The next big thing – Zombie Bedtime Stories news

I’ve been thinking of my naming scheme. Back when the series was in its infancy the “Locked” theme made sense, but as I expanded the series and the ideas behind it, the limits to which I can effectively use the titles are strained. After Deadlocked, I have one more “Locked” title upcoming, but the rest are all changing. I think it gives me a bigger degree of freedom. The first three stories (The Locked Series) set the stage, and the rest of the stories build on them.

Want to know what the next three stories are?

#4: Bedlam (Formerly Lock and Load)

#5: Cabin Fever (formerly Locked Up)

#6: Inter Inferis (formerly Locked On)

Especially in the case of story #6, the Locked title wasn’t really appropriate to the story. Plus, the new ones sound way cooler.

In writing news: Deadlocked is coming along. I’m getting close to the end. For some reason, Locked Out practically wrote itself, and Deadlocked is much more challenging. I want it completed before NaNoWriMo starts, because I need to take that month off from ZBS, so I can work on something different.

Science fiction.

A new Bite Sized Zombie Story, Zombie Pride is here!

Today was either objectively terrible and great. Terrible because of circumstances entirely out of my control. Great because I had a very productive day with respect to writing.

To cheer myself up, I’ve decided to polish up my latest zombie flash fiction. (with a little help from my friends, of course – get a blog or something so I can properly credit/praise you!) My logic is, if I make somebody smile, I’ll feel good, and to quote the late (and great) Jack Layton:

“My friends: Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.” – Jack Layton

I have to say, those words really inspired me. While I may have no aspirations towards political life, I find these are words to live by. So, even though it feels like my life is falling apart, I know there is hope and I need to stay away from the trap of despair.

But you’re not here to listen to me wax poetic about Jack Layton’s philosophies, or my life. You want some zombies.

Don’t worry, I deliver. This will eventually make its way to Smashwords and Amazon, but I have no cover art as of yet.

Content Warnings: Violence (zombies), mature situations (zombies), may not be suitable for the comedically impaired.

Zombie Pride:

The steering wheel was slick with Rex Parson’s sweat. He was a stout, rotund little man. He wore oversized sunglasses that dominated the upper-half of his face. He was sweating profusely under the hot sun. He was anxious, and excited to do God’s work. He was a preacher in a small town church, and he was known for his strength of faith and conviction that homosexuality could be cured through prayer. As he drove to the city’s first annual Gay Pride parade, he felt a quiver of trepidation in his gut. The blatant immorality had to be stopped, and he was the one who was going to show those vile homosexuals that God was to be feared!

He reflected on the hours he’d spent alone at his computer, researching the complete moral degradation that was present at any Pride event. The images of the men’s perfectly toned, oiled bodies made his heart race, and he’d had trouble looking away from them. He knew the lifestyle was sin, and that it was his place to show the wrongdoers the errors of their ways before they tempted weaker souls. He’d decided to undertake this trip alone. He didn’t want to expose his congregation to this blasphemy. This was his trial, his war against the sordid abyss.

He expected the worst–a celebration of blatant carnality in defiance of God and all his laws. He knew he was the last thing that stood between the average person and acceptance of this abomination. He knew the weak-minded women and children would be easily swayed by the display of rippling, masculine perfection, and they would spread the disease of tolerance and appeasement to the rest of their population. Just as they lead Adam to sin, they would lead society to its secular downfall.

He pulled into an available parking spot about a block from the parade route. He seized his well-worn Bible from the passenger’s seat. He would don the armor of God spiritually, but physically, all he had was the Good Book. He would smite any and all who tried to force temptation upon him! He was the last pure soul.

The harsh sun glistened on his balding head. He saw a woman, her exotic costume’s wings torn and dragging behind her, running from the parade. She didn’t turn to look back. It was a clear sign from God–he was needed here to quell the rampant immortality before more minds fell under the sway of the devil.

He charged to the street corner and looked towards the awesome chaos. Bodies lay trampled in the middle of the streets, and shop windows had been smashed. The bright colors of the parade’s decor were strewn across the ground. Rex stepped over a barely-clothed man’s battered and bloody body. The man grasped at Rex’s leg and Rex kicked his arm away in revulsion as he continued towards the epicenter of the strife. He held his Bible tight against his chest, secure in the belief that God would protect him from evil.

A cacophony of terrorized screams echoed around the buildings, the sounds twisting together to become one harmonic, agonized voice. The symphony of horror was punctuated by ghoulish shrieks and howls. A bloody man wearing only black leather chaps leapt from an alleyway and raced towards Rex. “They’re coming! Run!” the man cried out breathlessly. Rex found himself distracted by the man’s powerful, intimidating physique.

“God will protect me!” Rex uttered with contempt. Clearly, this fear and chaos was divine retribution from God. There was no other explanation.

Rex began walking down the alley. He saw three figures crouched over somebody. Their backs were turned to him and they moved frantically over the fallen man. He knew this was his time. “Sinners! Repent and open your hearts to our Lord, Jesus Christ!” he shouted, speaking with a familiarity gleaned from performing so many prayer sessions for homosexual deviants. He knew exactly what they needed to hear.

The forms stirred in the distance. They turned to face him. They were all women, hair cropped short and dressed in simple jeans and white t-shirts. Under normal circumstances, Rex would have admonished them for abandoning the femininity that was demanded of them, but not this time. As they stood, they revealed the still-twitching body of a man, and they turned their faces, smeared in blood, towards him. They were coated in crimson essence from the neck-down, and it soaked through their t-shirts, which clung to their swaying breasts.

Rex took a step back; his hands trembling as they grasped his heavy Bible. He didn’t know what these demon women were, but he knew it wasn’t of God. “Jesus said:  I am the way, the –” he said, but he was cut off by their infernal howls. He froze. The sound wasn’t natural.

The women ran towards him, leaping over gruesomely disfigured bodies. He raised his Bible; it was the only object he had to defend himself with. One of them pulled ahead of the others. He swung the hefty book, hitting her in the face. She shrieked as she careened into the wall. The others were gaining ground, close behind her. Rex braced himself and readied his Bible for another smite. It had a bloody imprint on it where it hit the first woman’s face.

He swung the book with all his strength, grazing a stocky blonde-haired woman. She leapt for him and her weight knocked them both to the ground. Rex felt his head slam painfully against the pavement, and the impact knocked the wind from his lungs. As he flailed against the formidable strength of his ungodly assailant, his Bible dropped from his left hand. He felt vulnerable and unprotected for the first time in his life.

The second woman, a brunette with large brown eyes dove onto him, immediately sinking her teeth into his exposed throat. Rex tried to scream despite his painfully empty lungs, but he could not. His arms shook, but would not respond to his will. Fear overcame him as the blonde woman shoved her face into his exposed jowls as she tore the flesh from his face. He couldn’t breathe, and the taste of his own blood crept into his mouth through his ruined face. His world turned red with pain, he couldn’t help but ponder: Why has God forsaken me?

 

 

The cycle completes itself – Locked Out is done

But, it’s not here yet. I said Sept 5, and that gives me plenty of time to ruminate on its “doneness.” Plus, I want to read it out loud to myself. It’s a great way to catch stupid typos. I am of the opinion that I need to read everything I want taken seriously aloud, simply because of the proportional relationship between work importance and stupid typos.

In layman’s terms: The more important a document is, the more likely I am to, for instance, write dick instead of disk. I almost turned in a paper with that one. Glad I caught it.

Now that it’s in an almost finished condition, I’m let with the challenge of promoting it. I have some awesome friends who will be thrilled to assist, but I’d love to get some new eyes.

Some of my ideas:

  1. With the monetization of my youtube account, make a video of myself reading Chapter 1. (Yes, it’s long enough to have chapters!)
  2. Post excerpts anywhere that will take them. (This is probably also going to be chapter 1, or part of chapter 2. More would give away parts of the plot.)
  3. Try to get more publicity for both Locked In and Locked Out at once. Build on momentum, or something.
  4. Make more friends. (I’m a likeable girl, this is easy to do.)

It’s hard to call Locked Out a sequel to Locked In, because they have vastly different premises. They share a universe, and the realities are the same. I think they can be read in any order. Right now, I’m telling stories about people who are completely unprepared for the horror that awaits them.

At this time, I have a total of 15 stories planned for Zombie Bedtime Stories. The first two are written, and the third is nearing completion of its first draft. This does not count the Bite Sized Zombies stories I put out occasionally for comic relief.

Trust me, it’s going to be a wild ride. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my list, what you think of the overall premise. I’d even love to hear if you think I’ll finish the series before zombies lose their popularity. (Never!)

Still here, still working!

It’s hard to update when it feels like you’re standing still. I’ve been managing about 400 words/day on Deadlocked. I think it should pick up soon, because it’s approaching what I do best: a bloodbath (or 3, I don’t want to leave my audience unfulfilled.) I’ll just say I have a vivid imagination.

Deadlocked is challenging to write. The character is so jaded, cynical and introspective it’s like writing a villain. I’d compare him to an anti-hero. He’s challenging, complicated and deeply hurt. He wants the world to improve, but knows (even before surprise! zombies!) that it will only get worse.

I think I’ll have the draft done this week. I’m hoping for an early-October release.

I’m also working on another flash-zombie short called Zombie Pride. It continues along the theme of people who deserve to get themselves eaten by zombies in situations that are entirely their fault.

Rolling along again – some new developments

Now that I’ve cleared a backlog of projects, and become considerably more underemployed, I’m free to resume work on what really matters: my writing.

I managed to crank out 800 words on my work in progress, Deadlocked, and I like how the universe is starting to feel. The pre-apocalypse world of Zombie Bedtime Stories is already grim, and each installment adds another shade of grey to the already dark atmosphere. I’ve decided to establish that the series takes place in the not-too-distant future. It begins in June 2035. I wanted technology to be a little more advanced to make some parts of Locked Out and future story arcs more plausible, and I wanted to examine what the world would be like if it were the worst of most worlds. Admittedly, today’s world is already a pretty grim place, but not the worst case scenario by any stretch of the imagination. We also don’t have zombies, which is probably for the best.

I’ve been playing with some horror/bizarre ideas that are not zombie-based. I’m pretty excited with them. I’m contemplating a run of stories that’s based on monsters dredged out of the depths of my subconscious. I want to write something that will make the reader question not only my sanity, but their own, as well.

Cheers, friends!

The Zombie’s Bride – Now on Smashwords!

I got around to cleaning up The Zombie’s Bride, and uploaded it to Smashwords. I’m very fortunate to have a creative and dedicated cover artist. Like my covers? He’s willing to take on work.

Let’s have a look at the picture, both because I really like it, and I want a picture in here.

The Zombie's Bride cover

Isn’t it great?

So, I know you want to read it, you know you want to read it. So read it. It’s free!

I have a few more of these cooking, all featuring protagonists who deserve a zombie apocalypse on their doorstep.

Another day, another draft.

I put in about 7 hours today planning how to implement my mom’s suggestions and edits into my manuscript for Locked Out. Tomorrow I get to spend several more hours inputting it all, but I think the story is that much deeper and more enjoyable because of it.It’s also going to gain at least 1000 words, perhaps closer to 2000.

My struggle against writer’s block met with a small victory. I managed 300 words before burning out, completing the first chapter of Deadlocked. I hope I can feel more inspired tomorrow. Being behind on my arbitrary and made-up deadlines really gets on my nerves.

One thing I’ve noticed is that for every hour of writing, I spend about 3-4 hours editing. In addition to this, contrary to almost anything I’ve read is that I gain words when editing rather than paring a manuscript down. Maybe I’m just really bad at remembering what readers want to know? Locked In went from 4.1k to 6.2k, which is a huge gain.

I’m simultaneously fired and awesome, so that’s all for tonight.