Daily Archives: October 27, 2015

#31ZombieAuthors – Day 27 Interview – Happy Birthday Jake Bible, Esteemed Inventor of the Drabble Novel

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By: Special Guest Interviewer, Alien Jones

Humans, my guest today is none other than Jake Bible.  A Bram Stoker Award nominated novelist, short story writer, independent screenwriter, podcaster, and inventor of “the Drabble Novel,” he’s entertained thousands with his horror and science fiction tales, reaching audiences of all ages with his ability to write in a wide range of genres.

Jake is the author of the bestselling Z-Burbia series.  Set in Asheville, NC, the books follows residents of a suburban community as they transition from easygoing living to post-apocalyptic zombie fighting.

SIDENOTE:  Today, October 27, is also Jake’s birthday.

A recent court ruling made the “Happy Birthday Song” free to all, which is great, because knowing that old cheapskate BQB, he’d of never approved of us singing it otherwise.

So let’s all sing Jake “Happy Birthday” shall we?

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday Dear Jake Bible, Esteemed Inventor of the Drabble Novel!

Happy Birthday to you!!!!

Jake, welcome and thanks for taking my call on the space phone.

NOTE: BOLD=ALIEN JONES; ITALICS=JAKE

Q.  Here’s a question I’ve been wondering all month.  Humans live in a modern world.  Everything from technology to toilets, cars to electricity is available.  Why are so many humans fantasizing about living in a post-apocalyptic world where showers are a thing of the past and zombies want to eat them?  Are humans right in the head?

A. First, no, humans are not right in the head. That’s just a fact of life. as for why they would want to live in a post-apocalyptic world, well, that’s easy: it’s the great equalizer. Your survival depends on your skills and intelligence, not on what car you drive, how much you make, or whether or not you get a high score on a performance review. The rich can’t buy survival and the idiots won’t survive long. Win/win situation, in my opinion.

Q.  I suspect the characters that filled Whispering Pines, the suburban neighborhood featured in Z-Burbia miss their once comfortable lifestyle.  Though I don’t mean to ask for spoilers, can you give us a glimpse of what they have to go through?  How is zompoc living vs. suburban living?

A. Part of the satire in Z-Burbia is that the Whispering Pines homeowners don’t give up much after the dead rise. They keep their HOA and try to go on with life as usual. They have established power, they grow their own food, they even still have natural gas flowing. Sure, the dead want to eat their brains, but that’s what huge walls and razor wire are for, right? I mean, these people even have WiFi, just no Internet since the outside world wasn’t as lucky as the survivors in Whispering Pines.

Q.  You’re the inventor of “The Drabble Novel.”  On your blog, Brain Squeezin’s, you describe this as “a short short story written using only 100 words. Not 99 words, not 101 words, but 100 words exactly.”  You then go on to explain how you piece together several “drabbles” together to come up with a larger novel.  Am I correct in this description and how did you first discover this amazing contribution to the world of literature?

A.  I started writing drabbles to sharpen my skills as a writer. Being constrained by an exact number of words teaches you how to edit and how to make sure each word counts. When I went to write my first novel, Dead Mech, I used the writing form as an exercise to get used to characters and settings. Then I realized I liked the feel and flow of 100 words as scene sections. Instead of rewriting what I already had, I started filling in gaps and before I knew it I had the beginnings of a drabble novel where each section is exactly 100 words. It really gives the novel a cinematic, quick-cut feel which is perfect for the over the top, high-action plot.

Q. “Once upon a time, a bunny rabbit was hopping through the forest.  It stopped to eat a carrot when an enormous dragon swooped down and breathed fire in the bunny’s general direction.  Instantly, the rabbit harnessed the ancient power of the ninja masters of old, jumped into the air, and delivered a crushing roundhouse kick to the dragon’s hideous snout.  The beast fell to the ground with a deafening crash and the bunny skinned its oily hide and sold its dragon leather.  He then used the proceeds to take a gaggle of she-bunnies out on the town. Hanky panky transpired.”

ALIEN JONES: That’s one-hundred words exactly.  How’d I do?  Do I have a future in this business or what?

A.  You did great! That’s a story, right there. As for a future, well, drabbles don’t pay much. So, yes, you have a future, just a poor and hungry one. 😉

Q.  You’ve written other zombie tales outside of Z-Burbia.  One that comes to mind is Bethany and the Zombie Jesus.  To give readers a brief rundown, a stone carved likeness of Jesus decides it doesn’t want to be on a cross anymore, comes down and its up to Bethany to stop Zombie Jesus from bringing about the end of days.

I have to say, that’s one of the most unique zombie story premises I’ve observed yet.  How did you come up with that one?

A. The idea that Jesus rose from the grave makes him an easy target for zombification. So I went with that idea that instead of Jesus rising and being the world’s savior, he rose and was ready to start the zombie apocalypse a few thousand years ago and it has been left up to a handful of men and women over the millennia to keep watch over him and make sure he doesn’t get loose. Of course, eventually he gets loose and that’s where Bethany begins.

Q.  Kaiju.  Monster sharks.  Mechs.  These are just some of the topics of your other novels.  Accordingly, I have to ask, Monster Shark vs. Zombies.  Who wins?  Feel free to weigh in on a Kaiju’s or a Mech’s chances against a zombie horde as well.

A. Monster Shark will always beat zombies. Mainly because of its environment. Also, a monster shark is the ultimate apex predator. Now, if a monster shark becomes a zombie, that’s a whole other ballgame. Kaiju would take out a zombie horde, no problem. Stomp, stomp, chomp, done. Pretty much the same with mechs, minus the chomp part. Unless the mech is damaged and has no ammo then it is highly possible it can be overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Physics are physics.

Q.  Happy Birthday Jake.  I’d of baked you a cake but you know, I’m trapped in a zombie apocalypse and all.  Speaking of, before I go, do you have any last minute advice that might help the humans and I survive the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?

A.  Never assume you are safe, never relax, always be on the lookout for trouble and always have an exit plan. Keep your loved ones close and your weapons closer. And cardio. That is always good advice. Cardio.

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Alien Jones’ Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 27

Night came and went and eventually Video Game Rack Fighter passed out from exhaustion, lying in bed next to her beau, Bookshelf Q. Battler, holding him tightly.

BQB, the illustrious host of a blog with a mere 3.5 readers, barely held on.  I scanned him with my, well, I’ll keep calling it a space phone because that’s about all your insignificant human brains could ever possibly understand.

The nerd’s life pulse was growing dim.

Suddenly, a hole was vaporized in the ceiling by a red beam of light.  Another beam of gold light took its place and my Supreme Overlord, the Mighty Potentate, materialized in the room, golden scepter in hand, oversized crown on his head.

Three of his best security aliens materialized as well.  The MP is too important not to have protection.

I dropped to my knees and proceeded to flagellate myself, as is the custom of my home world whenever one is in the presence of The Potent One.

“Oh Great Potentositude!”  I said as I flailed my arms up and down.  “I am not worthy of your presence!  Why do you honor one as lowly as I with your magnanimous appearance?”

The Mighty Potentate only had one volume – LOUD.  He didn’t have a quiet setting.  He shouted everything he had to say in the tone of a being that was planning to murder you.

Probably because most of the time he usually is but let’s not get bogged down by semantics.

“JONES!  SPARE ME YOUR RUMP SWABBERY AND STAND AT ONCE!”

I did.  My ruler pointed at BQB, who was lying there with his mouth agape.

“Why is the Chosen One is such a horrid state?  Explain yourself immediately or be vaporized!”

The security aliens cocked and locked their vaporization blasters, ready to turn me into a fine mist.

Vaporization was the Mighty Potentate’s solution for everything.  I can’t say it didn’t work for him.  My home world ran like a well oiled machine, thanks to constant, non-stop threats of vaporization.  In fact, your human leaders might want to look into this practice.

“Oh He of Vast Potent Powers,”  I said.  “Please forgive me for my failure.  Bookshelf Q. Battler, er, ‘The Chosen One’ was forced into a trial by zombie combat and was injured.”

“And you let it happen!”  the Mighty Potentate said.  “Do you know if the Chosen One dies, I’ll be left with no choice but to break Intergalactic Space Law, separate our planet from the Intergalactic Space Organization, and conduct a full scale invasion of Earth just to prevent the spread of reality television to the rest of the universe?”

“Mighty Potentate,”  I said.  “I am so sorry I have failed you.  Truly, an insect such as I does not deserve to bask in the glorious rays of your pleasant visage.  It’s just that you’ve put down so many edicts that sometimes I get confused.  ‘Protect the Chosen One.’  ‘Don’t do anything that will draw too much attention from the humans.’  ‘Do not interfere in human affairs.’  It’s like I can’t follow one of your orders without breaking another one.’”

The Mighty Potentate’s face turned into one of furious anger.  His volume went off the charts.

“DO YOU DARE QUESTION THE COMMANDS OF YOUR SUPREME OVERLORD?!”

I trembled.  The Mighty Potentate was the only being in the universe that ever made me afraid.  I’m not sure if it was because I was scared of vaporization, saddened by the possibility of disappointing a ruler I had tremendous respect for, or a combination of the two.

“No!  Not at all, oh Mightiest of Potentates!  It was my brain, much inferior to yours, that wasn’t able to figure out how to protect the Chosen One and follow your edicts at the same time!”

“Believe it or not, Jones, but the last thing I want to do is conquer Earth,”  the Mighty Potentate said.  “Are you aware that Zamfram’s Intergalactic Real Estate Guide lists Earth as the cheapest property in the entire universe?  I won’t even be able to pay a junk service to haul this miserable excuse for a planet away.”

I could tell the Mighty Potentate was ready to rant.  I didn’t interrupt.

“Do you know these hairless apes have been around for nearly two hundred thousand years and they only figured out six hundred years ago that if they sail from one side of the planet to the other they won’t fall off?”

“Imbeciles for certain,” I said.  “Humans surely rival the Moloklaxons as the dumbest species.”

“Holy Flarking Shazbo,”  the Mighty Potentate continued.  “They destroy their protective ozone layer with products that make their hair shinier.  They wage war after war in the name of one invisible man in the sky because they don’t like the idea that another group of humans would believe in a different human in the sky.  And they consume cheese stuffed crust pizza by the truck load then wonder why they’re fatter than space cows.”

“It’s a real mess down here, MP,”  I said.  “I’ve done the best I can to inform the humans as to how they can change their ways with my ‘Ask the Alien’ column.

“All of this nonsense I can put up with,”  the Mighty Potentate said.  “But having my television invaded by programs about supermodels with large behinds who go shopping, plumbers who fix toilets, grizzly pawn shop owners, and stereotypical Italians from New Jersey who do nothing but party and get spray on tans is where I draw the line.  I will send my entire armada to take over this planet to prevent that from happening.”

“I understand, Mighty One,”  I said.  “You’re very protective of your beloved scripted programming.”

“Damn straight!”  the Mighty Potentate said.  “Why would anyone watch reality TV show when they can take in a drama full of twists and plot turns?  It makes no sense!”

“Another human mystery I suppose,”  I said.

“This is a sad state of affairs,”  the Mighty Potentate said.  “The Chosen One is the only human holding my back from a global conquest.”

I had a question and as I’m sure you realize, posing a question to an unquestionable ruler is a sticky wicket to be sure.

“Mighty Potentate,”  I said.  “Know that I, your humble servant, would never question your mandates, but I have a question that will help my pitiful brain understand your declarations better.  Are you certain that BQB is, in fact, the Chosen One?”

“DO YOU DARE CAST DOUBT ON YOUR MIGHTY POTENTATE?”

“No!  Not at all!”  I said.  “It’s just…well…all BQB does is go to work then come home, watch TV and eat nachos.  Once in awhile he tries to write, gets a sentence or two down, then announces, ‘F%$k it!  I’m watching Game of Thrones!  If there is greatness in him, it must be buried deep as I have yet to see it.”

“Rest assured it is there, Jones,” the Mighty Potentate said.  “I have foreseen in a vision that this nerd will write a book so witty, so charming, so amazing that the humans will rise up and demand better from the entertainment industry, and reality television will be no more without the need of an alien invasion!”

“Your visions are never wrong,”  I said.

“Of course they aren’t!  Did I not foresee that the Moloklaxons would become the A-Holes of the Universe?”

“You did.”

“Did I not foresee that Morloff Delta would become a safe haven for intergalactic space prostitutes?”

“No one but you saw that one coming, Oh Wise Potentate,”  I replied.

“And who foretold that a race of sentient iguanas would overthrow the Voscari System?”

“You did, MP,”  I said.  “The Prime Iguana is truly a bloodthirsty ruler.”

“Then stop questioning your unquestionable ruler and get with the program, Jones!”  the Mighty Potentate said.  “Help this nerd get his writing career off the ground or it’s the vaporizer for you.”

“I understand,”  I said.

“Good,”  the Mighty Potentate said as he put a hand on my shoulder.  “Jones, I would not have tolerated a failure like this from any of the other aliens under my command.  I hope you know that.”

“I had a feeling.”

“Do you know why I give you such leeway?”  the Mighty Potentate asked.

“I hope you will enlighten me, oh Great Enlightened One.”

“I am in the twilight of my life, Jones,”  the Mighty Potentate explained.  “Beings of our species rarely last longer than a million years.  I’m just shy of my 990,000 birthday.  I’ve got about ten grand’s worth of years left before my body’s organs liquefy into a putrid stench.”

“Oh Potentate,”  I said.  “Please don’t say such things.  Why, you barely look a day over 500,000.”

“Well I work out,”  the Mighty Potentate said.  “Even so, while I have conquered much of the universe, I cannot conquer death.  I must know that my empire will be in good hands when I scream the great scream of death as my body turns itself inside out as happens to all of our elderly.”

“I cannot fathom the idea of a Mighty Potentate-less world,”  I said.

“You won’t have to,” the MP said.  “For all this time, I have been grooming you to become the next Mighty Potentate.”

My life juices boiled with shock.

“Me?”

“You,”  the Mighty Potentate said.  “Why do you think I appointed you to the Esteemed Council of Potentate Advisors?  There’s the Esteemed Warmonger One, who leads all of my troops into battle.  The Esteemed Medical One, who advises me on the latest advancements in medicine, and so on.  But there can only be one Esteemed Brainy One, the alien capable of advising me on ALL matters and that is you.  Surely you’re aware of the tradition that the Esteemed Brainy One always advances to the position of Mighty Potentate upon a Mighty Potentate’s demise?”

“I am,”  I said.  “But you’ve been so efficient with your threats of vaporization that I assumed you’d just threatened the Esteemed Medical One to find a way to keep you alive indefinitely.”

“The thought had crossed my mind,”  the Mighty Potentate said.  “But honestly, I look forward to the sweet release of death that will come when my body explodes and its innards congeal into a viscous slop.  I’ve been Potentating for far too long and I need a break.”

“I shall do all I can to live up to this great honor,”  I said.

“See that you do,” the MP said.  “I’m in my golden years, Jones, and the last thing I need to do is be worrying about trying to find a buyer for a planet full of hairless apes who only figured out how to fly a hundred years ago.”

The Mighty Potentate held up his scepter and the golden beam of light returned, whisking him and his security detail away.

I dialed up another zombie author on my space phone.

“Me, the next Mighty Potentate, as long as I help the Chosen One with his writing career,”  I said.  “Let’s up BQB’s blog stats with another interview

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