Author Interview, The Zombie Feed, Writing

THREE QUESTIONS: Ray Wallace

For those of you out there who look at the daily helter-skelter rush of your life and think, “I can’t read a whole bunch of stories! I don’t have time between work and family and commuting and volunteering and housework and driving my kids to their extracurriculars and night school and my second job, not to mention squeezing my own writing in!”: you’re in luck! “The Twenty-Three Second Anomaly” by Ray Wallace is only two-and-a-half pages long! And it’s two and a half pages that pack a punch. Unlike some of the other stories, Wallace’s contribution to The Zombie Feed Anthology Vol. 1 takes on the government and scientific response to the suddenly rising epidemic of undead with tight, quick-paced prose that will pull you through the story and leave you a bit breathless, but satisfied. And it’ll probably only take you about a minute to read! So no excuses. Get your hands on Ray Wallace’s “The Twenty-Three Second Anomaly” today in The Zombie Feed Anthology Vol. 1!

You can pick up your copy of The Zombie Feed Anthology on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.com, or from The Zombie Feed directly. Get it on your Kindle or your Nook (or in any e-format from Smashwords) for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome zombie stories for $2.99? 1337 b4rg41|\| |-|u|\|71|\|g 4 73h w1|\|! :D

1. The Writing Question: What story (published or unpublished) of yours is your personal favorite and why?

“One of the Six”. Not that it’s my best story (an H.P. Lovecraft/Clive Barker inspired tale that I have to admit I still enjoy reading on occasion all these years later) but it’s the one that got everything rolling for me. In 1998, I had yet to publish my first story. I had sent a few out, had managed to start my rejection letter collection, but not much else. Then I came across a website called The Chiaroscuro. They were holding their second fiction contest and I was told by the site’s creator, Brett Savory, that if I had a story ready to go then I should enter. There were some pretty well known judges, including Brian Hodge, so the idea was a little intimidating. I did have a story ready, though, called “One of the Six” and I figured, why the hell not? A couple of weeks later, I was informed that my story had made it into the final round of entries. A week after that, I was told that I had taken first place. That was the moment that I realized that, hey, maybe I actually can do this writing thing. The story’s still online at the site (now Chizine) for anyone interested in checking it out: www2.chizine.com/oneofsix.htm

2. The Horror Question: Some writers claim that writing dark stories is easier than writing light ones. True or false for you, and why?

True. Unquestionably. And the answer, as far as I’m concerned, is a simple one: Because writing dark stories is so much more fun! By working within the literary realms of dark fiction a writer can do pretty much anything that he or she feels like doing. Want to send someone to Hell? Unleash a global apocalypse? Make the dead walk? (As I do in my upcoming One Way Out Novel, Escape From Zombie City, coming soon from TZF Press – – now there’s a shameless plug for you.) Make a sword that steals souls? An army of relentless cyborgs? A weapon that can destroy entire worlds? As a writer of dark fiction, you can do all of that and so much more. You also get to create atmosphere. Fog shrouded cemeteries. Crumbling old mansions. Desolate landscapes. Try doing any of that while writing a “light” story. Sorry, not going to work. And not going to be nearly as much fun to create either.

3. The Oddball Question: Are you an e-reader or tree reader, or both? Why?

I’ve recently become both. After purchasing a Kindle about a year ago, I find myself spending most of my money on e-books instead of paper books. The reason for this is a simple one: I’ve collected more than 2,500 hard copy books over the years and, basically, I’m just sick of dealing with them. Especially when it’s time to move. Nothing will put your back through the ringer quite as much as lugging around boxes full of books. Also, it’a all about instant gratification. If I see a book online that catches my interest and it’s, say, two o’clock in the morning, I love being able to aquire it instantaneously as opposed to waiting a week for it to arrive by mail. Although, I have to admit, that ever since I got my Kindle the impulse buying has increased rather dramatically. Ah, well, I guess you can never own too many books. Especially when they don’t weigh anything.

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Ray Wallace hails from the Tampa, FL area and is the author of The Nameless, a hardcore horror novel published by Black Death Books. He has two forthcoming releases: Escape from Zombie City: A One Way Out Novel (The Zombie Feed Press) and The Hell Season (Severed Press). More than two dozen of his short stories have appeared in such magazines and anthologies as The Zombie Feed: Vol. 1, The Blackest Death Vol. 1 & 2, Erotic Fantasy: Tales of the Paranormal, and at Bloodfetish, Dark Muse, and Delirium Online. A few of his other stories have appeared at The Chiaroscuro website where he took first place in their second annual fiction contest. He also wrote a long running book review column for The Twilight Showcase webzine and now writes reviews for Chizine and SFReader.com.

Author Interview, The Zombie Feed, Writing

THREE QUESTIONS: B.J. Burrow

B.J. Burrow has a rotted soft spot for the lingering dead and the trials they face in the living world. How would you like to be inside your body while it falls to decomposing pieces? “Not Dead” isn’t interested in shotguns or brains so much as the life here-after for those the government declares legally dead. It examines the faith-testing struggle faced by Father Carey after he gives Julie Barrette her Last Rites, only to see her embracing life post-death, and Julie’s own struggles to find her place in a world that isn’t thrilled that she isn’t lying nicely in a coffin sunk six-feet down in a green hill somewhere. It’s a careful, realistic sketch of what the world might be like if not everyone who died stayed dead, followed by a gut-punch ending. Check out “Not Dead” in The Zombie Feed Anthology Vol. 1 today!

You can pick up your copy of The Zombie Feed Anthology on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.com, or from The Zombie Feed directly. Get it on your Kindle or your Nook (or in any e-format from Smashwords) for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome zombie stories for $2.99? Can’t get much better than that! :D

1. The Writing Question: Writing can be a tough profession, particularly for beginning authors who get “no” more often than “yes.” How do you cope with rejection?

I got a little Burgess Meredith sitting on my shoulder, barking at me: “Take it personally!  Your writing got rejected.  They think it sucks Louis CK’s bag.  What are you gonna do about it?  You gonna mop?  You gonna cry little tears and take your keyboard home?  Get pissed,  you son-of-a-bitch!  What can you do to make the story better?  Is it salvageable?  Is it time to move on?  What are you gonna do to make the next story better?  How are you gonna make yourself a better writer?  You’re not in competition with the stories being submitted today—you’re in competition with every goddamn story that’s ever been written.  Pick up the sledgehammer and break some fucking rocks and get stronger.  I’ll be sitting over here chomping on this cigar and glaring at you, kid.”

2. The Horror Question: Blood and gore: scary or not scary?  

 Scary, sure.  But only if it’s handled right.  Herschell Gordon Lewis, not scary.  Bret Easton Ellis, chill you to the bone.  I think either the ‘Is That My Eyeball On The Ground? School’ or the ‘What’s In The Box? School’ works equally well, it’s just all in how you handle it.

3. The Oddball Question: Barring family photo albums, religious books, cookbooks, etc.: If you could save only one book from your house because a blob monster was about to absorb it into its massive jelly-like girth, what book would you grab?

Since the blob-monster is eating my religious books,  I will sadly watch as the The Stand gets sucked into its body and use my fire extinguisher to save Harry Crews’ A Feast of Snakes—a mean, vicious bastard of a book that really gets to it.  I’ve been itching to read it again, and this will be the corner stone of my new library.  Or maybe I’ll just go virtual this time.  What’s the point of possessions with this son-of-a-bitching blob running around?

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B.J. Burrow co-wrote the screenplay to the SyFy movie The Monster Hunter (starring David Carradine). The Changed, a zombie novel from Apex Publications, was released in 2010. He lives in Austin, TX, with his wife Melissa and two daughters. Visit him on the web at www.bjburrow.net.

Author Interview, The Zombie Feed, Writing

THREE QUESTIONS: Simon McCaffery

 If you’re looking for an original take on the classic zombie-survival story, look no further than Simon McCaffery’s story in The Zombie Feed Vol. 1, “Lifeboat.” Recently separated Jack Anthony wasn’t thinking that a cruise ship would be the best bet for survival when he and his teenage son Nick decided to spend spring break on board the Mystique: sometimes survival has more to do with luck than with foresight. But when the dead do arise, a floating fortress is just about the best place to hole up. “Lifeboat” is a survival story–it’s got the blazing guns, the rushing hoard, the hapless victims–but it’s more than that. This story has very real characters you will root for, even when all the odds seem to be stacked against them, and the setting is wonderfully realized. So if you’re interested in an adventure trip with some great companions, definitely sink your teeth into Simon McCaffrey’s “Lifeboat” in The Zombie Feed Vol. 1!

You can pick up your copy of The Zombie Feed Anthology on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.com, or from The Zombie Feed directly. Get it on your Kindle or your Nook (or in any e-format from Smashwords) for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome zombie stories for $2.99? That’s like seventeen birds with 2.99 stones! That’s crazy efficient! :D

1. The Writing Question: If you could sit down with one author, from any time in history to today, to get a writing lesson, who would it be?

This is a difficult question, because the list is so long.  I imitated the styles of Richard Matheson and Stephen King in many of my early published stories, and what wouldn’t I do to perform the Vulcan mindmeld on Tom Disch, Peter Straub and Thomas Harris?  Or bring back Michael Crichton, the king of the plausible techno-thriller?  But if I could sit down with a single author for some writing advice, it would be Alfred Bester.  I’ve read thousands of books in my lifetime, but I remember where I was and what I was doing when I stumbled across The Stars My Destination.  No writer has ever equalled that novel’s thrilling blend of speculative science, sociology and pure, breakneck-paced adventure.  Bester was a master of sly and perceptive commentary on society and human psychology, and his dizzying blends of SF, horror and thrillers have never been surpassed.  And could he breathe life into unforgettable characters?  Who has ever been able to forget Gully Foyle?  My son read the novel when he was thirteen, and it’s still his favorite.  It probably will be when he’s sixty.

2. The Horror Question: Blood and gore: scary or not scary?

I sold a story some years ago called “Little Men” to Algis Budrys.  I had submitted several conventional science fiction stories to TOMORROW, but the story he accepted was a ghost story missing a ghost.  I challenged myself to write a contemporary gothic tale of a haunted house, but it couldn’t involve any supernatural spirits.  I came up with a pretty unusual, nasty premise, and Budrys commended me for not showing the reader the creatures — allowing the imagination to fill in the blanks.  He was right.  The more you reveal, the more you may lessen the impact.  A writer also must decided when blood and gore are appropriate to the tale, but I’ve found that less is usually more.  This also applied to stories I sold to John Skipp and Craig Spector for Book of the Dead 2 andMondo Zombie.  If you have to dunk your readers like doughnuts in blood and gore to frighten or shock them, you need to go back and strengthen your storytelling skills.

3. The Oddball Question: What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

Besides the Aurora monster and television sci-fi model kits my father brought home from his travels, my favorite childhood toy was a Corgi Toys die-cast Batmobile.  Dad bought one each for my brother and I when our Icelandic Airlines plane was grounded for six hours in Iceland having an engine repaired.  These toy cars were the pinnacle of late 1960s die-casts with a tremendous attention to detail, and best of all, lots of working gadgets like a chain-cutter and a thumb-wheel that fired tiny orange plastic pellets from the car’r rocket stacks.  I began collecting those old cars again ten years ago.  Like my old Aurora model kits, they’ve gained a lot of collectibility over the decades.  God knows what happened to my childhood Batmobile, but the ones I own today rest safe and sound behind glass.

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Simon McCaffery saw his first UFO at age ten and encountered the undead the following summer — it was a drunk shambling through the French Quarter at dusk, but it sure as hell looked like a zombie — so it’s no wonder he grew up to write SF, horror and hybrids of both genres.  Simon’s stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery MagazineTomorrow SFSpace & Time and in anthologies such as Book of the Dead 2: Still Dead and Mondo Zombie. His latest story appears in BLACK STATIC #24, and another story will appear in the upcoming anthology Zombie Kong.  He lives in Tulsa, Okla.  Check out the latest news at http://simonmccafferyfiction.blogspot.com/ .

Author Interview, The Zombie Feed, Writing

THREE QUESTIONS: Monica Valentinelli

Monica Valentinelli’s contribution to The Zombie Feed Vol. 1 is a visceral, irreverent,  stream-of-consciousness narrative from the perspective of troubled Officer Mike Francis, a badge-carrying member of civilized society’s last-stand response to a world gone mad. It’s not the zombies Office Mike worries about–with a little fire, he can manage them–it’s all the other nutcases left behind, the ones who hide behind their fancy gated mansions and pretend like nothing’s changed. With them, you just never know what to expect, and that can be deadly. This is no quiet tale of love and loss: it’s a story that cuts to the quick and reveals the rotten madness even the living try to hide. If you’re brave enough, check out Monica’s story, “Tomorrow’s Precious Lambs” in The Zombie Feed Vol. 1!

You can pick up your copy of The Zombie Feed Anthology on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.com, or from The Zombie Feed directly. Get it on your Kindle or your Nook (or in any e-format from Smashwords) for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome zombie stories for $2.99? Can’t get any better than that! :D

1. The Writing Question: Do you tend to plan your stories before you write them, or do you write and just see what you discover in the process? 

Depends upon the story. If I’m writing on spec, I have to hear the story in my head otherwise the prose is robotic and stunted. If I’m writing “to” spec, on the other hand, I often work with the editor or project manager to make sure I’m fitting whatever voice they need for the publication. Then, I let that idea simmer for a bit before I start working on a draft. Longer stories like novels and novellas, on the other hand, I have to plot out regardless. Otherwise I wind up wasting precious time because I have no idea where Plot A begins and Plot D ends.

“Tomorrow’s Precious Lambs” was interesting because I heard a song in my head before I sat down to write it. Wrote the song first, then the story. The process felt like I was writing a creepy refrain to a musical pastiche. I think this was the fastest story I’ve ever written and polished because it was just that clear in my head. Doesn’t always happen that way, though I wish it would.

2. The Horror Question: Some writers claim that writing dark stories is easier than writing light ones. True or false for you, and why?

True! When I write in the dark, I focus on conflict and contrast. What isn’t dark, as opposed to why the dark is so terrible. Why did the dark infiltrate into a normal world? Where did the dark come from? Those questions help me develop the world I want to tell my story in. Then I hone in on characterization. How does that character feel about the dark? What is their role in that world? Are they contributing to the dark, or are they fighting against it?

Writing lighter themes requires me to employ different techniques for conflict, plotting and characterization. Satire or black humor is still dark enough, but when it comes to penning the happy, happy… I often feel those stories come across as disingenuine and not compelling enough to submit to any market. Mind you, I am my own worst critic, but what can I say? I like big guns, vampires, and a little blood in my stories. :)

3. The Oddball Question: If you could be friends with one fictional character, who would it be and what kind of venue would you meet at?

I am a huge “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” fan, so I would have to say Arthur Dent would be that guy. In terms of what venue? A pub, of course! I’d gladly share a pint just to hear about his travels and near misses. Especially with the Vogons and their terrifying bouts of poetry. ‘Course, I’d ask him to take me along on a trip or two…

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Monica Valentinelli is a professional author and game designer. Described as a “force of nature” by her peers, Monica has been published through Abstract Nova Press, Eden Studios, White Wolf Publishin, Apex Magazine and others. Her  credits include: a short story entitled “Pie” in the award-winning Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas anthology through 12 to Midnight and The Queen of Crows. For more information about Monica, visit www.mlvwrites.com .

Author Interview, The Zombie Feed, Writing

THREE QUESTIONS: Daniel I. Russell

Unlike some of the other stories in The Zombie Feed Anthology which ramp up the action with shotguns and showdowns, Daniel I. Russell’s contribution is a quiet tour de force that is perhaps all the more horrifying because its focus is so poignantly centered in the realities of our daily lives. “Broken Bough” is not the story of a last stand against a hoard, but of a last stand within the home, in which acceptance and not time is the mortal enemy. It has a claustrophobic urgency that is so heart-breaking that it is sure to satisfy even the most jaded zombie enthusiast by making them wonder, “What would I do?” If you’ve ever considered what happens to the most vulnerable during a zombie infestation, “Broken Bough” is not to be missed.

You can pick up your copy of The Zombie Feed Anthology on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.com, or from The Zombie Feed directly. Get it on your Kindle or your Nook (or in any e-format from Smashwords) for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome zombie stories for $2.99? It’s like winning the lottery or something! :D

1. The Writing Question: What piece of writing advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you started writing?

Use capital letters at the start of a sentence, full stops at the end and go easy on the commas. Also, that some of your work may (will) be sneered at and looked down on at times for just being a fun horror read and not a literary bouquet. Just ride it out. Don’t try and emanate your favorite writers’ styles as your own will shine through. Do more exercise. If you hit a brick wall in a scene, beer and loud music is often the key. Wear sunscreen. Don’t use words too fancy as they stand out from the text and make it less fun (see above). Yup. Lot’s of advice. I would also pass on lottery numbers and race horse winners so that I could afford to write full time.

2. The Horror Question: What horror novel or short story are you ashamed (or proud) to admit you’ve never read?

I’ve never been a massive vampire fan from the teens onwards, but I think that Dracula is considered a must for any self respecting horror writer. However, I’ve tried on several occasions and it just bores me to tears. All I can remember is recipes in the very beginning of Polish and Romanian folk dishes.I cannot get into it, and thus it has never been read.

3. The Oddball Question: Barring family photo albums, religious books, or cookbooks, etc.: If you could save only one book from your house because a blob monster was about to absorb it into its massive jelly-like girth, what book would you grab?

I have a deluxe hard copy of Strange Seed by T.M Wright and it would probably be that. Not only is the book the most valuable book I own (which doesn’t mean much due to all the second handers I buy), and not only is it also signed by the one and only Jack Ketchum who wrote the introduction, but this book is the only thing I’ve ever won. Ever. I won it from a competition put on by Shroud Magazine in 2009. At primary school, we had so many raffles and competitions and I never won a single one. This makes up for all that and I hold it very dear. Pretty lame reason, right?

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Daniel I. Russell has been featured publications such as The Zombie Feed from Apex, Pseudopod and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #43. He was nominated for two Tin Duck Awards in 2011 for best novel (Samhane, from Stygian Publications) and best short story. His books Critique (Graveside Tales), Come Into Darkness (Skullvines Press) and The Collector (Dark Continents Publications) are soon to be released. www.danielirussell.com
Author Interview, The Zombie Feed, Writing

THREE QUESTIONS: Danger_Slater

How can you not want to read a story by a guy whose name is Danger? I mean, come on! Everyone wishes his name was that awesome. And Slater? Also totally awesome because only cool people can have that last name. (*cough*) Though even if his first name was Mildy-Risky and his last name was something totally embarrassing (like some U.S. representative’s or something), you’d still have to check out a story titled “Hipsters in Love” if it’s in a zombie anthology. Hipsters trapped in a Starbucks by a hoard of zombies? Zombies in skinny jeans sporting retro ‘chops and graphic tees? You know you love it. Besides that, there’s the fact that Danger_Slater is just down right hilarious. Trust me: you don’t want to miss his contribution to The Zombie Feed Vol. 1.

You can pick up your copy of The Zombie Feed Anthology on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.com, or from The Zombie Feed directly. Get it on your Kindle or your Nook (or in any e-format from Smashwords) for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome zombie stories for $2.99? Danke shoen! :D

1. The Writing Question: What is your typical writing routine? Do you write every day, some days, only when inspired?

Here is my entire writing process, from start to finish [time lapse approx. 2 months]: Idea. Play Xbox. Drink. First draft. Reread. Self-loathing. Drink. Xbox. Drink. Second draft. Anger. Quit writing altogether out of frustration. Drink. Drink. Drink. Reread. Third draft. Play Xbox. Xanax. Drink. Xbox. Drink. Drink. Xanax. Final draft. More self-loathing. Send it out. Rejection. Drink. Send it out. Rejection. Drink. Send it out. ACCEPTANCE! Drink.

2. The Horror Question: Is horror the genre you typically write for? If so, why; if not, why not?

I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a ‘horror’ writer. I’m more about satire, sarcasm and humor. But, above all that, I feel the most important thing is that reading should be is entertaining. I’ll sometimes use genre tropes as a backdrop for a story, but my sole purpose is to create a piece of fiction that holds the reader’s interest. I sometimes find myself working in horror, sci-fi, speculative-fiction and other genres like those because they aren’t usually set in ‘reality’ so I’m allowed to let my imagination run free. I try to write fiction that barks. Fiction that bites. Fiction that shits in the neighbor’s yard. To me, it doesn’t matter what genre it is, as long as it’s not boring.

3. The Oddball Question: If there were absolutely no way you could write fiction, what other profession or hobby might you take up?

In no particular order: grenade juggling, lava surfing, rattlesnake limbo, lion tasting, banana assassination, ghost tickling, extreme knitting, clown branding, naked fencing, dynamite swallowing, ninja poking, class war, tornado midwifery, and of course, collecting stamps. But then again, I wouldn’t call writing a ‘profession’ or a ‘hobby’. It’s more like a werewolf’s curse. Aaaawwwwooooooo!!!

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Danger_Slater is the world’s most flammable writer! He lives and works in New Jersey, which he would like to assure everyone is exactly like that show Jersey Shore all the time, except even more Jersey Shore-ier. His work can be found in print and across the internets. His first novel is called Love Me, which is available through Jersey Devil Press, and his fantasic and spastic short story ‘Hipsters In Love’ can be found in the Zombie Feed Anthology. Here is his website:www.dangerslater.blogspot.com

Author Interview, The Zombie Feed, Writing

THREE QUESTIONS: Andrew Porter

No, not Andrew I. Porter, nor that other Andrew Porter, nor this guy, Andrew Porter (a la The Zombie Feed) is a man of an apparently common name but of incredibly uncommon and awesome ideas. Doubt it? Then check out his story in The Zombie Feed Vol. 1, “Zombies on the Moon.” Zombies. On the Moon. Come on, doesn’t that sound like fun?! And what is more terrifying than getting trapped in an isolated biodome with a hungry hoard and nowhere to run? You’ll never look up at the moon the same way ever again. Check it out now! If you do, you’ll be able to say you’ve read something by Henry Clark Porter (before he was Henry Clark Porter. BTW, Andrew–I searched that name, and besides a few old family trees, Google says you can totally have it if you want it! Just sayin’. :D)

You can pick up your copy of The Zombie Feed Anthology on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.com, or from The Zombie Feed directly. Get it on your Kindle or your Nook (or in any e-format from Smashwords) for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome zombie stories for $2.99? Yes, please! :D

1. The Writing Question: What is your typical writing routine? Do you write every day, some days, only when inspired? 

I’ll answer this in reverse. I do write every day, religiously, if term can apply, given the kinds of writing I do. I certainly don’t write well every day, nor do I achieve big word counts with any regularity, but even if it’s a snippet of doggerel on a napkin, I write daily. Inspiration is more of a continuum with me, an idea heats up and gets its own steam and if I give it the attention it needs I can get three, four, even five thousand words down in a sitting. A couple of weeks ago I wrote six stories in five days with a total count of roughly 27K. Were they all good? Hell no, but I’m glad they’re around. In the last two weeks I’ve written about a page and a half that’s about as compelling as the phone book. I only have a routine when I’m hitting a very productive period and that routine is: wake up, coffee, write, coffee, write, coffee, write, sleeping pills, repeat. That goes until something breaks my stride- work, family, personal hygiene failures; outside of these periods I just keep a notepad nearby and jot down notions.

2. The Horror Question: What used to scare you the most as a child?

I was a very fretful child from an inordinately young age. I was phobic about spiders, but that doesn’t really seem to have the zest of my other fears. The hollers of rural Kentucky have a lot to be fearful of, so did the rocket filled skies of Cocoa Beach, but my brain ranged far afield for terror. At ten I think my fear list would have run like so:

1. Meteor Extinction Event
2. Hell
3. Heaven (eternal boredom, I was certain.)
4. Viral Extinction Event
5. This weird, gaunt thing that was wrapped in a ratty, colorful quilt that I swear I saw one time
in the woods while deer hunting.
6. That they would make me go deer hunting again.
7. That there was no God.
8. That my mother would get tired of me and smother me in my sleep.

Two things about this, I had a wonderful mother, she had a weird son. Also I grew up as the last generation to live under the shadow of the Red Bomb, with Ronny Rayguns and his Star Wars defense program and that pate-stained Czar that always seemed just barely in charge. There was a lot to be afraid of for a kid. One last fear, clowns. I hated clowns, nothing special there I know, but I had the unique experience of having been accosted by a clown at a circus. I’m not kidding, this clown yelled at me for getting up for cotton candy too many times. I didn’t say anything to my dad about it, just sat there in shivery, six year old terror. Then came the film Poltergeist which I reacted to with abject horror. My mother made hay with this fear. After turning out the lights in my room she would say, “Goodnight my bonny boy,” then, almost under her breath so I was never sure I’d heard her, “…and watch out for the clown under your bed,” then the door would quickly shut. Maybe I didn’t have such a wonderful mother…

3. The Oddball Question: What, in modern society, do you consider to be the biggest waste of people’s time?

Key words: modern, society. I have peculiar views on history that revolve around endless repetition and the ever upward spiral of computational capability. I am making rare statement of faith here when I say that I believe in the coming Technological Singularity and thus the end of human history. In that context, when speaking about the entirety of society, there is not waste of time. I’m frightened by the implied determinism in my own thinking on this, but there we are. On a more personal note, I guess browsing Facebook and, I don’t know, Wii Bowling? (I just bowled a 249 by the way, a score that I am certain will impress our imminently arriving machine god.)

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Andrew Clark Porter is a science fiction writer that lives with his wife Laura, dachshund Wesley, and “thing” Jolene in Oklahoma City. He likes to spend his time digging for things that were once alive, planting things that always die, nurturing his childhood fears, and playing geochemist. He is terrified of clowns, spiders, and swarms of things. Andrew is not a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America because he doesn’t have the eighty bucks to spare for his dues, and his first professional sale was in Apex Magazine. You can read about his progress, publications, and problems at www.silverstairs.wordpress.com. 

Journal, Publishing/Editing, The Zombie Feed

Shock Totem Reviews The Zombie Feed Anthology!

Hi all! Ok, I know that normally I don’t post a lot on the weekends, but this seemed to warrant it! Shock Totem’s Robert J. Duperre has posted his review of The Zombie Feed Vol. 1 Anthology! It’s a great, in-depth review of each story in the collection. So if you’d like to see a story-by-story breakdown of TZF Vol. 1, this is the place to see it. (He called my story creepy! Yay! :D)

Read the Shock Totem review of TZF Vol. 1 here.

Author Interview, The Zombie Feed, Writing

THREE QUESTIONS: Kristin Dearborn

If you have any questions about whether a girl with a sweet-sounding name like Kristin Dearborn can write horror, you should read her story “Rabid Raccoons” in The Zombie Feed Anthology Vol. 1. If you like nasty undead rodents with those freaky little hands, horrifying last stands, and some old-fashioned evil vengeance, you’ll love “Rabid Raccoons”! I’m so thrilled to have had a chance to ask Kristin THREE QUESTIONS, and her answers are insightful and fun! Check them out below, and then definitely check out The Zombie Feed Anthology for a taste of Kristin’s excellent work.

You can pick up your copy of The Zombie Feed Anthology on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, or from The Zombie Feed directly. Get it on your Kindle or your Nook (or in any e-format from Smashwords) for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome zombie stories for $2.99? Yes, please! :D

1. The Writing Question: Do you tend to plan your stories before you write them, or do you write and just see what you discover in the process?

I start a story or a book knowing the first scene (which almost always changes) and the last scene, the denouement, if you will. I have no idea how I will get from point A to point B. My favorite technique is to speed write the first draft, which leaves me with a messy shamble of a draft with plot holes and missing scenes and scenes that don’t make sense because of added and deleted characters. Then I make an outline based on what I have, with things I want to get rid of in red, things I want to add in blue, and stuff that just is in black. Then I spend a ridiculously long time editing. And that is my method.

2. The Horror Question: What work of horror do you consider the most terrifying/freaky/scary, and why?

I love The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, which I think is Stephen King’s least appreciated work. The woods are a wonderful, terrifying place to spend time. They are beautiful in any season, secluded, peaceful. But at that moment when the bugs and the birds go silent, when you feel that there is something there with you and it isn’t human…it could be anywhere, behind a trunk, up a tree, there are a million places to hide, and you just know it will run faster, smell better, see better, and know the lay of the land better than you do. And that is what Tricia comes face to face with in the God of the Lost. Readers are never certain whether Tricia is hallucinating due to pneumonia and starvation or if the God of the Lost is real. It’s one of the most terrifying monsters in monster history, methinks (other contenders: The Thing [1982 Carpenter version], the Aliens from the Alien franchise, and the Outsider from Dean Koontz’ Watchers.) The thing has wasps for a face! There’s nothing more terrifying than that! Wasps alone are little flying nightmares, but as icing on a cake of monster…yikes. So that’s my favorite horror story, because I can empathize with the protagonist. I hope they never make a movie, because they can never do that monster justice. The pop-up book certainly doesn’t.

3. The Oddball Question: If you could be friends with one fictional character, who would it be and what kind of venue would you meet at?

This question has me so conflicted…a million good answers are coming to my mind…my first knee jerk answer is Cassidy the Irish vampire from Preacher…we’d go to a bar and drink until I puked…but honestly? I can’t hope to keep up. And he’s not exactly a nice guy. I feel like I would wind up a snack.

Once I got over that fancy, I know that I would be friends with the fictional character who I have adored since childhood, my TV boyfriend of all times, MacGyver. He’s smart, he’s handsome, he’s kind, he wouldn’t drink my blood, and I wouldn’t have a hangover after hanging out with him. We’d go for a hike in the woods. I know I just talked about how scary they are, but if I was with MacGyver, he would prove that the monster is really just a bunch of oil thieves trying to keep the authorities away from their schemes. Then we would drink cocoa, and talk about really smart stuff, and I could run my fingers through his mullet. I would be 100% safe from everything if I was with MacGyver, with the exception of rock climbing accidents. However, the fact that he could never commit is slightly worrisome…lots of ex-girlfriends, no long term lady loves. For him, I can deal.

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Kristin Dearborn is an expat for a year, teaching English in South Korea on a Fulbright Fellowship. When she’s not struggling with the Korean language or high school boys, she is reading, writing or watching horror. You can find out more about her at www.kristindearborn.com, and you can find her work in Encounters Magazine, Unspeakable: A New Breed of Terror, and most recently The Zombie Feed.

Journal, The Zombie Feed, Writing

The Daily News: Like a Boomerang, the Inspiration Returns on Tuesday

Today’s session – 8AM-10AM – Still had a long warm-up period today, but I blame the blog a bit for that, if only because I get so distracted with fun things for it. Like the new THREE QUESTIONS feature I’ll begin running tomorrow (8/24) with some excellent authors from The Zombie Feed Anthology.

For THREE QUESTIONS, I ask authors to answer one question from each of three categories: A general writing question, a genre-specific question (for example, The Zombie Feed Anthology authors will be answering a horror-genre question), and then an oddball random question that may have nothing to do with anything. Definitely stop by tomorrow when I’ll have the talented Kristin Dearborn‘s answers up!

But I did get 900+ words done today and finally got into the swing of the last sequence in Chapter 19. Should be a fun chapter! Oh, and I’m dying to get to 20. There’s going to be some fun stuff in 20 that have been a long time coming. Now I have to get to work, but remember! THREE QUESTIONS with Kristin Dearborn tomorrow! Check it out! :D

And definitely check out The Zombie Feed Anthology! You can get it on your Kindle now for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome works of zombie fiction for only $2.99? Come on–that’s a bargain! :D