Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge - #Zombies!

 * Today is Letter Z of the daily A to Z Blog Challenge *

Z is for... 


Of course! A couple recently spotted at the Odyssey Con in Madison.

Thanks for visiting during April. Yes, it's back to horror and regular zombie fare tomorrow. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge - EXplain WhY Zombies

* Combining these two - X and Y for the daily A to Z Blog Challenge *

X  is for... EXplain  whY you like Zombies....

Why Zombies, you ask? 

Writing about any kind of monsters and horror is fun. Sure, you say. 

Five Reasons to Write (and read) about Zombies:

1.  It's a way to face your own fears or "kill" your frustrations.

2. It puts a face on "evil."

3. Scary is fun. Really.

4. It's a different way to put characters in dangerous situations they need to escape from. Oh, and if you don't like a character it's easy to get rid of them. Chomp!

5.  I like scary books more than movies. I'd rather see it in my mind with my own images, but putting it in words is rather fun. Surprising how many ways you can think of trying to describe a zombie. They're not all alike, you know...

* How about a little zombie fun? Becca's life is changed forever when she's scratched by her cousin and is infected with the Z virus. What's worse than being 16  -- and turning part-zombie? (See website - All links,  Amazon  - Barnes & Noble)

About the Book:

Life can suck when you're sixteen. It can suck even worse when you're not-quite-dead.
   Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager's biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.
   Becca's life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he's becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.
   The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for.

   But time is running out... Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late...

Monday, April 27, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge - W is for Wonderland Fiction

 * Today is Letter W of the daily A to Z Blog Challenge *

W is for... Alice in Wonderland
Short Fiction....

I’m using story prompts from “Story Prompts that Don’t Suck.”

Prompt 612-Use three things in a story –a bucket filled with a mysterious pink substance, an unopened letter, an elderly white horse. (I used two.)

Return to Wonderland

She must be dreaming.
   Melody looked in the bucket again. Whatever it was looked slimy and was colored a Pepto-Bismal pink. Just thinking of it made her stomach hurt.
   What was she supposed to do with it?
   The letter.
   She grabbed the envelope tied to the bucket handle. An ivory-colored paper sat inside. Written on it in a hard-to-read script were two words: Drink Me.
   Eyes wide, she looked around again, expecting to see a dessert laden table and a talking rabbit from her favorite story, Alice in Wonderland. It was s place she’d always wished she could visit. Nothing greeted her eyes but a dim sky and dark shadows in what looked like a forest.
   Yes, she had to be dreaming. Had to be!
   Melody pinched herself. “Owww.”
   She felt that, so it must be real, right?
   To drink or not to drink?
   She could stand here all day or do what the note said.
   Taking a deep breath, she picked up the bucket, tipped it to her mouth, and drank. The stuff was thick, but good. It tasted like strawberry.
   She drank her fill, set the bucket down, and sat to wait. Soon, the sky began to lighten. The shadows faded revealing bright green trees surrounded by flowers in a rainbow of colors.
   “Ohhh! It’s my story. It’s real!”
   It’s only when it got to full sunlight that Melody saw the table. At each place sat a familiar figure—the rabbit, a playing card soldier, the red queen, and others. It’s only when she got up for a closer look that she saw their heads sitting on the plates in front of them and began to scream.
   Then she looked down and saw the blue dress she had on and the swordsman standing at the head of the table. One place remained open for the main character, Alice. Her.
   She screamed and ran, soon realizing there was no way out. She found herself trapped by the paper forest and flowers around her.
   Melody looked up in horror at the laughing face staring down at her over the edge of the page.
   Her wish of being able to go inside her favorite book had come true in the worst possible way.

© C. Verstraete  372 words

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge - V for Verstraete

 ** Today is the Letter V for the 2015  A to Z  Blogging Challenge  **

V is for...

C. A. Verstraete

Really? How can I resist??? ha!

Things you never knew you wanted to know about author C.A. Verstraete:

1. I have raised dwarf seahorses. (Unfortunately, you can't tell how old they are and they don't live long.) 

 2. GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie is my first YA book and of course, it's not the usual zombie book. No brain eating. It has weird humor, a quirky character and features a teen girl.

3. I collect dollhouses and miniatures. (See A Mini a Day at my other blog for April.)

4.  I like to write about a lot of different topics. I have a small collection of short stories with dogs coming out soon. Check the website for news! 

5. I'm an award-winning journalist, and write for various newspapers and magazines.

6.  I've completed a more zombie-centric novel featuring a historical figure, a real life crime and lots of zombies. I'm sending it around to publishers. Stay tuned for news!

Many more projects in the works!

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for the Undead - Who's Worried?

*A to Z Blog Challenge  - U is for the Undead - Who's Worried?*

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to travel to Riverton to do my zombie presentation through the Wyoming Humanities Council and my Surviving Zombies workshop. It is a 3.5-hour drive from my hometown, and the vast majority of it takes place on a two-lane highway. I was amazed once again how beautiful my state is.

But it also became apparent how incredibly open, vast, and unpopulated it is. I couldn’t help but think that the people of Wyoming will have nothing to worry about if the undead rise from the grave. Sure, we have some populated areas, but nothing like New York or LA. We also have terrain that the undead would find difficult to navigate, and we get some really cold winters days. On top of that, a lot of people carry guns in this state.

As I drove down those lonely, long stretches of highway, I thought about how lucky I am to live in Wyoming. Let the undead rise. We’ll be ready.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge: T is for Truck Driving Vampire

**  Today is Letter T of the 2015  A to Z  Blogging Challenge  **

Freightliner: Evil sits behind the wheel.

A truck-driving vampire terrorizes Interstate 10 in New Mexico and Texas. When he targets trucker Jay Carlson, Jay finds himself unwillingly teaming up with an illegal alien and a tough-talking custodian--both of whom claim to be vampire hunters.  However, they are injured in the fight, and Jay will have to conquer his disbelief and destroy the vampire himself before it kills them all.

Of course that was why he had not come out to check on her, she thought with a surge of relief. He probably thought it was an abandoned car. But now--she stepped out onto the gravel, hearing for the first time how loud the crickets sang. She smelled the strong scent of the cooling air. Too early for snow. Too warm, still anyway, though she cursed herself for not thinking to put on jeans before making her big exit. She peered at the cab, but nothing moved.
“Hello!” she called, moving closer. She could not make out a logo on the truck. It was dark, dark paint. She had an impression that the shape was--not wrong exactly, but not usual. It was an older model, she decided. An old truck.
She had reached the door.
“Anyone there?” she called, hesitating to step up and look inside. What if something had happened to the driver? What if he were dead? What if she opened the door and a body spilled out onto the road?
But that was silly. He had just pulled up. Probably he was rummaging around in his berth for some tools.
But what if he was dead? What if she took hold of the door and--and what if he was right there, watching her?
She had almost decided to go back to her own car. But the thought of the semi parked behind her, silently cutting its chunk from the sky, was in some strange way even more frightening than opening the door. She reached up for the handle and pulled herself up level with the window.
The handle turned in her hand.
It was then she knew she had done the wrong thing. If only someone else had come--she prayed for someone else. A cop. Even a car full of good old boys. Anyone.
The crickets fairly screamed their shrill and mindless song, the scent of the Russian knapweed was overpowering. But it wasn’t strong enough to hide another smell, a dark earthy smell. A smell of death mellowed by long usage.       
The door opened.
Reba froze, clutching the handle, balancing there with the driver’s seat in front of her. She tried to speak, to call, but nothing would come out. She hung there, thinking of death, while the night passed and the stars moved and the moon looked in over her shoulder. Finally, she climbed into the truck.
“Daniel,” she whimpered. She was ready to forgive the new pickup, but it was too late. Something moved in the back and she turned in the driver’s seat and saw a pale face, caught in the moonlight, eyes gleaming. She had an impression of lank hair, grizzled beard. And then two hands reached up to take her shoulders and she saw the mouth open.

Amazon link:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge: S is for Zombie Sheep

**  Today is Letter S of the 2015  A to Z  Blogging Challenge  **

(by Karina Fabian)

I'm going to be honest. I may write zombies, but I'm not a big horror fan, but today, I bring you 
Zombie Sheep!

Horror movies with Sheep!

Zombie Sheep T-shirts!

And a Zombie Sweater because...Wool.
Plus S is for Sweater and Santa!

This little bit of silliness was brought to you by the letter S because mutton is better than zombie sheep jokes in April!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge - R for New #Zombie Reads

* A to Z Blog Challenge  - R for New Zombie Reads*

Since there are a lot of new visitors to the blog, thought I'd share a few new zombie books and stories I've come across or are coming out:

* My writing: I have a  long short story, "Puppy Love & Zombies" coming out in summer or early fall in the YA adventure anthology from Intrigue Publishing.

  It features my part-zombie character Becca and her cousin, Carm, from my book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie.  In the story, Becca has to overcome her fear of dogs when she tries to find a missing German Shepherd puppy and learns other dogs are gone, too. Zombies and a short mystery.

* I also have another story, "Second Chances" coming out soon in the Baby Shoes anthology... A hoarder finds new life after the zombie apocalypse when she helps the most helpless... A "different" twist on zombies!

New or upcoming zombie books:

 Broken Hearted Ghoul (Taxi for the Dead Paranormal Mysteries Book 1) - A different kind of series. I know Joyce and Jim Lavene from their gardening and Renaissance Faire mysteries, but was surprised to find they'd done a zombie series! How did I miss that??

About the book: 

It’s been two years since Skye Mertz agreed to drive Abe’s Taxi for the Dead, transporting his zombie workers back to the man who gave them an additional twenty years of life. She’s raising her daughter, with the help of her ghostly mother-in-law, and keeps looking for what killed her husband the night she died. 

Now she has a partner—a housewife working off her zombie husband’s service—and she’s met a sorcerer with amnesia. It shouldn’t be surprising that a broken hearted ghoul, bent on getting revenge, should show up too. After all, there’s no rest for the dead. -

The sequel is: Dead Girl Blues (Taxi for the Dead Book 2)

Jonathan Maberry has a new set of short stories from his Benny Imura Rot & Ruin series coming out Sept. 22 (wow, 592 pages!) 

Bits & Pieces (Rot & Ruin) has 11 new short stories and 11 previously published short stories filling in the gaps, from Nix's journal, and a first script from the Rot & Ruin comic books! 


Armand Rosamilia's latest entry in his Dying Days series comes out  June 16. 

   In Dying Days 5 (91 pgs.), Darlene and John have been scattered... can they fight through miles of undead to find one another? Will The Lich Lord destroy what is left of this post apocalyptic world? Will the Main Street compound survive another day? -

  Coming June 2 from Stoker Award Nominee John Palisano

Dust of the Dead - For a while, it looked like the living had won. The war against the walking dead lasted almost a decade, but it’s mostly over. There are only a few straggling zombies left to take care of. Los Angeles has returned to its lattes and long commutes. It’s up to a small Reclamation Crew to clean up the Zoms left behind. But when the undead dry up, their skin turns to dust. Now the hot Santa Ana winds deliver a new threat…because the Zoms were only the beginning of something far worse. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge - Q for #Zombie Quiz

* A to Z Blog Challenge  - Q for Zombie Quiz*

What else can you use for Q? How about a survival quiz?

Try your hand at the AMC Walking Dead Survival Quiz - 7 timed questions

Me? Well it says I'm an Alpha Male. (really?) Considerate but can put myself first and can have violent outbursts. (Hmm, well, I admit I have a temper...) 

How'd you do?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge- #Zombies, monsters & P for Pyramid

A to Z Blog Challenge  - P for Pyramid * 

For a change of pace, how about a book featuring an Olympics-style tournament in which 
different beings, including zombies and some zombiesh creatures, fight in the Tournament of Death 3: The Osiran Pyramid (Volume 3).

Fellow author Stephen D. Sullivan's unique Tournament of Death series, including the first Tournament of Death and Tournament of Death 2 - The Deluvian Temple,  is being joined by the latest, Tournament of Death 3: The Osiran Pyramid (Volume 3).

About the book:
Again, the Wizard-Prince Amontet has summoned the best and bravest from across the World-Sea to compete in his fiendish challenge. Contestants include undersea warriors, ditzy sorceresses, wacky dwarves, scheming cat-people, doomed jenrats, grim drow, lethal samurai girls, and victims galore. Those who finish the final quest will gain rewards beyond measure … But first they must survive the perils of the Osiran Pyramid and the latest Tournament of Death...

This one features those afore-mentioned zombies, which Sullivan seems to be developing an affinity for! (Check out his White Zombie - Special Edition, an adaptation and original script of the classic Lugosi film, and and his Frost Harrow flash fiction, Lunchroom Zombies! And.... yes, ha!,  there is a Zombie Shark ebook, too!) 

Oh..., and it appears I'm quite quotable. haaa! My blurb on Tournament 3 is on the back! (How cool is that!) and I quote:

   “Sullivan has a way with words, and a way of drawing you into worlds that are totally unlike any you've ever read about. Rollicking adventures sure to please the fantasy reader.” – Christine Verstraete, author of Girl-Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge - O is for Options

*A to Z Blog Challenge  - O for Options*

In zombie films and books, there aren't a lot of options that ensure survival.  The zombies are out to kill you, but so are other survivors.  What are you supposed to do?

This is another notion I explore in my book Undead Obsessed, and I'll give you a little example of what it takes to survive.

From Chapter 15:

THE GREATEST CHANCE OF SURVIVAL humans have in zombie films happens when they learn to work together. Even the zombies have figured out how to do it—whether they realize it or not—and their ability to gather in mass numbers to surround and take down their prey works to their benefit. When the humans in the film figure out how to do this, they are also successful.

Zombies are us. They are the embodiment of what we fear the most, of becoming mindless corpses hell-bent on destroying humanity. And the most frightening part of this is that we could turn into a zombie without realizing it’s happening. We may claim we want to do the best for the world and our fellow humans, but we all have prejudices, we all have hate. We may not act on those feelings for fear of getting in trouble, but if there weren’t consequences, if we could shut our fears off, what would we be capable of? Society and its rules keep a lot of people in check. It keeps us from reverting to our primal stages, from spiraling into chaos. But what zombie films show is the collapse of rules and civilization, what happens when we are no longer afraid. And it’s not pretty. It’s destructive and gory—and not only from the perspective of the zombies. The survivors don’t act any better, often being just as destructive and gory as the undead they are trying so hard to kill.

Zombies force us to look at ourselves, each other, and at society and ask the question: what does it mean to be human? The answer that zombie films give is not exactly uplifting and full of promise. They basically tell us that to be able to fix the problems we created, we have to come to the brink of extinction. We have to lose everything and rebuild from scratch. But even then there is no guarantee things will change. The zombie apocalyptic world is still full of those hungry for power, corruption, and greed. Until those are taken care of, the world will continue to spiral into chaos and regress into primitivity.

Thankfully, in the real world, even though we have our problems and issues and seem intent on destroying each other, we have the capacity to pull together under crisis. The multitude of natural disasters—tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, etc.—that have left people homeless and hungry has brought together others that are willing to help and support. Bombings and mass killings tragically impact communities and societies, but they also bring people together in a show of emotional support.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge - N for Short Fiction - Not the Best Date

**  Today is Day  5 - Letter N - of the 2015  A to Z  Blogging Challenge  **

Some more short fiction today...

I’m using story prompts from “Story Prompts that Don’t Suck.”

Prompt # 631-I don’t want to fail just because other people have terrible taste. (Taste being the inspiration here.)

Not The Best Date

I woke up today covered in mud, my clothes tattered.
   I’d been on a date with a guy who turned out to be a bad driver. Unknown to me, he’d been sucking down the beers earlier. He went too heavy on the gas and boom! The last thing I remembered was screaming as he rear-ended a car before I woke here.
    “Hey, you’ll be fine. Are you hungry?”
    I looked around in a kind of haze. Who was talking?
   Finally, my eyes focused and I looked at a guy who looked kind of hot though he had a never–in-the-sun, super-washed out kind of look and the freakiest grayish-blue eyes I’d ever seen.
   I mouthed the words and finally could talk. “Who-who are you? Where am I?
   “I carried you here. You were in a car wreck. I’m Kyle.”
   I began to panic. “Wreck?” I gazed at the blood streaked across the front of my dress.    “Don’t I need to be in the hospital? I need help!”
   “Hey, no, take it easy. Here.”
   The crinkle of a bag got my attention, but the smell. Oh, man, the scent had me trying to claw my way over there and grab the delicious source of that smell as fast as I could.
   “Easy,” he said. “Tell me your name.”
   “Alicia.” My hands flailed in the air as I grasped at the container he held just out of reach.
   “Okay, here.”
   I grabbed the contents and gobbled it down, not caring how I looked or sounded. I smacked my lips and licked the juices off my hands. “That was wonderful! What was that?”
   “Brains,” he said. “Welcome to the club. We’re both zombies.”
   “Z-zombies?” I started laughing. “Really? You’re joking, right?”
   He held up another plastic container. “Does this look like a joke?”
   I stared at the brain, disgusted at the way my mouth began to water.
   He handed over the container. “You and I have some things to talk about. Let me take you home.”
   I gorged myself and only when I was done did I stop to think. Home? I realized that I couldn’t go home. Everyone most likely thought I was dead.
   “What about my family? If they can’t find my body—“
   “Burned,” he said. “We set another body on fire after we rescued you. They’ll find burned bones and some of your DNA there.”
   My mind worked. If they did further tests, they’ll know it’s not me
   I realized there was nothing I could do about it. It was better for my family to think I was dead then to see me again... like this. Undead.
   I stared at Kyle. He wasn’t the type of guy I was usually drawn to. He looked kind of skinny, nerdy.
   I laughed as he helped me to my feet. The joke was on me, I guess. Like I had any other choices or anywhere else to go?
   “Where to?” I said.
   “A few of us share a place way out in the woods. Quiet, away from everyone. You can clean up there and one of the girls probably has some clothes to fit you. Then we’ll see about getting you a job.”
   “A job?”
   He nodded. “We still have to live, right? I work at a morgue and Joel works in a funeral home. Keeps us supplied with brains. I could use help in the office, keeping up with the records and stuff like that. We’ll get you a false ID and birth certificate and such. How’s that sound?”
   My head was in a whirl. One minute I was dead. Now I was undead, had a potential boyfriend, a job, and my own place. I had more going for me than before I died. Figure that one out.
   “I guess that’s okay. Take me home.”

 © C. Verstraete  635 words

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge - M for Giant Monsters

* Today is the letter M for the  2015  A to Z  Blog Challenge * 

Next up on the TBR pile:

Look what I got! A great giant monster - Godzilla read - Daikaiju Attack,
 from fellow Wisconsin author Stephen D. Sullivan.  Cool or what????

What a fun idea! Steve's a pretty versatile guy, writing all kinds of stuff (including Dungeons & Dragons, Dragonlance, etc,), but I think this was one of his best, and most fun, reads of his recent works. I'm a fan, having grown up watching the old monster movies, (Mothra was a favorite), so this is a great take on the giant monster stories.

I admit reading this first as a serial story, but it will be fun to read it in one sitting as a whole book.  And I LOVE the colors on this book and the text. (I'm a BIG fan of bright colors.)

About the Book: 

It’s 1966. The Space Race has blasted off, the Cold War is heating up, and Giant Monsters are attacking Japan!

News photographer Akiko Natsuke’s life fell apart when she caught her boyfriend cheating. But she didn’t expect that night would literally herald the End of the World -- not until she found the creature lurking in the meteor crater. Now Japan’s top scientists and military brass are racing to protect the country from rampaging monsters, while Akiko finds herself caught between salvaging her personal life … and saving the world. - from Amazon.

** Read the full Chapter 1 --- 

Short Excerpt: (page 11)

But, no. Akiko was stronger than that. She wouldn't give Shinobu--or that tramp--the satisfaction.

 The newspapers, even the Tribune, where Akiko worked, painted Miss Tadaka as pure and innocent; that was part of her appeal.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge, L for Lighthearted #Horror

**  Today is the Letter L  of the 2015  A to Z  Blogging Challenge  **

Laughing in the Gore

Think zombies, think blood, guts and gore. Funny? No!

Ah, but that's where I beg to differ. Zombies and horror can be great settings for humor. Like fellow author Jaime Johnesee shared for the H post, I'm also one of those people who tries to find something funny in dark moments.  It's a coping mechanism. It's a way to lighten tensions. It's being human.

Many feel the same way, judging from the jokes that often come after a tragedy or other event. Yes, many are in bad taste; some are funny, but it's a way of coping with the unimaginable.

In writing, I like to do the same. My short stories (like the the A and B stories shared this month) often have a weird twist that can be looked at in a funny way.  Besides, truth be told, writing can sometimes be depressing. It's the rejection part that can weigh you down, so why not have fun with what you're doing?

I had fun writing my first zombie book, Girl Z: My Life As A Teenage Zombie. I mean, if you're 16 and turn part-zombie, life can't get any worse, right? So somehow you have to find things to laugh about, simply to cope. 

Plus, it's fun to think up odd jokes and weird pairings. That's why I had my part-zombie girl eating a certain raw food. She's part-human, so no brains or cannibalism for her, though her diet choice can be kind of disgusting at times. 

I might not write "laugh out loud" funny, but I like to write things that make you smile, or maybe even groan. After all, writing should be fun for me, too. If I'm not enjoying it, why do it? Then the reader won't enjoy it either! Humor being subjective, of course!

Amazon links - Barnes & Noble -  Books A Million

** Here are a couple "funny" excerpts from Girl Z: My Life As A Teenage Zombie...

Sure I had the wandering eye problem and tripped over my own feet, but so far, most of my problems were somewhat tolerable, considering everything. Not so for most male Zs, I saw. Carm and I exchanged horrified glances as we watched the rude, obnoxious way several of them acted, hoping it was a rare occurrence. Hardly.

The main thing on most teenage Z's brains (the little they had left, of course) these days was food, followed by sex, a horrific combination.

The virus amplified the endless eating cycle teenage boys usually had. Even with all the protein drinks, I watched several stagger down the hall slobbering over packages of raw meat when they weren't slobbering over girls. Ugh. I wanted to laugh, and would've, if it wasn't so revolting.

After our laughter, the room quieted as we got acquainted, or in Carm’s case, reacquainted.    She soon was whispering with Jesse, leaving me to cope with Gabe.
   He gave me a conspiratorial glance. “Want to hear one of my jokes?”
   My disinterest didn’t stop him.
   “Okay, here’s one for you—what do you call a girl on a date who doesn’t want to eat?” he asked, a smirk on his face.
    I shrugged.
   “A zombie.” He laughed. “C’mon, don’t tell me you don’t think that’s funny? Hey, I’m just trying to lighten things up. I’ve got plenty more, want to hear?”
   “Cute, but I don’t think being like this,” I pointed to myself, “is funny. Not at all.”
   He motioned at me and leaned in to whisper. His minty breath hit the side of my face. “It is what it is, you know? We have to make the best of it. I wouldn’t worry about it, there’s nothing that’ll make you look bad. Nothin’ at all.” He winked. “Hey, anything you need, I’ll be glad to help. Any way I can.”


Life can suck when you're sixteen. It can suck even worse when you're not-quite-dead.

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager's biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.

Becca's life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he's becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.

The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for.

But time is running out... Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Odyssey Con Tidbits - Killer Books

Just returned from Odyssey Con in Madison. First time I attended. Small, but fun. Really enjoyed it. Nice to meet new people and a few old friends.

 The bonus, was meeting, and being on a few panels with NYT Bestselling Authors Jonathan Maberry (Rot and Ruin series)  (and one with) Heather Brewer. (Her latest is The Cemetery Boys. Be sure to click and read the description!)

 (Don't you just love her pretty reddish-pink hair??) 

Bonus 2: signed copies!!!!! 



(I had Maberry sign my copy of Dead of Night  since I couldn't get a copy of the sequel, Fall of Night: A Zombie Novel   there, at Barnes & Noble or at Half Price Books. Grrr. I also want to get his V-Wars: Blood and Fire anthology  (current/last one is book 2, Dec. 2014. A new one is supposed to be coming out also. Oh, and a few others. The list is growing!!)

Also enjoyed talking with fellow author Lance Ford (Ace Kincaid: In Search of Heroes), who also signed a copy for me. (And I picked up a copy of Stephen King's Doctor Sleep at the bookstore. No not signed. ha!) Woo-hoo! Lots of new reading! 


It was also fun meeting up again and having lunch with WD Gagliani, Dave Benton,  Alex Bledsoe  and John Everson

Everyone was nice and informative. I'm not as panel experienced, I'll admit, but got a few comments in here and there. Maberry and Brewer are the nicest, but I'd have to be a zombie to say it's not a little intimidating being sandwiched between the two of them on a panel!  ha! They had plenty to say and I was glad for the chance to drink it in.

A Few Od(yssey) Con Comments: 

For fun, I jotted down some of the more interesting comments made by various authors on some of the panels. They're not in context (which may make some sound odd or rather funny!)

 Jonathan Maberry: "It takes nine truths to tell one lie. (The reader) then is more likely to believe the 'fantastical.' When you get to the things not real, most readers can't tell."

"I'm more a monster-of-the-week guy." - Maberry

"I think that would be a great place to start since you have a werewolf background." - Dave Benton to WD Gagliani.

"We like misdirection." - WD Gagliani

"Kolchak  (The Nightstalker) was my touchstone. It probably got me interested in horror fiction early on." - John Everson

"Once in a while you look at one of your fellow writers and ask, 'what's wrong with that boy?'" - Maberry

"You have a story open at the same time and you're at different places? That would freak me out." - Everson to Gagliani and Benton on their online collaborating.

"You never watched X Files? I don't know you anymore. You're dead to me." - Maberry to Everson.

"In Mount Horeb, no one looks down at me because I write horror stuff." - Alex Bledsoe

"I feel like I'm in an incredible revolution now. It' s not only OK to be a geek, but it's incredibly cool to be a geek." - Heather Brewer

"I grew up in the South. It's not the greatest place to announce yourself as some kind of artist." - Alex Bledsoe

Stay tuned: I'll be doing an upcoming post on some of Maberry's writing advice.

A to Z Blog Challenge - K for Killer Horror Fiction

**  Today is Letter K - of the 2015  A to Z  Blogging Challenge  **

Warning: No better explanation for "killer" short fiction, right? 
Oh, and girls in horror movies should never giggle -- or hang out with guys dressed like Jason. (Sorry, they can't all be "great" fiction. haaaa!) 

I’m using story prompts from “Story Prompts that Don’t Suck.”

Prompt 576- Write a story about someone who won’t take off their Halloween costume – way after Halloween.


Halloween – Ever After

Alyssa giggled and set the drink on the table. “Hey, c’mon, the party’s over. Aren’t you going to take off your costume?”

The guy simply stared at her from behind the white Jason mask.

She got up and walked toward him, her steps a bit wobbly. Leaning close, she grabbed hold of his arms and looked into his eyes. “Hey, you got nice eyes. I thought you wanted to be with me. C’mon, no one else is around…”

No one heard her screams as he pulled out the chainsaw and revved it up.

© C. Verstraete  93 words