Darlings of Decay: Chewing Braaiiinns with… AR Von

Recently I joined 32 other women who wrote in the Zombie genre and we released a fantastic compendium of undead treats for lovers of the genre! It’s called Darlings of Decay and the best news is that it’s a FREE download on Smashwords! What a great way to try samples of some of the greats writing in the genre! Click on the cover and it will take you straight to Smashwords.

Even though I’m a little late, I have the biggest of treats for you today! Fellow Darling of Decay AR Von has answered my probing questions! For those of you unfamiliar with AR, or Ava as she likes to be called, let’s take a moment to get you all acquainted…

me-AR-_author_picHello there! My name is Ava, also known as A.R. Von. I’m a mother of two entertaining teen boys (as well as a fun and lovely fawn Chihuahua, whom I consider my furry daughter.) I’m also a wife to a delightfully handsome and amazingly funny man-beast. I’m an avid reader of many genres which include (but are not limited to) erotica, paranormal, ménage, fantasy, YA, NA, western (I have to have a hot cowboy, or two, here and there) and some historical. I also love to exercise, listen to music, hike, cook, dance and write. I write to free my mind of its constant wondering and brain clogging dreams. I love the fact I can share it with readers that have the same passion for a great story. I also write reviews for Romance Book Junkies, Satin Sheets Romance and my own blog A.R. Von DreamZ of Dragons. What can I say, I love writing.

Any aspiring authors out there? Don’t hold back! Set your zombies free. Share that wonderful imagination of yours with the world.

Welcome Ava, so tell us: why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I’ve always loved and enjoyed anything frightening and gruesome (the only one in my household growing up that did actually. Made it quite fun!) Zombies were just always cool. They never had/have much to say and were/are awesome! I’ve not met an annoying zombie yet. You?

Tell us about your latest project.

My latest release is titled Wunder (0.5 Dreamz) and is the prequel of the Wunder series. This series is intended for readers 18+ (due to sexual content and language). Stay tuned for more information, including the blurb a little later!

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

My zombies are “fresher” then your average zombies out there. They are also smarter (ex. They know the best way to take down a human is to go for the heel/Achilles area). They are also stronger and faster than your average zombie making them even harder to kill and more terrifying (eeek!)

That is more terrifying! What is your all-time favourite Zombie book that you didn’t write?

I’ve only read a handful of zombie books. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series rocks it for me. I know it’s more vampire than zombie, but LOVE the way they are raised and portrayed!

Do you feel that gender plays a part in getting noticed in the genre? If so, why do you think readers are more comfortable reading Zombie works written by men?

I’m honestly not certain. I read from both genres. Stephen King ROCKS as does Laurell K. Hamilton. Two different genres, but two incredible authors in my eyes 🙂

Have you ever thought about using a male pseudonym to sell more books?

No. I’ve actually just heard recently about males using a female pseudonym and visa versa.

Characters or gore – what do you spend more time writing?

Characters. I want them a realistic as possible. Even if they’re just in the story for a minute.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Return of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead & Shaun of Dead.

Love all of those movies! Do you think the popularity of The Walking Dead and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

I feel there has always been interest. The Walking Dead just brought all the zombie lovers out to play 🙂

Pop Quiz: If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, 5 things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

Hmm, great question. I’d say one of my pointiest and heaviest dragon statues (I’d hate to see any of them broken, but it’s me or them and I can’t glue myself back together) lol. My three-pound dumbbells, And my 2 metal tree/art wall hangings (they are heavy and could definitely do some major damage). And last my entire desk!

You may well make it through Ava…

And now it’s time to take a sneak peek into WUNDER (0.5 DreamZ)…

Wunder_cvr-FINAL-_PREQUELA World of Turmoil and Yearning

Wunder may have a normal life now…well, as normal as a freak of nature could have. Half zombie while her job is to hunt bloodthirsty creatures to protect the innocent. It’s the dreams that haunt her and they aren’t nightmares. Wunder dreams of a man, a man made just for her. Is he real, can he be the one she‘s yearned for?

Pete’s world is a lonely one as he wrestles with the reality of being part zombie. His hatred for the creatures that killed his parents drives him to patrol the streets and wipe them all out. His life would be stark, but for the dreams he’s been having; of a woman, so sensuous, so sexy. These alluring visions have become erotic and consuming. He feels as if he made her up to keep from going crazy. Is this life of hunting the walking dead, all there is? Or is she out there, waiting…just for him?

Don’t forget to click on the cover to be whisked away to Amazon!

If you’d like to connect with Ava, you can find her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook (Author Page, Blog Page, and Personal Page), Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads, or via her Amazon Author Page! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Ava!

Ava has also sent along a link for the book trailer to the WUNDER series! Make sure you check it out too!!

Darlings of Decay: Chewing Braaiiinns with… C.A. Verstraete

Recently I joined 32 other women who wrote in the Zombie genre and we released a fantastic compendium of undead treats for lovers of the genre! It’s called Darlings of Decay and the best news is that it’s a FREE download on Smashwords! What a great way to try samples of some of the greats writing in the genre! Click on the cover and it will take you straight to Smashwords.

Today I have to distinct pleasure of welcoming fellow Darling of Decay C.A. Verstraete to Days with the Undead. For those of you unfamiliar with C.A., let’s take a moment and get everyone acquainted…

verstraete-smChristine Verstraete is a big Halloween fan who enjoys a good scare or two. Her short fiction has appeared online and in anthologies including Timeshares and Steampunk’d from DAW Books. Her new YA book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie releases August 1. Stop by her website at http://cverstraete.com or blogs, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com and http://candidcanine.blogspot.com.

Welcome C.A.! So tell us, why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Besides all the blood and gore? Hmm… Well, I admit I do turn away at the gruesome parts in movies, but zombies are fascinating in their own way. They can symbolize so many things, and mean different things to different people beyond just the classic horror image.

Tell us about your latest project.

My book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, comes out in August, but is available for pre-order. It’s YA with zombies, yes, but features a girl who turns part-zombie. The book focuses on her life as she copes with a new physical and social reality while searching for her and her cousin’s lost mothers.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

I do have the typical, icky, attacking flesh-eating zombies in there, but the part Zs (zombies) like Becca are mostly still human but have to cope with physical, emotional and health changes. Oh, and different eating habits. (No, not “that.”)

Has there been a Zombie novel or short story that has inspired you to write in the genre? If so, tell us about it and why it inspired you.

I tried not to read any zombie books until mine was done. But the books that impressed me were Jonathan Maberry’s Dead of Night for the detail and idea of a serial killer coming back to life; I enjoyed Belinda Frisch’s Cure, for the creepy premise and intriguing hospital setting (still finishing that); Dana Fredsti’s Plague Town had a great female lead; and I’m super intrigued by Raising Stony Mayhall, yet to be read. In a similar vein, Dave Zeltersman’s Frankenstein has a new take on the classic and is beautifully written. And that’s just a small portion of the list.

What is your all-time favourite Zombie book that you didn’t write?

Maberry’s Dead of Night still leads the pack for me. So far. And I love Angela Scott’s idea of a zombie western.

Do you feel that gender plays a part in getting noticed in the genre? If so, why do you think readers are more comfortable reading Zombie works written by men?

Is it that society overall expects men to be more violent or is more accepting of that still? Zombie books do have their fair share of violence unless they are written for very young children (you’d hope). But gender really shouldn’t play a role as shown in TV and films. Women can kick butt as good as the guys.

Have you ever thought about using a male pseudonym to sell more books?

I used initials on my book, but I make no secret of my identity. I did it really for convenience (my name is too long. ha!)

Characters or gore – what do you spend more time writing?

I like to show my characters and their world, but I guess it’s kind of fun writing icky, gory stuff. You can’t help but laugh when you get creative with it. (I tend to try making some of it humorous.)

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Zombieland, Night of the Living Dead, and I haven’t decided on a third.

Do you think the popularity of The Walking Dead and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

The show really seems to have hit a chord in society, probably because people already feel they are fighting a battle with the continual economic, financial and moral strife and concerns in our society in the past few years. They can relate to people who are fighting for their lives or feel that there hopefully is, or maybe isn’t, a way out.

Pop Quiz: If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, five things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

I’m dead meat, I guess, ha! But I’m in the kitchen, which is some help, so I choose: scissors, knives, flashlight, a lighter, and skewers. Darn, the dog moved to the other room.

You may well survive C.A.!

Now let’s take a look at C.A.’s GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

girlz1-mdThis book is a Young Adult (YA) science fiction Zombie book called GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie … Life can suck when you’re sixteen. It can suck even worse when you’re not- quite- dead. Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager’s biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead. Becca’s life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret he’s becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch. The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for. Then she meets Gabe, a good-looking part-Z like her, and fears falling for him. After all, how can he, who shows hardly any Z symptoms, be interested in someone like her? But time is running out … Becca needs his help as she and her cousin Carm search for their missing mothers and fight off hungry Zs. Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late…

Clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon where you can pre-order a copy of GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie!

Thank you C.A. for taking the time to answer my questions! If you’d like to connect with C.A. you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, her website, or either of her two blogs: Girl Zombie Authors and Candid Canine.

Darlings of Decay: Chewing Braaiiinns with… Cynthia Melton

Recently I joined 32 other women who wrote in the Zombie genre and we released a fantastic compendium of undead treats for lovers of the genre! It’s called Darlings of Decay and the best news is that it’s a FREE download on Smashwords! What a great way to try samples of some of the greats writing in the genre! Click on the cover and it will take you straight to Smashwords.

You all know how I like to spread the word about other authors, especially those writing in the genre. Today I have a treat for you. Cynthia Melton has stopped by to answer my questions and she’s one of the authors in Darlings of Decay. Not familiar with Cynthia? Let’s learn a little more about her…

155126_508450599182497_734971298_nCynthia Melton is the pseudonym for multi-published author, Cynthia Hickey. Her zombie series, A Zombie Awakening, has been called “Walking Dead with a Twist”. which is exactly what she was aiming for with this series. You may find her other books at www.cynthiahickey.com. She lives in Arizona with her husband and the youngest of their seven children, two dogs and two cats.

Welcome Cynthia – so, why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Not really. I’m as surprised as the rest of my family that me, a historical romance writer, would use my maiden name and switch to a genre such as Zombies.

That is surprising, but we all have that pull in us somewhere! Tell us about your latest project.

I just combined the first three books in my Zombie Awakening series into one book. I’m planning on releases novella number four by the end of the year.

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

Well, it’s not about the zombies, it’s about the survivors, although there is plenty of gore and flesh-eating to satisfy the staunchest zombie lover.

Has there been a Zombie novel or short story that has inspired you to write in the genre? If so, tell us about it and why it inspired you.

I got hooked on the Walking Dead TV series, got my own idea, and never looked back. I originally started writing the zombie books so I could cast my son as a main character. They’re doing much better than I’d thought.

What is your all-time favourite Zombie book that you didn’t write?

Apocalypse Z. I CANNOT wait until the second book is translated into English.

Do you feel that gender plays a part in getting noticed in the genre? If so, why do you think readers are more comfortable reading Zombie works written by men?

No, I don’t feel there is much of a distinction between genders in the book world. We’re all pretty equal. It’s about the story, not whether you’re a male or female author.

Have you ever thought about using a male pseudonym to sell more books?

Nope. I’m a woman and don’t plan on changing.

That’s what I wanted to hear! Characters or gore – what do you spend more time writing?

Characters, definitely

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

The Walking Dead, Zombieland, and World War Z

Do you think the popularity of The Walking Dead and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

Oh, definitely. It’s what woke me up to the popularity of zombies.

Pop Quiz: If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, 5 things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

Scissors, glass from a large picture frame, a wrought iron wall hanging, other than that there’s my laptop (which I wouldn’t want to ruin) and lots and lots of books.

It’s hard to say… you may have a chance Cynthia. Maybe!

Now let’s take a sneak peek into Cynthia’s The Darkening: The Zombie Awakening Book 1…

zombie 1 new cover (1)It’s not about the ZOMBIES, it’s about the SURVIVORS

Attempts to divert a giant meteor from striking the Earth fail. Instead, the meteor was broken and showered the earth with many. One of which strikes a government test facility unleashing a plague like none the world has ever seen.

Chalice Hart watches her mother die and then flees their home with her brother and sister. They team up with another group of survivors and head west in search of a safe zone.

The horrors they encounter were only imagined in Chalice’s nightmares. The one redeeming factor is the handsome Colton Morgan. A young man who quickly becomes much more than a friend.

Clicking on the title will whisk you away to Amazon!

Thank you Cynthia for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with Cynthia, you can find her on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Zombie Film Fridays: Braindead (Dead Alive)

If you have not seen Braindead (or Dead Alive as it’s called in the United States), I suggest watching it. Immediately! Directed by Peter Jackson and cheesy to the core, it’s a fun movie!

Lionel, a Mama’s boy has the unwanted honor of having to look after his overbearingly evil mother. He ends up falling in love with a local woman who believes that they’re destined together. In a moment of intentional sabotage of one of their dates, his mother is bitten by a mysterious creature that ends up zombifying her. It’s only a matter of time before she rises from the dead a powerful, bloodthirsty zombie. It’s only a matter of time before she starts infecting residents of the town and Lionel has to stop her…and them.

My Rating: A-

Interesting Facts: During the lawnmower scene, movie blood was pumped at five gallons per second, rental of the movie in Sweden (and probably other countries as well) came with supplemental vomit bags, and this movie is said to be the bloodiest of all time (measured in amount of film blood used during the production).

And now it’s time for the trailer!

Zombie Film Fridays: The Cabin in the Woods

There’s many out there that did not like The Cabin in the Woods. I did. And I think it qualifies to be featured on Zombie Film Fridays!

Five teenagers head off for a weekend at a secluded cabin in the woods. They arrive to find they are quite isolated with no means of communicating with the outside world. When the cellar door flings itself open, they of course go down to investigate. They find an odd assortment of relics and curios but when one of the women, Dana, reads from a book she awakens a family of deadly zombie killers. There’s far more going on however than meets the eye as the five campers are all under observation.

My Rating: A

Interesting Facts: In the scene where Jules kisses the wolf head on the wall, the wolf’s tongue is covered in powdered sugar to give it a dusty look and to make the scene tolerable for the actress, The entry date in the book they read from is April 4th; the same day that the George Orwell novel 1984 begins and the Latin that Dana reads from the diary is: “Dolor supervivo caro. Dolor sublimus caro. Dolor ignio animus.” It means: Pain outlives the flesh. Pain raises the flesh. Pain ignites the spirit.

And now it’s time of the trailer!

Chewing Braaiiinns with… Matthew S. Williams

Today I welcome author Matthew S. Williams to Chewing Braaiiinns with… Let’s take a moment to introduce Matt to everyone.

portrait_wolverineMatt Williams lives on Vancouver Island with his wife and family and dedicates himself to teaching, Taekwon-Do and writing. He has authored eight novels and short stories and over one hundred articles. In addition to classic sci-fi, his interests include history, literature, politics, science and technology, and social studies. He is a member of several online writing communities, including the Herscher Project and Writer’s Worth, and is a contributing author to websites such as Universe Today and Were You Wondering?

Welcome Matt. So tell us, why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I think it has to do with the idea of an apocalyptic scenario, where the world is falling to pieces and people are scrambling to get what they can and find the high ground. There’s excitement in that, and plenty of opportunities for adventure and crisis, the stuff good literature is made of! What’s more, there’s the deeper level that it works on. In all good zombie fiction, you have the constant conflict between chaos and order, how characters will always try to cling to civilization even as they embrace the law of the wild, where anything goes and you have to be ruthless to stay alive.

Tell us about your latest project.

My latest project is Whiskey Delta, a tale of the zombie apocalypse told from the point of view of the 200th Rattlesnake Brigade – a  group of soldiers who are dedicated to fighting back the hordes from within their enclave in New Mexico. They are led by “The Mage”, a General who has some experience fighting the undead and who is determined to win the war at any cost. But when information comes to them that might lead to a cure, they quickly realize they aren’t the only fighting force left in the nation, or the only ones willing to kill for fight for a cure…

What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

Well, I decided that for the sake of my own work, I wanted to vary things up a bit. In general, zombies tend to be the vapid, instinct-driven creatures that skulk around looking for flesh to feed on. I wanted to present a form of zombie that was capable of changing over time, capable of fear and anger in addition to base instinct and even capable of learning from its mistakes. After all, there’s no telling how a virus will impact a host over time, especially the kind that kills and resurrects!

What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

World War Z, The Walking Dead, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Patient Zero, and Zone One. All of these dealt with the zombie apocalypse in an intelligent, creative and very human way, the way I wanted to when I started writing. But as always, a new writer always feels like they are eating the crumbs off others’ tables.

What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

28 Days Later, Zombieland, and Shaun of the Dead.

Do you think the popularity of The Walking Dead and its appearance in mainstream media has helped to increase the popularity of the genre, or has there always been such an interest?

I would say it has, but it was in good company thanks to a general resurgence in recent years in occult-type movies. In fact, I’d say zombies is the latest craze, behind witches and vampires, and represents the most mature aspect of this resurgent interest in paranormal and horror-related genres.

Pop Quiz: If the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur right now, 5 things found in the room you are currently sitting will be your weapons – what are they?

My imitation katana sword, my diver’s knife, my ceramic Oktoberfest mug, my iPad, and the lamp stand.

Imitation Katana?? It’s all over you for you Matt… Sorry! Now let’s take a quick peek into Whiskey Delta

Whiskey_Delta1A tale of the zombie apocalypse, of the men and women who fight the undead hordes, and the struggle to maintain hope and humanity in a world devoid of both.

Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you directly to Amazon.

Thank you Matt for answering my questions. If you’d like to connect with Matt, you can find him on his blog and his Amazon Author Page.