Tag Archives: indie authors

#31ZombieAuthors Rewind – Day 26 – Rhiannon Frater – Future Zombies

With Your Guest Host: Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian


The future is here, 3.5 readers.

Seriously. Every second takes place in a future that you were only thinking about in your mind just a second ago.

The future is here! Whoops. Now it is in the past.

It’s here! Nope. Past.

Will there be zombies in the future?

Let’s hope not.

But BQB talked to Rhiannon Frater about that very subject.

Check out that interview here.

And don’t forget to check out Rhiannon’s Amazon Author page.

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#31ZombieAuthors Rewind – Day 22 – Zombies and TV Style Serialization

With Your Host: Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian


Read a book or watch TV?

Watch TV or read a book?

Decisions, decisions.

Wait, I know!

Why not read TV?


That’s right. Many authors are presenting their novels in a serialized TV-style format.  Seasons. Cliffhangers.  Ongoing plot lines.

BQB reached out across the pond to Jolly Old England to discuss this phenomenon with British author Ryan Casey.

Check out that interview here.

And don’t forget to check out Infection Z and other Ryan Casey books on Amazon.

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#31Zombie Authors Rewind – Day 16 – Saul Tanpepper – Zombified Video Gaming

With Your Host: Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian



They’re uncontrollable…or are they?

If you could control a real, live (undead) zombie with a controller, would you, 3.5 readers?

Last year Saul Tanpepper took a moment to talk to BQB to discuss his Gameland series.

Check out that interview here.

And don’t forget to check out Saul’s Gameland series and other books on Amazon.

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#31ZombieAuthors Rewind – Day 14 – Kate L. Mary

With Your Host: Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian


Nerds vs. hunks.

Hunks vs. nerds.

Who’s better?

Nerds, according to Kate L. Mary, author of the Broken World series.

BQB talked to Kate about the nerds vs. hunks issue last year.

Check out that interview here.

And don’t forget to check out Kate’s Twisted World on Amazon.

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#31Zombie Authors Rewind – Day 10 – Armand Rosamillia – 15o Stories, 2 Podcasts

With Your Host: Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian


Look 3.5 readers, I’m a zombie and even I’ll admit that if a zombie apocalypse ever breaks out, Armand Rosamillia is a dude that you’ll want on your side.

Armand does not fight zombies.  He just gives them a good, stern glare and then the zombies turn tail and walk away sullenly to sulk and think about what they’ve done, embarrassed that they’ve wasted their undead lives trying to eat people’s delicious brains.

Last year BQB talked to Armand about zombies and other monsters.

Check out that interview here.

And don’t forget to check out Dying Days 7, available for pre-order on Amazon now.

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#31ZombieAuthors Rewind – Day 3 – Stevie Kopas – The End of the World is Not Glamorous


With Your Guest Host: Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian

You know folks, a lot of people say they’re into zombies.

In fact I just had dinner and now I have a few people inside me.


I’m here all month, folks.

“The end of the world is not glamorous.” That’s a lesson people learn in Stevie’s Breadwinner Trilogy.

Its true.  Enjoy civilization, people, what with money and jobs and heat and plumbing and TV because an apocalypse, zombie or otherwise, would not be fun.

On the third day of his journey into zombitude, BQB talked to Stevie about her books, publishing, and even learned about her favorite beer.

Check out that interview here.

And don’t forget to check out Stevie’s new book, Never Say Die: Stories of the Zombie Apocalypseavailable on Amazon now.

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Interview (Er, Interrogation) of Martin Turnbull

Hello 3.5 readers.

Jake Dashing, P.I. does not interview. He interrogates.  And I’d like to thank Martin Turnbull, author of the Hollywood’s Garden of Allah series and an Old Hollywood expert, for being the first writer to sit under the hot lights.

You’ll find the interview on Pop Culture Mysteries, a website that I’m currently building.  Presently, it really does only have 3.5 readers but with your help, that should change in no time.

Martin’s latest book, Reds in the Beds, is available now on Amazon.


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The Writer’s Battle – Are Readers In Control?

Happy Sunday, 3.5 readers.

Bookshelf Q. Battler here.


I just read this CNN article in which George Lucas says he’s “done with Star Wars.”

“You go to make a movie and all you do is get criticized,” Lucas told Vanity Fair. “People try to make decisions about what you’re going to do before you do it. It’s not much fun. You can’t experiment. You have to do it a certain way.” – CNN

ON THE ONE HAND – I see his point.  The great part of the Internet is that nerdy fans can comment and discuss their favorite movies, TV shows, books etc.

The downside is that its a great environment to make a lot of back seat drivers.  “No!  Those two characters can’t fall in love and WHAT?!  You’re going to kill off so and so and WHAT that guy changed his mind and he’s no longer a bad guy now?!”

Hollywood listens to all this mumbo jumbo.  Sometimes that turns out well when the fans know what they are talking about.  Other times it falls flat when a director or actor or someone puts the kibosh on an idea that’s a little out there, beyond the norm, that would have paid off big time but they didn’t want to draw the fans’ ire.

Probably the most recent example I can think of is the latest Avengers movie in which Black Widow kicked ass all throughout the film and fans were like “Joss Whedon’s anti-woman!  He didn’t give her enough to do!”  Boo.  Bad nerds.

ON THE OTHER HAND – The CNN article linked to above went on to say:

“The issue was ultimately, they looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans,’ ” Lucas said, presumably referring to Disney, which purchased Lucasfilm — including the “Star Wars” franchise — in 2012. “People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera, and it’s all about family problems; it’s not about spaceships. So they decided they didn’t want to use those stories. They decided they were going to do their own thing, so I decided, ‘fine. … I’ll go my way, and I let them go their way.’ ” – CNN

Pbbbhhht.  Well, true – Star Wars does have a lot to do with that damn dysfunctional Skywalker family…BUT, did we really need that Sound of Music-ish scene in Attack of the Clones where Anakin and Queen Amidala prance around in love in the field?  No.  More lightsabers and space ships please.

Revenge of the Sith was pretty solid, and when I was younger, I enjoyed The Phantom Menace and Clones mostly because I was just happy to see Jedis back on the screen.

But let’s be honest, those films were more about loading up on as many quirky, merchandisable characters as possible just to sell kids toys.

There’s nothing wrong with that.  Bills need to be paid and that’s what these new films will do as well BUT I have a hunch that it will be done in a way that fans will be like “that was badass!” and “wow what a badass toy!”

The nerdy adults will be anyway.  If your kids are yelling “badass!” they probably need a time out.

I get Lucas’ frustration though.  It must suck to create this wonderful universe, bring it to the big screen, become the modern day father of science fiction and then be told by your fans that you, the creator of your own universe, are doing a bad job of running your universe.

That’s probably how Darth Vader felt when those pesky rebels started calling for rebellion.

SIDENOTE:  One other example of fans taking over that I’ve seen lately comes from The Walking Dead.


Did you notice there’s a spoiler alert in effect?  OK don’t say you weren’t warned.

Glenn may or may not be dead.  The writers of the show have made it look like he totally is, but also left it open to a possible interpretation that he might not be.

Fans have been up in arms on social media, complaining that they have to wait to find out, how dare the writers toy with their emotions like this and so on.

I’m going to channel my inner Uncle Hardass and say, “get a job, hippies!”  Hell, I love that show as much as the next guy.  I’ve invested a lot of time into it.  But when it appeared that Glenn died my reaction was “Awww, that’s too bad…*pause for 5 seconds* OK I better brush my teeth and get ready for bed.”

Seriously, who has time to worry about the fate of a fictional character?  JOBLESS HIPPIES WHO NEED A JOB AT THE SALT MINES, THAT’S WHO!!!

Wow.  I’m becoming an Uncle H. clone

What say you, 3.5 readers?  Who calls the shots, readers or writers?

Personally, it’d be a great problem to have.  I only have 3.5 readers and none of them have started calling the shots yet.

I suppose when I reach the point where people are like “We want more Yeti!” or “Alien Jones is like a hairless ALF, you hack!” then I’ll know I’ve made it.

Get bossier, 3.5 readers.  Actually, please don’t.


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Let’s Talk About Undesiredverse – BQB’s Space Opera Serial

Hello 3.5 readers,shutterstock_121570807

BQB here.  Let’s talk, nerds.


The year is 2999.  Roman Voss, a bounty hunter with an addiction.  Alien Jones, a pilot who’d once achieved greatness as second in command of the Known Universe’s greatest democracy, now stripped of his powers and looking for redemption.

Caught in the middle is a mysterious and very confused woman.

Jones’ old boss, the Mighty Potentate, presides over the Rakan Collective, a group of pro-democracy, pro-science, pro-education peace loving aliens who despise war, though they have amassed an unbeatable army to protect what they have from the “undesirables,” the residents of Milky Way, Andromeda, and all points in between, the area referred to by His Potentosity as “garbage planets” or simply, “the Undesiredverse.”

Cast out of paradise and deemed unworthy of the Rakan Collective, Undesiredverseans fight amongst themselves pointlessly, aimlessly and yes, sometimes even hilariously.  The religious zealots of Vendros, for example, have been slaughtering each over for a thousand years of a translation error in their holy book that leads the color of the shirt warn by their holy being in question.

But then again, not all of the baddies are funny.  The underworld organization known as the Cabal has a hand in every aspect of life, from business to politics, though they are so secretive they do not even acknowledge their own existence.

Meanwhile, many years ago, the Tollusks, a violent, warmongering species, decided to reform their ways and seek peace and prosperity.  The Tarazni Clan quickly formed, seized the planet’s nuclear arsenal, took flight, bombed their own planet to smithereens to punish “the infidels” on the way out and have been conquering planets ever since.

In fact, Earth is their latest acquisition.  There is an Earth government.  The One World Order began when countries decided to cease their petty squabbles in light of the discovery of new alien threats.  Alas, anyone who’d of put up resistance to the Tarazni’s Clan’s rule has been either killed, marginalized, ostracized, or paid off.  The One World Order that remains is accused by the people of being a government of “collaborators” and “rubber stampers.”

Sourcemind is the first villain that we are introduced to in the story.  He is a highly evolved artificial intelligence who was constructed by the humans of Omcoros to oversee automation of all of their world’s systems.  Big mistake, as that led to Sourcemind taking control.  From his mainframe on the world he’s conquered, he can assimilate any machine that comes in contact with him (or any machine that comes into contact with a machine he’s assimilated.


Sourcemind, the Cabal, the Tarazni Clan, the One World Order and other degenerates want the woman in Voss and Jones’ care.  These three become the most wanted beings in the Undesiredverse and our story becomes a manic dash to safety.

Only the bad guys know why they want the mystery woman.  Voss, Jones, and even the woman herself are in the dark.


All too often, I stop and start a story.  This blog helps me get things finished.  Last month, I finished a project.  #31ZombieAuthors.  It took a lot of work, but because I promised 31 people I’d do it, I got it done.

The story essentially involves a trio’s journey for survival as they are hunted by various baddies.  Thus, I basically step into Voss’ shoes and every day, imagine a little bit more about what is happening and what he is up against.

I don’t want to say the story goes in a straight line, but it does.  But there are many bumps on that line our heroes must hurdle.  But because it essentially begins with Point A (the heroes are in jeopardy and ends with Point B (the heroes are safe) I feel I can write a little bit every day and eventually bring our heroes from jeopardy to safety.


BQB said these things about his story because he couldn’t find anyone else who would:

“It’s like Star Wars with a twist of Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

“Finally, a space opera that can make me laugh, as well as experience mental stress over the fear that characters I’ve grown attached to might be gruesomely murdered at any minute.”

“It doesn’t totally suck.”


You, the 3.5 readers, are watching me write a first draft.  There will be errors in writing, plot, grammar, style, even story.  I’ve already identified several.

If you see something that leaves you scratching your head, don’t keep quiet about it.  Let me know.  You have all been drafted into being my 3.5 beta readers.

I won’t consider you rude for pointing out a faux pas.  I’d appreciate it.  You won’t be kicked out of the 3.5 readers club.  I can’t afford to lose any more readers as it is.  You might point out something that I intentionally left iffy because I intend it to turn into a big reveal later but that’s ok.  We’re making sausage on this site so I’ll give you a glimpse inside the sausage casing and let you know that a) yes, you pointed out a big goof on my part and thank you or b) I intended that and it’ll be addressed later.

Either way, if you see something off, let me know.


My main goal is to get this written, re-written, edited, formatted and published at some point early next year.  I don’t have a date set but as early as possible.  If I get it up on Amazon before June I’ll be happy.

I have not forgotten about Pop Culture Mysteries.  Next year, I hope to launch the Pop Culture Mysteries website which will feature a Season One of Jake’s Mysteries, leading into a Jake novel.

Undesiredverse: Wanted will basically be me teaching myself how to write and self-publish a novel.  Pop Culture Mysteries will up the game a bit and from hereon, I hope to publish two books a year.

That’s assuming life agrees with that plan.  Come on life.  Don’t be a dick.

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



Amazon              Twitter

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 a highly coveted publishing contract?

Hell, I might as well have cashed out my life savings (all 3.5 dollars of it) and spent it on lotto tickets.

So I moved on and pursued a more realistic profession, but as the years went by, I always second guessed myself.

“What if?”

What if I’d kept at it?  Would I be a writer today?”

Around late 2014 I discovered the Self Publishing Podcast, starring full time indie authors Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and of course, today’s guest, David W. Wright.  Together, this trio have their own “story studio,” Sterling and Stone.

They’ve found success as multi-genre authors, with sci-fi epics like The Beam, steam punk adventures like The Dream Engine and TV style serials such as Yesterday’s Gone, just to name a few.  They’re so prolific I doubt I could rattle off all their hits in one sitting.
51yjssATf+L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Their self-publishing guide, Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success) has become a bible of sorts for the indie community.  I picked up a copy and thus far I’ve found the information it provides to be invaluable.

I have a standing appointment with these gents every Wednesday afternoon, during which I pop on their podcast and listen to the boys talk about the craft they love on my commute home.

To be clear, they don’t deal with get rich quick schemes or gimmicks.  They’re just three guys who talk about what works and doesn’t work for them.  They regularly schedule guests on the cutting edge of self-publishing, and most importantly, they have fun.

Yes, I said fun.  You won’t be bored when you listen to SPP.  The best way I can describe it is that Johnny, Sean and Dave aren’t the stodgy, tweed coat wearing professors who drone on and on in a boring lecture guaranteed to put you to sleep.

Rather, they’re the cool TAs who stop by your dorm, crack open a beer, joke around with you, and give you the straight scoop on what you need to know.

Will I ever self-publish a book?  I have no idea, but listening to these guys helped me decide to pick up my long abandoned dream of a writing career, dust it off, and start working toward it again, and that in and of itself has made me a happier person.

Dave, as one of Sterling and Stone’s preeminent horror fiction writers, welcome to the Bookshelf Battle Blog.  I’ve heard you and your compadres say it doesn’t get any worse than your other podcast, Better Off Undead, but I’d challenge that notion since last time I checked, my site only has 3.5 readers. 


Q.  Happy Halloween, Dave!  Do you have any plans to celebrate?  (Redact as necessary.)

A.  If by celebrate, you mean hide away from anyone who might knock on my door, then yes, I’ll be celebrating in an undisclosed location.

Q.  What’s the deal with zombies?  The past month, I’ve interviewed authors from all different backgrounds and they’ve all managed to find their own unique take on the zombie genre.  For the layman who thinks, “I don’t get it.  All they do is grunt and groan and eat brains!” please explain why fans can’t get enough of the undead.

A.  I can only speak to the appeal from my perspective. As long as I can remember, long before I ever saw a zombie movie, I dreamed of hordes of slow-moving people coming after me. Most horror movies, the hero or heroine have some chance to defeat the bad guy, monster, etc… There’s something terrifying about an unyielding, unending force of nature like a horde of zombies.

There’s a cathartic nature to most horror, and I think zombies can be representative of many fears for people, and movies and books are just one way of facing those fears in a safe manner.

I think one of the books that truly gets that fear right is The Girl With All the Gifts. Those zombies will track you down, and just wait outside wherever you’re hiding. They’ve got nothing but time, and they will eventually get you, unless you find a way to fight back.

61NWfE06WqL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Q.   Z 2134, which you co-authored with Sean, features a dystopian America of the future, one in which zombie plagues have ravaged the world, giving rise to a totalitarian government, not to mention the Darwin Games, a televised survival show in which people have to fight zombies on air.  What inspired you to write these stories?

A.   Well, I’ve always wanted to write a zombie story. Sean wasn’t as keen on the idea, as he felt like it had all been done, and there was a lot of it at the moment. However, if we could mash up other genres, he was a lot more interested. So we thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a Hunger Games type story with zombies?” At the time, I’d not even seen The Hunger Games, and had read only the first few chapters. But I knew the idea, and we thought it would be cool to blend it with zombies and add a dose of 1984.

We pitched it to 47North after they’d reached out to us because of Yesterday’s Gone’s success, and they bought the trilogy.

Funny that some of the one star reviewers say it’s a “direct ripoff” of The Hunger Games, which I have to laugh at given that the only thing we ripped off was that it was a) a game and b) how The Hunger Games did the opening part where everyone had to make a mad dash toward the loot (which is as far as I got in the series). Anything similar beyond that, if there actually is, is pure coincidence. Fortunately, enough people liked the series for what it was to make it a bestseller at Amazon.

I think that mash-up of Z 2134 was sort of a dual-edged sword, though. While it earned us a lot of new readers, I think that people who thought we merely ripped off The Hunger Games, probably didn’t go on to give our other books a chance. They probably thought we were mash-up hacks churning out derivative stuff, which is a shame, because I feel that our other books are original and genre defying in many aspects.

Sean and Johnny are currently writing the first book in a zombie series that I’m super excited about, which seems to have an original sorta twist to it. Perhaps Sean and I will write in that world, since I’m still itching to do a proper real zombie story.

Q.  One thing I’ve noticed about science fiction/zombie lore is that authors have a tendency to forecast a future of doom and gloom.  I can’t say as I blame them though, given that every day there’s a new story on the news that rattles my faith in humanity.  Do you think a book where people are actually happy and the world has come together in a peaceful, harmonious future would ever be viable (or dare I say, realistic?)

A.  As much as I’d love to believe otherwise, it all comes down to a few things that seem immutable: there are limited resources on this planet, and people are clannish by nature. Therefore, there will always be struggle.

Q.   Let’s talk SPP.  You guys do a fair amount of busting on one another, all in good fun of course.  Still, I have to say I envy the partnership you’ve formed.  I’ve worked on a number of group projects in my life and to date, I’ve never walked away from the experience without holding back the desire to strangle my partners (who probably felt the same way about me.)  Do you guys realize what you have and more importantly, when the microphone’s off, do you tell each other?  It’d make me happy if the three of you would break out in a chorus of Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings one day, in celebration of a rare collaboration that actually works.

A.  I don’t think we talk too much about it. We’re usually busy talking about the work that needs to be done to fulfill our dreams. When we met in Austin in Sept. 2014, though, it was the first time all three of us were together, and we had a long heart-to-heart-to-heart talk, and it felt good to get to know Johnny (I’d already known Sean) in person. We’re like family, except we get along more often than most families.

Q.  Dave, as mentioned on your site, “Sean is the Tigger to your (Dave’s) Eeyore.”  I’d even go so far as to say that Sean is the Professor X to your Magneto.  In other words, Sean’s an optimist while you’re a pessimist.

Is that why you two work so well together?  One of you holds out hope, the other can see problems coming at twenty paces, and together you equal each other out?

A.  Good analogy. I think we’re a good mix, though I’m sure we’d be better off if I were a bit less pessimistic and a bit more hopeful. I think pessimism can be good as a protective shield, but there are times it costs you in potential.

Q.   Not to bore you with my problems, but a maniacal alien dictator from an unnamed world despises reality television to the point where he’s demanded that I write a novel so finely crafted that it causes the public to abandon shows where cameras follow around vapid celebrities and focus their attention entirely on scripted media.

But I don’t want to bother you with that.  You’ve been in self-publishing for a long time now.  Is there one nugget of advice, something that you wish someone had told you early on when you were getting started that you could pass on to me?

A.   Work through the doubt, and write a lot. Growing up, I tended to abandon projects the moment they got a bit too intimidating. I’m still prone to self-doubt and lots of rewriting before I’m happy, and I blow deadlines, but I am still always moving forward toward a goal — something I didn’t do before I had Sean as a partner.

Q.   Self-publishers are often vocal about their fears, which is understandable. Amazon might change their terms.  Tech companies they depend on might go out of business.  Traditional publishers might find a way to flip the proverbial poker table over and take their chips back.

But lets forget all that and be positive for a moment.  Let’s be Seans and not Daves.  As an expert in the field, do you foresee any major, positive developments coming in the future that will make self-publishers jump for joy?

A.   I’m hoping for a universal e-book format which would allow people to migrate their collections across readers without having to jump through hoops. I’d love to be able to buy at any store and read on whatever reader I prefer, without having to go through proprietary apps.

While companies may be resistant to this, I think in the long run it will help the companies sell more e-books.

Q.   Dave.  Seriously.  Thank you for all that you do.  When The History of Self-Publishing is written, there should be twenty chapters dedicated to you, Sean and Johnny.  The floor is yours.  If there are any last minute words of wisdom you’d like to share with my 3.5 readers, please feel free to do so.

A.   Thank you for having me. I’m not sure if this is wisdom, but I’ll share one thing. I started putting comic strips on the web in 1999. I was clueless to how bad I was. I think a lot of artists early on come in one of two flavors — they think they’re awesome or they think they’re shit. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Had I realized how bad I was, I’m sure I would’ve quit. Instead, I thought I was better than I was, but knew I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be, so I pushed through, always trying to get better, until I had a semi-successful comic which I could be proud of. So, I’d say don’t beat yourself up early on, but don’t ignore the areas you need to improve, and just always keep creating.

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