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New look for one of my books.
Today, my husband woke me with a back rub and hugs. He was in a great mood and I was woozy since he woke me in the middle of a a dream. Sadly, the dream was that I was a dolphin and not a great dream that could become a book. LOL
I have been busy with editing and looking at Submissions to JEA Press. We have so many amazing authors with us and sales are beginning to rock! We have many books about to release as well. ( www.jellingtonashton.com )
We had one anthology come out and there is another getting ready plus 3 books for the new 666 theme. In addition, I am editing Paul Flewitt and Andy Bove now. Whoot! They are great writers. Last night, on Zombiepalooza, we listened to Alex Laybourne on live radion. He was so great and said many things I have to get written down so I can quote him.
About my books...we know Louisiana Saturday Nights is out and Dinosaur: 65 Million is with my editor now. It's a long one at about 90K and my beta reader went crazy for it...said it was great.
I have started the next one (no title yet) but imagine sci- fi space with religion and the Aztec civilizations. Satan and God are fighting for the culture and some well-meaning folks will try to change history. Fun! I am back to my historical horror, which I really love.
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.
I was sent an e-mail today with pictures of Wal-Mart shoppers that are funny. I know some people will say it is bad to make fun of them. These people also say it is terrible to belittle and make fun of other people in varied situations. I think this...if people didn't put themselves out there in such silly situations (or outfits or looks) then we would not laugh. I don't laugh at fat people for being fat. I laugh if one wears short shorts and has on a halter because that is such a silly display. It's the display that is so funny!
I am a horror writer. So...let's say I drive by a car wreck and see a person decapitated and the head lands atop a post. If some one yells "Heads up", yes, I would laugh. If I knew the person who was killed and saw it happen, I would not laugh and be horrified. It is when the situation is personal that it is no longer humourous and does that not depend on individuals? That's my point.Also, some in some jobs (morticians, cops, doctors, etc.) we have to laugh and find the humour or it drives us crazy to see the horror that man enacts. As a horror writer, death and weirdness is very real to me and yes, I have to find humour or have a pretty strong gut for it. But it is my choice to write what I write as it is a cop's choice to do what he does...so why do it? Demand. There is a demand for what we deliver.
I am to the point in my life that there are many things I have to laugh at.
I find it funny how people use religion or politics or anything to further their cause. When students wrote papers for the college class in Literature I taught, I warned them to not use the Bible as a reference to "prove" anything as it is interpretation and not scientifically based. The Bible does have some good life lessons and helpful advice and it it aligns with some scientific history, but to say it says "XYZ" is interpretation. Also, as written, each word may have a deeper meaning. In other words, people use it to further their own ideals but it doesn't make them FACT.
There is a part that is about loving thy neighbor. Well, I can be nice to my neighbor, but if they are a child molester, you can bet I don't love them, will laugh if they do funny things, and if they come near my child, I will let them meet Mr. .38 Special! See how I can take this and make it my own personal take? I say I can do that BUT _____________. Isn't that how we all are? We try to be one way but when things are about us, they change. No matter what the event or situation, we personalize it OR we remove ourselves.
I am beginning to theorize that people who are so about themselves and being such "great people who do no wrong or are forgiven" are really psychologically inept. It just isn't healthy at all and leads to unconscious or conscious acts of very evil deeds. If we think we are "saved" after certain requirements then are we free to act poorly? Some think so and I feel these are the ones behaving the worst. On the other hand, when we act badly based on our own personal evaluations, at least we are honest and acting in a psychologically beneficially manner.
I might giggle at the Wal-Mart people and laugh at people who show themselves as victims (etc) and I do it aside, not where they could see it and be hurt, but I don't hurt children. I don't destroy marriages, covet, steal, lie, cheat or murder. I am sarcastic, a horror writer, profane in speech, selfish, and vindictive at times. Judge me. I would rather be how I am than be the former, and when anyone says the Bible doesn't distinguish, I say..."use a reference that is accepted and not interpreted" and base your judgement on MY personal mind set.
Until then, I will find the humour in a car wreck or a tree falling on a house or a cannibal. It's how I survive the world....finding the funny parts in horrific tales.
I write every day, 7 days a week. Last weekend, I took off F-S for a family break road trip to visit my family and to attend the Four States Fair with my husband and son. I was so sad to see that the art exhibit was 1/4 the size as it was years before and I didn't see the Home Ec competition! It's not the same when the old, traditional parts are missing from a fair. On the Ferris wheel, I had this full story come to me (Laymon-like) and my son frowned because even on the ride, I was "working". I felt as if the break was well deserved and a lot of fun for us.
Besides my regular writing (number 7 in the Z series is about to be released), I have been busy! I have been working with my wonderful agent on an audio book deal and a video. I had no idea how popular audio books are! My copy editor ran over the Z wiki and said it was good with a few tweaks and she is wading through G's Terms and then the rest of the series so we'll have a re-release of all books in a second edition after she is finished and okays them. I am working with some fine folks across the pond and they have given me some great ideas and feedback.
In each review I get, I see the same things...that my writing is very "character driven" and I never tire of hearing that. I don't know if readers always want that and many do prefer the plot driven styles, but my brand is "character driven" all the way. Someone once said there are only ten stories in the world and we all retell them over and over in new ways. That may be true. But I think the human mind is the true, uncharted territory, far more intricate and interesting than outer space. I am thrilled that people enjoy the characters of the Z series and have chosen favorites and want to know what they do and say next!
People ask me if writing is difficult. Ummm. Yes. Imagine I have you 15 blank pages and tell you the topic is zombies, to fill them up right then, and to make me love every word. Oh, and develop characters that are memorable, a good story, and transport my mind to another place. While you are at it, make me think and debate some issue but hide it so I don't know. Easy? Nope. That is my world every day. I can do that. I am more in awe of someone who can look at a car engine and make sense of it, or drive in downtown Dallas, or climb a mountain without going splat. I think we all can be amazed by those who do things we can't imagine doing ourselves. When I got my scuba diving certification, I couldn't imagine doing what I did, and yet, I did it all; failure was not an option. We can do many things when we get a plan, have a desire to succeed, and dive (or follow) the plan.
What is the connection here? I work hard. I write even while I don't know I am writing. Not everyone can do all things, Success isn't easy. See? There is a theme here. If you know someone in the arts area (music, art, acting) be supportive because I am positive, they are doing something that some can't do and they work hard to entertain. Entering a jar of pickled peaches in a fair isn't the greatest accomplishment, right? Wrong. How did that person learn to can peaches? What was the plan? How did it turn out? In each jar of pickles, there is a wonderful story involved that may never be told, but I can bet there is an interesting character sketch there. I hope more people share art and peaches with fairs and other people and I hope they tell the stories of how they accomplished their tasks. I hope people continue to amaze me.
Mostly, I just hope.
Amazing that the series is over. I am so thankful for the praise I have gotten and the fans who have enjoyed the ride into an alternate world of fiction. Sales are staggering and I know I must be doing something right to get fans interested in reading more and more.
A new series is in the editing works, already written but not ready yet and yes, I am going to let the vampires run wild. None will glitter in the sunlight. LOL
My husband got me to take a week off and we took a mini vacation which was wonderful. He and I had a good time...it is true that play time helps! While we were together, I did find a new book in my head, so I know I need to get busy releasing the new series and writing the 5-6 in my head right now!
I may write horror, but I am not a negative person. I am thankful for my handsome, sweet husband and the love we share, my wonderful child, my cute pets, my lovely home, my own mind, my books, family, and my fans who have enjoyed my books so much. Life is wonderful.
So enjoy the zombie tales in the Z is for Zombie series and get ready for some blood suckers to rock the South West in the 1880s, keep reading what you love and above all....chase the dreams. Mine all came true an
Devil's Details was just released....that ,means there are 4 in the series....about 1400 pages of zombie scares.
So the second book of the series is almost done....had a sudden scene suggested by my hubby that he wanted to see added....he's cute..he watches me type and suggests scenes...how lucky am I? I have to admit, if I pull it off, it will rock the zombies in more way than one. Have to admit, it's been a fun time writing this genre lately and I am getting spoiled with letting the gore and violence stack up! I am so much more character/plot based and this action/character based writing has been a hoot...so many fun ways to kill a zombie....I really have to admire Uncle Stevie (Stephen King as writers affectionately refer to him) for CELL which was sort of a zombie tome...I mean he had a major idea (Cell phones are evil) and the story nailed as well as the action and characters. He wasn't gory...or AS gory as I am...he doesn't write splatter punk....but I digress...he nailed that book. I think when you can read a book and forget it is about zombies and say..."Oh it's about the evils of technology and love of children"....then the author nailed it. "Zombies" become simply the vehicle...and isn't that what Romero did with NOTLD? Okay, so this series may not be a nailed piece of literature, but it is a blast of a journey and some fun entertainment that won't make a reader think so hard 'cause sometimes we can skip the nutritional dinner and just chomp right in to that banana split and ....eat it all up!