#31ZombieAuthors – Day 9 Interview – Devan Sagliani – Bringing Zombies to the Big Screen And Your E-Reader

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By: Special Guest Interviewer Video Game Rack Fighter 

Zombie movie buffs rejoice because today’s guest is none other than Devan Sagliani, author of the original screenplay for the movie HVZ: Humans Versus Zombies, a satirical thriller flick based on the live action role playing game of the same name. As if that weren’t enough, he also penned the Zombie Attack! series, The Undead L.A. series, The Rising Dead, A Thirst for Fire, and most recently Saint Death. Don’t forget to check out Escapist Magazine for his bimonthly horror column, Dark Dreams.


Thanks for taking my call, Devan. Bookshelf Q. Battler would have called but he’s too busy arguing with his ex-girlfriend, which leads me to my first question:

Q.   Is it possible for a group of zombie apocalypse survivors to make it when they’re at each others’ throats? I think we’ll work it out so don’t worry about us, but generally speaking, if you had to give a pep talk to a bunch of survivors to convince them to drop their petty differences and focus on staying alive, what would you say?

A.   I’m more of a loner than a leader these days, but if it the role were forced on me I’d probably remind them that no one makes it in this world on their own, that we all work better as a team, and that if we stick together we can not only survive this nightmare but also create a better future for all of us in the process.

Q.  You wrote a screenplay for a zombie movie. What was that experience like? Can you describe it for BQB’s 3.5 readers?

A.   The movie was based off of the live action role playing game Humans Vs. Zombies, or HVZ. I’d had an idea for a zombie movie in mind when I got the call from a director I’d worked with before and the timing was just right. There is a downside to working in Hollywood, which is ultimately the lack of creative control you get as a writer. That’s why I decided to make the jump to writing novels, so I could make all the decisions and know they wouldn’t get changed at the last minute without my knowledge or consent. After all, when your name is on something you want to be able to be proud of how it turned out and not feel like anything was compromised.

Q.   In Undead L.A., one might argue that the City of Los Angeles is almost a character itself. From a pilot hijacking a plane from LAX in order to flee the insanity to a detective on the trail of a case that begins in West Hollywood, you provide a great deal of detail about the city. How were you able to make L.A. leap off the page?

A.   I think the best answer is simply that I love this city with all of my heart. I was born and raised here in Los Angeles and at this point I don’t want to live anywhere else. Los Angeles will always be my home. I feel like sometimes the city gets a bad rap from all the people who come here looking to create a better life for themselves in the entertainment industry or make it in Hollywood. I wanted to show off just how amazing and diverse this sprawling metropolis really is. I think too that people who have visited L.A. or lived here for a while before returning to where they are from can enjoy reading about the characters moving through the same streets they remember, seeing all the landmarks, and eating at places they ate at while they were here. I know I always enjoy that when I read Michael Connelly’s books.

Q.   In Book Two of the Zombie Attack! series, your protagonist, Xander, is put in charge of a survivor colony. With the help of his wife, Felicity Jane, the couple deals with reconstruction efforts, constant zombie attacks, and a bloodthirsty group of cannibals. That last part brings a question to my mind – who’s more dangerous in a zombie apocalypse? Zombies, or the humans who take advantage of the chaos that zombies create?

A.   In the Zombie Attack series the zombies themselves mostly just move the action along as Xander does his best to deal with a host of perilous issues that now exist in the post Z-Day world. Zombies are absolutely dangerous, no question about it, but many humans are far worse than the biters because of the deliberate evil they act on in the absence of established law and order. I feel confident that this is how things would devolve in the event of any major crisis or apocalypse. One group of people would work to uphold the common good while the rest would fight over what they could get and set up their own territories like warlords. Let’s just hope we never have to find out!

Q.   At least 2 of BQB’s 3.5 readers are wannabe writers. What advice do you have for someone getting started in the writing game?

A.   First I’d recommend that they read ON WRITING by Stephen King. That book changed my life and got me writing novels. Then I’d suggest that they give themselves time to grow and don’t be impatient to get stuff out there before it is ready. Take your time to learn your craft and develop your own voice. Last but not least I would tell them not to sign any publishing deals until they know exactly what they are getting themselves into. These days there are a lot of small press publishers who will promise the sun, the moon, and the stars to get new talent but can’t offer much more than the writer could do on their own with a Facebook and Twitter account.

Q.   Thanks for your help, Devan. Before I hang up, do you have any last words of wisdom to help my friends and I survive the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?

A.   Make sure you can lock down one area for you and your loved ones, that it is secure from the living and the dead, and then stock it up with as much clean water as you can get your hands on. That’s going to be a huge issue during the zombie apocalypse. Then go for the canned goods next and nonperishables. Then it’s all about medicine, fuel, and weapons after that. Aim for the head and don’t stop until they are dead! Good luck!

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 9 (Part 2)

There’s something about being chased by ravenous creatures of the damned that puts your body into overdrive. Adrenaline takes control and gives you that extra oomph you need, at least it did for me.

Zombie after zombie crashed into Alien Jones’ protective bubble, getting instantly vaporized.

East Randomtown was a small community where everyone knew each other, and I recognized many of the zombies that the Esteemed Brainy One was plowing through.

There was Edna, the lady who ran the beauty parlor and Sid the the old man who wandered around collecting tin cans to take back to the recycling center. I’d recognize his ‘stache anywhere, even on a zombie lip.

There was another zombie wearing track shorts and a whistle around his neck. That had to have been my old high school gym teacher, Mr. Culpepper. Sure, that guy was a dick, but I never wanted him to become zombified and then vaporized by an alien force field either.

Alien Jones was running as fast as his little green legs could carry him when suddenly, he slipped on an errant banana peel, careened face first into the floor, and dropped the force field.

We were screwed.

VGRF, Bernie and I huddled together, taking as many shots as we could as the beasts circled around us. It was pitch black but we could see the monsters’ yellow eyes drawing near and smell the fetid stench of their breath.

Seriously. Those undead dudes needed a mint.

“This is it,” VGRF said.

“Not yet, baby,” I said.

I turned around, hoisted the dummy, aka, the decoy human over my head and threw it as far as I could.

“Go get it, zombies!”

Have you ever thrown a milk bone across the room only to watch your dog trip over itself to get it? It was just like that. The zombies abandoned us completely.

Stupid zombies.

            Stupid zombies.

I found Alien Jones and helped him up.  Out came the force field bubble and we were back in action, running until we reached the end of the mall.

“This is it!” Alien Jones shouted.

I looked up and shined my flashlight.

The sign read “Hipster Hut.”

Hipster Hut was a small boutique store catering in the latest “I work extra hard to look look like I don’t care what you think about me when secretly I really do” fashions.

Their motto?  “Is there a store that’s better at bringing you the latest hip fashions than Hipster Hut?  Sure, but we doubt you’ve heard of it.”

Welcome to Hipster Hut.  Are you sure you belong here?  We're pretty exclusive.

Welcome to Hipster Hut. Are you sure you belong here? We’re pretty exclusive.

The store was empty, sans one zombie who kept walking into the corner, bumping his head on the wall over and over again.

Bernie raised his 9MM to take him out but VGRF put her hand on his.

“No,”  I said.  “He’s not a bad zombie.   He’s just stupid.”

“Gotcha,”  Bernie replied.

Alien Jones took the space phone from me, hit a button, and the store’s security gate closed.  A torrent of zombies crashed against it.

I knocked on the door to the back office.

An angry female voice yelled, “Go away!”

“Blandie? It’s me! Bookshelf Q. Battler!”

“Oh. It’s about time!”

Blandie - known for ripping BQB a new one early and often.

Blandie – known for ripping BQB a new one early and often.

The lock clicked, the door opened and out popped my ex-girlfriend, the voluptuously hot yet soul crushingly mean Bland Life “Blandie” Settler.

Yeah, I know like it seems as though I’m trying to make a point with that name, but I didn’t give it to her. You can check her license.

“Why did you bring nerds?”  Blandie asked, pointing to my posse.

“They’re my friends,” I said. “You remember Bernie.”


“And this is my girlfriend, Video Game Rack Fighter.”

“Blech,” Blandie said. “A snow hat? You might as well just wear a sign that says, ‘I’m a lesbian.’”

“You were right,” VGRF said to me. “We should have left her here.”

Alien Jones stretched out his hand.

“Ms. Settler, I’m Alien Jones, Emissary of the Mighty Potentate, it is nice to meet…”

Blandie screeched like a howler monkey, kicked AJ in the face and punted him across the room.

“What are you doing?!”  I shouted.

I ran over to check on AJ. He was out cold. I scooped his listless little body up in my arms.

The Esteemed Ouchie One

The Esteemed Ouchie One

“What the f$%k is that thing?!” Blandie asked. “Is it a mutant zombie?”

“He’s an intergalactic adventurer and thus far, he’s been the brains of our operation, saving our asses at every turn, and you just put him into a damn coma!!!”

“Well I didn’t know,” Blandie said. “You think you’d give me a warning. ‘Hey. I have an alien with me.’ Is that too much to ask?”

“You’re right,” I said. “You’re ALWAYS right aren’t you? Everything I do is totally wrong and EVERYTHING you do is perfect isn’t it?”

“Oh here we go with your crybaby routine,” Blandie said. ‘Waah waah waah, I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler and I have a tiny…’”

“Awk-ward,” Bernie said.

I walked into the backroom and laid Alien Jones across Blandie’s desk. The group followed. Blandie shut the door and locked it behind us.

“So what’s the plan now?” Bland asked.

“I don’t know. You just auditioned for the Rockettes on my planner’s face.”

“Are you still on that? Typical BQB, always living in the past.”

“Typical Blandie. Never able to apologize for anything.”

I overheard VGRF whisper to Bernie.

“Wow. Did they always fight like this?”

“Y’all don’t even know the half of it, boo.”

Video Game Rack Fighter grabbed the space phone.

“I better call someone.”

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 9

At the entrance to Price Town, Alien Jones assembled a massive pile of laptops (ten percent off because Price Town has the best prices in town!), tablets, and game consoles, all hooked together with cables. Somehow, he connected that mess to one giant battery he formed by connecting thousands of smaller batteries together, and then attached everything to a dehumidifier which was, in turn, rigged up to a leaf blower.

“Switching from suck to blow now,” Alien Jones said, inadvertently paying homage to Spaceballs.  “Does everyone have their Sarah Lyons Fleming approved bug-out bags?”

“Affirmative,” VGRF replied. “And remember, if you see a zombie like Jaime Johnesee’s ‘Bob,’ don’t shoot him.”

“That’s quite a contraption, AJ,”  I said.  “But what did you need the troll doll for?”

Alien Jones held up the tiny little plastic guy I’d found for him.  It had a tuft of blue hair popping out of its head.

“I just think they’re adorable,”  the Esteemed Brainy One said.

“OK then,”  I said.

“Is everyone ready?” Alien Jones asked.

“One more thing,” I said.

I walked to the clothing section, grabbed a mannequin, tucked it under my arm, and rejoined the crew.

I never go anywhere in a zombie apocalypse without a decoy human.

I never go anywhere in a zombie apocalypse without a decoy human.

“Why are you bringing a dummy?”

“Insert joke about Bernie here,” I said.

Bernie was too busy admiring his duel 9mm automatics. (Conveniently located next to the toy aisle, come on down to Price Town!)

“This isn’t just a dummy,” I said. “It is a…decoy human.”


“My sweet Video Game Rack Fighter,” I said. “Earlier this year, my life was saved thanks to the wisdom of one of the wisest sages in the self-publishing game.”

“Not the decoy wallet story again,” VGRF said.

“The decoy wallet story indeed!”

I put the dummy down, then pulled one leather bound wallet out of my jacket pocket and a second velcro wallet out of my pants pocket.

“This wallet,” I said as I held up the wallet in my left hand, “Holds my driver’s license, credit cards, and money. To be relieved of it from the likes of a common street hoodlum would be an arduous ordeal for certain.”

“All you have to do is call up the credit card company and have them cancel your old card,” VGRF said.

“This wallet,” I continued, ignoring my girlfriend’s protestations while holding up the wallet in my right hand, “is a distraction. NAY! An illusion. A decoy!”

“I’m sorry I asked,”  VGRF said.

“It contains one expired credit card, exactly three dollars, no more, no less, and a punch eleven and get your twelfth sub free at Sub Shack coupon.”

“How many punches?” VGRF asked.

“Ten. Come to think of it, I’ll be damned if some degenerate mugger is going to walk away with my free sub.”

I switched the sub punch card to the real wallet.

“A few months ago, as I was strolling down the street, a villainous desperado jumped out of an alleyway and demanded I turn over my wallet. Turn it over I did, yet little did he know I turned over a decoy. I walked away safe and sound and did not have to spend an hour on the phone waiting for an operator  to replace my cards.”

“So if your decoy wallet was stolen, then what is that?” VGRF asked. “A decoy, decoy wallet?”

“No,” I replied.  “A REPLACEMENT decoy wallet.”

“What if the mugger gets mad that you only have three dollars and blows your head off?” VGRF asked.

I pondered that question for a moment.  Failing to think of an answer, I chose to ignore it.

“Moving on,” I said as I picked up the mannequin. “This is a decoy human. If the zombies corner us, I can fling it in the opposite direction. They’ll go after it and by the time they wise up we’ll be long gone.”

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” VGRF said.

“No,” I said. “The decoy wallet is a brilliant invention brought to us from Dave, the wisest of all the self-publishing sages.  Dave is truly a gift from the creator, sent here to Earth to share his wisdom and advice on decoy wallets, book covers, and the lousy service at Olive Garden.”

“Oh right,” VGRF said. “Johnny, Sean and Dave of the Self-Publishing Podcast. You love those guys. Why don’t you call Dave? He co-authored a zombie book series.

“What?” I asked. “VGRF, please. As if a renowned celebrity/decoy wallet enthusiast of such a high stature would ever, EVER take a call from a peon like me. I love you baby but come on. Get your head out of your ass.”

“Whatever,” VGRF said. “Just a thought. Let’s roll, Alien Jones.”

This post dedicated to Self-Publishing Podcasters and All Around Awesome Dudes Johnny, Sean, and Dave, noted zombie writer and decoy wallet enthusiast.

This post dedicated to Self-Publishing Podcasters and All Around Awesome Dudes Johnny, Sean, and Dave, noted zombie writer and decoy wallet enthusiast.

The little guy yanked the cord on the leaf blower and started his device up.

“Remember,” he said. “This is a primitive recreation of a vaporization cannon, so it will only be capable of firing one shot. After that, we’re on our own.”

“Got it,” I said.

“Open the gate on 1,” my intergalactic colleague commanded.

AJ had set his space phone up so all I had to do was hit a button to make the security gate open. The Esteemed Brainy One was able to hack just about any electronic device with that thing.


I hit the button. Slowly, the gate rose. The zombies, who’d been standing there for over a week, just biding their time, yearning for a chance to tear into our flesh, stampeded toward us like a herd of wild buffalo.

Alien Jones pulled the trigger and a bolt of blue light reduced over a hundred zombies into nothingness. Their particles simply floated away.

We walked into the mall’s main thoroughfare. It was dark and we weren’t able to see anything. I shined my flashlight and was able to see a group of zombies gathered around a waterfall in the center. They were too busy bumping into each other to notice us, but that would surely change.

The waterfall had stopped flowing days earlier and had become just a mere tepid pool of water.

“Turn out the light,” Alien Jones said. “It attracts them.”

I did as instructed.

“Take my hands, humans,” Alien Jones said. “I can see in the dark.”

VGRF and I each grabbed an alien hand. Bernie, the odd man out, grabbed hold of my backpack strap.

The Esteemed Brainy One led the way. I could hear the zombie gurgles and groans grow louder.

“Are we there yet?” Bernie asked.

“No,” AJ answered

“How ’bout now?”

“Silence human.”

I could hear footsteps moving towards us.

“Humans?” Alien Jones asked.


AJ let go out our hands, outstretched his, and made another force field bubble, misting all oncoming undead.


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#31ZombieAuthors – Day 8 Interview – Joseph “Zombie” Zuko – Getting Apocalypse Fit


Joseph “Zombie” Zuko poses with a replica based on a weapon from his novel, “The Infected.”


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Today’s guest is a bonafide zombie expert, so much so that “Zombie” is his middle name. Joseph “Zombie” Zuko is the author of The Infected Series, as well as the owner of Zombie Camp 17, a zombie themed T-shirt comedy.

To round it all off, he brings his wit and wisdom to the masses with his podcast, Shotgun and Scotch. In his spare time, he studies Krav Maga and works on his fitness to remain in peak zombie fighting condition so as to be prepared to take on the undead hordes at a moment’s notice.

Joe, thanks for taking my call.

Q.   I hate to admit it, but I’m out of shape. I’m trapped in a zombie infested mall and just had to drag my friend across a store. Now I’m out of breath and I’m wishing I’d hit the gym more. I noticed on your blog, you talk about Krava Maga and getting “Apocalypse Fit.” It’s too late for me, but do you have any words that could inspire my 3.5 readers to get off their butts, head to the gym, and prepare themselves should a zombie outbreak occur?

Zombie Apocalypse Training

Zombie Apocalypse Training

A.   “Zombieland” said it best. Cardio! Cardio! Cardio! If you can bench 350 pounds that’s cool, but how long can you run for? Can you run a mile in under ten minutes? Can you run with a backpack on and for how long before you have to sit down, rest and get eaten by a quick moving dead head? Can you do one pull up? If you’re hanging from a ledge over a zombie horde can you pull yourself up to safety?

If the answer is “no” to any of these questions then that’s got to be your motivator. Do you want to live or die? I enjoy feeling strong and healthy. I love knowing I can do twenty pull ups at a time, run a mile in under seven minutes and kick the shit out of most zombies you would come across on the street.

Start simple. Run a mile. Then do it a little faster the next time. Do as many pull ups as you can. If it’s only one then do one and then shoot for more. I also recommend signing up for mud runs, like the Spartan race. That will let you know just how fit you are and what you need to work on. I’ve done two and plan to do one next year and the goal is to get faster and faster. I like to train with a weighted vest on. It adds forty pounds to my body and shows you how long you could run with a backpack on.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  I made my own personal forty pound weighted vest out of Doritos and cheesecake!

Q.   How did you end up with “Zombie” as a middle name? I feel like there’s a story there. Did your parents really want you to become a zombie fighter?

A.   My folks rolled their eyes when I said that I was going to put that on my books. People love to ask me about zombies all the time. In my group of friends, family and coworkers I am the zombie aficionado. I haven’t seen or read everything out there, but I know more than most and have loved them my whole adult life.

The true story about the name “Zombie” is a little silly. I was driving to work thinking about my first book and worried people wouldn’t know that it was a zombie book without the word zombie on the cover and then it hit me. Give yourself a made up nick name. “Throw the name zombie on there,” I told myself.

What a creepy, weirdo, silly thing to do, right? I had looked over a ton of other author’s book covers and no one had done anything like that as far as I could tell. So I thought it might stick out when a zombie reader is scanning the cover art of what’s out there on the market. I could also be alienating a ton of people with my crazy, made up nickname, but what are you going to do? Screw them if they can’t take a joke.
Q.   The Infected series begins with Jim Blackmore, an average, regular guy, who finds himself at ground zero of a zombie apocalypse and has to fight his way home to his family. Jim isn’t some totally buff bodybuilder or a superhero with special powers or anything. For readers, he’s pretty relatable isn’t he?

A.   When I got started I read a handful of other authors’ works and noticed that there was a trend to focus the story around an ex-military bad ass with tons of guns and fighting experience. Well, I don’t know a ton about guns and I was never in the military so I didn’t want to talk out of my ass when I wrote Jim’s First Day.

I decided to keep it simple and did another weirdo thing and made Jim based on myself. His whole family, job and life experiences are all based on mine. I’d like to think that I’m a relatable husband and father. People have really seemed to respond to that aspect of the books. I really tried to write it from my heart. I love zombies because they scare me so badly and I wanted to share this fear of mine with as many people as I possibly can.

Q.   In Book Two, the story continues from the perspective of Jim’s wife, Karen, who’s at home and has to protect her children from becoming zombie chow. That’s a unique idea, to tell a story from two different perspectives. What motivated you to do that?

A.   Karen’s character is based on my wonderful loving wife and she told me that I better give Karen as good of a book as I did for Jim. At first it was only going to be a few chapters about Karen and the children having to deal with the start of a zombie apocalypse. Then the story would kick back up again with Jim and his crew. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea of watching this nightmare unfold through her eyes. She doesn’t have fighting skills or military training and she has to take care of two small children. That’s a terrifying idea and I tried to imagine what would my wife do. It was a very fun book to write and so far the feedback has been amazing. I actually think that the second book is a better story with better characters than the first one. I had worked out what my style was and just let it rip.

Q.   Surely you realize Mrs. Zombie Zuko is a saint.   I’m doing a mental inventory of all my ex-girlfriends (it’s not that long a list) and I’m pretty sure all of them would have commanded me to “drop the zombie crap” by now.

A.  She is a saint and an angel. I met Mrs. Zombie Zuko when I was eighteen. She has been there from the very beginning. We fell in love and bonded over the movie Scream. We were just out of high school when Scream came out on video and we were both obsessed with it. So our relationship started out with us loving horror. We love zombie movies, TV shows and video games and are both looking forward this season of The Walking Dead.

Writing the books was really her idea. We found out about self publishing on Amazon and she told me she thought I could do it, even though I had never written anything with the kind of length a novel would require. She believed in me and cheered me on like I was her local sports team.

I still bounce all of my ideas off of her before I get them down in the computer. She is my zombie muse and it would have been impossible to finish the first book without her pushing me to get it done.

I am very lucky and blessed man to have her in my life. There would be no Joseph “Zombie” Zuko without Katie Zuko.

Q. You go above and beyond when it comes to entertaining your fans. Your site has a photo of you posing with a nasty looking zombie killing weapon and you’ve put out fun videos promoting your books. Do your readers get a kick out of it?

ZUKO’S DAUGHTER:  I see a zombie!

                         ZUKO:  No, that’s just a picture of dad in the morning.

A.   I think they get that I’m only trying to entertain them and I’m not taking myself too seriously. I enjoy making the videos and want to get across what kind of guy I am. We are here to have fun, right? I would love to make more videos and get to interact with the fans more, but I’m neck deep in the third installment of The Infected: Nightfall. It comes out on Amazon October, 11th 2015. Same night as The Walking Dead premiere of season six.

That saw I’m holding was built for me by my cousin and it is a brutal as it looks. It’s on the cover art for Book 3.

Q.   In your first book, you provide a note that your zombie obsession began as a teenager when you first played Resident Evil 2. Admittedly, I lost a lot of my youth to that franchise as well. What is it about that game that inspired a generation of zombie enthusiasts?

A.  I had never seen anything like it before. It blew my freaking mind. It was like playing with an interactive movie. The sound design. The graphics. The great zombie scares. Every aspect of it had me hooked. I had never played a game that told that level of story before. You’re a cop that just got to town and you’re trying to figure out what the hell is going on and oh yeah try and survive the night from hell. It was amazing and thrilling. I was the perfect age for it and the movies that followed. I have since become addicted to Left for Dead One and Two and most recently the State of Decay game on Xbox. Plus Sony’s Last of Us was not a typical zombie story but has the same level of WOW that Resident Evil 2 had.

Q.  You’re trained in Krav Maga. If one of these zombie jerkfaces makes a move on me, what’s the best move you recommend to take him down?

A.   Krav Maga teaches you how to escape a human’s grip, so it focuses a lot on groin strikes and hits to the nose. These moves will have no effect on the dead jerkface so if you are unarmed and zack is coming right for you…kick at its knee. Cripple its zombie ass. One well placed knee strike could send the creep to its belly and then you stomp its brains in or better yet RUN! I always recommend for you to run first and fight second. You don’t want to end up in a zombie’s digestive track.

Q. Joe, thanks for being my Day 8 Zombie Apocalypse advisor. Before I go, do you have any last minute advice that could help my friends and I survive the East Randomtown Zombie Outbreak?

A. That’s a great question. Read as many zombie books as you possible can. Especially mine. That’s rule number one. They are excellent field guides in how shit can go wrong fast. Each one will give you advice on how to survive and show you the pitfalls that can happen in a zombie outbreak.

Keep your head and keep moving. You stay in a building for too long and you might find yourself surrounded by blood thirsty, meat hungry biters. Learn a martial art. Something that focuses on escaping holds. Run Spartan style races to see how well you can get over an eight-foot wall. Carry knives on you at all time. I always have my Swiss Army knife in one pocket and Gerber lock-blade in the other. You might need to make something, fix something or kill something at a moment’s notice. You don’t want to be armed with a butter knife.

I also recommend keeping a handful of weapons and tools in the trunk of your car. A crowbar, axe, hammer, a few machetes and if you can swing it, a crossbow with a grip of spare bolts to fire. It would cost less then two hundred dollars and increase your chances of survival a hundred fold.

Thank you for the call, Bookshelf Q. Battler. This was awesome and I appreciate being selected for this month of horror. Fall is my favorite time of the year. It gets cold and creepy out and Halloween is the absolute best holiday in my opinion.

Would you agree that it’s an amazing time in the history of zombie entertainment? Books, movies, TV shows and video games all seem to be peaking and it’s only going to get better. Zombies are a simple concept, guy comes back from the dead, feeds on his neighbor and so on and so on, but in that simplicity lies the brilliance of it all.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  It’s a real, zombie renaissance, ZZ.  Thanks for stopping by.

3.5 readers, don’t forget, Zombie Zuko’s third book comes out this Sunday!

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 8

October 8, 2015

Alien Jones walked over with a hand covering his eyes.

“Humans, it’s been an entire day now and since another human’s life is at stake I must insist you cease your primitive bodily fluid exchange ritual posthaste.”

“OK AJ,” I said.

The Esteemed Brainy One uncovered his eyes to find VGRF and I playing Car Thief Mayhem.

I prefer Car Thief Mayhem 20

I prefer Car Thief Mayhem 20

“Finally,” Alien Jones said. “There was one point last night  where I wondered whether or not I needed to investigate. It sounded like one of you was being eaten alive by a zombie.”

“Yeah,” I said. “That was me. I got stuck in my zipper.”

“Spare me the details.”

VGRF paused the game. Alien Jones held out his hands and projected a map of the mall into the air. Spectral mapping was just one of the little guy’s many talents. He could display the layout of any location within a mile thanks to his highly complicated built-in sonar processing system.

“We are here,” Alien Jones said, pointing to the store on the map marked “Price Town.”

He could even use his mind to put little notes on the map. Creepy.

“Unfortunately, Hipster Hut, where BQB’s ex has barricaded herself in a backroom, is all the way over at the opposite side of the mall.”

“I can’t believe we went at it all night,” VGRF said. “Poor Blandie, I hope she’s still ok.”

“She’s fine,” Alien Jones said. “I’m reading her mind as we speak. She is cursing out BQB and making fun of his tiny…”

“OK!” I interrupted. “So let’s plan this out, shall we?”

Alien Jones used his mind to project a trail of red dots leading from Price Town and across the mall to our intended destination.

“The zombies have stacked themselves up at the gate at the inner mall entrance to this store, waiting for us to come out so they can eat us,” Alien Jones said. “Well eat you, anyway. My body is made of a durable rubbery substance so their teeth will just bounce right off me, but when you’re all gruesomely murdered by undead savages, I will remember you fondly.”

“What are you trying to say?” I asked.

The Mighty Potentate really hates reality television.

The Mighty Potentate really hates reality television.

“That this mission is inadvisable but if I cannot change your minds I will do my best to protect you,” Alien Jones said. “But remember BQB, more is riding on this than just your former bump buddy. The Mighty Potentate has issued standing orders to a billion shock troops to be on standby to invade Earth at the precise moment when your heart stops beating. It will be a complete violation of Intergalactic Space Law, but the MP believes it will be worth it to contain the menace that is reality television.”

VGRF whispered to me, “You really need to get to work on that novel.”

“I can project a force field bubble that will protect us for five minutes but there won’t be a second to spare. As soon as it shuts off, we will be surrounded and outmatched. Our goal needs to be to get to Blandie and hole up in the Hipster Hut until a further escape plan can be devised.”

“Can we just come back here?” I asked.

“Doubtful,” Alien Jones said. “Once the gate is opened, Price Town will be overrun with the zombie horde.”

“You’ll need to wake up Bernie,” I said.

“Yes,” Alien Jones replied. “Bring him to me.”

“What?” I asked. “What am I supposed to do, carry him?”


“Why cant you just go to him?”

“We can’t have him anywhere near the button that opens the gate when he wakes up.”

“Oh right,” I said.

“Do you want some help?” VGRF asked?

“No I’ve got it.”

I headed over to the gate and found Bernie right where we’d left him. He was frozen solid, his hand stretched out, a finger pointing at the button, a revoltingly angry look on his face.

I grabbed him by the waist. He wasn’t that big of a guy but still, it was an entire human being. He wasn’t budging.

I grabbed him by the arm, tilted him downward, and dragged him behind me. It worked for awhile until I lost my grip and he fell right on his back. I yanked on his arm again and kept dragging until I was before the Esteemed Brainy One.

AJ worked his magic with a single point of his finger.

Funky Hunks Forever

Funky Hunks Forever

“FUNKY HUNKS FOREVER!” Bernie cried.

He looked around.

“What the?”

“Alien Jones had to freeze you for awhile,” I said. “You flipped out and were going to let all the zombies in.”

“I was?”

I nodded.

“Aww dang, B.  I’m sorry.”

“The zombie apocalypse means never having to say you’re sorry,” I said. “Just get your shit together.”

“Humans,” Alien Jones said. “I will need one more day to prepare for this rescue mission. Don’t worry. I can see Blandie’s situation through her eyes and the door she is behind is holding. Video Game Rack Fighter, I need you to gather every computer in the store and bring them here.”

“I’m on it,” VGRF said.

“Bernie,” AJ continued. “Bring me Price Town’s entire stock of batteries.”

“Will do space dawg.”

“BQB,” AJ said. “Find me a leaf blower, a dehumidifier and a troll doll.”

“Sure thing,” I said as I sat down, feeling winded. “Just give me a minute though. Dragging Bernie’s fat ass all the way over here wore me out.”

“That’s not good,” Alien Jones said. “A zombie fighter needs to be in peak physical condition.”

“Tell me about it,” I said. “In fact, that reminds me. I need to call someone.”

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And Now a Message From Our Sponsor…HIPSTER HUT!

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Mustache wax?


Sleeveless shirts?


Cargo pants?


Shirts with ironic sayings?


Selfie sticks?



Is there a store with more hip fashions than Hipster Hutt?

Sure…but we doubt you’ve ever heard of it.

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#31ZombieAuthors – Day 7 Interview – Gillian Zane – Alpha Male Lessons for BQB


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Today’s guest is Gillian Zane, author of the Nola Zombie Series. Follow the exploits of doomsday prepper Alexis Winter and macho ex-military man Blake Miller as they brave the streets of New Orleans in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, fight for their survival, and do it a whole helluva lot.

“Um…hey guys? Do you know there’s zombies outside and…oh what they hell, have fun you two.”

Filled with “zombies, sex, romance and carnage,” this is a series designed to titillate the senses of the adult reader and thus its only intended for those 18 years and over.

Hello Gillian. I can hear you loud and clear on Alien Jones’ space phone.


Q. I have to admit, when I first heard about the concept of blending the erotic and zombie genres, I was skeptical. How could anyone feel frisky whilst surrounded by hideous killer zombies? But after learning that my group of survivors and I have to go on a desperate, high risk mission to rescue my ex-girlfriend, my current girlfriend got so hot and bothered that she jumped my bones and now I’m a believer.

What is it about a zombie apocalypse that drives people mad with sexual desire? Is danger an aphrodisiac?

A.  The zombie apocalypse is how it takes its form in my world, but basically it’s death in general. Or more importantly facing death. Zombies represent death in it’s basic form. They are walking corpses trying to get you to join them. When faced with death around every corner it is human instinct to survive. This includes sexual reproduction. So, to put it literally, a brush with death is an aphrodisiac.

Combine this with the breakdown of societal norms, a person that was once restrained by moral or societal constraints might find themselves more free to express their sexuality in an apocalypse. There is no one to judge them, shame them for their behavior, even themselves. You have no time to worry if he’ll “respect you in the morning” if you are the only two people left on the planet because everyone else is a zombie.

Q. On Twitter, you state “I write really sexy novels & novellas, with lots of angst and plenty of alpha males.” Are alpha males born or can they be made? I ask this because presently, I’m about as alpha as a puppy dog, but I wouldn’t mind becoming one of those perfect haired muscular stud muffins who grace your book covers. Is there anything I can do to alpha myself up or is it just a lost cause and maybe I should just embrace my usual nerdy demeanor?

A. Even a nerd can be an Alpha male. It’s not about muscles or waxed chests, in fact, most men that I’ve met who have perfectly chiseled abs and waxed bodies are as insecure as they come. The key to becoming an Alpha Male is confidence. Taking charge of a situation instead of sitting back and letting someone else run the show. The reason muscles and chest hair come into play is usually because of the strength aspect. Most alphas are stronger, faster, and bigger than their beta brethren. This is because in the animal world, bigger usually translates for a win. But, a faster, smarter man can always take down a big, dumb, slow loser.

Think David and that Goliath dude. You don’t think David got hoisted up to Alpha status after he took down the Giant? I betcha he never waxed his chest. So, basically there is hope. Pump up that confidence, do a few chin-ups, don’t let people push you around (but don’t be a hot-head) and if you want to be the star of a Romance – it helps to be really good in the sack.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  Well, I’m screwed then.

Q. Your series takes place in New Orleans, a city rich with culture and history. When they aren’t killing and/or humping, do your characters get to pass by any of the sights? One of the reasons I’m intrigued is that a New Orleans setting seems like a fun, unique idea.

A. Well, it takes place in New Orleans, because what better place to have a zombie apocalypse? Or really, it’s because I know this place much better than any other place on the planet and New Orleans people are preppers by nature because of those pesky hurricanes. Do my characters get to check out any of the sights in New Orleans? Not really. A guy gets eaten by a zombie on Bourbon Street and that is shown on the news, but my characters are local, so they aren’t going to go around checking out the city. They hit places that aren’t very famous, but it does give you a unique view of the city from a local’s perspective. You might recognize some names, but I took great detail in going to places that I thought were logical for a group trying to escape zombies and actually ran the route a few times to make sure it was logical.

Q. Your character, Alex, is a doomsday prepper and on your Amazon page, you mention you’re a prepper yourself and that your past times include stockpiling Meals Ready to Eat and researching how to build a cistern on a budget. As a world renowned poindexter, I already knew that a cistern is an underground water storage tank that can be connected to sink or toilet and didn’t have to look that up at all. I interviewed another prepper earlier this month so I’ll ask you the same question. What’s up with the prepping? Are we all doomed or is it just a better safe than sorry thing?

A.   As I mentioned in the earlier question, as a New Orleanian, I’m a natural prepper. I have to be. I feel like I survived one apocalypse already, Katrina. I lived right where the levees broke, in a neighborhood called Lakeview. So, we had to bug-out very quickly and live like transients for about a month, until we finally had to rely on the government to get us a FEMA trailer. I don’t ever want to do that again. I usually prepped for about a week, to survive without electricity and water. But, now we have to prep to actually leave the city or bug-out AND I never want to rely on the feds to help me and my family–because it comes when they are ready, not when you need it. It is a way of life down here because it’s inevitable that another hurricane will happen.

Will it have the same impact as Katrina? Maybe not, but do I want to take that chance? Fifty years ago, Americans could can their own food, knew how to grow their own gardens, knew how to mend their clothes, had water stored…because, being self-sufficient meant the difference between life and death. We’ve become spoiled, our food is delivered to us, the majority of us couldn’t tell you where their banana came from, much less what fruits are grown regionally.

Should we be worried about an impending apocalypse? I don’t think there is one on the horizon, at least not a BIG one that destroys the world. But, I do see regional issues, droughts, more hurricanes, those sort of things, which being prepared for will really help. And in my world, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Oh, and BTW – we use an above-ground cistern, can’t do below ground in New Orleans because of the water table. We actually have a raised cistern and we use gravity, almost like a water-tower. You would use it for watering your plants, or in an emergency for showering etc. You would have to treat it for drinking water, but that can be a simple filtering process. We get so much rain down here, it is logical to collect rain water for the plants.

Q.  Gillian, thanks for taking a few minutes to talk zombies with me. Before I go, do you have any last minute advice to help my friends and I survive the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?

A.    Take to the water. Zombies can’t swim. But, shoot for deep water, they can float.

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POLL- Should BQB and the Gang Save Blandie?

Bookshelf Q. Battler:  No!  We’ve got a great set-up here in Price Town!  Free food, supplies, and a gate that’s keeping the zombies at bay!  Plus, she made this face at me for as long as I knew her:


VIDEO GAME RACK FIGHTER: Yes!  She’s still a person and I’ll never live with myself knowing I could have prevented her from being eaten by ravenous zombies, even if she and BQB used to get jiggy with it.




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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 7

October 7, 2015

It was mid-afternoon and a bit of light streamed in through the store’s front windows. I felt at ease during the day. It was night time I had to worry about. The pitch black night when VGRF, my alien and I huddled together back to back, fearful that a vicious zombie might be inches away from our faces and we wouldn’t even know it.

“Ahh let’s see,” I said as I stared at Alien Jones’ space phone. “Couple new followers. A few new comments. Some dude is trying to post a spam comment about Venezuelan jock itch powder.”

Sir Spamsalot says: 8:01 A.M. Oct 2, 2015

I am to be enjoying your fine bloggings with the writings and the words of much importance and interest to the readers of the world who care very much about jock itch powder for the curing of the itching of the jock…”

“Delete!”  I said as I punched a button on the space phone.  “I’ll never allow me 3.5 readers to be sold inferior jock itch powder!”

“I can’t believe you’re worried about your dumb blog at a time like this,” VGRF said.

“I’m past the point of no return in my one post a day for a year challenge,” I said. “I promised my 3.5 readers one post of BQB goodness every day in 2015 and by God, I’m not about to quit now, come hell, high-water, or zombies!”

I scrolled through my WordPress dashboard.

“Jeeze,” I said. “I’m really behind in responding to these comments…whoa!”

“What?” VGRF asked.

“Check this out.”

My ex-girlfriend, Bland Life Settler, or “Blandie” as I called her, had posted a comment on the Bookshelf Battle Blog a few days earlier, long before the power went out:

Blandie Settler says: 9:45 P.M. October 3, 2015

BQB, you ass! You’re really updating your blog right now? You know I work at Hipster Hut and yet it never once dawned on you to check on me to see if I’m ok! I’ve barricaded myself in the backroom behind the checkout counter. Get your stupid ass over here and save me or I’ll tell every last one of your 3.5 readers about your tiny…

Huh. I don’t know what happened. The rest of the comment must have been cut off.

“Blandie works in the mall?”  VGRF asked.

“Same job since high school,” I said. “Blandie likes things to be predictable and boring, whereas I prefer to try new things. It was one of the main reasons why she dumped me.”

Alien Jones sauntered in, noshing on a club sandwich he’d made himself from various ingredients he’d swiped from the deli. I don’t think it mattered to him that everything had spoiled due to a lack of electricity.

“That and your tiny…”

I cut the Esteemed Brainy One off.

“Yeah, I can’t think of any other reason why she left,”  I said.

“She also disparaged your interest in a writing career,” Alien Jones said. “Caused you to quit on your dream and take a lame job as the Assistant to the Assistant of the Vice President of Corporate Assistance at Beige Corp, the world’s premiere producer of beige products and accessories.”

“God,” I said. “I haven’t even checked in with my boss since last week.”

“Don’t worry,” Alien Jones said. “He’s probably zombie poop by now.”

“Poor Mr. Thompson,” I said.

I’d always thought I had the most boring job known to man, until I met Video Game Rack Fighter and learned that she was the Assistant to the Assistant of the Vice President for Corporate Assistance at Drying Paint Media, the world’s premiere production studio for drying paint videos.

I knew it was kismet because we’ve both long regretted not following our dreams, mine of becoming a writer, hers of designing video games, so now we support each other and pursue our passions in our spare time.

“Blandie made this post four days ago,” I said. “Wow, I hope she’s ok.”

“Why?” VGRF asked. “You’ve still got the hots for that bimbo or something?”

“What? No.”

The photo of Blandie that BQB kept. She literally made this face at our hero at all times throughout the tenure of their relationship.

The photo of Blandie that BQB kept. She literally made this face at our hero at all times throughout the tenure of their relationship.

“He didn’t throw away the photo of her when you moved in to BQB HQ,” Alien Jones said to VGRF.

That little green rat.

VGRF looked hurt.

“That doesn’t mean anything,” I said. “I don’t know why I didn’t throw her photo away. I don’t have any feelings for her anymore. It’s just, we were together a long time. Somehow it didn’t seem right to throw her out with the trash.”

“As she did with you,” Alien Jones said.


“It’s ok,” VGRF said. “I get it. I might have a photo hanging around of my ex too.”

“What the shit?!”  I yelled. “You need to burn that shit immediately!”

VGRF was pissed at that response.

“Um, I mean, ok, so we’ve both come to an agreement that it’s possible to wish an ex well and not still be in love with them. And you know what? Screw Blandie. If she needs to be rescued from brain chomping bastards then she should have thought about that before she let this prime side of beef go.”

“No,” VGRF said.


“No,” VGRF repeated. “She’s still a human being.”

“I can tell you some stories that would change your mind about that.”

“It doesn’t matter,” VGRF said. “She’s a person. Whether it’s your ex or some random stranger, I’ll never be able to live with myself knowing someone was eaten alive by zombies and I could have done something to stop it.”

“Babe, no,” I said. “We’ve got a good set up here. We’ve got the whole run of a store full of supplies. The hall is full of undead beasts ready to sink their teeth into us. No. Absolutely not. We’re staying put.”

“If you don’t go, then I’ll go on my own,” VGRF said. “If we let Blandie die, then we’re no better than the monsters we’re hiding from.”

I was quiet for a moment, thinking about what to say.

“Fine,” I said. “I’ll go by myself. I won’t allow you to die for her.”

I felt my heart racing. VGRF’s cheeks looked a little flush as well.

She slapped me across the face.

“Damn it, man! Where you go, I go. I’ll never abandon you and that’s the last I’ll hear of it!”

Alien Jones sucked on a straw attached to a two liter bottle of soda and watched us like he was at a movie theater and we were the coming attractions.


I brushed my hand over the spot on my cheek where VGRF slapped me.

“I love it when you play rough, baby.”

I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was the danger. The possibility that we were considering a mission that could get us both killed, but our engines were at full throttle.

“Yeah, you like that?” VGRF asked as she ripped my shirt open, sending buttons flying everywhere. “Then take me right here, right now you sexy bitch!”

“All right I’m out,” Alien Jones said as he walked off toward the deli. “I wonder if there’s any pastrami.”

VGRF pressed her lips against mine, pushed her tongue inside my mouth and gave me the longest, most passionate kiss we’d ever exchanged in our entire relationship.

“MMmph, baby,” I said as I pulled my head back. “Hang on. I need to call someone.”

“Are you kidding me?!”






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This Excerpt From BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal Brought to By Beige Corp!




Yes, Beige Corp!  The world’s premiere producer of beige products and accessories is a proud sponsor of the Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal.

“We were devastated to learn of a zombie attack in East Randomtown, mostly because that’s where our headquarters is located, and its going to cost an ass-ton of cash to have it fumigate,” said Lawrence Mortimer, Beige Corp CEO.  “Oh, and also we’re very worried about our dear, dear employees.  They are truly the life’s blood of our drab empire.”

Mr. Mortimer noted that despite of the loss of the East Randomtown HQ, beige products and accessories production will continue via new plants in China, India, and Thailand.

“Fear not, loyal beige loving customers, our third world sweat shops will be set up in no time!  Did I say ‘third world sweat shops?’  Whoops! I meant to say ‘developing nation economic advancement centers!'”

BEIGE!  It’s the color you wear when you don’t want to say anything about yourself whatsoever.

Have you lived a pristine enough life to pull off white?  I don’t think so.

Are you enough of a badass outlaw to walk around in all black?  Johnny Cash knows you haven’t.


Just look at these fine Beige Corp employees, hard at work, producing beige products and accessories for the beige loving masses.

Or, at least they were before our headquarters was overrun by the gruesome undead.  Where ever you are, East Randomtown employees, we’re thinking about you.

But thinking is all we’re going to do because holy shit, we aren’t fighting any damn zombies.


Ted Becker, Accounting – Feared dead or zombified.


Judy Masters, Call Center Operator – Most likely was too bored to fend off a zombie attack.


Eduardo Ricardo Papageorgio Von Finkelstein, aka Bookshelf Q. Battler, Assistant to the Assistant of the Vice-President for Corporate Assistance – Currently fighting for his life in the East Randomtown Mall.

To BQB and the rest of our employees in East Randomtown, know that your bosses are keeping you in their thoughts and prayers, far far away from that shit hole you call a town, which let’s face it, didn’t even look that great before the zombie apocalypse.

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