Daily Archives: October 1, 2015

#31ZombieAuthors – Day 1 Interview – Sarah Lyons Fleming – Packing the Perfect Bug-Out Bag

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Kicking off this zombie author interview series in style is Sarah Lyons Fleming, the writer behind the Until the End of the World series, billed as “a story of survival, humor and true love.  And zombies.”

Reading Order:

1 – Until the End of the World

2 – And After 

3 – All the Stars in the Sky

She’s also the author of the novella So Long Lollipops, but recommends you read Book One first before delving into it, unless you’re a sucker for spoilers.

NOTE: BOLD=BQB, Italics=Sarah

Q.  Hello Sarah.  BQB here.  I’ve called you because my friends and I find ourselves in quite a predicament.  We’re locked up tight in Price Town, a Wal-Mart-esque store with everything you could ever possibly want under one roof. The security gate is holding for now, but zombies continue to fling themselves at it in an effort to break in and feast on our sweet, sweet gray matter.  I doubt we’ll be able to stay here forever. My colleague, Alien Jones, has suggested we all pack a bag full of supplies in case we need to make a run for it.

On your Amazon Author page, you note that you have “an unhealthy obsession with bug-out bag equipment.”  So please enlighten us, what is in the perfect bug out bag?

A.  You are in quite a predicament, BQB, but you might just be in the best place. The perfect BOB (bug-out bag, not to be confused with “BQB”) should have everything you need for a situation where you have to leave your digs. Of course, your situation is zombies, so you’re going to need weapons, and fast. Let’s do that first.


Thankfully, Price Town has a camping/hunting section. Find a good knife, preferably full tang—one in which the metal of the blade continues to the end of the handle. Guns and ammo (your choice). A machete could work.

Thank God! Price Town has a two machetes for the price of one deal!

Thank God! Price Town has a two machetes for the price of one deal!

You might as well throw a few more quiet weapons in there, because guns will only call zombies your way.

Good screwdrivers: great for an eye socket and screwing things.

Maybe a hammer: Plus, you never know when you’ll have to board up a few windows.

Axe: firewood and skull-cracking, it doesn’t get any better than this.

You should have some tools anyway, or a good multi-tool, so these are dual purpose.     

Never a flame thrower—Moving zombie torches? No thanks!—although I think Price Town stopped carrying those after that one incident, as I’m sure you remember.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  I do.  It was all over Network News One.  A sad day for the flame-throwing industry.  Back to you, Sarah.

But will it hold my action figures?

But will it hold my action figures?

You’ll need a large backpack. Remember, weight is going to be a big factor. Only put in the things you think you’ll need, and only get a bag as big as you can carry for long distances (and run from zombies while wearing). Use that waist belt to keep the load stable and take the strain off your shoulders. Cool looking? No, but you’ll thank me for it.

Now, what else do you need? Water, food and shelter, right?

Grab some bottles of water, along with a way to filter more. Water is heavy, and if you know you can reach a natural source of water and make it safe to drink, all that weight won’t slow you down. I have a UV filter, a hiking filter and a Lifestraw. They’re not all in my BOB, but, obviously and possibly frighteningly, I really like water filters.

Food: Try to go light on this—cans are great, but they’re heavy, so look for things that come in packets or things such as nuts and dried fruits and protein bars. MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are a wonderful invention. Not having to cook is always a plus. You can get a backpacking stove if you insist on warming things up. And, let’s face it, a hot cup of coffee or tea may just give you the sanity you need to survive another day. But there’s always a campfire for that.

A light cooking pot and metal utensils so you can cook and eat that food. Don’t forget you’ll have to clean out the pot, so you might want a sponge.

Clothes: Shelter your body first. What’s the weather like? Pack for it. Stay dry. Ponchos/rain gear may not be the height of fashion, but they keep off rain and zombie guts. Extra socks and underwear (because when being chased by the undead, there are bound to be a few accidents). Also, GLOVES. Make them leather—good for the cold and rough handiwork, as well as keeping those zombie teeth off your skin.

BQB's stain resistant teflon underpants, designed by Dr. Hugo himself. Resistant to all zombie related accidents!

BQB’s stain resistant teflon underpants, designed by Dr. Hugo himself. Resistant to all zombie related accidents!

Shelter: A tent? Maybe, and only if it’s very light. A tarp? That works, too. Don’t forget rope to string it up—actually, just don’t forget rope in general. It’s a useful item. Emergency blankets will help to keep you warm, and they weigh next to nothing. Wool blankets would be better, and insulate even when wet. A light sleeping bag is awesome. Garbage bags can be stuffed with leaves to make a sleeping pad and get you off the wet/cold ground. Be creative if you don’t have room for the fancy stuff like a tent.

Heat: Don’t skimp on this. How much does a lighter weigh? Yeah, next to nothing. How about matches? Put them all in a waterproof container and hunt down a flint fire starter. You should have three ways to make fire. You can make your own tinder but, hey, you’re in Price Town. Get some of that emergency tinder. Or a tube of Vaseline and a bag of cotton balls—works like a dream once you’ve soaked the cotton balls with the petroleum jelly.

First Aid: We all know there’s no coming back from a zombie bite, but other situations might arise where you’ll need to play doctor. Throw in some pain-killers, digestion-related meds, and any medicines you take regularly. If you can scavenge them, get some antibiotics. Yeah, you’ll need Band-Aids, bandages and ointments, but you could also need blood clotting agents, gauze, moleskin, tourniquet and a suture kit. These things can be expensive, but, right now in Price Town, they’re free. Go for it!

Hygiene: I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but showers may be a thing of the past. Get wet wipes and antibacterial wipes. All purpose camp soap. A small towel and washcloth. And you’re gonna need some toilet paper. Maybe a trowel to bury your, um, leavings. A small mirror can help you to make sure you look your best and be used for signaling. On second thought, don’t look in the mirror. You’re a mess.

Lighting: Flashlights, headlamps. Spare batteries (or get a hand crank light). You can’t see in the dark, and you’ll need to see what’s coming. In my BOB, I have several ways to light up my world, and so should you. I also have a solar charger with which to charge batteries/phones. It’s handy and pretty awesome, but it doesn’t need to be at the top of your list.

Other things: You’ll want a map of the area. Paper and a pencil to leave a note when/if the gang gets separated, or you’re suddenly inspired to write a poem. A compass and whistle. I have a small monocular as well.

It might do you no good in the zompoc, but a BOB should have some cash in it, preferably in small bills.

Two-way radios would be great. You want to be able to talk across long distances without screaming—unless you want to end up as dinner. Also, you might want a regular or shortwave radio. You’ll want to hear where to go when the government opens those Safe Zones, or know how to avoid them when they’re overrun by zombies. Because they will be.

Happy packing!

Q.  How did you come about this unhealthy obsession anyway?  What’s up with being a “wanna be prepper?”  Are we all doomed or is it a better safe than sorry thing?

A.  We’re all doomed, BQB. Every last one of us.

Nah, I really like camping supplies and survival stuff. And I like to be prepared—or at least semi-prepared—because I get edgy when I’m not. I call myself a “wannabe” because I don’t have a bunker or five years’ worth of food, but I do what I can. It’s easy enough to buy an extra box or can of something at the store and stick it in your pantry, right? You’d be surprised how quickly that adds up.

Q.  While everyone’s packing, let’s talk about your books.  How did you get into the writing game?

A.  I wanted to read a post-apocalyptic book with regular characters who were like me (slightly goofy, pretty snarky and definitely not military experts), so one day I decided to write it. Some of the characters have a leg up in that they have access to supplies, but they’re regular folks who face very irregular events.

As the story grew, I became so invested in the world and characters that it turned into a series. I’d never written fiction before, and now I can’t imagine NOT writing. It’s my happy place, even with the zombies.

41vqvdKyrfL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Q.  Your tale begins with Cassie Forrest who, according to Until the End of the World’s description, “isn’t surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends.”  Isn’t that always the way?  Irony, I tell you.  I often find myself lamenting that if something good happens to me, something bad must be lurking just around the corner to equal things out.  Why is that?  Are we all just saddled with bad timing?

A.  Stop being a pessimist, BQB! You won’t survive the zombies with that outlook. Even with all the hardship and loss, I think you’ll find it will all work out in the end, even when it doesn’t seem possible, even when people you love die. There isn’t always something bad lurking around the corner. Although there probably is a zombie, so look out!

Q.  Cassie’s obviously made some bad choices, chief among them dumping her fiancee Adrian and dating a jerk instead.  To make matters worse, she has to escape a zombifying virus outbreak with said jerky ex-boyfriend in tow.  To her credit, she longs to fix her mistakes.  Do you think readers identify with a protagonist who isn’t perfect?  I know I’ve made a few doozies I’d like to sweep under the rug, so I can relate to someone who longs to take back a bad choice or two.

A.  For sure. I can definitely relate to that. No one is perfect, as we all know, but I think most of us respect someone who learns from their mistakes and strives to be the person they want to be. Plus, perfect people—or people who think they are—are annoying. They make good zombie bait, though, so you might want to have one stashed away.

Q.  You’re into humor.  I try to be.  I heard a rumor this blog made one person in Ohio laugh once, but to date it’s unconfirmed.  Where does your sense of humor come from and how are you able to weave laughs into a story about people trying to avoid being eaten by vicious beasts?

A.  Ha! You’ve made me laugh, so now you’re up to two people. My humor? I suppose it came from my family—no one is safe from teasing, and to make fun of yourself is comedy gold.

I think that you need to laugh, even in the zombie apocalypse. If you can’t find anything to laugh about, you might as well lie down in front of the zombies and call it a day. I’m the kind of person who thinks of jokes at completely inappropriate times, so it comes easy for me. Of course, there are plenty of parts that don’t call for humor, but you have to laugh at some point. When I reach that point, I take it.

Q.  On your blog, “Whatnot,” you talk about all the research you did for All the Stars in the Sky.  At least one or two of my 3.5 readers are aspiring writers.  Do you have any tips on tracking down the information required to bring a sense of realism to their tales?

A.  I can’t imagine doing all the research I’ve done without the internet. I’d have to live at the library. Google Maps Street View is my best friend, as are a multitude of random websites. But I also pester unsuspecting people with emails and phone calls. I’ve gotten some good tips that way. I wanted to see the inside of a grocery distribution center for my third book, so I found one by me and contacted the company. And what do you know? I got a tour of the inside by an amused manager who liked zombies. You never know until you ask!

Q.  Thanks for taking the time to speak with me.  Before I go, do you have any last minute advice to help me brave the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?

A. Head shots. Always.

Also, don’t forget to laugh, and never forget you need to surround yourself with good people. You don’t want to laugh by yourself—that just looks crazy. So you’ll need them, both for companionship and to watch your six.

Thanks for calling, BQB. Good luck!

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BQB’S Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 1 (Part 5)

Alien Jones' space phone.  Perfect for calling authors of zombie fiction.

Alien Jones’ space phone. Perfect for calling authors of zombie fiction.

My little green friend was stretched out on a table in the employee’s break room of Price Town.  His hat and glasses had fallenoff in the chaos, leaving his face on full display.

“He gave his life for us,”  VGRF said.

I sniffed and teared up.

“I…I can’t believe he’s gone.”

“I can’t believe your kid was so ugly,”  Bernie said.  “No offense dude but you might be better off.”

“He wasn’t my kid,”  I said.  “He was Alien Jones, the wisest, most intelligent diplomat, space explorer, and warrior the universe has ever known.”

“What?”  Bernie asked.  “You’re saying that alien who writes on your blog is real?!  I thought that was just you pretending!  I thought you pretended to be all the characters.”

“No comment,” I said.

Alien Jones shot his head up into the air and let out a loud gasp.  It scared the crap out of all of us.

“Sweet Zanacostia’s Upper Filter!!!”

Alien Jones was always saying phrases that sounded like they might have been outer space forms of swearing.

“AJ!” I said as I hugged my little friend.  “You’re alive!”

“But I checked your neck,”  VGRF said.  “You didn’t have a pulse.”

“You don’t even want to know where I keep my pulse.”

Together, we walked out into the store.  It was fully stocked.  From hardware to groceries, it had everything we needed to survive.

Everyone was gone.  I assumed all the employees and customers hightailed it when they heard everyone becoming zombie lunch.

“Guess we picked a good spot to ride out the zombie apocalypse,”  Bernie said.

“Ignorant human,”  Alien Jones said as he pointed at the zombies pounding on the security gate.  “The structural integrity of that barrier will not last forever.”

“So you can just do that bubble thing again,”  Bernie said.

“It saps me of all my energy,”  Alien Jones said.  “I will not have the power to make another one for a full twenty four hours, and only then, it will last for about five minutes.”

“We’re screwed,”  Bernie said.

An eternal optimist, VGRF tended to look on the bright side.

“At least we have each other.”

“AJ,”  I said.  “Can’t you just call the Mighty Potentate and ask him to send some shock troops to cook these fools?”

“No,”  Alien Jones replied.  “For the time being, the Mighty Potentate is following Intergalactic Space Law, which mandates that no advanced world get involved in the affairs of primitives such as yourselves.”

“Right,”  VGRF said.  “The Prime Dir…”

“Intergalactic Space Law!”  I interrupted.  “Come on, VGRF, the last thing I need is to have Shatner shove a lawsuit up my ass.”

“The MP is bending the law enough already just by having me aid BQB with his insipid bloggery,”  Alien Jones said.  “He gets away with it because BQB only has 3.5 readers and aside from VGRF, the other 2.5 do not believe I am real.  He won’t take the chance of landing battle units.”

Alien Jones pulled out his phone.  It was silver, had a screen that displayed holographic images, and looked incredibly expensive.

“What are you doing?”  I asked.

“Consulting news reports.  It seems that the zombie infestation has spread all throughout East Randomtown in a matter of moments.

“Is West Randomtown safe?”  VGRF asked.

I knew she was worried about her family.

“It appears the surrounding communities were evacuated in time.  Military units are descending on the area to cut East Randomtown off from the rest of the world.”

“Alien Jones,”  I said.  “Can I borrow that for a minute?”

“Be careful,”  AJ said.  “It’s official Mighty Potentate property.”

I love technology so I relished the chance to look over a phone constructed by aliens.

“What is this?”  I asked.

“A Kondoferian Class Sub 9NM1 Intergalactic Communications Unit.”

“Whoa,”  I said.  “A space phone!”

“No,  it’s a Kondoferian Class Sub…”

“We’re calling it a space phone,”  I said.  “It can call anyone anywhere in the world?”

“Anyone anywhere in the universe,”  Alien Jones replied.

“Is it fully charged?”  I asked.

“It is powered by a plutonium pod with a half-life of a thousand years.  There is no need to recharge it until the year 3015.”

“I know exactly what to do with this,”  I said.

“Call the Army and ask them to rescue us,”  VGRF said.  “Thank God!”

“Take some dope ass selfies in front of the zombies and post them all over the Internet,”  Bernie said.  “Shit, with publicity like that the Funky Hunks will be back in no time.  High five!”

I left him hanging.

“No,”  I said.  “I’m going to call…ZOMBIE AUTHORS!”

“What?”  VGRF asked, incredulously.

“As the owner of a magic bookshelf, I am beloved and revered throughout the literary world!  With AJ’s space phone, I can call the world’s foremost zombie experts, individuals with vast knowledge of the undead, and they’ll be able to advise us on how to extricate ourselves from any zombie related situation!”

“I’m pretty sure we should call the Army,”  VGRF insisted.

“Perhaps you should call your charges back at Bookshelf Battle HQ,”  Alien Jones suggested.

He was right.  It was my duty to make sure that the various literary characters who called my magic bookshelf home were ok.

I dialed my number.


“Bookshelf Q. Battledog!  My noble Security Chief!  Is everyone ok?”

“Woof.  Woof woof.”

Bookshelf Q. Battledog

Bookshelf Q. Battledog



“And the Yeti?”


“Very well,”  I said.  “Keep the entire facility on lockdown.  No one is to enter or exit.  Be safe, noble hound.”


I hanged up the phone.

“Well?”  VGRF asked.

“Battledog says the zombies have already made it to our neighborhood, but they’re no match for BQB HQ’s high fortress like walls.  The bookshelf characters are safe and ready to fight if necessary.  My nemesis, the Yeti, remains imprisoned in the basement.”

I was able to get a lot out of those “woofs.”

“We won’t be able to stay here indefinitely,”  Alien Jones said.  “Gather supplies and prepare bug-out bags should we need to leave in a hurry.”

“Yes,”  I said.  “And I know just who to call about that.”

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 1 (Part 4)

“Now then, mein reality television stars, you’ve all become famous despite a lack of qualifications, credentials, and talent, is that correct?”

“Hold on Doc, Todd and I are both master plumbers…”

“I’ll take that as a no,”  Dr. Hugo said as he passed the mic to Vinny.

“Yo, does this mall have a spray on tan kiosk or what?  We’re gettin pasty ovah hea’!”

Vinny had been walking around in nothing but a speedo for years.

Vinny had been walking around in nothing but a speedo for years.

“Strike two,”  Dr. Hugo said.

Jenna smacked a piece of gum in her mouth.

“I like to shop.”

“Undt strike three,”  Dr. Hugo said.  “Yes, the world loves its reality tv stars, so much so that people spend all of their time paying attention to these bores while men of science such as meinself are constantly ignored.  Be pretty and smile for the camera and you get rich undt famous but discover new and creative uses for teflon and the best you can get is a column on a blog with 3.5 readers.  No offense, BQB.”

“None taken.”

I was starting to think Dr. Hugo might be bitter.

“With one blast of mein new invention, these imbeciles will actually become productive members of society.”

“Just don’t blast me in the face,”  Jenna said.  “I never take a blast in the face.”

Vinny was all over that one.

“That’s not what that guy on your sex tape said!  Ohhh!”


“Yo Doc,”  Vinny added.  “I was told we was gettin’ paid to show up here and play with your toy ray gun?”


The stars lined up and one by one, Dr. Hugo used his contraption to bathe them in a soft green light.

“How do you feel Ms. Simone?”

According to the TV Stats Bureau, there were more viewers for the episode, "Jenna Eats a Bowl of Strawberries" than there were for the moon landing.

According to the TV Stats Bureau, there were more viewers for the episode, “Jenna Eats a Bowl of Strawberries” than there were for the moon landing.

Still using her Barbie doll voice, Jenna said.  “Materialism.  ‘Tis a wanton mistress that bids you come hither and yet never fully satisfies you.  Thank you, good doctor, for showing me the folly of my ways, for I will now commit myself to the pursuit of knowledge.  From now on, my only interests will include books, PBS, NPR, Charlie Rose and….buh..”

Jenna didn’t look so good.  None of the stars did.

Flesh started dripping off the right side of Jenna’s once perfect face.

“Excuse me,”  she said.  “Yes, all I’m interested in now is knowledge and…

Her eyes turned a deep shade of yellow.


The Streibcheks, the Stereotypical Italian New Jerseyians, everyone who’d been zapped with Dr. Hugo’s invention turned into hideous undead creatures.

“Lookout!”  VGRF cried.  “Scumsucking bottomfeeders!”

“That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?”  I asked.  “I mean sure, they’re a bunch of do-nothing hacks but they’re just out for a buck like the rest of us.”

“No!  Zombies!”

“Oh right,”  I said.  “Holy Crap!”

Mayor Bramble was the slowest human on stage and alas, he was instantly ripped to shreds by the zombified reality stars.

Mayor Bramble, we hardly knew ye.

Mayor Bramble, we hardly knew ye.

“Dr. Hugo!”  I shouted.  “What have you done?”

“Woopsie!”  my mentor said.  “Looks like I accidentally turned the hydroflescent phalange a bit too far to the left.  Mein bad!”

“So what do we do now?”

Dr. Hugo reached into his lab coat, whipped out a metal stick, and unfolded it.  It was the two-jump pogo stick, the invention he used to revitalize global transportation by guaranteeing the user could get wherever he wanted to go in the world with only two jumps.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting zie fahrvergnügen out of here!  Good luck!”

The mad scientist jumped once and his pogo stick took him straight up into the air and out through an open skylight.

The audience dispersed, running this way and that with their arms flailing in the air.

The zombies surrounded us.

Alien Jones stretched out his hands and projected a bubble-shaped force field all around us.

“RUN!”  commanded the Esteemed Brainy One.

VGRF, Bernie and I jumped off the stage and let our feet fly.

“Keep up!”  Alien Jones said.  “One touch of the bubble’s surface and you’ll be…”

A zombified Lil’ Schnookums hurled herself at the bubble and was instantly turned into a fine mist. Donnies A and B tried and

Zombie attack!

Zombie attack!

were vaporized as well.  The others got wise and began grabbing and biting every other human they could find.

“We must get you to shelter, BQB,”  Alien Jones said.  “Your fledgling writing career is all that prevents the landing of the Mighty Potentate’s shock troops on Earthly soil.”

“I know!  I know!  Do you have to remind me every five seconds?”

Soon, the feeding frenzy doubled, tripled and even quadrupled the size of the zombie horde.

“BQB,”  Bernie said.  “Did you have a kid?  And is he like, magic and shit?”

I ignored my buddy.  We ran past one abandoned store after another, watching helplessly as East Randomtonians were ripped limb from limb.

Zombies kept hurling themselves at the bubble only to get misted.

“We must hurry,”  Alien Jones.

The bubble flickered.

“I only have enough strength to retain this field for a few minutes longer!”

“There!”  I shouted, pointing at the Price Town at the end of the hallway.  It was one of the last three stores still operational.

We ran and ran, vicious beasts hot on our heels.

As we closed in on the store, Alien Jones punched a button on his phone and the security gate began to close.

The gate drew further and further downward.  The force field flickered again, but this time it was gone.

We all slid under the gate just moments before it snapped to ground.  The hungry zombies threw themselves at the metal, trying to bust in and devour us.

“This is some low down crunk ass shit,”  Bernie said.

Alien Jones grabbed his head and passed out, his little green body hitting the floor with a thud.

“AJ?”  I asked.

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 1 (Part 3)

Dr. Hugo Von Science

Dr. Hugo Von Science

“And now, the man of the hour, ladies and gentlemen, give a warm welcome to Dr. Hugo Von Science!”

Everyone flipped out when Dr. Hugo stepped out on stage.  I know I was happy to see him.

As a distinguished Professor of Science at the Advanced Science Institute of Science University, Dr. Hugo was on the cutting edge of everything scientific.  Everyday, he was coming out with a new invention.

I once had the pleasure of being his student when I attended the Advance Science Institute.  The day my mentor handed me my Advanced Science Degree was one of the happiest days of my life.

Oh, yeah, besides the day I met Video Game Rack Fighter, and I’m not just writing that because she’s one of this blog’s 3.5 readers.

I have to admit, I was honored when Dr. Hugo reached out to me earlier this year to ask if he could write a column on my blog entitled, “You Can’t Argue with Science.”

You really can’t, can you?

Dr. Hugo never went anywhere without his white lab coat and black-out goggles.  He spoke with a thick German accent.

The Mayor turned over the microphone.

“Guten tag, mein leipshin!”


“Mayhaps you remember me from mein wunderbar invention, teflon underpants!  Buy one pair and you’ll never need to wash another pair of undies ever again!”

He wasn’t lying.  Teflon underpants was a major breakthrough for the undergarment industry.  I’ve been wearing mine for years with nary a wash and they still smell fabulous.

“And what about the Spolier Stratifier?”

Yes, Dr. Hugo also invented a special device you can wear that picks up on whenever someone is trying to ruin the plot of a TV show you haven’t watched yet and make it sound like they are just yodeling.  Countless marriages have been saved.

“Don’t forget the Beyonce-fier!”

The good doctor saved even more marriages through a special pair of glasses that caused all men to look at their wives as if they were Beyonce.  For the ladies, he issued a pair called “The Tatum-izer.”

“Don’t even get me started on the Super Collider Walnut Cracker!”

Dr. Hugo was the first man to harness the power of the super collider to hurl molecules unfathomable speeds for the sole purpose of cracking walnuts.  It was a great achievement, though not a commercial success, since it was impossible to sell everyone a super collider.

“Undt now, Herrs undt Frauleins, I bring you mein greatest invention yet, the Reality TV Star Transmogrifier!”

I overheard Alien Jones talking to his boss on the phone.

“Yes, Your Potentosity.  I am attending the demonstration now.”

“Mein leipshin, are you tired of your television being overrun with people who are famous for doing absolutely nothing?”

I know I was.  Alien Jones’ boss is so much so that he plans to take over the Earth if my writing career doesn’t motivate the masses to abandon reality tv altogether.

I’m doing my best, but you guys might want to get used to the idea of an alien overlord.

Dr. Hugo opened up a box and retrieved what appeared to be a laser blaster.  It was shiny, bright red and had all kinds of bells and whistles.

“Can we get the reality tv star test subjects up on stage?”

While we were waiting, Dr. Hugo walked up to me.

“BQB mein leipshin!  So nice to see you.”

“You too doctor.  How are things going at Science University?”

“Oh fine, just fine.  Well, there have been rumors that mein invention budget will be slashed in the next fiscal year but who am I to complain?”

“I’m sorry to hear that, Dr. Hugo.”

Despite his mad scientist appearance, Dr. Hugo always presented himself with a kind, courteous demeanor, but occasionally, a dark side poked through.

“As am I,”  Dr. Hugo replied.  “For now I shall have to make them pay.  Nein, the whole world will now have to pay for disregarding mein genius for far too long!  Muah ha…muah ha….MUAH HA HA HA HA HA!!!!”

“Huh?”  I asked.

“Oh nothing, nothing.”

Taken during the two hour sweeps week special episode, "Jenna Does Yardwork."

Taken during the two hour sweeps week special episode, “Jenna Does Yardwork.”

The reality stars took to the stage.  There was Jenna Simone, the super foxy blonde whose main claim to fame was that sheonce slept with an NFL player.  A tape was leaked and based off that one encounter, she built a multi-million dollar empire that included a fashion line, a perfume, and her TV show, Shopping With Jenna.

Cameras follow her around while she buys clothes.  That’s all that happens, yet more people tune in to watch her pick out her next dress than for the president’s state of the union address.

She wore all pink, carried Guillermo, a yippy purse dog that was even smaller than Bookshelf Q. Battledog, and raised up her oversized sunglasses just long enough to make a facial expression that indicated to everyone she was overwhelmingly bored being there.

“Mommy should fire her agent,” Jenna said to Guillermo.  “Yes she should.”

Next up were Bob and Todd Streibchek, a pair of grisly brothers/plumbers from the Bronx who rose to fame with their show, “Toilet Catastrophes.”

They were a crowd favorite too.

“People please,”  Bob said.  “Sure, you’re happy now, but what none of you realize is that inside each and every one of your homes is a porcelain death trap waiting to kill you if not calibrated properly.”

Toilet explosions.  People getting sucked into their toilets.  Alligators popping out of toilets and biting unsuspecting butts.  Bob and Todd had seen it all.

The scene of the crime.

The scene of the crime.

Last but not least, there was the cast of Stereotypical Italian New Jerseyians.  Donnie A.  Donnie B.  Vinny Stugotz.  Maria Dub Step and last but not least, Lil’ Schnookums.

Vinny grabbed the mic.

“What, a mad scientist wants to experiment on me ovah hea’?  Fahgeddaboudit!”

“What’s that?”  Alien Jones asked into his phone.  “Vaporize them if the demonstration doesn’t work?  Oh Potent One, I don’t believe that would comply with Earth law.  What?  Yes, I know.  Yes.  You are the Mighty Potentate.”

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 1 (Part 2)

“Oranges!  Get your oranges here!”

Oh great.  Bernie was taking advantage of the spectacle to sell his fruit.


Bernie “MC Plotz” Plotznick, one half of the defunct rap duo, “The Funky Hunks.”

It’s not easy getting a brief taste of fame at a young age only to spend the rest of your life in the entertainment industry’s shadow.

I managed to move on from my Funky Hunk days by becoming the owner/proprietor of a book blog with 3.5 readers.  Bernie, on the other hand, was still stuck in the past, refusing to do anything with his life because he was certain a Funky Hunk resurgence was just around the corner.

In the meantime, he eeked out a meager existence by buying oranges from the supermarket and reselling them to people who felt sorry for him.

“Full of citrusy goodness and your daily requirement of vitamin c, folks!”

“Don’t make eye contact,”  I said to VGRF.


Too late.


Bernie gave me a big hug.

“What up dawg?”

“Hey Bernie.”

“How you been, man?  I hear you’re taking the Internet by storm now?”

“Well, I don’t want to brag, but I do run a WordPress blog with 3.5 readers.  How are you?”

“Me?”  Bernie asked.  “I’m hella tight, son.  Hella tight.  Been kickin’ some sick rhymes.”

“Good for you.”

“Yo, you gotta check this one out.”

“No,”  I said.  “It’s ok.  Maybe later.”

Bernie launched straight into a non-threatening Funky Hunks style rap:

Yo.  Yo yo.  2015.  Funky Hunks back on the scene.

Check it.

Homework!  It’s what you gotta do!

To gain lots of knowledge.

Make your parents happy too.

Everyone started staring at Bernie and not in a good way.

After you’re done,

Practice those ABC’s.

It’s all about killin’ the SAT’s!

“That’s great, Bern,”  I said.  “Really great.”

He kept going.

Algebra!  It seems really tough!

But it totally isn’t when you practice that stuff!”

“BERN!  I got it.”

“That’s the shit, right?  Is that the shit or is that the shit?”

“Oh, it’s shit alright.”

There was a sore spot between Bernie and I.  Back in the day, our manager thought we should rap about sex, drugs and violence like all the other rappers were doing.  I was willing to do it for the money but Bernie refused to rap about anything non-wholesome.

Sometimes I’m mad at him for costing me a ton of cash.  Other times I’m glad he saved my soul because sex, drugs and money isn’t what I’m all about.  Well, the drugs and violence parts anyway.  The sex part?  As a big time nerd, life decided that’s not what I’m about for me.

“We need to get together and lay down a track,”  Bernie said.

“I’ll get back to you on that.  I’ve been busy.”

Bernie spied VGRF.

Video Game Rack Fighter, BQB's Main Squeeze

Video Game Rack Fighter, BQB’s Better Half

“Yeah, I see you’ve been gettin’ busy.  BQB I heard you was knockin’ boots with a fine ass she-nerd honey but DAYUM!”

VGRF looked at me as if to say, “What do I do?”

“He’s attempting to compliment you,”  I said.

“Oh.  Thank you?”

“No doubt,”  Bernie said.  “Say BQB, I ‘aint tryin’ seperate you from your duckets or nothin.'”

Here it comes.

“I worry about you man.  You need your strength.  You want an orange?”

“How much?”

“Five Washingtons.”

“Are you serious?”

“MC Plotz don’t play, sucka.”

I handed over a fiver and received an orange.  God, I felt sorry for that guy.

Some boring elevator music played over the speakers and an old man wearing a tweed jacket and a bowtie trudged up onto the stage and rested on his cane.

It was Mayor Philbert T. Bramble.  He’d been the leader of East Randomtown for as long as I could remember, not due to his political prowess, but because no one else wanted the job.  He’d been running unopposed forever.

The Right Honorable Philbert T. Bramble, Mayor of East Randomtown

The Right Honorable Philbert T. Bramble, Mayor of East Randomtown

“Good afternoon, East Randomtown!”  the Mayor said.  “What a lovely audience and…”

Mayor Bramble looked directly at me.

“Is that Bookshelf Q. Battler?”

I tried to hide behind VGRF and Bernie.  Alien Jones was busy checking messages on his phone.  It was a suped up, hyper charged alien phone, much more awesome than our Earth phones.

“Friends,”  Mayor Bramble said.  “In 1985, East Randomtown resident Doug Hauser got himself a thirty-second spot as a dope pusher on Miami Vice. As I watched that young man get the tar beaten out of him by Don Johnson, I thought to myself, ‘Never again will East Randomtown experience such greatness!'”

Sigh.  It was true.  I was a virtual unknown to the rest of the world, but in my hometown, I was known as “The Man Who Ousted the Miami Vice Extra.

It was a dubious honor.

The crowd cheered.  “BQB!  BQB!  BQB!”

The Mayor continued.

“But then BQB came along and brought glory to our little burg by starting a blog that attracted the attention of not one…not two…not even three…but THREE POINT FIVE READERS!”

Throughout the crowd there were utterances of “Wow” and “Oh my God!” and so on.

“Come on up here, BQB!”

“Uh,”  I mumbled from the crowd.  “I’d really rather not.  It’s Dr. Hugo’s big day and all..”

VGRF nudged me.  “Go ahead.”


“Yes.  You’ve earned it.”

What a supportive girlfriend.  Most women would have demanded that I quit my bloggery by now but VGRF had always been there for me.

I headed for the stage.

“Bring your family with you!”  Mayor Bramble said.

VGRF and Alien Jones, still incognito as my “son,” tagged along.  Bernie invited himself.

As soon as I was on stage, the crowd went nuts.  A forty-something lady threw her blue denim stretch pants at me.  They smacked me right in the face.  It was awkward.

“3.5 readers,”  Mayor Bramble said.  “How do you do it, son?  What’s your secret?”

The Mayor pointed the microphone at me.

“I’m just lucky I guess.”

He put his arm around me.

“Don’t be so modest, my boy.  These stories you tell about a magic bookshelf, a space alien, and a 1950’s private detective and so on, you have quite an imagination to dream all that up.”

“Oh yeah,”  I said.  “None of that is real.”

Or is it?

“BQB, I’m so glad you came because this gives me the chance to announce a piece of important news.  Just yesterday, I signed papers ordering the East Randomtown Maintenance Department to knock down the statue of Doug Hauser in East Randomtown Park and replace it with a sculpture of your likeness!”

The crowd clapped.  One guy yelled, “Doug Hauser sucks!”

“Oh no,”  I said.  “Please don’t do that, sir.  I don’t want to step on Doug’s accomplishment.”

“Stop being so modest, my boy,” the Mayor said.  “Hauser is an old has-been.  You are this town’s future.”

Yeesh.  I felt sorry for the town then.

Attorney Donnelly notes that any reference to renowned thespian Don Johnson and/or the quality television program Miami Vice are purely fictional and for parody purposes only.  Crockett and Tubbs 4-eva.

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 1 – (Part 1)


Thank you for choosing to do your shopping here, instead of on that damn Internet, which we’re sure is totally just a fad that will die out any minute now.

Three stores are still open and we asked the manager of the pretzel stand to stop spitting into the batter.

Also, the police caught that weirdo who was stabbing people at random with a hatpin.

Enjoy your visit and please tell your friends we’re still open.

No, seriously.  Please tell them.  PLEASE!

It was a chilly fall Thursday afternoon.

“Dear Diary,
        I hate zombies.”
       – BQB

I’d been stressed out lately.  It’d been almost a year into a one post a day challenge on my website, “The Bookshelf Battle Blog,” and I was only at a mere 3.5 reader count.

The bad news was that Aunt Gertie had given up on my blog altogether, labeling it “too pedestrian.”  Everyone’s a critic.

The good news was that I gained a new reader in Guam to replace her, so it was a wash.

On top of reader recruitment woes, my attorney, Delilah K. Donnelly, warned me that she was pretty sure that Jake Hatcher, my site’s Pop Culture Detective, wanted to pound my face flat for withholding the secret of his 59 year nap from him.

I needed a day off.

My girlfriend/video game correspondent, Video Game Rack Fighter, held my hand as we strolled past a whole row of empty stores, the steel security gates yanked shut to prevent bums from turning them into makeshift condos.

“This place used to be jammed packed on Saturdays,”  I said.  “Bernie and I would grab a table at the food court and practice our beats all day long.”

BQB circa 1999, back when he rapped under the name,

BQB circa 1999, back when he rapped under the name, “Read N. Plenty” as one half of the wholesome rap duo, The Funky Hunks

Bernie Plotznick, my old East Randomtown High School buddy.  In the late 90’s/early 2000’s, Bernie and I were a two-man rap duo known as, “The Funky Hunks.”  If you like good rap, you’ve never heard of us.  If you were a soccer mom around that time, you probably threw your blue denim stretch pants up on our stage, as our non-threatening, goody two shoes style made us a hit with the over forty ladies’ circuit.

But I digress.

“I miss the arcade,”  VGRF said.  “My mom used to drive me and my sister here all the way from West Randomtown just to waste our quarters on Pac-Man.”

Randomtown began as a settlement in pre-USA colonial days.  Alas, a split came when Zebediah Weston accused Jericho Eastward of oggling his sister’s shapely ankles.  War was declared, a bloodbath ensued, and the town was divided down the middle.

“Come, dear sister! Those a-holes in East Randomtown shall oggle your shapely ankles no longer!”

VGRF and I were from opposite sides of the tracks, but somehow we made it work.

“Pitiful humans,” came a low, baritone voice from my right side.  “Outsource your economy to the machines and eventually they will take control.  This is exactly what happened to those dimwitted Moloklaxons, the…”

“We know, AJ,”  VGRF interrupted.  “The a-holes of the universe.”


Oh, if you’re just tuning in, I should inform you that the Mighty Potentate, the maniacal despotic overlord of a planet the name of which I’ve been repeatedly told is none of my business, has decreed that I am the “Chosen One.”



Specifically, said supreme alien ruler:

  • Is a big fan of fiction books and scripted television
  • Was aghast when he discovered just how many reality television programs Earth has produced.
  • Fears that a day will come when Earthlings will learn how to broadcast this trash throughout the cosmos, thus turning all alien races stupid and replacing his beloved scripted programming with shows about models shopping for clothes and such.
  • Has dispatched his emissary, Alien Jones, aka “The Esteemed Brainy One,” a three foot tall green alien with large eyes and a bulbous head atop a skinny body, to help get my writing career off the ground by promoting my blog through an “Ask the Alien” column.

It’s a lot of pressure knowing that an extra-terrestrial dictator believes my fiction may one day prevent the dumbing down of the entire universe.  Even more worrisome is the fact that if my writing career falls through, the Mighty Potentate plans to take over Earth just so he can ban reality TV entirely.

I try not to think about it.

Alien Jones usually beamed his columns to my blog from his ship and only visited my home, Bookshelf Q. Battler Headquarters (BQBHQ), on Thursdays for Scandal night.  It’s become a regular tradition.  He brings the dip.

Other than that, this was the first time we’d gone out in public together.

The little guy was in disguise. Earlier, he dug into a box of old clothing Aunt Gertie had saved from when I was a kid and put on

This journal is a riveting read, BQB.

This journal is a riveting read, BQB.

my “East Randomtown Mascots” baseball cap, a striped shirt, a pair of corduroy pants, sneakers and a little beige zip up barracuda jacket. A scarf covered most of his face.

He also borrowed VGRF’s sunglasses to cover his out of this world peepers.  They were purple and girly, but Alien Jones doesn’t have any junk to speak of, so I don’t think he cared.

“AJ, are you sure it’s safe for you to be out here?”  I asked.  “I don’t want the government catching you and slicing you up or anything.”

“Fear not,”  AJ replied.  “If anyone asks, I am a typical Earth boy.  My interests include super heroes, sports teams, and amphibians with martial arts training.”

The Esteemed Brainy One barged his way between VGRF and myself and reached his three fingered hands up to grab ours.

“We are an average Earth family on a visit to the commerce emporium,”  Alien Jones said.  “Anyone who implies otherwise will be vaporized.”

The key to the Mighty Potentate’s rule was his vaporization technology, which he used to turn anyone who disappointed him in the slightest way into a fine mist.  As one of the MP’s most trusted advisors, AJ was allowed to carry a vaporization blaster, though in any given week, the Mightiest of Potentates threatened to make AJ use it on himself unless his various missions were carried out to the letter.

Promoting my writing career was one of many MP mandated tasks AJ was juggling.  I felt for the guy.  He was swamped.

“AJ!”  I said.  “You didn’t bring your vaporizer with you did you?”

An old lady who’d been walking near us overheard me and ducked down in front of my alien.

“Vaporizer?  Oh no, what’s the matter?  Does this poor little guy have a cold?”

She reached under the scarf to pinch AJ’s cheek.  VGRF and I looked at each other, unsure what to do.

“He does feel a little clammy.”

The thing you have to understand is that Alien Jones’ normal speaking voice sounds more or less like that smooth ass soul singer Barry White.

That’s pretty cool…unless you’re supposed to be a kid.

“Unhand me hideous creature.”

The old woman stood up, shocked and in a panic, ready to have a heart attack.

VGRF swooped in with a save.

“He’s got a sore throat,”  she said.  “And possibly ADD.  We’re getting him tested.”

Befuddled, the lady walked away.  We carried on.

“You know if you’re supposed to be a kid you probably don’t want to sound like you’re going to break out in a 1970’s love ballad,”  I said.

“Right,”  the alien replied, and then after shifting his voice lower to mimic that of a little kid’s, added, “How’s this, daddy?”

Here, I should point out there’s little Alien Jones can’t do.  Mind reading.  Voice changing.  You name it.

“Incredibly creepy,”  I said.  “And don’t call me daddy ever again.”

“AJ,”  VGRF said, “What could possibly be happening at this mall that’s so important you had to drag us all the way out here anyway?”

As we closed in on the food court, the Esteemed Brainy One relinquished my hand and pointed toward a stage.

On it, a video monitor had been set up.

Displayed on it were the words:

Today only at 1:00 p.m.

Infamous Inventor Dr. Hugo Von Science Presents His Latest Achievement:

The Reality TV Star Transmogrifier!

My diminutive friend returned to his bass voice.

“The Mighty Potentate demands I purchase every one in stock.”

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#31ZombieAuthors – The Full Schedule

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Want to know what day your favorite zombie author is stopping by the Bookshelf Battle Blog?

See the info below.  3.5 readers, these writers were kind enough to help me out, so please help them out as much as you can.

Check out their books.  If you enjoy them, leave a review.  Reviews on Amazon send authors higher up the charts, so you can help them out.  Tell your friends about them through your favorite time wasting social media site.


If you want a short synopsis of who the authors are and what they’re going to talk about:

Oct. 1 – 10 Interviews

Oct. 11-20 Interviews

Lineup for Oct. 21-31 is coming.


If you just want the author’s name and date of appearance, see below.  Clicking on the author’s name will bring you to their Amazon page.


1 – Sarah Lyons Fleming

2 – Jamie Johnesee 

3 – Stevie Kopas

4 – Ann Christy 

5 – Perrin Briar

6 – S.G. Lee

7 – Gillian Zane

8 – Joseph “Zombie” Zuko

9 – Devan Sagliani

10 – Armand Rosamillia 

11 – Rachel Aukes

12 – Joe McKinney

13 – Michael Cairns

14 – Kate L. Mary 

15 – Peter Meredith

16 – Saul Tanpepper

17 – Jeremy Laszlo

18 – Deirdre Gould

19 – Eric A. Shelman 

20 – Rachel Higginson

21 – Al K. Line

22 – Ryan Casey

23 – Peter Cawdron

24 – W.J. Lundy 

25 – Luke Duffy 

26 – Rhiannon Frater

27 – Jake Bible 

28 – A. Giacomi

29 – Rick Chesler AND David Sakmyster

30 – J.M. Wilde

31 –  David W. Wright of the Self Publishing Podcast

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#31ZombieAuthors – An Introduction

By:  Bookshelf Q. Battler, Blogger-in-Chief

“They’re coming to get you, 3.5 readers.”


They’re ugly.  They’re stupid.  They shout “Grr!” and “Argh!” and the only thing they ever think about is the next human they’re going to dine on.

You’d think these one trick ponies’ fifteen minutes of fame would’ve dried up by now, but forty-seven years since George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead introduced zombies into mainstream pop culture in 1968, the fan base for these vile beasts has grown stronger than ever.


AMC is in full-swing, not only with The Walking Dead but an additional spinoff series, Fear the Walking Dead. Both programs follow groups of human zompoc survivors who have given up their hopes and dreams, their only focus now being how to keep themselves from becoming zombie chow.


You’ll find zombies at the box office, and not just the ones trying to eat your brains while you’re trying to eat your popcorn. Brad Pitt, Hollywood’s top leading man, believed zombies were bankable enough that he starred in World War Z, a screen adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel about a world overrun with vile, coldblooded fiends.

No, not lawyers.  Zombies.

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger got in on the zombie action this summer with Maggie, the story of a father who wants to save his daughter who has turned into a zombie.  No, not as in the typical “spends too much time on the phone and social media” kind of teenage zombie but a “I want to bite your face off” zombie.


Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising put players in situations where they have to use their ingenuity and the tools around them to survive.

Personally, I think the original Dead Rising, which put players in a zombie infested mall and asked them to escape with all the products and tools in a large shopping center at their disposal was as ingenious as it was fun and scary.


Here’s where #31ZombieAuthors come in.

It all began as a fun idea.  I’d write a story in which I, Bookshelf Q. Battler, am trapped in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, and have to contact one author per day for help.

Seemed like a cool way to promote the blog around Halloween time.

Initially, I thought that I’d contact a few authors, they’d all tell me no, then I’d give up and move on to something else.

Instead, I was blown away by how many professional, established writers were willing to donate their time to this project.


  • I contacted these folks cold.  I introduced myself just as I am – Bookshelf Q. Battler, World Renowned Poindexter and Blogger-in-Chief of the Bookshelf Battle Blog.
  • I didn’t offer my so-called “real name.”  And no one asked for it.  Not a one of them was like, “Well, I’ll do it if I know who you really are.”  I don’t know why anyone would ask me that anyway.  I really am Bookshelf Q. Battler.
  • In a way, that made me happy, that all these fine scribes were willing to trust me, a guy they don’t know, who claims to own a magic bookshelf and be the best friend of an alien.  I like to think that means I must be doing something right around here since these fine individuals deemed me worthy of their precious time.
  • I offered them nothing.  I was upfront with the fact that my blog caters to a modest audience of 3.5 readers, so it wasn’t like they could expect a surge in book sales.  They all just cared enough to want to help an aspiring writer out. Honestly, I’m probably getting more out of this than they will.  That fact alone makes them all pretty cool people.


Thirty-one (actually thirty-three as I’ll be interviewing two writing duos) came together on very short notice and helped me put together a massive undertaking within about a month.

If ever you doubt there’s a generous online community for writers, think about that.


They all come from different backgrounds and walks of life.  Our interviewees include a cop, soldiers, full time mothers, preppers, podcasters and yes, there might even be a nerd or two.  They’re from America, England, Australia, and Canada.  All different ages.

All united by a common love of undead creatures that want to munch on your brains.

More importantly, they’ve all brought their own unique experiences, style, and voice to the zombie genre.  A cop fighting his way through a zombie apocalypse.  Soldiers on a mission when zombies suddenly attack out of nowhere.  An average, nondescript office worker suddenly faces a threat the likes of which he’s never faced before in his humdrum life.

People who become zombies via the Internet.  (Insert joke here.)  Zombie-fied literary classics that will make your snooty college English professor pop a monocle.  Zombies in the past.  Zombies in the future.  There’s even a couple of zombies who defy their nature to the point where you might not mind being pals with them.


If you love zombies, this is the place to be in October.


Visit bookshelfbattle.com everyday for:

  • The latest post from Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal.  That’s right.  Zombies are going to attack East Randomtown and I will update you, the 3.5 readers, every step of the way as my friends and I search for safety.
  • The Zombie Author Interview of the Day – At great personal risk, I will take a break from my survival efforts once a day to “call” and interview an author of zombie fiction.  I’m not trying to make myself out as some kind of hero, 3.5 readers, but just remember what I’m putting myself through here for your entertainment when it comes Leibster Award time.  Do you think that old lady blogging about her buttermilk biscuits on the blog next door is going to fight zombies and interview zombie authors for you?  I think not.


  • Every Sunday, Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian will perform his act live from the East Randomtown Chuckle Barn. He’ll review the past week’s interviews and tell you who’s stopping by the blog in the week ahead.  This funny zombie will leave you in stitches, and that’s not a pun.
  • Zombie Trump will review the upcoming episodes of The Walking Dead.  Quote Zombie Trump, “This is going to be huuuuuge!  I’m going to bring that loser nerd Bookshelf Q. Battler the highest jump in ratings his pathetic excuse for a blog has ever seen!”


Zombie lovers, do you know anyone else who’s lined up thirty-one zombie authors?  No.

So take advantage of this and:

ON TWITTER – Tweet your questions to @bookshelfbattle.

ON FACEBOOK – Ask your questions on www.facebook.com/bookshelfqbattler

ON WATTPAD – Pose your inquiries to @bookshelfbattle and follow along as I will be posting excerpts from Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal over there a few days after doing so here.  You’ll still have to come here for the author interviews though.

On Google Plus – ask your questions here.

NOTE:  As you can imagine, Halloween season is the busiest time of year for a zombie author, so I don’t want to guarantee that they’ll be able to answer your questions about zombies, but in the event they can’t, I will!


If you’re having fun, please tell your friends!  The more zombie fans the merrier.  Let’s rock this blog’s stats to the point where I have to retire the 3.5 readers joke.


I couldn’t have done this without you, 3.5.  A blogger needs an audience and I couldn’t have put this together without being sure that at least 3.5 of you would show up.

Please pat yourselves on all 3.5 of your backs.

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#31ZombieAuthors starts now!

Attorney Donnelly notes that the Bookshelf Battle Blog disclaims any and all liability for anyone who is eaten by and/or turned into a zombie.  You step into a zombie apocalypse, you take your chances.

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Kicking Things Off – A Twitter Interview with Brian Keene

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Throughout the past month, as I did my research and spoke to zombie enthusiasts, one name came up over and over again:

Brian Keene.

In 2003, Keene published The Rising.  One of the best-selling zombie novels of all time, it follows Jim Thurmond, a father who must fight his way through a zombie apocalypse to find his young son.  Martin, a preacher who’s trying to hold onto his faith and Frankie, a struggling heroin addict, round out the band of survivors.

This book is credited with bringing about a zombie renaissance.  Sure, George Romero brought zombies to pop culture in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead, but when 2000 came around, zombies were deader than themselves.

Thus, Keene (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) is credited with bringing the zombie genre back to life and starting an undead craze that so far, shows no signs of letting up.

In search of an interview, I tweeted Keene.  As you might imagine, one of the forefathers of the zombie movement is mighty busy this time of year, but he graciously to answer three tweeted questions.

So without further ado:

Q+A #1

BQB: You never know, 3.5 readers.  That idea floating around in your head might just start the new craze.  And luckily, I’m going to be interviewing thirty-one authors who are covering new ground in the zombie game.

Q+A #2

BQB:  Well, I was hoping he’d be honest and pull no punches, and he delivered.  It doesn’t happen overnight, folks.  Success by 2035!  I can’t wait.  Better than no success at all.  Let’s try to see the glass as half full here, people.

Q+A #3

BQB: Makes sense.  In a zombie apocalypse, your potential friend pool consists of the undead who want to eat you and the living who want to kill you so they can eat your food.  Oh well.  As long as I have my 3.5 readers, I’ll never be lonely.


I’d like to thank Brian for taking the time to answer my questions.  He certainly didn’t have to but that he made time for me shows that he truly cares about his readers.

As for my 3.5 readers, I hope you’ll check out Brian’s website and his Amazon Author Page.  Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Rising.  It’s a must read for any zombie fanatic.

If there’s a school of zombie fiction, then Brian’s the dean, and what an honor it is for the dean to stop by and get this zombie apocalypse started.

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