“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?

The Walking Dead and Generation X: Why?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daryl_Dixon

The prison fell and the survivors are now scattered throughout the world of The Walking Dead. The second half of the season began with snippets of the story, a fractured group trying to hold on to what’s left. Darryl seems to be grappling with the biggest question of them all: Why? Even during the zombie face smashing and constant running, the question is part of the show’s subtext. I’ve been asking myself the same question: Why?

If you were born between 1960 and 1980, you are one of 84 million Americans loosely labeled, “Generation X.” I was born in 1971. I grew up with MTV, a tolerance for other races and sexual orientations and a lack of faith in the establishment. All of these ideas are represented in the video for “Cult of Personality” by Living Color—a black heavy metal band singing about abuse of power. I don’t know if anyone in the band is gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that (Seinfeld; another Gen X reference). I was in college when alternative music evolved into mainstream music. I had Bleach before Nirvana was cool and I ditched The Smashing Pumpkins before they lost theirs (Siamese Dream is the last great Pumpkins record). I saw myself in Singles and I identified with the dark, self-deprecating humor of Clerks.

I turn 43 in 2014. The millions of Americans that can remember when MTV was truly music television are part of Generation X and we’re all heading into middle age. I’ll spare you the details of my hypochondria. According to a WebMD symptom search I have 1,467 diseases. I’m going through both puberty and menopause right now. I’m trying to wean myself from the nostalgic thoughts of attending Monsters of Rock in 1988 and my Facebook searches for members of the class of 1989. Something frightening and profound is happening inside of my head and it’s scarier than any monster I can create in a horror novel. I keep asking myself one question: Why?

http://denizandkennycollection.blogspot.com

Like Darryl, I don’t have the answer. He buries arrows in the faces of walkers and then pulls them back out again, knowing there are probably millions more out there. He’s protecting Beth and he wants to find Rick and the rest of the group, but why? What’s the end game? Would Darryl really be happy if he made it to Terminus? And then what? Does he sit on the perimeter and use his crossbow to take down zombies for the next forty years? The group struggles to find a safe haven, they get entrenched, it all goes to hell and they have to start over. Why?

Whether it takes us forty years or a zombie apocalypse, we all have to eventually grapple with that question. When you find the answer, would you let me know?

60/day x 365=n

Can you solve for n?

Whenever I enter into conversations with people regarding a project I’ve finished, I tend to get a consistent response.  Because I’ve recently published Raising Zombies – Family Life in the Modern Age, this conversation has happened more frequently.  It goes something like this:

“Wow!  You just finished a novel/album/sculpture/painting/hand-made 60 foot yacht.  That is so cool.  I wish I had the time to do that.”

The subtext of this type of comment is:

“I wish I had the leisure time that you do to waste on trivial pursuits like a novel/album/sculpture/painting/hand-made 60 foot yacht.  Unfortunately, I have way more important things to do in life like work, family, and sleep.  Must be nice.”

I have not yet found a way to bypass the universal laws of physics.  And if I did, I’d lie and say I hadn’t.  I am forced to operate within a 24 hour-day like everyone else.  “I don’t have the time” is simply a lie people tell themselves when they’re choosing consumption instead of production.  Everything you do with your time is a choice.  If you choose to watch four hours of television per day (average American), that’s your choice.  I choose not to.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love getting lost in the world of “The Walking Dead” every Sunday.  However, I choose to spend 60 minutes/day writing.  I do this every day, and at the end of one calendar year (usually less), I have a completed novel.  In the past three years I’ve written five novels.  I can do this not because I have MORE time than anyone else, but because I CHOOSE what to do with it.  It’s not easy.  I have a wife, two young kids, a full time job, a band, and routine overnight visits from the in-laws.  My 60 minutes often replace an hour of sleep from 4:30-5:30 a.m.  Sometimes those 60 minutes carry over into 120 the next day.  That’s what it takes.

Now back to that equation.  60 minutes/day for one year is 365 hours.  Divide 365 by an 8-hour work day and you have 46 work days, or about 9 work weeks.  Imagine going to the office every day for nine weeks and working solely on your novel/album/sculpture/painting/hand-made 60 foot yacht.  That is the power of commitment and hard work.

I won’t begrudge your decision to follow every reality show this season if you don’t insult my efforts by insinuating I have time to burn that you don’t.

Now go watch “The Walking Dead” and shut up.


Q & A on The Seventh Seal

My favorite show

The plot is confusing and jumps from one scene to the next. What are you doing?
This novel was published long before “The Walking Dead” came to television. Coincidentally, I’m a huge fan of the show. I love the fact that the writers drop you into the story (in media res) without any explanation or backstory. You get an occasional flashback or a hint at the past, but you have to accept the fact that you’re in a world forever-changed by an “unlikely” event. You feel what the characters feel; confusion, fear, uncertainty.

Why did you write it?
I lost both of my maternal grandparents in the span of four weeks. They attended the same church for 80 years. My grandparents gave their entire life to this parish and there could not have been more than three people outside of my family that attended the funerals. The diocese closed the church a few months later as the old steel town just couldn’t cough up enough Catholics to keep it going. That dying church made me wonder what a post-apocalyptic story might be like if The End didn’t come from a virus, zombies, or the ancient Mayans.

You must really hate Catholics.
Not a question, but I don’t. I was raised Catholic, served as an altar boy, and my parents are still devout. Other members of my family still practice. I do not. The Seventh Seal is FICTION and I have tagged it as urban FANTASY. You should know that going in and I have added a warning to the product page about the way I’ve portrayed organized religion in this book. A Cult of Personality that spreads fear through religion or nationalism to take control of the military and use that force to exterminate millions is NOT fantasy. I honestly don’t think the Catholics are up to anything devious, but thirty years ago I would not have believed widespread accusations of child molestation by Catholic priests either.

I have heard a groundswell of support for a sequel to The Seventh Seal. Therefore, I plan on starting the follow up to that book in June and should have it on your Kindle by November. In fact, I’d love to hear where you think I should take the story. Send your ideas and if I use them in the sequel I’ll list your name in the acknowledgements. And I won’t even ask you to say an Our Father!

If you read The Seventh Seal and enjoyed the story, please head over to Amazon and leave me a review. Thank you.

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