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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.

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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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Since I can’t rock a pencil skirt: My Writing Process

I don’t look good in a pencil skirt, even the neon pink one (dammit!) However, my friend, awesome author Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar (who does look sharp in a pencil skirt), asked me about my writing process. Since my fashion sense sucks, we stuck to talking about writing.

What are you working on, Chazz?

I’m putting the finishing touches to my apocalyptic series, This Plague of Days. It’s about a boy on the autistic spectrum facing the end of the world with his family. He’s our very unlikely champion. This is the third and last book in the series, but I’m putting all three seasons into one big ebook, too. At the moment, I’ve got five other books in the editorial pipeline at various stages of production.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I wrote it kind of like a television series. Three seasons (books) with five episodes per season. It’s not your typical shoot ’em up of a zombie story. There are three plagues and a large cast of characters so you see the crisis develop across continents. Lots of seeds and secrets were dropped along the way so the big payoffs and reveals all culminate in a story that builds and builds. It’s ambitious and really takes the reader on unexpected journeys. All the questions are answered in the end. This is my Star Wars.

Why do you write what you do?

I’m not attached to any one genre, but I do love suspense. My obsession is to take the reader on a roller coaster ride with lots of fun twists and turns, hanging off cliffs and chased by dragons and whatnot. You know…imagine the roller coaster at Hell’s amusement park. And just when you’re sure you’re safe, you aren’t.

How does your writing process work?

Typically, I write one chapter a day. That’s usually 1200 to 2500 words. I used to be more nocturnal, but now I find I’m more productive when I work earlier in the day. Since writing This Plague of Days as a serial, I’m really enjoying interacting with readers on Facebook as I write. I’ll finish a chapter and pick out a tidbit I like as a teaser or a taster and post it for some insta-reaction. That’s fun and buoys me through the parts of writing and publishing I enjoy less.

The writing process, for me, is to write myself lost. There I am in a corner. How will I find my way out? At the end of my crime novel, Higher Than Jesus, for instance, I figured a way for Jesus Diaz to kill an armed bad guy, credibly, while Diaz is bound to a chair eight feet away. That was quite a trick and one I’m proud of.

I don’t write by-the-numbers fiction. That bores me. Frequently, the only firm thing I know as I write is what the last line of the book will be. I write to discover what I think and for the joy of creativity and to surprise myself. If I can surprise myself, I’ll definitely surprise the reader.

This Plague of Days will launch in early June. Find out more about This Plague of Days at ThisPlagueOfDays.com. My author site is AllThatChazz.com.

~ Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar included me in her blog hop so a string of writers could share how they approach their writing process. She is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had two sons, and became a writer.

To learn about her writing process and to check out her books, go to www.mohadoha. Follow her on Twitter @moha_doha. Click here for her Amazon author page.

You can also hear my interview with Mohana on the Cool People Podcast. She speaks of her experience in Qatar as a writer whose book has been banned. Why listen? Because she’s cool, of course.

Filed under: What about Chazz?, Writers, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

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

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.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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

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