story.

dying_days_3_cover

To further confuse you I added in other side books like Dying Days: Origins, Still Dying and the aforementioned Highway To Hell with two books in each of those.

All with different cover ideas (besides zombies, obviously) and not with any understanding of branding or making it easy for a potential reader to figure out the order of the series. For those who care, here is actually the DYING DAYS ORDER to make it a bit easier, although you don’t have to read it in this exact order if you don’t want. If you only ever read the main Dying Days series you’re still good, but the other side stories are damn cool. Trust me. Not biased. 

Dying Days 4 NEW

I finally saw the light… well, actually my wife did first. She noticed at conventions how the smart authors branded their series so it was easy to see how many books were in each series and they were all part of the same series. Similar covers, same fonts, basic ideas to make the reader know there was more than one book. As a kid I was a huge fan of series, especially fantasy. I have over 150 of the Forgotten Realms books in paperback still, and they all have a different cover but a setup that lets you know they are all in the same series and world. 

Dying Days covers have been updated (the main series, anyway) and I can tell you now… there will be 9 books. When the 9th book is released will it be the last? Not really sure yet. I still have 3 books to write. Jack Wallen did the covers based on my idea and I could not be happier. 

Dying Days 5 NEW

I’m also seeing a big increase in sales and especially page reads in the Kindle Unlimited program with the series, which is what the goal was. 

Other authors have done the same thing, which is so much easier when you self-publish a series. You get bored with a cover and you get another one. I never thought it would do much for my sales but it definitely has. I’m also finding loyal fans wanting to purchase the old, out of print covers now, too. Something I never thought would happen. 

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What book series out there did you read because they changed or updated the covers and why? I’d really like to know.

Armand Rosamilia

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MY Favorite Zombie Books #SummerZombie

Do you have a favorite zombie book or three, the stories that hooked you as a reader or perhaps made you want to write zombie fiction? 

I do and since this post is about me and not you, I’ll list my top five Zombie stories that got me started on this crazy career path. These are the stories that influenced me and also showed me (and hopefully everyone else) how you could write a different zombie story and not just use the Romero tropes and settings to do the same thing over and over. This list is far from exhaustive. Hell, I could list ten times as many zombie books I loved but these are the ones that still have a hold on me, some after many years. 

Let’s dig in… shall we?

World War Z

5. WORLD WAR Z by Max Brooks reads like a nonfiction, dry case study for after the zombpoc. And it is brilliant. Forget the movie. Read the book and see another take on zombie fiction and another way I saw you could do something different. 

boneshaker

4. BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest was another influence. It’s an awesome steampunk novel with zombies and showed me another way to make zombies relevant without dominating the story. To me it’s always about the characters dealing with the zombies and not the other way around. 

the_living_dead

3.  Adam-Troy Castro wrote a short story, “Dead Like Me,” which I read in the zombie collection THE LIVING DEAD. Despite the many, many solid stories in the anthology this is still the one that I think about. I’ve talked to other authors and they often cite it as an influence as well. Seriously, you need to read it. The perfect zombie story to me. 

deadcity

2. Joe McKinney was an author I knew nothing about. I was going through the local Barnes & Noble looking for a new book to read and came upon DEAD CITY and had to have it. I’m glad I did because it kicked off a bunch of really solid books by Joe and I always look forward to the next one, be it zombie or horror. 

therising

  1. I always say I’m a horror author because of Dean Koontz but a zombie author because of Brian Keene. His novel THE RISING was the first zombie fiction I ever read and I’m glad I started with the top guy. When people say ‘The Rising’ you know who wrote it and the significance, too. It’s like saying ‘The Stand’ or ‘Gone With The Wind’… there doesn’t ever need to be another book titled The Rising as far as I’m concerned. This one is perfect.

Don’t agree with my list? Think you can do better? I really don’t care, to be honest… we all have an opinion. Seriously… what are some of the zombie books that influenced you as a reader and/or writer?

Armand Rosamilia

Summer of Zombie 2016 Blog Tour Schedule

SOZ-correct-poster

This year’s Summer of Zombie blog tour is being run by Jay Wilburn. We’ll see if he screws it up. Until then… 

Here’s the handy dandy link to follow along through all of the posts. I’ll reblog a bunch of them on this site, too. 

http://www.jaywilburn.com/summer-of-zombie-2016-blog-tour-schedule/

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Your Favorite Zombie/Post Apoc Books – May 26th 2016 Edition

This summer I’ll be doing something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time… I want to recognize some great books in the zombie/post apoc fiction field. I also want to find some new books I might’ve missed myself, so…

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http://amzn.to/25iAxmd

Jake O’Connor has problems.

His time spent overseas with Britain’s SAS Regiment still gives him nightmares, his social life is in the toilet, and his best friend is an unrepentant adrenaline junkie.
Unfortunately, just as things finally seem to go his way, decomposing corpses of the recently dead begin rising to gnaw on the living. Soon the streets are glutted with mindless creatures hungering for only one thing: human flesh. Jake’s unlikely group of friends needs to make tracks for some kind of refuge before they end up as Hors d’oeuvres, but how to do that without being turned into drooling maggot-heads themselves?

Now, a burned out combat journalist, a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, a health food store owner, and a ditzy pharmacy tech, have to hold their own against legions of walking corpses. At first glance, none of them are likely candidates to survive for long in The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.
But hey, stranger things have happened.

Psychopaths, escaped criminals, and para-military white supremacists all stand in their way, not to mention the ever-increasing, zombie hordes. If Jake doesn’t want to become one of the shambling dead he’ll need to keep his whits about him, and his crowbar handy.

KEEP YOUR CROWBAR HANDY drops the reader headlong into a frightening (yet sometimes comedic) zombie apocalypse, literally with a bang. S.P. Durnin captures the craziness of it all by focusing on an unlikely group of potential survivors as they attempt to work together dispite some rather odd personality quirks, not drive each other crazy, and try to stay alive in a world now overrun by the hungry dead. The author combines tongue-in-cheek humor with a healthy dose of gore-soaked apocalyptic adventure, and proves that love doesn’t always conquer all. Sometimes, you gotta use a crowbar…

(suggested by Rochelle Blalock)

 *   *   *   *   *

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http://amzn.to/1RrU5L9

Living With the Dead is an ongoing survival horror story set in the zombie apocalypse. Its original format was and is a serialized daily blog.

When the world falls apart and the true nature of mankind is revealed, a small group of survivors in Kentucky make a go of holding their ground and building again. Through hordes of undead and bands of ruthless marauders, they come together with a common purpose. Over the days and months, they begin to learn that when the world is filled with the dead, the only choice is to learn how to truly live.

(suggested by Dennis Morel, who said: Excellent eight book series that is probably one of the more intelligent and thoughtful zombie collections out there)

*   *   *   *   *

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http://amzn.to/1WUN1PC

Ten years after the world was nearly decimated by a zombie virus, there is a desperate race for an antidote. A team of commandos are sent to a remote island populated by the undead to rescue a group of stranded scientists . The commandos come up against the hungry dead, Russian mercenaries, and shady government conspiracies. Dead Island: Operation Zulu is a fun, action packed, blood splattered, horror adventure. Dawn of the Dead meets Aliens!

(suggested by Tim Scott)

*   *   *   *   *

Armand’s Bonus Zombie Suggestion

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http://amzn.to/1RrUtsT

From a master of zombie fiction and a founding father of “splatterpunk” comes a mind-bending anthology of 32 new and classic stories from both renowned writers and rising stars

In the tradition of Black Dog & Leventhal’s bestselling

Vampires and Ghosts, this anthology of 32 stories is set in a world where the dead have risen from the grave to consume the living. This rich collection showcases the best of the genre?from short-story masters such as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, and Poppy Z. Brite; zombie stalwarts such as David J. Schow and Jack Ketchum; “bizarro” founders such as Carlton Mellick III; and popular up-and-comers such as Max Brooks and S.G. Browne?and will satisfy the insatiable hunger of zombie fans everywhere.

A series of captivating essays about zombies in folklore and in popular culture by John Skipp, award-winning zombie anthologist and author, enrich an already extraordinary collection by discussing the past, present, and future of the living dead. And a resources section encompassing the best of long-form fiction, movies, websites, games is included for any reader interested in learning more about the wider world of the undead.

Sure to sate the hungriest zombie fans with classic as well as contemporary servings of tangled entrails and other unspeakable meals, Zombies: Encounters with the Hungry

(suggested by Armand, who said: an older collection with some really great stories in it. A nice mix of authors. My late friend Brandon was reading this when he passed and I took it up and finished it. I’m glad I did)

I am opening this blog up to suggestions from YOU!

I want YOU to give me one zombie/post apoc book suggestion you loved. It doesn’t have to be new. It doesn’t have to be a certain length or a certain type of zombie or post apoc story (I’ll be doing horror picks on http://armandrosamilia.com each week as well!) It just has to be something you liked enough to want to let the world know. Or the readers of this blog. 

You CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT suggest your own book. That is super tacky and frowned upon by management. 

I’ll be picking 3-5 each week and I’ll post it up each Thursday on this site and the horror fiction every Tuesday. It’s free of charge. It’s just a way for me to not miss what is out there, too. Hopefully it will become a place where zombie/post apoc readers will enjoy some new suggestions, too. I’ll even let everyone know who proudly suggested it, too! 

Send me an email with the title/author and Amazon link to the book and I’ll do the rest. Simple as that!

armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com

Armand Rosamilia

YOUR Favorite Zombie/Post Apoc Books – May 12th Edition

This summer I’ll be doing something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time… I want to recognize some great books in the zombie/post apoc fiction field. I also want to find some new books I might’ve missed myself, so…

dyingtolive

http://amzn.to/21OUxuy

Unable to find a moral or sane reason for the horror that surrounds him, he is overwhelmed by violence and insignificance. Then Jonah comes across a group of survivors living in a museum-turned-compound. They are led by Jack, an ever-practical and efficient military man; and Milton, a mysterious prophet who holds a strange power over the dead. Both share Jonah’s anguish over the brutality of their world as well as his hope for its beauty. Together with others, they build a community that reestablishes an island of order and humanity surrounded by relentless ghouls. But this newfound peace is short-lived, as Jonah and his band of refugees clash with another group of survivors who remind them that the undead are not the only—nor the most grotesque—horrors they must face.

(suggested by therealdragynpryncess)

*   *   *   *   *

arisen

http://amzn.to/1TOCK3j

When the Zombie Apocalypse came, one country had shut down its borders in response to a major terrorist attack. Now Fortress Britain is the last bastion of the living – with 50 million beleaguered survivors facing down a world of 7 billion animated corpses.

And when civilization fell, one international team of supremely elite special operators was being assembled for a nearly impossible mission, deployed out of the SAS barracks at Hereford. Supremely trained and armed, always the most skilled, resolved, and unstoppable amongst us, now the commandos of Alpha team are humanity’s last best hope for survival. Searching through the detritus of fallen Europe, scavenging pharmaceutical labs for clues to a vaccine that might bring humanity back from the brink, now they are tasked with one last desperate operation.

They must cross the Atlantic aboard the world’s only remaining supercarrier, insert by air into the very middle of a dead continent, and then fight their way on foot through a city of 3 million ravening dead guys. But these Zulus will not be like any zombies they have ever fought before…

(suggested by Dennis Morel, who said:  In this case the entire series deserves a nomination)

*   *   *   *   *

aftertheshock

http://amzn.to/24GXwdC

“One of the most thrilling writers working today. Miss him at your peril.” – Blake Crouch, Wayward Pines

The first book in the AFTER post-apocalyptic thriller series from an international bestselling author.

AFTER: THE SHOCK

A massive solar storm erases the world’s technological infrastructure and kills billions. While the remaining humans are struggling to adapt and survive, they notice that some among them have…changed.

Rachel Wheeler finds herself alone in the city, where violent survivors known as “Zapheads” roam the streets, killing and destroying. Her only hope is to reach the mountains, where her grandfather, a legendary survivalist, established a compound in preparation for Doomsday.

Other survivors are fleeing the city, but Zapheads aren’t the only danger. Rogue bands of military soldiers want to impose their own order in the crumbling ruins of civilization. When Rachel discovers a 10-year-old boy, she vows to care for him even at the risk of her own life.

And the Zapheads are evolving, developing communal skills even as they lay waste to the society they will eventually replace.

Look for the rest of the AFTER series: The Echo, Milepost 291, Whiteout, Red Scare, and Dying Light, as well as the NEXT and ZAPHEADS series.
(suggested by Morthena2471, who said: I enjoyed Scott Nicholson’s “After” books. Bonus…the first one is free!)
*   *   *   *   *

darkrecollections

http://amzn.to/24GYhU3

Beheading a zombie isn’t easy in a world where you’re more afraid of the living than the dead.

Adrian Ring’s simple life is thrown into chaos when the world is ripped apart by a plague of undead and legions of desperate survivors. Retreating to Auburn Lake Preparatory Academy, Adrian attempts to rescue friends and family on the way while dancing around his impending insanity over who and what he left behind, and evading maniac survivors. He saves his cat Otis, but shoots his mom. Pretty successful, all things considered.

Dark Recollections is the first part of Adrian’s own story of how he survived after “That Day.” Told through his eyes as he talks to his laptop, affectionately named ‘Mr. Journal,” and through short stories that entwine with his tales that bring forth dark visions of a world being eaten alive by an unimaginable evil. Adrian’s Undead Diary is an eight part epic about a solitary, guilt stricken man that didn’t think he deserved to live, but realizes very soon that he survived, and suffered for a reason.

(suggested by Veronica Smith, who said: This is what got me hooked on the zombie genre more than anything. Although this is only the first book of the series I loved all 8 of them)

  *   *   *   *   *

theblackout

http://amzn.to/24GSCtV

The world is thrust into darkness and silence, but no one knows why.
Molly is an English professor at a local liberal arts college when the world suddenly goes dark. Her husband, Gary, is a corporate pilot on the other side of the country. Grounded by what appears to be a catastrophic power outage, he has no way to communicate with his wife, let alone get home to her.

Not knowing whether her husband is alive or dead, Molly struggles to adapt to her new environment: without power, running water, transportation, a stable food supply, or any long-distance means of communication. Without knowing the cause of the outage, Gary must decide whether to wait for things to go back to normal, or to make the long and dangerous journey home on foot. Both must learn to survive after the Blackout.

(suggested by Kimberly Griffith, who said:  It’d be a good one for people who like post apocalyptic reads but have a bit more delicate sensibilities.  Minimal swearing and nothing too gross/violent)
*   *   *   *   *
Armand’s Bonus Zombie/Post Apoc Pick:
therising

The classic that helped start a pop culture phenomenon – back in print and UNCUT!

Since it’s 2003 debut, Brian Keene’s THE RISING is one of the best-selling zombie novels of all-time. It has been translated into over a dozen languages, inspired the works of other authors and filmmakers, and has become a cultural touchstone for an entire generation of horror fans.

THE RISING is the story of Jim Thurmond, a determined father battling his way across a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape, to find his young son. Accompanied by Martin, a preacher still holding to his faith, and Frankie, a recovering heroin addict with an indomitable will to survive, Jim travels from state to state and town to town, facing an endless onslaught of undead hordes, and the evils perpetrated by his fellow man.

This brand-new, author’s preferred edition, restores nearly 30,000 words of material that was cut from the original edition. These new chapters, which have never been seen by anyone before now, expand the original story, adding new depths to characters and more horrific situations.

You may think you’ve read THE RISING, but you haven’t read it all until you read this edition!

Deadite Press is proud to present this uncut, author’s preferred edition, which also includes a lengthy essay by the author about the novel’s genesis and history.

(suggested by Armand Rosamilia, who said: Zombie fiction begins right here for me. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it first. If you haven’t read it you really need to. That’s all)

  *   *   *   *   *

I am opening this blog up to suggestions from YOU!

I want YOU to give me one zombie/post apoc book suggestion you loved. It doesn’t have to be new. It doesn’t have to be a certain length or a certain type of zombie or post apoc story (I’ll be doing horror picks on http://armandrosamilia.com each week as well!) It just has to be something you liked enough to want to let the world know. Or the readers of this blog. 

You CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT suggest your own book. That is super tacky and frowned upon by management. 

I’ll be picking 3-5 each week and I’ll post it up each Thursday on this site and the horror fiction every Tuesday. It’s free of charge. It’s just a way for me to not miss what is out there, too. Hopefully it will become a place where zombie/post apoc readers will enjoy some new suggestions, too. I’ll even let everyone know who proudly suggested it, too! 

Send me an email with the title/author and Amazon link to the book and I’ll do the rest. Simple as that!

armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com

Armand Rosamilia