Friday, February 28, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Make Your Zombie Film! Contest Now through June

SRS Cinema LLC

“Imagine New York State in the midst of a Zombie apocalypse… now tell your story of survival!”

1/23/2014, Syracuse, NY – SRS Cinema, in partnership with The Scare-A-Con Horror, Sci-Fi & Fan Convention, is looking for short motion pictures 8-10 mins long that are set and shot in New York State for the “Empire State of Dead” short subject contest.

Not only will there be prize money for the top 10 finalists, but those winning shorts will also be grouped together into a feature length anthology called, you guessed it, “Empire State of Dead”, which will receive a world-wide release on DVD and other formats. And it gets better… the filmmaker with the top short, as picked by the judges, will also get the chance at a development deal for a feature length horror project to be produced by SRS/Scare-A-Con.

Submissions start immediately and the cut-off date for submission is June 30th, 2014. There is no cost to submit. Prize money for the winners is as follows:

  • 1st Place: $500 and a chance to develop a feature length horror film with our combined studios. 
  • 2nd – 10th Place: $100 each. 
  • Each of the top 10 filmmakers will get a cut of any profits generated from a release of the feature length anthology. 
  • The top ten finalists will be announced mid-August.

The $500 winner will be announced at this year’s Scare-A-Con event, Sept 12th-14th, at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. The rules: Stories should be set & shot on HD (other formats allowed pending prior approval, delivery for nominated shorts must be HD, but standard def is acceptable for screening submissions) within NY state, in a time period near the beginning of a worldwide zombie outbreak through first six months of fallout.

All shorts should be new productions, shot in 2014, and directed by current or former residents of NYS. Stories must not define the cause of the zombie outbreak, and follow the rules of the living dead as established by George Romero’s classic zombie movies as far as the behavior of the living dead (which is pretty much the same rules as “The Walking Dead” TV Series) – ie. Slow moving zombies, except faster once close; much more dangerous when in packs; destroying the brain is the only way to stop the dead; their bite will infect a person and eventually turn them into a zombie; etc. Need more clarification, or need your plot points approved ahead of time? Then email us.

The shorts not picked for the motion picture will still have an opportunity to screen at the next annual Scare-A-Con Convention during a daytime shorts block. Judging will be conducted by Ron Bonk of SRS Cinema and JV Johnson of The Scare-A-Con Convention. Details on the short contest as well as submission forms can be found at and, as well as their respective Facebook pages.

PRIOR to submitting, and for any additional information, please email Ron @ for a copy of the agreement – the distribution agreement must accompany your entry.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jonathan Maberry Dead of Night Sequel Coming in September

  Jonathan Maberry's DEAD OF NIGHT: A Zombie Novel was the first zombie book I ever read -- and I was hooked since it was different. A tale about evil doctors and experiments gone bad resulting in a prisoner turning into the living dead. Scary, creepy stuff with superb writing. To me, this is one of the classics of the zombie genre.

The sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, comes out Sept. 2 (and can now be pre-ordered.) Can't wait! (And cool cover!)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cover Crazy

Have I mentioned how much I love book covers? I have a hard time saying 'no' to them. In fact, I guess you could say that I have an entire closet of covers (move over shoes!). My favorite cover designers - Mae I design, Kellie Dennis, and have really gotten me hooked. Also, Cora Graphics and Kalosysart have also captured my heart with their amazing designs. So, this is almost embarrassing, but here are some of my favorite covers (most not yet written

). Looks like I better start writing faster!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Writer's Resources and Story Markets

As writers, we all try to find new places to get our work published and find new readers. After all, readers are what it's all about! The fun is also trying out a different type of story or writing something new.

A few resources and new markets I've found:

* Jodie shares a detailed list of writing conferences for 2014 on her blog.

* Author Conda Douglas shared her recent publishing success and as I love writing flash, it sounds worth checking out. Romance Flash publishes stories to 1,000 words. Payment is a modest $3 via PayPal.

* Wow, just found The Foghorn. It pays $1,000! a story (takes nonexclusive rights forever) and publishes only 4 stories a month.  Accepts different genres. Worth a shot!

* Wicked Words Quarterly (UK) takes flash to 750 words; short stories 1,000-7,500 words. Pays 1 cent word- fantasy, sci fi, horror. See full details at link.

* Emby Press - The Ghost Papers anthology - Open to Sept. 1. 2,000-8,000 words. Pay: $25.

* The Horror Zine opens March 1.  Widely read horror ezine and does anthology collections. No pay.

* The Horror Tree is a terrific source for all kinds of open markets! Great resource to find a home for those dark and spooky stories!

* The Shroud Magazine - quarterly. Pays $25, 500-1,000 words; $50, 2,000-5,000; $65, 5,000 and up. Horror and suspense with other genres. See submission guidelines.

Hope you find something new to read and a new home for one of your stories!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


With the never-ending snow this winter, this seemed fitting to post today.

It's a mystery location, but looks like Chicago, where part of GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie is set. And it looks a lot like that now in Wisconsin though things are thawing (and dripping!) since it hit 40 degrees. (Enjoyable while it  - barely - lasted. It's supposed to go below zero again all week as of 2/23. Arggggh!)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Zombie Dreams

I don't dream about zombies often (which may or may not be surprising to you), but when I do, it's usually because I'm stressed out about something.  Zombies don't really scare me.  Granted, if they really existed, that might be a different story.  But they don't, and I've seen so many movies, read books, written about them, and researched them, there isn't much mystery left in the creatures.  But when I dream about them, it's incredibly stressful, mainly because I'm fighting something that can't be destroyed.  It's like trying to run away in a dream and being unsuccessful.

One of the other elements that is present more often than not in my dreams is that I'm at my parent's house when the undead attack.  I have no idea why I'm at their house; I haven't lived there in YEARS.  The nice thing about being there, though, is that we (and we always varies--sometimes it's my family, sometimes it's strangers) always fortify the house so zombies can't get in.  We're always safe.  I think that might be part of the reason the house is so prominent in my dreams.  No matter what is going on outside (zombies), there is always a safe place I can be (the house).  There is comfort in that.

I think the worst zombie dream I ever had was one where my kids were involved.  We were at my parent's house, and the boys desperately wanted to go outside and play.  For obvious reasons, we were stuck inside.  I was tired of listening to their whining, so I was going to let them play out back in the dog run (it's enclosed by a chain-link fence), but when I turned to open the back door, a zombie had its face pressed against the glass.  Classic horror movie stuff.  Needless to say, the boys were very sad about that, and that upset me more than the undead.

Like I said, I don't dream about zombies often, but when I do, they're usually really awesome ideas.  That's how Life After the Undead was born, along with two other stories that are in the works (I will finish them one day, but I can't tell you when--mainly because I have no idea!).  I had one earlier this week, and again it had some great ideas in it that I will attempt to incorporate into one of my stories.  Stressful or not, zombie dreams inspire me and keep me writing.  What's not to love about that?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Finding story inspiration in real life

By Christine Verstraete

Every now and then I like to share some thoughts on reading and the writing process.

 For me, writing fiction is always a surprise - I do outline longer works so I have an idea of where I'm going, but things still pop up as I'm writing, or I'll need to take a break and let it stew. Sometimes good ideas come to me in dreams, too. 

When I write short fiction, the ideas usually just come all of a sudden.  Ideas also can be prompted by something I saw, heard or read about as is the case with a recent story I'm finishing.

  Here in Wisconsin there was a terrible case of animal mistreatment - a group of horses rescued that were being starved by two people. And later, investigators uncovered a giant burial ground on their farm with at least 50 or more dead horses.

Horrible. Worse is that these two people are still trying to claim they did nothing wrong.

That case is still winding its way through the legal system, but it's an image that doesn't leave your mind as quickly.

It's been there in the back of my thoughts, I guess, until this story began forming in my mind. A horror story - a perfect setting, I think, for a real life horror story --except in my version there is a more fitting kind of justice...

I'm not saying more until the story is finished, sent out, and accepted somewhere, but I will say it feels good to write something that gives you a feeling of satisfaction on many levels. That's when writing can be fun and is the best part of the process.

** Is there anything you read or heard about that you knew you had to write about, or found its way into your writing? Or have you read something that stuck with you?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Today's Zombie Book Quote: Girl Z: Teen Zombie Chapter 2

I'm going to share a continuing series of quotes/excerpts from GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie by C.A. Verstraete. (You can read the prologue and read/download chapter 1 at link above.) So here's a little preview...

* Amazon - Print and Kindle - Girl Z: My Life As A Teenage Zombie
* See Excerpt - Chapter 1

Chapter 2:

(Recap: Becca and her cousin Carm still don't know what is wrong with Carm's brother, Spence, who's come home looking far from his old self.)

The longer my cousin took to get her water (where'd she go, Lake Michigan?), the more nervous I became, especially when Spence twisted around and gave a low moan.

His fingers twitched. He kicked out a foot and made a funny low growl.

Not good.

I slid back a few more inches to put some distance between us and wondered what was taking her so long. "Carm?"

Where was she?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Zombie Book with Kink!

Enjoy a little kink in your horror? Check out Tonia Brown's Lucky Stiff. I read it and let me tell you, it's hilarious, kinky (and not in a disturbing way), and just an really fun read. It's not for your kids, however. Eighteen and older....

Meet Peter Lyles, a young man unremarkable in life but unforgettable in un-death. After he accidentally overdoses while on spring break, Peter's friends do him the dubious favor of bringing him back to life. Or rather, they turn him into a zombie with the help of a little old fashioned Voodoo. Peter's journey through the un-life takes him from the home-brewed sex magic of a mysterious swamp-dwelling Madam, to bouncing from bedroom to bedroom all across the globe, and finally leaving him with a career as the hottest gigolo not alive. All the while, he must deny his hunger for human flesh while sating his passion for, well, human flesh. At turns humorous, at times touching, but always sexy, sexy, sexy. "Lucky Stiff" will leave you wanting more Peter. He's just that good.

Get your copy here at Amazon!

Monday, February 17, 2014

New #Zombie flash story in Siren's Call, Women in Horror Issue Now Out!

What could've happened to Spence (from GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie) after he turned zombie?

Well... check out my new flash story, "The Perfect Gifts."

Lots to read from a bunch of great female authors in the new Siren's Call - Women in Horror Issue 13 -  OR download the PDF HERE free.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Zombie Valentine...

It's never too late to show you care...

Here's the special sentiment for that special person...  zombie Valentines from artist Rob Sacchetto.

Just perfect when the usual store-bought Valentine just won't do.
And there are cards for other special days, too...

Friday, February 14, 2014

#Zombies... and Romance?

  Happy Valentine's Day! 

(Check out today's other Bloody Valentine Blog Hop Stops!)

Some people hate romances in zombie books, wanting to read only the fighting and gore and...

But that - pardon the pun - can get to be overkill, too. It's like a bad movie - how many fights can you watch if there is no story beyond that?

And since we are talking about apocalypses, disasters and people dying, love also should be part of that world, right?

Well, to an extent... So, what about some zombie love?


Okay, how about some reasons why not?

(art- piyaphon,

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Love a Zombie

By C.A. Verstraete

1. It's dangerous. 
You could catch something really bad... I mean worse than the usual communicable diseases...  Ewww.... Nothing like some lice and maggots and bugs and other icky stuff crawling if you get too close. OH YUCK!

2. Don't expect the relationship to last too long. 
Besides the threat of things just falling apart.. (heh-heh), ever watch The Walking Dead? 

3. It's booooooring. 
And you think getting most guys to talk is hard? Now try having a conversation with someone whose vocabulary is limited to Ugh, Arggh and "Braiiiiiiinns!"

4. Will it Last? 
Dating a zombie can put new meaning to such things as holding hands... putting a ring on it... and what about, ahem, you know... getting intimate?  Never mind the sickness of wanting to sleep with the dead. We're not even going there...

5. Are you kidding?
Really?? If you can't catch a live guy, you better take a good look in the mirror and figure out what in the world you are doing wrong.

And if you prefer a zombie, well, see the end of number four and... let's see if we can find you a good shrink.

This is all in good fun, of course!

 In GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, falling in love is pretty natural since they are teens and only part-zombie. No brain eating or other icky stuff here, though Becca does have some weird quirks to get over. The full Zs (zombies) are the enemies, not Becca and Gabe...
*** Winner! 2014 Lovey Award, Best Paranormal, Sci Fi
  Love is Murder Mystery Conference 2/8/14

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Romance, Zombie Exterminator Style

by Karina Fabian

It takes a special kind of person to be a zombie exterminator: strong, dedicated, courageous and perhaps a bit twisted in their tastes.  Neeta Lyffe has her own particular, shall we say, preferences, and when potential love interest Ted stumbles upon it, she's not quite ready for her own reaction. You can read more about Neeta and Ted's adventures in the Neeta Lyffe novels, but for now, enjoy this scene from Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator:

The limo disgorged her at her 2-bedroom cottage with the large airline-hangar style shed that marked her home and office.  She waved at everyone as the car drove off, then turned to see Ted sitting on her porch, polishing the flamethrower he held cradled in his arms.
For a moment she paused, stunned.  Her head swam with a vision of the two of them field-stripping the tool.  He'd lean his bare chest up against her back, arms reaching around her to remove the nozzle from the hose, the Righteous Brothers singing Unchained Melody in the background.
She shook herself.  What kind of wine was that?
She stormed up the steps, ignoring the singers crooning in her mind.  He looked up at her with that rakish grin, and suddenly the day felt too warm for her t-shirt and jeans.
"Enjoy your interview at the radio station?"
"You didn't hear it?" She couldn't stop looking at his hands caressing the nozzle.  Bobby Hatfield was singing about hungering.
He shrugged, not apologetic at all.  "Had to go do some location work.  I was in the field all day."
"What are you doing here?" she demanded more harshly than she'd intended.
"Time for my first lesson." He swung the nozzle like a guitar, and Neeta felt a bass playing to her heartbeat. 
...and time can do so much...
"That's a BelchingDragon M2-7." She couldn't believe how rough her voice sounded.  She couldn't believe she'd managed to talk at all.
If he noticed, he was as good at ignoring it as Dave.  "Yep!  Bought her the day after you agreed to tutor me."
I need your love...
Shut up!  She snapped at the ghost of Bobby.  Lessons!  Get with the game, girl!
"Have you read the manual?" she demanded.
He rolled his eyes.  "Have I read the manual?" he scoffed.
She made him read the manual while she changed into work clothes and splashed her face with a lot of icy cold water.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fantasy Book Kickstarter - Live During Olympics

Friend and fellow author Steve Sullivan has a huge project underway.

It's not too late to get in on his TOURNAMENT OF DEATH 3 Kickstarter - where he is writing stories daily during the Olympics. It's now underway....  the days are counting down.

Creatures - werewolves, elves, wizards, dwarves oh my, and all kinds of other characters - and yes zombies I hear - will be involved in this fictional fight to the finish.

I may be writing a story in it too...

Get in on it to help decide the direction - polls to pick characters and more!!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How World War Z Should Have Ended

Love The Walking Dead and World War Z? Check out this video by  - How It Should Have Ended.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie Wins Best Paranormal, Sci Fi Lovey Award!

Wow! Really a big surprise!! GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie won the Best Paranormal, Sci Fi LOVEY Award from the Love is Murder Mystery Conference this past weekend.

It was a very nice conference, saw some old friends, made some new ones and was on a couple panels. The most fun was an informal chat .. just chatting with several readers about books, TV and what-not. Lots of fun.

Author Julie A. Lindsey and I braved the chat ourselves... Julie has a new YA book out, Deceived from Merit Press, which btw, has none other than author Jacqueline Mitchard as chief editor. (The Deep End of the Ocean, etc).  I'll have to ask both of them to come by the blog for a visit.

So, it was a great weekend. And how was yours?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Love is Murder Mystery Conference

 Today I'm off to the Love is Murder Mystery Conference in Rosemont, IL.

Looking forward to a full day and the evening banquet with the Lovey Awards. Wish me luck as GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie is up for a Lovey in the Best Paranormal - Sci Fi  category!

(And by the way, GIRL Z features a road trip to a less expensive chain hotel near the airport and a great zombie fight scene as Becca, her cousin and friends try to determine if their mothers are there or where they went. They also end up in a nearby hospital - with yes, more zombies! (Talk about doctors' bedside manner!)

The Results??? I WON!!! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Zombie Makeovers

There is a trend in the movie industry to convert old films into DVD format.  It’s a great trend; it allows new audiences to enjoy the classics and old audiences a way to watch their favorites.  When they convert them into this new format, they usually also make them high definition, which can be both bad and good.

A lot of old horror films don’t really translate well into high definition.  Most of them didn’t have large budgets, so their special effects might have been a little cheesy.  When they are converted to high def, this cheesiness becomes readily apparent.  The film gets dated, and sometimes it’s hard to watch.

Not all films have this problem.  In fact, I recently rewatched Day of the Dead (which is one of my all-time favorite zombie films), and it had been converted to bluray.  It was amazing how well the special effects held up.  You have to hand it to Tom Savini, he really knew what he was doing.

 The blood, gore, and intestines looked fantastic on the screen.  The people were torn apart and it looked horrifically real.  It was what a zombie film was supposed to be.  It was so very exciting to watch.

I don’t mind CGI effects, they’re fine.  They’re part of the evolution of film making.  But there is something to be said for “the old way” with mannequins and gallons of red dye and probably entrails from the butcher shop.  Adds a sense of realism to the film.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Today's Zombie Quote....GIRL Z Chapter 1

I'm going to share a continuing series of quotes from GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie by C.A. Verstraete. So here's a little preview... (Read the prologue and download chapter 1 at link above)

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

 From Chapter 1:
As he came closer, I noticed several horrid raw sores and the sickening, pasty gray tone of his skin. I grimaced, grabbed Carm's arm and backed up, stumbling over my feet, when he reached for me with a loud groan.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Love is Murder Mystery Conference Update

  Just a quick update - this weekend is the Love is Murder Mystery Conference in Rosemont, IL.

Can't wait!

** I'll be there on Saturday, Feb. 8. - I'll be on the YA Panel at 8:30 a.m.  so be sure to stop by and say hi if you're attending.

And GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie is up for a LOVEY Award - so keep that in mind, too!

* Hoping I can pick up free wi-fi to update my Facebook page while I'm there....

** The Results? I WON! See post and award pic or see on website.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Author Book Donations to the Troops

  Author Armand Rosamilia is collecting new, author-signed books to donate to armed forces personnel serving in Afghanistan and Kuwait.

The Authors Supporting Our Troops Book Drive has so far collected nearly 600 books from over 70 authors.

The drive is set to end April 1 - but may be extended.

Contact Armand Rosamilia via email at to receive the shipping address for the books.

* Not an author? He also is selling T-shirts or taking donations to help cover the (massive) shipping costs!

* You can see the latest or get other details also on the group's Facebook page.  (See #asot2014 on Facebook for all updates.)

Monday, February 3, 2014

New fantasy fiction Kickstarter with... Zombies?

(Friend or foe?)

New fantasy novel Kickstarter underway by author Steve Sullivan for the new "Tournament of Death 3."

Sullivan describes Tournament of Death as "a series of fantasy-action novels with an interesting mash-up of engaging characters ranging from women warriors to bi-sexual elves to cat people and were-orcas. Each of the books has been written live, online, during the sixteen days of the Olympic Games (2008 & 2012)."

The multi-character novel will be written LIVE during the Olympics! And, I hear.... it will feature some Zombies!!

I also hope to contribute a short story as one of the stretch goals.... I'll have to polish up my fighting writing skills! Should be fun!

(* Please share with your friends and support - donations as low as $1 - $16 to attend and watch as it unfolds!)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Perfect Guy...

Yes, indeed, there really, truly is the perfect guy out there for you... (ha!)