Tag Archives: supernatural

Fridays with BQB – Interview #2 – Bloodsucking Fun with Rick Gualtieri


Author Website

Amazon Author Page

Fortune. Hot groupies. Hair. Rick Gualtieri has none of these things, but what he does have is the highly beloved “Tome of Bill” series, which gives a shot of nerdy humor straight into the arm of the ever-so-played vampire genre.

I first heard of Rick when he was a guest on the Self-Publishing Podcast and he seemed like a nerd’s nerd, a geek’s geek, and a poindexter’s poindexter. I could be wrong, but he reminds me a little of myself, i.e. a nerd who is proud of his nerd-dom.

After all, the man maintains a priceless collection of vintage Transformers so he can’t be all that bad.


QUESTION 1 – Rickster, let’s cut to the chase. Self-publishing. Writing advice. We’ll get to all that in due time but first, my 3.5 readers and I are dying to know…what’s the best piece in your vintage Transformers collection? Mine is a 1980s era Soundwave complete with one of those little cassette tapes that turns into a killer bird. Can you top that? Damnit, I know you probably can.

ANSWER:  Color me jealous. I never did manage to add Soundwave to my collection. So it’s probably a good idea if you don’t turn your back on me down any dark alleys. Accidents happen and all that … just saying. As far as my own collection goes, my prized possessions are all five of the original Dinobots. Thirty or so years later, they still kick all sorts of ass.

BQB NOTE TO SELF – Please remember to make an addition to my Last Will and Testament, naming Rick as inheritor of my vintage Soundwave, provided that he promises to rub the toy with fine scented lotions for three hours a day, including all Federal holidays, and allows an inspector to be named by me to make monthly observations of this ritual to ensure that it is done.

QUESTION 2 – Are geeks born or are they made? Suppose my 3.5 readers are geeks who are just trying to figure out how to make it in a world full of people who scoff at their glasses and nerdyness and obsessions with 1980s action figures. What advice do you have for them?

ANSWER: Be you. The most liberating thing in the world is not giving a single crap what people think about you or what you like. Worry about making yourself happy, not the rest of the world. The rest of the world is mostly stupid. Don’t listen to them!

QUESTION 3 – “Tome of Bill.” Let’s get to it. What’s it all about? What does a newb to this series need to know before diving right in?

ANSWER: Tome of Bill is basically an epic-sized mockery of more serious vampire stories. It’s the story of a gamer / geek who gets bitten – due to his own lack of foresight in realizing that some women are out of his league. And when he wakes up, he’s still him. Despite all the weird and wonderful powers of the undead, he’s still a dork and happy with that fact. Pity that the rest of the vampires aren’t nearly as pleased with him.

There’s tons of snark, action, blood, bad jokes, cursing, more snark, and eventually a plot that revolves around Maple syrup. I like to think it’s got it all.

QUESTION 4 – Do your readers appreciate the humor/vampire combo? I dabble in humorous horror myself, but sometimes I fear that horror fans just come for the blood spatter and don’t want to laugh, and comedy fans come for the yuks but don’t want their mellows harshed with blood and guts. How do you keep both camps happy?

ANSWER: I think it’s all in the expectations. When you go into, say, Army of Darkness, you kind of know you’re getting a mix of gore and jokes. That’s why it works. Conversely, if you turn on the Exorcist and suddenly Max von Sydow’s character starts cracking one-liners, it’s going to be a bit of a WTF moment. I think horror comedy works best when you give people a hint up front as to what they’re getting into that way you don’t tick off the hardcore splatter crowd.

QUESTION 5 – As an author of vampiric fiction, I’m going to say you’re qualified to opine on all vampiric matters, so let me ask you a question that has plagued me for years.

Whenever you watch a serious vampire movie, why the hell are all the victims so scared of becoming a vampire? Seriously. You stay young forever. You never die. Sure, you have to murder people and drink their blood to survive which could get tedious but you don’t have a conscience anymore so really, it all comes out in the wash. You live forever so you can study and learn a lot. Travel the world. Learn all the different languages. Glamour hot chicks into being your love slaves (which my lawyer advises me to say in this highly sensitive climate we live in that this would be wrong, totally wrong!) Plus, if you live forever, you can save forever so really, become a Wal-Mart stock-boy for 100 years and by the end of the century you’ll be loaded.

Am I missing something? Is there a downside to becoming a vampire? I’m thinking about just lying around a cemetery with some hot sauce on my neck in the hopes I’ll become a vamp victim.  Can you talk me out of it?

ANSWER: I personally think it’s more the fear of dying … and what happens if the process either doesn’t work or the vampire has no real intention of turning you. It’s like “Hey, congrats, sucker. Now you’re really dead.”

I mean, heck, otherwise it would be no different than going to the hospital for some minor surgery and waking up with superpowers (and maybe a sun allergy). There’s probably more that plays into it. Fear of never seeing a sunrise again maybe (not a big deal for those of us who avoid beach days), or possibly fear of losing our minds and slaughtering everyone we know. That last one is pretty much the only issue that kind of bugs Bill after he gets turned.

But heck yeah. Aside from that, sign me up for a couple hundred years of compounded interest.

QUESTION 6 – Vampires. Zombies. What’s the next horror monster craze? I’m betting chupacabras. Lots of angsty teen dramas about goth kids who give their teachers plenty of guff by day and sneak onto a farmer’s ranch by night to eat all of his goats.

ANSWER: Personally, I’m all about killer sasquatches myself. But those have limited terror appeal in a city setting. Whatever it is, I want to be at the crest of that wave. Maybe a story about C.H.U.D.s … our hero wakes up one night with an insane urge to live in the sewers and dine on human flesh. Hilarity ensues.

Hmm, let me go write that one down now, while it’s fresh in my head.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE: And here I thought I was the only one talking about C.H.U.D.s.

QUESTION 7 – The self-publishing game. Is it worth it? I know for me, there are times when it feels like its just one giant hamster wheel and I’m a furry little rodent just waiting for a piece of cheese that will never come. Are there times when you just want to say “screw it” and go take a nap and/or eat cookies and/or watch TV? If you never feel like that, what keeps you going strong? If there are times when you feel like that, what helps you get past it?

ANSWER: I won’t lie. The self-publishing game is only going to get tougher because we’re in a maturing market. The boom days are ending. There’s a lot of people making short term bank right now via a variety of ways (ie. churning out books faster than a puppy mill), but I try to view it from the long term. My goal has been and continues to be writing (hopefully) good stories that people will want to read today, tomorrow, or years from now. Even then, it’s a tough business to be in.

There are always going to be times when I get discouraged, want to walk away, don’t want to do something et cetera. But realistically that’s not any different than any other job I’ve had. What keeps me going is that I really love doing this. It just feels right.

And even if somewhere down the road I have to hang up my hat and move on, I can do so with my head held high. I’ve done far more than I ever thought possible. Nobody can take that away from me.

QUESTION 8 – You’ll never believe this. One of my 3.5 readers just told me she wants to begin a journey towards a self-publishing career TOMORROW! Note that I said this person is a she because #2018 and I’m trying my best to stop being a knuckle driving caveman but it’s really hard sometime because I was alive during the 1980s. What advice do you have for this person? What is the very first thing this person should do?

ANSWER: Despite all the advice on building a platform, creating a marketing machine, or owning social media, she has to have a good product first. Make sure that book is the very best she can make it. Seek advice and honest opinions. Polish it up. And while she’s doing that, take some time and study the market. Explore the covers, blurbs, et cetera of those who are selling well. Then try to do what they do, but better.

QUESTION 9 – Bram Stroker comes back to life tomorrow. Is he surprised to see what the vampire genre he invented has become? Is he happy about it? Sad? Are vampires as cool as they used to be?

First I laugh, because you called him, “Bram Stroker.” That is definitely my new porn name. After that, I stake the bastard before he can suck my blood! Okay, fine. I’m not that tasty.

Seriously, I’d like to hope he’d be flattered in some ways, although, I wouldn’t blame him at being a little horrified either. We’re sort of coming down from a bit of a high in the vampire craze. He’d probably wish he’d come back when Buffy was still on the air. I know I would.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  That’s the last time I hire a chimpanzee to proofread my questions. 

QUESTION 10 – A maniacal supervillain has locked you in his secret lair. You are surrounded by hideous, bloodsucking vampires. Like seriously, not the hot “True Blood” kind but the ugly kind, the ones that have gone all pointy eared and feral.
There are three and only three items in the room. A lasso. An album autographed by 1990s hip hop group Bell Biv Devoe and a taco seasoning packet.
How will you use these items to save your neck?

ANSWER: This one is easy. I pull out the album and fling it at one vamp like it’s a ninja star … then watch in horror as I completely miss and it shatters against the wall. But at least I’ve spared myself from listening to it.

So then … I hook one of the vampires with the lasso, drag him in, and then pour the taco seasoning in his ear in the hope of totally frying his brain. In the chaos, I whisper to him that he’s actually a horse and together we ride off into the sunset, or at least as far as I can get in the sunset before he dissolves into goo.

It’s that or I die horribly, realizing that I should have watched a lot more MacGyver growing up. Damn you, Richard Dean Anderson!!!!

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  Everyone should watch more “MacGyver.”  The old one, not the reboot.  I’ve run it past my advisors and they all remarked this escape plan sounds valid, though they note that while Bell Biv Devoe may not be for everyone, everyone can always benefit from the key piece of advice these noble philosopher poets offered to the world, namely, to “never trust a big butt and a smile.”

Wise words indeed.  Thank you, Rick.  May your All-Spark never dim.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 123


One Year Later

New Mexico

The Rattler was aptly named because it was filled with vipers. Cutthroats, villains and assorted reprobates guzzled brews and exchanged tales of their heinous misdeeds.

Gambling. Brawling. Knife fights. It was comparable to the Bonnie Lass, but with less charm and ambience.

The double doors swung open and in walked a man wearing a hat with a red feather in it.

Miles. He’d hit a growth spurt and was over six feet now. Height. Muscle. There was even the slightest beginnings of a rudimentary mustache on his lip.

The joint grew silent. Card games. Fist fights. It all came to a halt as all eyes followed him as he bellied up to the bar.

Nelson Cooper, the owner/barkeep had a face that looked like it defined stupid. Lazy-eye. Crooked teeth. Unibrow. Permanent scowl. Dirt beard. Stain covered shirt that looked like it doubled as a bar rag.

Miles plopped a coin on the bar. “Sarsparilla. Straight up.”

Cooper and his contingent of barflies laughed.

“Can’t you read?” the barkeep asked as he pointed to a sign above the bar.

It read, “No Vampires. No Zombies. No Werewolves.”

“We don’t serve your kind here,” Cooper said.

Miles gulped. How did this scumbag know anything about him? He’d just strolled into town and hadn’t said a word to anyone.

He bluffed.

“I’m not a damn werewolf,” Miles said.

Cooper pointed to one more line on the sign. “No Negroes.”

“Shit,” Miles said.

He picked up his coin and scooched off the barstool.

A voice called out from the back left corner of the room.

“Cooper, quit acting like the power to poor booze gives you a ten foot dick and pour my friend a drink.”

The barkeep threw his hands up and trembled in fear. “Aw hell, Hoo Doo. I didn’t know he was with you.”

“Well now you do.”

Miles looked over to the corner table. There sat a rakish man with a gaunt face. He was skinny, bordering on emaciation. Sandy hair and a black hat with a white band. Rumpled suit that looked a tad baggy for him.

“Thanks,” Miles said as he started for the door. “But I don’t want any trouble.”

“Nonsense!” the man said. “Come have a seat and we’ll have a little chat.”

The barflies returned to their debauchery. Miles took a seat at the man’s table. Cooper plopped a bottle of sarsaparilla down.

“Soda pop!” the man scoffed. “Bullshit! He’ll have a scotch.”

“I don’t drink,” Miles said.

“And I didn’t hear that,” the man said as he shooed the barkeep away.

Miles took a swig of sarsaparilla. He’d been running all day and was powerfully thirsty.

The man dropped a few pinches of tobacco onto a paper and rolled himself a cigarette.

“Hoo Doo,” the man said.

“Who do what?” Miles replied.

The man grinned. “Me do.”

Miles was confused. “You do what?”

“Hoo Doo.”

“You do hoo doo?” Miles asked.

“I do,” the man answered. “My name and my trade are one and the same. Hoo Doo Brown, at your service.”

Cooper set a glass of scotch down and left. Miles stared at it.

“It’ll put hair on your chest,” Hoo Doo said.

Miles picked it up.

“Not that you need any,”Hoo Doo said.

Miles was flabbergasted. Hoo Doo lit his cigarette and popped the end between his lips, leaving it to dangle there.

“Oh come now,” Hoo Doo said. “I can spot a supernatural at fifty paces. I saw the look on your puss when that fat sack of crap insulted you. It was all you could do to keep yourself from unleashing the beast and tearing him apart. Not to cast aspersions on your kind but werewolves aren’t exactly known for their self-control. What gives?”

The young man raised the glass to his lips. “I’m a peaceful werewolf.” He took a sip, choked, then immediately sprayed it out in a fine mist.

Hoo Doo laughed. “Your first drink I take it?”

Miles made a face as if he’d just been sucking on a lemon. “And my last one. That was awful. Why do people drink this stuff?”

Hoo Doo reached into his pocket and pulled out a bar of soap and a small pocket knife. He went to work whittling the soap.

“Oh,” Hoo Doo said. “To forget the past, I suppose. I’m not exactly sure of the science of it all but I can’t imagine a beverage that dulls the senses could taste like candy.”

Miles returned to his sarsparilla.

“What’s hoo doo?” Miles asked.

“Now there’s a question,” Hoo Doo said as he whittled away. “I suppose I could regale you for hours about its history but when it comes right down to it…”

Hoo Doo tapped the ash off his smoke into an empty glass. “…it’s the art of asking demons for favors.”

Miles eyes grew wide with fear.

“Not exactly a profession I’d recommend,” Hoo Doo said. “Nothing in life is free and well, those demons are happy to cater to your wishes if you ask them the right way but they take a little piece of you each time.”

Hoo Doo sighed. “Sometimes I feel like I have nothing left to give. One of these days, I really should stop.”

Miles scooched back in his chair. “Thanks for the drinks, mister. I best be moving on.”

“Oh please,” Hoo Doo said. “You just got here. And you never even told me your name.”


“Tell me Miles,” Hoo Doo said. “What’s a nice werewolf like you doing in a place like this?”

“Just passing through.”

“On your way to…”

Miles was torn between his fear and his inner desire to not appear rude. “Mexico.”

“Que bueno,” Hoo Doo said. “Pretty country. Prettier senoritas.”

“I guess.”

“You’re out of luck I’m afraid,” Hoo Doo said. “The Federales have got the border locked down tighter than a nun’s knickers out of fear that their country might get overrun with zombies. Can’t say as I blame them. Zombies are truly the biggest assholes in the entire supernatural world.”

Miles shook his head. “Guess I’ll do something else.”

“And what do you do?” Hoo Doo asked.


“Your profession,” Hoo Doo said. “Your employment. Your raison d’etre. How’d you get that coin that Fuckface McGee over there refused because he prefers ignorance over making money?”

“I…I begged for it.”

“A beggar?” Hoo Doo asked. “Oh, no no no, son. We can’t have that at all. Have you got any skills?”

Miles shrugged. “I can draw.”

“Ah!” Hoo Doo said. “An artiste! I do admire a pretty picture and I’m certain one day when your pantings are hanging in museums I’ll gush with pride as I tell people I knew you when but I’m afraid I don’t know a single accomplished artist who can help you get started. Can you build something?”


“Swing a hammer?”

“I could try.”

“Tote that barge? Lift that bail?”

“I would if anyone would hire me.”

“Ah yes,” Hoo Doo said as the shavings from his bar of soap piled up on the table. “I imagine your color makes it difficult to win over folks like old Cooper there.”

“I’m not complaining,” Miles said.

“That’s the spirit,” Hoo Doo said. “Perhaps you could become a hired gun.”

Miles sipped his soda. “That’s a job I’d never want.”

“Could have fooled me with that Colt strapped to your hip,” Hoo Doo said.

“Gift from a friend,” Miles said. “Just for show. I don’t even keep it loaded.”

Hoo Doo rolled his eyes. “Son, let me help you. That is information a stranger should not know.”

Miles nodded.

“That’s information that even a friend should not know,” Hoo Doo added. “Are we friends yet?”

“I don’t think so,” Miles said.

“We’ll get there,” Hoo Doo said. “Regardless, assume everyone is looking for your weaknesses. They’ll find them sooner or later but you don’t have to point them out and make it easier for them.”

Miles nodded again.

“Many a bad man would pay top dollar for the services of a werewolf,” Hoo Doo said.

“I’m not that kind of werewolf,” Miles replied.

“As I live and breathe,” Hoo Doo said. “You really are a pacifist werewolf.”

“A what?”

“Pacifist,” Hoo Doo said. “You abhor violence.”

“I do.”

“That’s admirable,” Hoo Doo said. “I’d quit violence myself if it weren’t so damn effective.”

Hoo Doo put his knife away and set his soap down on the table. He’d carved the bar into the shape of a little man. A round head. Stick body, legs and arms.

“Give me your critique as an artist.”

“Not bad,” Miles said.

“I’m no Michelangelo but I try,” Hoo Doo said.

Cooper was back. “Hey Hoo Doo, I know you’re the King Shit around here but I can’t have this nigger drinking in my bar all night. Pretty soon all the niggers will want to…”

Hoo Doo balled his hand into a fist, raised it up, then pounded it down on his little sculpture, smashing it flat.

As for Cooper, he didn’t gasp or choke. He didn’t cry out in pain. He simply collapsed in a giant heap on the floor.

The barflies cared enough to look, but not enough to get involved. They went about their business. Miles jumped out of his chair and lightly slapped Cooper’s cheek.

“Mister!” Miles said. “Hey Mister! Wake up.”

Miles looked up. The smashed soap. The smile on Hoo Doo’s face.

“What did you do?”

“I asked for a favor,” Hoo Doo replied.

Miles shook the man’s shoulders. “Hey! Mister, come on!”

The young man looked back to Hoo Doo. “Do something!”

Hoo Doo sighed. “Oh God, you’re one of those bleeding heart types aren’t you? All right…”
Hoo Doo took his time as he took some of the soap and rolled it into a ball to make a head. Then he crafted a few sticks to make a body, legs, and arms. He wiggled his fingers over the sculpture and…

“Get off me nigger!”

Cooper pushed Miles aside and stood up. “What the hell happened?”

“You had one too many I suppose,” Hoo Doo said. “My friend here was just trying to help you.”

“Trying to sneak a feel on my pecker was what he was doing,” Cooper said. “We don’t take kindly to queers in here neither.”

Cooper stormed off back to the bar. “I’m going to add that to my sign.”

Miles returned to his seat.

“Shit,” Hoo Doo said. “I worry about you, Miles the Pacifist Werewolf. If you let a half-wit like that walk all over you then you’ll be doing it for the rest of your life.”

“I’d rather take people’s abuse then hate myself for hurting them.”

Hoo Doo’s cigarette was all smoked out. He took another paper and some tobacco from his pocket and rolled another one.

“Ahh,” Hoo Doo said. “Then you have hurt someone.”

“None of your business.”

“There’s a spine,” Hoo Doo said. “We’ll make a man out of you yet.”

Miles stood up. “Goodbye.”

Hoo Doo lit his new cigarette. “Well, I can’t say there are many employment opportunities out there for pacifist werewolf but as it turns out I just happen to have one.”

“Not interested.”

“It’s very lucrative,” Miles said. “You’ll never have to beg for coins again and you’d be surprised how quickly a fat pocket earns you the respect of even the most basic of imbeciles.”

There was a little voice in Miles’ head, working overtime as it shouted for him to leave.

He went against his gut and sat back down.

“Like I said. I won’t hurt anyone.”

“And you won’t,” Hoo Doo said. “For it’s not your claws or your teeth that I’m after but rather, your above average sniffer.”

“My sniffer?”

“Precisely,” Hoo Doo said. “Son, down in Mexico lies a magnificent treasure of great value. It isn’t made out of gold and who cares, seeing as how that commodity has become less precious ever since our esteemed government gave us the cold shoulder. It’s not even silver, which would be more useful as everyone and their uncle wants to pack silver heat now that the cat has been let out of the bag with regard to the existence of werewolves and vampires.”

“Diamonds?” Miles asked.

“Hell no,” Hoo Doo said as he puffed on his cigarette. “What good did a diamond ever do anyone except for getting a bunch of people killed so some ugly lady could pop it onto her finger and smile? Same thing with rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. All junk compared to this.”

“I can’t think of anything more valuable than gold, silver or jewels,” Miles said.

“For years I have sought a treasure made out of flesh and bone,” Hoo Doo said. “And for just as many years, I have searched for a werewolf to sniff it out for me. Alas, I have yet to meet a werewolf I wasn’t sure would snap me in two and take the treasure for himself as soon as he found it…until now. This job really does call for a pacifist werewolf and I must say I feel like asking God to pull his pants down so I can kiss his ass for finally sending me one.”

“I don’t know…”

“I’ll cut you in.”

“Fifty-fifty?” Miles asked.

“What?” Hoo Doo asked. “Fuck no, pacifist werewolf. I’m the one who’s done all the research and I’m the one taking all the risk sneaking your furry hide across the border. We get caught, all you need to do is wolf yourself and run away. Me? They’ll string me up and hang me up by my toes in a dank, depressing dungeon somewhere until the end of time.”

Miles looked out a window. The moon was full and was casting some light onto the table.

“But if you can’t do it without my nose…”

“I have created a monster,” Hoo Doo said. “Fine. I’ll take seventy, you take thirty. Keep in mind I’ll be paying two unsavory characters to join us out of my own pocket. Mexico’s not a place you want to visit without some muscle and we both know you won’t be providing that, pacifist werewolf.”

“What if I say no?” Miles said.

Hoo Doo shrugged. “Then I return to my glamorous lifestyle of drinking alone, you go outside and beg for people’s pocket change and the treasure stays lost, unless some other jackass finds a less greedy pacifist werewolf to find it for him first.”

Miles was torn. He thought about how his father had once been sweet talked into taking what sounded like a fancy, high paying gig only to end up a tool of evil. He didn’t want to make the same mistake, but he was getting tired of begging for money as well.

“I won’t have to hurt anyone?” Miles asked.

“You have my word,” Hoo Doo said as he took a drag on his cigarette and stretched out his hand.

Miles took it. “Then I’m in. I guess you look trustworthy.”

Hoo Doo leaned into the moonlight. His face disappeared and was replaced with that of a chattering skull. No eyes in the sockets. Just bone. Miles watched in terror as cigarette smoke poured through Hoo Doo’s teeth then swirled around his rib cage, the bones of which looked as though Miles could reach out and play like a xylophone.

Miles looked down to see he was holding a boney hand. He looked up.

“Well now,” Hoo Doo said. “I wouldn’t say that.”

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Zombie Western – Introduction

Hello 3.5 readers.

I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler, moderately famous Internet celebrity and noted awesome person.

Nineteen days into January and I’ve broken all my New Year’s resolutions and then some. By the way, isn’t this a weird time of year? You’re still coming down from a Christmas high, you’re bored as shit, Hollywood’s putting out all the movies they produced because someone was owed a favor…

I digress. One of my resolutions was to stop trying to do a bunch of different projects at once and just focus on one.  Well, I tried. But I have the attention span of a hummingbird on meth.

Last October, as I interviewed the #31ZombieAuthors, I came to find there’s an amazing community of zombie fans on the Internet. And I was able to get a number of them to take a look at this blog.

A week ago, I started, just on a lark, to type away on an idea I’ve had for a long time about…well, I don’t want to give the title away just yet so lets just call it, “A Zombie Western.”

I’m a Gen Xer.  Millenials, my generation has made and left many awesome movies for you to discover on Netflix and streaming media.  You’re welcome.

The generation before me, yup, the Baby Boomers?  They left my generation a crap ton of cowboy movies.  Goddamn, did Baby Boomers love their cowboy movies.

Aunt Gertie and Uncle Hardass were big fans.  Most poignantly, Uncle Hardass kept his TV tuned to the all Westerns all the time channel (Bravo Westerns) as he made his untimely demise.  And now as a ghost, he has my TV on Westerns all the time.  I can’t escape it.

Anyway.  As a Generation X-er forced by decrepit Baby Boomers (who may be the zombies of our time because they just get older and older yet stay healthier and healthier and never want to relinquish control of shit) here’s everything I learned, or more accurately…

The Plot of Every Western Movie

  1. There’s a good guy.  His moral compass requires him to do good shit.
  2. But the Old West is a lawless place. The government really doesn’t have it under control, so the biggest jackass with the biggest gun tends to win.
  3. Good guy stands firm against bad guy.
  4. Wussy townsfolk turn on the good guy, declaring he should just step aside and let the bad guy win or else risk pissing off the bad guy into engaging in more destruction.
  5. Good guy can’t let it go.  Stands up for what’s right.  Shoots 900 bad guys with one six shooter that’s never reloaded.

People.  Here’s the thing.  I really, really, really want to publish a book this year.  I just want to put a book out so I can say I did one thing I wanted to do before I die.  Not that I’m planning to croak soon but I’d just like to accomplish one life goal.  Just one.  This one.

In the past week, I’ve rattled off 7000 words.  The plot?


U.S. Marshall Rainier Slade is a stoic figure who doesn’t speak much.  He prefers to let his deeds do his talking.  He is a man of action, after all.  Luckily, he can always rely on his trusty Deputy, Gunther Beaumont, whose advanced age has turned him into a model of practical thinking.

Rounding out the trio is Doc Faraday, a snake oil salesman who loves to hear himself speak.  Watch out, or he might just sell you a bottle of his Miracle Cure All.

Oh, and there will also be a shit ton of zombies.  But I’m not ready to talk about the zombie part yet.

3.5 Readers, I’m going to publish the first few rough chapters.  You tell me if its worth continuing.

If it is, my thought is I’ll give myself a deadline to finish the first draft and get it to an editor by March 1.  Then I can spend the rest of the year on Pop Culture Mysteries.  Then I can publish this Zombie Novel in October, just in time for Halloween and perhaps invite the #31ZombieAuthors (if they’re interested) to come back for a second round of interviews as sort of a promo for the book.

I know.  I’m all over the place.  But I really want to put a book out.  After that, I can work on spiffing up the Bookshelf Battle and Pop Culture Mysteries blogs forever.

So read on and tell me whether its worth continuing.

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