Monday, December 28, 2015

Apocalypse Monday

Let's go classic apocalypse today. This piece of apocalyptic artwork is Beyond the Black Horizon by Ed Valigursky, which adorned the cover of Fantastic Science Fiction in June 1955.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my fans and friends. I'm thankful for every one of you. This year I should have some new and exciting stories to share with you all.

As always, I can't let the holiday go by without posting my favorite apocalyptic Christmas song (in fact, I think it's the only apocalyptic Christmas song). So grab your favorite holiday drink laced (heavily) with your favorite alcoholic beverage, put this on in the background, and spend all day playing Fallout 4

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Vampire Hunters Trilogy Is No Longer in Print

The bad news is that, as of this week, The Vampire Hunters trilogy is no longer in print. After several discussions with the publisher about the rapidly changing nature of the industry, we came to the mutual and amicable decision that it was no longer beneficial for either party to distribute the books. Emby Press and I departed on excellent terms, and I thank them for the opportunity to be associated with the company. It has been one of the great pleasures of my career.

The good news is that the trilogy, like any good vampire, will come back from the dead. I intend to self publish all three books this summer, so they will be available again fairly soon. More on this as events develop.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Blast from This Monster Kid's Past

The other day I was checking out one of my favorite Facebook pages (Famous Monsters of Filmland) and stumbled across this opening sequence for WPIX New York's Chiller Theater. It brought back so many memories.

As a Monster Kid, Saturdays were a treat. Me, my dad, and my grandfather would go for an early morning breakfast and then hit Cal's News on Central Avenue in Lynn in search of the latest edition of Famous Monsters of Filmland, or Don Elder's in Chelsea to pick up the latest release of Castle Film's 8mm renditions of classic Sci-Fi and horror movies (they were silent and only twelve minutes long, but this was in the days before VCRs, so it was the only way to have our favorite movies at our disposal whenever we wanted to watch them). In the afternoon, I would get my weekly dose of monsters from WLVI Channel 56's Creature Double Feature (the opening sequence is also included below), which was usually about some giant monster or invading alien destroying the planet, and ended the day with Chiller Theater.

As an adult (or at least as an old dude who pretends to do adulty things), I sometimes miss the innocence of those childhood days.



Monday, December 14, 2015

Apocalypse Monday

Apocalypse Monday -- Last night I saw the movie preview for The 5th Wave, which showed London getting wiped out in a giant tsunami. So I figured I would continue with that theme today.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Apocalypse Monday

I've been playing Fallout 4 this weekend, so I thought this image was appropriate for life after the apocalypse. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Congratulations to the Goodreads Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Goodreads giveaway of ten autographed copies of Rotter Apocalypse.

- Jane Cross

- Natasha Oldfield

- Michelle Williams

- Aaron Robbins

- Danielle Williams

- Chris Whiteman

- Joel Burdick

- Jilian Ding

- John Naylor

- Diane Meyer

Your books are in the mail. I hope you enjoy them. If you do, please leave a review on Amazon so I won't always be a starving writer. Thank you.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

An Open Letter to AMC and the Writers of The Walking Dead: Please Stop Taking Your Viewers for Granted

I never bad mouth writers in social media. It's not professional. If I don't like a story, or if I disagree with how the plot plays out or the characters behave, that is a matter of personal preference on the writer's part and should not be criticized by a colleague. I don't even give a bad review on Amazon unless the book is so grammatically unstructured and tedious to read that I feel the need to warn readers not to waste their time and money, and that has happened only twice. However, recently the writers on The Walking Dead have shown a dreadful sloppiness in their craft that I want to bitch about... er, I mean address.

Let me preface this by saying that I think The Walking Dead has some of the best writing on television. My favorite episode from a writing perspective was the mid-season finale for Season 2 ("Pretty Much Dead Already") when Shane, in  a show of bravado, opens up the barn on Hershel's farm to release the walkers and discovers that Sophia has been turned into one of the living dead. That scene is brilliantly crafted, with each character having a nuanced reason for his/her response. For example, Glenn looks to Maggie for permission to join in the killing of the barn walkers, showing that he is torn between his loyalty to his group and his love for Maggie, and Maggie grants that permission, indicating she is coming around to the hard reality of the world. It is one of the most emotional episodes from all six seasons. That brilliance has been slipping the past two years.

For me, the flawed writing began at the beginning of Season Five. When we last saw Rick at the end of Season Four, he and his people were trapped in a rail car at Terminus, and Rick issued the warning that the Termites were screwing with the wrong people. Season Five opens ("No Sanctuary") with Rick, Daryl, and Glenn (the baddest asses in the group), tied up and bent over a trough, about to Neganized for food. A good writer never makes a plot promise he can't keep. The only reason Rick and his group survived was because Carol showed up in the nick of time and had terminus look at the flowers.

Jump to the mid-season finale of Season Five ("Coda") and the death of Beth. There was nothing about the situation in the final moments of the episode that would logically lead to Beth's death. Beth was not a violent person and Dawn knew that, which was why Dawn still had her gun holstered when Beth approached. Beth's attack on Dawn, stabbing her in the shoulders with a pair of scissors, was entirely out of character. Beth would never have hurt anyone out of anger, and if she intended to kill Dawn, she knew to aim for the heart or the eyes. Rather than follow logic, the writers had Beth perform a random act of uncharacteristic violence, and suddenly Dawn 's weapon is miraculously unholstered and she reflexively shoots Beth in the head. Beth's death was poorly contrived by The Walking Dead's writers to create a highly-emotional "Holy Shit" moment to end the mid-season. They succeeded, but at the expense of good writing.

Which brings me to Season Six and the main point of my diatribe. I'm all for being creative as long as you keep the plot steady and strong, but this season the writers' attempts seem amateurish. They have allowed too many major plot flaws to seep into their scripts. If I or any other writer had done the same thing in our novels, we would be savaged on Amazon more brutally than Nicholas was by walkers, and rightfully so. Let me cite the three most glaring examples.

The I'm So Glad Everything Fell Into Place Perfectly Device. There was a lot to criticize in "Always Accountable" (S6E6), but I'm referring to the last three minutes after Dwight and Sherry steal Daryl's crossbow and motorcycle and abandon him in the woods. How fortunate for Daryl that he happened to stumble across a well-hidden gas truck that happened to be working, and that he drove his fortunate find to the nearby town where he happened to track down Abraham and Sasha on the first try (who earlier had happened to stumble across several rocket launchers), and now they're all driving back to an Alexandria invaded by walkers. Why do I have a feeling that the gas truck and rocket launchers will be critical to resolving the walker crisis in the latter half of season six?

The Build Your Own Plot Device. At the end of S6E3 ("Thank You"), Rick is trapped in a stalled RV after having gunned down members of the Wolves, and is surrounded by a horde of walkers. At the beginning of S6E5 ("Now"), Rick is running toward Alexandria with the same horde of walkers on his tail yelling for someone to open the gate. This is one of the most pivotal scenes in the plot line and an episode cliff hanger, and somehow The Waking Dead's writers left its resolution out of the script?

The Let's Break Up the Action for a Contemplative Moment Device. I admit that "Here's Not Here" (S6E4) is brilliant writing and beautifully tied together all of Morgan's loose plot points and fleshed out the character, and that this episode sets up the inevitable and awesome confrontation between Morgan and Carol. However, there was no justification for placing that episode in the middle of a multi-episode action sequence and interrupting the flow of the action when it could just as easily been placed after Rick's return to Alexandria. That's Writing 101.

Please don't get me wrong. It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback (or, in my case, a  late Sunday night ghost writer). I'm critical of The Walking Dead writers because they are excellent at their craft and have produced some brilliant episodes in the past, and as such they should know better. These are the mistakes a first time writer would make.

What concerns me is that the lapses in writing are merely symptomatic of a much deeper criticism I have with the franchise as a whole. I've watched AMC turn The Walking Dead from a TV phenomenon and cult icon into a cash cow to be milked. In my opinion, AMC created Fear the Walking Dead in the hopes of doubling their profits/viewership, which would be acceptable if the show was of the same quality as The Walking Dead. I am not a fan of Fear the Walking Dead. I think the plot is tedious, the story line drags, and the characters are unlikable. If it was an indie film I had downloaded from Netflix, I never would have sat through it as long as I did. I also think the franchise is taking gross advantage of the fans through the Walker Stalker Conventions. Some of the prices they charge to meet the actors are outrageous. In Atlanta earlier this year, the convention was charging $250 for a photograph with the original TWD cast. At Spooky Empire in Orlando, some of the actors signing autographs were charging $25 for a selfie. What I'm afraid of is that the merchandising of The Walking Dead is taking priority over producing a consistently high quality show.

I really do hope I'm wrong and that these lapses are merely the writers being overworked (how many writers, including myself, have gone back and read one of our own books, and wondered what the Hell we were thinking putting that scene in there). In either case, I urge AMC and The Walking Dead to stop taking the fans for granted. You'll wind up butchering your cash cow, and the fans will wind up losing something very dear to us.

Winter of Zombie 2015 Spotlighted Writers, Week Four

Below are the spotlight segments for the fourth and final weeks of writers on Armand Rosamilia's Winter of Zombie 2015 blog tour. I want to thank Armand for all the hard work he put into gathering so many zombie writers together and giving us the opportunity to reach out to readers and hopefully make new fans. For all my fans, I hope you have found some great new writers to follow.
This week was a few guest posts but mostly teasers for the the writers' books. To read them, click on the links below.

Gerald Rice

Sami Sands' short story "Haitian Holiday"

Mike Evans: Time   

Jessica Gomez' Infected   

Mark Tufo's Zombie Fallout 10   

Ricky Cooper's Designated: Quarantined  

Jamie Johnesee's Bob Meets Sam  

Rhonda Hopkins' Survival   

Jack Wallen's Fry Zombie Fry 

Russell James' Q Island   

Peter Meredith's The Apocalypse Crusade   

Mike Evans' Zombies and Chainsaws: The Dead Rise 

Peter Welmerink's Transport: Uncivil War   

P.M. Barnes' Zombie Seed II: Conception  

P. Mark DeBryan's Family Reunion 

Joseph A. Coley's Six Feet From Hell series

Anthony Renfro's A Zombie Holiday Trilogy 

Scott M. Baker's Rotter Nation 

G.G. Silverman's Vegan Teenage Zombie Huntress   

Jamie Friesen's Zombie Night in Canada: First Period   

Eric A. Shelman's Middletown Apocalypse 

Phillip Tomasso's Damn the Dead    

Dion Winton-Polak's Sunny, With a Chance of Zombies   

Kathy Dinisi's Hell Bound  

Rebecca Besser's and Courtney Rene's Zombies Inside   

Armand Rosmailia's Highway to Hell 2   

Greg P. Ferrell's Humanity's Hope   

Larry Weiner's Paradise Rot 

Dunne brothers' Tales of the Nothing Man   

Edward P. Cardillo's The Creeping Dead   

Scott Lefebvre's The Middle of Nowhere   

Mikhail Lerma's Z Plan trilogy 

Zach Bohannon's Empty Bodies  

Rhonda Hopkins' Survival   

Duncan P. Bradshaw's Class Four: Those Who Survive   

J.L. Koszarek's and Thad David's Divide Then Conquer: Book One of The Zombie Company Crusade series.

Steven Pajak's Regeneration: Book Three of the Mad Swine series

Derek Ailes' "Zombie Twister" from Zombie Command: A Horror Anthology 

Nerys Wheatley's Mutation

Michael Robertson's The Alpha Plague

Heath Stallcup's Caldera

John O'Brien's A New World: Untold Stories 2 

Rob E. Boley's That Scary Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White and Zombies

Monday, November 30, 2015

Final Reminder: The Goodreads Giveaway of Rotter Apocalypse Ends at Midnight

The Goodreads Giveaway of Rotter Apocalypse ends at midnight tonight. This is your final chance to enter to win one of ten autographed copies of the novel.

Apocalypse Monday

This particular piece of apocalyptic artwork always sends a shiver down my spine. For me, this would be the worst way to die during the end of the world.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fans and friends. May your turkey be the only thing that is carved at the table today.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Reminder: Only One Week Remaining in the Goodreads Giveaway of Rotter Apocalypse

One week from tonight, at midnight on 30 November, the Goodreads Giveaway of Rotter Apocalypse closes and the winners will be announced. Be sure to enter now to win one of ten autographed copies of the novel.

Apocalypse Monday

I love this particular piece of artwork. It's subtle, but very powerful.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter of Zombie 2015 Spotlighted Writers, Week Three

Below are the spotlight segments for the third week of writers on Armand Rosamilia's Winter of Zombie 2015 blog tour. This week was all guest blogs. To read them, click on the links below.

Jay Wilburn: New Ways To Be Bad   

Mike Evans: Deep Options   

Gerald Rice: Leverage Your Library 

Dion Winton-Polak: Adapt To Survive  

Kathy Dinisi: What Made You Become a Writer?   

Peter Meredith: A Question   

Michael Robertson: A Love Letter to 28 Days Later   

Armand Rosamilia: Ending a Series  

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I'll Be Attending Clermont ComicCon on 22 November

It's official. This Sunday, 22 November, I'll be attending Clermont ComicCon from 10 AM to 5 PM. The convention is being held at the Performing Arts Center in Clermont, Florida. The guest list includes several writers, comic book personalities, artists, and celebrity guests such as Mitch Hyman, creator and star of Bubba, The Redneck Werewolf; as well as the WWE legends The Wild Samoan and Tugboat. It promises to be a fun day, so drop by and say hello.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Winter of Zombie 2015 Spotlighted Writers, Week Two

Below are the spotlight segments for the second week of writers on Armand Rosamilia's Winter of Zombie 2015 blog tour. If you're looking for a new zombie writer to check out, or are already fans of one of those on this list and want to know more about him/her, then click on the links below, or skip farther down to the writers' guest blogs.

Joseph A. Coley, author of Six Feet From Hell: Unity

Zach Bohannon, author of Empty Bodies 3: Deliverance

Steven Pajak, author of the Mad Swine trilogy

Duncan P. Bradshaw, author of Class Four: Those Who Survive

Derek Ailes, author of Zombie Command: A Horror Anthology

Nerys Wheatley, author of Mutation and Downfall

Writers' guest blogs:

G.G. Silverman: What’s With the Zombie Craze? I Think I Have Some Answers

Greg P. Ferrell: A Day in the Life of the Dead: Chapter 3 and A Day in the Life of the Dead:Chapter 4

P.M. Barnes: I Dream of Zombies

Jay Wilburn: Sophomore Effort

John O'Brien: Why Zombies?

Michael Robertson: Five Great Zombie/Virus Comics

Mike Evans: Are You Ready?

Shawn Chesser: My Zombie Apocalypse Dream Team

Jack Wallen: Suspension of Disbelief 

Rhonda Hopkins: Survival: Skills and Knowledge We May Need When the Zombie SHTF

Brice Chandler: Mutated Genre

Ted Nulty: Zombie Tour

Russell R. James: The Staying Power of the Undead

Scott M. Baker: Is the Zombie Craze About To Come to an End?

Jay Wilburn: Familiar Characters -- Same, But Different

J.L. Koszarek: Literary Zombies

Samie Sands: The AM13 Series

Jamie Johnesee

P. Mark DeBryan: Mark DeBryan's Take on the Zombie Apocalypse

Mikhail Lerma: Comparing Zombies to Other Monsters

Peter Meredith: Why I Write Zombie "Literature"

Rebecca Besser: Shut the Damn Door

Courtney Rene: Zombies Everywhere

Duncan P. Bradford: Top Five Zombie Films

Ricky Cooper: Excerpts from the Broadhead Archives: File 2

Jay Wilburn: The Miracle of a Smooth Edit 

Peter Welmerink: Be Away With You, You Non-Zombie Purist  

Rob E. Boley: Zombies: Rambling About Rules and Relevancy  

Heath Stallcup 

Edward P. Cardillo: Can Zombie Fiction Be Literary? 

James Friesen: Surviving Cold Weather in a Zombie Apocalypse  

Jessica Gomez: Infected  

Duncan P. Bradshaw: The Plan   

Greg P. Ferrell: A Day in My Dead Life: Chapter Nine
Eric A. Shelman: The Beginning... Again  

Goodreads Giveaway of Rotter Apocalypse Has Begun, Runs Until 30 November

As previously promised, today begins the Goodreads giveaway of ten autographed copies of Rotter Apocalypse, the last book in the Rotter World trilogy. The giveaway runs until midnight 30 November and is open to all residents of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Anyone interested in entering the giveaway can do so here.

Good luck to everyone who enters.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In Remembrance of All Those Who Served

I realize I have posted this artwork in the past in commemoration of Veteran's Day. I've always found it very touching. It captures the emotional pain that every veteran who has lost friends in combat has suffered. 

This year, though, this painting has an even greater, personal significance. It was the favorite piece of art of my best friend of forty years, Curtis Brown, himself a proud veteran. He had a framed version of this painting mounted in his living room. Although he never experienced the anguish of losing any of his buddies in combat, it reminded him of the sacrifices that all servicemen and women are willing to make for their country, including Curtis himself. My friend had suffered a mishap while serving in the Army that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was never bitter about his condition or regretted his decision to join the military. Being a soldier was one of the accomplishments in his life of which he was most proud.

Earlier this year, Curtis lost his thirty-year struggle with the pain and physical deterioration related to his condition. As I post this, I can't help but remember this painting hanging on the wall in his living room where me, Curtis, and so many others would sit around eating junk food, watching horror movies, and sharing that camaraderie that only life-long friends can share. For the first time, I can relate to the heartache the man in this painting feels.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Apocalypse Monday

It's been a while since I've picked on the East Coast, so let's destroy New York City today.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review of The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon from

Earlier this week, Peter Schwotzer of published a review of The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon. In it, peter stated: "'The Vampire Hunters Trilogy' is a must read for all vampire lovers. Book II is full of great characters, action, blood, carnage and some of the most evil vampires this side of Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series and I highly recommend it." You can read the entire review here.

Just a reminder, The Vampire Hunters and The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon will soon be going out of print. The entire trilogy will be available in the future, but not until late in 2016. So if you are interested in reading any of the books in the trilogy, order them now.

Winter of Zombie 2015 Spotlighted Writers, Week One

Below are the spotlight segments for the first week of writers on Armand Rosamilia's Winter of Zombie 2015 blog tour. If you're looking for a new zombie writer to check out, or are already fans of one of those on this list and want to know more about him/her, then click on the links below.

Jamie Johnesee, author of Bob Meets Sam

Shawn Chesser, author of Frayed: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Jack Wallen, author of Fry Zombie Fry

Mikhail Lerma, author of the Z Plan Trilogy

Rebecca Besser and Courtney Rene, authors of Zombies Inside

Mike Evans, author of Zombies and Chainsaws

PM Barnes, author of Zombie Seed II: Conception

Greg P. Ferell, author of Bite-Sized Offerings

Brice Chandler, author of Whiskey Jack 

G.G. Silverman, author of Vegan Teenage Zombie Huntress

Michael Robertson, author of The Alpha Plague

Armand Rosamilia, author of Highway to Hell 2

Russell R. James, author of Q Island

Eric A. Shelman, author of Middletown Apocalypse and Z Resurrected

Mark Tufo, author of Zombie Fallout 10 -- The Tattered Remnants

John O'Brien, author of A New World: Untold Stories 2

J.L. Kozarek and Thad David, authors of Divide Then Conquer

Justin and Robert Dunne, authors of Tales of the Nothing Man

Peter Welmerink, author of Transport: Uncivil War

James Dean, author of This Dying World: The End Begins

Rhonda Hopkins, author of Survival

Ted Nulty, author of The Other Side of Me

Scott Lefebvre, author of The End of the World Is Nigh

Edward P. Cardillo, author of The Creeping Dead

Heath Stallcup, author of Caldera

Jamie Friesen, author of Zombie Night in Canada: First Period

Samie Sands, author of Forgotten

Phillip Tomasso, author of Damn the Dead

Peter Meredith, author of The Apocalypse Crusade

Dion Winton-Polak, author of Sunny, With a Chance of Zombies

P. Mark DeBryan, author of Family Reunion

Kathy Dinisi, author of Hell Bound (A World Apart)

Jessica Gomez, author of Infected 

Anthony Renfro, author of a Zombie Holiday Trilogy

Larry Weiner, author of Paradise Rot

Gerald Rice, author of Anything But Zombies

Rob E. Boley, author of A Scary Tales Box Set 

Jay Wilburn, author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 2: February from Vicksburg to Cherokee

Ricky Cooper, author of Designated Quarantined

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Time for the Big Annoucement

''Sybil and Aeneas in the Underworld'' by Jacob Isaaczs (ca. 1600)
As promised, I have some exciting news to pass along.

Two weeks ago, I signed a contract with Burning Willow Press to publish the Hell Gate saga, my young adult post-apocalyptic series.

As of yet, we have not decided upon a release schedule. The first book is complete and with Burning Willow Press, and should be released some time in mid-2016. I am reviewing the second book one final time before submission, and am plotting out the next four in the series. Once more details become available, I'll pass them along.

As a further tease, here's the preliminary jacket blurb for Hell Gate.

Sixteen year old Jason McCreary endures a double nightmare. Not only does he live in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by demons that have entered our realm through gates connected to Hell, he also carries the guilt for humanity’s fate because it was his mother's scientific experiment that created these portals. Desperate to erase his shame, he joins the team of hunters that clears the Hell Spawn from the countryside around the survivor’s camp at Mont St. Michel off the coast of France. When the hunters are tasked to travel to Paris to close the Hell Gate, Jason sees this as an opportunity to finally clear his family name. During the journey, Jason discovers frightening environments worse than anything he could imagine, and demons more terrifying than those he has encountered before. He begins the process of redemption and slowly earns the respect of his peers… until a web of lies unravels, threatening to rip apart Jason’s world and jeopardize the team’s chances of success.