Tag Archives: zombie fiction

BQB’s Zombie Apocalypse Survivor’s Journal – Day 15

Defacto Mayor Hauser

Defacto Mayor Hauser

VGRF and I sat in Doug’s office, located in the back of a locker room. “Coach Hauser” was stenciled on the door.

Blandie was busy bumming make up products off other survivors, arguing “just because it’s the zombie apocalypse doesn’t mean I can’t look good.”

Bernie was working on the lyrics to another wholesome rap song, as usual.

Alien Jones, having worked harder than anyone else in the group so far, was taking a well deserved siesta.

“A few days ago, one of my squads was on a mission to look for survivors on Becker Street when three Apache helicopters flew overhead. The pilots hovered in for a closer look at my men and then dispersed,” Hauser said. “It made no sense to me until I read the part in your survivor’s journal about Morganstern blowing up the mall just to get to you.”

“The army’s gunning for me,” I said. “Obviously, when they figured out none of your men were me, they moved on.”

“We should leave, BQB,” VGRF said. “Morganstern’s liable to blow up everyone here just to get to you.”

Hauser poured himself a scotch. He offered us some, but my girl and I are teetotaling nerds.

“I don’t know if that’s true,” Hauser said. “Between the basketball court and the other camps in the park, I’ve got close to a thousand people here. Hauser may be ruthless, but I don’t know how anyone could sweep that many bodies under the rug.”

Hauser sipped his drink.

“No my friends, I think you need to stay here. Safety in numbers. BQB, once you step outside the building, that bastard will get you I guarantee it.”

“Is there anything I can do to help the camp?” I said. “I want to earn my keep.”

“Of course,” Hauser said. “I assign jobs to everyone. Video Game Rack Fighter, how would you like to run our day car center?”

VGRF scoffed.

“Oh what, because I’m a woman?”

“Because we’ve got a fifty inch plasma and all the video games you could possibly want,” Doug replied. “I figure you could keep the kids entertained with that.  The whole place is run by a back up generator so you can play forever.”

“Sold,” VGRF said.

Doug looked at me.

“And you. I’ll expect big things out of you…Deputy Mayor.

“What?” I asked.

BREAKING NEWS: BQB NAMED DEPUTY MAYOR OF EAST RANDOMTOWN!

BREAKING NEWS: BQB NAMED DEPUTY MAYOR OF EAST RANDOMTOWN!

“BQB, this settlement is all that’s left of East Randomtown,” Doug said. “Our humble little burg’s two greatest citizens, the man who was beaten senseless for thirty seconds on a 1980’s TV show and the man who set up a web site so exhilarating that it drew in 3.5 readers. Past and present working together for a brighter tomorrow. What do you say?”

I echoed VGRF’s sentiment with a “sold” of my own.

“Excellent,” Doug said as he stood up. “Now then, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to round up a party to go raid the pharmacy.”

The three of us walked out onto the basketball court floor.

Hauser whistled loudly. He spoke with a big, booming voice.

“Attention, everyone! Attention!”

He slapped me hard on the back. Everyone stopped what they were doing to listen.

“I’ve just appointed Bookshelf Q. Battler as deputy mayor. He’s well qualified, having started up a WordPress blog with 3.5 readers. He’s the boss while I’m gone so what he says, goes!”

The survivors carried on with their business.

“Just like that?” I asked.

“Just like that,” Doug said.

The Mayor walked away. I put my arm around VGRF.

“Did you ever think we’d ever get to make such a difference in the world?” I asked.

“Says you,” VGRF said. “You’re the second-in-command. I have to babysit a bunch of rugrats all day and I’m now realizing I won’t be able to play Car Thief Mayhem around them. I’ll be staring at that stupid Buildcraft bullshit until the end of time!  That game is completely pointless!”

“There are worse fates,” I said.

“You’re not even here a day and he gives you a position of authority?” VGRF asked. “I’m calling shenanigans.”

“I know it’s hard babe,” I said. “But you need to learn how to trust people.”

“I trust no one in a zombie apocalypse.”

We found Alien Jones sawing logs under a blanket on the bleachers. A trio of pre-teens were poking him with a stick.

“What is this thing?” one of the kids asked.

“Guys, can you not disturb my deformed kid?” I asked.

“Why don’t you show me where the day care center is?” VGRF asked the urchins. “I’m supposed to play video games with you guys.”

“Sweet!” one of the kids yelled. “I call first dibs on Buildcraft!”

As she walked away, I heard VGRF mumble, “Son of a…”

I reached into Alien Jones’ pocket and retrieved the space phone.

I knew just the right zombie author to call.

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

klm

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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#31Zombie Authors – The Lineup – Oct 1 – 10

By: Bookshelf Q. Battler, Blogger-in-Chief shutterstock_173570747 copy

It’s almost here, 3.5 readers!  It’s almost here!

Starting October 1, I’ll be interviewing one author of zombie fiction per day for 31 days.

And these won’t be your typical interviews.

A zombie apocalypse is going to hit East Randomtown (my home town) on October 1 (convenient, I know) and at great risk to myself, I will take a break every day from the undead carnage to call up a different author using Alien Jones’ space phone.

From Oct. 1 to 10, here are the scribes that will be coming to the aid of your humble blog host:

Links will bring you to the authors’ Amazon pages:

DAY 1 – Sarah Lyons Fleming

sarah lyons fleming

The author of the Until End of the World series is going to help me pack the perfect bug-out bag.  For you non-preppers out there, that’s a bag to keep by your door to grab in case of a zombie attack that requires you to abandon your home at a moment’s notice.

DAY 2 – Jaime Johnesee

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Most zombies are dirty brain chomping scumbags but believe it or not, there are a few good natured zombies that don’t mean any harm.  The  creator of the lovable goofball protagonist of Bob the Zombie helps me see the lighter side of the undead.

DAY 3 – Stevie Kopas 

stevie k

“The End of the World is Not Glamorous.”  So goes the tagline of Stevie Kopas’ The Breadwinner Trilogy.  Sometimes we nerds, what with our post-apocalyptic survival fantasies and all, tend to forget just how good we have it when it comes to food, running water, electricity, Internet and so on. Don’t worry as this scribe’s characters are surely reminded.

DAY 4 – Ann Christy

AnnChristyPromo2 copy

Retired Naval Officer Ann Christy’s Between Life and Death series features Emily, an eighteen year old who expected her life was going to be all about dating and college only to find herself smashing heads with her favorite sledgehammer.  It just goes to show that a zombie apocalypse sure can toss a monkey wrench into the plains you laid out for your life but fear not, 3.5 readers, for Ann will help me sort things out.

DAY 5 – Perrin Briar

perrin briar

What do you get when you cross the classic tale of Swiss Family Robinson with zombies?  Why, Swiss Family RobinZOM of course.  I become so intrigued by this reimagining of one of my favorite books that I get Perrin on the line to dish, not just about this tale but his other zombie-fied works such as Z-Minus and Blood Memory as well. 

DAY 6 – S.G. Lee

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The author of the Journal of the Undead series dips into his bag of tricks to help your friendly neighborhood book nerd last another day against the undead hordes.  His books even have their own official action figure developed by Mark Neto of Markneto’s Mightiest Mego Super Customs.

I thought about hiring Mark to create a Bookshelf Q. Battler action figure, but an action figure of a guy who collects action figures seems way too meta.

DAY 7 – Gillian Zane

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One might think that the erotica and zompoc genres don’t jive, but Gillian explains how danger is an aphrodisiac in her NOLA Zombie novels, where survivors are either killing uglies or bumping them (that is to say each others’ and not the zombies.)   Sorry, but you have to clarify everything nowadays.

Also, Gillian is going to school me on how to become an alpha male… so all you women better get your asses over to this blog and check it out!

(Of course, I mean only if you want to, ladies.  You know, if you’re not busy and it’s not too much trouble.  I’m so sorry for being rude.  Please accept my apology.)

Poor Gillian.  She’s really got her work cut out for her with a world renowned poindexter like me.

DAY 8 – Joseph “Zombie” Zuko

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Joseph Zuko is such a bonafide expert on all things undead that “Zombie” is literally his middle name.  OK, so I haven’t checked his birth certificate, but its still pretty impressive.  Joe, seen above peddling his book, The Infected, door to door, will give me an ed-u-ma-cation on everything from anti-zombie weaponry, post-apocalyptic fitness skills, and even some sweet ass Krav Maga moves.  Zombies won’t know what hit them once good ole’ Zombie Zuko gets through training me.

DAY 9 – Devan Sagliani

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I sit this one out to give Video Game Rack Fighter a chance to hone her interviewing chops.  The screenwriter of HVZ: Humans vs. Zombies, based on the popular live action role playing game, talks about his novels like Zombie Attack! as well as how his love of Los Angeles allowed him to bring the City of Angels alive in great detail in LA Undead.

DAY 10 – Armand Rosamilia

armand

You know 3.5 readers, if a fight ever breaks out between a horde of zombies and Armand Rosamilia, my money is on Armand.  I don’t think the zombies would even bother to try anything.  Like Chuck Norris, the only thing Armand would have to do is just shake his head in a disapproving manner and the zombies would get all panicked and run in the opposite direction.

Personally, I don’t even think Chuck Norris would stand a chance.

Armand’s well-versed in horror fiction and will check in to talk about his Dying Days series.  He’s even written about Cthulhu, which I give him props for, as the legendary squid faced beast is vastly underrepresented in today’s fiction.

Armand is seen above holding a cuddly pink version of Cthulhu, only because you’d probably freak the hell out if you were to ever lay eyes upon the real legendary monster.

There’s more to come, 3.5 readers!  #31ZombieAuthors October 1 all the way through Halloween right here on the Bookshelf Battle Blog!

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