Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What Weapons Not to Use in a Zombie Fight by David P. King

I'm thrilled to be part of  David Powers King blog tour for the Undead Road. I bet some of you have taken those silly Q&A on Facebook that determine how long you would survive a zombie apocalypse. Well, David is going to give you a little help.

Three Weapons You Don’t Want To Use in a Zombie Apocalypse

Thanks for having me, Susan! Well guys. It’s happened. An outbreak has occurred. People left and right are turning into these flesh-eating zombies. What’s average people like us to do? To survive a zombie apocalypse, our chances are only as good as our weapons. We can try to run and hide as much as we’d like, but we’ll run into trouble soon enough. Pretty much any gun or item from a hardware store will do, but are there any seemingly good options we should avoid?

Here’s the top three weapons we shouldn’t use against zombies.

1) Lawn Mower – sure, it looked cool in the movie Dead Alive, but let’s get practical here. It’s heavy, requires gas, and it’s a bloody mess—literally. We’re just asking to get infected with all that muck potentially getting in our mouth and eyes. And it’s noisy. Same goes for chainsaws.

2) Spiked Bumper – if we have the means to go all Mad Max on the undead horde, we’d have the coolest ride in town for sure, but it will weigh our car down and eventually stop us dead, if we impaled too many of them. Plus there’s no guarantee that the zombies will die upon impact.

3) Flame Thrower – wait, what?! That’s the coolest weapon ever! True, but again, we need fuel. Depending on the zombie, it may not take them down right away. What’s worse than zombies chasing after us? Zombies chasing after us while they’re on FIRE! Plus it smells terrible.

There you have it. When zombies come to our towns, use practical methods to fight them off. You and your loved ones will thank you for it, and they likely won’t have to put you down.

Undead Road

Title: The Undead Road: My Zombie Summer: Part One
Publisher: Dashboard Books / CreateSpace
Ebook Release: January 2st, 2016
Paperback: January 26th, 2016
Cover by Steven Novak
Edited by Reece Hanzon


Nothing brings the family together like a zombie apocalypse …

Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Barnes would rather watch a zombie movie than shoot a real one, but he has no choice if his family wants to survive the end of the world. Their plan? Drive across the infected United States to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without a scratch, but their trip takes a complicated detour in the middle of Nebraska when they find Kaylynn, a girl who can handle a baseball bat better than Jeremy can hold a .45 Berretta. And when they stumble into a sanctuary, Jeremy soon learns that Kaylynn is stronger than she looks—a deadly secret lies inside her.

After the radio picks up a distress call from Kansas City about a possible cure, Jeremy’s parents go with a team to investigate. They never return. The only way to find their parents is for Jeremy and his sister Jewel to rely on a dangerous girl who might just turn on them at any moment.

And for this week only, Jan. 25-29, Undead Road is for sale on Kindle for only .99!

Praise for The Undead Road:

"For me, zombie stories are never about the killing. They're about the survivors and how people deal with the apocalypse. To this undead end, David Powers King has come up with the most original spin on zombies I've ever read." - Michael Offutt, author of Slipstream and Oculus

Contest Details:

Visit and leave and comment and/or tweet about The Undead Road (at least once) for a chance to win a free ebook. One out of every 10 comments and tweets is a winner! Use the Twitter Button below to ensure the author will see your tweet. Thank you!

 Twitter Button HTML:

If the HTML doesn’t work for some reason (it won’t for me), please post this text:

"Nothing brings the family together like a #zombie #apocalypse..." #scifi #horror .99 cent #kindle! @DavidPowersKing

Blog tour hosts:

Alex Cavanaugh         Jan 25th
Donna Hole                 Jan 25th
Chemist Ken               Jan 26th
Elana Johnson             Jan 26th
Nick Wilford               Jan 26th
Susan Gourley             Jan 27th
Tara Tyler                    Jan 27th
Kristin Smith               Jan 27th
Lidy Wilks                  Jan 28th
Elizabeth Seckman      Jan 28th
M.J. Fifield                 Jan 29th
Michael de Gesu         Jan 29th

About the Author:

David Powers King was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to be a writer. He is the co-author of the YA fantasy novel WOVEN, published by Scholastic. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He currently lives deep in the mountain West with his wife and three children.

What weapons might you use to fight zombies? The three feet of snow we have might slow them down today but it would slow down my escape too. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

It's Back!

It is time. Today the sign ups for the annual A to Z Blogging Challenge are open. I'm writing this well ahead of time as I fear the winter storm hitting us this weekend might knock out the power. By the time you read this, I hopefully will have my name on the list. And hopefully the snowplows will have opened our roads for the second or third time as they drift shut again and again.

Last year I worked as an administrator for the Challenge and believe me, it is work. This year I've backed off and resumed my role as minion the Alex J. Cavanaugh. I'm happy to be helping in some small way but without so much stress. I'm still thinking out my theme but I'll figure it out sooner rather than later. And Alex does have a really cool minion badge for his helpers to display.

Speaking of the storm, nearly three feet before it started drifting, it was a lot of shoveling but our very kind neighbors helped us. The three feet of snow remained on the township roads for more than a day and a half after the snowfall started. Not good.

Being stuck inside gave me plenty of time to write. I managed to finally type THE END on the second book on The Galactic Outlaw series. It's a very rough first draft. I hope to finish the second before A to Z starts in April. And now I have a lot of other little things that I've ignored while in my writing cave. Time to get back out into the social world.

A little industry news. Here's a link to Publisher's Weekly article about The Hot and Cold Book Categories of 2015. Apparently, The Martian really helped the sales in the science fiction category. It seems to happy when certain mega-sellers help a category like 50 Shades of Grey did for romance and The Hunger Games did for the YA category. Who knows what the next blockbuster will be? And if you happen to write in that category it may help your own book sales.

There were some funny posts on Facebook leading into the storm. One measured the storm not in expected inches but expected bottles of wine to be consumed. We fell into the 12 cases categories.

"In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, and in water there is bacteria." Benjamin Franklin

I didn't drink 12 cases of wine.

Did you sign up for A to Z? Did the big storm hit your corner of the world? Are you writing in one of the hot or cold categories of books in 2015? Do you read in one of those genres?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy News

Barely into the new year and exciting things are happening. To read about the coolest things so far in 2016 world of writing, visit IWSG and read all about it. What is it? And a very warm and hardy welcome to Chrys Fey to the IWSG team of administrators. She's a terrific addition.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Newsletter will feature articles by industry experts, IWSG members, and administrators. There will also be a dozen links to helpful articles for writers in each edition, as well as a special Member Spotlight. Even if you're not a member of the blogging group, you'll greatly benefit from these FREE monthly newsletters.
First issue goes out on February 24!
Sign up link - :
Those who are part of the IWSG monthly blogging are already signed up.

Isn't that grand! I'm so excited to be part of this group.

Just a week from today, sign ups open up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I'm very excited for it this year even though I'll probably be in the middle of my next WIP by then. Mark the date and get up early next Monday to get your link on the list.

We're continuing to have mild weather for January though it's chilly today. My heating bill loves it and I'm getting a lot of my exercise outside instead of on the dreaded treadmill. I'm working on getting a stationery bike so I can ride while I read. I try to read at least an hour every day. If I combine biking with my hour of aerobic exercise, that will give me two hours of each. Win/Win.

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." Henry David Thoreau

My publisher has released my the first book in my Galactic Outlaws series but it is only available on their website for the first thirty days. The Outlaw's Prize can only be purchased here for the time being. Like many small presses, they're trying to make more money for me and them by cutting out the middle man. Writers don't like to talk about money, but it's a fact that it's pretty tough to make a living in this business.

Talking of this business, I went to my local B&N yesterday to do some writing without family distractions. The place was so busy! I was glad to see so many children carrying around books, disappointed to see so many adults on their phones while their kids looks at books, and glad I found a table in the Starbucks that is part of the store. The line at Starbucks was long throughout the entire two hours I was there. I'm pretty sure the cafe alone made enough to keep the bookstore open. What was disappointing was the number of people standing in line to purchase books. Zero. That was unsettling. I hope some of the parents I saw purchased those books their children were cradling.

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited." Plutarch

Are you excited about the newsletter? Are you signing up for the A to Z blogging challenge? What do you think of my bike idea to combine two important pastimes into one?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Looking Forward

The TBR List
Barreling ahead into 2016, I have a stack of books on my TBR shelf. My daughter has insisted I read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I'm surprised she liked it because it sounds pretty dark. I also read the first book in a steampunk series by Julia Knight. The Duelists Trilogy starts off with Swords and Scoundrels. It is the tale of a brother and sister, both flawed emotionally but very talented with a sword. The first book was fun and I look forward to the next two. I like how Orbit often puts out fantasy series by publishing one book per month instead of having to wait a year in between.

Our first measurable snow arrived last night. Quite a change from last year when we were buried in the white stuff. It was less than half an inch but enough to make the roads really slick. Not having any snow cover when the temperatures get really low can kill shrubs and perennials so I hope the temperatures stay warm or we do get a little more snow. Never expected to say that after last year.

Fun Fact from The Old Farmer's Almanac:
Walking a mile through 6 inches of snow is the same as walking 2 miles on bare ground.

My daughter went back to Boston to start her last semester at college on Monday. She left a week early to start an internship with a refugee resettlement nonprofit. Her heart is as wonderful as her GPA. But I miss her. This was our last winter break when she had no responsibilities and we could stay up late watching movies, eating popcorn and drinking wine. I do want her to get a job as soon as she graduates but it all went by so quickly. This purple desk chair is the one she would pull up to my writing desk so we could work side by side. It's unlikely we'll do that anymore but I'm keeping the chair in the room. Just in case.

My big wooden rocking chair usually sits on my front porch where I read and sometimes write and blog. I love it too much to leave it outside so I always drag it inside for the winter. It makes a comfortable seat on the porch but not so much inside for some reason. Probably because I have cushioned seats not far away. But I do miss those evenings on the porch at this time of year.

Happy Birthday, Ben
Benjamin Franklin's birthday is coming up this Sunday and it is the time of year we all dread. Tax time. Being self-employed, my husband and I suffer the double whammy of complicated filing and paying in beyond what was already deducted. Sigh....

"In the world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Benjamin Franklin

Any book series you're looking forward to this year? Do you like walking through snow or are you more into the joy of shoveling it? Do you do your own taxes?

Monday, January 11, 2016

5 Minute Industry News

I'm always so busy writing, reading or a thousand other things that I groan when I see an interesting article about the writing industry. I know I should take the time to read it but so often I don't. But when a blogger or publication whittles it down to short, easily digestible facts, I pay attention.

Industry News
I heard Jane Friedman speak at last years Pennwriters Conference. She shared some great ideas about social media and Twitter in particular. Late in December, she made a short list of 5 Industry Issues for Authors in 2016. It's very interesting and will only take a few minutes to click over there and read. I also recommend signing up for her newsletter.

I saw another little statistic in a recent Writer's Digest about the decline of traditional newspapers. So many of us get our news online, there's no reason to wait for or pay for a print paper. Actual full-time journalists jobs have been nearly halved in the last twenty years. Our local paper used to be published seven days a week with a big, thick Sunday edition with all the ads and coupons. They cut back to two days per week and Sunday a few years ago. All the news in the paper is old if you bother to turn your computer or TV on the day or hour before you see the paper. The first writing conference I went to, there were a number of journalists attending. I haven't met any since. It really is a dying career though someone is writing those news items I read online.

I mentioned I did receive a few book gift cards for Christmas, but the coolest gifts I received were those little things my children picked out because they know what kinds of things I like. My daughter gave me the Captain Hook magnet and the dagger-shaped thumb drive for my birthday. My son and his girlfriend gave me The Rocketeer comic book and The Phantom Funko Pop. The little magnet is a prize from my local writers group for finishing the 50/50 challenge last fall. Our president designs them. Fun times. And all these goodies are surrounding my desk.

Make sure you stop by IWSG today and learn something about submitting to anthologies. If you write short stories, you probably want to read this.

Looking back on 2016, more than a few people I know didn't have a great year with many disappointments along the way. This is for them.

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." Woody Allen

Did any of the industry news surprise you? Did you have anything on your desk cooler than my goodies? Do you submit to anthologies? Do you ever read a newspaper made from dead trees?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG: 2016 #1

Insecure Writer's Support Group, started by the intrepid Alex J. Cavanaugh, is pleased to start out the new year by announcing the winners of the short story anthology contest the group ran in the fall. Please visit the IWSG site to find the winners.

My admiration and amazement for the members of this group has climbed higher than it has always been. The stories submitted were wonderful. There is so much talent among the IWSG that I'm wondering if we really should think about dropping the 'insecure' part. Talent and terrific writing abounds. I wish the book was big enough to include all the entries. If you're not already a member of this dynamic and diverse group, joining would be a great way to start 2016.

Co-hosts for January's IWSG blog hop are:

I'm sure many people for their post today are taking about their plans and goals for the next year or the next few months. And all of us will be searching for inspiration or new ways to keep the writing bug active. I've been doing really well with my determination to write every day. But to create words every day, a writer needs that flow of creativity.

Good plotting is one way to keep the words spilling forth. I'm lining up a guest for IWSG who is excellent at plotting. I can't even comprehend how fast this man writes as he produces novel after excellent novel. And he's going to share his methods with us.

I have an excellent office to write in but sometimes I need a change of scenery. A bit of advice I saw in a writing magazine recently suggested getting out of the house or office. This really does work for me. In the small down near me, a small tea/coffee shop opened up. A great, quiet little place to write with no of the distractions of home. There's also a two Starbucks less than fifteen minutes away and the cafe at the BAM is nearby also.

On the more personal news, I still haven't bought a 2016 calendar for on the wall. My husband just can't do without it. I keep forgetting because I so seldom look at it. I'm thinking they're on sale now but if I don't go soon I might have trouble finding one with numbers big enough for him to see.

I already spent some of my Christmas bounty. My B&N gift card is used but I still have some Amazon gifts to use. There are so many books I want that it's difficult to chose. My daughter and I recently discussed the writing of one of our favorite fantasy writers, Patrick Rothfuss. His use of words paint pictures and evoke emotions in every scene. I want to write like that in 2016.

"The difference between the almost right word and the right words is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." Mark Twain

Have you checked out the winners on IWSG? Does a change of scenery help you write better or faster? Did you get some gift cards for Christmas? Did you buy a 2016 wall calendar or do you rely only on your electronic calendars?

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016, Ready or Not

Last Thursday afternoon, I cleaned my writing desk off. I thought it would be great to start the new year with all those little things completed I'd let pile up like I always do when I'm in the middle of writing a new book. As I look at it this morning, more little piles have grown. Examples are my tax folders, 2015 deductions and incomes to be added, and the new 2016 to be created. Some secretarial work for one of my writers' groups and a short list of other things. So despite the 'clean' start to 2016, I'm kind of just where I left off on 2015. And that's okay.

I didn't finish the novel I'm working on by the end of the year like I wanted to, but I'm close. And I feel good how it's going and know it won't be long. And I'm going to clean the mess off my desk again, starting as soon as I finish writing this post.

"The secret of getting ahead is to get started." Mark Twain.

I'm sure most writers are thinking about setting goals for the year and that will be the subject of their first posts of the year. I mentioned many times that I'm more about making plans than setting any goals. And I do have plans and I'll share them on Wednesday. Why Wednesday? The first Wednesday of 2016 means IWSG! And it's a special day because the winners of the short story anthology will be announced. That's pretty exciting.

My plans including writing a lot and writing nearly every day. Other things will take up my writing time like blogging, promotion and other social media things writers have to do. But putting words together to tell a tale is my plan for 2016.

"Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life." Lawrence Kasdan

Many of you know that two of the small presses who had contracted my books closed last year. They are the first and many other publishers are struggling. Here's a link announcing the closing of another small press, Amber Quill, who have been around for a long time. They've been known for the professionalism and successes. I'm afraid of what the new year will bring down on the small presses working so hard to survive.

Cold  and flu season is upon us so remember to wash your hands and drink plenty of fluids. Stay home from work of you're sick and if you can, avoid the people who are ill. You know I'm a fan of The Old Farmer's Almanac so here's some advice for them on how to cure a cold.
Swallow a spider.  (I'd rather have a cold)
Stand on your head underwater. 

Question of the month from Michael G. D'Agostino at A Life Examined:
What New Year's resolutions have you set in the past?
I don't set resolutions but as I've said many times, I make plans. So many people don't keep their resolutions though I believe sticking with a good habit for a few weeks is better than not even trying so I admire people who try.

Are you ready for 2016? What is the craziest or most effective advice you're heard for curing a cold or the flu? Does the future of publishing in general and small presses in particular worry you?