Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Normal Life During a #Zombie Apocalypse?


When  it comes to zombie invasions, my thinking is different. In my book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, life goes on.

As the main character, Becca, and many other teens and adults only turn part-zombie, their life is still somewhat normal except for certain changes. They try to go to school, they travel, and while they run into - and fight off - the full  zombies - it is not every single minute of the day. The full zombies are out there however, just not everywhere... and that appears to bother some readers.

But... look at The Walking Dead. Yes, the world has fallen apart but--- there are many scenes and instances where there are NO zombies present. They walk for "miles" without any sightings or being able to hide with zombies simply passing by. They sometimes do "normal" things although with some restrictions given their life in a dystopian-type society.

Someone pointed out to me that it's the same in Pride, Prejudice and Zombies (which I admit I have to finish reading). In that, they fight zombies, but... life goes on. They go to parties, they do their "normal" life things.  It's life  - with zombies.

I guess that is how I tend to look at it  - differently. To me, zombies don't have to be everywhere... they can wreak havoc on a certain area, in certain places, for a certain reason, but people still have moments of normalcy. The problem can be regional, and differ from block to block or area to area. The full society doesn't have to fall. Not always. Why should it have to always be that way would be my question? 

I'm interested in hearing what others think. 



   
 GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie - (see prologue on website

 What happens when you're 16 and turn part-zombie?



Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas and #Zombies?

Do the two, Christmas and Zombies,  have any connection? 

You'd think not, but a quick search turns up a few ways people have connected the two topics in fiction. I have not read these yet.

* Any time is a good time for a story of people doing good, especially during the zombie apocalypse. Too often, most Z books are about the zombies, with lots of killing, and the bad things people do to each other. So a few "different" Holiday reading suggestions... 

  A Zombie Christmas is a short story where three men take risks to bring happiness to surviving kids on Christmas morning.



 



get a recently released version which includes the Christmas story plus a Thanksgiving and New Year's story.



In my short story, Christmas at the North Pole Compound, it's up to Chief Elf Inspector Finius Flaherty to find out who stole the gifts before Christmas is ruined! No zombies, but a fun little holiday read.



Author Rusty Fischer also offers up a fun treat - a whopping collection (700+ pages!) of Zombies Don't Read: 25 YA Short Storiesa collection of 25 holiday and YA short stories, including the appropriately titled, Home for Christmas and Jingle Brains





   And there's my other book: GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie - (see prologue on website) Not Christmas, but zombies and part-zombies....  What happens when you're 16 and turn part-zombie?







Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jack Wallen talks Metal and Zombies - Winter of #Zombie


winter of #zombie

Why Metal and the Apocalypse Make Good Bedfellows





When Armand Rosamilia asked me to drop a few words onto paper for the Winter of Zombie 2014 event, the first thing that popped to mind was metal. Not the kind of metal used to make cars, and forks, and industrial-strength vibrators … I’m talking the kind of metal that fuels head banging and the throwing of devil horns.

I’m talking heavy metal music, baby!

But why discuss metal for an event about zombies? The answer to that is simple: Because metal and zombies go hand in hand. I can already hear people shaking, nay banging, their heads to the idea of pushing a stereotype further. Not the whole of metal is gloom, doom, and death. Yes, that is true. But I want to take you down the path less traveled (as I am wont to do).

For me, the gathering of metal and horror (especially zombie fiction) lies as much in the subtleties as in the clearly obvious. Let me use a very specific example. One of my favorite metal bands, Avatar (from Sweden) released a new album called Hail The Apocalypse.

See where I’m going with this? Maybe not.

If you take the whole of the album it tells the tale of a sort of Circus of the Mad. Examine the words from the title track and you’ll get this sense of looming death and “All flesh is equal when burnt”. But for me, the connection between metal and my written works goes well beyond the lyrics of the music. It’s in the thrumming, crunchy guitars, the gut punch of the double bass, the almost cookie monster-like sound of the vocals. Dig deep into the mire and you’ll find an incredible connection to one of the most important elements of metal (at least for me)...

The rhythm.

Take a listen to “Hail The Apocalypse”




On the surface you feel this constant, driving, ever-present beat that threatens (should you listen loud enough) to tear you apart. Layered over that you get a counterpoint of the growled lyrics over the dancing guitars. For me, that’s where the connection to metal really digs its hooks into apocalyptic fiction. It’s a familiar, predictability threatened by the unfamiliar and unpredictable. You never know where the melody or words might take you. You can’t be sure if you can trust the  underlying chaotic punch and beat. It’s a four-four rhythm offset with the thrust of the unknown that makes metal the perfect soundtrack to the zombie horde. It’s the slow burn of doom punctuated by the chaotic spikes of fear.

When I write, rhythm plays a very important role in my words. The idea of the old iambic pentameter dare not rear its ugly head in my work. The apocalypse needs chaos and to that end, I depend upon a disruption of rhythm the likes only metal can inspire. It’s tossing in emphasis where the reader might not expect it. A long sentence punctuated by a single word or two word sentence.

Keep the reader on their toes.

Metal. Pure … and simple.

Once you get beyond what lies beneath the monster of metal, the pure theatricality of most metal bands serves as such wonderful inspiration. In the costumes, the stage, the lights, the make up, the motifs … everything blends perfectly together to give you the soundtrack to new world order.

Imagine, once the apocalypse hits … will we be cranking Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, or The Decemberists? Hell no. Human kind will be brought back to life by Avatar, Slayer, Judas Priest, and other denizens of the darker melodic delights willing and able to kick hate in the junk and dare the harbingers of doom to push the human race into the realm of extinction.

Metal may not be your cup of tea. But chances are, if you’re a fan of apocalyptic fiction, you’ve heard your fair share of metal tunes – and even possibly cranked one or two up to eleven. Or, if you’re a fan of my fiction, you’ve felt the influence of metal (and music in general) woven through the fabric of the story, the sentences, and the words. 

 * Jack Wallen is the author of the I Zombies series, including the latest, Cry Zombie Cry (I  Zombie Book 8) - Bethany Nitshimi is back and ready to crush the Zero Day Collective with   a wall of sound. Together with the metal band Unsun, Bethany will have the undead horde banging their heads until brain runs thick in the streets.  


If it's too loud, you're too old...or dead.

See Wallen's Amazon page.



Now some zombie stuff for Winter of #Zombie

Join 10 amazing authors - Joe McKinneyMark TufoBobby AdairEric A ShelmanJay Wilburn,John O'BrienJaime JohneseeAuthor Armand RosamiliaJack Wallen and Shawn Chesser - for this month-long event filled with interviews, guest posts, teasers from their latest zombie release, and giveaways! See Facebook page for full schedule. 

On Twitter? #WinterofZombie


The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

AND so you don't miss any of the posts in November, here's the complete list, updated daily.



Saturday, November 15, 2014

WindyCon Today!

Unless there's a huge blizzard, I'll be at WindyCon today! First time I'm attending  this, so looking forward to it.  Come join me!


My schedule:

10 a.m. panel - Looking forward to meeting and talking with multi-award winning author Mike Resnick: (Despite they spelled my name wrong!)

SF Authors as Mystery Writers
SF and mysteries often appeal to the same readers, but it also appeals to some of the same authors. Join our panelists to hear what inspired them to combine SF and mystery writing and how adding another genre influences their writing.
J. Cowan, E.Flint, C. Johns (M), M. Resnick, N. Silk, C. Verstraete
Lilac B - 90 min.

3 p.m. Reading:  I'll read a portion of GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie and part, I think, of my story, The Songbird's Search, in the Athena's Daughters anthology. (See excerpt.)

Reading
C. Verstraete
Maple - 1 hour

4 p.m. Autographs with: 


Autographs

D. Murphy, J. Sights, C. Verstraete
Autographing Tables - 1 hour

Friday, November 14, 2014

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Earlier this week, I did a guest post about how I would survive the zombie apocalypse.  In a nutshell, I said I would do the exact opposite of what happens in the movies.  To read the whole response, go here.  

But it made me curious:  How would YOU survive the apocalypse?  Let me know in the comments!

Undead Obsessed - Zombie book news!



  Zombie Book News!

Undead Obsessed is now on iTunes as well!


In Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning in Zombies, Jessica Robinson (Pembroke Sinclair)  uses film, literature and interviews with experts to examine how zombies portray real-world fears such as epidemics, mind control, what may or may not exist in space, the repercussions of playing God, and the science behind the fears. Robinson's goal is to explore how zombies become a metaphor for our fears of science and what could happen if science gets out of hand.

* Don't forget the Goodreads giveaway! Ends Nov. 30 

And stay tuned for the Blog Tour Details! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A #Zombie Quote a Day!

Coming soon! The Christmas trees will be out already, I bet, but I'll wait until the "traditional" Christmas season - just after Thanksgiving.


cverstraete.com

Just in time for the Christmas shopping season!

It's Nearly 30 Days of Zombies - I'll share a quote a day (or almost every day) from my #zombie book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie - and I'll be sharing different zombie toys as well. 'Tis the Season!

* Amazon US: Kindle - Girl Z: My Life As A Teenage Zombie

* Amazon UK

* Barnes and Noble

Some different scenarios to whet your reading appetite. Books are the perfect, and lasting, gifts!