Happy Thursday, 3.5 Readers.
Is it too early to start talking about Halloween?
Not when you’re as big a fan of that holiday as I am.
And not when you’ve got a big idea in mind.
Today, my main squeeze Video Game Rack Fighter and I took a walk, did some shopping, and we stopped by a fortune teller who’d set up shop and was predicting futures at five bucks a pop.
VGRF talked me into it and, much to my shock, this mysterious gypsy lady with a kiosk next to the Orange Julius stand at the East Random Town Mall prognosticated the following:
That on October 1 of this year:
- VGRF, Alien Jones, myself, and possibly The Yeti will take in a scientific demonstration by my mentor, the esteemed Dr. Hugo Von Science.
- That Dr. Hugo, through his gross incompetence, will botch his experiment, thus causing a zombie outbreak to sweep over my hometown.
- VGRF, Alien Jones, and myself will be left with no choice but to fight our way through the undead hordes until we reach the safety of the Bookshelf Battle Compound.
- Perhaps we’ll even come up a cure for the zombie epidemic in the process.
But to get through this, we will need the assistance of 31, count em, 31 Zombie Authors.
ALIEN JONES: Zombie authors?! That’s ridiculous! They can’t even hold a pen.
BQB: No, I mean authors who have written self-published books about zombies. Though, hey, if there’s an actual function zombie who is an author, I’ll gladly talk to him as long as he promises not to bite me.
Every day, as a new part of the story unfolds, a self published zombie author will take a question from a member of our merry band of unlikely heroes.
Questions will mostly come from me, but Alien Jones and/or possibly the Yeti might have some inquiries. Maybe even Dr. Hugo will participate.
I’ve also heard rumors of this thing called “Women’s Lib” so hell, Video Game Rack Fighter will have some questions too.
DAY 1 – We need some supplies. Author Fred Fredman of Super Scary Zombie Book, can you tell us the essentials of what a zombie apocalypse survivor needs to fend off the undead masses?
DAY 2 – The Yeti was just bitten by a zombie. Author Kate Katerson of Incredibly Frightening Zombie Book, do you know if zombie bites affect animals?
DAY 3 – We’re holed up in an abandoned shack and the TV’s working. Author Annie Annerson of You’ll Crap Your Pants if You Read this Zombie Book! Which zombie movie do you recommend we watch to pass the time and why?
I don’t know. Just some initial questions off the top of my head.
Heck, you non-horror authors could get in on this too. Submit questions you’d like to know about how to survive the zombie apocalypse and maybe one of the members of our survivor party will pass it along to an interested zombie author.
ANTICIPATED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS IDEA:
1) Just self-published horror authors?
Not necessarily. If you’re a traditionally published zombie author, I’d love for you to participate as well. If you have a zombie blog or are some other kind of zombie writer, let’s talk.
Hell, if you’re George Romero, you can just take the blog over.
2) You do a lot of interactivity on this blog. Why a story? Why not just a straight-up interview?
In today’s rapid information age, anything fun is going to be checked out more than a traditional approach.
Take all the late night talk shows these days.
Long ago, all the stars would just sit on the couch and shoot the bull with Johnny and Ed. It was boring as hell.
We love stars but their stories about their acting method or the lunch they ate that gave them a tummy ache or whatever? Who cares.
Jimmy Fallon does hilarious bits with his guests instead. Be honest. Do you want to listen to Scar Jo babble about how hard it was to pretend to be whoever she just pretended to be, or do you want to see her play a rousing game of “Box of Lies” with Jimmy?
NBC – Box of Lies – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
I loved that. There you go. Scar Jo’s latest movie promoted. I’m left thinking she’s a ball of fun and I wasn’t bored with a story about her acting process.
“Let’s Promote Ourselves with Fun” is what I’ve been going for with Alien Jones’ “Ask the Alien” Column, and that’s what I’m going for with this idea as well.
3) So what are you looking for?
Your choice of length to an answer posed by myself or one of my buddies. I’d say 500 words or so sounds decent, but more if you’re willing.
We could come to an agreement on what question would be best for you. If you have one in mind you want to be asked, that’s possible.
4) Are you going to make me look stupid?
Your books, blogs, reputation as a writer, they’re all important to you, as they should be. I fully understand. Hell, I’ve put so much work into my persona as”Bookshelf Q. Battler,” I’d be unhappy if someone besmirched BQB.
I’d envision the post with:
A) A quick synopsis of what happened today (day of post) with BQB’s friends vs. the zombies.
B) A quick overview of you, the author, including links to your books and or blogs and or Amazon page (or wherever you’re selling them)
C) An answer YOU WRITE that I’m not going to change. They’ll be your words, so you can’t go wrong.
5) I’m still skeptical.
I don’t blame you. I’m a guy claiming to own a magic bookshelf and also that I’m an alien’s friend. It’s understandable that you’d want to kick the tires on this one.
To that end:
A) Alien Jones has had 17 satisfied customers in his Ask the Alien column so far. I’ve never received a complaint from an author who participated yet. Usually they’re pleased enough that they retweet or share AJ’s witty commentary on their own blogs.
ALIEN JONES’ MOST RECENT COLUMN – Here, you can read on as Alien Jones and a self-published author mix it up.
B) Alien Jones has a “Don’t Like it and It Gets Taken Down No Problem Guarantee.” If it turns out you don’t like the post, let me know, and it’ll come down. If we can fix it to your liking, that’s great. If not, no hard feelings. I get that writing is a business and you have to do what you have to do. No muss, no fuss, no problem.
But luckily, no author has asked for that yet. And I believe that’s a sign that when you take part in this, you’re in good hands with me and my alien.
6) Keep talking.
At present, I have 1,250 (approx) WordPress followers, 5,400 Twitter followers, and over 500 Google Plus followers. All will be notified of your awesomeness.
7) I’m not one of your 3.5 readers, so I’m not up to speed on your blog and therefore unsure if I could respond to one of your friends’ questions.
No problem. Here’s the lowdown:
Bookshelf Q. Battler = the owner of a magic bookshelf where small versions of literary characters come to life and fight over limited shelf space.
Video Game Rack Fighter = Bookshelf Q. Battler’s girlfriend and author of a video game review column hopefully coming soon, if she ever comes up for air from playing Arkham Knight.
Alien Jones – The Mighty Potentate, ruler of an undisclosed planet, is displeased with the growing popularity of reality television. He’s a fan of scripted media and feels promotion of fiction authors is the only hope to stem the reality tv tide. To that end, the MP has dispatched his emissary, Alien Jones, to answer questions from self-published authors and in the process, make Earth a smarter place one question at a time. Alien Jones truly believes in this mission, and isn’t doing it just because the Mighty Potentate has threatened to vaporize him if he abandons his assignment before BQB’s writing career is off the ground.
The Yeti – An international war criminal and fuzzy snow monster, The Yeti is currently imprisoned deep in the bowels of the Bookshelf Battle Compound. However, BQB isn’t completely heartless and allows the big lug out once a week to watch Scandal. Alien Jones brings the bean dip.
Dr. Hugo Von Science – A distinguished professor of science at Science University, Dr. Hugo is this blog’s science correspondent and holds patents on over a bazillion inventions. We’re fairly certain he might be plotting a global conquest in his spare time, but his generally goodnatured demeanor covers up his underlying intentions well.
There you go. That’s the blog in a nutshell. It’s a labor of love for me, and it’s enjoyed daily by 3.5 people, one of whom is my Aunt Gertrude.
(There are some subsidiary, occasional characters. Uncle Hardass, the ghost of my grumpy uncle, shows up once in awhile to tell me to give up all of my hopes and dreams of becoming a writer and get a job at the salt mines. The Funky Hunks are a rap group I used to belong to and they show up now and then too. Oh, and a whole slew of tiny book characters live on my magic bookshelf).
Don’t get me started on Bookshelf Q. Battledog.
I don’t believe the subsidiaries will get involved but you never know. 31 days means I need to come up with a lot of ideas to keep a story going.
8) You had me until you said you have 3.5 readers. Doesn’t seem worth it.
“3.5 Readers” is an ongoing, inside joke for this blog. In the beginning, I really did only have 3.5 readers. But I pressed forward and now I have more. Like any blog, I have up days and down days. I’d say on a good day I get anywhere around 30-70 hits.
Views are often double, sometimes triple, the hit count and I believe this is because people who do find this blog like it enough to stick around and read some more.
At any rate, I’ll do what I can to make this a fun, month long Zombie fiesta. On my own, I’m going to be writing about The Walking Dead and the new Fear the Walking Dead and overall, if this works out, it’s just going to be 31 days of zombies.
9) What’s in it for you?
Cross promotion, basically. If you enjoy what you see here, I hope you’ll do want you can to point folks to my ramblings. Not required, of course. That’s about it.
10) So now what?
At this point, I’d just like to get the ball rolling. I’m starting early because to recruit 31 people to respond to a daily ongoing story is going to be like herding cats.
Right now, I’d just like to see who’s interested enough to let me know. If you want in, Tweet me @bookshelfbattle or tell me in the comments here.
You can send me a private message on Twitter too. Just tweet me to let me know you sent it so it doesn’t get lost in the mass of spam I get from folks trying to sell me timeshares, miracle ointments, and **Cough cough*** self published books.
I’d say by mid-August, if I can wrangle enough authors to be interested in this, then I’ll be able to see who’s who, what’s what and come up with better questions that would apply to various authors.
If it’s a go, I’d like to get questions to you late August, or September and have 31 posts in the can by the time October rolls around.
But then again, this could be a dumb idea.
If it fizzles out and goes nowhere, then hey, I tried. You’ve got to try, right?
Feel free to share with anyone you think would be interested. If I see enough interest, I’ll start getting in touch with folks with formal instructions at the end of the summer.
Leave me your thoughts, 3.5.
Until next time, this has been Bookshelf Q. Battler and Video Game Rack Fighter, signing off: