Monique Lewis Happy

Book trading.  Does anybody else remember doing this?

As a young teenager, I didn’t have a whole lot of cash.  I mowed lawns in the summers, and had a paper route for a while, and worked for a very short while in the shrimp camps down in Kemah, Texas.  But money was still short.  I couldn’t just skip over to the bookstore and buy an armload of books, even if it was 1983 and most of my favorite stuff was coming out in mass market paperback and selling for $1.25.

Money was scarce.

I do remember skipping lunch for days on end, saving my lunch money to buy the books of Robert McCammon and Stephen King.  But even then, there was a limit to what I could buy.

And there was most definitely a limit to what my school library had available.

So I turned to my friends.  We developed a sort of fiction underground, trading paperbacks amongst ourselves the way some kids traded baseball cards.

I’ll give you three of my Guy N. Smith giant crab novels for that James Herbert you’ve got there, I remember myself saying.

To which I got:  No way.  Give me that Charles Beaumont collection and I’ll give you the collected stories of Ambrose Bierce.

That was a snapshot of my teenage years.  My education, if you will.

Trading books.

And it was just such a shared history that convinced me I had to include today’s guest in my countdown to the September 3, 2013 release of my next zombie novel, The Savage Dead, Ms. Monique Lewis Happy.

You see, when she was a young girl, her parents took her out of school and set out for a three-year trek across the world’s oceans in a 40 foot Newporter called The Caprice.  They dragged all over the globe, and the main source of her education during that time was the limited collection of paperbacks her father stowed aboard.  These included John D. MacDonald and J.R.R. Tolkien, to name but a few.  Not a bad start for a tike, but hardly a complete education.  Sensing as much, Monique began to trade paperbacks with other boats she’d meet on her way.

And so her education grew.

Much as my own did.

Hearing that story I felt an instant kinship with her.

Also, it didn’t hurt that since her return from that round-the-world voyage she’d managed to become a noted editor in the Indie zombie genre, counting among her clients the legendary Mark Tufo.  (Check out my interview with Mark Tufo here.)

I thought Monique’s unique role in the zombie genre might provide an interesting turn on the whole zombie conversation, and so I am pleased to bring you Ms. Monique Lewis Happy, editor-in-chief of zombie mayhem.

 

Joe McKinney:  Thanks for joining me here on Old Major’s Dream.  I’m glad you could swing by.  You’re no stranger to zombie fiction.  Would you mind telling the folks out there a little about your zombie-related projects?  How do you approach the genre?

Monique Lewis Happy:  Well, actually I’m not a zombie writer, or at least not a published one. I’m a zombie editor.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the zombie genre. In 2010, I read the beginning of a new zombie series by Mark Tufo, and liked it so much I went on his blog to introduce myself and tell him how much I loved it. We became friends on Facebook. One day he gave a shout out to his fans, and asked if anyone wanted to review and edit his latest book. I volunteered, having been a legal secretary for over 25 years. I felt confident that I could do a good edit, plus I was dying to read his next installment on the series! I did that first book for fun and for free, and he liked my work so much he hired me. That gave me the courage to begin my own editing services, and I’ve been going strong ever since.

I’ve had the privilege of working with some other really stellar indie authors such as Robert DeCoteau, who has some great books out there, and G.R. Mountjoy, who has written an intense military zombpocalypse series. Most recently, I’ve been working steadily with Shawn Chesser (who’s a great guy, by the way — I’ve really enjoyed working with him), and my newest client, Sean Liebling, who is a kick in the pants and has begun a new series entitled Blood, Brains, and Bullets. Not for the faint of heart!

It’s been very exciting to work with all of these authors because of the experience and knowledge which they bring to the table. These guys really know what they’re talking about. I’ve learned so much about weapons systems and nomenclature. And they are writing really good stuff. They are revitalizing the zombie genre, along with other great authors like John O’Brien, J.L. Bourne, Joe Talluto, Shane Gregory, and yourself, of course!

JM:  The zombie apocalypse is happening right now.  Are you prepared?  Would humanity win?

MLH:  I am in no way prepared, except for the knowledge I’ve gained from working with the aforementioned authors. Physically, I probably could not outrun a zombie, unless they are of the shuffling variety. But I would be determined to survive, and I have children to protect. Not sure who would win if it came down to Mama Bear vs. a zombie. *grin*

I seriously think that the majority of mankind will be snuffed out in the first few days. The Preppers will probably outlast us all, and good for them! I can only hope to make it long enough to hook up with a group of people and make it to a safe enclave.

JM:  What’s your favorite zombie book, movie, short story, whatever?  (Please feel free to ramble as much or as little as you like here. I’d love to know why that story or movie or whatever grabs you.)

MLH:  I know you’ve heard this before, but I’m a huge fan of ANYTHING that George Romero has had a hand in. My favorite zombie movie is probably Dawn of the Dead (the original, although I enjoyed the remake), followed by Shaun of the Dead.  Next in line on my faves list is Day of the Dead (by Romero) and Zombieland. I can watch Zombieland over and over again. Especially the final scene with Bill Murray.

JM:  What’s your favorite zombie kill scene of all time?

MLH:  The fight scene in the bar in Shaun of the Dead, when Queen is playing on the jukebox. I just watched it again and couldn’t stop laughing. Zombies and campy humor. Good stuff right there.

JM:  I’ve always felt the best and most effective horror is trying to investigate what we think of ourselves and what it means to be us.  Washington Irving’s tales, for instance, generally grapple with the question of what it means to be an American in the post-Revolutionary War period.  Nathaniel Hawthorne battled with the intellectual promise of a nation rising to international credibility while simultaneously choking under the yolk of a Puritan past.  Stephen King made a name for himself chronicling the slow collapse of the American small town way of life.  What do you think the zombie and its current popularity is telling us about ourselves?

MLH:  Personally, I love to lose myself in the world of the apocalypse. It’s not just about the drastic climate change or zombie virus or whatever else brought about the end of the world. It’s about the human spirit, our survival instinct, our true characters that come out when all that counts is where our next meal comes from and what we are willing to do to live one more day on this earth.

I think the current popularity stems from a desire to have a “do over” – to wipe away the old, material ways that are so clearly not working and begin anew with just the basics. To even out the playing table, so to speak. It’s very appealing to a lot of people.

Thanks for having me!

I can be contacted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoniqueHappyEditorialServices

I’m also blogging at http://moniquehappyeditor.wordpress.com/

Image

Lisa Morton

Did you happen to catch my interview with Weston Ochse?  In that interview I talk about sitting with Wes at the HWA’s table at the Book Expo America convention, which remains one of my favorite events I’ve ever attended…for several reasons.

I’ll explain.

First off, I got to meet a lot of people I now hold as dear friends.  (I remember sitting in the little backseat of Lisa Morton’s short crew pickup, my knees crammed into my chin and a pile of boxes leaning against my head, talking with Gene O’Neill about his history as a boxer, for example.) It was my first introduction to major conventions and all that they can do for an author’s career; which is, believe me, an article all unto itself.

Secondly, it introduced me to life as a professional writer, which at the time, I’ll honestly say, I didn’t put in the same sentence with my own literary efforts.  But Lisa Morton helped to change that.  This was the woman who pulled me aside and said she thought I had a promising career ahead of me.  She was, in so many ways, the gatekeeper for my transition from interested hobbyist to pro.  I can’t thank her enough for giving me that early confidence.  I’ve often wondered how you can repay that sort of early helping hand up, and the only thing that comes to mind is mentorship.  Lisa was there for me when there was no formalized such thing as a mentorship, and I have tried to emulate that same voice of confidence and experience when I myself became a mentor.  I can think of no higher words of praise to say to a senior fellow than thank you; and to you, Lisa, I say a sincere and honest “Thank you!  You rock!”

She has won her share of Stoker awards.  She has turned out stories that challenge our view of how things should be (Don’t believe me, check out her story “Sparks Fly Upwards” – it’s one of my favorites.), written novels that reimagine our idea of the monster, and highlighted the fact that women deserve a bigger presence in the horror genre.  (To this day I would love to see Lisa Morton write the feminist take on the Last Girl trope.  I would stand in line for that short story.)  And in the course of becoming a leading voice in the horror community, she has also managed to become the leading authority on Halloween.  That’s not hyperbole, either.  She really is the world’s leading authority on Halloween.  (Check this out to see what I mean.)

But enough of that.  I can go on all day about Lisa Morton, because I love her so.  All you really need is to read her, and I’m presenting that opportunity now.  Please enjoy!

 

Joe McKinney:  Thanks for joining me here on Old Major’s Dream.  I’m glad you could swing by.  You’re no stranger to zombie fiction.  Would you mind telling the folks out there a little about your zombie-related writing?  How do you approach the genre?

Lisa Morton:  I’m occasionally shocked to realize that I’ve written enough zombie short fiction to fill a book! Most recently I’ve been part of the two shared-world Zombie Apocalypse anthologies edited by Stephen Jones, and I’m currently working on a tie-in novel called Zombie Apocalypse: Washington Deceased.

Zombies are us, with our personalities scrubbed out and replaced by the most basic, most primitive of needs (to feed). They’re not sensual and intelligent like vampires, savage like werewolves, or mysterious like ghosts; they’re just blank. Because of the blankness, they’re like the horror equivalent of an erased blackboard that you can write anything on. Religious allegory, political commentary, social satire…the zombie story can easily become any of those.

JM:  The zombie apocalypse is happening right now.  Are you prepared?  Would humanity win?

LM:  Sorry, but I don’t see us taking great care of the joint without zombies; they’ll just make the final fade-out happen a little faster. I might last a little longer than everyone else, but I have an unfair advantage (as do you!): We’ve spent more time thinking about this stuff than everyone else.

JM:  What’s your favorite zombie book, movie, short story, whatever?  (Please feel free to ramble as much or as little as you like here.  I’d love to know why that story or movie or whatever grabs you.)

LM:  I’ve got to go with Romero’s original Dawn of the Dead. I saw it in on opening night, when I was in my second year of film school. A teacher’s assistant who knew I liked horror insisted that we go; I’d somehow never seen Night of the Living Dead, and had absolutely no idea what I was in for. And yeah, it pretty much destroyed me. I didn’t sleep that night. I couldn’t get it out of my head. It took me a while to realize that what bothered me wasn’t even so much the idea of the hungry dead as it was the living survivors, sealing themselves away in a shopping mall. One of the great scenes in movie history for me is when Fran, the female lead, kind of wakes up and says, “What are we doing here?” Horror movie as rejection of consumer society…I’d certainly never imagined anything that subversive.

I also have to give a shout-out to the follow-up, Day of the Dead, which I think is an extraordinary and underrated film. The way Day suggests that the ultimate breakdown comes as the result of a battle between right (the military) and left (science) seems more and more prescient.

JM:  What’s your favorite zombie kill scene of all time?

LM:  Does it have to be a zombie being killed, or can it be zombies doing the killing? If it’s the latter, I’m going with the end of Day, when the zombies rip apart the military leader Rhodes who screams “Choke on it!” while he watches parts of himself being eaten. I even love the way Romero cuts back a couple of times to parts of Rhodes being dragged around the abandoned facility by listless zombies.

JM:  I’ve always felt the best and most effective horror is trying to investigate what we think of ourselves and what it means to be us.  Washington Irving’s tales, for instance, generally grapple with the question of what it means to be an American in the post-Revolutionary War period.  Nathaniel Hawthorne battled with the intellectual promise of a nation rising to international credibility while simultaneously choking under the yolk of a Puritan past.  Stephen King made a name for himself chronicling the slow collapse of the American small town way of life.  What do you think the zombie and its current popularity is telling us about ourselves?

LM:  That we fear we are being erased by the very culture that tells us to be unique, that sells us products by subtly preying on our fear that we’re really not different at all. That dread of conformity works two ways in the zombie mythos: By turning the dead into one big, indistinguishable hungry mass, and by suggesting that the living are nothing but walking meat lockers. It strips intellect, emotion, and self from all of us, and replaces it with nothing but consumption and gore.  Yeah, that’s pretty terrifying. 

Go here to buy Lisa’s books and go here to check out her website

A.R. Wise

The countdown to the release of my next zombie novel, The Savage Dead, continues with another major player on the Indie side of the zombie genre, Mr. Aaron Wise, a.k.a. A.R. Wise.  There is a wild, wild west culture developing among Indie authors, and Aaron is one of its most talented outlaws.  Disdainful of rejection from the mainstream publishers, he embraced the ebook revolution and took matters into his own hands.  He’s mentioned that he never even dreamed he’d garner the love and praise his books have brought him, but he’s thankful because that success has enabled him to devote his considerable skills into a full time writing career.

I discovered Aaron’s simply amazing series, Deadlocked, in March, 2012.  I still remember the date because I was on vacation in my family’s winter home in Colorado and looking for some new zombie fiction to fill up the Kindle I’d gotten for Christmas.  Trolling Amazon, Aaron’s books caught my eye and I decided to give them a try.  I started the first volume of Deadlocked right after breakfast and finished just before lunch.  And afterward, I was exhausted.  Reading an Aaron Wise book is like riding a horse at full gallop.  I’ve been keeping up with the series through each ensuing volume, and it just keeps getting better and better.  (Check it out here.)  You can thank me later.

As a fan of his stuff I knew I had to include him here in my zombie masters series, and I’m so glad he agreed to be my victim.  If you haven’t read his stuff yet, you’re in for a treat.  But for now, please welcome A.R. Wise, Zombie Master!

 

Joe McKinney:  Thanks for joining me here on Old Major’s Dream.  I’m glad you could swing by.  You’re no stranger to zombie fiction.  Would you mind telling the folks out there a little about your zombie-related writing?  How do you approach the genre?

A.R. Wise:  I like to equate the walking dead to our own creeping death. Every one of us knows that we’ll die one day, and we go about our lives with that knowledge eating at our subconscious. In my opinion, the scariest thing about zombies is that they aren’t just another monster hunting us – it’s us. When a character sees a walking corpse, they’re looking at their own future. All of the walking dead are a prophecy. That’s why, in my Deadlocked series, the main character of the first book is dealing with the discovery of his own cancer, and for the rest of the book he’s trying to run from the inevitable just long enough to make sure his family can survive after he’s gone.

JM:  The zombie apocalypse is happening right now.  Are you prepared?  Would humanity win?

ARW:  I’m no survivalist, so I’d likely be zombie fodder. There’s a trend in zombie and apocalypse literature where survivalist authors are playing out their own fantasies as to how they would react to an apocalypse. I think that’s a really fun and engaging style of book, but it’s not the type that I write. My characters are closer to the average person; someone without expert military training or survivalist skills. However, I’d argue that reading about a character like that, who hasn’t been preparing for an apocalypse, is a great way to show that humanity can indeed win – not based on preparedness, but rather on ingenuity and a will to live.

JM:  What’s your favorite zombie book, movie, short story, whatever?  (Please feel free to ramble as much or as little as you like here.  I’d love to know why that story or movie or whatever grabs you.)

ARW:  I’m going to cheat and split my decision here. One of my favorite zombie films of all time is Dawn of the Dead, by the father of the zombie genre, George Romero (no need to remind me of White Zombie – modern zombies started with Romero). Night of the Living Dead, Romero’s first film, is outstanding, and arguably has a better grip on its social message which was revolutionary at its time. However, I think the subversive message of the second film in his series is easier for someone of my generation to identify with. I see Dawn of the Dead as the ultimate example of how zombies can be used as more than just a raging antagonist for characters. In Dawn of the Dead, Romero created a film that one could watch and blithely ignore the social message and still have an entertaining ride, but it rewards a deeper analysis. Consumerism and conformity are on display as those zombies stagger through the mall, and our heroes are fighting to avoid succumbing to the same sad state.

As a counterweight to Dawn of the Dead, I’ll also throw out the hilarious and entirely entertaining Return of the Living Dead as one of my favorites. John Russo, who had worked with Romero on Night of the Living Dead, wrote the original script of Return as a dark and dreary film, but was usurped by Dan O’Bannon who rewrote the movie and directed it after Tobe Hooper dropped out. Reportedly, few of the actors of the film had any idea that it was meant as a comedic satire, which is shocking when you see their hammy performances. As it turned out, O’Bannon crafted a zombie comedy that stands tall as the funniest zombie film ever made, only challenged by Shaun of the Dead, another favorite of mine.

JM:  What’s your favorite zombie kill scene of all time?

ARW:  Is it fair to just throw out an entire movie here? Dead Alive (better known as Braindead by most of the world) by Peter Jackson is absolutely filled with the greatest zombie kills ever filmed. It’s a cavalcade of classic scenes. If forced to pick my favorite, I guess I’ll go with the preacher’s martial arts attack: “I kick ass for the Lord!”

JM:  I’ve always felt the best and most effective horror is trying to investigate what we think of ourselves and what it means to be us.  Washington Irving’s tales, for instance, generally grapple with the question of what it means to be an American in the post-Revolutionary War period.  Nathaniel Hawthorne battled with the intellectual promise of a nation rising to international credibility while simultaneously choking under the yolk of a Puritan past.  Stephen King made a name for himself chronicling the slow collapse of the American small town way of life.  What do you think the zombie and its current popularity is telling us about ourselves?

ARW:  As I mentioned before, I think that our subconscious draws comparisons between ourselves and the chomping monsters that have recently taken over popular culture. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that as the baby boomer generation ages, we find ourselves surrounded by representations of our own impending demise. Like it or not, that rotting corpse will be you some day, and the fact that zombies are everywhere lately seems to me like a cathartic exploration of our own fear of creeping death. Many of the popular monsters that infect our culture have attributes that we can identify with – for instance, vampires represent lust while werewolves are an example of the anger and hatred that so many of us try to contain and hide. Zombies, however, are largely absent of any relatable characteristics, yet it could easily be argued that it’s easiest to see ourselves in them. The reason for this is because you can kill vampires, and slay werewolves, but there’s no stopping your own eventual transformation into a rotting corpse. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was Mr. A.R. Wise.  Now that you’ve been introduced, go buy his books here, and keep up with him over at his blog.

The Savage Dead

The Savage Dead

The Savage Dead is a stand-alone zombie novel.

The Next Big Thing

Last week Weston Ochse tagged me in the latest installment of The Next Big Thing, a chance for authors to promote their next big release.  Weston sent me these questions and I, in turn, will send them along to the next author of The Next Big Thing, who I will announce very soon.

Enjoy! 

1)    What is the working title of your next book?

 

CANNIBAL CRUISE

 

2)    Where did the idea come from for the book?

 

I was out to dinner with my editor at Kensington and we started talking about the cruise I’d just taken.  I told him how gluttonous people could be on cruises, and the next thing you know we were talking about my next novel…a zombie story set on a cruise ship.

 

3)    What genre does your book fall under?

 

Horror, definitely.

 

4)    What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

 

The two main leads are women, one a badass U.S. Secret Service agent and the other a female version of James Bond working for one of the Mexican cartels.  For the agent I’m imagining Dianna Agron or Amy Smart.  For the cartel assassin Naya Rivera.

 

5)    What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

 

A Mexican drug cartel releases a flesh eating virus into a cruise ship’s food supply, turning the passengers into zombies.

 

6)    Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

 

It was written on spec for Kensington.  My agent, Jim Donovan, is my representation.

 

7)    How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

 

About seven months.

 

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

 

            My own Dead World series books or possibly Deck Z.

8)    Who or what inspired you to write this book?

 

A recent cruise I took with my family.

 

9)    What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

 

This is my first book to feature a sex scene!

Why I Write the Dark Stuff

In my day job I’m a patrol supervisor for the San Antonio Police Department, working the west side of town.  The police officers who make the calls, who make the arrests, who keep the peace in the busiest part of the city, they work for me.  I’m the one they call when they have crime scenes that need managing, or when something just doesn’t look right.

What that means is that I get to see a lot of dead bodies.  And I mean a lot of them.

Like last week.  One of my officers called because he had a decomp (police parlance for a body that’s been rotting in place for a good long while) and he wasn’t sure if it was suicide or homicide.  So I showed up to the apartment and there was the dead guy, seated on the floor (or almost on the floor; his butt was about two inches off the carpet).  He had a noose around his neck, though you could barely see it because his skin was so bloated and gummy with rot that it had sort of oozed over the rope.

“So, what do you think?” the officer asked.

“Suicide,” I told him.

“But he’s sitting down.  Wouldn’t he have rolled over or something when he started to choke?  That’s like an instinct or something, isn’t it?”

“No,” I said.  “What you’re looking at is an act of will power.  If you want to do something bad enough, you’ll see it through.”

He looked from me to the body and shook his head.

“Besides,” I added, “look at all that medication in there in his bathroom.  Those drugs are for hepatitis and cancer.  He did this because he was hurting pretty bad.  And look up there.”  I pointed to the ceiling where our dead guy had nailed the rope to the rafter.  “He did that because he didn’t want the rope to slip off.  And look at where he chose to do this, here in the bedroom, so his relatives coming in the front door wouldn’t have to see him.  I bet if you look around here you’ll find a note.  Probably in the other room, out of sight of the bedroom.”

The officer nodded.

We both stood there, staring at the body.  The apartment didn’t have air conditioning, and it felt like standing inside an oven, even though it was the middle of the night.  The smell was really bad.

The officer kind of chuckled and said, “So Sarge, I guess this is one for your next book, huh?”

I offered him a bland smile.  Cops develop their gallows humor long before they learn that it’s actually a defense mechanism against the horror of confronting your own mortality, and this officer was one of the young ones.  He still had a lot to learn.

“Go look for the note,” I said.

“Yes, sir.”

When he was gone I found myself looking into that suicide’s face and sighing.  The suicides always get to me. Something about standing in the presence of someone so desperate to take control of their pain and their emotional devastation that they would resort to this makes me feel numb.

In the other room, the young officer was clumsily knocking around.  Something fell over and broke.  I almost called out to him to be careful, but held my tongue.  You see, my mind had drifted from my day job to my night job.  I was thinking about what he’d said about my next book.  So many people seem to have that opinion about horror, and about zombie fiction in particular.  To them, a book about shambling dead things eating the living must be nothing but gratuitous violence and gore.  What else could it be?

Well, I take exception to that.

I started writing because I was scared of the future.  My wife and I had just gotten married.  Then we had a daughter, and the world suddenly seemed so much more complex.  In the wink of an eye, I went from a carefree young cop – a lot like the one in the other room knocking stuff over – to a man with more responsibilities than he could count.  I had obligations and commitments coming at me from every angle.

I’d been writing stories for a good long while at that point, starting sometime in my early teens, but never with the intention of doing anything about them.  I would write them out on a yellow legal pad, staple the finished pages together, and leave them on the corner of my desk until the next idea came to me.

Never once did it occur to me to do something with what I’d written.  I just threw those stories away and forgot them.  But then came adulthood, and parenthood, and I found myself groping to put the world in order, to regain some of the control I felt I had lost.  I realized that writing could help me with that.  I realized that I could focus my anxieties and make something useful of them.

And so I started writing a science fiction novel.  It was a big space opera epic, and it was pure trash.  Every word of it was awful.

The reason?  Well, it wasn’t authentic.  It wasn’t me.

The real me, the kid who sat at his desk filling up yellow legal pads rather than going out bike riding with his friends, was a horror junkie.  I was crazy for the stuff.  Horror was my first literary love, and I figured seeing as love was what drove me to return to writing that I should write what I love. I was feeling like the world was rushing at me from every side, so I wrote a zombie story about characters who had the living dead rushing in at them from every side.  That’s when things started to click.  That’s when it all made sense.

But it wasn’t just that simple.  You see, I sincerely believe that fear is the most authentic, and the most useful, emotion available to the storyteller.  It is as vital as love, and indeed, gives love its profundity, for what makes love, and family, and everything we treasure so valuable but the fear that it could all be taken away in the blink of an eye.  For me, fear goes far beyond monsters.  It is the catalyst for my creative process, and without that creative process, I’m afraid I would wither up inside.  I’m not saying I’d end up like that suicide I just told you about if I couldn’t write anymore, nothing that melodramatic, but absence of that creative outlet would be a hole that nothing else could fill.

So that’s why I write the dark stuff.

JournalStone Publishing Announces the “Double Down” Book Series

Do you remember the old Ace Doubles?  I had a ton of them growing up.  Their distinctive white and blue spines and tete-beche formatting were instantly recognizable, and the works themselves the very model of everything that was cool about classic space opera science fiction.

Well, JournalStone Publishing is bringing the concept back…and I get to be a part of it!

Today, JournalStone Publishing founder and Editor-in-Chief Christopher C. Payne made public the launch of JournalStone’s Double Down series.  These books will feature a short novel from an already established author paired with another short novel from a talented up and coming writer.  I’m going to be working with my good friend, Sanford Allen.  (You can learn more about Sanford here.)  Sanford and I belong to a writing group called Drafthouse, and over the years I have watched Sanford’s style develop and his voice become stronger and clearer.  Part rocker, part reporter, part poet of the weird, Sanford tells one hell of a good yarn, and he has a passion for music that rings through every word he writes.  When JournalStone approached me with the concept, and asked me if I had a talented undiscovered writer I’d be willing to work with, I immediately thought of Sanford.  I’m a huge fan of his stuff, and I think the rest of the world will be too after they see the novel he’s going to be publishing.

Our book will be coming out in the Summer of 2013, but there will be others in this ongoing series.  Right now, JournalStone has signed six teams, and more will follow in the next few months.  For now, here’s the lineup:

Gene O’Neill and Chris Mars

Gord Rollo and Rena Mason

Lisa Morton and Eric Guignard

Joe McKinney and Sanford Allen

Harry Shannon and Brett Talley

Jonathan Maberry and a writer yet to be determined

JournalStone Publishing is a small press company focusing on Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, but they are large on quality and have a high level of commitment to putting out the best fiction available.  President and Editor-in-Chief Christopher C. Payne has led JS on a rapid climb to public recognition and respect within the professional writing community.  In fact, they were recently featured on the April issue of Publishers Weekly.  I’m excited to be working with them, and even more excited to be working with Sanford on what I think is going to be one of the best series in last two decades.  You can learn more about JournalStone here.

GLENN CHADBOURNE WORLD HORROR CONVENTION ARTIST GUEST OF HONOR AT BRAM STOKER AWARDS™ WEEKEND 2013

GLENN CHADBOURNE WORLD HORROR CONVENTION
ARTIST GUEST OF HONOR AT
BRAM STOKER AWARDS™ WEEKEND 2013

The Horror Writers Association is proud to announce Glenn Chadbourne as the Artist Guest of Honor for the World Horror Convention (WHC) 2013. In 2013 the HWA is hosting WHC as part of the Bram Stoker Awards™ Weekend in New Orleans from 13-16 June.

Glenn Chadbourne is a freelance artist specializing in the horror/dark fantasy genres. His artwork has appeared in over fifty books and well as numerous magazines, comics, and computer games. His trademark pen and ink illustrations have accompanied the works of today’s best-selling horror writers, most notably Stephen King. He created the extensive artwork that appears in both volumes of King’s “The Secretary of Dreams”, as well as PS Publishing’s edition of “The Colorado Kid.” Chadbourne has a long standing relationship with Cemetery Dance Publications where a great body of his work can be seen in various books published by the company. He lives in Newcastle, Maine with his wife, Sheila and their pug dog, Rocket.

For more information, visit his website at http://www.glennchadbourne.com.

HWA President Rocky Wood said, “Glenn Chadbourne is a quiet achiever with a truly unique artistic style. I am fortunate to know him well – he is a character, a Mainer through and through and a true gentleman. He illustrated my first graphic novel, enhancing every word with astounding new views of such iconic characters as Frankenstein’s monster and Count Dracula, as well as authors such as Mary Shelley and HWA’s old friend, Bram Stoker. We are proud to have Glenn as WHC’s Artist Guest of Honor. Attendees are in for a real treat, viewing his artwork and getting to know the huge personality that is Glenn.”

Chadbourne joins previously announced Bram Stoker Awards Weekend Guests of Honor Ramsey Campbell and Jonathan Maberry; Toastmaster Jeff Strand; and WHC Guests of Honor Caitlin R Kiernan and John Joseph Adams on the Guest list.

The Bram Stoker Awards Weekend incorporating the World Horror Convention 2013 will be held at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, Louisiana. The dedicated website is http://www.stokers2013.org/. The Horror Writers Association (www.horror.org), the peak group for horror writers, is also hosting World Horror Convention as part of our regular Weekend. The HWA is a worldwide organization promoting dark literature and its creators. Started in 1985, it has over 700 members writing professionally in fiction, nonfiction, videogames, film, poetry, comics, and other media. The World Horror Convention is hosted on behalf of the World Horror Society, http://worldhorrorconvention.com/.

Anita Siraki, Bram Stoker Awards Weekend 2013/WHC2013 Social Media Co-ordinator

Artist Glenn Chadbourne
http://www.glennchadbourne.com
Due to demand from our collectors who missed out on Glenn Chadbourne’s previous Stephen King art prints, he has provided us with an ORIGINAL full-color painting for his next signed Limited Edition art print: “Carrie White at the Prom!”

My Zombie Story “Bugging Out” is Now Available in Peter Mark May’s ALT-Zombie Anthology

HERSHAM HORROR BOOKS
PRESS RELEASE
TITLE: ALT-ZOMBIE
EDITED BY: PETER MARK MAY
ISBN: 978–1466200470
CLASSIFICATION: HORROR ANTHOLOGY
CONTACT: PETER MAY 01932 262400
OFFICAL WEBSITE: http://hershamhorrorbooks.webs.com/
21 brand new tales of horror fiction, from some of the most talented short story writers around featuring:
Stephen Bacon, Stuart Young, Gary McMahon, Dave Jeffery, Jay Eales
Mark West, Zach Black, Jan Edwards, Rachelle Bronson, Selina Lock
William Meikle, Katherine Tomlinson, Adrian Chamberlin, R. J. Gaulding,
Shaun Hamilton, Shaun Jeffrey, Stuart Hughes, David Williamson,
Richard Farren Barber, Allison Littlewood, Joe McKinney

Available on Amazon in kindle and print versions from June 2012
Includes zombie stories from a UK #1 bestseller, British Fantasy Award winners, a Bram Stoker Award winner and a writer from the original Pan Book of Horrors….
Amazon UK Link: £8.99 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alt-Zombie-The-Alternative-Zombie-Anthology/dp/1466200472/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338371439&sr=8-1

Amazon US Link: $13.79 http://www.amazon.com/Alt-Zombie-The-Alternative-Zombie-Anthology/dp/1466200472/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338371524&sr=8-1

The Book Depository: £8.74 http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Alt-Zombie-Peter-Mark-May/9781466200470

Barnes & Noble US: $9.99 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alt-zombie-mark-west/1111203343?ean=9781466200470

Horror for Good: A Charitable Anthology

Horror For Good: A Charitable Anthology

Late last year I got a call from Boyd E. Harris at Cutting Block Press, asking if I’d be willing to contribute a story for an upcoming charitable anthology they were doing.  Now Boyd is a good friend of mine, and Cutting Block Press is one of the finest Indie publishers out there, so he pretty much had me at hello.  “Sounds great,” I said.  “What’s the charity?”

He explained that all revenues, less direct costs for production, marketing and distribution will be donated to amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

I was intrigued.  Won over is actually a better way to describe my reaction.  An anthology put together by one of my favorite publishers to benefit a great cause (you can learn more about amfAR here), it’s a win-win.

I agreed and sent him my story “Sky of Brass, Land of Iron.”  South Texas, where I make my home, is crowded with old Spanish ruins from the 1700s and early 1800s, theAlamobeing the most famous example.  I’ve always had a deep fascination with these ruins, and they’ve figured prominently in several of my stories.  But I’ve always suspected that there are ruins out there in the empty landscape ofSouth Texasthat haven’t been discovered.

Texas, with its vast, and sometimes inhospitable territory, was colonized slowly with lots of dead ends and false starts.  My story imagines one such dead end, and picks up the thread when two good friends fromSan Antoniouncover some old ruins on the land they are trying to develop.  What they find beneath the ruins of an abandoned church represents one of my rare forays into Lovecraftian horror.

Boyd then introduced me to three outstanding folks: Mark Scioneaux, Robert Shane Wilson and R.J. Cavender.  These gentlemen were the editors and visionaries behind the anthology, and unbeknownst to me, had managed to assemble an amazing list of contributors.  When I finally saw the table of contents, I was simply bowled over.  Check out this list of talent:

A Message from the HWA President ~ Rocky Wood 
The Journey of Horror For Good ~ Mark C. Scioneaux
Autumn as Metaphor ~ G.N. Braun
On a Dark October ~ Joe R. Lansdale
Mouth ~ Nate Southard 
Blood for the American People Reception ~ Ray Garton 
The Long Hunt ~ Ian Harding 
The Apocalypse Ain’t so Bad ~ Jeff Strand
The Gift ~ Monica O’Rourke
The Silent Ones ~ Taylor Grant 
Sky of Brass, Land of Iron ~ Joe McKinney
Consanguinity ~ Lorne Dixon 
Dead Letters ~ Ramsey Campbell 
The Monster in the Drawer ~ Wrath James White
Baptism ~ Tracie McBride 
Atlantis Purging ~ Boyd E. Harris
Returns ~ Jack Ketchum 
The Other Patrick ~ Brad C. Hodson 
A Question of Morality ~ Shaun Hutson
The Meat Man ~ Jonathan Templar
A Man in Shape Alone ~ Lee Thomas
Solution ~ Benjamin Kane Ethridge 
To and Fro ~ Richard Salter 
Please Don’t Hurt Me ~ F. Paul Wilson 
The Depravity of Inanimate Things ~ John F.D. Taff 
The Lift ~ G.R. Yeates 
The Eyes Have It ~ Rena Mason 
Road Flowers ~ Gary McMahon 
The Widows Laveau ~ Steven W. Booth & Norman L. Rubenstein 
This Thing That Clawed Itself Inside Me ~ John Mantooth 
Somewhere on Sebastian Street ~ Stephen Bacon 
June Decay ~ Danica Green 
Shiva, Open Your Eye ~ Laird Barron

 

I am incredibly excited about this project.  Pick up a copy of this book, please.  Not only is it a great collection of stories, but it’s for a good cause, a just cause, a necessary cause.

You can purchase the print edition here, and the Kindle version here

Hope you enjoy it!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 129 other followers

%d bloggers like this: