“Behind the curtain of the DEAD: Snapshot {your town here} series” Guest post by T.W. Brown

Dead_Snapshot__Portland_Oregon_AUDIOBOOKMy friend and collaborator T.W. Brown has a new series coming out and you do NOT want to miss this. Enjoy!

“THE DEAD WALK!”

You sort of dream about that headline. Admit it. You watch shows like The Walking Dead and think, That would be SO cool! Would it really? I want you to bring your own arm up to your mouth and bite as hard as you can. Now keep going until you rip the flesh. (In the interest of our “sue happy” culture, I am not really suggesting that you do this, and if you already did then can I ask what in the hell is wrong with you?)

So…how cool is it now? And then there is the idea of finding a loved one who had the misfortune of not heeding the warnings and got bit trying to hurry home to take care of you. They are coming at you with filmed over, dead eyes. So grab a gun or something and shoot or bash them in the head. Oh yeah, that includes your precious little Jimmy or Janie. You know, that apple of your eye…the one thing that you love more than life itself.

Not sounding so great anymore, is it?

The reality of the zombie apocalypse is probably more terrifying than we want to imagine. However, reading about it is a blast. On that, I think many of us can agree. Only, when you read these stories, don’t they always seems so far away and remote? Unless you have a local zombie author who loves to set his novels in his or her (and by extension…YOUR) neck of the woods, you have to imagine places you have never been and hope to sink into the story enough to feel like you are “there.”

Well, wait no more. With my new spin off of my successful and best-selling zombie series DEAD, the apocalypse can be right outside your own front door. How? I will tell you later. You don’t think I am gonna give you ALL the good stuff right off the bat, now do ya?

My new series is titled DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here}. Okay that last little bit is just the generic filler. To be clear, the first book is titled DEAD: Snapshot—Portland, Oregon. I set it in my town because it is someplace that I know pretty well. However, the next book is titled DEAD: Snapshot—Leeds, England. Never been there, but with the help of Google, I can get down to street level and “walk” about from the comfort of my computer.

Each of these books will be a stand-alone novel set in the mythology that I built in the DEAD series. Some of them may see “guest appearances” by characters that you know and love or hate from DEAD. You don’t have to be a reader of the series to enjoy or understand the book. It is zombie fiction, not Twin Peaks. For those totally unfamiliar, my zombies are like those found in Romero flicks. Still confused? (I weep for you, but I will clarify.) The Walking Dead. You know, basically slow and not all that coordinated. I do have a few twists in my mythology that differs from the norm. While I won’t state it as a fact, I had not read (in my VERY EXTENSIVE reading) any instances where the bite was not a catalyst for somebody to turn. Also, children of the younger age bracket might behave just a bit differently. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I will leave it at that and let you discover for yourself why my series has allowed me to be a writer full-time and quit my day job.

So, how do you get zombies to come wipe out your town (or maybe the town of an ex, or somebody that you just really don’t like), so to speak? Simple. All you have to do is send me an email at twbrown.maydecpub@gmail.com with “I WANT TO SEE THE DEAD TAKE MY TOWN!” in the subject line. From there, in the actual email, tell me where you are from. Tell me a little bit about your town and what makes it special. Feel free to offer your own name up for use as a character. You are even free to give me a description or photo that I can use to design this character. I even let you specify if you wish to be hero or villain. Sorry, no promises that you will survive in any case, and your character’s depiction may be NOTHING like you in manner and action. It will simply carry your name into the annals of zombie apocalypse history.

So…are you interested? Curious? Or maybe you really dislike those snobs over in Shelbyville? (Simpson’s  reference…sorry.) Well, you now have the power of life, death, and undeath in your hands. What will you do?

“Snarknado” – Guest post by Matthew Verish

SONY DSCThis week I have a guest post for you by fellow Clevelander and writer, Matthew Verish. I think you’re going to like it. Enjoy!

It’s no secret that SyFy is known for its plethora of IQ-dropping “horror” movies. It’s also no secret that the once-beloved channel changed its name from “Sci-Fi” to the modern—and sadly, more appropriate—purposeful misspelling to fit its present imbecilic standards. As a result, I have never seen SyFy channel’s flagship horror franchise, Sharknado, nor do I plan to. I’ve no doubt it’s mildly entertaining. And I’m fully aware of its minor claim-to-fame with tongue-through-the-cheek writing, ghastly failed college student “special effects,” Tara Reid’s face-palmingly awful one-take acting, Ian Ziering’s infamous Great White  mouth-raping chainsaw scene, and the hundreds of sharks being tossed around by that furious bitch, Mother Nature. I’m sure some will even defend Sharknado by drawing the “so-bad-it’s-good” card.

I call shenanigans, officer Barbrady! And here’s why.

B movies have a special place in every horror fan’s heart. Who could EVER forget Troll 2? “Oh my God!” How about Killer Klowns from Outer Space? Dead bodies wrapped in alien cotton candy! And let’s not forget Blood Diner, the only film to dip a topless hottie’s head in cornmeal batter, deep-fry it into a giant corndog-head, and knock it off with a baseball bat. These films are a special kind of bad, made with love by those who appreciate and understand the bizarre genre that is horror. Well, maybe not Troll 2. No knows what the shit Claudio Fragasso was snorting when he made that disasterpiece. There’s not even a goddamn troll in the movie! And maybe that’s why it’s fondly considered the worst film of all-time.

This is where Sharknado comes in. I was willing to let this pass as another lame-brain attempt at horror by SyFy, and grudgingly allow it to be classified as a B movie, but the network did something that gave me pause. They green-lighted two—count ‘em, TWO—sequels! This was when I started classifying most of today’s “B movies” as something entirely different. It’s one thing for companies, writers, and directors to unknowingly smear a giant turd on the silver/television screen, but it’s an entirely different scenario when studios aim to outdo each other in an attempt to claim the title of “Worst Film of All-Time.” How can a movie enjoy such accolades when it’s making a considerable effort to be appalling? A truly pathetic B movie goes into production honestly having no idea it’s headed for shitsville.

This is why SyFy’s movies will never attain the coveted WFoAT status. Sre, they’re bad…REAL bad., but a film such as Troll 2 is unparalleled in its inferiority and will more than likely withstand the test of time on its broken pedestal. True genius of such a low caliber can only be attained by those who took the proverbial plunge into the bowels of psychosis long before they ever thought of making a movie. SyFy should just give up, spell its name correctly, and go back to making honest science fiction programming.

Matthew Verish is fifty percent of the epic fantasy, married co-authors team, M.S. Verish. He is also an aspiring horror author who also goes under the pseudonym of Colin Crow. He lives with his wife in Cleveland, OH.

Fantasy – http://msverish.wix.com/secramore
Horror – https://www.facebook.com/grayhorror

Answers to all of life’s questions & a witch

Folks have been continuing to subscribe to The Horror Writers Podcast even though it’s been dead since November. Others have been asking me if I’ll start another podcast. HELL NO! But seriously, I do have an idea but I don’t want to do it unless I know it will serve a need. There are SO many great podcasts for writers and I’m not sure what I can offer will add anything of value.

If you’re a writer and have been distraught since the demise of my first podcast, click on the link and ask me a question. If the demand is there and people can use my help, I’ll get back in the game. Please share the link if you know an author who might benefit from a podcast based on listener questions.

This link will only work for 5 days so click it now. Do it. You can submit as many questions as you want. By the way, even if you’re not a writer you can ask me a question. Click the link and you’ll see what I mean 😉

http://bit.ly/asktheauthors

In other news, Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest launched on Friday and we’ve been thrilled with the response. To celebrate the release, Dan and I are sponsoring a giveaway.

We’ve been billing this story as “Game of Thrones meets the Blair Witch” so we’ve decided to offer something special.

One lucky winner will receive THREE prizes including a signed paperback copy of Game of Thrones (signed by George R.R. Martin), a signed DVD of The Blair Witch Project (signed by Eduardo Sanchez) and a signed paperback of Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest (signed by J. Thorn and Dan Padavona).

There is no catch. You enter the contest and I’ll email you the winner when it ends. If you are the winner, the prize will show up at your door. That’s it. Plus, if someone enters by clicking on your Facebook post, tweet or link, you get an additional THREE entries. How cool is that?

http://thornpublishing.com/giveaways/shadowwitchpromo/

Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest

Dan Padavona and I are proud to launch Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest this Friday the 13th. It’s available on Amazon (pre-order right now) for $0.99 for a limited time.

Click here to get Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest.

We’ve been describing it as “Game of Thrones meets The Blair Witch.” We deliberately set out to craft a story that had elements of fantasy and horror and we believe you’ll find it unique and impossible to put down. Here’s a little tease:

Thom Meeks lives with his family in Droman Meadows under the protection of the Kingdom of Mylan. An unusually long winter creates anxiety in the village and some believe it to be the return of an ominous force known as the Shadow. When a pack of dread wolves lays ruin to Droman Meadows, Thom escapes with his wife and four daughters. They set out on the Mylan Road in hopes of finding refuge in the capital, but dark forces emerging from the primeval forest will challenge them for their eternal souls.

Click here to get Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest.

Working with Dan has been nothing short of amazing. He is a true professional and a gifted writer.

A bit about Dan from his website:

“I was born and raised in Cortland, New York, not far from the Finger Lakes region. My parents, Loretta, and Ronnie Padavona, separated when I was very young. My father moved to California, where he gained notoriety in heavy metal music as Ronnie James Dio. My mother raised me into the person I am today. I live outside of Binghamton, New York, with my wife Terri, and children Joe, and Julia.

“I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, mainly fantasy and horror. If you happen upon me, you’ll probably see me reading Terry Brooks, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Robert Jordan, or one of many authors who have so enriched my life with their ability to tell a good tale. I am enamored with the written word and can spend hours playing with different word combinations to improve prose.”

Click here to get Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest, available on Amazon (pre-order) for $0.99 for a limited time.

Announcing Dark Arts Theater

Since December of last year, I have been in quiet pre-production on an exciting project. Dark Arts Theater is a new online program launching in the spring of this year. It will be like Entertainment Tonight but with a focus on horror novels, movies, heavy music, cool television shows and more. I’m even going to create new, exclusive content for each episode.

I plan on releasing the shows in a multimedia magazine format which means one new issue every month, each issue ranging from 40-70 minutes in length, depending on the segments. The number of issues I create in the first volume will be totally dependent on viewer feedback. If you subscribe to the YouTube channel and rate the show on iTunes that will tell me you want more and I’ll deliver.

I hope to provide high-quality entertainment occasionally, instead of mediocre content more frequently. Also, I’m writing, producing, recording and editing the show on my own which means I could never provide this kind of entertainment in a weekly format. I know this bucks the current trend and is not favorable to the YouTube algorithm but I don’t give a shit about either. I love producing and I love creating content people enjoy. That’s what I care about.

Here’s a little tease, a trailer that will also function as the show’s opening sequence.

I am so excited to get this show going but I’m not going to start releasing issues until I have the best content possible and that takes some time. This program will be like nothing else out there. If you head to the YouTube channel and subscribe right now, you’ll instantly know when the first issue is up.

Don’t be afraid of the dark. Embrace it.


Make sure you enter my latest giveaway. Win a Kindle Fire HD 6 Tablet. Free to enter with no strings attached.

http://thornpublishing.com/giveaways/

Introducing Dan Padavona

danpMy new friend is Dan Padavona and we’re about to unleash some wicked horror on you.

I spent 2014 as a “year of marketing collaboration” with the multi-author box sets exceeding my expectations. I’ve declared 2015 my “year of creative collaboration” which means I’m going to be co-writing novels with anywhere from 5-7 authors, if all of the potential projects move forward. And the first one is with fellow horror author, Dan Padavona.

From his website:

I was born and raised in Cortland, New York, not far from the Finger Lakes region. My parents, Loretta, and Ronnie Padavona, separated when I was very young. My father moved to California where he gained notoriety in heavy metal music as Ronnie James Dio. My mother raised me into the person I am today. I live outside of Binghamton, New York, with my wife Terri, and children Joe, and Julia.

I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, mainly fantasy and horror. If you happen upon me, you’ll probably see that I am reading Terry Brooks, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Robert Jordan, or one of the many authors who have so enriched my life with their ability to tell a good tale. I am enamored with the written word and can spend hours playing with different word combinations to improve prose.

More than anything, I love a good horror story. Let me tell you one.

storberry-384Dan contacted me a few months ago and we struck up an email conversation. We discovered we have a lot in common, including a love of the band Kyuss. I don’t know many musicians who appreciate the desert rock pioneers so finding another horror author who loves them was definitely a sign from above…or below. Whichever floats your boat.

More importantly, Dan and I have the same style and approach to storytelling so we decided to try and co-write something. That something is a novel and the first draft is almost done. The story is terrifying, gripping and I know you’re going to love it.

We’ll throw some cover reveals and teasers out there as we get closer to publication. In the meantime, you should check out Storberry and The Island. I’ve read both of these and once you do, you’ll know why I jumped at the chance to collaborate with Dan.

DanPadavona.com

Guest post by Jay Chastain

serious mePlease welcome a guest to the blog today. My new friend, fellow horror author and metal head, Jay Chastain, takes you underground for a look at what drives him.

The Underground – by Jay Chastain

There are places on this earth that are rarely seen. They are also rarely thought about.

These places exist in many varieties.

They are the gutters and sewers below the bustling cities of modern societies. They are the intricate canals and tunnels dug out by billions of tiny ants within the very soil we walk on. They are the pathways within the trees and flowers, the caves, and the places hidden deep within the rivers, lakes, and oceans.

These places exist within the chemical compounds, nutrients, and atoms that make up material reality. These places are the pathways electrons impossibly navigate through, the area that particles and photons zip through without even a sound. So vast are these places we rarely think of. Likewise, so vast is our ignorance of them.

The very fabric of space from which large bodies of mass float on and bend to form gravity is, in of itself, one of these places. In it exists everything. Space is the home to all that has lived and that has died that we know of. It is the only home anyone has ever known.

Yet, there is still another place that is not thought about or seen often. It is the place within us all. Its vastness feels as if it could be the foundation of space itself, almost as if they were birthed in harmony by one another in an array of cosmic chaos.

We store our emotions in this place. Our desires. Our secrets…our fears. We bury them so far down that sometimes we forget about them.

And many people are happy like this. They want you to be happy with this too.

These people—the ones who are happy hiding what they feel and think and fear—want you to do the same. They say so every chance they get. They tell you to just be happy, to accept the world for what it is. They tell you to think positively. They tell you to not question authority and to fall in line. Get a job, work until you’re old, and die feeling something that resembles satisfaction.

Well fuck them.

I have no desire to live in ignorance. I have no desire to float above ground where all the same hackneyed niceties are repeated over and over and over and over again. I see the scum of society, and I’m sick of it.

I’m sick of doing what I’m told day in and day out, of living the life others have planned for me. I’m sick of serving an entire system that could give a fuck less what I want or how I think life should be lived. I’m sick of being forced to talk about the mundane realities of modern society when I feel this hole in my gut that wants more.

So the Underground is where I live. I don’t accept the role I was given when I was born.

The Underground is where I search for truth. I have no use for groupthink or abstract morals imposed on me by the status quo.

The Underground is where I thrive. It is beyond the prison built to keep us enslaved and medicated by their drugs and entertainment.

The Underground is metal. It is horror. It is the fringes of society. It is in the conversations they don’t want us to have, in the books they don’t want us to read, and in the realities they don’t want us exploring.

The Underground is a place where we can be free to explore this strange existence together…or alone. But we must explore it, or it will be all but forgotten when the last of us die out, and no one can point the way into the tunnels, and out of society.

My name is Jay Chastain and I write dark and twisted psychological thrillers with supernatural color. I’m looking to make some racket in this world. Are you?

You can follow me on twitter at @PenNameofJC for more of me and info on my upcoming books.

You can also download my free short story on Amazon here.


Subscribe to my mailing list & grab a free read. Then you’ll get cool news, interesting pics and zombie trivia. Fun for the living, the dead and the undead.

TheHorrorWritersPodcast.com – The pen is mightier than the gore.

http://thehorrorwriterspodcast.com/

The Horror Writer's Podcast“Welcome to The Horror Writer’s Podcast where the pen is mightier than the gore. Join me, your host J. Thorn, as I discuss writing and publishing horror using strategies that work for all genres. The Horror Writer’s Podcast keeps it lean, delivering concise information to the aspiring author.”

New to publishing? You’re probably overwhelmed. You don’t know where to begin or even which questions to ask. I know how hollow and helpless that feels because I’ve been there and I’ve learned from my failures. I can tell you what you need to know in a way you’ll understand so you’ll be able to do it for yourself. You’re passionate about your book and you’re driven to succeed. I’m going to help. If you listen to this podcast you won’t feel helpless anymore. You’ll be empowered to do what you thought was impossible and that means you’ll have more time to write. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you can do this.

Sure. You could Google your question about formatting, or cover design or writing a great product description on Amazon. You’ll get hundreds, if not thousands of hits and most of them will contradict each other. Some will be written by people claiming to be marketing gurus and yet they’ve never published a single book. You’ll waste countless hours. My podcast will give you the quick snippets of information you need so you can get back to writing.

When I first began writing and publishing my novels I received support and advice from those who were already doing so and now that I’m making a name for myself in this industry, I want to help others too. I’m eternally grateful to the writers who were invaluable to my development as an author and marketer. I owe so much to Taylor Lee, Pat Mason, Mimi Barbour, Lorhainne Eckhart, Cathy Perkins, Scott Nicholson, Russell Blake, Richard Long, Glynn James, J.R. Rain, Joe Konrath, T.W. Piperbrook, Todd Brown, Michaelbrent Collings, David Moody, Ed Robertson, Sean Platt, Johnny Truant, David Wright,  Mark Tufo, David Gaughran, Colin Barnes, Craig DiLouie, Stephen Knight, Bobby Adair, Joe McKinney, L.T. Ryan, Mainak Dhar, Brian James Freeman, Kealan Patrick Burke, Rebecca T. Dickson, Jim Kukral (and I’m sure I’m forgetting somebody in this list).

I believe podcasts are one of the best ways to learn about an industry from the people inside it. I’ve followed Johnny Truant, Sean Platt and David Wright on The Self-Publishing Podcast for years and was even a guest on their show once. A new friend and fellow Clevelander, Jim Kukral (the marketing mastermind behind AuthorMarketingClub.com) recently started the Sell More Books Show with author Bryan Cohen and this podcast is fantastic as well.

I’ll post a new episode every other week and topics will be generated from questions and comments left on the YouTube page or using my email form. For show updates, subscribe to my free mailing list to your right. If you like the show, please consider leaving a review on iTunes. The pilot episode is about choosing a title for your book. It’s more nuanced than you think. Future episodes will be about cover design, product description, genre categories, writing choices and more.

Also, I’ll be the guest this Thursday on another great podcast, The Self-Publishing Round Table.

Enjoy!


Subscribe to my mailing list & grab a free read. Then you’ll get cool news, interesting pics and zombie trivia. Fun for the living, the dead and the undead.

Time to let the myth of the rugged individualist die.

Americans take pride in being rugged individualists, leveraging personal gain in order to survive. In nature it’s the “survival of the fittest” and business must “crush the competition.” Those are old ideas and they’re dying a horrific, violent, slow death.

While it may seem as though events occurring at a distance have no direct impact on us (Fukushima), we’ve also seen that the entire globe is connected and those events happening to “other people” do in fact affect us (Fukushima). This connection is more profound and mysterious than the overused “Butterfly Effect,” where a bug’s wings in South America supposedly triggers a hurricane on the East Coast. However, we live in a closed environment and everything we do effects everybody else. Entire books have been written about the cooperative versus competitive nature of the universe and I’m oversimplifying the concept to introduce one example of it: Selling books.

Several authors made the headlines a few months back for using sock puppets (fake accounts) to write terrible reviews of other author’s books. They believed that discouraging sales of titles (using poor reviews) in the same genre would result in more sales of their title. Readers spend about 2.3 seconds deciding whether or not to purchase a book and most of that has to do with (1) cover and (2) title. To be clear, reviews matter. Not in relation to other titles, but mostly in relation to the reader’s own internal belief system about what constitutes quality.

A wise Greek once said, “In union there is strength.” I don’t think Aesop meant strength in a multi-author box set, but he would have if he had access to Amazon when he was trying to peddle those stupid fables.

I’ve declared 2014 my Year of Collaboration. I’m reaching out, up, and down to find authors that also believe a sale of one novel is a sale for all novelists. I’m not interested in competing against my fellow authors because working with them is much more effective. Whether it’s with collections (warning: soft sales pitch below) or co-writing, I’m open to what others can bring and what I can share with them.

My most recent collection contains Preta’s Realm: The Haunting (Book 1 of The Hidden Evil Trilogy) along with seven other phenomenal books. We’re selling the ENTIRE collection for only $0.99. Some of the best horror writers in the world are part of this anthology including Scott Nicholson, Kealan Patrick Burke, Glynn James, Mainak Dhar, Michaelbrent Collings, TW Brown and Brian James Freeman. The collection will be available only for a limited time.

Offer your services, knowledge or muscle and the universe will return it to you. Our collective spirit will always outshine the individual one.

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I love weird, twisted, horror stories. Do you?

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As I continue on this crazy journey called life I imagine I’m driving a huge party bus with all of you on it. Every so often we stop and pick up a few more people, a bag of ice and a lighter. Don’t ask me where we’re going because I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter anyways because anyone that’s taken a road trip with a bunch of friends knows that getting there is more than half the fun. It’s at least 76.7% of the fun depending on who gets arrested along the way.

Using that poor metaphor, I feel as though I need to pause every now and then and introduce myself to those getting on the bus. People reading my blog and my books (i.e., those getting on the bus, but you already figured that out) don’t know me that well yet but they’re intrigued by the party.

Those of you in the back–quitting throwing stuff out the windows. Nobody is allowed to use the john unless it’s an extreme emergency. And flush, would ya?

Now that you’ve all settled in, please allow me to reintroduce myself and tell you what you’re in for on this road trip:

I love horror–the kind where the fear comes from inside your own head. I’ve enjoyed my share of gory slasher stories but I don’t write too many of those. Yes, my creatures do some heinous things but not for the sake of the violence. I’m enamored with the evil that’s inside all of us and why some people can keep it contained while others can’t. My books are an escape from reality. They’re odd, esoteric and thoughtful with an economy of language. I front a heavy band in Cleveland, Ohio (Threefold Law) and so my style is very lyrical as well. Being a writer and a musician, I feel as though I have a perspective on storytelling that others might not. My new partnership with Rebecca T. Dickson (interviewed her last week, fyi) means that the updated versions of my books along with the new ones I’m writing will withhold NOTHING from you. I’ve been criticized for not explaining enough and I can promise you that won’t be the case anymore.

If you want to get a sense of the kind of stories I tell, grab this collection. My book, Reversion: The Inevitable Horror (The Portal Arcane Series – Book I) is included along with 6 other phenomenal books and the ENTIRE collection is only $0.99. Some of the best writers in the genre are part of this anthology including Bobby Adair, Craig DiLouie, Glynn James, Stephen Knight, Joe McKinney, T.W. Piperbrook and L.T. Ryan. This is a helluva bargain. The collection will be available only for a limited time.

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Now get on the bus and stop holding up the line.