Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my family and fiends!  May you all find love, happiness, and success in 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review of World of the Dead: Zombie Diaries 2

Title: World of the Dead: Zombie Diaries 2

Date: 2011


The insatiable dead run amok in this gore-filled horror flick, which follows a bad of humans who've survived a virus that has turned the rest of the world into zombies.  Our heroes hear about a sanctuary near the sea -- but is it true, or a trap?

One of the great things about Netflix is that, given the number of movies I watch a month, each one costs me only a few bucks to rent.  For that reason, I check out stuff that I normally wouldn’t watch because I’m willing to take a chance on any movie for $2.  Sometimes I find a treasure, and sometimes I hit a septic tank.  More often than not, though, I just dig up an average DVD.  

That’s the best that can be said for World of the Dead: Zombie Diaries 2.  It’s average.

The plot has been rehashed a dozen times.  In a Great Britain that is collapsing under the onslaught of a zombie virus, a small military unit abandons the fight against the living dead and struggles to make its way north.  From there, according to their commander (played by Philip Brodie), a naval convoy will rescue the survivors and take them to the Netherlands, the only spot in Europe not affected by the outbreak.  However, they only have forty-eight hours to reach the coast and join the evacuation before a massive air strike is launched that will burn away the English countryside and the zombie hordes along with it.  Along the way, the survivors stumble across overrun military camps, rape gangs, zombie-ravaged towns, and almost every other standard fare typical for a zombie film.  To bog down the plot even further, the entire story is told as a video diary.

Despite the numerous drawbacks, Zombie Diaries 2 does have some redeeming qualities that make the movie worth watching.  The cinematography and acting is much better than in your average independent production, so the movie is entertaining (however, despite the acting, I still didn’t really care much for any of the characters).  In addition, the video diary format does provide a unique and vital subplot to the movie.  The cameraman, a character named Jones, records his diary over a previously-recorded videotape, inadvertently leaving some of the old material intact; these snippets provide a chilling back story to the outbreak.  Finally, the last few minutes of the movie have a macabre ending that perfectly embodies the futility and frustration inherent in a zombie apocalypse.  

World of the Dead: Zombie Diaries 2 won’t be the best zombie movie you can watch in 2012, but it sure won’t be the worst.  The movie is worth a shot as long as you go into it with average expectations.  I give this movie two out of five rotting zombie heads.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunday Bunnies (Christmas Edition)

I decided to post several pictures of the rabbits enjoying their Christmas.  Enjoy.

Where the hell are the Christmas gifts?!?!

At least he didn't dress us up this year.

Willow baskets and hay cubes?  I asked for a bag of raisins.  Jerk.

So we made a mess with our gifts.  It's Christmas.  Deal with it.

We're tired from trying to get at the tree and chewing on daddy's Christmas gifts, so talk to the butt while we relax.

We don't have mistletoe, but Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my fans and friends.

If you've been good all year, may you get what you want for the holidays.  If you've been bad, you already have it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Check Out My Interview on Swedish Zombies

On 21 December, Swedish Zombie posted an interview with me where I discuss one of my favorite topics -- zombies.  Please read the interview and check out the blog.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review of Zombie Apocalypse

Title:  Zombie Apocalypse

Date: 2011


Months after a zombie plague has wiped out 90 percent of the American population, a small group of survivors fight their way cross-country to a rumored refuge on the island of Catalina. 

I sat down to watch this movie with high hopes but low expectations.  After all, it was a zombie movie with Ving Rhames, so how bad could it be?  As far as I’m concerned, Ving earned his living dead street creds in the 2004 reimaging of Dawn of the Dead, one of my favorite zombie films.  However, Zombie Apocalypse was a SyFy Channel production, and while I enjoy their movies for what they are (today’s equivalent of a Roger Corman B-film), I was skeptical. 

Zombie Apocalypse turned out to be a pleasant surprise. 

The plot is basic but entertaining.  Months after the outbreak has devastated mankind, a small band of survivors is making its way to the California coast where rumor has it that the island of Catalina is a safe haven free from the outbreak.  Along the way they join up with other groups, run across hordes of zombies, and lose some of the numbers, all the while bonding in the process.  Eventually the remnants of the cast arrive at the port facility where a weekly ferry will transport the uninfected to Catalina, only to discover that the greatest threat does not necessarily come from humans brought back to life. 

The acting, sets, and special effects are what one would expect from a made-for-TV movie made on a limited budget and shooting schedule.  However, despite the constraints, director Nick Lyon succeeded in living up to the film’s title and gives us ninety-plus minutes chocked with action, zombies, and blood and guts.  What else could a zombiephile want?

Zombie Apocalypse is definitely worth a viewing, especially on a Saturday night with a bunch of friends and some pizza and beer.  I give the movie two-and-a-half out of five rotting zombie heads.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

I'll just wait here for Santa, and when he shows up Christmas Eve I'll take the fat guy down and keep all the gifts for myself.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review of Graham Masterton's The Sphinx

Title:  The Sphinx

Author:  Graham Masterton

Publisher:  MHB Press

Date: 2010

Pages: 167


For up and coming politician Gene Keiller an attraction to a beautiful woman is no strange thing.  But Lorie Semple is no ordinary woman.  She has a secret.  She has history.  And when the attraction becomes obsession he takes his first steps on a perilous journey where myth and reality collide with devastating consequences. A savage beast is unleashed and by the time he discovers the truth the mysterious beauty who has so captivated his soul it is far too late to run. 

I usually don’t post negative reviews of books.  As an author, I know full well the time it takes to write a book and the emotional investment that is made in the process.  Just because I’m not intrigued by a plotline or don’t like the way a character was portrayed, it’s not fair for me to bad mouth another author’s work.  I’ve read several novels over the past few months that have not been discussed in this blog for that reason.  This time, however, I’m making an exception.

What bothers me is that the review is of a Graham Masterton novel.

Anyone who follows my blog or interviews knows that Graham Masterton is one of my favorite authors.  His first novel, The Manitou, which I read when I was ten years old, hooked me on the genre.  After that, I devoured every one of his books like a ravenous zombie ripping into a bus full of cheerleaders.  Picking up one of his novels, I was guaranteed an edge-of-my-seat ride as Graham would take an infamous legend or twisted premise and turn it into a tension-filled, action-packed, gore-laced thriller.  Graham Masterton never failed to deliver.  At least until I read The Sphinx.

Originally published in 1978, The Sphinx was released this year by MHB Press as a signed, limited hard cover edition selling for $60 (or for $625 if you want the deluxe, lettered edition).  Gene Keiller, a self-important and egocentric mid-level State Department diplomat, meets the stunningly beautiful Lorie Semple at a dinner party and is determined to see her again despite the woman’s protestations.  After much persistence, Gene finally gets his wish and starts dating Lorie, only to discover that she and her mother are the last of the Ubasti, an ancient race that was half-woman/half-lion.  Although Lorie claims to love him, Gene begins to worry that he is being set up by the Semple women to be a blood sacrifice to keep the Ubasti bloodline alive.

The Sphinx lacked all of the elements I’ve grown to love in a Graham Masterton story.  There was no mounting tension, no surprising revelations or plot twists, no horrible and gory deaths.  The characters were two dimensional and, for the most part, unlikeable.  I was more than one hundred pages into the book before the story began to pique my interest.  Even the climax was the least exciting of any of his works that I’ve ever read. 

If you have cash to spend and you don’t mind paying the overly-inflated price to have a signed copy of a Graham Masterton book on your shelf, then by all means get a copy before they are all sold out (the cover art by Ben Baldwin is extremely well drawn and attention grabbing).  Other than that, I wouldn’t spend the money; you would be better off trying to find a first edition of The Manitou or The Devils of D-Day on e-bay and purchasing them.

The Sphinx was a major disappointment for a big-time Graham Masterton fan like me.  I give this book one out of five rotting zombie heads.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review of "Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly"

Horror author M.R. Gott reviewed my Christmas short story, "Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly," from Living Dead Press' Christmas Is Dead anthology.  Check out the review here.  You can buy a copy of the anthology at Amazon.  It'd make an awesome Christmas gift.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's two weeks before Christmas, you bring a bag into the house, and you think we're not going to snoop?  Idiot. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review of It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies!

Title:  It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies! A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols
Author:  Michael P. Spradlin

Publisher:  Harper Collins

Date: 2009

Pages: 81


Yes, Christmas is on its way – and all the little boys and ghouls are dreaming of stockings filled with candied eyes and bleeding body parts.  You’d better watch out!  Santa Claws is coming to town – and he knows who’s been naughty, who’s been naughtier… and who will taste best with a nice glass of Chianti!  

It’s Christmas, and what better expresses the spirit of the holiday than hordes of the living dead?  As Christopher Moore notes in the introduction to this book, “there are very few literary pursuits which cannot be improved by the addition of Zombies.”  Michael Spradlin and illustrator Jeff Weigel prove this in It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies! A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols, a humorous little twist to the traditional holiday fare that would scare the sheet off the Ghost of Christmas Future.  From I Saw Mommy Chewing Santa Claus to A Jolly Zombie Christmas, all your favorites are brought back from the dead with plenty of guts and gore, including my favorite, and the signature song of the book (sung to the tune of It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas):

It’s beginning to look a lot like Zombies
Everywhere you go.
They’ve stormed the Grand Hotel, and filled the park as well.
They’re hungry and they sure don’t mind the snow!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Zombies!
Blood splattered on the floor!
But the scariest sight to see is the Zombies that will be
At your own front door.

So grab yourself several copies of this book, gather your best friends (or fiends), and go zombie caroling.  You’ll be spreading some old-fashioned holiday cheer along with a good ole rotter outbreak. 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies! is good Christmas fun and makes an excellent stocking stuffer.  I give this book four out of five rotting zombie heads (each wearing a Santa’s cap).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fantastic Review of The Vampire Hunters: Dominion

Peter Schwotzer of Famous Monsters of Filmland just posted a review of The Vampire Hunters; Dominion, the last book in The Vampire Hunters trilogy.  Peter has been a huge fan of the trilogy, which means a lot since getting the thumbs up from Famous Monsters is an honor for an old Monster Kid like me.  However, the recommendation Peter gave for the book has me walking on air.

If you are vampire fanatic like I am you will absolutely love this vampire trilogy. In fact I like this more then “The Strain” trilogy. So what are you waiting for? Use the links above to order what I feel is one of the best vampire stories I have ever read and I give it my highest recommendation.

Beating out del Toro in the vampire genre?  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  I'm breaking out the whiskey and cigars in celebration.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

If you think you're going anywhere before you give us treats, you have another thing coming.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Review of Down the Road: The Fall of Austin

Title:  Down the Road: The Fall of Austin

Author:  Bowie Ibarra

Publisher:  Permuted Press

Date: 2011

Pages: 246


Officer Mike Runyard of the Austin Police Department and his partner, Derek Tucker, are stuck in the middle of a city overrun by the living dead.  With resources and luck running out, Runyard is flung into a fight for survival among the living, the dead, and a wave of criminals released from jail into the streets of central and south Austin. 

I’ve been a fan of Bowie Ibarra ever since I read his first two zombie novels, Down the Road and Down the Road: On the Last Day.  I like Bowie because his books read at a brisk pace, his characters are well developed and believable, and his zombie carnage is first rate.  One reason his novels stand out is that the zombie outbreak not only signifies the end of civilization as we know it, but also the collapse of the social norms that bind us together.  When I read a Bowie Ibarra novel, I’m fascinated by characters who are not only scanning the path ahead for zombies, but are constantly looking over their shoulder to make certain they’re not about to be stabbed in the back.

With Down the Road: The Fall of Austin, Bowie again drops his readers right into the middle of a nightmare.

The novel centers around five groups of characters, most of whom range from barely likable to “I can’t wait to see that bastard get eaten alive.”  (NOTE:  That is not meant as criticism.  The deeply flawed nature of the characters makes them realistic.)  Mike Runyard who, thanks to his partner Derek Tucker, is wounded and has to fend for himself in a city crumbling around him.  Keri Lawrence, a junior high teacher with a broken heart of gold who is desperately trying to find a way to survive the apocalypse.  Hector Arana, the drug kingpin who escapes from prison during the outbreak and mobilizes a Hispanic gang that attempts to restore a perverse order to the streets of Austin.  And two groups of soldiers assigned to secure Austin from the living dead, one led by Sergeant Arnold whose team deserts rather than allow themselves to fall under a United Nations command exercising power over U.S. troops, and the other led by Sergeant Nickson whose team of miscreants hunt down their AWOL comrades with a sadistic glee.  As the situation rapidly deteriorates, each group winds up on separate paths that eventually cross during the apocalyptic climax.

Bowie delivers the goods in his third book in the series.  Not only is there considerable tension and intrigue as the characters try to survive the outbreak, but there is more than enough zombie action to satiate those of us who like gut-munching action.

Down the Road: The Fall of Austin is a zombie apocalypse at its best.  This book gets four out of five rotting zombie heads.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Photo From the Beyond Comics Book Signing

Many thanks to the staff of Beyond Comics in Gaithersburg, Maryland, for hosting my book signing on 26 November. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

No, I do not look like the Thanksgiving turkey with lop ears.  And yes, I resent the nickname Butterball.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

REMINDER: Book Signing at Beyond Comics in Gaithersburg, Maryland, 26 November

Just a reminder that I'll be signing all three books in The Vampire Hunters trilogy on Saturday, 26 November, from 12 PM to 3 PM at Beyond Comics on 536 North Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland.  If you live in the area, please drop by.  I hope to see you there.

Thanksgiving Edition of the Sunday Bunnies

I give thanks to Cocoa, treats, my daddy, treats, my health, treats, a warm place to live, treats.  Did I mention treats yet?

Happy Thanksgiving.  Here's hoping your turkey doesn't come alive and eat you instead.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

Thanksgiving is this week.  We don't care about turkey, stuffing, and gravy.  But you better save us some carrot cake.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Check Out My Interview on Cutis Anserina

On 18 November, horror author M.R. Gott, who wrote Where the Dead Fear to Tread, posted an interview with me on vampires, zombies, and the genre in general.  Please check it out.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review of High School of the Dead (the movie)

Title: High School of the Dead

Date: 2011


It began without warning.  It continues without mercy.  Now a band of high schoolers join forces with guns, swords, baseball bats, and anything else they can get their hands on to battle a bloodthirsty, flesh-hungry zombie apocalypse.  Slashing action, stunning animation, and jaw-dropping excitement make HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD the most hotly anticipated event of the year.  

We’ve all been there.  You stumble across a movie you have never heard of before, take a chance on it, and then wonder where that little gem has been hiding all your life.  This was the case for me with High School of the Dead, an anime series from Japan.  I was introduced to this movie by a dear friend who was trying to expose me to the world of anime and knew it would appeal to my love for zombies.

High School of the Dead is based on the manga comic strip by Daisuke Sato titled Academy Apocalypse (Gakuen Mokushiroku).  The movie centers on five students and a school nurse who are among the sole survivors when a zombie apocalypse known as the Outbreak ravages their campus.  They make up an unlikely band of heroes.  Takashi Komuro, a seventeen-year-old second-year student and the head of the group; Kohta Hirano, the class geek whose esoteric knowledge of firearms comes in handy when the group find a stash of weapons to defend themselves from the living dead; and Takashi’s “harem” (in anime, that refers to a coterie of women who all have the hots for the main character): Rei Miyamato, who has loved Takashi from childhood, even after he bashed in the head of Rei’s current boyfriend after he was infected; Saya Takagi, the sexy brains of the group; Saeko Bushujima, the quiet and intense third-year student and an expert with the bokken (wooden sword); and Shizuka Karikawa, the busty school nurse whose only talent (besides jiggling through twelve episodes) is her ability to drive.

As the survivors soon find out, fighting their way through classrooms swarming with zombies and watching their friends become school lunches for the living dead is not the worst of their problems.  The group’s best chance of survival is to make their way across a zombie-ravaged Tokyo to the compound of the Takagi clan (led by Saya’s father), an ultra-nationalist district leader who runs his protected enclave like a prison camp.  The only thing between them and sanctuary is a city overrun by the living dead, an ineffective and hapless government bureaucracy unable to cope with the crisis, a populace rapidly devolving into savagery, and a megalomaniacal teacher from their school who wants Takashi’s team to join his personality cult of terrified, brain-washed students.  

High School of the Dead is an action-packed zombiefest that provides more than its far share of gut munching, gunplay, and gore.  The plot flows in a logical progression, as does the character development.  A group that would never interact with each other under normal circumstances, the apocalypse forces them to work together if they want to survive, to put aside their petty jealousies and emotions, and, in the case of the students, to mature.  However, in moments of relative safety, they are still teenagers.  For anime fans, the movie provides plenty of fan service (“fan service” refers to female characters dressed in skimpy outfits, up-skirt shots, and bouncing boobs – and I’m not complaining about that one bit).

One word of warning:  The movie does have a slightly ambiguous ending, and although it can stand alone, the viewer does get the impression that there may be more.  This is because the graphic novel on which the movie is based is still in publication in Japan.  The graphic novel is still popular so, with luck, hopefully we will see a High School of the Dead II.  

This is a must-see movie for all zombiephiles.  I give High School of the Dead five out of five rotting zombie heads.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Signing at Beyond Comics in Gaithersburg, Maryland, 26 November

I'll be signing all three books in The Vampire Hunters trilogy on Saturday, 26 November, from 12 PM to 3 PM at Beyond Comics on 536 North Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland.  If you live in the area, please drop by.  I hope to see you there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday Bunnies (One Day Late)

So, what possible excuse do you have for forgetting to post a picture of me yesterday? 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New Horror Blog From Emma Audsley

Emma Audsley has just launched a new genre blog titled The Horrorifically, Horrifying Horror Blog.  She has posted interviews with Graham Masterton, David Moody, and many others.  Plus she was kind enough to include my musings on what horror means to me.  Please check it and be a frequent visitor.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Photos from Book Signing at Harrison's Comics

Below are some of the pictures taken during my book signing of The vampire Hunters trilogy at Harrison's Comics and Collectibles on Sunday. 

Yours truly set up at Harrison's. 

Signing books.

Me with my biggest fan -- my niece, Kiera.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

If he calls me "Puff" one more time I'm going to pee on his pillow while he's asleep.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

REMINDER: Book Signing at Harrison's Comics in Salem 30 October

Despite the snow (for those of you who don't live in the Boston area, we're in the middle of a storm that has already dumped two inches on the city and is promising up to five inches by morning), I still plan on signing all three books in The Vampire Hunters trilogy on Sunday, 30 October, from 2 PM to 6 PM at Harrison's Comics on 252 Essex Street in Salem, Massachusetts.  Hopefully by tomorrow afternoon most if this will have cleared up.  If I'm not set out on the sidewalk like originally planned, I will be somewhere inside Harrison's.  I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Status Update

I finished the first revision of Yeitso (formerly The Walking Monster) yesterday.  Now I need to research some missing sections and input the feedback from my readers, then I'll start the final revision.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

First I'll establish dominion over the rabbits, and then I'll subjugate the humans. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Posting on Zombo's Closet

On 19 October, Zombo's Closet posted the last in my blog series on how to write your first novel titled "Why Write for a Living?"  Please drop by Zombo's Closet and check it out.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Signing at Harrison's Comics in Salem 30 October

I'll be signing all three books in The Vampire Hunters trilogy on Sunday, 30 October, from 2 PM to 6 PM at Harrison's Comics on 252 Essex Street in Salem, Massachusetts.  If you live in the area, please drop by.  Salem will be abuzz that weekend with dozens of events from the city's Haunted Happenings to celebrate Halloween.  I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review of The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon

On 15 October, Hayes Hudson's House of Horror posted a review of the second book in my trilogy, The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon.  Hayes commented on the "uniqueness" of the battle sequences and noted that the book "created a believable and likable world, in which darkness borders on overtaking all that is good."

One thing Hayes does point out is the number of grammatical errors that appear in the book, something that I am embarrassed about, especially since I had reviewed the proofs and thought I had caught them all.  I apologize to my readers for the unintended sloppiness, and promise to do a better job of editing in the future.

Monday, October 17, 2011

In Lieu of the Sunday Bunnies

I usually don't talk much about my personal life in my blog, but this time I think it's acceptable because of the relationship to my writing. 

The past six months have been one of the most stressful periods in my life.  I lost my pet of nine years, Woodstock (Woody), to cancer.  My mother almost passed away after she suffered a ruptured bowel; thankfully, she rallied and is fine now.  In June I changed jobs.  And this past week, my wife and I formally separated after twenty years of marriage.  Through it all, a network of family and close friends were very supportive and kept me emotionally grounded. 

What suffered most was my writing.  I barely had time to work on current projects and to blog, let alone start anything new. 

This past week saw the passing of the last and most stressful event.  With the worst behind me, I now plan on refocusing on my writing.  In addition to the revisions to Yeitso (formerly The Walking Monster), I am looking for a market for one short story I've completed from the zombie's point of view, and am researching another story I hope to start soon about the living dead at Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg.  I'm also developing a concept for a young adult novel about portals to Hell opening up on Earth.  I have a book signing set up for the end of October, and hope to add others soon (I'll post more of this later).  And I hope to get back to listing movie and book reviews as I had done previously.  It may take a while to fully get back into the swing of things, so please bear with me. 

Thank you all for your support.  Hopefully the future will have better things in store.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Check Out My Blog Posting on the Horror Writers Association Homepage

Please check out my blog posting on the Horror Writers Association Halloween Haunts page titled "The Zombie Question" on whether zombies are still relevant in contemporary film and fiction. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

The domseticus rabbitus lies in wait in the tall hay, waiting for an unsuspecting plate of greens and mints to wander by so she may pounce.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Congratulations to the Castle Macabre Contest Winner

Congratulations to Lorrie Zielinski of Lockport, Illinois who won the Castle Macabre giveaway.  Lorrie will be receiving autographed copies of all three books in The Vampire Hunters trilogy.  I hope you enjoy them.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Vampire Hunters: Dominion Now Available

The Vampire Hunters: Dominion, the third and final book of The Vampire Hunters trilogy, is available as a trade paperback and for Kindle, both from

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

Oh crap, it's October.  That means daddy will be breaking out the Halloween costumes soon. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Posting on Zombo's Closet

On 27 September, Zombo'S Closet posted the latest in my blog series on how to write your first novel titled "Marketing Your Book and Yourself, Part II".  Please drop by Zombo's Closet and check it out.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

We love devouring the newspapers on Sunday morning.  The Washington Post tastes much better than The New York Times

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Getting Back on Track

Many of my friends and fans have noticed that I'm not on line much anymore, and that I haven't discussed my writing like I usually do.  Over the past four months, I have gone through some significant and life-altering events.  Some of these events were of my own choosing, others I had no control over (like the death of my pet Woody and the near-death of my mother).  After awhile, this perfect storm of stresses took its toll, and I rapidly reached the breaking point.  One of the things that suffered during this time was the writing.

I am happy to note that most of these stresses have been resolved, and slowly but surely I'm getting back in the swing of things.  This week I started the final re-write of The Walking Monster, finished the first draft of a short story from the zombie's point of view titled "I Am Zombie," and had a burst of inspiration for the next novel.  I've been involved with Permuted Press in designing the cover art for Rotter World.  I am also working on a new webpage, which is taking longer than anticipated since I am not the most computer savvy person in the world, and will soon post my reading of Rotter World from the HorrorFind weekend. 

Thank you all for your patience and support.  It's been my family (furry and human) and friends who have helped me through this tough patch.  The best is yet to come. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Congratulations to the Back of the Book Review Contest Winners

Congratulations to Ilka who won the Back of the Book Review's daily giveaway as part of their September Extravaganza event. Ilka won a signed copy of The Vampire Hunters.

Congratulations are also in order for Sheila Gallagher of Pittsburgh who won the Back of the Book Review's Grand Competition.  Sheila will be receiving autographed copies of all three books in The Vampire Hunters trilogy once the final book is published in October.

I hope you ladies enjoy the books.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

First, you're picking me up.  Second, you're making me look fat.  And then you'll wonder later why I chewed the buttons off of your remote control.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cover Art for The Vampire Hunters: Dominion

Pill Hill Press sent me the cover art for The Vampire Hunters: Dominion, the last book in The Vampire Hunter series.  The book will be available from Amazon and on Kindle/Nook on 1 October.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Castle Macabre Giving Away The Vampire Hunters Series

Castle Macabre is running a giveaway of all three books in The Vampire Hunter series.  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment.  The giveaway ends 30 September.  Good luck. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Status Update

I wish I could say that my absence last week from blogging and Facebook was because I had become so inspired after the HorrorFind Convention that I sat in front of the laptop and was diligently cranking out scores of pages.  The truth is, I bought the video game Dead Island and wound up playing that all week.  However, fun time is over, and now it's back to business.

The HorrorFind Convention was awesome.  I had a great time sitting my first authors panel (on why zombies are still relevant today).  Thanks to fellow panelists Tim Lebbon and Jeremy Wagner, and to Christopher Golden for moderating.  I enjoyed meeting old friends and making new ones.  I will post photos and more details of the convention later this week. 

On 7 September, Zombo's Closet posted an interview on why Halloween is important to me.  On the 12th, he posted the latest in my blog series on how to write your first novel titled "Marketing Your Book and Yourself, Part I".  Please drop by Zombo's Closet and check it out.

On 9 September Colleen Wanglund posted on The Horror Fiction Review a review of The Vampire Hunters: Dominion, the final book in The Vampire Hunters trilogy.  Colleen noted: "The entire series is well-written with excellent character development and an easy flowing narrative.  The book reaches a climactic ending that is as unexpected as it is heartbreaking."  Many thanks to Colleen for being such a devoted fan.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memorium of 9/11

On the tenth anniversary of 11 September 2001, please take a moment to remember not only those who lost their lives on that terrible morning, but all those in the past ten years who have given of themselves, many making the ultimate sacrifice, to bring to justice those who committed this horrible crime and to keep our nation secure.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Posting on Zombo's Closet

On 1 September, Zombo's Closet posted my latest in a series of articles on how to write a novel.  This posting is titled Finding a Literary Agent or Publisher, Part III.  Please drop by Zombo's Closet and check it out.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Off to HorrorFind

I'm getting ready to head out to the HorrorFind Convention in Gettysburg.  Hope to see some of you there.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

E-Book Versions of The Vampire Hunter Series Now Available on Kindle, Nook

Some of you have noticed that the links to the e-book versions of The Vampire Hunter series have been removed.  This is because the e-books are no longer being distributed by Shadowfire Press.  However, Pill Hill Press has purchased the electronic rights to the books and has distributed them for downloading via Kindle and Nook.  Below are the links for the e-books.

The Vampire Hunters -- Kindle edition and Nook edition

The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon -- Kindle edition and Nook edition

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reminder: I'll Be a Guest at HorrorFind in Gettysburg 2-4 September

I'll be attending this year's HorrorFind Convention not just as a fan, but as a guest.  If you're at the convention, please drop by and say hello.  Below is my schedule.

Friday, 2 September, 5:30pm – 6:30pm:  Authors Christopher Golden (moderator), Tim Lebbon, Jason Gehlert, Scott Kenemore, Jeremy Wagner, and Scott M. Baker discuss why the dead just won’t stay dead, and why the literary zombie craze is far from over.

Sunday, 4 September, 2:00pm – 3:00pm:  Reading - Jeff Burk and Scott M. Baker (I will be reading from my upcoming novel Rotter World)

Sunday, 4 September, 3:00pm – 4:00pm: Book Signing - Scott M. Baker, Brent Abell, and Ryan Clark

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Posting on Zombo's Closet

On 22 August, Zombo's Closet posted my latest in a series of articles on how to write a novel.  This posting is titled Finding a Publisher or Literary Agent, Part II.  Please drop by Zombo's Closet and check it out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Interview from Read Horror

Please check out my latest interview in Read Horror's Meet the Writer section.

RIP Jimmy Sangster

Hammer Films screenwriter Jimmy Sangster (1927-2011) passed away on 19 August at the age of 83.  Sangster is best known for writing the adaptations for such Hammer classics (and personal favorites of mine) as The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958) as well as a long list of other credits.  Check out the official notice from Hammer Films here.

Sunday Bunnies

Daddy's back, and he brought the camera with him.  Maybe if we ignore him he'll go away.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sunday Bunnies (A Day Early)

Good.  Daddy is going on vacation for a few days. Now we can relax and not have to worry about him taking any candid pictures.

Posting on Zombo's Closet

On 12 August, Zombo's Closet posted my latest in a series of articles on how to write a novel.  This posting is titled Finding a Publisher or Literary Agent, Part I.  Please drop by Zombo's Closet and check it out.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Review of Rise Again

Title: Rise Again

Author: Ben Tripp

Publisher: Gallery Books

Date: 2011

Pages: 371


Forest Peak, California. Fourth of July. Sheriff Danielle Adelman, a troubled war veteran, thinks she has all the problems she can handle in this all-American town after her kid sister runs away from home. But when a disease-stricken horde of panicked refugees fleeing the fall of Los Angeles swarms her small mountain community, Danny realizes her problems have only just begun—starting with what might very well be the end of the world.

Ben Tripp punches you hard in the gut on the first page of Rise Again and keeps you reeling for the next three hundred and seventy pages.

The novel focuses on Danielle Adelman, the local sheriff of a small mountain community where the biggest challenges of her life are dealing with tourists from Los Angeles who descend on the isolated town for the 4th of July celebration and facing the personal demons she brought back with her from Iraq. All that changes when authorities in nearby towns warn her that a swarm of tens of thousands of people from Los Angeles are heading in her direction, each one infected with a virus that makes them run and scream uncontrollably until they drop down dead, and who infect anyone they come in contact with. The mass of crazed civilians pass through Forest Peak, turning the panicked tourists into screaming madmen. When the dust settles, Danny and a handful of survivors are faced with picking up the pieces of their lives and figuring out a way to deal with the thousands of corpses littering the streets of Forest Peak.

The situation goes into full FUBAR mode when Danny intercepts a recorded communiqué from a weather station that broadcasts the same message repeatedly: The infected dead will rise again.

Ben Tripp’s first foray into zombie literature is a stunning success. The character studies of average people trying to survive the end of the world are flawless. The action and tension are relentless. Those that survive the initial outbreak must contend with surviving in a world without rules and law in which there are dangers far greater than the zombies, mainly the privatized army of the Hawkstone Corporation and the unknown entity that even the living dead fear.

Rise Again is zombie apocalypse fiction at its best. Ben Tripp is now on my must-read list.

This book gets five out of five rotting zombie heads.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Good News for Authors

There was in interesting article in today’s The New York Times about the publishing industry (see Julie Bosman’s “Publishing Gives Hints of Revival, Data Shows”) which offers encouraging news to authors. According to a survey that was released 9 August by BookStats, the publishing industry generated net revenue of $27.9 billion in 2010, an increase of 5.6 percent over 2008. One of the strongest growths was in the adult fiction market, which witnessed an 8.8 revenue increase in the last three years.

E-books jumped from 0.6 percent of the total trade market in 2008 to 6.4 percent in 2010, with the strongest sales in genre titles (romance, mystery, and thrillers). In 2010, 114 million e-books were sold. Hardcover books and trade paperbacks saw slight drops in the market shares.

The article also noted that many publishers are experimenting with various multi-media products that go beyond the traditional book.

What this means for us authors is that the market is still vibrant and very much alive (unlike the creatures I write about). So, as my friend Clint says: "Write or die!"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Bunnies

Let's get a few things straight. One, I'm a rabbit, so I don't smile.  Two, even if I could, I'm not going to smile for "cheese."  Carrots, maybe. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Postings on Zombo's Closet

Zombo's Closet has posted the third and fourth installments in my series of articles on how to write a novel: What To Write About, which was posted on 25 July, and The Mechanics of Writing, and which was   posted on 5 August.  Please drop by Zombo's Closet and check them out

Friday, August 5, 2011

Review of Movie Madness

Title: Midnight Movie

Authors: Tobe Hooper and Alan Goldsher

Publisher: Three River Press

Date: 2011

Pages: 310


The Good News: Director Tobe Hooper has been invited to speak at a screening of Destiny Express, a movie he wrote and directed as a teenager, but that hasn’t seen the light of day in decades. And Hooper’s fans are ecstatic.

The Bad News: Destiny Express proofs to be a killer… literally. As the death toll mounts, Tobe embarks on a desperate journey to understand the film’s thirty-year-old origins—and put an end to the strange epidemic his creation has set in motion.

This is one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a long time, and that is meant as a compliment.

The plot is simple. Tobe Hooper’s first film, Destiny Express, a horribly amateurish production made when he was a teenager and which has been lost for thirty years, is mysteriously discovered. When it’s played at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, the fans go wild – literally. Everyone who watched the movie becomes infected.  Some people turn dangerously violent.  Others become obsessed with sex, satisfying their insatiable appetite with anyone they can find while spreading an STD that causes the infected to ooze blue.  The unlucky ones devolve into self-mutilating zombies. As the outbreak spreads across the country, Erick Laughlin, a film critic who attended the showing but did not watch the entire movie, figures out the connection between the epidemic and the film and attempts to enlist Tobe in an effort to set things right. Unfortunately, mankind's future may lie in the director's past.

[A note to the readers: One of the reasons I picked up this book is because several reviewers compared the sex scenes to those of Ed Lee, which appealed to my dark side. That is not the case. No one writes sex scenes as perverse as Ed. However, that should not detract from the overall appeal of Midnight Movie.]

The story is told in first person narratives, journal entries, newspaper articles, e-mails, blogs, and Tweets. While the premise of the book is off the wall and completely irreverent, Tobe and Alan make it work. The characters range from the likeable (Erick and his girlfriend Janine Daltrey), to the sympathetic (Janine's sister, Andrea, who transitions from virgin to sex addict after watching the movie), to the utterly obnoxious (Dude McGee). Tobe’s narrative rants about himself, directing, and the movie industry in general are worth the price of the book alone. Don’t worry if the plot seems to ramble along in a disjointed orgy of violence and sex for the first two hundred and fifty pages; it’s meant to be that way. For those who want a nice, tight ending, there's no need to worry.  The authors wrap up the story nicely in the last thirty pages and resolve all the unanswered questions.

Midnight Movie is a fun novel and a must-read for any Tobe Hooper fan.  I give it four and a half out of five blue-oozing rotting zombie heads.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reviews of The Vampire Hunter Series

Last week, Sonar4 Landing Dock Reviews posted reviews of the first two books in The Vampire Hunters series.  The review described the series as "a story that could have been cute vampire pulp and turned it into an action packed thriller with character driven details that draws the reader in" and "strongly recommend[ed] the series for anyone who enjoys good stories that are action packed" or who enjoy "dark vampires."  Please check out the reviews of The Vampire Hunters and The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon as well as all the other reviews.