Zombie Book of the Month founder, Shaun Phelps, Kyle Krll and Dominique Divine have finally (seriously, it's been coming for like a year!) released their zombie novella! Hurray!
Shaun Phelps, MS, LMCH, CWCM, S.A.C. Dip. (Grief and Bereavement Counselling)
Shaun is a Licensed Mental Health counselor, psychology professor, and parenting instructor. He has a large variety of credentials including a specialization in anger and trauma, and over 8 years of experience working in the fields of child welfare, domestic violence, substance abuse, and parenting. He received a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Counseling (Clinical Mental Health) from Troy University and finished the coursework for a PhD in General Educational Psychology with Walden University. Shaun has been published in the professional field for his work in Parenting, and was previously released in Hunger Pangs: Dark Confessions
So, tell us a little bit about yourselves, what you do when not writing, and drawing graphic zombie horror!
Shaun: I work, NON-STOP! I am a Licensed Mental Health Counsellor. I work under the Department of Defence with military children; I am an adjunct professor at the local State College teaching Psychology; I teach parenting to incoming foster parents, help therapeutic foster parents deal with special issues, and do intakes and confidential employee counselling. I’m also a single parent. Oh, and I’ve been recording ambient and noise for the last 10 years—abstract sounds you’d hear in your most unpleasant horror movies (Flat Affect, Bastard Child), and I run an international DIY music label. AND I run the Zombie Book of the Month Club (as CEO, my admin “run” the club!!!), and I like to sleep sometimes!
Kyle: When I'm not making ends meet, I'm usually plotting the next project. Whether it be movies, music, or writing. The circus upstairs never really winds down for me. Life is a bizarre journey and everyday is a new land to discover.
Dominque: (This part has been filled in by Shaun) When asked this question Dominique smiled broadly, rubbed her chin, and scanned the room from side to side until it became too awkward to wait for an answer.
Stalker links: (website/FB/Twitter/Amazon author page/Goodreads etc)
Shaun and Kyle’s collective project website is http://snuffbunnies.weebly.com/
Shaun Phelps links:
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
Zombie Book Of The Month Club Facebook Page
Band Page (Horribly Out Of Date)
Dominique Divine’s Artist Webpage
Zombie Stories for People with Short Attention Spans
Blurb or brief run down in your own words:
Kyle: This novella was a mixed concept. Edgar Allen Poe’s statement about short stories and how they should be completed within one sitting, society’s declining attention spans, and a drunken challenge between Kyle and myself. We were to provide each other with a one word challenge, 1k minimum/maximum word story response. The idea was to flesh out a story as fully as possible without overwhelming the attention span of our prospective audience.
Release date: TODAY! January 22nd 2015
Shaun: We were originally hoping for a 2014 release, however due to reasons out of our control it's taken longer than we expected.
Claire: Anything in particular that you want to say about it? Where did you get the inspiration from? Favourite characters? Tell us something unusual.
Kyle: Mr. Phelps challenged me to a zombie-writing dual, in which each person assigned the other one-thousand-or-more words on whatever title or object given to them. Initially I wasn't so sure how it would go, but it turned out to be pretty fun and a rather unique way of getting something wonderful done. Of course I don't really see it as a 'challenge' as so much a meeting of creative (zombie loving) minds. Decaying minds rot alike.
Some of these characters had been resonating in my head awhile, I'm pretty sure. Maybe even one or two I had written about in the past.
Shaun: I just wanted to point out that initially our challenges were pleasant, and then as the challenges progressed and our attention spans were tested, we started pitching each other the most obnoxious words possible. That made for some of the most challenging and fun writing. As they say, people write what they know, and I’m a mental health counselor, so with challenges like necrophilia and herpes…Well, it was interesting. My favorite character I actually wrote into two stories, Raw Meat, and Fetus.
Dominique: My favourite story was “Dogshit” because of the graphic detail of the shit fetish. I mean, it wasn’t the best “zombie” story, but things like that make me very happy. As for the art side, my favourite parts were done by accident. There wasn’t really a particular concept it all just fell together.
To all of you. What are you working on next and when can we expect to get our greedy little mitts on it?
Kyle: I'm currently working on a new novella of short (horror-fantasy-sci fi)stories that I'd very much like to get released. I'm also in the middle of shooting a new film project. Here's to hoping (and working) for the best!
Shaun: I’m working on a “real life” zombie novel based around all the people/characters who exist in my world, and also a secret project, which has been a long-time coming. Hopefully this project will be completed by the end of summer. I’d tell more, but then I’d have told more. Sorry. Mystery is a must on this one.
Dominique: I am working on finishing a multitude of paintings and building my portfolio.
Claire: Dominique, I know that you provided all the extraordinary artwork for the book. It is awesome by the way, and I think it gives the book a really unusual and fantastic quality to it.
Tell us a little bit more about your work? I’ve scoured your Facebook page and was left gobsmacked at your talent.
Dominique: I get a lot of inspiration from classic surrealists like Dali and Fridakhalo. A lot of people think I draw myself over and over again, much like Fridakhalo’s work reflected. I tend to draw a lot of females in distress in surreal dreamscapes. I’m also inspired by pop-surrealism like Mark Ryden and other “big eye” artists.
All of you: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Kyle: Obviously there's always the books and movies from childhood, but often times inspiration can derive from the most random, unexpected places and things. Whether it be places we visit, new and interesting people we meet, and/or inanimate objects such as spooky work tools or creepy houses.
Shaun: Most of my inspiration comes from my mental health career, research, counseling knowledge, and the childish desire to make people uncomfortable. I enjoy mixing all of those together. It’s like baking a cake with explosives or worms in it.
Dominique: Other than the influences I listed above I get a lot of my inspiration from my personal dreams which are very lucid. Shaun can tell you I often yell out or have active discussions during my sleep. My dreams are usually very vivid and colourful and go from pleasant to horrifying much faster than I’d prefer.
I’ve beta read the book, and I loved it. Certain stories turned my stomach a little bit for various reasons. One in particular put me off my dinner. I’m looking at you Kyle!
Kyle: Ha, well, glad to be of visually-gruesome service then Mrs. Riley. Some of the titles given to me left me no choice but to open up a can of foul soup, so to speak. I've always enjoyed dark, raunchy humour in horror, or any kind of fiction. I think that definitely shines through in some of these. Reality itself is so, I think we can all agree.
I guess this question goes to all of you, are there any limits on what and where you let your work take you?
Kyle: I wouldn't think so. As an artist that's blessed (or cursed!) with that constant need to create and put forth into the world, one must do as much as possible to fulfil each and every goal or dream. I think it's very important for everyone really. Everyone has something they very much desire to achieve in this existence, and wherever the crazy road takes you, follow it with a menacing ear-to-ear on your face. Within reason, anyway..
Shaun: I guess my biggest limit is my fear that someone in my local field will read my work and have me fired, haha. Ultimately, though, I write everything just as tastefully as I write them disturbing. Most of my work is more of a psychological discomfort than straight-up filth. Without meaning to I leave most of my horror up to the imagination. Maybe that makes me mysterious, maybe that makes me lazy. But I wouldn’t add or remove a single word (that my editor doesn’t recommend).
Do any of you have a favourite story in the book? If so, which one and why?
Kyle: Hm, I had fun writing each and every one. I do enjoy turning an average, everyday, 'ordinary' character or even lone weirdo into a hero of sorts in the zombie apocalypse, whether it be a janitor or tv salesman..
Shaun: I think my favorite part of this book is Dominique’s artwork. She takes a single part of each story and makes it real for me. I already mentioned my favorite character is in Raw Meat and Fetus. The picture of the zombie biting the lady and confetti flying everywhere really struck me as a good story.
Dominique: I laughed the most at Dogshit, but my favourite was Christmas, because it was so dynamic and really seemed like I was living the story from Shaun’s perspective.
Odium II The Dead Saga released in May, and I had two anthology contributions which released in August - State of Horror Illinois and Fading Hope humanity Unbound.
Limerence II The Obsession Series and Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella Part Two released in October.
I also had Odium I The Dead Saga and Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella Part One which both released in Audio books.
And 2015 is set to be another busy year. My upcoming writing schedule is INSANE! On January 15th I have my co-written book Thicker than Blood with the awesome Madeline Sheehan releasing.
In February/March I'm hoping Odium III The Dead Saga will be releasing, closely followed by Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella Part Three.
I have the full plot for Honey-Bee (though it will have a different name then) written out and ready to go, and I'm aiming to get that out in the summer as a standalone book. Honey-Bee was my short story contribution to the Fading Hope anthology, but after so many people contacting me and asking me what happened next and begging- yes, begging - I have finally agreed to write it as a full length book. I'm massively excited about this as it's my favorite short story to date and I can't wait to delve back into this apocalyptic world.
I also have a five part book series that I'm itching to get started on. I have plots and character work written out ready for this, it's a matter of finding the time for it, but I would hope to get the first installment out by the end of the year.
I have some short story contributions that I've submitted to and am waiting to hear back from, and others that I'm definitely submitting to.
I also have two new adult contemporary novels which I'm roughly 30k each into, and I'd like to finish these off and get them out to you.
In among all this I also have Odium II The Dead Saga, Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella Part Two, Limerence 1 & 2 in production already for audio books!
Now I just need to find the time to write all this awesome stuff!
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My Favorite books of 2014
I'm not going to lie, I hate doing this sort of thing. I've read around fifty books this year, all of different genres and so this is a hard list for me to write. So I'm going to put them into categories again.
FAVORITE ROMANTIC COMEDY
WORD PLAY by Amalie Silver
This book is SO damn funny, brilliantly well written and with an awesome love story wrapped up in it. It's set in the writing and blogging community and something that pretty much everyone, whether writer, reader or blogger should be able to have a little laugh at.
FAVORITE UGLY CRY
LOVING MR DANIELS by Brittainy C. Cherry
This book is a student teacher romance, which would normally make me feel all kinds of icky, yet Brittainy has written this book with so much class and sweetness it is anything but icky. It also had me crying my face off in the first chapter, and I don't cry over a book often.
FAVORITE NEW ADULT
LEAD ME NOT by A Meredith Walters
Damn this book was awesome. I mean, it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of this writer anyway, her book Reclaiming the Sand is one of the most beautiful and emotionally charged books I've ever read, but LMN just took it to a whole new level for me. She somehow always manages to make the ugly beautiful and turn my opinions of characters on their head, and I have to applaud her for that.
FAVORITE ZOMBIE HORROR
WRITING ON THE WALL by Tracy Ward
LOVE & DECAY by Rachel Higginson
I know I'm cheating here, but I can't choose between these two. They are both different in their own rights, yet also very similar. Strong female protagonists feature in them both, though the Parker brothers from L&D make me shiver in anticipation slightly more than in Tracy wards books. The world building from both of these amazingly talented writers is amazing, and I love that they use every sense available to them to put you into those worlds.
FAVORITE PARANORMAL SERIES
THE HOLY TRINITY by Madeline Sheehan
I'm still waiting on the final installment on this series, but it truly is such an awesome twist on vampires, taking them from sparkly college boys to vicious and dangerous men. There's also the fascinating gypsy world in which our characters live and the extra paranormal element that this brings. It truly is an awesome series!
IF I STAY by Gayle Forman
Though this should be an ugly cry book, for me it wasn't. I don't know why or what made it not go to that next level for me and make me cry, however I did find it one of my favorite contemporaries of the year. I thought about it for weeks afterwards, the sadness, the choices, and as soon as book 2 released I bought it.
FUCKED UP ROMANCE
THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD SERIES by Daryl Banner
Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking, this should be under zombie, but for me it isn't that sort of book. It actually fits into so many of these categories, but the one I continue to come back to is this. A f@#?ed up romance. And if you've ever read the book you'll know why. But honestly, Daryl writes so poetically that he makes my heart sing. I don't want the third book in this series to come out because I don't want it to end. Wahhhhh! :'0(
Honestly, my lists could go on. I've read so many wonderful books this year and I hope I get to read some more amazing ones in 2015.
Here's some of my Christmas highlights.
Thanks for reading book whores, let's make 2015 a good one!
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An Ill Wind
Are We Dead Yet
Belle Book Blogger
Brandy L Rivers
Charon Coin Press
Choosing Indie Over Traditional
Claire C Riley
Dead Trees 2
D J Meyers
Dying Days Origins 2
Eat Your Heart Out
Eloise J. Knapp
Eric A. Shelman
Fugitives From Northwoods
Ghost City Girl
I Heart Books
In Too Deep
Kitty In A Casket
Lets Scare Cancer To Death
Limerence Character Polls
Limerence Cover Evolution
Limerence II Mia
Limerence II:Mia Update
Limerence II Trailer
Limerence Teaser Chapter 7
Live Another Day
Love & Decay
Odium Origins II
Odium Update 1
Paranormal Book Club
Rachel A Olson
Rise Of The Fat Mogul
Robert Chazz Chute
Scott J Toney
State Of Horror: Illinois
Summer Of Zombie Blog Tour 2014
The Fall Of Bacchus
The Ghoul Ava
The Last Casket
The Last Time
The Legend Of Buddy Hero
The Next Big Thing
The Winter Girl
This Plague Of Days
Time Of Death
Time Of Death: Induction
Try Not To Burn
T W Brown
Week Of The Undead 2014
Wulf Francu Godgluck
Zombie Questionnaire Answers
Zombies Believe In You