I'm really pleased to have the sassy Rachel Aukes on the blog today, talking about her newest book 'Deadlands Harvest' the sequel to the massively popular '100 Days in Deadland.'
I'm halfway through '100 Days in Deadland' at the moment, and I can be totally honest and tell you that it's brilliant. I can't say if i'll still feel the same at the end of it, but as of right now, I would highly reccomend it. **Review to follow**
Also, 'Deadlands Harvest' is on sale for ONLY 99c/77p so there really isn't any reason not to buy it. She's even given me a little excerpt to share with you to whet your appetite, so go read...really go read it and then BUY IT!
Raxchel Aukes is the bestselling author of 100 Days in deadoland, which was named one of the best books of 2013 by Suspense Magazine and one of the best zombie books by the HUffington Post. When not writing, Rachel can be found flyingg old airoplanes and trying (not so successfullly) to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. learn more about her at WWW.RACHELAUKES.COM
About the book:
The seven deadly sins with a shambling twist.
The Bestselling Deadland Saga:
Book 1: 100 Days in Deadland: Amazon (USA) | Amazon (UK) | Barnes & Noble |
Book 2: Deadland’s Harvest: Amazon (USA) | Amazon (UK) |
Book 3: Deadland Rising: Coming Late 2014 |
It has been one hundred days since the zombies claimed the world. Cash, along with forty-two survivors, have found safety in the secluded and well-guarded Fox National Park. The leaves are changing colors, a beautiful, brutal reminder that winter is coming. As the survivors prepare for freezing months without electricity and not enough food, they learn of massive zombie herds several hundred miles north…and headed their way.
To save the park, Cash must find a safe place for the survivors to hide from the migrating herds. If Cash and her small band of volunteers don’t succeed before the zeds arrive, the Fox survivors just may become Deadland’s Harvest.
(Deadland’s Harvest is a journey through Dante Alighieri's classic tale on the seven deadly sins… retold zombie apocalypse style!)
Deadland's Harvest Book Cover
Excerpt From Deadland's Harvest
As Always... Happy Reading!
Claire C Riley
Sorry that this is a day later than promised. My three monsters are off school and after the crazy trip to EuroDisney we've all been super tired and grumpy all week.
Anyway, here it is, a little sneak peak at Odium II, coming MAY 9th! Only 14 days to go...
Odium II The Dead Saga
As we get close to the main fence of the plant, a loud humming can be heard—oh, and a chorus of deader moans, of course. Can’t forget that sweet sound.
“It’s there.” Dean points up ahead. “You guys sure you’re up to this?”
“No,” I say wholeheartedly. And I mean it, too, especially after seeing the amount of them. There’s definitely a couple
Mikey scratches his beard, frowning again. It’s becoming an all too familiar look on him. “I’m not happy about this.” He looks around at the surrounding fields, stray deaders making their shambly way over to the exact point that we need to get to.
“Look, Lovers’ Lookout is just over that hill, the truck’s over there. It will be easy—we’ve done something similar before.”
He looks around and I don’t miss the anxiety that crosses his face. “Of course there weren’t nearly as many of the sick
then.” He shrugs. “I only need them distracted long enough to get this fence secured.”
I take a deep breath. “Let’s just get this over and done with. Anne, Em, you’re both with me then. You know the plan.” I
start to walk away but Mikey catches my elbow and turns me back around. He reaches down for my chin, tugging my face
up to his as he kisses me.
“Be careful.” His brown eyes bore into mine like something you see in a movie—intense, full of emotion. I’d swoon if I was
the type to.
“Always am.” I smirk as I deftly kiss him back and then start walking to the truck.
“I’m serious, don’t go doing anything stupid,” he shouts after me.
There are several trucks scattered around, but the two we’re using are Land Rovers or something similar. I only recognize
the shape of the truck as something my own father used to drive when I was younger. He was so proud of that vehicle,
always going on about it being a real man’s truck.
I smile fondly at the memory and climb into the closest one. Anne climbs in the back and Emily gets in the passenger’s
seat next to me. The deaders have spotted us and are growling their disgusting asses off, as if afraid that we might be
Not likely--we’re bringing lunch to you.
I start the truck with the key Dean gave me, glad that he had the sense to keep turning some of the vehicles over so the engines didn’t all go flat. I have to give the boy some credit; he has some very clever ideas, even if some others are
© Copyright Claire C Riley 2014
Don't forget to add it to your Goodreads shelf! Odium II The Dead Saga
Claire C Riley
I am so pleased to have the most creatively awesome and cool dude Jack Wallen on the blog today, sharing his newest novel THE LAST CASKET, featuring the very awesome band - KITTY IN A CASKET.
I was oh so freaking lucky to beta read this brilliant book a while back, and it is by far one of the most original zombie concepts that I've read in quite a while.
It's funny, cool, hip, gory and zombilicious! I'm really happy to announce that he's also planning others in this series- a spin off from his crazy cool I ZOMBIE SERIES. (Also another series that you should go out and get your hands on.)
So, let me introduce you to Jack and his awesome book.
Jack Wallen was weaned on the cheesy horror of the 70s and 80s. Thanks to the wonder of Sammy Terry and Elvira, he was hooked on the genre early. That love for the spooktacular made it clear there was no choice for Jack but to focus his writing on the dark fantastic.
Of course, the Muse is a fickle creature and insisted Jack branch out to other genres such as steampunk, thrillers, superhero parody, and even what Jack calls “parahorror romance”.
Jack is a happily married ex Hoosier (I know, boo and hiss, right?), who also happens to fancy himself a crazy cat person as well as a cyclist and a lover of music and movies (favorite bands – Rush, Coheed & Cambria, Paramore, The Fixx...you get the idea).
Name: Jack Wallen
Genre Of Writing: Horror, Thrillers, Superhero, and Steampunk
Shoe Size? 8 Mens 10 Womens (just kidding) oops ;-)
Tell us about your latest book?
Title: The Last Casket
Anything in particular that you want to say about it?
If you're a fan of rockabilly – especially the band Kitty in a Casket – you'll want to get your hands on this. The idea for the series was given the green light by Kitty Casket and they are thrilled to be part of the I Zombie universe.
This spin off will be a bit lighter than the I Zombie books, but there will no shortage of zombies, rock, and thrills.
Peppered throughout the story you'll find lyrics from actual Kitty in a Casket songs as well as original lyrics I've written for song that do not (as of yet) exist.
I've been a fan of Kitty in a Casket for a long time now and was honoured they were as excited as I about this project.
What are you working on next and when can we expect to get our greedy little mitts on it?
I've actually completed the first and second drafts of the seventh novel in the I Zombie series, Cry Zombie Cry. This was the first book I've written to star a internationally recorded band – in this case, the Polish metal band, UNSUN. For this novel I belive I've done something no one else has tried and cannot wait to unleash it on the zpoc-loving world.
The hold up on the publication of this novel is the wait for UNSUN to finish recording their next album. For their next release, I have penned a few lyrics for the band (one song is “Cry Zombie Cry”). Our plan is to do a simultaneous release and offer a special edition of the CD that comes with the digital version of the book.
Purchase Links For The Last Casket
Claire C Riley... Also Don't Forget Odium II The Dead Saga Is Out Soon!
Add Odium II The Dead Saga To Your Goodreads Shelf : ODIUM II THE DEAD SAGE
So today we’re talking about building an author platform. This is important, so pay attention.
Now let me completely honest with you. I am terrible with computers and software and all that other stuff. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t realise the importance of being socially visible.
Times have changed in recent years, and where an author merely had to produce a top quality book and pimp it to the top dogs over at the big publishing houses leaving them to do the bulk of advertising, self-publishing has opened up a whole new playroom for authors. With that comes a lot more work though, and that’s where being visible is important.
There's no point in writing an awesome book if no one knows that it exists!
Readers want to connect with you on a personal level, not just that, but you need to connect with other authors too.
Finding like minded authors, helps get you through the bad times when you’re struggling, and so does the occasional messages you get from people that enjoy your books.
There is now a minefield of different ways to do connect with people over the internet, and it really takes a lot of commitment from an author to do this, but you also need to decide ‘how’ you want to connect with your readers. I’m going to cover the basics, but everyone is free to post other relevant links below.
Let’s start with Facebook.
Facebook gives you two main options, a business page and a personal page. I have both. I like to keep my personal
page pretty much private since I try to keep an air of professionalism to me. Ha ha, okay, so if you follow my author
page, you know that’s not true, but I do have lots of pictures of my children and family on my personal page and I know that my family don’t necessarily want to be involved in my career. So I keep my author page just for my book related things.
I know a lot of authors don’t have an author page and only have a personal page that they let both fans and family interact with, but it’s a personal thing that only you can decide upon.
Okay, now you need a website. Yes, a website…and a blog too. Readers want to connect with you, they want to find out
more about you and your books. I’m an avid reader and I regularly stalk all my favourite authors.
There are tons of places to start up a website, I use Weebly and find it REALLY EASY. Remember right at the start I said
I was mechanically inept? Yeah, see, well, even I can manage Weebly. It’s free too, another bonus, AND it has a blog attached to it—another bonus. Again, everyone please feel free to post what platform you use below. I can only go from
my own personal experience.
So now you’re set up with your FB and a website, maybe think about Twitter. Twitter is HUGE, and a lot of readers and authors use it and have great success. I’m not a big fan of it, but again, I realise the importance of having it. So I set my
twitter up to interact with my author FB page. So when I post to FB it posts to Twitter, and vice versa. This makes it
easier for me and it’s yet another way that readers can find and interact with you.
So what else do we have?
The list goes on and on with all the different ways for you to connect with readers and authors. Look them all up and have a look through, see what’s going to be the easiest and most convenient for you to keep up with. Once you’ve gotten used to using one or two, you can open up an account on another platform, slowly building them all up.
With each new platform comes possible new readership. And that’s what it’s all about. Helping get your name and your book out there and into the hands of people that will love it!
Again, let me reiterate, this is just a very small list of platforms and social
sites that exist. These are just the ones I use quite frequently and find
the easiest to use. But more than anything, I just wanted to give you a place to start.
But whatever you do, do at least one of these. It really is so important to be able to connect with readers and authors, and have somewhere to promote your work, and it will make a difference.
I can't tell you the amount of times I've talked to writers that don't 'do social networks' and aren't getting anywhere with their books. Every time I'll read their book and they are truly awesome, but they aren't getting the reach because they stay away from this side of being an author, either worried they'll mess it up, just plain confused by it or 'tried it years ago and it didn't work then'. But it really isn't that difficult once you get everything set up, and things have changed so much over the past couple of years.
So do it, go set up a website, open a FB or Twitter or G+ account and get connecting!
Come back next week to talk about book covers and why they're so damn important!
Claire C Riley
Don't Forget To Add Odium II To Your Goodreads Shelves: Odium II Goodreads
Music Used In This Trailer Is Not Affiliated Or Owned By The Author And Can Be Purchased Here: http://goo.gl/xjvARu
So…what is this? This blog tour is where writers and authors answer
questions about their writing process.
I was invited to this event by the creeptastic Rhonda Hopkins.
You can read about her process here: Rhonda Hopkins Blog | Rhonda Hopkins Facebook
I’ve been enjoying the other posts coming up and seeing other authors processes, and I hope that you will too.
1) What am I working on?
Well, I’ve just finished working on ‘Odium II. The Dead Saga,’ (releasing May 9th) and have now started the accompanying
novella ‘Odium Origins. A Dead Saga Novella Pt Two.’
I love writing these novellas, probably more than the full books they go with. There’s a lot of thought and background work which goes into each character in the books, and this information rarely gets used for anything other than just me getting to know the character fully. Certainly no one would normally see this background history. But this is where all the fun begins
for me, building that character profile, their history and such. These novellas show certain parts of the characters’ lives. Obviously I can’t do every character, so I hand pick some of my favourite for readers to get a deeper look at, and hopefully give more depth to these characters for them.
After Odium Origins Pt 2, I’ll be working on a short piece I’m writing as part of a collaboration with two other great writers.
It’s about three serial killers and the nature vs nurture aspect I guess. I can’t say much more than that now, but needless to say I’m having great fun writing it!
After that it will be the (long awaited) ‘Limerence II. Mia’ and a ton of other short stories that I’ve been working on for other
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
People have told me that my writing style is very physical, in the sense that you get to ‘touch’ ‘smell’ and ‘feel’ what each character goes through. Making the characters as real as possible for the reader I think helps. I love writing old school
style horror as well. Shuffling zombies, bloodthirsty vampires, no new angles, just plain, simple horror.
3) Why do I write what I do?
So far I’ve only written dark paranormal and horror, but I do have several erotic romance stories under way and a crime
thriller. I like to read pretty much any genre, believing that you should be as open as possible when reading, and that
opens up a lot of the genres for writing too. So far I’ve stuck with horror as this is what I’ve always known. For as far
back as I can remember I’ve been thinking up creepy little tales ha ha.
4) How does your writing process work?
Generally I’ll write out a plot which will be anything from 5’000 to 10’000 words. Then I start writing. Nine times out of ten,
the story ends up so different from my actual plot that I wonder why I even bothered writing one in the first place! BUT
when I’m stuck in a rut and fighting writers block, I do find that re-reading my plot outline gets the juices going again and
helps get me back on track.
So, I try—I really try, to outline and plot, but generally my best ideas come to me when I let go and let my characters go
and do their own thing, surprising us both!
So now it’s my turn to invite three authors to carry on the blog tour. I’m going to invite the following:
Ken Mooney—he was born in Dublin in the middle of the 1980s; he still lives there. He holds a degree in English Studies
from TCD, which he totally uses every day during his day-job in TV advertising...totally.
He's always been obsessed with stories, reading, writing and playing them; that explains the massive collection
of books, comics, video games and discarded Word documents. His writing is a combination of all the things that he's passionate about, all the way through high-and-low-brow.
Godhead is his first novel, an idea that's been floating around his head for nearly fifteen years; there might even be
a (few) sequel(s) if he ever gets around to writing them...
Ken Mooney Facebook
Tracey Ward—author of the Quarantined Series and the Survival Series plus many more.
She was born in Eugene, Oregon and studied English Literature at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) It was there that
she discovered why Latin is a dead language and that being an English teacher was not actually what she wanted to do
with her life.
Her husband, son and snuggly pitbull are her world.
Tracey Ward Facebook
Jack Wallen—His works span genres and weave evil, conspiracy, and fear into nightmarish worlds.
Jack has been given the title "Zombie King" by his readers and fans. He didn't garner that title by dining on the brains of helpless victims. It was only after writing until his fingers and mind were nothing but meat for the beasts that he became a
master of the zombie genre. During that haunted hay ride Jack produced works of fiction enjoyable by not just zombie fans, but anyone daring to take a peek into what might possibly become of humanity.
Of course, being of the insane writer clan, Jack isn't just happy with the penning of zombie fiction. Oh no, the nightmare
does not end there. Like the late, great Freddy Mercury, Jack wants it all -- so, he will continue twisting the horror
genre to meet his disturbed mind as well as write his Fringe Killer and Screampark series, and his joyous celebration of
all things diverse -- Shero.
For his inspiration to begin reading and writing, Jack thanks the ever-incredible Clive Barker for penning in a genre with
words of grace and horror.
Jack Wallen Facebook
Claire C Riley ♥
To kick start the Concept to Completion blog posts, I’m going to
tell you a little bit about my journey as an author. Because that is where it
all starts of course—with someone sitting down and writing the
They say that writing a book is one of the hardest things to do in life. Well, they don’t, but they should because it is.
The idea of writing a book is pretty huge in itself, and something that not many people ever actually go on to fulfil, usually having it as something on their bucket list. And I know why.
For many years I put it off myself, as a kid it was all I ever aspired to be—an author. I continued to scribble stories in to
books, and pads, jotting down ideas and getting friends and family to read them. Yet, the idea of actually sitting down,
writing a book and then actually sending it off to people to publish was just so mind-boggling, that I never did it.
In 2012 I got an idea for a story, and while over the years I’ve had tons of stories pop in and out of my head, this damn
story wouldn’t let me go.
So, begrudgingly, one night I sat down at my laptop and decided to write the scene I had in my head. I thought that was
the end of it, but no, that was just the start.
More ideas came to me and they wouldn’t go away until I wrote them out. They came to me at night while I slept, while I
was driving, while I showered. I had notes in pads, on the laptop and on my iPhone. It was irritating and annoying and…amazing! To see this story coming to life, and the characters forming and fleshing out in my mind. I felt blessed to be a
part of this world, a world that I had created. And a small part of me was so damn happy to be writing again. I hadn’t
realised that I had missed it so much.
Then I stumbled upon a site called Authonomy, where authors critique each other’s work, and so one day, on a whim, I decided to go for it. I published the first eight chapters on to it and slowly critique came in. It was good…and bad, but the response was that it was a great story, it just needed work. So that’s what I did. I’ve since realised that this stage of
writing is called beta reading.
The time was fast approaching when I would have to decide what to do with the manuscript. Would I send it to agents?
Would I keep it just for me? People were talking over self-publishing, and that seemed like the least painful way to do it,
so I set my mind on that goal.
I pored over my manuscript along with some other very talented authors, me and my husband designed a cover, I wrote
my blurb, my hubby formatted for me (which was incredibly hard) and then I hit publish! And I’ll be damned if it wasn’t one
of the scariest things I’ve ever done.
Because you see, all of a sudden, the book was bigger than just a woman sat at a computer writing a story. Now I would
be judged…it would be judged. The editing would be judged, the cover would be judged, EVERYTHING WOULD
BE JUDGED! And to be willingly judged is freaking hard!
But then what? No one knew little ole’ me, so I began searching out bloggers, people who would Read and Review for me, scouring Facebook pages
until I found blogs which seemed right. I’d never done anything like this
before, it was weird and awkward, and I didn’t know what to expect.
One of the first bloggers to reply was a great woman named Lauren Dootson of Beckstar reviews. Beckstar Reviews(Facebook)
She was so kind, and totally put me at ease, and I’ll always be grateful to her for that, because truth be, if she would have been even a little bit shitty with me, I’m not sure I would have carried on. But she was lovely and so I did. Truth be, I'm very shy and sensitive, and what person likes to be judged? Especially on something that they have spent months and months working on. Crazy people, that's who!
Thankfully, I've developed a thick skin as time has gone on, because you need it in this business, and as an author, one of the hardest things to do is NOT reply to the negative feedback. Take the comments on board and work harder.
The hardest part for me wasn’t writing the book (Limerence) it was the editing and the cover and the formatting and finding reviewers and bloggers, and so much more! You have this preconceived idea in your head on how it’s going to be to write a book, and it’s nothing like that. Sure some people excel in some areas where others struggle, but that’s it isn’t it? Everyone is different, and everyone writes differently. The more experienced you are, the more you learn along the way, and I want to share some of the things—and the people, that I’ve met along the way so far.
I have a little team now, that without, this would be a really crappy job. I have my 'go to' bloggers, my wonderful 'beta-readers' 'proof-readers' my fabulous 'editor' and great writer friends that help me with ideas, and cover concepts, poster designing, and so much more.
In the next month or so, I’m going to cover all the basics from cover designing, editors, formatters and bloggers. Be sure to pipe in with anything that you feel relevant. Again, I can’t cover everything and everyone, but I’ll cover as much as I can,
and hopefully we can help some other new authors along the way.
Come back next week to talk about building your author profile and platform!
Happy Reading…and writing.
Claire C Riley
Author of 'Limerence' 'Odium. The Dead Saga' 'Odium Origins. A Dead Saga Novella Pt One' contributing author to several anthologies including 'Fusion' 'One Hellacious Halloween' & 'Let's Scare Cancer to Death'
PS. Yes, I'm still crap at grammar and punctuation!
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