Tag Archives: zombie books

How the West Was ZOMBED – Chapter 3

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“Step right up! Step right up!”

While Gunther was pleading Slade’s case to deaf ears, a flashy salesman set up a cart just outside the Bonnie Lass’ double doors.

The only thing slimier than this lowlife’s pitch was his appearance. He had a devilish black beard, the kind that came down his face to a point just like the letter, “V.” His mustache curled upwards at each end. He wore a red velvet suit, wrapped his neck up with an ascot, and carried a cane topped with a golden ball. Sitting on his head was a top hat that extended an extra two feet above his cranium.

“Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up for a taste of Doc Faraday’s Miracle Cure-All!”

A large group gathered to listen to the huckster’s silver tongue wag away as it made all manner of suspicious promises.

“Step right up and purchase a bottle of the last medicine you will ever need!” the man said. “Lead an insurrection against indigestion, a revolution against devolution and decertify your decrepitude!”

Men. Women. Young and old. Several suckers were already holding the bottles they bought.

“Heart palpitations will listen to your stipulations, constipation will no longer be a source of consternation and you’ll never fight another bout with the gout!”

The show drew Gunther’s interest. He immediately sized up the charlatan for the fraud that he was, but he wanted to see where the doc was going with his routine.

“Ulcers will be ousted, your pain will be drained and tumors will become mere rumors!”

“Doctor,” an old woman said.

“Yes, my dear!” the salesman said.

“I got the worst pain in my bones. Will this help?”

The salesman didn’t flinch an inch.

“But of course, madam, but of course!” he said. “Bid me a moment as I tell you a tale of an elderly gentleman I met not more than fifty miles away who suffered from the most abominable, most abysmal case of rheumatism I’ve ever seen in my entire medical career. Let me tell you this man could barely move without crying out in debilitating pain. One sip of my Miracle Cure-All and…do you know what he did?”

The crowd waited for an answer with baited breath.

The so-called doctor was quite a showman. He jumped up and clicked his heels in the air. “Why, that gent started dancing about like a wild man, thanking me, thanking Jesus, thanking Mary, thanking Joseph, thanking God Almighty himself for bringing me to him so that I was able to introduce him to Doc Farraday’s Miracle Cure-All!”

Doc raised a bottle in the air. “Now remember, dear, dear patients, one spoonful will bring a fever down, two spoonfuls will cure a seizure of the heart and return it to its regular beating rhythm and as a trained physician, I can recommend half a spoonful a day every morning as an excellent regimen to ward off diseases, disorders, and other various and sundry maladies of the body, mind and spirit.”

“Does it cure flatulence?” a cowboy asked. That question drew dirty looks from the crowd. “I’m asking for a friend. He uh…he farts a lot.”

“Indubitably, sir, indubitably,” Doc replied. “Patients have reported to me that one swig of Doc Farraday’s Miracle Cure-All has given their bodily odors a robust, flowery scent with just a hint of lavender.”

Everyone reached into their pockets and pulled out their money. Gunther had enough and walked on.

“Excuse me, sir!”

Not realizing that he was the sir in question, Gunther kept walking.

“You there! Constable!”

Gunther stopped in his tracks and turned around. The good doctor abandoned the crowd, clutching a roll of dollars in his fist.

“Good day, sir!” the doctor said with an extended hand. Gunther hesitated. The doc was dirty for sure and the old timer didn’t want any of that existential muck to rub off on him. But, not wanting to be impolite, Gunther took it and shook it anyway.

“Faraday’s the name,” the salesman said. “Doctor Elias T. Faraday by way of Boston, Massachusetts.”

“Uh huh,” Gunther said, doing his best impression of an interested person.

“Oh,” Doc said. “But I’m no relation to the Chestnut Hill Faradays, I assure you. A band of beggars I’ll have you know. I wouldn’t trust my billfold around any of them if I were you.”

“I’ll remember that,” Gunther said.

“And you are?” Doc asked.

“Gunther,” the old man said. “Beauregard of the Kansas Beauregards. They’re all assholes but I love ’em just the same.”

“Yes, yes,” Doc said. “A man of good humor. I like it!”

The doctor handed Gunther a black bottle. Printed in cursive lettering on the bottle’s label were the words, “Doc Faraday’s Miracle Cure-All.”

“A gift for you, sir,” Doc said. “The very last medicine you’ll ever need. My way of thanking you for your efforts to protect this burgeoning metropolis.”

Gunther looked the bottle over. “What’s in it?”

Doc stroked his beard. “Ah, an astute question, my good man! Let me see. It’s a vast array of only the finest narcotics I assure you. Laudunum. Opium. Baking soda. Tree bark shavings. Dogwood tree leaves. Beaver mucous. Spider eggs, but only for texture. I’ll tell you as to date the scientific community is in a state of flux as to the alleged curative properties of spider eggs…tonic water, raspberry juice, cocaine…”

Gunther’s one eye lit up. “Did you say, ‘cocaine?'”

“Indeed, sir, indeed, plucked from the leaves of the finest coca plants I’ll have you know.”

Gunther pulled the cork out of the bottle and smelled it. “Ugh! That’s worse than an outhouse after a backyard barbecue.”

“No one ever said that the path toward vim and vigor was an easy one, sir. Tell me, do you suffer from any infirmities?”

“Infirma-what-ities?” Gunther asked.

“Infirmities,” Doc said. “Aches. Pains and the like.”

“Now that you mention it, my back always feels like a bull ran over it.”

“Then please,” Doc said. “Take a sip and feel like a young man again.”

Gunther looked at Doc. “Horse shit,” Gunther said. “What kind of flim flam scam are you runnin’?”

“This is all on the level, good sir, I assure you,” Doc said. “My reputation as a Harvard trained doctor of medicine is on the line with every bottle I purvey to the public and I tell you I would never commit an act of indiscretion that would put my good name into disrepute, sir.”

“Here goes nothin,'” Gunther pressed the bottle to his lips, took a pull, instantly sprayed it out of his mouth in a fine mist, then offered a trail of obscenities not repeatable in mixed company.

“Son of a bitch, Doc! Did you stick a horse’s pecker in a bottle and collect the piss?!”

Doc slapped his knee. “That’s a good one, sir but no, no my good man, Doc Faraday’s Miracle Cure-All may be an acquired taste, but it is one you shall have to acquire just the same in order to extend your life many, many years past your natural expiration date!”

“Shit,” Gunther said. He handed the bottle back. Doc took it and tucked it into his coat pocket.

“I’ll just keep my date with the grave if its all the same,” the old man said.

Gunther walked off again.

“Good sir!”

“What now?”

“I could not help but catch some of your impassioned plea as I peddled my wares outside the local house of ill repute…”

“Do you just love listening to yourself talk all day?” Gunther asked.

“Indeed I do for oration is one of the many gifts our beloved creator has bestowed upon me but to get to the point at hand, am I to understand our Marshall intends to stave off a band of miscreants on his own?”

“That’s the long and short of it,” Gunther replied.

Doc grabbed his lapels and puffed out his chest. “Then sir, I should very much like to lend a hand in this, Highwater’s darkest hour.”

“You?” Gunther laughed at the thought.

“Indeed, sir.”

“Are you handy with the steel?”

The good doctor let his cane drop to the ground. He shot his arms straight out to the left and right. Out from under his cuffs popped two sterling silver revolvers. Gunther was impressed.

“That’ll do.”

“An invention of my own design,” Doc said. “Spring loaded contraptions that respond with the mere flick of a wrist.”

“I really don’t give a musty ox shit, Doc,” Gunther said. “Are you comin’ or not?”

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#31ZombieAuthors – Day 14 Interview – Kate L. Mary – Nerds vs. Hunks

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FIND THIS ZOMBIE AUTHOR ON:

Amazon          Website

Facebook         Twitter

Today’s guest is Kate L. Mary, author of the Broken World series.  Follow protagonist Vivian Thomas on the road in the midst of zombie mayhem as she and her DD’s convince a duo of redneck brothers to give her a ride to California so she can locate the daughter she gave up for adoption.

A stay-at-home mother and Air Force wife, Kate and her family have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, California and Oklahoma.

Her Amazon author page states:

“Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes who can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat…”

So in other words, there’s a distinct chance I might be able to convince her to become the Bookshelf Battle Blog’s 4.5th reader.

Hello Kate.  Thanks for taking my call on the space phone.

NOTE: BQB=BOLD; KATE=ITALICS

Q.   Let’s talk about the role of trust in a zombie apocalypse.  Sometimes a disaster can bring out the best in people.  Other times, it can bring out the worst.  Unfortunately, you never know who you’re dealing with until it’s too late.  My group and I, having just located a survivor camp operated by a retired used car salesman/former television extra, are having trust issues.  I think it’s a pretty sweet set-up.  My girlfriend thinks we should run.  Naturally I thought about Vivian, who makes the tough decision to trust a pair of redneck brothers on her quest to find her daughter.  Can anyone ever be fully trusted in a zombie apocalypse?

A.   Trusting people during normal times can be tough, but when it comes to a lawless world it’s an even bigger gamble. I know a lot of people hold the belief that humans are basically good, but I wholeheartedly disagree. People are full of bad intentions, and too often the only thing keeping them from acting on those intentions are the consequences. Take away the threat of punishment, and the world will very quickly get a lot darker.

In the case of the used car salesman/former television extra, I’d have to say I’m with your girlfriend. I know the idea of a used car salesman being sleazy and underhanded is just a stereotype, but throw the role of television extra on top of that and every warning bell in my head goes off. This person spent his free time pretending to be someone else on a regular basis. What makes you think that just because the world has ended, he’s stopped pretending?

Q.   As a fan of zombie books, movies, TV shows, etc., I’ve noticed that whenever a group of people happen upon a place offering shelter and safety, it’s usually some kind of trick.  Someone inevitably ends up robbed, beaten, killed, sold into slavery, chopped up into lunch meat or what have you.  Maybe that’s why my better half is so jittery.

As a noted zombie author, can you settle a debate that’s long ranged in the world of zombie fandom?  When survivors happen upon a settlement operated by seemingly nice people, should their response be, “Feets don’t fail me now!” or “Thank you for your hospitality.  I think I will join you!”

A.   In a disaster like this, the idea that there are no good people left in the world has me thinking one thing: If that’s true, why go on? If you’re a good person just trying to survive, you have to assume there are other people out there with good intentions as well. But trusting someone shouldn’t be your first inclination or you’re liable to get robbed, beaten, killed, sold into slavery, or chopped up into lunchmeat. I think it’s important to give off a “thank you for your hospitality” vibe while keeping your eyes open for anything suspicious, much like Rick and crew did when they first arrived at Terminus at the end of season four of The Walking Dead. You have to keep hope alive or you’ll find yourself turning into the very monster you’re afraid to run into, but you need to be smart about it as well.

Q.   I’m led to believe you prefer laughable nerds over hunky pieces of man meat.  Naturally, as a poindexterish proprietor of a book blog that caters to 3.5 readers, who currently finds himself knee deep in a zombie apocalypse, I’m intrigued.  My ensuing inquiries are:

Q1)  Is that actually true or is that just something that women say before they make a beeline for the hunky man meat?

A.   It’s actually true! While hunky pieces of man meat are great to look at, that was never the type of man I dated, and it definitely won’t be who I rely on when the zombie apocalypse hits. Strength will only get you so far before a horde of zombies decides they want to feast on a meal of muscles, but intelligence will keep you going. And a sense of humor will not only keep you from losing your mind, but give you something to keep going for. While I do share the common problem of most female Walking Dead viewers—a love of Daryl Dixon—I have to admit that I’m in major awe of Glenn Rhee. I wouldn’t mind teaming up with him at the end of the world!

Q2)  Point of clarification:  Are we talking about a full blown, genuine, bonafide Star Wars toy owning geek despite being an adult type of nerd or the Hollywood version of a nerd, which is usually just a hunky piece of man meat that someone in wardrobe whipped a pair of glasses on?  (A hunk in nerd’s clothing, if you will.)

A.   I’m all about the adorable kind of nerd. Star Wars toys aren’t a must, but they also aren’t unwelcome—I own a few nerdy Walking Dead toys myself. My husband is a toy collecting nerd as well. For Father’s Day the last two years I got him Simpsons Lego sets. They are currently assembled and on display above our fireplace.

Q3)  What is it about a nerdy/non-traditional hero that intrigues you?

A.  I think it’s the unexpected. Seeing someone who didn’t think much of himself before the apocalypse rises to the challenge and becomes an important part of a group’s survival. Anyone who looks at a “hunky” guy will assume he’s going to be able to take care of himself, but it’s the people who surprise even themselves who are the most enjoyable to root for.

Q4)  Who are some of your favorite nerdy, non-traditional, non-hunky heroes?

A.   Glen Rhee of course. The evolution of his character over the last five seasons has been incredible to watch. Every now and then I like to turn on an episode from season one of The Walking Dead just to compare the characters, and seeing how much he has grown since then is mind-blowing.

I was also a huge fan of Chuck when it was on. Watching Chuck fumble his way through assignments was adorable, but seeing how much he had changed by the end of the series was even more fun.

Q.  The Broken World series is in Amazon’s top one hundred when it comes to post-apocalyptic and dystopian 511rJyBOZLL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_fiction.  What’s your secret to bringing so many readers into your world?

A.  Honestly, I think it had a lot to do with timing. I wrote the first three books a few years ago, but sat on them for a bit while agents and editors took their time considering publishing Broken World. By the time I finally got around to putting the first book out myself, The Walking Dead had reached the status of TV phenomenon, and it’s popularity really helped the series take off. The fact that it’s a great series—I never get tried of rereading these books!—and so different from a lot of zombie books out there helped even more.

Q.  What inspired you to take your ideas and turn them into books that zombie fanatics the world over can enjoy?

A.  The Walking Dead, of course. I’ve always loved post-apocalyptic stories, especially zombie stuff, but the sudden popularity of The Walking Dead helped form a story in my head that I just couldn’t get rid of. I almost didn’t write it as a zombie novel, though. If you do any kind of research on what editors/publishers are looking for, you’ll discover the sad fact that they do not want zombie fiction. They say there’s no market for it, which is just crazy—especially now! I wrote the first chapter of Broken World as a post-apocalyptic novel similar to The Stand, but without the religious undertones. But only one chapter in and I changed my mind, deciding to take a risk and write the zombie novel I’d been thinking about for months. Broken World was the result, and I’m so glad I took that leap.

Q.   Kate, thanks for stopping by, and especially for enduring my inquisition vis a vis nerds vs. hunks.  Before I hang up the space phone, do you have any last minute advice that could help my friends and I brave the zombie apocalypse?

A.   Don’t lose hope! It’s the one thing that will get you killed faster than a horde of zombies. If you don’t have some kind of hope for the future, you won’t fight as hard or run as fast. You’ll find yourself wishing that you never wake up when you lay down to sleep at night. If you don’t have any hope that you will be able to find a safe place or that the horror will one day come to an end, it won’t be long before the only end you can imagine is death.

Thanks so much for having me, and I hope you and your group find a safe place to ride out the worst of the zombie apocalypse!

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#31ZombieAuthors – The Full Schedule

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Want to know what day your favorite zombie author is stopping by the Bookshelf Battle Blog?

See the info below.  3.5 readers, these writers were kind enough to help me out, so please help them out as much as you can.

Check out their books.  If you enjoy them, leave a review.  Reviews on Amazon send authors higher up the charts, so you can help them out.  Tell your friends about them through your favorite time wasting social media site.

DETAILED SCHEDULES

If you want a short synopsis of who the authors are and what they’re going to talk about:

Oct. 1 – 10 Interviews

Oct. 11-20 Interviews

Lineup for Oct. 21-31 is coming.

THE QUICK SCHEDULE

If you just want the author’s name and date of appearance, see below.  Clicking on the author’s name will bring you to their Amazon page.

DAY IN OCTOBER

1 – Sarah Lyons Fleming

2 – Jamie Johnesee 

3 – Stevie Kopas

4 – Ann Christy 

5 – Perrin Briar

6 – S.G. Lee

7 – Gillian Zane

8 – Joseph “Zombie” Zuko

9 – Devan Sagliani

10 – Armand Rosamillia 

11 – Rachel Aukes

12 – Joe McKinney

13 – Michael Cairns

14 – Kate L. Mary 

15 – Peter Meredith

16 – Saul Tanpepper

17 – Jeremy Laszlo

18 – Deirdre Gould

19 – Eric A. Shelman 

20 – Rachel Higginson

21 – Al K. Line

22 – Ryan Casey

23 – Peter Cawdron

24 – W.J. Lundy 

25 – Luke Duffy 

26 – Rhiannon Frater

27 – Jake Bible 

28 – A. Giacomi

29 – Rick Chesler AND David Sakmyster

30 – J.M. Wilde

31 –  David W. Wright of the Self Publishing Podcast

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Why I Hope You’ll Check Out #31ZombieAuthors (Even If You Don’t Like Zombies)

This will be me in October. And I'll still take a break for zombie author interviews!

This will be me in October. And I’ll still take a break for zombie author interviews!

First off, if you do like zombies, you’re in for one hell of a ride come October.

I’m holding off on the full list of participating authors, but so many great writers have agreed to participate.

As you can imagine, for a guy who writes a blog under the name “Bookshelf Q. Battler” and claims to a) own a magic bookshelf and b) be friends with an alien, that’s very humbling.

There’s a fabulous online community of scribes and more often than not, help is usually just a polite question away.

So even if you have no interest in the zombie genre, I hope you’ll stop by anyway.

Why?  Because I’ll be interviewing thirty-one authors who have successfully published and put their works out to the masses.

Maybe you prefer comedy, or romance, or some other genre.  Even so, if you’re an aspiring writer, and I know a lot of you out there are, you’ll pick up some know-how from folks who have achieved what so far many of us have only dreamed of.

And hopefully, you’ll have some laughs along the way because of the unique way this interview series is being presented.

Every day, BQB (that’s me) will update his “Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal.”  East Randomtown will be overrun by the undead, and it’s up to  BQB, Alien Jones, and Video Game Rack Fighter to save the day.

And once a day, our hero will take a break from the action to “call” a writer on Alien Jones’ space phone.

In a zombie-fied world where phone service is down, only a plutonium powered alien communications device will do.

How can you help?

3.5 readers, this year has been all about building a blog audience.  One post a day for 365 days.  Next year, I need to turn my focus to writing books of my own.

I love writing and don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I’m abandoning the blog next year, though I believe I will have to slow down the pace.

But as much I love writing, I have to admit, in the long run, with all that the world tends to throw at us, writing is generally difficult to sustain unless it’s bringing in money.

Have you seen Field of Dreams? 

“If you build it, they will come.”

This blog is my dream.  A platform on which to build a writing career.  I’m building it and I need people to come.

So this effort represents one last great big push to raise this blog’s stats, followers, hits, and corresponding Twitter, Google Plus etc followers.

All fine folks who liked something they saw here enough to click the follow button and hopefully one day I’ll be able to convince you all to invest in the BQB brand by buying a BQB novel.

Once I get it written, of course.

Not to beg, but if you could do anything to help, that’d be great.

Tell your readers about it.  Heck, share the shenanigans of Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian, on your favorite time wasting social media outlet.

Want an interview with Bookshelf Q. Battler?  You got it.  My 3.5 readers are your 3.5 readers.

Most importantly, all of these authors have been so generous with their time, that anything you could do to spread the word about them would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for all your help, 3.5.  This has been the most work I’ve put in to this blog all year, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will pay off.

 

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