Daily Archives: October 30, 2015

#31ZombieAuthors – Day 30 Interview – J.M. Wilde – Australia Zombified

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:::Looks in the mirror.  Slaps myself.:::

OK, BQB.  Get a grip.  You’ve got a half-hour left until East Randomtown is blown up.  You need to complete this interview, then go save the day.

Time is of the essence and you’re about to talk to a professional.  Sure, J.M. Wilde is one of today’s top Australian zombie fiction authors, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk and ask her about Australian stuff.  She doesn’t want to talk about kangaroos, koala bears, or dingos.  She doesn’t want to compare knife sizes a la Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee.  Don’t ask her about vegemite sandwiches or if the Men Without Hats’ mandate to ostracize friends of your friends who don’t dance is still in effect over there.

Just take all of your pre-conceived Aussie stereotypes and throw them out the window.  The fans of the highly popular Eva series deserve no less.

OK.  The space phone is ringing.

NOTE: BOLD=BQB; ITALICS=J.M.

Q.  Hello J.M.  I’m trapped in a zombie apocalypse and my hometown is about to be blown to smithereens as part of an elaborate conspiracy, but I’ve dropped everything to use a highly sophisticated alien communication device to place a call clear across the world in order to ask a question of utmost importance:

Clockwise or counterclockwise:  which way does the water swirl down the drain in the land down under?  Please.  Go flush your toilet, take copious notes, then come back with a full report.  I swear that’s all I’ll need to get all the curiosity about Australia out of my system.

A. I actually have no idea. I’ve never really noticed, I guess counterclockwise? Flushing the toilet isn’t any help because most toilets here don’t swirl, they just flush down. I didn’t even know that myth existed until that one episode of The Simpsons when they came to Australia.

Q.  By the way, since its already October 31 in Australia, Happy Halloween!  I realize this is an American holiday that began in the pre-colonial days of the U.S. in which colonists believed it was necessary to ward off evil spirits by running around in costumes, because if it’s one thing that a hell beast fears most, it’s a puritan in a bed sheet.  Fast forward to today, where once a year we all openly encourage children to disobey all the rules we impose on them throughout the rest of the year by encouraging them to “go ahead and knock on that stranger’s door and demand free food stuffs!”

Long story short – Halloween in Australia.  Does anyone over there do anything to celebrate or is it just another day?  Don’t worry if the answer is the latter.  With all the goofballs running around in costumes and all the weight I gain from eating fun size candy bars, there are times I wish it was November 1 already too.

A.  This is an interesting one. Halloween is also connected to Samhain, which takes place in Autumn. Here in Australia, Samhain takes place on May 1st, so technically that’s our Halloween. But thanks to commercialization and the many American TV shows and movies we watch, Halloween has made its way here over the last few years and is celebrated more and more on October 31st. It wasn’t celebrated here at all when I was a kid, but I would have loved to have gone trick or treating just like all my favorite characters on TV. Now, I see more and more kids and teens knocking at my door in costumes, and more Halloween decorations being sold in stores. Halloween parties are becoming a thing, too, which is awesome as I love a good costume party!

51b3SGDcMfL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Q.  Let’s talk about The Eva Series. In this three-book collection, you’ve turned Australia into one great big zombie infested death island.  Readers follow the journey of Eva as she and her friends make their way through the madness in search of safety. I have to admit, this is a pretty unique turn for the zompoc genre.  How did you come up with Eva’s story and what inspired you to tell her tale?

A. It really started because of my husband. I’d never written fiction before and wanted to try it, and at the time I thought my husband would be the only one who would ever read it. He loves zombies, so I decided to write a zombie story. And seeing as we live in Australia, I figured it would be cool to write about what might happen if a zombie virus broke out here. And voila! As They Rise, the first in the series, was born.

Q.  As I told a pair of writers the other day, I don’t have much pull in Hollywood.  Sure, Taye Diggs follows me on Twitter but I’m pretty sure he hit the follow button by accident.  That being said, “Zombies in Australia” seems like a concept ripe for a movie. On the off chance that J.J. Abrahams visits my blog by accident, give him your pitch as to why we need an Eva movie.

A. Taye Diggs follows me too! Okay, here’s my pitch. Hey J.J (or other equally awesome Hollywood person), enough already with zombies in the U.S of A! It’s been done to death (Ha! Puns.) Let’s move the fun down under where the stakes are higher and the production is cheaper. I’ve got the story, you’ve got the skills and the connections. Let’s make movie magic.

Q.  OK, I don’t want to brag, but I have been known to attract as many as 3.5 readers to my blog.  I thought that was pretty impressive until I learned that The Eva Series has racked up over 3 million reads online.  How did you get so many eyeballs on your work and for any aspiring writers out there, what can they do to attract more readers?

A. It’s all thanks to Wattpad. I don’t really know how it happened, but once I started uploading chapters to Wattpad a few years ago, it skyrocketed. I wouldn’t have ever considered being a pro writer without all the support from those early readers who kept begging me for more Eva. Aside from writing a good story and having a cool cover, I’ve found that being persistent and consistent is key when it comes to writing on Wattpad and attracting readers.

Q.  You’re a Wattpad star.  For people who aren’t as hip as we are, Wattpad is an online site that allows users to post their works and receive feedback from other users.  What about this site have you found useful and would you recommend it to other authors?

A. I adore the hell out of Wattpad, and I definitely recommend it to other authors. I think my favorite aspect about it is the interaction with readers. I’ve made friends and get to talk to my readers regularly, gain feedback on my work and just have so much fun with them.

J.M. Wilde on How to Get More Readers on Wattpad

Q.  So what’s next for you?  Any other book ideas in the works?  Could the zombies attack your neighbors?  Just going to throw it out there.  I feel like “TaZmania” or “New Z-Land” are rife with potential.

A. Haha! I love the New Z-Land idea. I’ve started working on a spin-off about one of the characters from book three, and I’ve been thinking about a potential fourth book in the series. But right now I’ve got a few other projects in the works; a couple of geeky YA contemporaries and a fanfic of The 5th Wave commissioned by Sony that’s being posted to Wattpad.

Q.  You’re a self-described fan girl.  On your website, you talk about how you want to be Iron Man and have pictures of yourself in Marty MacFly’s “future wear” from Back to the Future II, in which you’re meeting Christopher Lloyd, the actor who played Doc Brown.  I tip my hat to you, madam.  You’ve dethroned me as the Internet’s most renowned poindexter.  A lot of great superhero/comic bookish movies are coming out next year.  Which one or ones are you looking forward to most?

A.  Meeting Doc Brown was definitely one of the best moments of my life. BTTF is my fave movie so it was surreal. He’s such a nice dude. To answer your question … All of them! Deadpool. Captain America: Civil War. X-Men: Apocalypse. Suicide Squad. The list goes on!

Q.  J.M., thanks for taking a moment to talk with me.  Before I go, do you have any last minute advice that might help my friends and I survive the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?

A. As Eva learned the hard way, fire doesn’t work against zombies, it just turns them into undead fireballs. Running is always the best choice. If you can’t run like hell, fight like hell. And always follow Rule #2 of Zombieland: double tap.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE: J.M.’s running a Halloween sale!  Get all three books of the Eva series for .99 cents!

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 30 – (Part 3)

“Bookshelf?”

Attorney Donnelly was all about proper etiquette.  As long as I’d known her, she never referred to me as anything other than”Mr. Battler” without fail.

Somehow, the announcement of an impending air strike designed wipe out my entire home town didn’t cause the gravity of my situation to sink in the way hearing my lawyer, the dependable, unshakeable rock I’d grown accustomed to leaning on in times of crisis, call me by my first name did.

“I take it you saw the news?”  I asked.

“Indeed.”

“You sent a copy of Jake’s manuscript to Morganstern?”  I asked.

“I did,”  Delilah said.  “He didn’t budge.”

“Damn,”  I said.

“Never fear, Bookshelf,”  Delilah said.  “I have full confidence that your brilliant mind will devise a way out of this conundrum.”

“You really think so?”  I asked.

“Of course.”

“Thanks Delilah,”  I said.  “I have to go save East Randomtown now  Goodbye..”

“Godspeed sir.”

I kept listening as Delilah fumbled with the phone.  Just before she hanged up on her end, I distinctly heard her say, “Mr. Hatcher, I do believe we’ll be in need of a new client soon.”

Thanks a lot, D.

The space phone rang.

“Battler, you moldy sack of tarantula crap.”

“Morganstern,”  I replied.

“You really thought you could blackmail me with a threat to disperse the details of Operation Fuhrerpunschen to the world?”

“It crossed my mind,”  I said.  “I thought the man you answered to wanted to keep that info hush hush.”

“He does,”  Morganstern said.  “But he also realizes that even if that strumpet ambulance chaser of yours does release Hatcher’s manuscript, you’ll just be written off as some dopey, hair-brained conspiracy theorist.  Hatcher.  That alien.  Uncle Hardass.  No one believes any of the so-called ‘writers’ on your blog are real.  Everyone just assumes you’re some dumb ass who pretends to be others just to drag traffic to a blog that will never, EVER attract more than 3.5 readers.”

“So why kill me at all?”

“Because if you keep going, you might attract a large enough audience that people might start listening,”  Morganstern said.  “And the man I answer to can’t have that.”

“He shouldn’t worry,”  I said.  “There are backroads in the Mojave Desert that get more traffic than my site ever will.”

“That’s what I told him but it’s too late,”  Morganstern said.  “You messed with the bull.  Now it’s time to get the horns…up your ass.”

Click.

Late to the party as usual, Bernie and Blandie walked in.  Bernie zipped up his fly while Blandie attempted to brush her hair straight with her hands.

“Aw sweet!”  Bernie cried.  “Seven layer dip!”

“Not now, Bern,”  I said.  “I’m stuck with a problem I can’t solve.  Everyone’s going to die and I couldn’t feel worse about it.”

“Shit dawg,”  Bernie said as he dipped a chip.  “Whenever I feel bad I just kick a funky beat.”

I jumped up.

“That’s it!”

I ran to my bedroom, which was stuffed full of East Randomtown residents, and opened my closet.  There in the back in a plastic dry cleaning bag was an obnoxiously bright yellow track suit I hadn’t worn since the early 2000’s.

It was my Funky Hear wear.  Bernie didn’t need any.  He never stopped dressing like a Funky Hunk.

VGRF walked in.

“What are you doing?”  she asked.

“I’m going to save our asses,”  I said. “Bernie, think of the funkiest rhyme you can while I call a zombie author.”

“No,”  VGRF said.  “That’s ridiculous.  Stop interviewing zombie authors.  We’re all about to be blown sky high.”

“I made a promise to my 3.5 readers, woman!”  I said.  “I swore I’d interview one zombie author a day for 31 days and I’ll be damned if a corrupt general is going to stop me!”

“It’s too late!”  VGRF said.  “You’ve blown the 31 Zombie Authors Challenge!  All the zombie authors are fast asleep!  It’s 11:50 p.m.!”

“Maybe here,”  I said.  “But it’s already tomorrow in Australia.”

VGRF slapped me across the face for the third time this month.

“Damn it, you magnificent bastard!  Stop being so brilliant!”

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 30 – (Part 2)

Kurt Manley, perfect as always, was behind the Network News One Anchor Desk.

“Tonight’s top story…East Randomtown to be leveled!”

We all let out a collective, “WHAAAAAT?!!”

“A Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties is on the scene at the Army’s base of operations in West Randomtown.  Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties, are you there?”

A blonde reporter meeting the aforementioned description (NN1 really doesn’t even try to hide it anymore) appeared on screen, microphone in hand.

“Yes I am, Kurt.”

The camera pulled out to reveal that corrupt jackass General Morganstern standing next to her.

“General, the President has just given you the go ahead to carpet bomb the ever loving shit out of East Randomtown.  Is such a drastic move really necessary?”

“It certainly is, Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties,”  the General said.  “We’ve looked at this situation every possible way and lighting this crap hole burg up is the only option available that will keep the zombie menace from spreading to the rest of the nation.”

Cut to the studio.

“Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties?”

Split-screen between Kurt and the reporter.

“Yes Kurt?”

“What about the reports we’ve been looking to, that a resident of East Randomtown named Bookshelf Q. Battler is alive and well in town, as are a substantial number of survivors under his care?”

Back to the base.  The reporter held the mic up to the military man.

“What about it, General?”

“Utter malarkey, Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties,”  the General replied.

“But we’ve received reports that Bookshelf Q. Battler has been blogging from within East Randomtown every day for the past month,”  the reporter said.

“Poppycock,”  the General said.  “My team of experts reviewed that so-called blog.  We found it to be nothing more than a pile of hot, steamy unintelligible crap.  Bullshit about a nerd who think’s he’s an alien dictator’s chosen one, the best friend of another alien, that he has a Yeti living in his basement and so on.”

“He’s got me there,”  I said.

“I can think of a few ladies who disagree with you, General,”  the reporter said.

Cut to a park in West Randomtown, where several hundred forty something year old ladies in blue denim pants where holding a candlelight vigil.  They sang hymns and carried homemade signs.  Some of the more clever slogans included:

Funky Hunks 4-Eva!

The Funky Hunks LIVE!

Marry Me, MC Plotz!

Recyclin’ Be Dope!

I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler’s .5th reader!

Mary Flundersen, the President of the North Dakota Funky Hunks Fan Club, was standing next to a beautiful red headed reporter.

“Hot Ass Red Headed Chick With Big Titties?”

“Yes, Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties?”

“Tell us what’s going on behind you.”

“Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties,”  the red headed reporter said.  “I’m reporting from West Randomtown Park, where fans of the Funky Hunks have gathered to protest any and all military action against East Randomtown until it is confirmed that Bookshelf Q. Battler and Bernard Plotz are escorted to safety.  Ma’am, tell us how your demonstration is going.”

Mary started in with her North Midwestern “Fargo-esque” accent.

“Oh, Hot Ass Red Headed Chick With Big Titties,”  Mary said.  “It’s going well so far.  I put the call out and Funky Hunk Fans all over America and as far away as Bangladesh have flocked here to tell the world that what the General is doing is wrong.  I’m one of Bookshelf Q. Battler’s 3.5 readers, dontcha know, and I’m telling you our beloved Funky Hunks are alive and if one hair is harmed on their precious heads…”

Mary’s eyes, expression, and tone of voice all took a dark turn.

“…WE’RE GOING TO TEAR THIS MOTHER APART!!!”

All the protesters shouted “YEAH!” in the background, followed by, “NO FUNKY HUNKS, NO PEACE!”

“Back to you, Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties,”  the red headed reporter said.

“Thank you, Hot Ass Red Head Chick With Big Titties.”

The blonde reporter and Morganstern were back on screen.

“General, our own independent NN1 investigation revealed the follow facts.  One.  Though it was not very popular, a rap duo known as the Funky Hunks did exist during the late 1990’s/early 2000s.  This duo included Bookshelf Q. Battler and Bernard Plotz, who rapped under the stage names of ‘Read N. Plenty’ and ‘MC Plotz.’  They found a niche audience with forty something soccer moms in blue denim stretch pants, due to the wholesome rhymes featured on their debut album, ‘Non-Threatening White Boys.’”

“All speculation and conjecture,”  the General interrupted.

The blonde reported carried on.

“Two,” she said.  “That Bookshelf Q. Battler’s and Bernard Plotznick’s last known addresses were in East Randomtown.”

“That means nothing,”  Morganstern said.

“Three,”  the blonde reporter said.  “Despite its incredibly low readership of 3.5 individuals, a blog known as ‘The Bookshelf Battle Blog’ does exist, and for the past month, an individual claiming to be Bookshelf Q. Battler himself has been making daily posts.  In those posts, he’s alleged that at least a thousand survivors are alive and well in East Randomtown.  Shouldn’t you hold off on destroying this town until it’s known for sure whether or not Mr. Battler’s claims are accurate?”

“Now you listen here, Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties,” General Morganstern said.  “I am telling you that every last person in East Randomtown is either deader than disco or has been turned into a ruthless brain sucking bastard!  Your information is false and surely a veteran journalist such as yourself should know better than to worry about what dumb asses say on the blogosphere.  No credentials whatsoever are required to start up a website these days.  Any asshole on his living room couch can tap a few keys and be online in an instant, spouting off whatever insane conspiracy theories come to his mind!”

“Thank God,”  I said as I looked at the screen of the laptop in my lap.  It read “Bookshelf Battle.”

“I realize this is a drastic measure but I want to assure the American people that bombing East Randomtown to smithereens is the only way to keep the zombie menace from spreading.  So put on your shades and grab some hot dogs because there’s going to be one helluva weenie roast soon!”

“But General,”  the reporter said.

The General walked off.

“No more questions!”

The blonde reporter turned to the camera.

“You heard it here, first, viewers,”  the reporter said.  “An American town is about to be blown up by our own military amidst allegations that survivors remain alive within the town limits.  Back to you, Kurt.”

Cut to Kurt behind the anchor desk.

“A shocking report indeed, Hot Ass Blonde Chick With Big Titties.  Stay tuned, as we’ll be following this story as it develops. Also, is there a brand of laundry detergent that could give you the Ebola virus?  We’ll tell you whether or not its your brand after these messages, plus the weather…”

A graphic blasted onto the screen:

NETWORK NEWS ONE

The hottest chicks.  The biggest titties.

Oh yeah, and sometimes we report the news and shit.

VGRF turned to me.

“What now, fearless leader?”

“I need to make a call,”  I said.

“Now really isn’t the time to be calling a zombie author,”  VGRF said.

“Not an author,”  I said.  “My lawyer.”

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BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 30 – (Part 1)

October 30, 2015

11:00 p.m.

Bookshelf Battle Headquarters.

It all began years ago as a modest three bedroom, one and a half bath house owned by my Aunt Gertie and Uncle Hardass.

After Uncle Hardass died from a massive sandwich related heart attack, Aunt Gertie packed it in and moved to Decrepit Oaks, leaving me the home.

Lame that I never found my own place, I know, but you try getting by on the meager salary Beige Corp pays its assistant to the assistant of the vice president for corporate assistance.

Particularly noteworthy was the fact that Uncle Hardass expressly stated in his last will and testament that Aunt Gertie “should, under no circumstances, leave the house I worked my ass off for in the salt mines to Bookshelf Q. Battler, my lousy excuse for a nephew, so he can sit around and chase his hippy dream of becoming a writer.”

Gertie cared enough to take the matter before a Judge, who struck that particular provision down.  I wonder if that’s why Uncle Hardass’ ghost continues to haunt the house to this very day?  Can ghosts exert a supernatural claim to property?

Oh well.

Anyway, using the powers of my magic bookshelf (I’ll explain how later) I constructed a forty foot wall around the perimeter of my Aunt and Uncle’s former house.  The result was a monstrosity of a fortress I dubbed, “Bookshelf Battle Headquarters” or alternatively, “The Bookshelf Battle Compound.”

I prefer “BQB HQ.”  Sounds less culty.

Inside the walls, the thousand remaining residents of East Randomtown were camped out, using tents, sleeping bags, and blankets.

After checking on everyone, I entered my house, where I was able to squeeze in twenty of the town’s most frail and infirm citizens.  My chairs, bed, floor, there were few spots left in the joint that weren’t occupied by an old person.

Thanks to the magic bookshelf, we had plenty of electricity, water, phone service, cable, and so on.  Crap.  I probably should have brought the gang back to BQB HQ sooner.  Oh well.  The past month would not have been as entertaining for you 3.5 readers if I had.

“I’ve never liked those walls,”  Aunt Gertie protested from the couch.  “Don’t you think they’re a manifestation of your jaded, closed-off inner psyche?”

“No,”  I said.  “I just don’t like the idea of neighbors peaking through the windows when I walk around naked.”

“Ugh,”  Aunt Gertie said.  “You don’t really do that, do you?”

“All the time,”  VGRF said as she walked into the living room holding a bowl of tortilla chips.  “It’s disgusting.”

“Who wants seven layer dip?”  Alien Jones asked, carrying in a bowl of his own.  “The best thing about being stuck in that zombie apocalypse is there’s now a backlog of Scandal on the DVR to watch.”

FYI – Thursday nights are Scandal night at BQB HQ.  Alien Jones makes the dip.  It’s out of this world.  That’s not even a pun.

Thanks to “watch what you want, when you want it” technology, we were watching Scandal on a Friday night.

“FILTHY HUMANS NEED TO SHUT THEIR STUPID FACES WHEN DRAMATIC STYLINGS OF KERRY WASHINGTON ARE ON!”

Another FYI – “The Yeti,” an international fuzzy war criminal who happens to be my arch nemesis, has been held captive in my basement ever since he broke into my house in March and held me hostage for a month.

The Yeti believes the world should be as boring as his home, the frozen wasteland of Siberia, and has been on a mission to bring my blog down as he believes it may one day grow beyond 3.5 readers and stimulate the world into new levels of awesomeness.

So he’s like the Mighty Potentate in that he also believes in me, but unlike the MP, he wants me to fail.

Hate to say it but so far things are coming up Yeti.

“I wonder what scandal Kerry will bury this week!”  VGRF said as she dipped a chip.

“DO NOT BOGART SEVEN LAYER DIP!”  the Yeti shouted.

The Yeti, who by the way, is ten feet tall and thousand pounds, yells everything with a guttural snarl.

It may seem odd that I give my fuzzy prisoner a reprieve to watch Scandal, but like the rest of the world, he loves Kerry Washington, and he loves his dip.  Just seemed cruel to not let the big lug in on the fun.

Besides, I’d gotten the impression that though the Yeti complains a big game about being held at BQB HQ, he’d secretly begun to enjoy it.

I mean, I just let him up to watch TV.  I don’t shackle him or anything and he doesn’t run off or try to kill me.  And you know, he is huge so, there’s a part of him that’s settled in.

The episode ended.

“Wow,”  Alien Jones said.  “What a scandal!”

“PUT ON THE NEXT ONE, GREEN WEIRDO!”  the Yeti commanded.

“Hold on,” VGRF said as she grabbed the remote.  “Let’s see what’s on the news.”

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