Sunday, April 21, 2019

The #WolfPackAuthors Anthology: Once Upon A WolfPack

Over the past few months, I've been involved with an online writers group collectively known as the Wolfpack Authors.  We support each others writing efforts and help each other get the word out about our work.  It's great to have friends in the writing business that I can count on for good advice and support.

We've recently put together an anthology to help readers sample all of our work and help a really good cause in the process:  The Lockwood Animal Rescue Center.  LARC rescues wolves, wolf dogs, and parrots and they also offer a therapeutic environment and help for returning combat veterans. All of the profits from our anthology will be donated to benefit LARC.  Our anthology is called "Once upon a WolfPack" and it is now available for pre-sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other ebook platforms.

This awesome anthology contains stories from across many genres contributed by #WolfPack Authors including -
  • Cozy Mystery - Yuletime at Cherrywood Hall: Veronica Cline Barton 
  • Fairy Tale/ Parody - Unfairy Prosecuted:  J.W. Crawford
  • Fairy Tale - Poppy: Tia Fanning 
  • Fantasy/ Supernatural - For the Love of the Pack: Sharon Lopez 
  • Horror/ Meta horror - The Untold One: B.L. Clark
  • Horror - Frost Harbor: Alexander Pain 
  • Literary - Omega Road: Lee M. Tipton 
  • Magical Realism - An Early Snow: Andi Marchal 
  • P.I./ Detective - The Wolf: Joe Congel 
  • P.I./ Detective, Cozy Mystery - Mrs Solberg’s Problem: CW Hawes 
  • Poetry - Wolf Pack United: Angie-Marie Delsante 
  • Poetry - Welcome to the Den: Lori Katherine 
  • Romance/ Supernatural - The Soap Maker’s Mother: Christina van Deventer 
  • Science Fiction/ Military - Sacha: Jeff DeMarco 
  • Science Fiction/ Paranormal - Wolf Cry: Z Gottlieb 
  • Science Fiction/ Paranormal - Circus of the Night: Stefan Angelina McElvain 
  • Urban Fantasy - True Nature : Luna Selas 
My contribution to the anthology is a short story called "Frost Harbor."  It's a tale that brings us to the rugged coast of late 19th century Alaska aboard the U.S.S. Petrel.  The Petrel is an all steel gunboat powered by sail and steam and bristling with latest in naval guns.  But, the threat she'll face in "Frost Harbor" will test her crew and technology in ways never imagined.  I hope you'll read it, enjoy it, and help some wolves and veterans out!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Dear Jesus - A Zombie Apocalypse Short Story

Dear Lord, Dear God Almighty!

I am truly screwed. You must help me get out of this place. When I came to work today, zombies were just a weird story on the radio. But, now I am sitting here in my booth at the gas station watching the whole world collapse. Oh, the day started out normal enough. People would come in, get their gas, and go. There were a couple of broke ass bastards who couldn’t get “their cards to work.” I told them that insufficient funds tended to cause card problems. I know it wasn’t very Christian, but I wasn’t very Christian this morning.

But, Lord, I am now. If you get me through this, I won’t ever visit the strip club again. You know I only went every Friday night to help put those poor girls through college? You know that right? I wouldn’t even go if you hadn’t made those women so perfect. Seriously, Lord, that Tabitha has it going on.

Anyway this morning, work went just fine. But, starting at lunch time, the world went crazy. Everyone was filling up. Some people had their cars packed with the wife, the kids, the dog, and almost everything they owned. People bought every case of water we had. We had lines eight cars deep and stretching clear across the parking lot. One guy came to the window and bought 10 cartons of cigarettes. Since he was carrying a rifle, I didn’t ask any questions.

After he paid, he says to me: “You better get out of here. They’re coming!” 
 Since he was making me nervous, I told him, “I guess you best be going.” 

At the time, I thought I was safer behind the glass since he was openly carrying a rifle right here in this neighborhood. I mean, Lord, this isn’t a bad neighborhood. But, that guy wasn’t crazy. He was right. The ‘hood started to go downhill fast, too.

Once that crazy dude moved on, I started keeping my eyes open and looking for weird stuff from my perch in my plexiglass cage. It didn’t take long to start seeing some crazy stuff. About ten minutes later, a really messed up looking white guy came limping towards the station. He was skinny and walked with a strange limp. I noticed that his clothes were torn, ragged, and bloody. As he got closer to the station, I was shocked to see that he had a least three bullet holes in him. I don’t even know how he was still walking. I lost sight of him as he walked behind a Chevy Tahoe at pump number one.

The next thing I saw was a fat dude running from behind that pump. He shouldn’t have run. He came my way, tripped on the curb for the pump island, and went down pretty hard for a middle-aged dude. Before he could even get back to his knees, that skinny, bloody, creature was on that dude’s back. His hands dug into the man’s shirt like claws and drew lots of blood. The big man rolled and raised his arms to fend off his attacker, and that crazy dude just bit right into his arms. He bit down hard too. I mean he took out some serious flesh out with his bite! The big guy was screaming.

He didn’t scream long though. The woman on pump five calmly put her nozzle away, gots in her big Volvo SUV, started it, and ran right into both the big guy and the zombie. She pushed both of them out of her way and peel out of the lot. She was gone and she wasn’t even looking back. I was stunned. The big guy was down and bleeding out and the scrawny biter got knocked out into the parking lot. I hesitated for a moment and then I did my part: I dialed 911. And, Jesus, do you know what happened then? Nothing. The call didn’t even go through. All the circuits were busy. Who the hell contracts out their 911 service anyway?

I hung up the phone and started to go out there to help. Some lady from another pump ran over to the big guy and knelt down to apply direct pressure to his wounds. An older gentleman came sauntering over to offer his assistance and I could see some other customers were still in their cars frantically dialing 911. So, I leave out through my side door and start to come around the front.

And, Lord, do you know what I saw?

Okay, I’ll tell you. I saw the scrawny white dude--with the gunshot wounds and bumper imprint on his chest--getting up.

Lord, I’m not going to lie. I ran the hell back around the corner and got right back in this here gas station hut. The skinny bloody dude was right on my heels, too. But, I got in here and slammed the door in his face. He’s still out there. He is looking through the plexiglass now.

Oh, he took a break, he took a break to bite the old dude who came to help. He took a break to bite the lady who was helping treat the fat guy’s wounds. He took a break to bite everyone who came to help the lady. I don’t know what that guy is on. He bit everyone. Sometimes, he bit them until they were dead. It was horrible. Sometimes he ripped out their guts. Every time I looked out my window, there was blood and mayhem. But, Lord, that isn’t the worst part.

That scrawny guy and everyone he killed is standing right outside my window and right outside my door. The big fat guy is up and staring right at me. He’s bloody and looks pale, but he is up. How does that even happen? The lady and the old man who came to the fat guy’s aid are out there too. There must be two dozen dead people out there looking at me. They are waiting for me. I know they want to bite me too. I can’t even get out to the Coca-Cola cooler.

So here I am Lord. Tell me how I get out of here. They can’t get through the plexiglass and I can’t get out through my door. So what do I do? How can I escape? If you let me get out and live, I’ll start coming to church. Every Sunday. For real, this time. I mean it. I’m a good person. I work hard. Now I need you to help me.

Please, Lord, help me.


Friday, January 25, 2019

Did you find Zombie Complex

Every once in awhile, I'll leave a copy of Zombie Complex:  The Battle for Chattahoochee Run just laying out so a potential reader can find it.  I've left copies of in airports, in shopping centers, on commuter trains, and in lots of Little Free Libraries.  I always hope that these complementary copies are found, read, and enjoyed.  If you find and enjoy Zombie Complex, give me a shout on Twitter or leave a review about it on Amazon.  

A free copy of Zombie Complex awaits a reader in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

I'd hate to think that cleaning people just sweep them up and throw them away.  That would be such a waste!   If you find Zombie Complex laying out, give out a great big social media shout!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Review for Zombie Complex

One of the biggest challenges for an independent author is getting reviews.  However, they've been trickling in for Zombie Complex:  The Battle for Chattahoochee Run.  Today, I learned that Zombie Complex was reviewed by Susie of Bookworm Reviews and earned 5 out of 5 stars.  The work of book reviewers and book bloggers is especially valuable since they read plenty of books and let authors know how we are doing in comparison with others in our genre and the book universe.

I tried hard to make the characters real in Zombie Complex and the reviewer appreciated it.

Now this book shows how a real zombie apocalypse would have gone down, forget what Hollywood shows you 'Zombie Complex: The Battle for Chattahoochee Run' by Alexander Pain shows how real people try to stay alive. (Read the whole review on Bookworm Reviews.)

Of course, good reviews also pose a challenge.  They add motivation to my writing efforts and they  challenge me to keep quality high!

Reviews help Zombie Complex take off!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Hand - Flash Fiction translated into French

With all the fine translators available on the web, I was wondering what one of my flash fiction stories would look like in French.  I thought readers in France, Quebec, and in the French-speaking world might enjoy joining my zombie apocalypse.  Thus, I chose to translate my short short story, The Hand, using the free SYSTRAN translator online.  Here is the resulting fiction de zombi!

Photo by BKleinWiki [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

La Main

Quelque chose morte était au milieu de la rue.  Elle avait attiré un meurtre entier des corneilles affamées. Ils picotaient à elle, poussaient des cris perçants à l'un l'autre, et combattaient au-dessusde elle. C'était une main humaine. J'ai regardéautour pour un humain. Mais, personne j'ai vudésormais l'ajustement cette description.

J'ai combattu de retour ma bile. Je n'ai pas ditn'importe qui. Karen conduisait. Vijay était dans ledos essayant désespérément d'arrêter lesaignement de Charan. J'ai maintenu mon doigtrépertorié le long de la glissière. J'ai maintenumon museau dirigé vers le bas. Nous avons dûatteindre l'hôpital. S'il y avait toujours d'un. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Is "Zombie Complex" related to "The Walking Dead"?

As a zombie enthusiast, I often tweet about The Walking Dead.  I am an enthusiastic fan and it is my favorite television show.  However, my novel Zombie Complex is not related to The Walking Dead franchise in any way.  My novel is not fan fiction.  It is my vision of how a zombie apocalypse might affect a neighborhood much like mine.  As I think about a zombie apocalypse, I have a vision of how it starts and how it might end.

When I compare music by Cold Play and U2 or Lady Gaga and Madonna, I definitely see similarities.  I think everyone does.  So I'm certainly not going to deny the influence of TWD.  The show sparked my interest in the entire zombie genre.  My view of what zombies can do and how they might look is heavily influenced by The Walking Dead.  I have also been influenced by the classic Romero vison of zombies, World War Z, and movies like I Am Legend.    But, I really wonder what might be going on in the minds of zombies.  I've explored this topic in my short stories "Dog Walk of the Apocalypse" and "Zombie Cage."  When a dead person comes back as a zombie, I can't help but speculate what mind be going on in their brains once the blood begins to flow and the synapses begin to fire.  As an independently published author, I can also touch on themes of diversity and globalism that are scrupulously avoided on mass market television platforms.

When it comes to The Walking Dead, I don't watch season previews and I won't read the comic books.  As a fan of the television show, I want to be surprised when I watch the show.  I avoid spoilers like the plague.  I am just as excited as any other fan.  I also like elements of Fear of the Walking Dead.  However, I am at least 30+ episodes behind on watching that show.  It was interesting to see how people in California might survive.  Growing up in the South, it is hard to see how zombies could take over our region.  It is also hard to imagine how Californians would stand a chance.  But, the fun of the zombie genre is that it allows us to explore different people and different scenarios to answer those questions and more.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a Merry Christmas.  Enjoy your time with family and friends.  I'd like to share a few of the Christmas graphics that were developed by my fellow authors in my writing group:  Wolfpack Authors. 

If you are looking for something interesting to read, go to twitter and follow #WolfPackAuthors and you'll find interesting books and short stories covering everything from the apocalypse to erotica.

You really can't go wrong with anything from the pack.  Many of the authors are highlighted on the Fauph Talk Fiction

You can learn about many others on the Indies United Publishing House.  If you have time this holiday, take a break and immerse yourself in the short stories and books by my fellow Wolfpack and independent authors.

The #WolfPackAuthors Anthology: Once Upon A WolfPack

Over the past few months, I've been involved with an online writers group collectively known as the Wolfpack Authors.  We support each o...