Days with the Undead: A to Z Challenge 2014!

A lot of you might ask if I’m crazy… The answer to that question appears to be a resounding yes.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014]I’m going to be doing the A to Z Challenge again this year, only in 2014 I’m going to be writing flash fiction for each of the days I have to post. That’s 26 days of flash fiction from me that contains yours and my favourite thing – Zombies!

So be sure to check back each day starting on April 1st (except Sundays because they tell me I get to rest then and trust me, that will be a good thing!) for yummy tidbits of undead fiction.

Oh and wish me luck! I have a plan and I’m super excited to put it into action!

Be sure to check out the rest of the participants of the A to Z Challenge 2014 as well! There are tonnes of blogs on all different topics taking part so there really is something for everyone!

5 Questions with Lisa Morton

Today I have the pleasure of presenting an interview with Bram Stoker Award-winning author Lisa Morton. Let’s take a minute to acquaint everyone before we begin…

LisaMortonLisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, Bram Stoker Award-winning prose writer, and Halloween expert whose work was described by the American Library Association’s Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror as “consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening.” Her most recent books are the novels Netherworld (JournalStone) and Zombie Apocalypse: Washington Deceased (Constable & Robinson), and forthcoming (from Reaktion Books) is a non-fiction history of ghosts. She lives in North Hollywood, California.

Welcome Lisa. Now let’s get to the questions… Tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

Probably not. In the Zombie Apocalypse books, the zombie virus can be spread by a bite or even just a scratch. I’m a klutz and always the first one to get whatever flu’s going around, so I’d probably be toast early on.

What was your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience was drew into writing the genre?

It was a midnight showing on opening night of Romero’s original Dawn of the Dead; I was in film school, and I tagged along with some of the other students who urged me to go because they knew I liked horror. Oddly enough, I had absolutely no idea what I was in for, and it haunted me for…well, years, really. And yes, from that point on I was dying (no pun intended) to write zombie stories.

Puns are always welcome! Now it’s time for the Pop Quiz: The item to your left is your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival?

There’s nothing to my left but a door going out to my balcony, but to my right is a nice screwdriver. Remembering the amazing screwdriver scene from Dawn – yeah, I might stand a chance with it, but it’ll get messy.

If you have an exit to your left, that just might be a good thing. You could think of it as a never-ending escape hatch. Oh, that gives me a story idea… List your five favourite pieces of Zombie media.

#1 must be Romero’s Dawn of the Dead

#2: The Book of the Dead, the original zombie anthology edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector

3: Romero’s Day of the Dead, a movie that I think is massively underrated

#4: The anthology Mondo Zombie, edited by John Skipp – this is largely a sentimental favorite because my first piece of zombie fiction (“Sparks Fly Upward”) appeared here

#5: Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead, which is still one of the best horror comedies ever made.

We all know that we sometimes have bad luck. Keeping that in mind, what song do you think would get stuck in your head, playing over and over again on an incessant loop?

The theme song from The Blob has been an earworm for me. That one’s especially embarrassing, because you start unconsciously mouthing the ludicrous words: “It creeps, and crawls, and slides and glides across the floor, right through the door…” Oh God, yeah – it’s stuck again.

You know, I’ve heard worse Lisa… LOL! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you’d like to connect with Lisa, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, her Amazon Author Page, her website, and her blog.

Now let’s take a look at Zombie Apocalypse: Washington Deceased which is available for pre-order… Click on the cover to be taken to Amazon!

LisaMorton_BookA novel set within the Zombie Apocalypse! mythos created by Stephen Jones for his bestselling trilogy, Washington DC is sent during the second half of Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback, when the zombies’ intelligence is increasing and they have formed themselves into a society, and an army. New York and Los Angeles have fallen to the walking dead and there has been no news out of Chicago, but Washington DC is still holding out and the South is still free. Time is running out, though, for the battalions defending Capitol Hill …As the most powerful symbols of American democracy begin to fall, the President and her advisors must be protected at all costs. But what if there are people in her own government who are prepared to do a deal with the living-dead invaders to retain power at any cost? Meanwhile, ‘Zombie King’ Thomas Moreby is making his own plans to rule the United States as his control increases across the country. Moreby claims to have ‘foreseen’ his victory, but there are emerging factions in his own ranks who are starting to question their role in the war between zombies and humans. And how does the mysterious New World Pharmaceuticals fit into the New Zombie Order?

 

The Dead of Penderghast Manor Releases!

Phrenic Press has just released my standalone short –

The Dead of Penderghast Manor

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What would you do if you knew the Dead could talk?

For Chester Penderghast, it’s not the easiest of questions to answer…

Ensconced in the basement of his family’s mortuary business is the last place he wants to be, but when the conversation starts flowing, Chester’s the only living person who can hear it. What do the Dead want, and why is he the only one who can hear them?

This is not your average zombie tale—the Dead don’t want to eat your brains, but they will chew your ear off!

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5 Questions with Owen Baillie

Today I have the pleasure of featuring an interview with author Owen Baillie. Let’s take a moment while Owen introduces himself to the rapt audience…

profileI live in Melbourne, Australia with my wife and three children.  I grew up reading Stephen King, Richard Matheson, Robert McCammon and Jean Auel.  I love hearing a good story, particularly with a fantastic element, but my bookcases hold an eclectic mix of authors.  My writing is the first priority of the day before I head off to my full time job.

Welcome Owen! Now let’s get into the questions. Tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

My zombies are classified in stages. I’d be okay with the type one and two, which are fairly harmless, unless they get hold of you, but the type three are aggressive, and intelligent. I don’t think I’d last long against more than one or two of them. However, if I had a couple of my friends along, some of which are highly trained in combat, I might survive!

Interesting! What was your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience was drew into writing the genre?

Probably the Thriller video clip was the first thing I can recall. The Walking Dead drew me in to writing about zombies! Inspiring stuff.

Pop Quiz: The item to your left is your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival?

My iPhone. Not going to help much at all, unless Apple have created an app that can shoot laser bullets from it… if Steve Jobs were still alive, I’d believe that was possible…

You’re doomed Owen… But before you go, why don’t you list your five favourite pieces of Zombie media for us.

28 Days later

The Walking Dead

The Remaining Series

World War Z

Night of the Living Dead

We all know that we sometimes have bad luck. Keeping that in mind, what song do you think would get stuck in your head, playing over and over again on an incessant loop?

Hmmm… I’d have to say, Who Lets the Dogs Out?

Ohhh that’s horrible! I feel for you on that one… Thank you Owen for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with Owen, you can find him on Facebook or via his Amazon Author Page.

Now let’s take a look at Owen’s book Aftermath…

aftermath5Australia … a huge, sprawling land filled with danger … but nothing as dangerous as this …

Deep beneath defence headquarters in the Australian Capital Territory, the last ranking Army chief considers the collapse of his country, and the contingency plan to win it back.

One hundred and fifty miles away, five twenty-something friends returning from a month-long camping trip slowly discover that the world has turned horribly wrong, that a virus has ravaged the entire east coast of Australia. The dead now walk the land, seeking flesh and blood. Armed with dwindling ammunition, the friends must overcome their differences, utilize their individual skills, and face horrors they never imagined … but not all zombies are the same …

What will they find if they can all reach their hometown? Will their families or friends have survived? What twists and turns will the group encounter, and what life-threatening decisions will they face?

Their personalities and agendas will conflict, as each fights for their place in this new world, a world unlike anything they could have imagined…

5 Questions with Elaine Pascale

Today I have the pleasure of featuring an interview with author Elaine Pascale. For those of you who don’t know Elaine yet, let’s take a moment to get to know her…

me officeElaine Pascale has been writing for most of her life.  She took a break from fiction in order to give birth to two children and a doctoral dissertation.  She lives on Cape Cod, MA, with her husband, son and daughter.  She teaches a variety of courses at a private university in Boston: from English Composition and Communications to a Vampire Seminar.  Her writing has been published in several magazines and anthologies. She is the author of If Nothing Else, Eve, We’ve Enjoyed the Fruit, and the nonfiction book: Metamorphosis: Identity Outcomes in International Student Adaptation–A Grounded Theory Study.  She enjoys a robust full moon, chocolate, and collecting cats.

Who doesn’t love collecting cats?? Welcome Elaine! Now let’s get to the questions. Tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

Zombies: Shambling through the Ages is an anthology of zombie stories that take place during different historical eras.  The wonderful editor, Steve Berman, put it all together, and his stipulation was that the stories be historically accurate.

My story, “Dead Reckoning” explains what really happened in Roanoke.  It is a short story that I have continued tweaking and adapting into novella form which may or may not be published soon (a long story with publishing glitches more horrific than zombies).  In Dead Reckoning, the women of Roanoke get the short end of the stick–socially, economically, spiritually–and they turn to a Native American chant to find solace.  Instead, they become zombies.  In my novella, a military experiment is the cause; again, it affects women due to neurological differences.  I guess my zombies are feminists.

Zombies interest me because of their cannibalistic compulsion.  I feel that women tend to be obsessed with food:  with starving themselves, with diets, with equating food with love and acceptance, so I am interested in what happens when the lust for food (in this case, human flesh) overrides the social norms to watch what we eat.

I could probably outsmart a zombie, but if one had me cornered, I would be in trouble.

What was your first experience with zombie media (movie, book, comic, etc)? Was that experience was drew into writing the genre?

I was weaned on horror fiction.  I have always loved horror.  I did not read many zombie stories growing up, but I did watch zombie movies.  I think that “Night of the Comet” was my first real zombie film.  It was so 80s—big hair, valley girl jokes; but I loved it anyway.  I don’t think this film influenced my writing—it did have an impact on my childhood fashion sense, though.

Pop Quiz: The item to your left is your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival?

My “crazy cat lady” coffee mug.  Oh, Lord, I think I’m doomed.  I could always break it into sharp, porcelain pieces and slash my way out of trouble.  But, I’d rather not live in a world that no longer contains my “crazy cat lady” mug.

Man, you are doomed! Tell me about your five favourite pieces of Zombie media.

1. The music of Rob Zombie (editor’s note: I’m not sure this counts…)

2. Goya’s Saturn Devouring his Son.  I realize that Saturn had political reasons to eat his children, but he really looks like a zombie to me.

3. Night of the Comet—the cheesy 80s backdrop really enhances the zombie experience

4. Shaun of the Dead—cute, cute, cute and a nice spoof

5. I recently reviewed Tim Waggoner’s The Way of All Flesh.  This is an interesting zombie book that looks at a zombie apocalypse in an existentialist manner.  Waggoner went in an unexpected direction and it was very entertaining.

Great choices! So now comes the hard question… We all know that we sometimes have bad luck. Keeping that in mind, what song do you think would get stuck in your head, playing over and over again on an incessant loop?

Something by Taylor Swift or Katy Perry.  I have fantasies about those two becoming zombie food during the Grammys.  Actually, it would be really cool if zombies attacked the Grammys or the Oscars or some other self-congratulatory Hollywood mess…

That would be interesting! Thank you Elaine for stopping by and answering my questions. If you’d like to connect with Elaine, you can find her on Twitter, her website, or on her Amazon Author Page.

Now let’s take a look at Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages… Don’t forget to click on the link to be taken to Amazon!

It’s a wonder humanity ever survived into the twenty-first century. Even Neanderthals knew to bury the dead beneath stones to prevent corpses from rising. Ancient civilizations feared slain warriors would return from battlefields, medieval physicians worried that bodies would rise from plague pits, many cultures buried the dead at crossroads to prevent the dead from walking. In Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages, editor Steve Berman has collected stories that reveal the threat of revenants and the living dead is far from recent. From the Bronze Age to World War II, this anthology guides us through millennia of thrills, chills, kills, carnage, horror, and havoc wreaked throughout history by the walking dead.

 

5 Questions with Megan Ralston

Today I have the wonderful pleasure of featuring an interview with Megan Ralston, author of Preppers. If you’re not familiar with Megan, let’s take a moment to get to know her better…

HeadshotMegan Ralston is a Vocal Performance major at Cal State University Fullerton who in addition to singing has been obsessively reading and writing all her life. In the end, she thought she had chosen singing, but apparently she couldn’t decide. Her first and only novel, Preppers, was written during the National Novel Writing Month challenge of 2012, and published on a crazy whim.

Welcome Megan! Now let’s get to the questions. Tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

My zombies are not super zombies by any means—they’re your average shufflers and groaners that are mostly effective because they come in such large numbers. Do I think I’d stand a chance? Well, a couple summers ago, my dad and I had what we call our “Zombie Apocalypse Preparation Summer” (Or ZAPS for short). We took a bunch of classes we would never take otherwise—archery, rock-climbing, and tae kwon do—and went shooting on a regular basis to get our aim up. My dad and I even ran in The Walking Dead Escape in San Diego, and took a trip to Las Vegas to shoot machine guns and see “Evil Dead: The Musical.” It’s the most active I’d ever been (I’m an opera singer—my only toned muscle is my diaphragm), so if you asked me that summer, my answer would definitely be an enthusiastic YES. That was my family’s summer of being honest-to-god preppers, and it was great fun. There were matching t-shirts and everything. Now, since I can’t remember the last time I exercised or practiced shooting any sort of weapon, I’d probably have to say no. But if I’m with my dad for the end of the world, that would probably turn into a maybe.

So you really are a prepper – awesome! What was your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience was drew into writing the genre?

I honestly have no idea. My dad’s been into zombies way longer than I have, so I was subtly exposed to them for a while. I think probably my first real active experience was watching the Resident Evil movies, or Zombieland. What really inspired me was our whole ZAPS experience, and deciding to do the NaNoWriMo challenge the November directly afterward. When fishing around for a plot, zombies were fresh in my mind. In the end, though, I wanted to do something that was different from all the zombie media I had immersed myself in during ZAPS. I wanted to write something that was about zombies, but first and foremost more in line with what I usually read and write, YA fiction. I also wanted it to be a lot more introspective and more about the emotional reactions and inner monologue of a survivor than about having gruesome zombie-fighting scenes (which I love reading, but would have had more trouble writing). So I think what mostly inspired me to write the genre was being an unlikely (a dainty singer and lover of YA lit) in the middle of zombie media and a prepper lifestyle. So in a way, I think it’s kind of part of but still separate from the zombie genre… at least, that’s what I tell myself when I read my scathing reviews on Amazon. 😉

Scathing reviews happen to everyone – even Stephen King so we really can’t take them personally. Now it’s time for a Pop Quiz: The item to your left is your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival?

It’s a book, and it’s fluffy chick lit no less. (Kim Gruenenfelder’s Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink, if you’re curious, which I highly recommend if you’re in the exact opposite of a zombie novel mood.) I’m thinking I’m doomed.

Yeah… You’re doomed! Tell us your five favourite pieces of Zombie media.

  • Zombieland
  • All the Resident Evil movies
  • Monster Hunter International, by Larry Correa (which isn’t strictly a zombie novel, but there are definitely zombies in it)
  • Warm Hearts (It’s just quirky and adorable, what can I say?)
  • Shaun of the Dead

Great choices! We all know that we sometimes have bad luck. Keeping that in mind, what song do you think would get stuck in your head, playing over and over again on an incessant loop?

Ah, well, like I said—I’m an opera singer, and I just learned my first truly impressive coloratura aria. As a result, it’s all my teacher has let me sing for anything (competitions, workshops, masterclasses, performances, auditions, everything) for the last 5 months. So I have had the German aria “Spiel ich die Unschuld vom Lande” from Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus stuck in my head for about as long. As such, it’s not really a great zombie apocalypse soundtrack, but it’s probably the only thing I’ll have stuck in my head for ages.

Thank you Megan for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to keep in touch with Megan, you can find her on her Amazon Author Page, on YouTube, and on her Tumblr Blog.

Preppers_Cover_for_KindleNow let’s take a closer look at Preppers

Skylar Anderson and her family have been preparing for the zombie apocalypse for as long as she could remember. But when it finally happens, she finds that nothing could really have prepared her for the reality of a world over-run with the undead—Especially when her parents are arrested as suspects for creating the first zombie. Trying to keep her friends, family, and a hodge-podge group of survivors safe without the guidance of her parents turns out to be a much more difficult task than Skylar could ever have anticipated.

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

5 Questions with catt dahman

Today I have the pleasure of presenting an interview with catt dahman, author of the Z is for Zombies series. For those of you unfamiliar with catt, let’s take a moment to get to know her better…

catt1catt dahman is currently with Severed Press and J Ellington Ashton Press and is in 2 other press anthologies.

catt dahman has been writing for more than 30 years, has taught in public schools, private schools, and college. Her degrees are from A & M. A native of Texas, she has lived all over the US, but is currently back in the Fort Worth, Texas area where she lives with her husband, son, 4 cats, 1 dog and a ferret. She has also been a public speaker, director for a charity, dabbled as a PI, and more. She now writes full time, working on horror, thrillers, and more. She is published with Severed Press (9+ books of a zombie series: Z is for Zombie) as well as other books of horror. Other novels are available as well.

Welcome catt! Let’s get to the questions… Tell us about your zombies? If the dead were to rise, do you think you’d stand a chance against them?

It depends. If I am still in Dallas, then my odds go down. On the other hand, my Zs are slow and follow George Romero’s rules and those types I can out wit, I think. I want a good baseball bat and want to weight it on the ends. I also am good with a rifle and handguns. I am generally calm in dangerous experiences and think I could handle the Zs. The other people…they may be impossible to deal with and may need the same treatment if they get bullish and pushy and stupid.

Tell us about your first experience with zombie media? Was that experience was drew into writing the genre?

I saw Night of the Living Dead (original) and a few others  and I read a few books (one was Dan Williams) and other than his and one by Kody Boye, I thought most were dull, silly, super-hero-type, redundant, poorly written junk. I knew I had a series that was sitting in a box and yanked them out. 7 months later, Severed Press acquired all nine of my books and asked me to writer several more, which I am doing.

Pop Quiz: The item to your left is your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival?

A box of cheezits,. I am so screwed.

Thanks for having me here but now I am about to be munched up while I toss crackers at them.

Yes, you are screwed… List your five favourite pieces of Zombie media.

  • The Walking Dead (Andy Lincoln, Rooker,Reedus, and Riggs rock the show.)
  • Bowie Ibarra’s books
  • Rhiannon Frater’s Trilogy
  • Planet Terror/ Machine gun leg rocks
  • Dawn of the dead original and remake

Great choices! We all know that we sometimes have bad luck. Keeping that in mind, what song do you think would get stuck in your head, playing over and over again on an incessant loop?

It would be a song by REO Speedwagon which I can’t stand.” I just can’t fight this feeling… (I would cut my own head off right then).

I’d like to thank catt for taking the time to answer my questions! If you would like to keep I touch witth catt, you can find her on her website or on her Amazon Author Page.

Now let’s take a look at catt’s George’s Terms – Z is for Zombie: Book 1

covernameIn Northeast Texas, the epic adventure of a group of survivors begins as they take refuge in a hospital, waiting to see if the world-wide Red Infection can be stopped before all humanity is wiped out. As victims awaken from a coma, they now have the basic need to attack loved ones, to spread the infection, and to feed on warm flesh. Only rage remains. In days, the dead outnumber the living, and the US turns to the ultimate weapons to stop the infection.

In a world filled with zombies, survivors find that the living can be far more inhumane and cruel than anything they have ever imagined, as raiders scavenge for supplies and lawlessness and hatred are the norm. Both outlaws and zombies crave meat. In this time of hopelessness and horror, a bullet to the brain may be the kindest action. 
George, an older, retired police officer, sets his own terms: fight and survive or go the way you want, but don’t let the zombies win. He explains that everyone is responsible for his own fate, and if that means going out on unpopular terms, then so be it. Len, a retired Marine; a quiet cowboy, Kim; a hot-tempered Hispanic woman, Julia; and a compassionate young woman, Beth all begin their terrorizing journey, not only to survive, but also to establish a new society, find love and joy in a barren, bloody landscape, and to face gathering enemies.

The first of the compelling series, George’s Terms, introduces a memorable cast of characters and a terrifying vision of a world, burned to rubble and filled with flesh-eating adversaries. As each person faces inner fears and new roles, he finds law and morality must be redefined. Zombies are used as the vehicle, but the story is all about what humans will do to survive when the odds are stacked against them; luckily, for the survivors, George has given them the terms that may keep humans from becoming extinct.

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