HOW TO SURVIVE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: Secret Compartment Furniture

We all know that sometimes our desire for safety doesn’t always match our tastes in home decor. That’s where secret compartment furniture comes in – you can have the best of both worlds!

So when the zombies come knocking, you’ll be ready to defend yourself without the worry of others knowing just what you have stashed for a bad situation. You never know when it could save your life.

hidden-gun-storage-table

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Chewing Braaiiinns with… Stephen A. North

On the day after the premiere of The Walking Dead, I am joined by none other than Stephen A. North. Before we welcome Stephen, let’s get to know him a little bit.

Stephen A. North is a former Army Reservist and has a BA in English Literature from USF.  He is the author of four novels, one novella and several short stories.  He has a daughter and resides in the Tampa Bay area on Florida’s West Coast. 

Welcome Stephen! Let’s get right into it – why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?   

The original Dawn of the Dead movie made a big impression on me.  Saw it several times at the Midnight Movie Express (Tyrone Mall in St. Petersburg) with my friends back in the early eighties when I was still in high school.  The dual threat of trying to survive while fighting living and undead monsters was gripping.

Plug your latest project; published or otherwise.

My latest project is finishing the third book in the Dead Tide series.  They are stories of the zombie apocalypse in a Florida setting.  Each chapter is from a third person viewpoint of  different people.  The first two books are currently out of print, but a new publisher is in the works.

Oh! That means you’ll have to come back when Dead Tide and Dead Tide Rising are re-released! We’ll have a nice little launch party or something… What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

My zombies aren’t different, but I think my use of the present tense keeps the action fresh and thrusts the reader right into the story.

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

Hmmm, guess I will go with (in no particular order): Twilight of the Dead by Travis Adkins; Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies; Eric Shelman’s Dead Hunger; Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth; and Comes the Dark by Patrick S. D’Orazio.  Wish I could have included more.

Well I’m sure you could have included more but I like that you stuck to the number. That makes it so much harder in my book. What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

My favorite zombie films are the original and the re-make of Dawn of the Dead and Planet Terror.  I actually prefer zombies in the Romero tradition, but the re-make of the DotD and Planet Terror are exceptions.

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 think The Walking Dead has increased the popularity of the genre.  That show has converted many people I know into fans.  The focus is on what happens when the veneer of civilization is ripped away and how people react.  Fascinating stuff!  So many people are dissatisfied with their lives that I can’t help but wonder how many of them would like to have their problems reduced to such a basic level.  Life is more clear cut in fight for survival.  Fight or flight?  Live or die?  Personally hope we never have to face living in such a world, though!

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?

I am a big man.  Just about everything in the room I’m in could be wielded by me!  Anything from the table lamps to the end table or even pieces of the entertainment center all have potential as weapons!  Hmm, that is only three…think, think, think.  Could also use my computer chair and the pedestal world globe!

Thanks for answering my questions, Stephen. Interested in learning a little more about Stephen’s work? Here’s a peek at Beneath the Mask:

There is just a thin veneer of civilization that masks the savagery that lies within us all… Sergeant Alexander Cray built his life around a code that set limits to what he would and would not do. This code provided a framework that gave value to a promise or meaning to a commitment. Of course, sometimes people don’t hold up their end of the deal or something else intervenes. Sometimes forgiveness comes far too late… Is MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa really just a glowing crater? Rumours claim the whole earth is under siege. Is it an alien invasion or terrorist attacks? All that is sure is that Tampa, Florida is quarantined and Cray’s Military Police unit is called up for the crisis. Follow him on a patrol that begins with a deadly encounter at an interstate truck stop to a trek across a panic-stricken, lawless metropolis.

Sounds good huh? Click on the cover and it will take you straight to Amazon!

Join me next week when my guest will be J.P. Kurzitza!

Chewing Braaiiinns with… James Friesen

Today we will be talking all things Zombie with author James Friesen. Welcome James! For those of you unacquainted with Mr. Friesen, let’s have a quick look inside his brain.

Jamie Friesen was born in Lahr, West Germany while his father was serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He attended the University of Alberta where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History, and followed it later with a Masters of Arts in Communications & Technology. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree, Jamie went abroad and taught English in Japan and Taiwan.

He now lives in Edmonton, Canada with his wife and daughter, working in the Public Relations field and writes in his spare time, which usually translates to early mornings and lunch time. Zombie Night in Canada: First Period is his first novel.

Now it’s time for the questions. Why Zombies, James? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

The thing about a zombie apocalypse that attracts me is the post-apocalyptic nature of it. While I think if it ever were to happen, it would have the possibility of wiping out large parts of humanity (maybe as much as 90%), I don’t subscribe to the extinction level events some other authors and fans do.

Series like Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry and Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth are more my speed than David Wellington’s Monster series or Brian Keene’s Rising series. Don’t get me wrong, Wellington’s and Keene’s books were still good, but are not amongst my favourites.

The things I want answered in a zombie book are what happens after the situation stabilizes/all the zombies are wiped out.

What kind of political system will emerge? Will it still be democracy? Or will we revert to feudalism as people turn to warriors for protection from the undead hordes? Or maybe they will revert to a more collective/tribal system? What kind of economic system develops? Does the merchant class maintain their relevance or do they fade into the background like in the Middle Ages? What about science and innovation? Is it strictly military (weaponry) or medical (cure/antidote) driven or will general inventiveness still rule the day? Will society become like Mad Max, where Darwin rules, or will people still have compassion for those less fortunate?

Open invitation – plug your latest project; published or otherwise.

I have two projects being released shortly. The first is that Zombie Night in Canada: First Period is now available in paperback from Createspace and Amazon.

The other is a short story from the Zombie Night in Canada universe; The Saga of Micky Wheeler. It is an expansion of one of the minor characters story lines and follows the life and times of a career criminal during the zombie apocalypse.

Awesome news James! What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

The key difference is that the characters in my series faces MILLIONS of zombies, not a dozen or a hundred like in most other books. Well, that and the weather plays a serious role in my series.

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

Patient Zero – Jonathan Maberry

Dying to Live – Kim Paffenroth

Morningstar Strain – Z. A. Recht

World War Z – Max Brooks

Monster Island – David Wellington

Great choices! What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Zombieland

Resident Evil

Dawn of the Dead (2004 Zack Snyder remake)

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

I think there has always been interest, but it was almost a sub-culture, hidden from the mainstream.  The Walking Dead has certainly changed that. I can think of several of my own friends who weren’t zombie fans until it started to air.

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?

Odds are if I was forced to fight a zombie apocalypse with only the contents of this room, I’d wind up a zombie. The best I can find here is a pair of scissors. If I can get downstairs however, I can get to my folding shovel, a dozen hockey sticks, a baseball bat, and a large number of knives and other bladed weapons.

For those of you looking to take a little peek into Zombie Night in Canada: First Period, here you go!

Tokyo. Sydney. Beijing. Cairo. Paris. Rome. New York. Los Angeles. One by one, the world’s great cities fell to the zombie plague. What chance does a small, non-descript city in Canada like Edmonton have?

The world as we know it is finished. Civilization has collapsed and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Billions of people are dead, victims of a horrific plague. 

Bi-weekly paychecks, Tim Horton’s double doubles, men’s league hockey and cheap winter vacations to Cancun. That was the life Xander Barnes had known for years until a pandemic swept the globe. Efforts to slow its spread or develop quarantine zones, in many cases were too little, too late. 

Nowadays, life consisted of avoiding the plague victims, ghouls who had an insatiable appetite for human flesh and finding enough food to survive day to day. How long can one ordinary man survive in a world gone mad?

I want to thank James for being my guest today and for agreeing to answer my questions. If you’re interested in connecting with James, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or on his blog.

Join me next week when my guest will be David Wellington, author of the Monster Series!

Chewing Braaiiinns with… Todd Brown

This gorgeous Monday morning, I am joined by the wonderful Todd Brown. I was introduced to Todd’s writing late in the game and admittedly, I’m trying to get caught up.

If you are not familiar with Todd, he is the author of the Zomblog series and the Dead series.   He is deeply immersed in pursuing his dream of being a “full-time” writer while trying to balance the duties of husband, father, friend, and Border Collie owner. He keeps busy by reading and editing the numerous submissions for a variety of upcoming anthologies and full-length titles for May December Publications.  He has had short stories published by Pill Hill Press, Living Dead Press, and others. You can contact him at: twbrown@maydecemberpublications.com or visit his website at www.maydecemberpublications.com. You can follow him on his blog at http://twbrown.blogspot.com or twitter @maydecpub and on Facebook under Todd Brown, Author TW Brown, and also under May December Publications.

Now that we have all of that out of the way, let’s start the interrogation… Eer, I meant interview – promise! So tell us Todd, why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I saw Dawn of the Dead at age fourteen. A girl two rows ahead lost it into her popcorn; that was the coolest thing I’d ever witnessed. Other than that, I think it is an open-ended environment that allows a writer to in any direction he or she chooses.

I have witnessed quite a few things while at the movies, but I can say that is not one of them (thank God!). Tell us about your latest project; published or otherwise.

I have the fourth Zomblog (Titled Zomblog: Snoe) coming out on Halloween. I am currently working on the 5th book in the DEAD series (Dead: Siege & Survival) which will release on December 15th.

If you’re looking to get a head start on either of those series, here’s a little bit of information about them. Clicking on the covers will take you to Amazon, should you wish to purchase either of them.

The unthinkable has happened. The dead are walking! Humanity’s fragile thread may be reaching its bitter end. Individuals and groups struggle to survive…some at any cost. Will there be anybody left? Or, is this just…The Ugly Beginning?

***

Samuel Todd is a regular guy: …Failed husband… …Loving father… …Dutiful worker… …Aspiring rockstar. He had no idea if anyone would care, or take the time, to read his daily blog entries about his late night observations. But what started as an open monologue of his day-to-day life became a running journal of the firsthand account detailing the rising of the dead and the downfall and degradation of mankind…

Awesome news Todd, I may even be caught up by then! What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

I think it is the characters that make my stuff different. When it all boils down, zombies will be what bring the readers, but the characters are what keep them coming back.

Agreed, many come for the gore that can only be attributed the undead, but in the end, they’ll keep coming back if they care about the characters. Well Todd, speaking about books and characterization, what are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

In no order except for the first which is my all-time favourite:

Monster Island by David Wellington

The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer

Day-by-Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne

The Rising by Brian Keene

The Walking Dead graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman

Monster Island ranks at the very top of my list as well. I think it may have been the first Zombie novel that really broke the mould for me when it comes to the kind of world that you can create after the dead rise. That would make an awesome movie, IMHO, which brings me to my next question. What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Dawn of the Dead (the original)

Shaun of the Dead (hilarious but exceptionally done)

Dawn of the Dead (the remake was excellent…and I am not a fan of sprinters but loved it anyway)

Awesome selections! The original Dawn of the Dead holds a special place in my heart and the remake was shot close to where I live which is surreal in a way. Walking into the mall after seeing the film was more than a little unnerving… 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?

You would have to be naïve to think otherwise. I’ve had countless friends and acquaintances come up to me now and say “Now I get it!” There has always been a culture of zombie, but it has become acceptable now whereas it used to be a fringe group.

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?

A guitar, a coffee table leg, a bookshelf support pole, a lamp stand, and my autographed Kyra Schon NotLD trowel.

You may just make it Todd, especially with a useful arsenal of everyday items. If you’re interested in finding out about the rest of Todd’s works, check out his Amazon Author Page for more information.

Join me next week when I am joined by fellow Canadian and author James Friesen.

Chewing Braaiiinns with… Joshua Cook

Today I am joined by Joshua Cook, author of the Zombie A.C.R.E.S. series and AiZ: Alice in Zombieland. If you don’t know anything about Josh, it’s time to get you folks acquainted beginning with a few words directly from the man himself…

Writing has always been my passion in life. It has always been a hobby to me though. Thanks to some unfortunate luck in my life, I am now able to focus full-time on my writing, and this is the result of the fruit of that labor.” ~Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, late in 1977. This where he spent most of his life. There have been short bursts throughout his life where he has spread his wild oats to other parts of the United States, though.

Briefly Josh lived in Arizona and a brief – dark – time in Indiana and Ohio. Finally he landed in Washington State. He now calls Seattle his home where he lives with his beautiful cocker spaniel – black lab mix, Sam Dogg.

This is where he created the growing fan favorite web site ZombieACRES.com, which spawned its first book in 2012. After many years of writing non-fiction, news, and various other articles, Josh decided to poke around in fiction – and loves it.

Well Josh, readers are dying to know… why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Dead things, of course. Seriously, though, I have loved zombies since I first watched Night of the Living Dead as a child. I have always been a ‘blood and guts’ horror fan, so the dead rising to feast on the living was just a perfect match. The older I got, I learned to appreciate the survivors sides of the stories, though.

Most zombie stories are basically the same – the dead rise (or get infected), eat the living, people with big guns come in and take care of them all. What really separates the good from the dead are the survivors and their stories. Who are these people and how did they get sucked into this new hell hole that has become their life?

That is one of the things I focused on when writing AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) – the people. There is some blood and gore, of course, but the true driving force of AiZ is the emotional journey each character goes through. Where they have been is important, but when the crap hits the fan, it is who we will become that really matters.

One of my characters Sam Ashe, has been a zombie lover his whole life. He thought he would be ready when the undead called. When they did show up, though, he realized watching and reading about zombie attacks was completely different from real life. I think this is typical of many of us, no matter what we say now. You just never know until death is knocking at your door.

Now is your chance to plug your latest project; published or otherwise.

The story of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) is as follows:

William Lohman, a recently deceased man, held an interview that was seen by the entire world. In this interview, he told of how the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Roslun Global, has been conducting secret experiments meant to revive the dead, among other atrocities. Mr. Lohman was taken quite seriously seeing as how he was obviously one of these experiments, what with the decay and all.

This interview knocked over the first domino in a long series of setbacks for Roslun Global, and the company’s greedy CEO Richard Roslun. Richard was not known for being subtle or calm, but he was known for getting results…at any cost.

Nine years have passed since that historic interview changed the world forever. People have learned to live with the idea of zombies, much the same way they learn to live with many modern diseases; it’s a terrible thing, but it doesn’t affect them. Until it does, that is.

Georgia ‘Gee’ Marie is a typical college student. She enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends, smoking a little weed and going to work. Her life is pretty mundane, until she returns one day to visit her father. Gee finds her younger sister being attacked by her mother, who has just finished feasting on the rest of the family. Gee and Alice are about to begin the greatest trials of their lives. Not only will their will to survive be tested, but the bonds that hold them together as family and loved ones will be pushed to their limits.

The paperback version of Alice in Zombieland will be available in a month, but here is your chance to grab your signed copy before anyone else can even begin ordering any. For a limited time, pre-orders will be available for two different versions of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) in paperback.

This special edition of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) is limited to less than 100 copies ever made and only available through ZombieACRES.com. The limited edition paperback features different artwork than the regular version, is larger than the regular edition (8×10) and contains Bruce Campbell vs The ACRES. This eleven page comic featuring the artwork of Donovan Scherer pits the great Bruce Campbell (star of The Evil Dead trilogy) against an undead film crew on the set of a new film. The only way to see what happens is by grabbing this limited edition paperback today. Along with cool new artwork from Timothy Brand and Donovan Scherer, each copy of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) Limited Edition will be hand signed and numbered by Joshua Cook, author and creator of Zombie A.C.R.E.S. Each copy comes with a FREE digital copy of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga).

For those of you that cannot wait for the August paperback release of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga), now is your chance to pre-order your copy today. Not only will you get a copy before the official release date, but it will also be hand signed and personalized however you like by Joshua Cook, author and creator of Zombie A.C.R.E.S. Each copy comes with a FREE digital copy of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga).

Whoa, lots of information, but I think we got it all. Thanks! Is there anything that makes your Zombies different Josh?

I have seen the same zombie story more time than I can count. I love the majority of them, but it has become just more of the same. I wanted to bring something different to the genre. Instead of placing the reader in the middle of a zombie apocalypse with just cryptic hints at the cause, Zombie A.C.R.E.S. and AiZ take place at the beginning of the apocalypse.

In Zombie A.C.R.E.S., it is a pharmaceutical company that triggers the zombie apocalypse. The creation of the Second Birth Serum will allow people to become medicated zombies after they die. While this serum is not complete, some experiments are able to talk act almost like the living.

Now get prepared for the hardest question; what are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead (2003) – Max Brooks

The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead (2010) – Roger Ma

World War Z: An oral History of the Zombie War (2006) – Max Brooks

The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology (2010) – Various Authors

X Factor Zombie Massacre (2012) – Stewart King

Great choices Josh! What are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Re-Animator (1985)

Awesome, Josh! Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is definitely tops my favourites list! Moving into television, 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?

There has always been a growing underground fanbase for the undead. The mainstream appeal of zombies always seemed to be cyclical. When pop culture was slammed by the popularity of the Resident Evil games and movies, Dawn of the Dead remake and Shaun of the Dead, there was no way the mainstream could avoid being infected. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and show are examples of how good zombie fiction can be and have definitely helped fuel this latest craze, but us freaks have always been here.

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?

I could break apart a bed for wood to make into possible weapons (and tools). Luckily there is a hammer in here to help with the wood breaking, and also as a weapon if need be. Truthfully, that is all I would trust to defend myself with. My first choice would be escape as I am kind of trapped in a corner room of a basement apartment (easy same floor exit, though).

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Josh. If you would like to connect with Josh, you can find him on his Amazon author page, his Smashwords author page, or on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest. Josh also runs a website that lists free Kindle and Nook books at FreeBookDude.comAiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) now available on Kindle, Nook and multiple formats. Two paperback versions are being released soon and you can reserve signed limited edition and regular edition paperbacks at ZombieACRES.com today. Get the perfect gift for that zombie fan in your life at the Zombie A.C.R.E.S. merch store and LIKE Zombie A.C.R.E.S. on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Join me next week as my guest will be Todd Brown – Author, President, and Editor at May December Publications.

Chewing Braaiiinns with… Adam Millard

Today I am joined by Adam Millard, a talented author who also wears the owner and editor hats over at Crowded Quarantine Publications. If this is the first time you’ve heard the name Adam Millard, I’m going to start off by asking – where the heck have you been hiding?? Now that I’ve got that out of the way, here’s a bit more information about him…

Adam Millard is the author of twelve novels and more than a hundred short stories. His work can be found in collections and anthologies from Evil Jester Press, Angelic Knight Press, May December Publications, Bizarro Press, Sirens Call Publications, and Rymfire Books. Adam can be followed on Twitter @adammillard. For more information, including upcoming appearances and signed copies, go to www.adammillard.co.uk.

Now it’s time for the fun part! Let’s get down to business and ask Adam the age-old question – why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I just find the whole concept fascinating. The methods by which one becomes a zombie can be anything, which is what makes a zombie-apocalypse so unpredictable. It can be anything from an uncontrollable virus to a passing comet. When a bite from a Sumatran rat-monkey can make zombies, you know anything can, and I just love the different scenarios. To me, zombie books and movies aren’t about the hordes of undead; they’re about the survivors, the people who suffer through the event and try to remain uninfected. It’s their story, not the zombies.

I suddenly have the urge to watch Braindead… Speaking of movies, what are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

The original Dawn Of The Dead is my favourite zombie film of all time, though Zack Snyder’s remake wasn’t too shoddy by remake standards. Shaun Of The Dead is my favourite zom-com, and references a lot of great movies. There have been a lot of imitations, but none that even come close to capturing the originality and cleverness of SOTD. And it would be wrong to say anything other than the original Night Of The Living Dead as my third answer. That was the one that started it all, a piece of cinematic history. Not bad for a movie with a budget of only $115,000.

Funny you should mention Synder’s remake; I actually lived near and used to shop in the mall that they used for filming (before they tore it down). Kinda surreal to walk through it after seeing the movie, it’s amazing how being able to physically put yourself in the setting can make the scenes seem more real. It’s like imagination and books, and how reading can open your mind up to new and wondrous worlds. What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

Okay, this is a tough one. I would definitely say the Autumn series by David Moody, and I’m counting that as one of my five. Moody knows how to write zombies, and I urge anyone who hasn’t yet, please read it. World War Z by Max Brooks just for its ingenuity. The way he put that together was superb. J.L. Bourne’s Day By Day Armageddon is also great. David Wellington’s Monster Island, and its subsequent sequels, and finally Night Of The Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall. I just love the idea of a zombie-apocalypse happening at a Star Trek convention. Lots of fun.

I’m a huge fan of Wellington’s Monster series myself, but I have yet to pick up Night of the Living Trekkies– thanks for the recommendation! It’s interesting how each author that writes in the genre puts their own little stamp on what a Zombie means to them. What makes your Zombies different?

My zombies are your standard Romero zombies. They don’t run, or shoot weird appendages from their hands. They’re just dead folk shambling around. I wanted to honour George Romero’s definition of zombies as closely as possible, since these were the ones I grew up knowing and loving. Back then, zombies didn’t sprint at you like Usain Bolt on bath-salts; those were the days. . . .

Those certainly were the days Adam, if I were to come across a Zombie that ran like Usain Bolt, I think I might just give up! There’s absolutely no way I’d be able to outrun it! While I find a lot of the suped-up Zombie films and literature to be entertaining, I like the aspect of believability that you get with certain pieces. Like The Walking Dead. For the most part, in my opinion, it’s so well crafted that it has that air of believability that runs through it. Perhaps that’s why it’s so popular and has driven up the interest in the genre… What do you think? Has 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?

It certainly hasn’t harmed the genre. I love The Walking Dead. It got a lot of people unfamiliar with the genre interested in zombies, which is great for the likes of me. I probably wouldn’t have sold half the books I have if it wasn’t for shows like The Walking Dead. I think, once in a while, a genre gets a kick up the ass. Vampires had it with True-Blood and The Vampire Diaries, ghosts had it with American Horror Story and Zombies have it with The Walking Dead. In a few years time, interest might wane once again, but ultimately the genre will never go away.

The Walking Dead certainly hasn’t hindered any of us that write in the genre. Tell us about your latest project; published or otherwise.

I’ve just finished the first draft on the final book in my Dead series, which is due to be launched at the Sci-Fi Weekender in March 2013. It was one of the saddest books I’ve ever had to write, which might sound stupid being a zombie novel. These characters have put food on my table for two years now, and how do I repay them? Well, you’ll have to wait, but let’s just say the book ties everything up neatly. I had a lot of fun with this one, and I’m looking forward to seeing what my amazing illustrator, Chris Taggart – who’s responsible for all the covers in the series – comes up with.

If you’ve missed any of the Dead series, now is the time to catch up! Here’s a look at the most recent book in the series, Dead Frost. If you’d like to purchase it, clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon, but make sure you read the rest of Adam’s interview first!

 The world ended on October the seventh, 2011. Not with a bang, as some theorists predicted, but with a whimper. There was no fruition of a Mayan prophecy, no alien attack, no terrorist uprising, and no supervolcano eruption. It was a simple virus that finished mankind off; a superflu that couldn’t be cured once it had been contracted. A small group of survivors find themselves struggling to come to terms with the new world around them. Living in a disused army barracks, the group survive in relative safety, only sending scavengers for food and supplies when necessary. Shane Bridge had, until recently, been incarcerated in a maximum-security prison, but now that he is out, and the monotony of day-to-day life has become unbearable, the time has come to abandon the confines of the barracks and begin the search for his family. But death is never far away, and the flesh-eating hordes are the least of Shane’s worries. The Frost has begun…

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?

I have a vintage typewriter, which has some weight to it but it worked for Paul Sheldon in Misery, so I’d give it a go. Looking round, I’ve realized that all my good weapons are upstairs, which is probably a silly mistake. I have a motorcycle crash-helmet next to my chair; I reckon I could put that on to prevent having my face chewed off, and also headbutt the zombies. I have a pair of scissors – a nice big pair, too, not ones for trimming toenails – a hefty Predator mask, which is hanging on the wall and could do some serious damage of utilized correctly, and a three-tier candelabra, which may or may not be sharp enough to spike the undead with. The room is pretty much baby-proofed due to having a small one running round. If I was upstairs in the armoury, though, the hordes wouldn’t stand a chance.

Well Adam, it sounds like your fairly prepared – let’s just hope you’ve got time to get up the stairs! If you’re interesting in finding out more about Adam or in learning where you can pick up his books, all of that information can be found on his website.

Tune in next week for my interview with Armand Rosamilia…

Chewing Braaiiinns with Miranda Doerfler

Today my guest is Miranda Doerfler.

For those of you unacquainted with her, Miranda is a bestselling story and script writer in the horror, mystery, thriller, suspense and espionage genres. She has been writing since she was seven years old. She publishes a new collection of short stories every three months, and an anthology every nine months. Her most recent projects include Shadows Come to Stay, Haiku of the Living Dead and Dead Inside. She currently resides in upstate New York with her parents, her younger brother and her cat, Baby.

Her work can be found on Amazon.com and her website: http://mirandadoerfler.com, and for events or conventions, you can contact her manager, John Tobin, at 518-227-8629, or by email at info@gloryhaunthounds.com.

Now that you know a little more about Miranda, let’s find out what she has to say about the living dead. Why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

Believe it or not, I used to hate zombies…until I started watching The Walking Dead, which I think is one of the most brilliant shows on TV right now. I also started talking to Seth Peterson, an actor who’s become a good friend of mine, who is in love with zombies. His passion for them drove me to continue. I am more intrigued by the apocalyptic aspect that tends to go along with zombies than the zombies themselves, but I found it interesting to think about how a body decays and how that contributes to the look of a zombie while writing my novella.

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

Haha! Well, yes, I do believe that it’s increased the popularity. I think zombies have always been a point of intrigue, but the brilliance of The Walking Dead put it at the forefront over so many other things in the horror genre. It’s really interesting to me to see how other people interpret and write zombies. I like watching the genre grow.

The genre grows daily as more and more people unleash their ideas on the world. Take a second, if you will, and plug your latest project for us, published or otherwise.

My latest project is DEAD INSIDE, my zombie novella. It’s the longest thing I have ever written and I am utterly proud of it. My manager is currently talking to commercial publishers, so I’m pretty excited about that. A brief synopsis: “This 33k+ word novella follows Daniel Flynn, the G2 Group and scientists at Hayter Industries as they explore the abilities of The Grief Gene and test a revolutionary virus called, ‘Mortoxin.’ They’re in for more than they bargained for when the virus falls into the wrong hands, and it’s up to everyone involved to put a stop to the threat before it’s too late…for all of us.”

Since Dead inside is not currently available, here is a synopsis of Miranda’s most recent release…

A collection of short stories to envelop you in darkness. Note: this compilation is more thriller/suspense than horror. Includes “Captive,” “Under the Cover of Night,” “Deception” and the seventh installment of the Kindle exclusive, “Black & White.”

Captive: When her car breaks down on a dead-end street, Venicia Acclest is just looking for a little help, but the friendly couple in the house nearby may offer more than she bargained for when they don’t allow her to leave.
Under the Cover of Night: A serial killer is on the loose and the D.C. police are scrambling to stop him. If Detective Robert Stanford only knew how close he was to the answer…
Deception: Something is killing senators sporadically, and although their manner of death is the same, their cause is an utter mystery, and they don’t seem to have any other connection, but Rick and Kate will piece it together. The only question is: will they be too late?
Black & White: Agent White is determined to hunt down Sanctimonia, to the point of staying at the station all night to find any clue in the case files. Little does he know, by the end of the night, he’ll have more reason than ever to find the killer and take him out.

When discussing Dead Inside, your (hopefully) soon to be released zombie novella, what is it that makes your Zombies different?

My zombies are smart. They think and know and can react to a situation more than just flinging themselves at a door. They also have a specific reason for eating humans, but I’m not gonna give that away just yet. ;]

Oh, I love a good tease! So tell us, what are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

Oh god. I haven’t read any commercially published zombie books, haha. The only thing I’ve read is Seth Peterson’s ZOMBIE MOVIE (available for download on Smashwords), which I loved. I’ve only recently gotten into this genre and have a lot of catching up to do, unfortunately.

Catching up is not such a bad thing, and please don’t forget the independently published ones as well! There are quite a few gems in the genre. Since you haven’t read a lot of Zombie Lit, what are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

Again, haven’t really seen any. I saw Shaun of the Dead, and that was okay, but I’m not big into comedy horror. I want to see 28 Days Later at some point…

Hmmm, so you’ve done little research in the event the Zombie Apocalypse occurs… Things may not go well for you Miranda! Okay consider this next question a quick test: 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?

Guitar strings (great for severing heads, if you can get close enough!), this super strong lamp (perfect for bashing in skulls), a fire poker, the leg of a stool and…A KNIFE! Thank god we’re eating dinner right now…

Maybe, just maybe you’ll be okay Miranda – but let’s hope it never comes to that! If you’re interested in any of Miranda’s works, you can find links to them all on her website.

Tune in next week when I talk to Stant Litore, author of The Zombie Bible series…

Chewing Braaiiinns with Caterina Torres

The inaugural interview on Chewing Braaiiinns is with Caterina Torres!

Caterina is in her mid-twenties and graduated with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Humanities. She goes by Cat for the most part and loves to write about the apocalypse, but not in the biblical sense of the word. Any sort of dystopian, end of the world stories seriously interest her as they have a lot to do with being part of the rat race of life, trying to climb the great ladder of success.

Now it’s time for us to chew some braaiiinns!

So Caterina, why Zombies? Is there anything specific that draws you to the genre?

I picked zombies because they are humanity’s greatest threat. It’s more of a possibility for a virus or pathogen to infect the nation and turn our neighbors into the walking dead, than for some monster to spring up and kill people. Plus, zombies could be our loved ones. What’s scarier than seeing a beloved try to eat us?

I completely agree with you – zombies are a huge threat to humanity. Let’s hope it never comes to that! Plug your latest project; published or otherwise.

My most recently published book is Zombie Whisperer, a tale about a woman who can mentally control hoards of zombies. It’s a psychic thriller that deals with terrorism and balancing the morality of our current economic turmoil.

She can speak to the dead. Only problem is, they’re still walking around.

After enduring a week-long flu, Jane Smith wakes to find out a terrorist organization has spread a deadly virus over the nation, changing anyone who’s infected into the walking dead. With no choice but to flee her home, Jane teams up with her boyfriend, Josh Williams, as they venture to find something better than the desolate land that was once called the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Driving across the country, Jane encounters some of the newly turned and finds she can hear their thoughts inside her head. Before she can understand her link to the undead, Jane and Josh are captured by the terrorists responsible for the virus because of one special reason: they know she can communicate with the infected and they want her to be a part of their fight to take down the rest of the world.

Afraid for their lives, Jane must decide if she should join the terrorists or use her new found powers to stop them.

Oh! Sounds awesome! How have I managed to miss this one?? What makes your Zombies different, if anything?

The main character shares a mental link with the infected, allowing her the ability to control them and do as she asks.

That certainly is different and something that I don’t believe I’ve encountered while reading the troves of Zombie treasures available. What are your 5 favourite Zombie books that you didn’t write?

Surprisingly, I don’t read a lot of zombie books. I watch them and play video games with them more often. But I have read a great zombie book recently, called Rot & Ruin, a tale about a fifteen year old boy trying to find his place in this new zombie-infested world he lives in.

I’ve read that as well – loved it! Since you don’t read a lot of Zombie lit, what are your top 3 favourite Zombie films?

I love the latest three Resident Evil movies –  Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Resident Evil: Extinction; and Resident Evil: Afterlife. I’m also a huge fan of the video games too; I’ve played them all.

I’m a huge fan of the Resident Evil franchise as well and I’m super excited for Resident Evil: Retribution due out this fall. Switching to television for a moment, 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 believe the show has definitely helped spark people’s love for zombies again. There’s always been an interest, and I don’t think zombies will ever go out of favor, but the show helped reignite a mainstream media love for the undead because most zombie related videos were either movies or old shows. We needed something on TV, with current technology, and something that was believable.

Agreed! Now it’s time to test you… 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?

Well, considering I’m in the kitchen, there are so many great items at my disposal. I have a butcher’s knife, a large rolling pin, vegetable oil (which I can use to slick my front entryway), fire (from the stove), and a dining table (to bar their path inside).

Thank you Caterina for an informative look into your life with Zombies. If you’d like to pick up a copy of Zombie Whisperer, you can find it on Amazon, Lulu, iBookstore, Nook, and in Print. You can also find Caterina on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. Check out her blog where she publishes a running short story that is a side story to Zombie Whisperer!

Tune in next week when Miranda Doerfler stops by for a snack…

Surviving the Werewolf Apocalypse: A Guest Post by Jason McKinney

Today I present you a guest post from Jason McKinney; a family man, a good friend, an all around stand out chap, and one hell of a writer! He’s currently touring in support of his book Dog World – an apocalyptic tale that will make you think twice about what you know of werewolves. Here’s at little more about the book:

“It is the summer of 2005, near Tikrit, Iraq. Captain Paul Demarti is the executive officer of communications when a report is received from a patrol that is incredible, at best, or ridiculous, at least. The patrol begins to report hostile contact with giant canine-like creatures when the communication is suddenly cut off. Little does Demarti know that these transmissions will change the course of his life and commence events that will threaten humanity’s existence. In Jason McKinney’s furiously fast-paced and viciously fanged Dog World, it’s werewolves versus soldiers stationed in Iraq, with no less than the fate of humankind hanging in the balance. In a werewolf action thriller like no other, bloodlust reigns and battles rage as a few of America’s bravest struggle to suppress an enemy who is stronger, more cruel, and, at the onset, far hairier than any terrorist they have ever known. Readers craving a compelling, craven story that is coursing with humor will relish sinking their teeth into Dog World.”

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Sounds intriguing doesn’t it?? Stay tuned after Jason’s guest post for links on where you can pick it up!

Surviving the Werewolf Apocalypse: Four Tips from Expert Jason McKinney

I believe knowing how to survive a werewolf apocalypse is just as important as knowing how to survive a zombie apocalypse, a natural disaster, or your in-laws staying with you for an extended period of time. The truth of the matter is that if you’re not prepared to deal with a werewolf dominated society, then you’re just a walking Porterhouse steak. This guide reads, in large part, like any other survival guide, but I’ve added a few tips that will help you prepare for when werewolves, or “poodles” as I call them in Dog World, launch their offensive.

Communication:

The definition of communication isn’t limited to knowing how to talk to your spouse, partner, or kids. It also means having a way to communicate with the outside world. Whether or not you decide to talk to other survivors is up to you, but you will need a radio capable of receiving the Emergency Broadcast Network and/or private broadcasters in the event of a lycanthropic attack. This is extremely important. When rescue shelters are set up you’ll need to be able to receive updates pertaining to any shelters that have been overrun with hostiles or are at capacity.

You should think like the military. Planning and information gathering from the world at large is essential. Many private citizens will have ham radios, broadcasting information, so pay attention to the situation around your location. Be advised that some incoming info may be bad so always go with your gut when analyzing or responding to outside communications. A good radio and an analytical method for processing incoming information will help you to plan for worst and best case scenarios while on the move. Communication and information equals situational awareness.

Food:

Most survival experts say three to four months of rations for a family of four is needed in the event of any catastrophe. If you have a family of five or more, then I’d stock up with four to five months worth. Staples like peanut butter, crackers, canned vegetables, canned fruit and bottled water are no-brainers. Ramen noodles (some people love them, my 7 year-old is one of them) are a good, inexpensive item to keep in stock. Rice, oatmeal, various packaged noodles, and dry cereals are also good to have plenty of. Those items can be stored in Ziploc bags for easy transport and can be snacked on as a dry food that will expand to fill you up.

Fresh or bottled water is a must. Go with the three to four month plan for a base set up then expand on that a little at a time. It also couldn’t hurt to prepare for a time when you’re constantly on the move. For those times you will want to have desalination kits or water purification tablets on hand so you can purify nearly any water source. They are available at many sporting good stores or on the Internet. These are very handy to have especially if you take to sea or live near an ocean. Remember to always sanitize your water sources. Werewolf physiology doesn’t have a problem drinking directly from a filthy river, but your body does.

When it comes to cooking or sterilizing metal implements, Sterno tabs or Sterno chafing fuel is great. You can use these in the field and, if you’re careful, indoors. The tabs can be found at military surplus stores or online and the chafing fuel can be found at most big wholesale shops like Costco or Sam’s Club. These are cost efficient and easily portable for heating any food stuff you might have.

Lastly, if you have the money to spend on supplies then military issued Meal, Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, are excellent for emergency planning. The pouches contain everything from an entrée to toilet paper and in some instances water powered entrée heaters. MREs come in a variety of choices and it’s my understanding that a Vegan menu has been added to the MRE list.

Guns and ammo:

It’s more than a magazine, it’s something you need. Like surviving a rise of the undead population you’ll need a firearm, proper training, and at least 400 rounds of ammunition for your weapon of choice.

In time you’ll have more than werewolves to deal with as you travel to safety. There will be human raiding parties to deal with as well. When dealing with hostile werewolves and humans the phrase to remember is escape and evasion. Unless you’re in a group of 20 or more, you should never engage lycans head on. Werewolves have and always will have an advantage over humans. Mentally they operate from both a human and wolf understanding. You should only attempt to fight them if no other alternatives are left. If you have to engage lycans remember to never open fire at a distance. You’ll only be wasting your ammo. When it comes time, engage lycan attackers at 20 feet or less. Make your shots count and always aim for the eyes. Werewolves have a wider cranium than humans, and their eyes and forehead make for perfect kill zones. Werewolves are not invulnerable. They can be killed.

As it was pointed out to me recently, crossbows are also good short range weapons suitable for hunting and minor defense. Crossbow ammo is reusable and can be replenished from nature. Never discount a weapon just because it doesn’t go bang or lacks a trigger.

Sanitation:

Everyone knows that cleanliness is important in day-to-day living, but in the event of a lycan overthrow you have to change your thinking. Manufactured deodorants, body wash, and toothpaste will be detrimental to your survival. A werewolf’s olfactory senses are legendary and the smell of today’s hygiene products will set you apart from your surroundings. The best thing to do is learn how to manufacture everyday hygiene needs from nature. It can be done. We’ve made toothpaste, deodorant, and soaps from natural ingredients that work just as well, if not better in some cases, than items bought from any store.

Learning natural personal hygiene is vital to surviving werewolves. You must smell as close to nature as you possibly can and these items not only keep you fresh, but they also mask your scent. Believe me when I say that choosing natural body odor over these items won’t save you. Your natural body odor will draw werewolves to your location just as surely as walking around smelling like Degree or Ivory soap. I say again, your natural odor will work against you. My best advice is to think like hunters. Many mask their scents while hunting to keep from alerting their prey to their presence. This tactic will work as well for masking your presence from werewolves.

If you follow these guidelines during Werewolf Apocalypse-Day then you’ll make it through to the end.

My unending thanks to everyone for reading, and to Julianne for allowing me to guest post.

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About the Author ~ Jason McKinney is a writer and storyteller. A busy husband and father of three, he started writing fiction in his spare time for his wife. Dog World is the written answer to his seven-year-old daughter’s questions: Are there any good werewolves and what do they do when they aren’t hairy? McKinney is also the author of the zombie comedy, Memoirs of the Walking Dead: A Story from the Zombies Point of View. He resides in Madison with his family and seven pets. Also available is his children’s novel of a canine sheriff in Nebraska, Sheriff Teddy and the Mysterious Egg Thieves.

Wondering where you can pick up Dog World?

It’s available in Print and Digital(eBook) on Amazon. Make sure to get your copy today!

Found: Interview with Julie!

I’ve been watching the news like everyone else these days and I have to say that I’m completely riveted. I probably shouldn’t be; I’m only fourteen and I live in one of the worst neighbourhoods of Los Angeles. I should be watching for any sign that gang violence is about to erupt, and continuing to avoid the guys on the street corner trying to sell me drugs. Instead, I’m glued to my laptop screen watching the images coming out of some place called Toronto. It’s in Canada, I looked it up.

A riot or something is happening up there. The weird thing is that people aren’t dying when they’re shot. I’ve been reading stuff on the ‘net too. Some are saying the rioters are dead, but that can’t be possible; they’re still walking around. I asked my dad the other night while he was still sober what he thought was going on. He just told me to stop being so nosey. I don’t see it as being nosey, frankly. I view it as taking an interest in current affairs. I want to be a journalist when I grow up, so I need to take a keen interest in what is going on in the world around me. I even have the best name for journalism; Gloria Gonzales. It has a nice cadence, doesn’t it?

Today I start my career as a serious journalist. I might not be the best yet, but I only plan on getting better. I have a feeling that something is going on up in Canada and while I can’t get there, I can take a look from here and see if I can’t help figure some of the confusing bits out for everyone. Not only have I scored an exclusive Skype interview with someone fleeing this riot, she actually has an idea about what is really going on! Without further ado, I give you my interview with Julie Odette, a resident of Toronto and witness to the situation that’s unfolding there.

GG: Welcome Julie! Thank you for agreeing to talk to me today.

JO: Gloria, thank you for giving me this unprecedented opportunity.

GG: Can you tell me what exactly is going on in Toronto?

JO: At the moment, I don’t know much about what is currently going on but I think it’s safe to assume the city is lost. However, I can tell you what happened eight days ago, if you like.

GG: Yes, please do. The public has been trying to get a grip on why the riot started in the first place but with no information coming out of the city, it’s been very difficult.

JO: Eight days ago, a situation arose that I cannot fully explain. A man was brought into the Emergency Room of St. Michael’s Hospital with very weak vital signs. That man passed away and then came back to life. Only it wasn’t life that returned to him. Within minutes, the Emergency Room was in utter pandemonium and the infection was spreading.

GG: Infection? So it’s something communicable then?

JO: In a manner of speaking, yes. I’m not quite sure how to break the news to the rest of the world so I’m just going to say it. That man was dead and when he woke up, he was still clinically dead. Whatever infection he had been exposed to allowed his body to reanimate and caused him to wreak havoc throughout the Emergency Room, spreading the infection. This may be hard for you to hear but what we are dealing with is a full scale Zombie infestation.

GG: Zombies? Seriously?

JO: I’m completely serious Gloria. I examined some of them myself while they were under full restraint at the Centre for Forensic Sciences where I work – I meant where I worked. I know that it’s hard to believe but trust that what I’m telling you is true. My friends and I have been fleeing from them for the past eight days. Hell, we barely made it out of Canada alive.

GG: I don’t understand. Is this some sort of hoax?

JO: Gloria, listen to me carefully. This is not a hoax. I swear. The public needs to be made aware that Zombies are walking the earth at this very moment and there is no one out there in any position to stop them. They are going keep spreading, that’s their nature and as they catch more and more living people off guard, their ranks are just going to explode exponentially. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still time to focus and prepare yourselves.

GG: Prepare ourselves? How?

JO: The first thing you need to do is get out of the big city. High populations are just a higher food source for them and the last thing that you want to do is get stuck in the city with hordes of them roaming the streets. The most important thing is to head in the direction opposite to where they are. You’re close to Mexico; I suggest heading there first and then keep on going. Don’t stop once you think you’ve gotten far enough away. If no one stops them, they will find you eventually.

GG: If nowhere is truly safe, what is the point in running?

JO: There is always a point in trying to survive. The government has to respond at some point and there is always the possibility that they can stop whatever is happening. It’s a slim possibility, but –

As you can see from the video, we lost our Skype connection to Julie there. I don’t know why and I hope that it wasn’t something bad. Can you believe what she said about the Zombies? Can it possibly be true? Maybe she will be able to call back and continue to fill us in. In the meantime, I suggest that we all keep our eyes on the news in the hope that someone will be able to tell us what is going on.

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For those of you that have been wondering what I’ve been doing for the past five weeks, I’ve been promoting my novel Days with the Undead: Book One on a whirlwind blog tour that has me stopping at blogs all over the place! It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve written on quite a lot of different subjects from Zombies and other supernatural creatures to discussions on writing. I’ve also done a fair number of interviews. If you’re interested in checking out the other stops on the tour, you can find links here. Don’t forget to read this post first though!

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Days with the Undead: Book One is currently available for purchase at:

Print –

CreateSpace

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Digital –

Smashwords

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon DE

Amazon FR

Amazon ES

Amazon IT

Kobo

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Julianne Snow

It was watching George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of six that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has prepared herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead. As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own.

Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name. You can find Julianne’s The Living Dead of Penderghast Manor in the anthology Women of the Living Dead and stories in upcoming anthologies called Childhood Nightmares: Under The Bed and Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity from Sirens Call Publications.