Here is what is about to be released in the next two months. Z is for Zombie series is now under contract with Severed Press and they are designing some excellent book covers for all of them! Stay tuned for the Severed Press release of those books as well.
As a writer, i get odd questions like....where do my ideas come from and are writers rich and is it hard....and I get asked things like..."Is that me in your book?" On one hand, I am flattered that I have written so well that someone identifies with a character! But to be honest, a character may have a few traits that real people have, but no one character had EVER been someone from real life. Why? Take Alice and Friends..... the antagonists are (sometimes cannibals) kidnapping, sadistic, inbred, brilliant men. Do you think I KNOW anyone like that??? The women in the book are generally good, strong females, but Alice, of the title is a spit fire and doesn't break no matter what she endures, DO you think I know someone like HER? Trust me....no one is in my books....well...none are major characters. Now there may be a few very small roles that I put people I know in r/l. They always get eaten or worse. If you are someone i seriously dislike, then maybe some of you will be used for a character, our first name, traits, the way you looks, things you've said,,,,and then i will kill you off in the most brutal ways imaginable. I have a few on my list. But If I like you, you (may) nothing to fear.
It must be very easy to write scary stories and to entertain and move on. I love those books. I like reading and having an adventure and then going on to a new book. Sometimes, I read a book and it haunts me in some ways. I can't get it out of my head. Ira Levin's novels haunt me. Robert McCammon's Swan Song haunts me. I think that it's because I know there is more to the story and yet, they don''t tell it. They leave me hanging and wondering about the characters. But Swan Song also digs into some weighty issues about how we judge others, who people are beneath the surface, love, bravery, sacrifice and the nature of jealousy and evil.
I long to write just a scary book, but I can't seem to get there. In the zombie series, Z is For Zombie, I tackled the right to die by choice, judgement, ethics,and maternal love. I went so deep into some theme that I began to wonder what my story was all about. Yes, there were zombies, but they were a vehicle for so much more I wanted to tell. In Alice and Friends, I thought it was a book about a girl being kidnapped and her struggles, but it is about family and shades of badness and I was reminded about Dr. Frankenstein and the way his creature turned on him. In other words, the book became about more than what was on the surface. Smooth, which is in the works now, started as a book about a creepy town changing and a few heroes trying to do the right things, but the right things became muddled and the book is evolving into something else. It is about the sheer strength of people and the sacrifices they will make and love and bravery.
I have found that each book I write become more than I planned and if asked what a book is about, when obviously it is horror, my answer is something like "It is about hope. Or Love. Or fortitude, Family. Lonliness. Isolation." Maybe that is why we write and read horror. In the midst of fear and dread, there seems to be another message of something bigger. Is it that way in real life? I don't know, but in the wake of recent tragedies, there are heroes involved. Instead of caring about the idiots doing the killings and what is wrong with them, and instead of only honoring the victims, I would like to know the stories about the heroes. What horror did some face and then make wonderful, selfless choices and serve a higher cause?
Again, I am left to wonder.
But I feel, if we can find the hidden heroism and sacrifice, then we reach the real human spirit and who we really are as a species.
Now is the time we make promises we'll never keep and get ideas to start something or stop it. I think very little stick to a plan. This year, I am not promising myself anything huge. Last year, in 9 months, I managed to get 15 books out that I had in manuscript, handwritten form (2 short story collections, a 9 book series about zombies,2 vampyre/westerns and two horror novels) That is pretty much a big deal to be that prolific! Most are both e-reader form or in paperbacks and the rest are about to go paperbacks as well.
What do I worry about? Like any writers, I worry and wonder if the next novel is in me. Will I have ideas and get the books written? I have three on the burners right now. I have a good 3-4 in my head as ideas. I may even write another zombie book like my nephew wants me to (he picked the title and ideas so TY to Harrison for his brilliant ideas) I also am helping edit an amazing short story collection by Nic Hatfield and May collaborate with him on an idea he has for a book that is truly the next HUGE book. I worry that I can't do it justice as it is bigger than me by far!
I plan to release at least 7 books this next year. I am so thankful I am happy to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week doing this.
I want to pay more attention to the writing of some friends who are amazing writers: Graham Masterton, Joe McKinny, Kealan Patrick Burke, Rhiannon Frater, Bowie Ibarra, and Jason Christie. I promise and resolve I will be as gracious as they are and work as hard as they do.I will thank my copy editor more and praise my agent. I will behave and do as my PR agent says.13 is my number and in 2013, i resolve to be a better writer. And I resolve to try to write something that isn';t splatter punk or cannibalistic (Lord how I try not to go to those themes but do so anyway).
I resolve to write because it's what I do.
I hope the rest follows. I don;t need to get rich or famous from writing, but I do need to entertain and scare the pants off all I can!
Happy New Years!
I have been up to my eyeballs busy working with my copy editor and re-releasing all of my books. She is a real stickler for details and while the stories have not changed, the sentences are cleaned up and pristine! Via her view, I have also gotten to hear my writing in a new tone and really love the story all over again. 8 books in, at about 400 pages a book...that's a lot of writing and a lot of character development. In ways, I wish they weren't my books and were new to me and I could enjoy the world created for this long.
How about the Walking Dead series? I admit I am a fan and have enjoyed the twists and turns in the story. I know fans are upset over the loss of some characters, but as a writer, I know that not all survive when chaos hits.
I hate when my own characters die as well.
Back to work I go...happy zombie hunting!
If you haven't read Alice and Friends, you should. It's by far my best book and very scary!
I have been busy! I have this great reviewer who is very honest about my writing and he had helped me so much! He didn't get into SIx Shooters and Fangs....said it was well written but not his "thing". I will finish the series, but it isn't my "thing" either. I have 2 more for the zombie series and hope that will be the end but then I have this silly voice that tells me I may not be finished after the ninth book! How long can a series go? Arrrrrrrrrr. I really love the story and the characters and they have so much to do and so many adventures....it is hard to let go! On the other hand, my favorite reviewer has talked to me about my writing as has my copy editor. Now they both like Time of Grace and ALice type stories...you know.,.thrillers/horror with a bit of mystery and tons of psychological terror. Those are the books I enjoy the most and the writing is very easy for me. I am torn because the Z series is what sells like mad. I have to make sales and pay my way but people are zombie crazy and let's face it, most of the zombie books are horrible out there. (McKinney is great however). The Walking Dead (I LOVE it) adds fuel to the craze. So I have a zombie story and I have a series so people can get wrapped up in something they KNOW for 9 books. That is great for my sales and fan base. I am supplying exactly what is wanted. BUT.,....BUT.....I am a far better writer when I write my psychological horror/thrillers. My agent says "write both" (she's a tyrant...lol) What does this mean? It means that by next March (marking one year into writing full time) I will have 20+ books available which is a lot. 30-40 by year 2? That is more than prolific...it is insanity!
My new favorite thing people say to me: "Can you make me a character but not hurt me? And I read mysteries so can you make it a mystery?"
Arrrrr Again.If I write you into a book, you can bet you will get hurt very badly and die and maybe even eaten. It won't be a mystery, but a thriller/horror and I will add all your annoying habits! With a writer, be careful what you ask for!
Love October! Boo!
A short update on my interesting life.
Yes, the second in the Vampyre/western series is available and I want to add that I am humbled and honored by the sales I have seen for my books.
I do have at least 3 more planned for this series, but I may have to stop and add a new zombie book to the other series because we all seem to miss Beth, Kim, Len and the gang.
My husband gave me a pedicure and back rubs every night for last 2 weeks and I have been mega-relaxed. I have been able to type much better with my matching Aqua/lime glitter fingernails and loose muscles. I never knew that this color was perfect for typing!
On the other hand, the air condon is on the blitz and I don't know how people can stand this heat. I am miserable. Think, back in the 1880s, which I was just writing about, a man wore a long sleeved shirt, a vest, jacket, pants, etc. In August heat. The women wore hoops, petticoats and long dresses and it must have been unreal although they were used to the heat. I think many people who died did so of heat stroke, I read somewhere....wish I had kept the article....that going back in time would present many problems beyond the obvious. Yes, there would be disease and all...things we are not used to, and the heat and cold...yes...but a major issue, if I can be so crude, would be that people smelled rank. They sweated and wore those heavy, sweaty clothing for months without washing them and they didn't bathe often...no deodorant...the scent must have been horrible. When the cowboys came to rent a whore (for a dollar), they often had little sheets or pads of leather to catch the horse manure and nastiness from their boots (On the bed as they didn't take off their boots but just dropped trousers). I think that the smell of those men half undressing would make a maggot vomit. The women didn't smell any better. I am going on about this, but if one thinks about the things like this, it is amazing to think of how now people shower daily or more, have air con, wear deodorant and douse themselves in perfume. I read another article that stated that the divorce rate is high now because we can't smell one another and pick mates according to phermones and natural scents.
Think on that.
People's strongest memory sense is the sense of smell. Babies know the scent of their mother's nipples even. So, we have eliminated one big way we picked mates and chose who was suited to us. We have lost this simple but effective tool for picking people on Love.com with a few questions and a picture; no wonder marriages fail! I don't suggest sniffing people to find a mate, but....it's something to consider.
Ok..off to shower...my husband is looking at me with love in his eyes and I stink.