Daily Archives: April 16, 2016

BQB Breaks the 60,000 Word Mark on How the West Was Zombed


Zombie BQB

Hey 3.5 readers,

BQB here.  I have a small milestone to celebrate.

With Chapter 77 of How the West Was Zombed, I have, for the first time ever, written 60,000 words of a novel.

Yup, all it took was a snippet about a lesbian vampire getting assaulted by a goblin pervert on her way to see a Chairman who may or may not be Satan to put me over the top.

Aunt Gertie would be so proud if she still read this crap.

Further, there are writing experts who will differ on what the key parts of a novel are, but for example, if you figure that the main three have to be:

  1.  The Set-Up – Who is everyone, where are they, drop some seeds of what’s in store for your 3.5 readers.
  2. The Conflict – What will happen to trouble your characters?
  3. The Resolution – How is that conflict resolved?

I have written two out of three of those.

1)  The Set-up – Cowboys vs. an Evil (Literally Evil) Railroad Corporation.

2)  The Conflict – Evil Corporate Lawyer/Vampire (Redundant) wants to conquer America with the help of werewolf henchmen and an army of zombies.

Those parts are done!  And now I must write:

3) Resolution – How will the cowboys stop the zombies?  (Or will they? Muah ha ha!)

If the standard novel length is around 100,000 words or so, then I am beyond the point of no return and closer to being finished than starting.

Is there more to go?  Yes.  It still needs a major rewrite.  Then various pros to give it the ole look see.  Then all the formatting.  And honestly, I might just write the first three just to make sure they all go together continuity wise.

So…time…so much time.  But it is starting to look like persisting in writing a little bit now and then does build up and eventually puts you in the right direction.

So thank you, 3.5 readers, for your support and your 7 eyes.  For the first time ever, I actually believe a BQB has a good chance of being published.  And with sales to my 3.5 readers, minus Jeff Bezos’ cut, that mozzarella cheese stick basket at Applebee’s is calling my name.

Mmmm…mmm…that’s good eating!



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#31ZombieAuthors – Day 31 – HALLOWEEN INTERVIEW – David W. Wright of the Self-Publishing Podcast

Hey 3.5 Readers,

So I’m bringing my reblog of the 31 Zombie Author Interview series to a close. The coveted Halloween 2015 spot was reserved for none other than David W. Wright of the Self-Publishing Podcast.

With his co-author Sean Platt, he’s brought to life a futuristic zombie battle royale in the Z2134 series. Also as 1/3 of the SPP trio, he and his buds have become an inspiration to many aspiring self-publishers, myself included.

I have to say that listening to their podcast made me realize that self-publishing is a viable option and with enough work it is possible to create a self-publishing business.

By the way, I also recommend Johnny, Sean and Dave’s “Worst Show Ever” Podcast in which they more or less analyze all of Dave’s issues – his decoy wallet, his lack of luck when it comes to finding good restaurant service, his fear that if he leaves a soda in his car someone might mess with it…is he paranoid or is he just wiser than the rest of us? Perhaps a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

At any rate, this trio have become my personal heroes as of late, so it was a lot of fun to pose some questions to one of them.

And with that, I have now blogged and reblogged the 31 Zombie Authors series.

What fun that was. I hope to do it again some day. I thought about interviewing these authors a second time, but I’m also thinking maybe I’ll interview yet another 31 zombie authors…then I will have interviewed 62 zombie authors!

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Self Publishing Podcast

Sterling and Stone

Happy Halloween, 3.5 readers.

This month, we’ve chatted up an absurd amount of zombie fiction writers, haven’t we?

They’re all impressive in their own right, and they all bent over backwards to help me out, so it was virtually impossible to figure out who to assign the coveted Halloween spot to.

Then it hit me.  Use it to talk to one of the dudes who got me writing again.

Not to make this about me, but long ago, I gave up on my dream of becoming a writer.  Like so many before me, the path toward traditional publishing seemed like it was riddled with one insurmountable wall after another.  Spend my time writing only to end up with my work tossed on a rejection heap with countless other writers competing for…

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 77


Lady Blackwood stood in the deep, dark void in the middle of the circle of fire, surrounded by the flames that went on forever and waited…and waited…and waited.

Such was the chairman’s style.  He was much too important to see anyone on time.

The fire dissipated and the lady found herself in a finely decorated reception area.  Polished wooden floors, magnificent artwork on the walls, the only thing that threw off the room’s atmosphere was the drooling bug-eyed goblin perched on top of the desk.

Fabrizio had no use for chairs, preferring to squat on his haunches like a frog and allow his arms to dangle in front of him.  He may have been a scrawny, pointy-eared, snaggletoothed little freak, but as the chairman’s personal secretary, he guarded his boss’ interests zealously.

“Does ye have an appointment?” Fabrizio squeaked.

“I don’t need one, fool,” the Lady replied haughtily. “I’m the vice-chairwoman.”

Fabrizio closed his left eye and leaned in to study the lady’s face with his right. “Be ye really the vice-chairwoman or be ye an assassin in her guise?”

I’m a mental construct, worm,” the lady said. “My body isn’t even here.”

“Yes, yes, but one can never be too careful with the chairman’s well-being,” the goblin said.  “Disrobe for a cavity search, please.”

Unamused, Lady Blackwood backhanded the twerp’s face, launching him across the room until he smacked into a wall.  She opened up a door behind Fabrizio’s desk and proceeded to strut down a lengthy hallway.  Suits of armor from various cultures and time periods were lined up against the walls.

“Wait!” the goblin cried as he scurried after her.  He wrapped his arms and legs around the lady’s left leg but his insignificant frame wasn’t enough to slow her down.  She kept walking with the puny mongrel still attached.

“Before the chairman you can see you must answer my riddles three!”

“Unhand me, lecher!”

The lady kicked her leg until the goblin fell off and skittered across the marble floor.

The goblin threw himself before the lady’s feat and groveled in a most unpleasant and pathetic manner.

“Please!  You must let me announce ye or the chairman will have my hide!”

The lady rolled her eyes.  “Very well.”

The goblin and the vampire reached the large iron doors leading into the Chairman’s chamber.  Fabrizio leaped into the air, grabbed the door handle with his claws, planted his feet against the door and struggled wildly until it budged.

The little beast entered.  Lady Blackwood listened to the goblin’s muffled announcement.

“The vice-chairman here to see you, oh illustrious one!”

The chairman’s reply was a booming, guttural bellow, so loud that the wind produced knocked both doors open and caused the lady’s hair to flap in the breeze.

The goblin walked out tipsily, looking like he’d just lost a three round prizefight.

“Is he in a good mood?” the Lady asked.

“Better than usual,” the goblin replied.

Lady Blackwood entered the chamber.  The doors slammed shut behind her.

Surrounded by bookshelves filled with copious volumes of forgotten lore, the chairman sat behind a glorious oak desk in a leather bound chair.  From the lady’s point of view, all that was visible were the large, curled ram’s horns poking out from above the top of the chair, and a red right hand clutching a cigar.

The chairman’s voice was a low baritone.  “Our name is legion…”

The lady curtseyed and gave the expected response, “For we are many.”

“Why do you disturb me?” the Chairman inquired.

On Earth, Lady Blackwood feared no one but here in the underworld, it was hard even for a wealthy aristocratic bloodsucker to not be nervous in the chairman’s presence.

She chose her words carefully.  “Henry is poised to conquer America in your name but the board’s incompetence stands in the way.”

The cigar disappeared.  Smoke rings raised high above the leather chair.  The red hand dropped down again.

“Did I appoint intelligent agents capable of acting in my stead, or squabbling children unable to resolve their disputes without crying to daddy?”

“I do not cry,” the lady said.  “I merely beseech your intervention.”

What would you have me do?” the Chairman asked.

“Nullify the board’s demands that Henry toy with Slade,” the lady said. “Allow Henry to remove Slade from the equation without delay.”

The chairman shifted his cigar to his left hand and drummed his long fingernails on the desk with his right.

“I have been imprisoned in the realm of the damned since time immemorial,” the chairman said. “Waiting for a being such as Henry with the ambition to plot an invasion of this magnitude and the cunning to see it through to execution.”

Lady Blackwood was pleased to hear those words.  “Then I implore you to…”

The red hand raised in a sign for the lady to be silent.  She obliged.

“I have also waited since time immemorial for someone with Henry’s ingenuity with cruelty.  Our esteemed counselor is an artist who paints with human suffering the way others do with watercolors.”

“I’m sure he would be pleased to hear you speak so highly of him,” the lady said.

“I have waited here for millennia and can do so for countless more if need be,” the Chairman said. “If the invasion fails, I can wait for another.  But I do not know when another being with Henry’s acumen for turning honest men into heartless slaves will come again.  If there is even a slight chance that Slade could be the one that allows me to feel sunlight on my skin and dirt under my feet, then I will take it.”


“I will take it,” the Chairman repeated.  Lady Blackwood knew it wasn’t a good idea to argue the point further.

“Very well,” she said.

“While we are on the subject of the board’s incompetence,” the Chairman said. “Let us discuss yours.”

“Mine?” the Lady asked, incredulously.

“Even with the greatest gunslinger who ever lived as your personal puppet, you still have not been able to best a drunk bitch and her dandified partner,” the Chairman said.

“Miss Canary has proven to be an unfortunate challenge,” the Lady said.

“Her contemporaries have been writing off her warnings about our operation as little more than the ravings of a mad alcoholic,” the Chairman said.  “But win or lose, the result of Henry’s invasion will be that people will listen to her.  She knows your name.  She knows the board of directors’ names.  She will share them…with men who will hunt all of you down and leave you no peace.”

“She will be stopped,” the Lady said.

“Will she?” the chairman asked. “An observation, Vice-Chairwoman. Your ineptitude put the safety of the entire board in jeopardy…”

“A traitor put them in jeopardy.”

“A traitor in your employ,” the Chairman noted.  “And yet at no time did any of the board members come to see me with complaints about you.”

The lady hanged her head low, something she never did to any man or beast on Earth.

“Loyalty, Vice-Chair,” the Chairman said. “It has a place, even amongst us.  That will be all.”

Lady Blackwood knew enough about the Chairman to realize that would, indeed be all and it would be hazardous to her health to discuss the issue further.

“Good day, chairman,” the lady said.

“Vice-chairwoman,” the Chairman replied.

The room disappeared.  The lady was in the black void again.  She closed her eyes and awoke frozen stiff with blood red eyes, stark naked in the middle of a brothel. 

She regained movement and her eyes returned to normal.  Two naked prostitutes who rivaled her beauty laid in bed, waiting for her return.  They both took turns smoking opium from a hookah, and had been doing so for so long they hadn’t even noticed their client’s previously immobile state.

“Come back to bed,” one of the girls said as she patted the mattress.

The lady pulled her robe from a hook and put it on.

“No,” she said.  “I have work to do.”

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Stop Sucking With Vinny Baggadouchio, Motivational Speaker


The Bookshelf Battle Blog’s new columnist, Vinny Baggadouchio, will educate BQB’s 3.5 readers on the finer points of a suck free lifestyle.

Hello 3.5 readers.  I’m motivational speaker Vinny Baggadouchio and I’m here to inform you of a cold, hard fact:

You suck.

That’s right.  You suck and had you bothered to pick up one of my many self-help books such as…

How to Stop Sucking

You Too Can Not Suck

Stop Sucking in Thirty Days

The 7 Habits of People Who Don’t Suck

Knock Knock.  Who’s There? You…and You Suck!

Welcome to Sucksville.  Population: You

And of course, my hottest bestseller:

One Suck, Two Suck, Who Sucks? You Suck.

…then you’d be aware that you suck right now.

Yup.  I used to be a big old suckbag like you until I discovered the power of not sucking and with my new column right here on the Bookshelf Battle Blog, I’m ready to share the secrets of a suck free life with you.

Look at me, 3.5 readers.  My life does not suck.

Hot babes?  You better believe I’ve got ’em.


Vinny B gets all the hot chicks.  You could too if you didn’t suck so much, you fat sucker you.

Money? Holy shit. I’ve got enough cash to choke a horse.


Vinny B makes it rain and you could too if only you would stop being such a giant suck face.

Foxy females. Fat stacks of cash. As a genuine, bonafide non-sucking person, I’ve got a fantastic life. It doesn’t suck it all.

But you know what 3.5 readers?  I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

My life used to suck as bad as yours.

It really did.  I used to suck as bad as you do right now.

Life sure can suck, can’t it? You have all these hopes and dreams but when things don’t go your way and they start to suck, it’s almost impossible to avoid giving it all up to live the life of a sucker.

That’s what I did. Like you, I used to park my fat ass on my sofa and read columns published on sucktastic blogs that only had audiences of 3.5 readers or less.

When I was done reading sucky blogs, I’d suck a gallon of Haagen-Das ice cream down my throat while petting a flatulent llhaso apso named Tilly until four a.m. while watching Kung-Fu movies and dreaming of a non-sucking life that seemed so far, far away.

Holy shit, Vinny B. That sounds like it really sucks.

It did. It really did.  But do you want to know how I stopped sucking so much?

Yes please tell us.

One day, I hit the rock bottom of suckitude.  My wife left me for a man who didn’t suck. My kids called that guy dad because they were tired of having a sucky father.  Shit, even my miniature dog left me to find another owner who didn’t suck because that furry little son of a bitch got depressed as hell just being around me because I sucked so much.

But just then, when I was at my lowest point of suckosity, feeling crushed under the weight of my collective suckyness, I proudly stood up, chucked the ice cream in the trash, turned off the Kung-Fu movie marathon and shouted, “I WILL NOT SUCK FOR ONE DAY LONGER!”

Say it with me, 3.5 readers!


God damn it!  Say it like you mean it!  Say it like people who do not suck!


Holy shit! I actually believed you all that time. You convinced me that you don’t want to suck any more.

Don’t get me wrong. You still suck. I mean, look at yourselves, all covered with potato chip crumbs and running up your credit cards on action figures that you never take out of the box because you’ve convinced yourself that just hanging onto them makes you an interesting person.

Stop it!  You are not interesting! You suck!

You suck but you’re also in luck, for at the Vinny Baggadouchio Institute to Get People to Stop Sucking, I have perfected a four-step process to get people off the suck train and into the non-suck fast lane.

STEP 1 – Admit That You Suck

Everyone knows that you suck. But you know what people who don’t suck do? They don’t provide unsolicited opinions about people’s levels of suckitude. They’ll never tell you to your face that you suck and you’d never believe them anyway because people who suck are always oblivious to the many, many ways in which they suck.

So the first thing you have to do is stop dipping that nacho into that vat of Cheez Whiz, squirt the B.O. off yourself with a little spritz of deodorant, then look yourself in the mirror and shout to the heavens, “I SUCK!”


Yes you do.  James Dyson is the inventor of the Dyson line of vacuum cleaners, powerful machines that basically double as mighty hand held wind tunnels capable of sucking up a spec of dirt at fifty paces and transporting it to another dimension.

If you could open up his brain and scoop out the most elaborate sucking invention that he’s yet to develop because it requires the discovery of some strange new alien power source to amplify its suckery…

…you would still suck more than that machine.

And you need to admit that you suck that badly.  Only by admitting that you suck can you begin to trod the path of the non-sucky.

STEP 2 – Identify Why You Suck

There are so many reasons why you could possibly suck.  Every sucky person is like a special sucktabulous snowflake.  No two suckholes are alike.

But based on the real life stories of some of the suckos I’ve brought back from the brink of sucking, here are some of the most common reasons why people suck:

  • You’re that sucker who has convinced himself that spending his entire paycheck on lottery tickets is “an investment.”  YOU SUCK!
  • You are that suck face who still lives with your grandma because you have convinced yourself that you could move out any time if you wanted to but you’re just too good of a grandson to abandon her.  Shut up. Your grandmother hates your guts and prays to Jesus every night that one day you will leave her in peace so that she can just have one moment to touch herself to Dick Van Dyke’s masculine tour de force on Diagnosis Murder before she dies of embarrassment of how badly her grandson sucks.  YOU SUCK!
  • You’ve given up on finding a relationship and instead have bonded with a pillow you drew a face on. Well, I admire your initiative to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but even so…YOU SUCK!
  • You are an adult and you spend ridiculous amounts of time criticizing Hollywood executives for failing to live up to the standards you have for movies about your favorite comic book characters without ever realizing that you’re not the target demographic…BECAUSE MOVIES ABOUT JACKASSES IN TIGHTS AND CAPES ARE MEANT FOR CHILDREN AND YES, BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER, YOU SUCK!

You need to find that kernel of suck that is making your life suck and isolate it before it sucks up your life any more you big bag of suck.

STEP 3 – Develop a Plan to Stop Sucking

It’s not enough to figure out why you suck. You need to also determine how it will be possible for you to not suck anymore.


  • Stop pining over your sucky ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. Did they leave you because they sucked? Then good riddance. No one wants to be around sucky people because it’s too easy to catch their second hand suck. Did they leave you because you suck? Oh well.  You live and learn…to not suck. There’s no use crying over spilled suck so decide you won’t suck any more and when you’re no longer a sucker, you’ll land a ton of hot ass babes like me, Vinny B.
  • Stop chain smoking, binge eating, compulsive gambling, habitual shopping, prostitute fraternizing, getting spanked by women in furry animal costumes, farting on midgets or whatever other depraved suckfest you’re into.  If you have to ask if the activity that you are into sucks, then it sucks. Stop doing things that make you suck.
  • Tune out the suck filled world for an hour a day and take a walk to contemplate how to navigate your way around the obstacles in your life that make you feel like you want to suck.
  • Say goodbye to people who suck.  Otherwise, it is too easy to succumb to peer suck pressure.
  • Meditate and repeat a mantra such as, “Ommm…ommm…I will not suck…ommm…”
  • Leave post-it notes around your house, in your car and on your desk to remind yourself not to suck. Life moves at a rapid pace, after all, and if we don’t leave ourselves visual cues to not suck, then it is too easy to forget to not suck and revert back to our reflexive, default sucky natures.

STEP 4 – Don’t Suck Anymore

You have admitted that you suck.

You have figured out why you suck.

You have developed a plan to stop sucking.

Now, the fourth and final step. Follow that plan to the letter and refuse to suck anymore.

Believe me.  It isn’t easy.

Inside your mind there is a little negative suck bag voice crying out for you to suck.


  • You know that extra slice of pizza will make your butt grow bigger than a barcalounger, but that suck voice in your head tells you to eat it anyway. Don’t do it. You’ll suck.
  • You know that unclean person you just met in the bar is going to give you herpes with a capital H. Don’t go home with said person anyway. Herpes suck.
  • The idea to buy some ridiculously expensive piece of crap that you’ll never use pops into your head. Ignore it. You don’t need it. High credit card bills suck.


I’m Vinny Baggadouchio and it pains me to see so many sucky suckbags in the world. You don’t need to suck for one more day and if you follow my advice, you’ll never suck again.

And don’t forget, my series of anti-suck self-help books are available in one collection for the low, low price of $99.99 wherever books that don’t suck are sold.

Buy them all today or else…you suck!

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 76


Along the banks of the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, soldiers in neatly pressed blue uniforms hustled out of the backs of covered wagons and began unloading piles of bricks near the shoreline.

Their commanding officer, Major Nathaniel Culpepper, barked orders all the while.

“Step lively, men!  There’s no time to waste!”

Culpepper was tall and muscular, with a chiseled jaw that could cut glass and long blonde locks flowing out from underneath his officer’s hat.  His assistant in this endeavor, Corporal Cecil Bartlett, was quite the opposite.  Short and a tad portly, he looked at his superior through a pair of wire-framed spectacles.

“Permission to speak freely sir?”  the Corporal asked.

“Granted,” the Major said.

“I don’t think this is possible,” the Corporal lamented.

“Anything’s possible with a little elbow grease and good old fashioned American know how, Corporal. Quit being such a sissy mary.”

“But a structure taller than the Great Wall of China to run the entire length of the Mississippi River?” the Corporal asked.  “With all due respect, the President must be out of his mind.”

“Crazy times require even crazier measures, Corporal,” the Major replied.  “Our diplomats have reported that the Canucks are already building their wall and you better believe the Mexicans are fortifying the southern border as we speak.  We can’t be the only imbeciles standing around with our dicks in our hands without a wall, can we?”

“I suppose not, sir,” the Corporal said.

A goldbricking private leaned up against one of the wagons to sneak a smoke break.  The Major spotted this and became so furious that spittle shot out of his mouth as he provided the loafer with a copious verbal tongue lashing.

“You there!  Get back to work you lowlife degenerate or so help me I will cut out your eyes and send them to your three cent whore of a mother!”

The private dropped his smoke and got to work.  The Major looked at the Corporal.

“Is it me or are the men getting lazier and lazier?”

“Morale’s low sir,” the Corporal said.  “It was a long ride. Couldn’t we have waited until morning?”

“The blasted zombies wait for no man and neither will we,” the Major said. 

The Corporal scratched his thinning hair.  “It’s just that…”

“What, what?” the Major squawked. “Out with it already man.”

“This is a Herculean effort,” the Corporal said.  “Every man on the East side of the Mississippi River conscripted into building an incredible fortress. Vast amounts of wealth and materials confiscated to make it happen. It’ll take so long to build it and the sentries that will have to be posted just in case any stragglers manage to get across…”

“Make a point all ready, man!” the Major commanded.

“I just can’t help but think that all of these resources wouldn’t be put to a better use by sending one large force across the river to put down the zombie menace once and for all,” the Corporal said.

“Put down the zombie menace?” the Major asked.  “Preposterous.  You’ve heard the witness reports.  The survivors who were lucky enough to make it East have all described the same bizarre phenomena.  Dead men biting live men and turning them into dead men.  You can’t defeat an enemy that is able to turn you into the enemy, Corporal.  That’s just common sense.”

The Corporal sighed and looked across the river.  “Maybe.  But cutting off our countrymen instead of trying to rescue them.  It just seems so…cowardly.”

“More like heroic if you ask me,” the Major said.  “Those poor bastards will all be dead soon and their problems will be over.  We, on the other hand, will have to live with what we’ve done forever.  But war is hell, Corporal, so either grow a pair or put on a dress.”

Three more wagons arrived.  The Major and the Corporal walked over to meet them.

A gruff, black bearded private with a soot covered face by the name of Robards hopped off the wagon and saluted the major.

“Got your goodies here safe and sound, sir,” the private said.

The Major poked his head into the back of the wagon to see boxes upon boxes, all stacked neatly and all marked, “TNT.”

“Excellent,” the Major said.  “Corporal!”


“Gather twenty stout men,” the Major said.  “We have a date with the Sturtevant Bridge.”

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