Jamal Luckett's Amazon Page

Jamal Luckett's Amazon Page
Current list of Published works.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A zombie story with bite!

The Living Dark: Chapter 17: Buggin Out

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Zombie Combat 101: Learning from The Master Roger Ma


After a day off for my Birthday we are returning with a "Sit Down" that brings none other than Roger Ma. Roger was the combat expert enlisted on The History Channel's "Zombies a Living History." During this "all star" Zombie Documentary Roger gave real world tips for the average person to fight and survive during a zombie outbreak from his "The Zombie Combat Manual." Now comes Roger's new project "The Vampire Combat Manual!" Ready set fight!


1. Roger without using the words vampire or zombie. Describe the man you are outside of the public persona. Tell us about your background?

Father, writer, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, Brooklynite, pretty much in that order. My public and private persona are virtually identical. What you see is what you get.


2. As we go through this interview some folks might ask "Roger what are your martial arts qualifications?" How many styles are you skilled in? Are you a teacher or trainer in any fighting skill sets? What is your level of individual and group combat?

It’s a good question. Right now there’s only one art I practice with any regularity, BJJ. I’ve been a martial artist and a fan of the combat arts throughout my life, having studied Shotokan Karate, Wing Chun, Washin-ryu Karate, Escrima, and Arnis. However, I’m not a “black belt” or trainer in any of these arts, which I think is an important point. My approach for my books was that of a researcher, studying the physiology of both undead creatures, and determining what would work against them from a variety of styles. Because I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of styles, I think I was able to retain the objectivity of being art-neutral, and take certain techniques from any traditional martial art to address this particular opponent. I also felt it was important to emphasize that you don't need to be a martial arts expert, soldier, or professional fighter to prevail against the undead. My manuals are written for the layperson in mind.

3. Where does the idea for a "tactical manual" for up close and personal combat come from? Where did you get your inspiration from to approach fighting zombies and vampire hand to rotted hand?

As they say, “Write what you want to read,” and my books combine my interests of martial arts, weapons, close-quarters fighting, and horror. I also was inspired by the fact that I live in New York, where it is very difficult to legally own a firearm. With zombies, everyone says “Shoot them in the head.” Well, what if you don’t have a gun, or run out of ammunition. I wanted to create a book that solely focused on the hand-to-hand combat scenario of facing the undead to address that very situation.


4.  Most of us out there shudder at the idea of unarmed combat with the undead. What would you tell a trainee to keep them focused for the fight ahead? On the other side of the spectrum how would you keep an experienced slayer humble?

The most important thing for a trainee to keep in mind is to keep calm. When people engage in close combat for the first time, undead or not, what happens is that they expend way more energy than necessary – they tense up, hyperventilate, and overexert their muscles for the situation. If you do that, you may not survive for very long. In my book, I even provide a breathing technique used by military and law enforcement to calm their nerves in the event of combat. The experienced combatant needs to remember that the opponent they face is not a human one – what happens is that people who are experienced with human combat (boxers, soldiers, fighters) apply techniques they learned for human combat against the undead. This is another reason why I felt a combat manual against the undead needed to be written.


5. Starting with your first book "The Zombie Combat Manual." Take us through the dynamics involved with fighting flesh hungry zombies one on one. How do you feel about fast moving zombies and how does that change your tactics?

Fighting a zombie one-on-one is about being methodical, and taking advantage of its vulnerabilities. Realize that your mobility and dexterity is much better than your opponent, and use that to open up target areas on the skull. The mistake often made is that people confront a zombie head-on like a human opponent. Why do that when you can strafe around and attack an open side? That’s the tactic I discuss in detail in the book. Fast moving zombies change the picture entirely, that would be a whole other book!

6. So I've got myself a weapons depot and less than a minute to choose. What is my best choice for armed combat against the living dead? What changes when I confront a horde of zombies? From a tactical and weapons standpoint?

When I think about weapons to use against the undead, there are three categories I consider: durability, maintenance, and skill. For example, a katana samurai sword is always a popular weapon the average citizen thinks about zombie weapons, but let’s consider it from these three categories: it can be highly durable, provided it’s an authentic, well-made katana, and not a “mall-ninja” brand. It requires pretty high maintenance in terms of sharpening, which most people do not know how to do. The skill level required to wield it is also pretty high for the average citizen (how many people have actually swung a katana to cut something?) Against a horde of zombies, this becomes even more critical, because you’re not going to be able to stop and maintain your weapon in mid-combat. My ideal zombie weapon is a tool that is highly durable, requires minimal maintenance, and very little skill to wield. For these reasons, my personal favorite is the medieval mace, as it falls into each of these categories.



7. Switching gears Roger before you go into combat details about Vampires. In the new book "The Vampire Combat Manual" you dispelled some "myths" about bloodsuckers. Why is this important? Tell us about the things we do know about combat against Vampires that are true and those that are false.

From a purely literary perspective, I thought it was important to start the discussion about vampire combat with what I perceive as traits of the creature. The vampire has such a long history with many different permutations, that if I didn’t do so people probably would have been confused about what type of vampire I’m talking about. What I tried to do was relate the vampire back to a very humanoid type of being – one that was not supernatural or metaphysical, and based its traits on science. So, the vampire I’m talking about cannot fly, cannot mutate into animals or disappear into mist, and is vulnerable to ultraviolet light, garlic, silver, and wooden stakes. And it’s not physically attracted to nor can it procreate with humans.

8. How does fighting an undead foe that maintains its intelligence change the rules of combat? So all Vampires are not created equal? What are "Vampire Castes" and how does a vampires "type" change your fighting techniques?

Everything changes when your battling a sentient creature, that’s why I felt the need to create manual on vampire combat, because any rules I developed for zombie combat don’t apply. The “Vampire Castes” I developed define several types of vampire – Banals, which are most like us, Seducers, which are highly attractive and tend to avoid physical combat, Supremists, vampire who believe that they are a superior race, and Elders, the oldest, and generally most powerful of the species. Because there have been so many changes to vampire canon, I thought it would be interesting to explore various types of vampire that we’ve seen in the past, and address their background, physical assets, and deficiencies.

9. Let us know where and how readers can find your books "The Zombie Combat Manual" and "The Vampire Combat Manual?" What are "Zombie Combat Club" and "The Vampire Combat Club" and how can one join? What other places can fans find Roger Ma on the web?

The books can be found “anywhere books are sold,” as they say –Amazon, BN, Powell’s, and your local bookstore. If your favorite bookstore doesn’t have it, smack the clerk upside the head and ask them if they’re trying to get their customers killed by the undead. The
Zombie Combat Club and Vampire Combat Clubare sites where people who enjoy the books can follow other stories, links and blog posts I find interesting and related to undead combat. Those are the best places to find me online, and on Twitter and Facebook groups for both books as well.

10. In Zombies a Living History on the History Channel you showed us your skills as a practical Zombie Slayer. How did this opportunity come about for you Roger? How did it feel to be included with the likes if Jonathan Maberry, Max Brooks, Kim Paffenroth and J.L. Bourne to name a few on the show?

I was approached by the producing team specifically for the combat aspect since that’s my primary focus. It was so much fun shooting the fighting scenes in the academy where I study BJJ. It was surreal to be featured alongside those individuals, legends in the zombie genre. The show is actually on at this very moment, and I still can’t believe I’m in it.

11. What does the future hold for Roger Ma? Any plans to give us combat tips on any other "Monsters?" The reason I ask is I have an ungodly fear of Leprechauns!

Leprechauns are deadlier than most people think, especially if you’re looking to snatch their precious metals. I have a cool contribution to a comic books anthology coming out in a few weeks called Shattered: An Asian American Comics Anthology. It’s an adaptation of one of the stories from The Zombie Combat Manual – if you want to see Shaolin Monks battling zombies, definitely check it out!

12. When Roger Ma reads about Zombies. Who are your favorite authors and why?

You know, I haven’t read that much zombie literature recently. Initially I was staying away from it because I was working on the book. Two of my all time favorites though are anthologies – John Skipp’s original “Book of the Dead” is one of the best, and John Joseph Adam’s “The Living Dead” anthologies are great. Of course, I’m a fan of the writers that were also in the History Channel documentary.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zombob's Zombie News and Reviews: LADIES & GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!! (part 2)A ...

Zombob's Zombie News and Reviews: LADIES & GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!! (part 2) A ...: LADIES & GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!! (part 2) A while back, in celebration of my blog's 1000th post, I decided to have a contest/challe...

Come read an all new short story by me written exclusively for this contest entitled "Tough guy."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mr. Nightscape Press himself Mark Scioneaux

Alright at the request of this weeks interviewee Mark Scioneaux owner and proprietor of Nightscape press. I delayed our typical "Sunday Night Sit Down", so that we could help Mark Promote his new project "Hollow Shell." Enough about me I'll let him tell you about it!

1. All right, Mark, separate the public Mark Scioneaux from the private. What brought you to a career dealing with the written word?

The public Mark Scioneaux is very different from the one who sits down at a computer and bangs out words in hopes of entertaining and terrifying people. By day, I work as an industrial hygienist, which is a type of health and safety engineer. I do consulting for chemical plants, refineries, agriculture companies, and many others. It pays the bills, and in a way makes me a better writer. I write stress-free. On one hand I’m doing all I can to turn the corner and burst onto the scene, but on the other I’m happy where I currently am. I write as a hobby and it’s a hobby that’s rewarded me very well. I’ve met some great friends, travelled to cool places, and experienced things I never thought possible. I’ve always had it in me to be a writer, but I repressed that urge for reasons I’m not sure why. It wasn’t until 2006, the year I graduated from LSU, that I pursued it seriously. I challenged myself to get a short story published, and I did. So I tried again. And again. More success followed. I then sat down and penned and novel and it too was published. It was a great start, but I wanted more. I’ve slowly been scratching off things on my personal lists of goals, and at the moment I’m pretty damn happy.

To answer your question more directly, I write because I love to entertain and tell a story. I chose horror for reasons unknown. It just appealed to me to write for this genre. There is something inside of me that screams to be placed on paper, and for other writers, I think they share the same feeling I do.



2. How does your experience as an editor help you as a writer? How do you juggle the work required for both fields? As an editor, what do you look for in a body of work? Give us some do’s and don'ts.

It can help, but it also hinders me at times. I used to just write, and then worry about revising when the project was finished. Now, I write a little, then revise, and repeat. In the end, what I’ve written I’m pleased with, but it’s a slow process. I still can’t edit my own work though. Not professionally, anyway. I’ve made many connections and I always use a good editor to revise my manuscripts prior to submission.

If I had to choose one role, I’m more of a writer than an editor. Even with my company Nightscape Press, which I co-own with Robert Shane Wilson and Jennifer Wilson, they do most of the editing for our books. I’m more of the face guy, chatting it up at conventions and handling other business aspects. I also consult with artists for our book covers and address non-editing/formatting issues with our authors.

As an editor and publisher, when I read a submission or new novel, I need it to grab me immediately. A slow build can be done well if the pacing and writing are tight, but I can tell rather quickly if this book will do it for me. For people submitting their work to companies for publishing consideration, proofread your book and make sure it’s as flawless as can be before submitting. It speaks volumes of you as an author and professional.

As far as do’s and don’ts are concerned, I’ll leave you with this list:

“Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing”
1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

I have to check and see how many of these I’ve broken in my own writing!


3. Mark, tell me and the readers about your involvement with "Horror For Good: A Charitable Anthology." What brought about a desire to do such a gracious piece of work and what cause did it benefit? Who helped you and what authors gave freely of themselves and their work?

I remember it vividly. I was sitting inside the break room for a local chemical plant where I do consulting, playing around on Facebook, chatting with people and such. When I checked on a group I stay active with, the Kindle Horror Books group, and noticed the number of talented authors, I thought it would be neat to put together a book of short stories featuring them. Someone encouraged me to pursue the idea, and suggested donating the proceeds to charity. That made the most sense and the idea was born. Robert Shane Wilson approached me almost immediately and expressed interest in doing this. A budding editor at the time, he knew how to format and sell his own books. He was also a nice guy I had gotten to know through Facebook conversations. It went from there, and we worked together to solicit stories from well-known authors and set up a Facebook fan page, which became quite popular. The sales from the book benefit amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. For me, the project is dedicated to my uncle, Setchie Scioneaux, who passed away from AIDS complications in 2002.

We started to receive a favorable number of stories from well-known authors. Robert and I were nervous, and the project was becoming much bigger than anticipated. I put out a feeler to various publishers, and RJ responded with interest. Cutting Block Press and RJ Cavender have a great name and reputation in the horror industry, and the chance to work with them was a dream. RJ and I set up a phone conversation and it couldn’t have gone better. We hit it off and talked for a few hours. RJ committed, but as an editorial consultant at the time. As the anthology began to take shape, and RJ began to work just as hard as Robert and me, it was only fair he was brought on as the third editor.

All the authors who agreed to be in the book readily gave a story and were happy to help. I’ll never forget the feeling when Jack Ketchum gave us the story we had asked for—I was so excited I called RJ immediately. Or the feeling I had when I opened my email and sitting there was a story directly from Ramsey Campbell! I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. We are editors and creators, but we are also fans, and when these titans of the industry want to work with us, it’s a very humbling feeling. The table of contents is a great mix of established authors and rising stars.



4. Mark, what is your take on the resurgence of the living dead in the media? How do you see Hollywood's current obsession with zombies playing out? Tell me how you take your horde? Is it traditional shambling with a side of slow terror, or running dipped in infected scream?

I think it’s great, but everything is cyclical. First we had the obsession with vampires, then they tried pushing werewolves, and now it’s zombies. The only difference is you can’t “sexy” up a zombie. It’s a walking corpse trying to feed on you. There’s no twisted romance angle that could be played, and if there was, it would end tragically. What will be the next big thing? I have no idea, but I believe zombies are going to surge again in popularity, and that is due to the show The Walking Dead and some really great zombies books set to hit the market soon.

I’m a bit 50-50 with my preference of zombie. I’d say ultimately I love the slow, shambling ghoul that overwhelms you with their numbers. The fast zombie has their place, and they were good in movies like the Dawn of the Dead remake and 28 Days Later (I know, not technically zombies, but close enough). For my writing, I like to make the zombies slow, because it lets me develop characters and scenes better, I feel. There wouldn’t be much time for conversation if you were being chased by sprinting zombies. And let’s take a second to discuss how unreal that is. I know, I write fiction and I’m talking about reality, but biology would prevent a corpse from running. The slow zombie is the best, but the fast one can work.


5. Now for a Mark Scioneaux tale. Without giving away too much, bait the hook for my readers. Why would you recommend "The Glass Coffin"? What does this tale have to offer the reader in the way of zombie action and story?

The Glass Coffin was a short story I’d written for an anthology years ago, and to this day I think it was one of my better pieces. It was pretty long, and when Kindle Direct Publishing became more popular, I decided to give it a try and chose The Glass Coffin as my piece to put online. Reception has been positive, and I’ve received some nice blurbs and reviews.

The story is simple, and the way I like my zombies. It’s character driven, and the zombies serve as the backdrop for the various people trapped in the condominium when an outbreak occurs. I have characters you will hate, love, and pity; and I think readers like characters they can relate to. It is balanced with plenty of zombie action and gore, but deep down there is a very real human element that shines through. If you enjoyed The Glass Coffin, you’ll like Hollow Shell; and vice versa.


6. Now let’s talk Insurgent Z, your newest novel co-written with HWA-member, Dane T. Hatchell. Can you tell us a little about it? What was it like co-writing with another author and would you do it again?

Insurgent Z is a novel that takes place in a small town in Louisiana. A former Army Ranger, Mason Guillot, is trying to move on with his life and put a fractured past behind him, when a dark figure from his times in the military comes back to haunt him. The mayor of the small town has given permission for military experiments on inmates serving life sentences. This new serum will make soldiers impervious to biological weapons during battle. But something goes wrong, and a serum meant to save lives damns an entire town. Now Mason is in the middle of a zombie outbreak, and he needs to save his friends while working toward the truth, and ultimately atoning for his past. It is currently being considered by a few publishing houses, and I hope to hear good news soon.

Dane T. Hatchell is a great friend and a hell of a writer. I approached him about the idea of co-writing a novel, and he was on board from the go. We make a great team, and for authors to work together there has to be mutual respect and also a gelling of writing styles. Dane and I write very similar, and we were able to use our strengths to add to the story, while also helping each other with our weaknesses. What we have created is an awesome book, filled with thrilling zombie action with a smart military plot. I would absolutely do it again and we have been talking about a sequel.


7. You allowed me a privileged sneak peek into your new work, Hollow Shell. We talked about the recent influx of zombie serials and series. What makes Hollow Shell different than your traditional zombie serial? How can my readers partake of your offerings in Hollow Shell? Will it be done across multiple formats?

I can’t speak for any of the other zombie serials out there, but I wanted to make HS my own personal zombie nightmare. First, I wanted to create believable and relatable characters that the reader could get behind. I gave them a mission to drive the story forward and while zombies play a huge role in the overall plot of the series, there will be many times where the characters interact with other survivors, and the results are less than favorable. I enjoy reading gory scenes like the next zombie fan, but I need the character interaction to keep me hooked. This is where I believe HS shines.

The book will be available in parts, starting with Part One. Currently, it will be Kindle exclusive, but when enough parts have been accumulated, or the series is finished, then I will collect them all into one large book.



8. Where can your full length and short stories be found; both zombie themed and non-zombie themed? Give us some highlights what story of yours is perfect for your first time fan? What is on the horizon for Mark C. Scioneaux in the realm of the undead and other genres?

My short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies from various publishers. I have a story in Twisted Fish 3 by Severed Press titled, “The Demon in the Water” that I’m particularly proud of. I will have a new story appearing in the Blood Rites anthology by Bloodbound Books titled “The Lady with Teeth like Knives.” Another new story of mine, titled “Made to Order,” will appear in an anthology by Evil Jester Press. For a recent zombie story, I have a bit of flash fiction titled “A Very Trying Time” in the anthology Quick Bites of Flesh by Hazardous Press. I would as readers to check those out as they show how I’ve grown as a writer.

I currently have a few projects being considered for publication, so I will talk more about those when they come to fruition. For my current writing projects, my novelization of Dante’s Inferno, THE CITY OF WOE, is in the hands of a literary agent. I am also working on a shark attack piece and a fictional Salem Witch Trials tale.


9. Where can the readers dig you up, Mark? Do you have web pages, fan pages twitter or other places out in the big blue nowhere where you call home?

I have a blog that I try to keep up with. So far it has failed miserably as I get distracted by my other writing projects. I am still trying to figure out how twitter works as well. I am very active on Facebook, so I would ask for people to reach me there. I also created a fan page for the serial in hopes of drumming up some good zombie discussion.





10. Aside from your own work, whose zombie novels and shorts do you read? Any real page turners come to mind you'd recommend to us on the independent publishing scene? What are you currently reading and by who?

My zombie writing idols would be people I try to model my own writing after. Authors like Jonathan Maberry and Joe McKinney have set high standards for zombie fiction. I highly recommend Maberry’s YA Rot & Ruin series and McKinney’s Flesh Eaters, which won the Stoker for best novel this year.

I am also involved in publishing and my company, Nightscape Press, is doing very well distinguishing itself as one of the best in the horror and dark fiction field. We are blessed to work with talented writers like Peter N. Dudar, L.L. Soares, Trent Zelazny, and Richard Salter; who edited one of the most unique and best anthologies I’ve ever read. I strongly recommend checking out our website and their works. We will be releasing more books soon and continuing to carve our niche across the horror landscape.

Currently, when I’m not reading submissions for Nightscape or drafts of my own work, I’m reading The Sinner by K. Trapp Jones. It’s about a farmer who is summoned into a cave by God where he encounters a different demon each day, influenced by the seven deadly sins. It’s a great read.

Zombie Blog Walk 2012

Guys and Gals I decided to participate in a Zombie Blog Walk. Please check out these awesome zombie and horror themed blogs. I found some new ones I didn't know exsisted.

Jamal Morgue Luckett


Zombies Everywhere


Halloween Blues

The Southern Northerner

Martha's Journey

Annie Walls

GingerRead Review

App'y Talk

Kweeny Todd

Jenny's House of Horrors

Bubba's Place

Fictional Candy

herding cats & burning soup

Author Sherry Soule Blog

Paranormal research Group Blog

Adult Urban Fantasy by Sherry Soule

Moonlight Publishing Blog

Candid Canine

Ghost Hunting Theories

Above the Norm

A Dust Bunny In The Wind

Faith McKay

Zombob's Zombie News & Movie Reviews

Flesh From The Morgue

The Living Dark

Some One Else's Cook

Stumptown Horror

Forget About TV, Grab a Book

Zombie Dating Guide

Strange State

The Paranormalist - Renae Rude

Idée Fixe

Random Game Crafts

WhiteRoseBud's Tumblr


Book Me!

Carmen Jenner Author

Sarasota Zombie Pub Crawl

Not Now...Mommy's Reading

Love is a Many Flavored Thing

Its On Random

Ellie Potts

Attention Earthlings!

Horror Shock LoliPOP

The Spooky Vegan

The Story In...

DarkSide Detectives Blog

Something wicKED this way comes....

Julie Jansen: science fiction and horror writer

Author/screenwriter James Schannep

The Zombie Lab

Creepy Glowbugg


Sharing Links and Wisdom

Midnyte Reader

This Blog Has A.D.D.

Carol's Creations

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stephen A. North turns the tide on writing

Stephen A. North is one of the most unassuming and humble gentlemen you'll ever have the privilege of meeting. His stories however are not as humble they are bold, unique and told from all different perspectives. His Dead Tide series are two of my favorites and the first stories I ever reviewed and this was well before I'd ever gotten to know the man behind the story. I hope you fine folks will get to know Stephen after this interview and gain an appreciation for his works!

1. Stephen give the readers and I a run down of who Stephen A. North is. What roads have you traveled that have brought you to where you are now?

Who am I? I am the eleven year old kid who loved Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury, C.S. Forrester and Ursula Le Guin. I am also the shy kid who never had the nerve to tell a girl how much he liked her until it was too late. I have only recently realized and accepted how impulsive I have been when my heart was set on something. Whether it was trusting a new friend, making a life altering decision like joining the army, falling in love, or writing a book. All of these decisions had far-ranging effects on my life in different measures, that have brought great joy and/or nearly destroyed me. Probably no surprise there, as I am hardly unique. Maybe it is my persistence, or sheer hard-headedness that are unusual? Where am I now? I stand at a crossroads, perhaps as happy as I've ever been. There may be sorrow ahead, and sorrow, for sure, behind, but I am at peace.

2. I seen your work in print Stephen and you work in different genres. Which genre is your favorite and why? How do you switch gears to seamlessly produce works in multiple genres?

As a child, my favorite genre was fantasy, but that quickly evolved into horror and science fiction. I wasn't a happy kid when I discovered The Hobbit. I went to three different elementary schools that year, and by the last one, my brother was my only friend. I was primed to escape into another place, and imagine I was a hero. Later, I discovered thrillers, detective and historical fiction. Not sure that I have a favorite, but plan to continue to expand the genres I write in. The books I love are in multiple genres. I suspect that mood plays a role in my reading and writing choices.

3. Let's talk about zombies a subject that is near and dear to my heart. When did your love for writing about the undead begin? How far do you see the genre of the living dead expanding? How do you prefer you zombies running or bumbling?

I was sixteen when I first saw Dawn of the Dead at the midnight movies. Remember talking about it with my friends, and wondering what we'd do to live. How and why. The seed was planted, but it didn't flower until I discovered this guy named Jacob and his small publishing company called Permuted Press, close to 24 years later. Jacob was the catalyst. Writing zombie horror stories doesn't lead into happy places, but wondering how different types of people might survive such a disaster can be interesting. The Walking Dead is proof that there is interest in zombie horror Better yet, there are quite a few talented writers out there still writing them. I doubt that the genre will disappear anytime soon. I'm comfortable with running or bumbling zombies. Wasn't always that way. I was a Romero purist, but something happened when Eric S. Brown and I decided to write a book together. Bottom line is that I can be flexible when it comes to zombies. If vampires can sparkle, zombies might be able to run.

4. Having read and loved both books in your Dead Tide series. Tell me when and where the idea for the series came from? The book has two very diverse groups of survivors was this intentional? Where is the Dead Tide series headed? What to hope a first time reader of the series will take from Dead Tide?

I would love to be the Stephen King of Tampa Bay. I suppose this idea of visualizing my hometown in a post apocalyptic setting all started with seeing The War Of The Worlds as a child. I remember the star being hunted in the ruins by the Martian machines. Flash forward to seeing Dawn of the Dead, then combine that with middle-aged angst, and working in retail in a retirement Mecca and what do you get?

Just a year or two before writing Dead Tide I was the Lead Writer for a Post-Apocalyptic Computer Game Fan Project. (I was also the only writer for a while) The other team members didn't really care what I did and let me have free reign with modifying, expanding and writing the design documents for the story lines, the locations, the characters, and the dialogues---I went nuts creatively! That experience gave me a taste of how much fun I could have on my second book (Dead Tide). Potential characters appeared and their stories practically wrote themselves. I actually had to make myself stop character creation, but was glad that cast was large. People are going to die in a zombie book. Better start off large, right? I suppose this explains somewhat how two diverse groups of survivors emerged, also. Maybe not? People need each other to survive catastrophes. Alone, no matter how competent you are, there may not be enough reason to want to live.

Not sure whether the series will end with the third book. I'm at the 17k mark, and the situation is grim for most of the survivors at this point. However, as long as some of them have a reason why to live, maybe they will find a way.

My take-away hope for a first time reader of Dead Tide would be, number one, to entertain them and provide an escape from the real world. Gaining a friendship or creating a fan of the genre would be another. If I entertain the reader, I have succeeded.

5. Barren Earth is a zombie tale with a twist. You worked on Barren Earth with Eric S. Brown what was that like? How does this story come to life and how would you describe it? Are there any more author collaborations you've done or will do? Who would you like to pen a story with an why?

Ah, working with Eric S. Brown! He is an amazing man: Incredible drive and talent. Overall, a pleasure to work with. I hope to do so again someday. Without him, that story would never have been written. There is a joy in a shared creation if both people can compromise and come to agreement. We were able work together with little friction. I've been told that people can't tell which parts either of us wrote. That is the best compliment! Two different people, living miles apart in different States, created something that worked! Doesn't happen every day.

The way we made it work was by passing the story back and forth, and communicating. He would have it a week, and then I would have it a week. There was only the second story line to begin with, and then we had the idea to tell the story of what happened before The Hyperion came home as a Prologue. That idea grew beyond what we expected (Probably the fault of that guy who gets excited when given free reign).

My description of Barren Earth (WARNING, CONTAINS SPOILER! Skip past the next paragraph if interested in reading this book later)

How does a defeated, exterminated alien race get revenge on triumphant humanity? From beyond the grave, right? An undead virus left waiting for unsuspecting humans to bring home with them.
At the moment I have several books waiting to be written, but would love to collaborate with many authors when I catch up. It is an experience I recommend. As to who I would love to write with, perhaps I should keep that secret. They might love me only like a brother.

6. Stephen can you give us a rundown of your work in various anthologies out there? Do you find short stories easier or more trying for a guy whose done so many novel length tales? Are there more anthology works you plan releasing?

Proud to be part of two charity anthologies: In Kizuna, I have 'Dial Tone'; and in the upcoming Scare Package, I have 'Sedation Dentistry.' I also have: 'Like A Man' in Read The End First; 'Zomkrieg' in Zombology; and 'Elk Stones' in Baconology. Those stories range from horror, to sci-fi, to fantasy and would maybe make the good basis for a collection of my short fiction someday. Some of them I'd like to see in novel form also. Most of them almost wrote themselves once I had the inspiration for them. For example, 'Like A Man' would never have existed without Suzanne Robb. There is actually a person behind every one of those stories. Maybe that is why they weren't difficult to write?
I have one short story planned in the immediate future in the steam punk genre. 

7. Now gives us a synopsis of The Drifter. What inspired this tale of humanity and our bleak future? Any plans for future books or stories from The Drifter universe? You seem to have a knack for stories that throw mans fragile existence into pure chaos as in "Beneath The Mask." Explain this mysterious tale of woe? How you have developed your own unique style of Post Apocalyptic despair?

Drifter is a combination of the old and new on many levels and time frames. I've always been disturbed by the concept of punishment versus rehabilitation. There is not enough forgiveness in our current penal system for some crimes. Some crimes haunt people for life. I just took the current situation, added over-population, dwindling resources , and adopted the English 16th century solution to it: Transportation from home and penance in a harsh new world. What if the government had the ability to wipe out memories and shape egos? Humans become a commodity again!

(The following paragraph contains some spoilers!)

The viewpoint character in 'Drifter' has had at least one memory wipe, although it may not have erased everything, and is trapped in a miserable existence. In the beginning of the book he has an unsustainable motivation to continue living. As the story evolves that changes, but it isn't easy. A couple of quotes might explain better what the story is about:

"Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for." Dag Hammarskjold

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how." Friedrich Nietzsche
I hope to offer something different, and would love to on a more regular basis. 

8. We want to know what's come down the pipe from Stephen A. North? Without giving away the juicy details. Give me and my readers a look into the future.

The third Dead Tide book is in progress. The original Dead Tide is getting its first professional edit, and so will Dead Tide Rising. After that I need to find a new home for Drifter, and the sequel to that is halfway done.

I have a large number of other unfinished stories, but would love to finally write and finish a fantasy novel. Who knows, maybe I will even attempt something romantic for the ladies.

9. Where can new fans find you Stephen? Give us links to all your haunts. Also share with us where your books and be found for purchase and on what formats?New fans and old can always find me at Stephen A. North (fans of) on facebook, and I'm on Goodreads. My email is:


Hoping to get my own website next year.
Three of my books are currently unavailable, but two (Dead Tide and Dead Tide Rising) will be re-published soon. Still looking for a home for Drifter.

Barren Earth, Beneath the Mask, and all of my short stories are still available on Amazon right here:


10. Whose undead readings are you currently enjoying? What are some of your favorite works of undead literature and by who?

I'm hoping to see more from this guy, Jamal Luckett soon. Recently, I have read Timothy Long's latest 'Among the Dead' and enjoyed it. Eric Shelman is good also, and I plan to read Dead Hunger 3, next!

Favorites eh? How about these authors: J.L. Bourne; Patrick D'Orazio; Suzanne Robb; Sue Edgerly; Rhiannon Frater; Eric S. Brown; Brian Keene; Richard Laymon; Stephen King; Sheri Gambino; Travis Adkins; D. L. Snell; Bowie Ibarra; Z.A. Recht; David Dunwoody; and Brian Lumley. Hope I didn't miss anyone, but probably did.  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Visions of "A New World" with Author John O'Brien

My fellow Americans tonight we talk with a man who's served his country with honor and he writes a hell of a Post Apocalypse Series too. John O'Brien was one of the first Authors I met after I began writing. He is still on of the most humble and coolest guys I have had the privilege of interviewing.

1. John it sounds like you done things that most of us only write about. What brought you to writing about the undead from fighter pilot instructor? How has your previous service to your country played a part in shaping who you are and how you write?

I don’t know that I would go that far but I feel like I have led a very fortunate life and feel privileged to have been able to have the experiences I’ve had. That has been quite the process. I’ve always been into survival aspects and would envision scenarios in order to come up with solutions. That was part of the service life it seems – always thinking of scenarios and solutions; acting them out in my head so that reactions became instinctual rather than having to think about them. At any rate, the writing is a culmination of experiences and these scenarios. I just felt there was a story to tell that wanted to be written to share with others. My previous service directly affects the writing in regards to the various actions as well as shaping who I am as a person. It has led me to think outside of the box per se and see situations in a different light.

2. How did you launch your "A New World" series? What set the desire to lay pen to paper in the "Zombie" genre? When you got the idea did it always involve "zombies in a post apocalyptic setting?"

I actually just started writing the story. I sat down one day at the keyboard and began pecking away. The story has always been inside of me and was itching to get out. With regards to including “zombies”, they added a greater dimension to a post-apocalyptic survival setting. I wanted them fast, agile, and cunning. That would really put any survival setting to its extreme. My son introduced me to the zombie genre and so I included them in the survival situations that I either experienced or were running through my head for years.

3. When you see zombies in the media how does it influence your writing? It seems the answer to the question of how you take your "living dead" is obvious. Tell us about the creatures that inhabit the "A New World" universe. What makes them different and what traits do they share with "Romero-esque" Zombie? Do you consider you creations to be "zombies or infected?"

I try not to let any media or other books interfere with the story as I have it running. I try to keep the story line pure in its own essence. I do admit that I watch shows, the news, and read books in a different manner since writing though.

The creatures in “A New World” are not actually zombies as they didn’t die and come back to life. They are a genetically altered species that enables them to see better in the dark, hear better, run faster, are stronger and more agile. Their limitation is that they can’t access their previous memories and are relegated to the level of a cunning animal. In addition, they are restricted to being able to operate outside only at night. I had to give humanity some chance. However, as you read on in the series, you will see some advancements in their abilities. I won’t spoil the plot here but there are some changes that are taking place.

The creatures are definitely more on the order of infected or rage type.


4. Jack Walker is the lead character in "A New World" universe. He seems to be a military man at heart who uses his training to help him survive this new threat to humanity. Did you base the character of Jack Walker on you or your experiences? What drives Jack Walker family, duty or survival? What are the pros and cons of developing a lead character over several books versus the one and done short story?

I have to admit I’ve thrown in some of my experiences and personality into the creation of Jack. But this story and the characters within it form themselves during the writing and I’m just as surprised by anyone else how they turn out or how they develop. I’m merely a conduit for the story. Jack is driven by protecting his family and those he considers his family. He considers those around him extensions of his family and will do anything to protect him. That’s why he feels he needs and wants to be in the forefront doing things. Plus, the way the story is written in first person, he really needs to be in order for the story to happen.

The hardest part about writing a series is keeping the storyline interesting and fresh. It’s too easy to fall into doing the same thing over and over again and the reader will become bored reading about basically the same event. Over a longer stretch of books, the story needs to dive into more in-depth perspective of the lead character(s). However, this also leads the reader to become more attached to the character(s).

5. Take us inside book one "A New World: Chaos." When did you initially come up with the idea that became "A New World?" How does it start and where does our lead character first encounter "the dead?" Give us a glimpse into your version of the apocalypse.

I’ve had the story playing in my head for years and the books are a culmination of the various stories. So you might say that “A New World” has been years and years in the making.

It starts with Jack realizing something isn’t right and heading off to gather his kids. A flu virus pandemic has taken place and he needs to get his kids to safety. It’s a slow start as Jack lives out in the country and so doesn’t witness things going wrong first hand. He gradually becomes aware that things are not normal but doesn’t meet the first creature until about a third of the way in. He doesn’t know what’s going on and eventually comes around to meeting others as he tries to figure it out. Without giving too much away to any first readers, the apocalypse is brought about by a live virus flu vaccine that is hurried into production. This leads to a 70% mortality rate worldwide with another almost 30% becoming genetically altered leaving a scant 1% with immunity. The world doesn’t burn or explode but is left basically empty overnight. There aren’t traffic jams or burning buildings. The infrastructure is intact but with barely no one around except for a few survivors and a horde of night runners.

6. Take me and the readers John on a journey from book two "A New World: Return" to book five "A New World: Awakening." What amount of time in generally passes from the end of a book to the beginning of the next in the story? Did you always have a goal of a multiple book series or was it an ongoing development or was it driven by reader demand?

Book two covers the return of Jack and his kids with a small group of survivors from Kuwait. They have to build a sanctuary against the night runners hunting at night and plan for their long-term survival. The group searches for other survivors and scrounges for supplies having to go within night runner lairs in order to do so. They also come up against bandits and marauders who are only out for themselves.

The timeline so far from Book one to book five covers about four months of their survival. Each book picks up exactly where the last left off with regards to the timeline. I initially thought the story would be told in three books but the storyline took off once I started writing. It now looks like it will take nine or ten books to tell the story completely. That may change as I continue to write on this series.

7. What was different about book one and book six as it relates to publishing ? Did you use createspace exclusively to bring "A New World" to market? Would you say "self publication" is your preferred method of publication? What advice can you offer prospective "authors" on "self publication?"

There actually hasn’t been any difference in the publication of any of the books. I use Kindle Direct Publishing for the Amazon eBook market, CreateSpace for the print publishing, and Smashwords for the other eBook markets (i.e. Kobo, Sony, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, etc.). So far I prefer self-publication. I enjoy having my own rights, the royalties are better, and I edit and can republish if I want. The deadlines are the ones I make and have complete creative control. But that is the best for me and others may feel differently. The traditional route does offer other advantages. Being a self-published author means I do everything including marketing. It’s quite the full-time job but one I absolutely enjoy.

The best advice I can give others is to write your story and get it out there. Make sure the cover and editing are done professionally. That will definitely go a long ways towards readership.

8. What is on the deck for John O'Brien and the "A New World" series? Any plans to branch out to other genres? What does the future hold for your fans.

Well, I’m about to start on the sixth book. The series itself will stretch into nine or ten depending on where the story goes. I’m hoping to complete the series by the end of next year and have several others in mind for afterwards. I’m not sure I’ll branch into other genres at the moment but do have a couple of stories in mind for outside of the horror genre.

9. Where can readers get in touch and keep up with John O'Brien?! What social media networks can we find you on? Can you give my  readers links to your Amazon and Createspace works or pages?

I’m usually on Facebook for the most part. I have a twitter account as well but I have found most of my time is spent on Facebook.


Amazon author page: 


Web site:


10. When you’re not enjoying leisure activities, publishing works or earning your keep. Who are you a fan of in the zombie and horror genres? What was your most recent reader, who was it by and give us your thoughts on where the "zombie genre" is headed.

I have to say that I’m a big fan of Mark Tufo’s Zombie Fallout series. I also enjoyed the “Yesterday’s Gone” series. Right now I’m reading “The Redaction” series by Linda Andrews. All great reads as are so many more. The realm of self-publishing has brought about many great authors – Armand Rosamilia for one.

I think the Zombie genre has barely scratched at the potential. Where before it was basically a niche genre, the popularity of it has exploded across the world bringing even more talent into the genre. I think it is one of the quickest rising genres around and will continue to do so.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

John McCuaig bringing culture to the undead in the U.K.

Now back to business with a rather unique gentlemen John McCuaig. Hailing from across the pond in the U.K. he's a die hard zombie loving fanatic. He allowed me the privilege of previewing a piece of his work. I was immediately impressed and my first thought after finishing Last Train to Dover (Escape From Dead City). Was I have to interview this chap!

1. Bring John McCuaig into focus for my readers. What gives you personal inspiration and what hobbies do you indulge in that doesn't involve writing and the dead?

First of all, thanks for inviting me along, Jamal. My inspiration comes from a deep rooted fear of zombies, its so bad I struggle to sleep after watching some movies or reading particular scenes in books. Several times Ive woke the house up with my screaming nightmares as Im eaten alive inside some derelict old house. My missus thinks Im mad for writing about them as well, I guess she may well have a point.Well, I love to walk my unbelievably daft dogs, Tyler and Molly, brother and sister Dalmatians. We do about an hours walk every night, come rain or shine, and I also find its good that my partner Pam and I can have a bit of time together to just chat away without too many distractions.

2. John what genres have you penned stories in? What is your preferred topic? Have your anthology submissions crossed genres or have you stuck with zombies as your go to?

With my short stories Ive dabbled in most genres of horror from vampires, werewolves and sea monsters to ghosts and evil spirits. Ive even done a little bit of sci-fi and a so far unpublished supernatural crime thriller, but zombies have always been, and will probably stay, my first love.

3. How do you take your zombies traditional Night of The Living Dead or something more non conventional? What are your feelings on the recent explosion in zombie stories from authors in U.K.? Living in London what do you see in the zombie culture on your side of the pond?

I much prefer the slow, shambling type of zombies but have no real problem with the faster type, I just dont see how they can move that fast while rotting away. If they are to be fast then I prefer them to be infected, like in 28 Days Later, rather than re-animated.
The rise in UK based zombie stories has been a pleasant surprise. Whether that is a bit of social commentary with regards to the recession, or just us UK authors wanting to put our own take on proceedings Im not too sure, but either way, bring them on. Although Escape from Dead City is not a great example of this point I think there is also the obvious lack of weapons over here. You cant pop over to your cupboard and grab a few machine guns and set about them. Taking on the hordes with just a chunk of wood is certainly a little bit more scary.

4. When I first read you work "Escape from Dead City" it was titled "The Last Train to Dover." Obviously there was a change in title was this something you wanted to do or was this an idea from your publisher? How do you maintain "artistic" control over your work and not compromise the vision you had for your work?

The idea came from the publisher but it was only a recommendation, they said I could keep it but felt that it needed something more “generic” to make it stand out. I asked a few friends for advice and went through dozens of options until I decided on this one. Im sure there would have been no real issue if I wanted to keep Last Train. I must however admit that it was a pretty tough decision, but the right one I believe.
I think keeping your vision is paramount but you must also be able to take some advice, or at the very least listen to it before deciding.

5. I have seen your stories appear in stand alone novels and in novel/novella format with your name in the marquee spot. What is your preference if you have one? I know we all love to see our names take top billing but what are the difficulties versus the rewards of writing a quick short and a full novel length novel?

I prefer novels to be honest but its time to take a break for a while. I want to do another short story collection. Ive done one already, “Children of the Plague” thats out on Amazon, and feel ready to have a go at another. Novels can be pretty draining, if you are stuck you have to break your way through, get stuck on a short- just work on another until you are ready. The freedom of shorts seems more than appealing for the next few months. It will be horror but my thinking at this time is a max of one or two from each sub genre. That may be a bit too varied for some peoples tastes but thats the plan for now. Or I could just revert to type and do all zombie!

6. I had the privilege of previewing Escape From Dead City and thoroughly enjoyed it. One can see you knowledge of the railway system at play through out the story. Take us through Escape From Dead City John from concept to publication. How does one pen a story that take us from the streets of the U.K. to the coast of France and beyond?

For my sins I do work on the railways, for the last 23 years actually, and to think I only joined them until I found another job! Living in a large city like London I often wondered how I would try and escape when the undead come. A few hundred tonnes of metal flying along at 100mph seemed as good a way as any, and something that others would think of as well. From that start it was getting some characters together with the need, and the knowledge, to try and get aboard.

I write my stories a little bit different than most people. I start off with about 8-10 chapter headings, this acts as a very rough outline, usually without an ending, then I jump backwards and forwards trying to build the story. I might do 500 words on chapter one, then a thousand on chapter eight and back to chapter five for a while. The story changes all the time, I add some chapters and completely delete others, and in next to no time it bares little resemblance to what I started with. The jaunt over to France felt like the next natural step when trying to escape the hordes, I try to put myself in situations and ask “what would I do next?” Which is a bit strange, as I know if the dead did rise all I would do is have a heart attack. I contacted Severed Press and asked them if they would like to have a look at it, I had just signed the contract for Metahorde, they did and within a couple of weeks agreed to publish it as well. I think from the first e-mail to it actually being published was only about two months or so, far quicker than normal.

7. Now for your latest work of literary art "Meta-horde: A Ministry of Zombie Novel." Tell me how "Meta-horde" differs from your others works? Have you taken the concept of the living dead and thrown caution to the wind? What elements come together to make "Meta-horde" unique?

First of all its a collab novel with Sean Page. We get on very well, now thats a must but we could also throw ideas backwards and forwards without any fear. Sean had wrote a fair bit about the Metahorde in his previous work so that was his idea but most of the rest was a combined effort. I honestly cant remember much that wasnt a joint decision after a bit of a brain storming session. This type of project isnt for everyone Im sure, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

The story is set a few years after the rising, and although this has been done before we believe weve taken a fresh look at what could happen if the zombies food ran out- all that was left was safe and sound behind strong defences. Would the undead act any differently? Would their basic instincts change to start to form together in unimaginably high numbers? All through natural history we have seen even the most basic of creatures learn to adapt, this is not through intelligence as we know it but through the greatest need of all- the will to survive.

I also believe this is a good old fashioned “ripping yarn”, the action flies along as we take a jaunt to camps in Croatia, France, Italy, the U.K and China to name just a few. Different groups have different ideas on survival and would they actually care for anyone else out there, living maybe hundreds of miles away? Were really pleased with the end product and hope our readers are too.

"A visceral gore fest done right. The constant tension and suspense leaves you gritting your teeth. I loved it. My kind of read."

- P. A. Douglas, author of Epidemic of the Undead

"Metahorde grips you from the beginning, dragging you through the doomed trenches of the gathering undead. It's exciting and terrifying -- humanity doesn't stand a chance."

 - Rebecca Besser, Author of Undead Drive-Thru and Nurse Blood

8. What is on the horizon from you John? What works and projects can we expect and give us a general idea as to how long we will have to wait?

I have two other novels off at publishers, just waiting now to hear the yah or nay-
Pyramid of the Dead- A play on the historic event of how a few hundred Spanish Conquistadors managed to bring down the strongest Empire of that time- the Incans. This has sort of zombies in it, the undead are up and on the hunt but rather than some virus they are controlled by a God from the Underworld. Its a tale of greed and betrayal, of black magic and faith.

Fallen Angel- A first for me, this is a paranormal/crime thriller. All over London priests are being butchered and churches destroyed. A cop and a church envy work together and discover that one of Satans Fallen Angels is trying to return to earth.
As soon as I get word on them Ill announce it on my blog.

9. John tell me and everyone else where your fans gather? Where can we find John McCuaig on the web and other social media outlets?

I have a blog-  

A website but this desperately needs updating-  www.johnmccuaig.com

Face book- John McCuaig and Twitter- @johnmccuaig

10. Other than your own work about the living dead which zombie themed works, comics, media and authors entertain John in his spare time?

I'm a big fan of Sean Page, my co-author of Metahorde, this is how we first started talking. His The Official Zombie Handbook is an amazing read where I could lose myself for hours. Timothy W. Longs Among the Living is another favourite of mine, great characters and several different takes on how to face the same rising. I read this at its original publisher before it was picked up by Permuted Press.

Still my No.1 is however Tomes of the Dead: Words of their Roaring. Not universally critically acclaimed and even featuring the unthinkable- thinking zombies but it somehow hit the perfect note for me, even after a half dozen readings its still a great way to spend a weekend.

I am also a big fan of the Resident Evil games, apart from number 5, and am looking forward to the next one. The previews and beta tests seem promising.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

10 reasons Zombie Apocalypse Preppers love The IPhone 5.

To Whom it may concern:

This list was made in fun and in jest. I in no way shape form or fashion advocate violence towards anyone (except zombies). This article is to be taken in jest as it is all tongue and cheek fun. If this article upsets anyone then either learn to take a joke or stop behaving illogically! To anyone or corporate entity who is interested in suing me. Yeah give that a shot and see how it turns out I work for a living and I'm black too!

1. The IPhone 5 allows us to judge panicked and frenzied drivers. We can watch the mistakes they make while plotting traffic choke points. Wherever you spot a traffic tie up or accident on IPhone 5 launch date is an area to avoid during the initial stages of The Zombie Apocalypse. It also gives us a glimpse into the dangers of a preoccupied driver. Apparently driving while thinking about an IPhone 5 is fairly similar to driving like a zombie. Eyes will glaze over and become cloudy as the IPhone 5 Seeker looks down at their now suddenly old and decrepit 6 week old IPhone 4. All the while plotting a course to the next possible place they believe to have them in stock. You will get mowed down if you step in front of a person driving to get an IPhone 5. There is of course very little difference when dealing with a driver who is fleeing the living dead. This is one event the Zombie Apocalypse Preppers should watch and document from a distance. For on launch day there won't be a safe stretch of road or even side walk for that matter anywhere.

2. The IPhone 5 gives us the ability to discern fact from media and news outlet speculation and misdirection. When you hear words like "rumoured" it's easily seen as a "falsity." Which when translated means "We don't know." As news outlets become desparate for facts they begin to "massage the facts." This give us in the Zombie Apocalypse community the opportunity to hone our "that's government cover-up bullshit meter!" Many people will believe what the hear and or see on the release date of the IPhone 5 and the same can be said for the Zombie Apocalypse. Clearly at some point during that day sales outlets will sell through their on hand stock and yet IPhone 5 seekers will turn to the media. "Where shall I go and who still has IPhone 5's?" Are questions that any sane person will know that by noon won't matter because the answer will be false. The same will easily be true during the initial stages of the Zombie Apocalypse. People will tune into the media for directions since they haven't prepared at all. Then they are going to blindly follow whatever they are told. Even when it's clear the media is guesstimating. People will send themselves and their loved one too their doom heading for closed down, overrun and/or non existent shelters, checkpoints and safe zones. They call television "the idiot box" and guess what they call those who believe everything the see on t.v.? Answer "idiots!"

3. The IPhone 5 will allow us to gauge our abilities to deal with unruly crowds of survivors. You're in a protected zone secured by military or government forces. They make make food or medical deliveries and the only thing that separates you and your family from food or medicine. Is your ability to manhandle an unruly mob of people. They press forward packed in tightly jostling back and forth. There's yelling screaming, fighting and its not even 7am yet. The only way you can experience this phenomenon is to work for someone who sales IPhone 5's live in a third world country where food is airdropped in. This is no place for a child. During the Zombie Apocalypse basic human decency and morals disappear. Now magnify that by ten for launching the IPhone 5. You will have to deal with these people some of whom will be bulies while others will be manipulative. Their sole goal is to get what they want while depriving you and yours of what you need.

4. Another benefit of the iPhone 5 launch that will help us Zombie Apocalypse Preppers with is outdoor survival. It's expected that when the dead rise we will be forced to leave the comforts of home and live off the land. Moving from place to place setting up shop before fleeing ahead of the horde. To put this theory and skills to the test. Sleep on the sidewalk in front of a suburban strip like homeless person. Better yet prove you have some sanity and watch it from a distance. Catalog what the pros and cons of the situation are. Pro you might get an IPhone 5. Con you might get robbed. Pro you can rest after a day of being pursued by zombies. Con you might get eaten alive before you even know you are in danger. No sane human being should ever voluntarily leave the safety of shelter. If you are forced to leave your safe haven you shouldn't sleep out in the open. There is no product worth the inconvience or the headache. Hell you could get on a month later and say that "I've had it since launch day!" The only person who'd know is you. So as a Zombie Apocallypse Prepper watch from a distance as those who choose to sleep in line are harassed, line jumped and pickpocketed. Now ask yourself "what would have happened if those were zombies?" They would all be eaten alive but they'd at least be well rested

5. In an odd twist of fate IPhone 5 seekers will allow us Preppers a glimpse into the minds that have lost touch with reality. Now we are all well aware of the fact that the weight of the dead rising will cause some people to loose their tedious grip on their sanity. Other than spending a day undercover in a psych ward how can we test the limits of an unhinged mind? Spend IPhone 5 launch day with someone wants to just walk into a store and pick one up at say 5pm. Listen to the disjointed logic of how they will outwit all of humanity with a plan so convoluted even a politician couldn't keep up with it. Even though all news outlets, retail stores and other shopper will have told them the IPhone 5 is all sold out. The will drive about in a self induced frenzy. This poor mentally unfit soul will go running into stores while calling other stores to check availability. They will walk right up to store employees wearing shirts that say "IPhone 5 all sold out." In 14 different languages and holding signs that read "IPhone 5 totally sold out!" Then ask "Do you have any IPhone 5's in stock?!" This feeble minded individual is a prime example of what to look for in you group or survivor compound. Preferably before they throw open the gates and run head long into a crowd of Zombies yelling "Do you have any IPhone 5's in stock!"

6. One shocking aspect the launch of the IPhone 5 will have in common with survivors of The Zombie Apocalypse is the abandonment of children. Upon it's release date millions of children will suddenly find themselves devoid of parental support. Nothing brings out the true selfishness of self preservation like the undead or a new IPhone. Parents will fins themselves so overwhelmed at the thought of not having the IPhone 5. That they will react with no consideration for their children. Many a child will awake to no parents, no breakfast, no love or care. An equal number will return home to an eerily empty adultless house. Without so much as a note saying "gone to sleep on the sidewalk to get the new IPhone 5. Love you dinner is in the fridge." IPhone 5 launch date much like the Zombie Apocalypse will test your moral character. If you see a child wandering alone confused cold and hungry. You must help them they're our future we will survive the Zombie Apocalypse and IPhone 5 but children will ensure humanities survival.

7. The IPhone 5 launch will allow us Zombie Apocalypse Preppers to test the fortification limits and strength of our fallback and primary stronghold. Here's a perfect opportunity to run a fully functional field test. Let it be known that you have several IPhone 5's for sale on launch day. Then prepare yourself for the onslaught. Lock down every entrance or exit then time the IPhone 5 zombies. Add plus thirty minutes to the time it takes them to breach your defenses. Because they are hopped up on caffine and traditional zombies move slower. You should have a general idea of the weak points in your fortifications. Continually egg them on by running about yelling "we only have two left!" This will simulate zombies who hear living humans and are driven to devour their flesh. Make no mistake though these people can be just as dangerous as actual zombies. While both groups scorch the earth before them leaving destruction and desolation in their wake. The sound of the living dead will draw other zombies from several miles around your fort. IPhone 5 seekers with one call of "They still have'em they still have'em!" Will draw their kind from hundreds of miles away. Placing you in serious jeopardy but remember it's for a good cause. If your home, office or workplace can withstand this mass of the brain dead. You will probably breeze through an attack of the living dead.

8. The IPhone 5 release date will teach us Zombie Apocalypse Preppers how long we can truly go without food. As a test of will power throughout a zombie siege. The most basic human need will drive people to and past their limits. The survivors will want to eat and in most cases be separated from food by mere feet but won't be able to reach it. They will be surrounded on all sides by zombies or IPhone 5 seekers in a test run. As we have already established these mindless hordes don't need to eat like "normal" humans. Zombies only want human flesh while IPhone 5 seekers just need a cup of over priced swill from Starbucks. So you will be tested Zombie Apocalypse Prepper. As neither group care about you and you needs. They will only see their single minded desires. How long can you stay focused and on task as hunger gnaws away at your insides? Remember one day this could be what lures you form your hiding place and into the mouths of a mass of the living dead.

9. In yet another surprising way the IPhone 5 launch can assist Zombie Apocalypse Preppers. By allowing the prepper valuable time to work on their focus their mental fortitude. This is different from the single minded drive of the undead or mindless IPhone 5 seeker. Here a prepper is allowed to test the mental strength required to survive the Zombie Apocalypse. When you're surrounded by those pesky IPhone 5 seekers yelling "I want an IPhone 5" Over and over again. You will see as a prepper it's no different than being besieged on all sides by zombies. The incessant moaning of undead flesh eaters. Could drive the unprepared and untrained survivors insane in little or no time. If you can stand your ground on IPhone 5 launch day and learn to block out the ungodly wails from the horde at your gate today. The come the Zombie Apocalypse you'll be prepared to withstand one of the most debilitating and underrated weapons that zombies posses and that is sheer never ending noise and annoyance. The only key difference here between zombies and IPhone 5 seekers is simple. Zombies leave after there is nothing left and IPhone 5 seekers do not. They always believe you are holding out on them.

10. Zombie Apocalypse Preppers will be able to hone their hand to hand combat skills during the IPhone 5 launch. Now we all know that hand to hand combat is not the ideal method for fighting the undead horde but it will be a required skill. Weather you're dispatching a zombie with a silent weapon, fighting a fellow survivor over the last can of Spam or fending off an IPhone 5 seeker. The physical process is still the same. In the case you are accosted by a lone or manageable group of IPhone 5 seekers. Substitute an umbrella for your Kantana, a heavy flashlight for your Asp baton, a walking stick or ski pole for your baseball bat and you're ready to fight. No matter what type of mindless horde you encounter this constant life like training will prove invaluable. Imagine your horror when a group of zombies encircle you after the Zombie Apocalypse. I surmise it will be no different than a group of IPhone 5 seekers surrounding you after you buy some "Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder" at Walgreens. Those mindless savages driven insane with unsatisfied IPhone 5 hunger. Will become desperate animals as the night grows long and they have found themselves without IPhone 5's. At this point anyone carrying a bag out of a store will become a potential victim. So what do you do? Throw you foot powder in one direction and then flee in the opposite direction or fight. Remember today it's a simple choice tomorrow it could be life or death. It's your move and it your training!