Eight Authors, One Question – Summer of Zombies Blog Tour 2013

For my turn in the Zombie Blog Tour, what I really wanted to know was, “Of all the writings composed by this talented group of writers, which are their favorites? And why?”  I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick their brains and see how they would respond.  And it would give me a good jumping off point for me and my reader(s) to start reading their works if they are still unfamiliar with them.  And I’m nosy like that.  So shoot me.

And here are their answers, straight from the horses’ mouths, so to speak.  Not that I think any of them are horsey looking or anything like that.  In fact, I believe them to be a particularly good-looking group of hooligans.  Not that I know for sure they are actually hooligans, but I’m guessing if you got them into a room together, hooliganesque things would happen.  Especially with that Rosamilia guy.  He looks like trouble.

Okay, I’ll shut up now.

Kirk Allmand

Kirk Allmand

This is a much harder question that it would seem.  I wouldn’t put out a book I didn’t love, but I think that the 4th book in the What Zombies Fear series “Fracture” is my favorite.  In Fracture, I got to move away from my comfort zone a little, and move into something that was really challenging to write.  Fracture still has its share of zombies, flesh eating and infection, but also the added storyline exploring the depths of human depravity over the course of the apocalypse.

I believe that after the apocalypse there will be two kinds of people.  Those who believe that our strength is in the people around us, and those that believe the people around us are objects to be controlled, pawns to be used, and then easily discarded when they have outlived their usefulness.

Overall, I think we as survivors will be forced to take a much more narrow view of right and wrong.  Without a judicial system in place, justice will be swift and final.  You can’t banish someone from your compound only to have them return with weapons and a horde of zombies behind them.

Fracture explores just how terrible people could get when there is no accountability for your actions and you have all the power.  And of course, Victor and his friends get in over their heads as they come to oppose a force that mirrors their abilities AND outnumbers them.

Todd Brown

Todd Brown

Of all my works, the DEAD series is my favorite. With twelve books planned, it allows me to really expand on my story lines. Also, I have a large cast of characters which requires me to stay on my toes. And with the Vignettes chapters, I can actually play with shorter story themes and fold them into the series. Even better, if the vignette takes on a life of its own, I get to expand on the story without being constrained by a word count because it is episodic and  that offers a lot of freedom.

About Todd:

Todd (TW) Brown is the author of the DEAD series and the Zomblog series. He is also the editor for May December Publications with numerous anthologies to his credit as well as the full length works of authors such as Mark Tufo, John O’ Brien, Chantal Boudreau, Robert Dean, and Bennie Newsome.

You can begin your search of his available titles here:  http://www.amazon.com/TW-Brown/e/B00363NQI6 or get even more in tune by visiting his blog: http://twbrown.blogspot.com/
James Cook

James Cook

Obviously, I’m fond of all my books, but the one I enjoyed writing the most was This Shattered Land. I knew what I wanted the story to be before I sat down and typed the first paragraph. It was well over a hundred-thousand words, but I managed to knock it out in just seven months. If seven months sounds like a long time, keep in mind I was working a full-time job and had a baby in the house. Under those conditions, seven months is pretty damn good.

Logistics aside, This Shattered Land was just a fun story to tell. For me, the most enjoyable parts of zombie novels are the journey sequences. People moving from one place to another across a ruined post-apocalyptic landscape and the trouble they get into along the way. The things they scavenge. The problems they solve. The other survivors they run into. And of course, the fight scenes. That’s what This Shattered Land was for me. Building the characters, building their relationships, and then sending them out into the world to fend for themselves.

My third novel, Warrior Within is probably the most well-written of the three books in the Surviving the Dead series (so far), but This Shattered Land is the kind of zombie novel I had always wanted to read, and it has been, for the most part, very well received. I’m happy that I decided to write it.

Joe McKinney

Joe McKinney

My favorite of my own novels is Quarantined.  It’s not a zombie story, but it had a difficult birthing process that changed me as a writer.  Stephen King has a great quote that goes something like this: For every writer, and hopefully it comes early in the writer’s career, there is a book that forces you to write above what you thought you were capable of.  For me, that book was Quarantined.  I had written Dead City, about a young cop trying to make his way home on the first night of the zombie apocalypse, and seeing as I was a young cop at the time, my characters didn’t have to fall very far from the tree.  Quarantined could have been much the same situation.  It was an apocalyptic story with the heart of a police procedural, and doing it from the point of view of a male detective would have been a snap.  But I wanted the story to be about more than apocalyptic fear.  I wanted it have heart.  I wanted it be about family, and holding it all together no matter the dangers to come.  So it seemed to me the biggest challenge, and the biggest reward, would come from using a female detective as the story’s narrative voice.  I have a number of friends who are female police officers, and over the years I have watched them deal with discrimination and abuse from the public and from their fellow officers.  I wanted to tell a story that spoke to their effort to join one of the last boy’s clubs in the American job market.  But getting from page one to the end was a rough ride, one that forced me to engage my craft with every sentence in order to convincingly stay within a female’s voice.  And though it was a rough ride, it was worth it, because it taught me lessons about writing I might have never learned by continuing to play it safe.  That’s why Quarantined is my favorite of my own works.

John OBrien

John OBrien

First of all, thanks for having me, Lisa.

I don’t know that I really have a particular favorite in the series. My favorites are mostly scenes within each book. I really enjoyed writing the scene where Jack infiltrates the CDC. I guess Taken is a scene unto itself and I really enjoyed writing that one. If I had to choose, I would say that was my favorite and it flowed in such a way that I was able to finish it in about three weeks. The scene with Jack and Greg in the prison during Awakening was also a fun one to write.

This last book, Takedown was also a fun one with several scenes I enjoyed – Jack finding the feral group of kids and stalking up the path and then him infiltrating the hospital in search of Lynn.

The action scenes, for me, are the fun aspects but these stand out in my mind greater than the others. I live the moment along with the characters. My heart pounds as I write them and I feel the same adrenaline course through me. I don’t have the scenes entrenched in my mind and write it as I go. The story unfolds the moment I’m typing it with twists and turns that I don’t even suspect are coming. I look at some aspects and say, “Really? That just happened? Now what am I going to do?”

I want to send a sincere thanks to all of my readers and fans. Your support, encouragement, and threats of lynchings are amazing. Thank You!!!!!

Takedown Large

John O’Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry starting two large casinos in Washington as the Information Technology Manager and becoming the Network Manager for the Washington State Legislature, the Northwest Information Technology Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Network Systems Manager for Hollywood Video.

Currently, John is writing full-time on the series, A New World. As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the Capital Forest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads.

John O’Brien
Author of A New World: Chaos, A New World: Return, A New World: Sanctuary, A New World: Taken, A New World: Awakening, A New World: Dissension, and A New World: Takedown
Armand Rosamillia

Armand Rosamilia

Highway To Hell, because I proved (to myself) I could write a zombie story and make it extreme without the story suffering, and it wasn’t a cliche tale set in a building with stereotypical characters trapped… plus, it was my first time really just relaxing and writing some good sex scenes. 
highway
Facebook:  Armand Rosamilia
Twitter:  @ArmandAuthor
Juianne Snow

Juianne Snow

That’s a very difficult question to answer! When I consider the breadth of all of my work, it’s hard to single only one out of the pack to push forward. That being said, I’m extremely fond of my serial Days with the Undead. It started as a book, something I wrote in 29 days. I never thought it would go anywhere, mainly because it was the first thing I had written in a very, very long time. Instead of going the self-publishing route and trying to make money from what I created, I decided to serialize it on a blog. For 29 days I posted. In the beginning, no one read it – except for maybe my mother.

Then it began to gain a little notice, nothing over the top, but the comments were favourable. People were really enjoying the story and they wanted to know more. It helped to fuel the drive it took to edit and rewrite each of those chapters every day when I got home from work. In its infancy, I never thought it would go anywhere. I figured a few people would read it and then it would fall off into obscurity.

I was wrong. I received a great number of emails telling me how much they loved the story and how much they wanted it to continue. They had fallen in love with my characters and needed to know if they survived. I simply had to answer those questions for people.

In the end, the schedule was too much to keep up. I couldn’t sustain the demand of writing, editing, proofreading and then posting during my evenings and still have time for family, laundry and the rest of things we do to relax. That moment brought the thought of publishing it as a book back to the forefront. Once I had made that decision, the rest is history. I took the bones of the story, added to it and then published it. The first book is currently available with the second to release this year. I’m hoping to get the third out as well, but don’t make any bets on that just yet.

So if I had to pick a favourite, it would be Days with the Undead. I love the world and the characters I’ve created within them. The style is very different than anything out there at the moment, though admittedly I have discovered similarities in other works since publishing it. If you’re looking for an interesting read that will suck you in from the very first words, think about giving it a try.

It was while watching Romero’s Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of 6 which solidified Julianne’s respect for the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead. As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own.

Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name. Along with many zombie shorts published on her blog, she has a story in Women of the Living Dead as well as two zombie pieces; a standalone short and a collection releasing the summer of 2013. Julianne’s second novel in her Days with the Undead series will also be released in 2013. Stay tuned!

DwtU Cover

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @CdnZmbiRytr

Facebook: Julianne Snow

FB Fan Page: Days with the Undead

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/cdnzmbirytr/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110149434437717424445/posts

Goodreads: Julianne Snow

Amazon Author Page: Julianne Snow

Blogs: Days with the Undead & The FlipSide of Julianne & The Randomness of Julianne

Mark Tufo

Mark Tufo

Hi Lisa, first off thank you for allowing me the time to be on your blog, it is very much appreciated! Here is a quick bio, shameless self plug and then on to the question.

Hi my name is Mark Tufo and this is my small bio slash zombie homage. First off trying to boil your life down to a few paragraphs is like trying to get out of the house with a newborn in under 5 minutes. Those of you with kids will understand the reference. Speaking of which I have three, thankfully they are mostly grown at this point which has allowed me to pursue a writing career. I grew up a blue collar man in a blue collar family, after a stint in the Marines and then the more dangerous Post Office, I decided to educate myself and get one of those cushy white collar jobs. Well I got a few, damned thing was though I couldn’t hold on to them. Kept getting laid off. It was during these down times that I began to write, it was a way to cope with the stress of having a family that was becoming more and more difficult to support.

My wife and I put out the first Zombie Fallout book in February of 09, there was huge fan-fare, ticker tape parades and maybe even some hyperventilating from the one fan that bought the book that month. Didn’t matter much that wasn’t why I had written it in the first place. I wrote a zombie book because I’ve always been fascinated with the genre. Ever since I was 7 years old and my cousin who was babysitting thought watching Night of the Living Dead would be a good way to while away the time. I’d never been so scared and enthralled at the same time in my entire life. I devoured all things zombies, movies, books, comics. Didn’t matter much. And then during one of my lay-off periods, my wife dared me to write one. (Mostly so I’d leave her alone) And I haven’t looked back.

The Zombie Fallout series is 6 novels and 1 novella long, with Zombie Fallout 7 due in October. I have the Timothy series which is written through the eyes of a zombie (not for the faint of heart – and don’t eat and read it – you’ve been warned). And there is also the continuing saga of The Book of Riley, a zombie tale told through the eyes of Riley an American Bulldog. I don’t always write about the quasi-dead, but they’re never far from my brain! (Horrible pun but fitting – Thank you for taking a few moments to learn a little about me)

Please go and check me out at marktufo.com or on fb. My books are on sale pretty much anywhere but here is the amazon link http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Tufo/e/B002I7PJ68/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Armand Rosamilia is going to kill me for this, he said keep everything zombie related. And don’t get me wrong I’m very proud of my three zombie series, Zombie Fallout, Timothy and The Book of Riley (see how I snuck that in). But my story entitled Indian Hill is my favorite. I started the story back in college and pretty much left it alone for 15 years before I picked it back up and completed it. To me it is akin to a first love, sure you move on but you never forget and that’s Indian Hill. It’s a sci-fi story set in modern times. I finished the first Indian Hill book back in 2009 and shopped it to every publishing house we could think of, we may have even made up one or two. When we realized it was not going to be traditionally published, me and the missus figured ‘What the hell’ let’s self-pub. Honestly never expected that anyone not related would ever buy it, and for the first year that was pretty much the truth.

Then I got laid off and from that sprung the first Zombie Fallout story, I have to give this book an honorable mention for without this series I would not have been able to walk away from corporate America on my own terms. It hasn’t been all tea and roses, this road we’ve decided to walk down but its sure been a hell of an adventure.

Thank you for allowing me time on your blog.

There you have it, folks.  A whole bunch of books to add to your summer reading list.  The hardest part is deciding where to begin!

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