About Smooth :
Beside the still water...the zombies roam.
A slightly different take on the zombie genre, Smooth asks if the world be better if we were all neutral and complacent (without violence, greed, hatred, and yes, love and compassion) as parts of our personalities? The road to absolute peace is filled with more than just bumps and gravel when catt dahman tells it; heads will roll...literally. The town of Cold Springs is about to receive the gift of full serenity and some people intend to fight it (as well as the zombies) all the way to the end!
Rain is turning ordinary citizens of the small town into crazed killers and then wiping out their entire personalities. The survivors must avoid the rain, fight the zombish creatures, stay away from the flood waters, and somehow work together as the rising water not only isolates them but also takes their supplies. Can anyone survive? Will they all go smooth?
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.
I know, I know....you have been reading the Z is for Zombie series and now they are all gone! Vanished! What is going on? Right? It's all okay. I have signed a 9 book deal with Severed Press!!!!! Yes, that is amazing and fantastic. They will be designing all new book covers and doing the printing, marketing and all the fancy things publishers do. They are awesome people and you will find the books available soon but from Severed Press with the new covers and all the glitz and glamour! I am very excited about working with them and sharing zombie tales with my readers. So, hang on a little while and let them do their magic and you can read more in the series.
http://www.cattd.com now contains hints about upcoming horror novels. catt dahman continues to make the ordinary quite horrifying as she takes on time travel, Spartan history, the countryside, and family secrets in the next few months. Long awaited novel Smooth is in final editing steps and will be released soon and will chill readers as it pokes at so many phobias we all share: fear of drowning, fear of the dark, and much more. About choices, the novel strips them away and leaves the reader with a frightening emptiness that will thrill S. King fans.
It's interesting how kids and kittens can walk the fine line between being really cute with mischief and being naughty. My kitty, Limmerfer, was in my bathroom and way too quiet; I should have known he was up to something. I found him standing on the seat of the toilet with the sweetest look on his face but around his little body was wrapped toilet paper....over and around all over him. In his innocence, he just looked at me as if he needed someone to save him. Children and animals can be so funny. They find trouble and can be little pests at times. But seriously, animals don't kill for the sport or pleasure....oh...unless you count when the cats catch a bird or mouse and play with it, letting it go and then capturing it again? That makes me wonder. What do cats think about then they play with their prey? What do they think when we feed them dry kibble instead of yummy raw meat?
Of course this leads me to my next thought about cannibals. What you didn't think I would mention cannibals and the fact that people taste like pork? Seriously...they do. Why do cannibals play with their prey? Is it tradition or does the chases and fear lend chemicals and therefore, spice, to the flavor of the meal? Is it a form of "winning"? The Aztecs used to make war on one another so they could capture other warriors to consume. They did it for many reasons. For one thing, the amount of meat fed the people of a village. Secondly, they felt the blood was a tribute to the gods and the genitals encouraged fertility so there was a religious reason for the consumption of other humans.
I'm not sure how eating humans can be a religious tribute, but in times of hunger, I do see the need for it. (in point, the Donner party who was starving) but my question is how does it get started as a formal ritual? When does it go from a need or happening to a specific cultural norm? Is the okay to do it somehow buried within us? We accept many odd cultural things as okay and never question it or if we do, we still go along. (Overly skinny girls are sometimes unhealthy and we should allow people to be who they are but wow....we sure like those skinny models)
In a culture of cannibals, the one who went vegetarian would really be the outcasts, eh? And wouldn't there be not only food reasons, but societal ones as well? Do we as a society still push religious values and morals? Not always. We are more about letting each person have his own rights and adhering to "live and let live". While that is great for us as individuals, it hurts the societal culture. And it really hurts the push for cannibalism. Eh.....just saying....
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!
Catt Dahman lives in Texas with her Husband, son, 4 cats (Ollie, T.S. Eliot, and Procol, and a dog named Levi. Catt writes horror, thrillers, spooky stories, and westerns.