C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014: John O’Brien’s New World

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The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog

Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or

teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as

well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014

 

AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in November, here’s the complete list.

Storm cover large5

 (Editor’s Note: NSFW words to follow in the excerpt, so you may not want to read it aloud at the office…)

Excerpt from A New World: Storm

As we make our way along, several exits lead into darkened interior hallways. Each of

the wall corners are rounded and house nurses’ stations. I look behind one to find a figure on

the floor, clad in the torn remains of scrubs. Dried blood covers the floor and is splattered on the

walls. Staring at the sight, I’m confused. The building entrances and perimeter didn’t show any

evidence of night runners, but the bodies and the other evidence points to the fact that we may

not be alone. I’m not sure how they are getting in and out of the building.

I peel away an escape route plan taped to one of the walls. Sending Red Team to the

next intersection of hallways, I motion Jan forward.

“Where is the lab?” I ask.

She studies the map, and points to a large room in the interior.

Taking the map, I advance to the next hall, where Red Team is standing guard. Looking

down the corridor, I see that it intersects other hallways. The ambient light doesn’t reach far,

leaving the corridors and rooms beyond in a deep gloom. The interior halls will be in the dark.

“Looks like this won’t be the walk in the park it seemed,” I state to Lynn.

“What do you think?” she asks.

“I don’t know. We’ll have to assume that we aren’t alone. We have a safe corridor along

the outer halls, but who knows what we’ll face in the darkened hallways.”

“Do you think the equipment is worth the risk?” Lynn asks.

“I have no idea. Seems that is happening more frequently. I mean, what if we get her

equipment and she finds an answer to the night runners? If she does, then yes, it’s worth almost

any risk. However, I sadly lack the ability to see into the future. Sitting here staring at darkened

halls, and knowing how much I love hospitals, I would say we turn around. But, it’s about the

chance, isn’t it? If we don’t go, then there is zero chance,” I comment.

“Are you having a nice conversation with yourself?”

“No, not really,” I answer.

I stand at the intersection, pondering. It seems that I always knew what to do in the past,

was able to see the right choice. I momentarily wonder if the move hasn’t altered my ability

to choose clearly. I may be thinking too far ahead, to finding a truly safe haven in the midst of

all this chaos. And with that looming possibility, I may be taking the easy route instead of the

right one. If that is truly the case, then I’m in no condition to be making decisions. I’ve second-
guessed decisions in the past, but not my whole reasoning ability.

Shit, even these thoughts bring more doubts.

Taking a deep breath, I shake my head. “Okay, fuck it. We’re going in. Red Team, you’re

at the next intersection covering our six. Lynn, you’re with me. Have Black Team cover Jan like

At the next intersection of hallways, Red Team covers the corners. Although there is a

faint amount of illumination, the area is still cast in a deep gloom. There may be enough residual

light to keep the night runners away from this position. Only a couple of feet into each branching

corridor, the light ends completely, leaving only darkness.

Lynn and I turn the corner. Assuring that my carbine is set to auto, I raise it and creep

into the hall leading to the lab. I sidle near the wall, stepping silently. Slowly, I make my way

down the hallway, Lynn keeping pace on the opposite wall. My heart feels like it’s in my throat

and I slow my breathing to calm my heart rate. Once again, I find myself snaking down a

hospital hallway. The air within is stuffy and cold.

All of the doors along the hall are closed. I pause at the first one, listening. Reaching

down, I slowly push on the handle. It’s unlocked. I’m not sure that night runners have mastered

the art of doors, but I’m not chancing it. It would be my luck that I run into a pack that can

saunter in and out of them with nary a thought. After all, they must be entering and exiting the

building somehow. That is, if they are leaving at all. Perhaps they are feasting on the food within

the hospital. Of course, the evidence I’ve seen could be from weeks ago.

I nod at Lynn, open the door, and step silently into the room. I’m not sure what the room

is used for, as curtains are pulled in places. No shrieks or sudden movements accompany my

entry. I exit and slowly close the door. Lynn checks a door on her side with the same result;

there’s no one inside. We creep down the corridor, checking the rooms but never leaving the

doorways. Black Team follows quietly behind.

Reaching the doors that Jan indicated as housing the lab, Lynn and I stack against the

wall. It would really suck if night runners were inside and we had to start shooting. Knowing my

day, I would put a round into every piece of equipment she needed. Of course, if there are truly

night runners within, we’ll just turn and run for the light.

We check the door and verify that it’s unlocked. On a nod from me, Lynn swings the

door open and I dart in. The room is large, with long counters and stations along the walls and

in the center. I check the dead corner as I make my way along the right hand wall. Lynn follows,

sweeping left. We pause half way down. There’s nothing inside except beakers, vials, and

equipment. We head back to the entrance and motion Black Team forward.

“The room is clear. This has to be done quietly. Don’t disturb anything, and gather the

equipment Jan indicates,” Lynn tells them.

They enter. As Jan passes, I grab her arm. “Do this quickly?”

She nods and enters with the rest of the team. Lynn and I station ourselves in the

corridor. She holds the door open and we both cover farther down the hallway. Even though I’m

on the opposite side of the hall, I still hear very faint whispering coming from inside the room.

Other faint sounds emit as they gather equipment.

Fucking keep it down, I think, hoping there aren’t any night runners nearby that can hear

A little way down is another intersection of hallways. For some reason, the ambient light

that reaches the intersection behind us doesn’t reach there. It could be that the hall doesn’t

reach the outer corridor. Minutes pass that seem like hours. I hear the clang of something

metallic come from within the room. It’s a soft sound and not very loud, but to my ears, it sounds

like a train crashing into a semi. Lynn turns her head sharply to the interior. Shrieks erupt,

coming from a side hallway; they sound close.

Fuck, that doesn’t sound like a night runner shriek, that’s more like a kid screaming, I

think, tightening and pulling my M-4 tight.

“Lynn, get Jan and the equipment out, now!” I sharply whisper. “Head for Red Team and

get to the outer corridor where there’s light. I have our six.”

Lynn calls inside, softly yet sharply. Black Team exits, surrounding Jan, who is pushing a

steel cart loaded with gear.

What the fuck?!

“Go, go, go.”

As they quickly retreat down the corridor, I rise and being backpedaling. Lynn stays with

“Go,” I say, rising. She shakes her head.

“Dammit,” I mutter.

John O'Brien

John O’Brien

Screams fill the interior, echoing down the hallways. Amongst the din, I hear feet

slapping on the linoleum. As I step backward, I have my carbine aimed near the corner where

the night runners should appear. My aimpoint is aimed where their heads should be. They round

the bend in a hurry. As they come into sight, my reticle is above their heads. I lower my barrel a

touch and begin squeezing the trigger. Their ghostly pale faces register.

Fuck, they’re kids.

There are six of them, all dressed in torn and deeply stained hospital gowns, looking to

be about ten or twelve years old. I feel sick to my stomach as I watch, unable to pull the trigger

as they streak down the hall. I am backing up as fast as I can, but they are rapidly closing. For a

split second, I tightly shut my eyes.

Fuck this…dammit!

Placing my glowing crosshair on the nearest one, I fire, almost point blank. The child’s

head snaps to the side as my bullets strike. Blood sprays from the multiple impacts. With

feet flipping into the air, its head hits the hard floor with a whack. Strobes fill the scream-filled

hallway. More kids fall to the ground under the torrent of rounds fired by Lynn and me. In

seconds, six small figures lie bleeding in the hallway. Another shriek rises and a larger night

runner female, dressed in scrubs, appears at the intersection. Upon spotting the young ones

down, she pauses, then screams like I’ve never heard a night runner shriek. Other smaller

figures appear behind her.

Screw this, I think. Lynn and I turn and run.

Racing down the darkened hall, with shrieks sounding behind, I’m reminded of a similar

chase with Lynn. This time though, friends await at hallway intersections. Black Team is

nowhere in sight. I yell to Red Team to pack up and go. Rounding the corner, hard on the heels

of Gonzalez and company, we reach the full light. Behind, the night runners continue shrieking

I feel incredibly sick. The sight of those small faces, pale or not, will haunt me to the end

of my days. My legs feel weak and I sink to my knees.

“That was messed up…I mean, really messed up,” I say, panting.

 

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Guest Post: Ian McClellan’s One Undead Step

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One Undead Step full cover

Today, as part of the Summer of Zombie 2014 Blog Tour, we get a peek at Ian McClellan’s work:

Many people know that the 1969 moon landing was faked, but are unaware of the actual circumstances surrounding the event. Find out how the United States faked the moon landing to avert the zombie apocalypse as the lives of a disgraced B-movie director, a bar owner, some drunks, an Army Ranger unit, a bunch of gangsters, an affluent but very dysfunctional family, and a few cops come together in One Undead Step.

Just one year after George Romero shocked the world with his masterpiece Night of the Living Dead, a small city in the Midwest is rocked by grisly, random killings, the gory details of which are only known through hushed whispers and secondhand rumors. The government presence that makes the populace all the more nervous is unable to contain the impending threat that grows out of control on a hot, humid night in Mid-July. As the city’s residents barricade their doors and fight for their lives, the American Military rushes to make a film about two men landing a small spacecraft on the moon. Will their plan work? Will the infection spread throughout the rest of the country? Will it be enough to save the world from the burgeoning threat of the undead? Find out as an evil man finds redemption, some special forces soldiers choose between their mission and their duty, a young couple finds a forbidden love, an older couple reignites their passion, and a bartender gets stiffed for a lot of drinks in One Undead Step.

One Undead Step contains some bad language, many scenes of violence and gore, and a graphic but oddly amusing sex scene.

One Undead Step: A Zombie Novel

Ian McClellan

Excerpt (Explicit language follows.)

1. On the Set

Saturday, 19 July 1969

Christ, Mark Mathews thought to himself, how the hell did I ever get myself into this mess?

Drugs and statutory rape, his know-it-all subconscious answered. Mark was a fun guy, but his subconscious was kind of a blunt asshole. Of course it was right. If he hadn’t gotten obliterated that night and slept with that sixteen year old girl he wouldn’t be on a poorly constructed set on a military base in Nevada filming the greatest hoax in history with a bunch of guys who may be able to shoot rifles really well, but were total amateurs when it came to making movies.

When the detectives came to arrest him they’d found a smorgasbord of drugs in his home. Pot, uppers, downers, cocaine, L.S.D., mushrooms, and even some heroin. He never touched the smack, but there was a girl who came by from time to time who loved the stuff, and she made it worth his while to always keep a little on hand. The cops knew about the drugs. They knew about the parties, too. A successful b-movie director could get away with a lot in Hollywood, but you had to be A-list with a capital A to go deflowering underage girls and not see the inside of a prison.

It had been a typical hot and sunny summer day in southern California when the police came to his door. The two detectives in their cheap, off-the-rack suits and ties were sweating bullets, as were the officers donned in dark, city-issued uniforms who’d accompanied them. Mark had begged and pleaded with them and tried to state his case. “I’m not a bad guy, really. I just like to have a little fun. Who doesn’t? How the hell was I supposed to know that little slut was only sixteen? She had no business being at that party. You guys oughtta go arrest her parents!” He was told to tell it to the judge. He should have seen that one coming- he’d thrown the old cliché into a couple of his movies.

Bribery didn’t work, either. “Look, I’ve got ten grand in a bag upstairs. Take it. There’s more where that came from.” The detectives exchanged odd smiles that Mark would come to understand later, but they didn’t bite on his offer. What they did do was handcuff him and take him downtown in the back of a police car.

Mark was thinking of that car ride- the only time he’d ever been in the back of a police car- and how frightened and humiliated he was at the time, when something on the set got his attention.

“That’s one tiny step for a man…” the one fellow was saying. Nick or Neil or whatever the hell his name was. The one who just had to be the star despite the fact that he couldn’t take direction for shit. He just had to be the first one out. He just had to have the big line in the script. Of course he wanted it so badly, but couldn’t say it right for all the whiskey in Ireland.

Mark rubbed his temples and looked back beyond the “lunar module” that the fellow had just stepped out of. There was a hand emerging from one of the craters. His first thought was that it was some drunk key grip or janitor (it happens more than you’d think) until his brain registered the decay of the skin. “Christ Almighty!” he yelled. “Cut! Cut, God damn it. One of those fucking things is in here. Is this a military base or a fucking public library?”

A young man with a rifle ran up and shot the zombie between the eyes as it was hoisting itself out of the crater. It fell back in the hole and landed with a thud. He got on a radio and informed someone of a ‘security breach’ that was now ‘code eleven’ which Mark assumed meant that its brains were now scattered all over his set.

“Get that shit cleaned off my set,” Mark told his assistant as he rubbed his temples. “And get me a damn drink.”

About the author: Ian McClellan was born in a small harbor town in southwest Ireland. In an effort to be cliché his parents moved the family to New York when he was thirteen. Once a promising up-and-comer in the world of competitive eating, his career was cut short by an ACL injury. He now resides in Florida with his dogs and drives a truck for a living, but is crossing his fingers and hoping his writing career will earn him enough money that he can tell his boss where to stick it.

Digital Camera

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IK9RQV4?tag=authl.it-20

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IK9RQV4?tag=authl.it-21

http://politicalhorrorstory.weebly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/politicalhorrorstory

https://twitter.com/@ianmcc2010

The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie

https://www.facebook.com/events/286215754875261/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&source=1

AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in June, here’s the complete list, updated daily:

http://armandrosamilia.com/2014/06/01/summer-of-zombie-blog-tour-2014-post-links/

 

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One to read. One to hear. One to love.

“This is the post I shouldn’t write. I shouldn’t therefore I must.”

You know that post I just wrote about being contrary? Sometimes something catches fire when you say what you aren’t supposed to say out loud. It just happened on one of my other blogs, ThisPlagueOfDays.com. It was picked up by the Passive Voice and spread hither and thither. So far I’ve received two stern talking-tos (one of which I didn’t understand), appreciative notes and emails and offers of Prozac. The piece is about writing: the frustrations, the joys and the braingasms. You’re invited to have a look at my heart under the klieg lights.

And the All That Chazz podcast is finally back.

Have a listen if you dare. It’s not safe for work. I touch on control issues, the joys of colonoscopies, and get to an overdue reading from my crime novel Higher Than Jesus.

Oh, and Season Two of This Plague of Days is going great. If you’ve read it but haven’t reviewed it yet, please do. Thanks!

October’s mandates are stacked higher than September’s to-do list, but I’m dancing as fast as I can.

“Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? I ask that of all my prey.”

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Just a quick heads up: Hugh Howey Interview

I’m interviewing author Hugh Howey today. This will be for the Cool People Podcast and will air on Monday.

If you have any questions you’d like answered from the super successful author of Wool, please leave them in the comments.

The Cool People Podcast is an organic conversation so I can’t promise I’ll get to your questions. However, I will try.

I’m really looking forward to speaking with him.

 

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Author Armand Rosamilia hates Canada

Dying Days 3Let’s not talk about Armand Rosamilia and the horror books everyone knows. Let’s talk about the secret Armand Rosamilia no one knows.

1. What’s the scariest movie you ever saw and why?

I always tell everyone Beaches with Bette Midler, but it’s really Breakin’ 2: Electric Bugaloo.

2. Why do you write about horror when you could be writing about unicorn and puppy erotica?

Who says I don’t use a pen-name for that stuff? But I hate puppies so I don’t write that crap.

3. What’s your secret to being so damn sexy and does that get in the way of your writing career or help your fame grow?

Being so damn sexy is actually a curse. I can’t even go through the McDonald’s drive-thru and order three McDoubles (plain, please) without someone asking for my autograph on the credit card receipt.

4. If you could remake a horror movie with two iconic monsters, which ones would you put together on screen and who would win? 

This might be my first serious answer… hmm. Tom Cruise (with creepy smile) against the C.H.U.D.’s. I would like to see the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground

Armand Rosamilia

Armand Rosamilia

Dwellers win.

5. What stars would you cast in the movie of Dying Days (note: Not all characters can be Richard Simmons.)

Since you took the obvious answer away from me… Alyssa Milano as Darlene Bobich, even though she doesn’t look like her… I just want to finally meet my next ex-wife. And then a bunch of dudes I have no use for. Like the dreamy Drew Carey and Orlando Bloom (who people mistake me for all the time).

6. Celebrity author death match: Dean Koontz versus Stephen King in a cage at the Superbowl half-time show. The soundtrack is the fight music from the original Star Trek Spock versus Shatner fight to the death. What weapons do Koontz and King use? How does the fight go down and who wins?

Koontz uses his toupee as a secret weapon, using it at the last minute to break off King’s giant choppers and forcing them down his throat. King’s Ramones t-shirt is ineffective against Koontz.

7. In your spare time I understand you’re an internationally recognized belly button lint sculptor. How did you get into that and what’s your favorite piece of lint art?

My Abraham Lincoln is frighteningly life-like, but my Mel Gibson sculpture of his belly button lint from Lethal Weapon 2: Electric Bugaloo is also amazing.

dying days cover8. What was your personal, secret, behind-the-scenes role in bringing down Mitt Romney in the last US election?

I actually went out for a few banana bread beers with him and told him, truthfully, ‘Westeros will have an election next year. Hold out for there, or Margaritaville. Either place could use you.’ Then he got into his spaceship with Bigfoot and they went to hang out with Elvis and Fatty Arbuckle.

9. What does “Rosamilia” translate to?

In Italian the literal translation is ‘Man with Giant Penis Who Knows How To Use It’. Or thousand roses. I forget which one.

10. If you weren’t a horror author, obviously you’d be bent on world domination. What would your plan to become our overlord be?

First thing I would do would be to sink Canada (sorry, Chazz) back into the Hudson River, and then destroy the New York Yankees with a meteor (sorry, um… idiot Yanks fans) and then all radio stations would only be allowed to play Steel Panther or Bloodhound Gang songs. Then I would ban all literature except my books and Watership Down. And then we’d turn the pyramids upside down and make them giant swimming pools and I’d charge $5 per swim. And then… OK, I got nothing. 

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Author interview with Robert Chazz Chute

Over at Forgotten Realms, a fun interview awaits, including why the people at Staples were so mean to me last week.

I’d never been asked free association questions before. Tarek asked  “Child?” I thought “Money.” “Ocean?” “My answer was, “South Pacific”, but I meant the musical. My next thought was SpongeBob. Of course I also talk about Higher Than Jesus: bigger, even funnier, more hardboiled, more skip tracer tricks and The Major Chapter of Sex will melt your wallpaper.

By the way, Bigger Than Jesus, the first funny, clever, hardboiled thriller in the Hit Man Series is free this week! That’s right! FREE, until Nov. 9. Click it to grab it. If you love it, please review it. Thanks! 

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The Writing World: Author Interview- Robert Chazz Chute

Via Scoop.itDevolution

This was a big bucket of fun. RaeBeth McGee over at The Writing World interviews me on my weaknesses (carefully hidden), my books (mostly obscure but gaining ground) and the bodies (corporate and otherwise) strewn behind me.

Fun interviews are one of the perks of this job. I love having fun with author interviews. Click the link to The Writing World and have a laugh. ~ Chazz
Via raebethmcgeeswriting.blogspot.com

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Author profile: Saffina Desforges’ Sugar & Spice

When you think the unthinkable, where do you turn?
Sugar & Spice is the groundbreaking debut novel from Saffina Desforges.
Yet to be published on paper, Sugar & Spice has swept up the Amazon UK Kindle charts with sales of more than 18,000 a month despite having neither an agent nor a publishing house behind it.
~
Inspired by a news story of a man who begged a Judge to give him a longer sentence because he knew he would harm another child if released without treatment, Sugar & Spice is meticulously researched, asking questions society prefers not to have answered.
At once disquieting and challenging, this is car-crash reading.
~
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: A child fails to return home.  Some children never come back.

“An unsettling read with echoes of Mo Hayder.”
Crimetime.co.uk

“A disturbing and cleverly-woven story. Powerful first novel.”
Jake Barton

“Compelling! A very tough subject handled exceptionally well.”
Mel Comley

CW: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?Sugar_and_Spice

SD: I have always known. As a child, I would spend hours scribbling in an exercise book and making up stories in my head. In fact, most would say, I have spent my whole life living in a fantasy world!

CW: Tell us about Sugar & Spice.

SD: As the louder half of a writing team, I cannot personally take credit for the concept for Sugar & Spice, that was Mark’s. (There is a full guest post on the subject here if anyone is interested.)

CW:  Do you have any formal training in writing?

SD: I don’t, only a couple of on-line courses, but (co-author) Mark Williams has written before as a journalist, a teacher and for stage and television.

CW: How did you arrive at the decision to self-publish?

Saffina DesforgesSD: We took the decision to self-publish rather quickly with Sugar & Spice. Agents liked the book, but were uncomfortable with the subject matter. With the growing popularity in the UK with e-readers, it was a no-brainer. We have sold 40,000 plus copies since Christmas and are currently selling just under 20,000 a month in the UK alone. The book is currently out with an agent who has requested to read it fully. We would have to think long and hard about any deal (with traditional publishing.)

CW:  What was the biggest disappointment you experienced through this book?

SD: The biggest disappointment for us with Sugar & Spice is how no one (thus far) has had the balls to see the book for what it is, a great story, and convince a publisher to do the same, but hey, that may change. Another disappointment is how some readers have misread the messages within the book and suggested that we are being sympathetic to criminals, when that certainly isn’t the case.

CW: What was the hardest part of the publishing process? What did you most enjoy?

SD: Self-publishing is relatively easy these days. Getting people to buy your book is the hard part.

CW: What advice would you give unpublished writers?

SD: Forget being a writer, you have to be the complete business person. No matter which route you take, writing is a very small part of the process.

CW: Have changes in the book industry forced you to change how you published or marketed your work?

SD: Yes, and will influence any future decisions we make. We are confident that if time allowed, we could have at least 3, if not 4 books a year published as ebooks and be making money from them. Traditional publishing will not allow that, nor will we have any control over what we write.

CW: What’s your next book project and what can you tell us about it?

SD: We have several projects on the go, but the most imminent, is the first book of The Rose Red Crime Series, Snow White. This is a series of fast-paced, commercial crime thrillers, set in modern day but based on fairy tales. Snow White will be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the end of July 2011.

In October, we will release the first of a dark, urban (adult) fantasy series – Equilibrium: First Blood. At some point before the end of the year, we might even share our experiences in a ‘how to’ book!

 For details of how to purchase Sugar & Spice – the UK bestseller and the recently released US edition, please visit here : www.sugarandspicethenovel.com

Our website:

www.saffinadesforges.com

Twitter: @safficscribe

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Author Profile: India Drummond’s Ordinary Angels

India Drummond knew from age nine that writing would be her passion. Since thenordinary_angels she’s discovered many more, but none quite so fulfilling as creating a world, a character, or a moment and watching them evolve into something complex and compelling. She has lived in three countries and four American states, is a dual British and American citizen, and currently lives at the base of the Scottish Highlands in a village so small its main attraction is a red phone box. In other words: paradise.

india_drummondOrdinary Angels (Lyrical Press) is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance novel in which Zoë Pendergraft falls in love with an angel, frees a soul from necromancers, releases a ghost trapped in the Void and saves his living grandson from demons. Most of Zoë’s friends are dead, but she doesn’t mind because they died long before she met them. Then one Tuesday night an angel takes her salsa dancing and turns her world upside down. Grim reality closes in when she discovers a body in her company’s boiler room and Higher Angels accuse her best ghost friend of murder.

CW: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

ID: I’ve always written stories. I started my first book at 21 but didn’t seriously consider trying to make it a profession until the past couple of years. The coming of eReaders, in particular, has changed publishing so much. It’s a fantastic time to be an author.

CW: How did you get the idea for your book?

ID: My husband said to me one day, “I’m a perfect angel.” Of course, I laughed, because he only says things like that when he’s doing something troublesome. I proceeded to tell him what sort of hideous, fallen angel he would make. It got me thinking about what angels would be like if they were real and the storyline spun from that.

CW: What research was involved in your book’s development?

ID: The novel is set in San Francisco, a city I love to visit. I wanted the place to feel real in the book, so I had a couple of San Francisco natives on hand and shot them emails incessantly during the polish process, making sure I got details right about trains, the library, streets, parking, etc. Even suggestions on where my protagonist lived and the setting for my ghost town came from helpful locals.

CW: What is your writing process? Do you have any formal training in writing?

ID: I studied creative writing at university, but honestly, 95% of what I learned there wasn’t much help in the real world of publishing. I was taught how to write literary fiction, but not told that literary fiction is a teeny-tiny fraction of the market. (I wasn’t very good at it anyway… it isn’t what I like to read, so it showed in my writing.) My professors looked down on genre fiction, and I came out of it with a very clouded idea of publishing reality. What I did learn was how to take criticism: what to listen to, what to discard and how to use that feedback best to improve my stories. That was worth gold.

CW: How long did it take you to write the book and find an agent and publisher?

ID: The book I had accepted by a publisher, Ordinary Angels, was actually my second attempt. The first one took me years to write and was rejected countless times. Ordinary Angels, however, only took me six weeks to write (and a few months after that to polish and rework the rough bits). I looked for an agent for a few months, but after a while realized that getting a publisher amongst the small, indie publishers might not only be easier, but might be better for me as a new novelist. Once I decided that, I sent it to three publishers at once. One of them accepted it.

CW: What was the hardest part of the publishing process? What did you most enjoy?

ID: I think the waiting and not knowing during submissions is horribly hard. I felt I was going a bit mental, hitting send/receive over and over, hoping they would reply, but being afraid the reply would be negative. Even after acceptance, there is a lot of sitting around and waiting during the editing and even post-editing process. What I enjoyed most is crafting the story—I love the beginning when anything is possible and the characters surprise me at every turn.

CW: What advice would you give unpublished writers?

ID: Don’t give up and realize there is more than one good way to do publishing these days. Don’t just set your sights on the big six publishers in New York City. There are many small, indie publishers out there that might love your book and give you a much more personal, helpful experience. Remember, the biggest publishers are like Hollywood. They’re really only interested in blockbusters, so it’s a huge mountain to climb for an unpublished author to get noticed in that shark tank. So don’t dismiss those small publishers. Also, I am a big believer in indie publishing. I’ve read some fabulous indie books and am going to release my next book, Blood Faerie, as an indie book. Just remember that you have to do it like a pro if you’re going the indie route. Do your homework, and for the love of all that is holy, hire an editor. I do freelance editing and even I hire an editor because no one can see their own mistakes. Do it. Really.

CW: Have changes in the book industry forced you to change how you published or marketed your work?

ID: These days, authors have to take responsibility for marketing themselves but I don’t mind that. I love social networking so I’d be on Facebook and Twitter even if I weren’t an author. I think e-publishing and indie publishing have forced all of us to change, but in my mind, it all benefits authors. We have more choice and choice means power.

CW: What’s your next book project and what can you tell us about it?

ID: Blood Faerie is set here where I live, in Perth Scotland. It’s a modern-day urban fantasy about an exiled faerie. It’s due to be released in July 2011.

Here’s a short blurb: Eilidh was cast out of the kingdom lands in the forests and forced to live on Perth’s city streets. She survived alone for years, but when a human is killed below the abandoned church where she lived, she recognized it as the work of one of her own kind. To stop the murders, she must tap into the forbidden magic that cost her everything.

Click here for more on India Drummond.

Filed under: Author profiles, author Q&A, Books, , , , ,

The Nerdist Scott Sigler Interview

Scott Sigler

Image by Sebastian Bergmann via Flickr

I’m an addict.

Food. Comfort. Book-buying.

And podcasts. Lots and lots of podcasts.

If you’re a self-publisher or interested in how a self-publisher used podcasts to go from freemium to premium, from ignored to in demand, from reject to popular author, check this out: The Nerdist.

Favourite story: After so many rejections, Scott Sigler was sure publishers would chase him down if he could just get a huge following for his podcasted book.

He achieved the goal he set for himself and called up the publishers again.

“Howdayalikemenow?”

And they said, “What’s the internet?”

Filed under: Author profiles, author Q&A, authors, podcasts, self-publishing, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

All the dark fantasy fun of the first three books in the Ghosts & Demons Series for one low price.

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

You never know what's real.

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

Write to live

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

I interview the people you need to get to know.

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