Jamal Luckett's Amazon Page

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

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!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Union: Chapter fourteen: Panic and Confusion

Chapter fourteen: Panic and confusion

  The streets were empty but not vacant the sounds of nothing and everything were all about. In the distance the destruction of the crash and subsequent explosions played out with all the subtlety of a Hollywood movie production. Behind them nothing stirs as they scurry about attempting to find shelter in Subway restaurant neither of them had actually seen. What they truly pray for is not to be found by the hordes of flesh hungry not quite dead creatures. Zombies now own the streets of Effingham, Illinois. This little corner of the Midwest was no different than the rest of the globe. These apex predators patrol their territory in packs with and hunt with an intense hatred of the living. What good would a mere forty seven rounds in a black Glock pistol be when facing an army whose foot soldiers came in endless waves. Then there was the ornate ax forged for a vampire elder, but wielded by a human. They might as well have been naked slathered in gravy and laying on a plate. Neither man had any idea where they were running to. The small man in the stained pilots uniform Jim Rivers carries an unconscious Asian-American woman clumsily over his shoulder.

   The vast majority of their foes were headed full tilt for the accident site the noise and explosions had signaled the presences of human flesh. Robert scans nervously around while deep in his inner recesses, he cursed himself. "How could you leave her?!" he knew that he was a self preserving coward at times. Memories of the train station blitz his mind, but it only bothers him to lose what he cares for or truthfully who he cares for. Robert Berry had paid not a second thought to the fate of the Deputy he'd left behind. Had he considered his selfish actions beforehand there was a good chance that he and Val would still be with in eyesight of one another, and possibly more survivors. Now he plods through the wide open daylight city exposed for those milky eyed demons to see. "Where do we go?!" Jim emphasizes the last word harshly. They were sweating in the new found intense sunlight. Robert wishes Trevor was around to see this with a smirk. "What the fuck is so funny!" Jim was hunched over his stamina rapidly decreasing as he carries his unconscious female friend. Robert wonders if he would "ditch the woman" to "save himself." Shaking his head "he'd better because is sure as hell aint helping him!" Rob focuses back on the situation at hand.

   "We can't stay out in the open!" moving cautiously up the street. "No shit dim wit you figure that one out all........" Jim's words go unfinished. Robert grabs his jacket lapel snatching Jim to the ground in a sly quick motion they were all under a green Buick sedan holding their collective breath. The feet of the dead visible scampering past some stopping grunting like animals did they have the survivors scent? The dead were all about some moving on some choosing to scamper away. A third explosion down at the gas station the dead snarl and beat a path for the distant ruckus. All but one its left leg being drug as it was snapped at the hip. Paralyzed with fear Jim doesn't feel the ax leave his hand as he is locked in an embrace with Li. Robert moves in silence with much effort tucking the pistol away positioning the ax under the car. He looks to Jim and mouths a single phrase with no audible words "we go the other way if you don't move I will leave you!" A curt nod of the head and Jim agrees to the terms of the deal. From under the car the smell of motor oil and burning human matter mix. Clutching the battle axe tightly choking up his grip Robert lashes out catching the limping cadaver’s good foot yanking hard. As the dead woman goes sprawling to the pavement Robert rolls from under the car. In the blink of an eye he is up parting the vile once human’s skull with the bladed weapon. It was the small miracles that people still alive thanked God for these in days. Killing one zombie at a time and going undiscovered. As the jury was still out on the big blessing because living another day fleeing in terror from the hungry mouth of your two year old was rather tiresome and gut wrenching foul. In his peripheral vision Robert caught sight of the approaching mummified doctor before it did him. This split second head start placed the ax head in the abominations mouth removing the top of its head with a home run swing. A fraction of a second ahead of a screech that would have alerted is pack mates. "Lets go!" urging Jim Rivers on as he pulls Li from under the car "fuck you.......not leaving her!" Rob hops from sidewalk to the street looking the way the dead had gone as Jim came around the car Li now placed lovingly back on his shoulder. They move in unsteady strides to a corner at the end of the wide main street in the small truck stop city. They turn the corner far to fast the sounds of footfalls echoing from down the block playing tricks on their ears in the early day’s heat. The stark reality that he should be looking where he's going and not where he came from caresses Robert Berry's uncaring mind to late. Spinning pulling the pistol he's faces ten numb individuals who have the same awaking to late as well.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ring Side with The Zombie Bloodfighter himself Bowie Ibarra

Have you ever heard the expression "You don't mess with Texas?" Well tonight I talk with a Texan who backs up that creed with an extreme love of bare knuckled entertainment. Bowie Ibarra is Texas born and breed and he writes with the same combative edge as he lives.
1. What's typical for Bowie when you are not speaking ill of the dead? How did you translate you acting and theater experiences into your writing?

-- Man, when I'm not writing, I'm working. And when I'm not working, I'm writing.

-- Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. But the truth is when I'm not doing either of those, I'm spending time with my daughter.

-- As for the acting experiences, its brought me a lot. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a Masters in Theatre History. And I can say with absolute certainty that apart from understanding character motivation, the biggest gift my theater training bestowed on my writing is the dramatic structure. It's the heart by all great stories are told, and I use it to its full effect in my stories.

2. You have to be the biggest fight fan I know Bowie. Tell me how you take your poisons. Explain to us your love for The UFC and Wrestling. Who is you favorite fighter and wrestler? What do you think about Brock Lesnar returning to the WWE?

-- I absolutely LOVE all combat sports, bar none. It started with growing up with an appreciation for western boxing. I also thought Bruce Lee was the man. And pro-wrestling was a big part of my life. Being a Texan in the '80s, it was all about the von Erichs.

Pro-wrestling is really a release for me. A catharsis. I don't have to be nice. I can be mean to people. I can watch a match play out and let my inner anger and frustrations out at the people in the ring and how they made me feel. They are symbolic representations of our lives. Good vs. Evil. You ever want to cheer for the good guy? Support a pretty girl or call names at a mean girl? Call a douchebag out for being a douchebag. You can do it at a live pro-wrestling show.

So this love of boxing, kung fu, and pro-wrestling immediately provided an appreciation for the colorful Capcom game, Street Fighter. I first learned how to use Chun Li because of her kung-fu-style (and those legs! Yum!). Then it was Zangief, because he German Suplexed and Power Bombed motherfuckers. Eventually, I mastered them all.

Even to this day, people don't know how to handle me when I play them with Zangief, and I take great joy in throwing their characters around. Especially Ken. I hate that sonovabitch.

-- So when UFC II came out on VHS at the local video store, I immediately fell in love and have followed it ever since. This was truly street fighter come to life!

-- I have a huge list of favorite fighters:
Boxing - Mike Tyson, Pacquiao, Marquez, DeLaHoya, John Sullivan (old school), Ali, Foreman. The list goes on and on.

Pro-Wrestling: Believe it or not, 'The Red Rooster' Terry Taylor was the first wrestler I ever followed. What a mistake that was. But since then, easily Mil Mascaras, Santo, Dr. Wagner, Jr., Black Tiger 1 and 2, Tiger Mask 1, Kenta Kobashi, the late Mitsuhara Misawa, David von Erich, Missing Link, Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen (esp. Arn Anderson), Bryan Danielson. It's a huge list.

MMA - Gerard Gordeu, Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Bas Rutten, Ken and Frank Shamrock, Cung Li. Just another long list.

-- Brock needs a revenue source, so I'm okay with him coming back to WWE. It adds a great intense element to the show.

3. Speaking of your love of fighting. In "Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire" your fight scenes leave the reader almost punch drunk. Is it easier to write realistically about a subject you are well versed in? What finally spurred you to put you desire to write with your love of fighting. Any plans to revisit the world of "Pit Fighters" again?

-- It's very easy to write about fighting. Like any art form, and even life, when you approach it with love and great passion and without fear, its easy. When you love something, its easy to write about. In fact, all you want to do is write or talk about it, give it attention, you know?

-- There is a 'Pit Fighters; Double Cross' that has been completed. But to tell a ZBF.com secret, I'm doing some realignment of some past books into the ZBF.com library. Once those are back in order, you can soon expect more combat sport-themed books from ZombieBloodFights.com. My time table is to have all things sorted by January 2013.

4. I loved "Down the road: A Zombie Horror Story" first and foremost. Going back to the beginning with your first book "Down The Road.", which is now available from Simon and Schuster. What were the challenges of "Self Publishing?" Eventually "Down the Road" was picked up by Permuted Press. How did that plant the seeds for "The Down The Road" trilogy or was it what you had always envisioned?

-- The first challenge? Money. When I self-published, I think I put close to a grand down. It was up to me to make that money back. And I've certainly made it back in spades.

-- There was no real plan for a trilogy. But that's how it turned out, and I think it all played out well.

-- Romero. George A. Romero and his classic 'Night of the Living Dead' is my total inspiration for writing. Apart from that sacred spark, I draw inspiration from the world around me. Moments. Situations. Stories. Real world stuff. When I hear something and it sparks an idea, that's it. Game over. I start taking notes and plan to write it. I've got one lined up to write in the near future, too, that relates to the troubles on our Mexican border with those damn drug cartels. Drug cartels and zombies, you ask? Keep an eye out for that, perhaps next year.

-- I think its fun to play with what zombies can do. I don't know if they can learn 'new tricks'. But they are unpredictable, so that's always fun to play with.

6. Tell me about "Codename: La Lechusa." The story weaves folklore in with a thrilling modern storyline and fighting. What exactly is the story behind the name La Lechusa? What gave you the idea for the story? Why make your lead character a single mother?

-- I put a lot of love into 'Codename: La Lechusa'. It's the story of a single mother who's a hard worker by day, but a government-trained assassin by night. Supernatural mystery enters the standard action story when her neighbor, who is a curandera, bestows two necklaces for her and her daughter in order to protect them from a dark cloud she predicts is coming over their trailer house.

-- It was inspired by this thirty-something single mom I know that just stole my heart and crushed it under her patent-leather heel. One night, we were talking about our lives and the way she talked about guys, her daughters, and her work was inspiring. When she mentioned she always stood up late, I told her she's like an owl. A lechusa. And immediately the super hero idea hit me and I started writing.

-- The whole book, and series if I can get it moving again, is one giant ode of love to her. She was an amazing woman. She remains only in my memory, but I've immortalized my feelings for her in the book.

7. In your most recent book "Big Cat." You take your writing and subject matter in a different direction. You take a group of geeky friends and put them up against an unknown beast. What's the back story with "Big Cat?" In "Big Cat" will we recognize "The Beast" or is it and it's lore your own creation?

-- 'Big Cat' was inspired by an episode of 'Monster Quest'. They talked of people seeing these big cats on the prairies across the US and the UK. Ranchers said horses, cows, and sheep were attacked. It's not an uncommon story in Texas. But the way it was presented on TV lit that spark of creativity.

-- The Big Cat of the title might or might not be a natural cat, but its not a big plot element of the story. The reader gets to figure that out for themselves. Future books might reveal the truth to the big cat that hunted along the banks of the Nueces River near south Texas.

8. Now give me and the readers a sneak peak. What can we look forward to from the head ZombieBlood Fighter? What is coming down the pipe for you? Can we expect zombies, fighters or something new for the fans?

-- Truth is, we're months away from the release of another zombie book. It is a book about one of the lead characters in the nationally recognized fictional z-day podcast, 'We're Alive'. It will feature the back story for 'Burt', one of the podcast's main characters.

-- I'm moving to take control of some of my books that lost their publisher, but that shouldn't take too long. My plan is to go ahead and self-publish the rest of my future works through Amazon under ZombieBloodFights.com.

-- More stories are on the way, including a reboot of the 'Pit Fighter' series and its sequel. Then, an epic ghost story, a super hero story, a lucha libre inspired zombie story, and more great books. But all of this is contingent on me first re-securing some books to me and then working with editors/amazon publishers to get my work up and running. My plan is to hit the ground running in 2013. But I'm in no rush. I've got a 'second job' to pay the bills. Writing is my first job, after all.

9. Bowie where can my readers, your new and soon to be fans find you on the Internet? From Amazon to Zombiebloodfights.com what's in between?

-- ZombieBloodFights.com is the best place to network with me. You can find my Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, GoodReads, and blog. If you like Zombies, Blood, and Fights, this is the place to be. Especially check out the YouTube page. You'll find some of the best low (no) budget trailers on the Internet. The website has the links to purchase the books on Amazon as well.

10. Bowie tell us where you see The Walking Dead going during Season 3? What are your predictions who stays, who dies and who should die? Also do you ever think Carl will learn to follow parental directions?

-- I have absolutely no idea what's going to go down. But I certainly hope it will be good.
-- As for Carl? He might be the one who dies, perhaps. We'll have to wait and see.