Monday, February 10, 2014

Thank You Kiefer Sutherland

Sometimes when you're working on a plot, there's a sticky place--a tar pit that you get mired in so you have to sit and stew about your plight for a bit before you can figure a way out. Occasionally the solution comes in a dream. A couple nights ago, Kiefer Sutherland appeared in my post-apocalyptic dream and gave me an insight on what happens next in Eaters: Resurrection (tentative title for the third book in the Eaters series). The dream had a similar setting to my story, but went off on a tangent.

I was a reluctant leader of several thousand refugees in the southern U.S. after a zombie apocalypse. Things were going from bad to worse, and someone suggested that we should consider going south of the border, because things weren't as dire in Mexico. I either volunteered to check out the situation down there or was voted to go. (Maybe I'd slipped that I knew a little Spanish?)

There was a long line at the border checkpoint. Many people ahead of me were wearing hoodies over their heads and dark sunglasses, an obvious attempt to thwart the facial recognition cameras at the front of the line. I threw my hoodie over my head and checked to make sure my document was in order. What were they so worried about? I'd heard it was easier to get over the border, but not so easy to get back into the U.S. once you crossed. When I finally reached the front of the line, I didn't even have to show my document--the border agent was so busy in a discussion with some other people that I simply walked on past them...into Mexico.

On the other side, I stepped into the midst of a sunny resort. There was a white sand beach, a swimming pool, lounge chairs, and people walking and laughing as they carried their drinks past me. one seemed worried over here. They were all partying and having a good time. Now...where to find the man? I spotted the building that I was looking for and made a bee line for it.

There was a window overlooking the resort in Kiefer Sutherland's office, but it was obvious that he rarely had a chance to enjoy the view, because was a very busy man. Stacks of papers covered his desk, and his phone rang nonstop. I waited patiently in the seat across from him thinking all the time: Dude, I just can't stop thinking of you as the vampire in The Lost Boys, and knowing that I would blow all credibility if those words slipped out of my mouth. When I finally had his attention, I told him that I had a large group that was interested in crossing over and joining his camp of survivors. "How many?" he asked. I wasn't really sure of an exact number. I suspected there were upwards of 20,000 in my group now, but I just told him, "A few thousand." His phone rang again. He ignored it and began shuffling papers on his desk. There were a few more questions between us and some awkward moments of silence. What he didn't say told me what I needed to know...

Now, this is not what is going to happen in Eaters III, but it did give me some inspiration. So, thanks Kiefer! I appreciate you stopping by my dream and helping out with a plot issue. Best of luck for continued success with 24: Live Another Day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Ya'll...........................................................................(You can take the girl out of Texas but...)

Need a little Christmas cheer? How about an angel photo? (See more about this image at The Truth.) I've spent so many years obsessing over the potential existence of ghosts, demons...and zombies that I've neglected the celestial realm. Now, I think angels are way more interesting than things that go bump in the night. I hope you and your loved ones have a blessed 2014.

Look for Eaters: The Resistance (the sequel to Eaters) to come out in late 2014.
Meanwhile...check out some new releases from Permuted Press.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Zombies are Still "Alive and Kicking"!

After the movie of World War Z was released, I wondered if that was the peak of the zombie obsession. Au contraire...according to what I'm seeing in the media. Now, I know it's October, month of all things monster and ghoulish, but it seems that zombies still have enough fans to keep them "fresh" in the minds of popular culture above all the other dark beasties of the world. A co-worker recently told me about a local event of some curiosity--"Bicycling and the Zombie Apocalypse". It's a workshop at that teaches you which bikes are the best for escaping the grabby hands of the undead as well as tips for survival in a zombie-ridden world. In the Denver area, there are all sorts of zombie-related events this month, including the eighth annual Zombie Crawl, zombie theater at the Adams Mystery Playhouse, "Night of the Living Dead" at the Bug Theater, a zombie fashion show at the Shoppe, and of course lots of Walking Dead parties this weekend as the Walking Dead series on AMC is about to begin its fourth season. For more about these events, check out Joanne Ostrow's article in  the Denver Post.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review of Demons by John Shirley

In Demons by John Shirley, sheer terror develops as varied sorts of demons invade the world and begin to devour humanity like a hungry teenage boy attacking a bag of potato chips. The fact that they cannot be killed seems to lull much of the populace into a catatonic numbness as they continue their daily routines with death lurking around every corner. The Gnashers were almost comically interesting—talking their victims' ears off like a Chatty Cathy with a long, rambling monologue, before consuming them.  The story continues as Shirley leads the reader down a slow, winding path towards the explanation for the appearance of the demons and the beginning of the next invasion. That section (Book Two: Undercurrent) felt a little like wading through molasses in comparison to the horrific invasion in the earlier part of the story, but I was more satisfied by the time I got to the ending. Shirley's theme of mass sacrifice as a vector to bring more evil into the world by a power-hungry few is food for thought in our post 9/11 world that doesn't seem to be able to halt the advance of chemical and GMO suicide.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fall 2012 Issue of From the Depths Now Available in Print

Some stories are big. Some stories are small. Some stories haunt you in no time at all.
Last year, I took on the challenge of writing a 13 word flash fiction story. My little diddy appears on page 33 of the Fall 2012 issue of From the Depths, published by Haunted Waters Press. This quarterly literary journal has an artistic, graphic format and contains plenty of haunting tales to send shivers down your spine.

Friday, July 19, 2013

                                          Resident Evil

Sleep has been elusive lately for many nights. After I eventually succumbed last night around 2 a.m., it was not into a restful la-la land. As if I'd been thrown into a scene from my novel, Eaters, I found myself on a deserted street. For some reason, it was necessary to open the door to a shop that I knew was filled with the undead. It will be okay...they're'll have plenty of time to dart down the street and hide before the first few stumble out and trip over each other.
It didn't happen that way.
They burst out the door and somehow acquired unthinkable speed. As I ran, I was half a block ahead of them, but they were closing fast...and I knew there was nowhere I could hide and not be found. Of course, I woke up at that futile point in this little snippet of a nightmare. Isn't it nice that you always wake up in dreams before you die in them? You do, don't you?

Eaters: The Resistance publication status = pending.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Seen World War Z? You Should Still Read the Book.

Okay...I get it. I really get it now. All the hoopla over World War Z leading up to the release of the movie seemed like a lot of over-the-top hype. That is...until I read the book. After the first few interviews (scenes), I had to flip through the rest just to see if that was really what the whole book was going to be. My initial disappointment was quickly turned around as the flashbacks from individual characters all over the world became more and more interesting. By the time the story got to the family in Troy, Montana, I was hooked. Colonel Christina Eliopolis's story was heart-thumping, and Kondo and Tomonaga in Japan were sympathetic characters that an entire book could have been written around. Then...there's a submarine scene that'll absolutely make your skin crawl. The amount of technical detail and research Brooks put into this epic story is mind-boggling. Techno-geeks and artillery-happy readers will be well-fed.

So now...I confess. I haven't seen the movie yet. (Still waiting for some discounted tickets to arrive in the mail.) I've heard it doesn't contain the battle of Yonkers. (Was that scene too expensive for Hollywood? Or, did they not want to dis a potential military audience?) I'm kind of afraid to see it and be disappointed after reading the book, because from what I've heard, it's only loosely based on the book, portraying a main character during the epidemic instead of the book's flashbacks from the viewpoints of many characters. (Is this forgiveable only because that main character happens to be Brad Pitt? Maybe it ranks a bonus star for eye candy, but I'll need more than that to give it two brains up.)

Have you seen the movie? If so, will you still read the book? I once made a mistake of reading a book AFTER I saw the movie--The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I slogged through that book, because there was nothing in it that wasn't in the movie. But, if you decide to read World War Z after seeing the flick, I don't think you'll be disappointed. It will just make you think about all the "what ifs"...and make you want more.