Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fake Memoir

Another one busted!

But to any editors at huge publishing houses reading my humble blog: that's NOT a problem with my Dante book. Sure, the preface claims this is what really happened, but Dante lived like "way back in the day" (as my students put it). My books is whatchamacallit - "historical fiction." Yeah, like The DaVinci Code. Yeah - think DaVinci Code when you're reading my manuscript! And think lots of zeroes on the check!

Well, anyway, Happy New Year, all of you who didn't fake memoirs in 2008.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Zombie Calvin!

Thanks to Beth for sending this in!

The sepulchral boogey-man of the Reformation is risen and ready to bring Undeath to the Elect!

Tears for Fears!!!!

A very nice reviewer emailed me and told me she cried when reading Dying to Live: Life Sentence. Don't know if that'll make the final review, but it's a nice feeling of accomplishment!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Zombie Funnies!

Kissability - Part II

I had a very enjoyable dream last night, entirely about kissing. No sex of an explicit kind in it. Instead, a woman I once knew (with whom things ended badly) came up to me and started kissing me, right in public. Not little pecks, but really wet, passionate kisses. And what made it funny as well as exciting was that in the dream, I had the normal reaction of real life, rather than the sometimes fantastical or unbelievable reactions of a dreamscape: I kept saying "No! What? Huh? Not here, with all these people all around!"

So I say again, what's exciting and interesting about sexuality is not the physical sensations. In the case of this dream, one thing that is crucial is the experience of being wanted by someone else so badly that s/he is willing to be embarrassed and exposed in public, because s/he loves and desires you so much that s/he doesn't care.That's a feeling I remember vividly from falling in love, and it's intoxicating to me, even in memory.

Christian Horror?

This gentleman does not approve:

However, I find it very heartening that there are enough such attempts at "Christian horror" that he would feel the need to criticize or decry it.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Liberal Christians - Score!

To our more humanistic readers, the idea expressed here will not be surprising, though the statistic that so many supposedly backward, Neanderthalic Christians believe it may surprise a few:

There is hope!

Friday, December 26, 2008


A quickie bookgasm!

Hey, quick is fine, so long as it's good, and look how my zombie is described:

"What sticks with you is the behavior of one zombie the story follows in alternating chapters, who instinctively spends a day in an abandoned drugstore searching for the right kind of over-the-counter pain relievers, even if he doesn’t know why. This sympathetic view is strangely touching, which goes a long way in providing closure that the actual plot may lack."

Go, zombie!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Liberal Christians = Baal Worshippers!

I never knew!

(DEC 22 column)


Reading that, it was like my poor, little Hank never left, like he was right there in my computer, taunting me, calling me a Baal-worshipping, baby-killing, liberal-elite weasel! Good times, good times.

(And for myself, I cannot think of anything more analogous to Baal worship than the prosperity gospel preaching. And i can't think of anything closer to Old Testament prophecy than a call for social justice and concern for those excluded and exploited by a wealthy, imperialist society.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

For All Us Big Softies

I always lead with Escape from New York as my favorite movie (and it's up there, no doubt). But this time of year, well, um, I watch It's a Wonderful Life over and over and just cry, cry, cry. Good to see another intelligent person doing the same:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Xmas #s at Amazon!

They've been looking great at Amazon for about the last month or so.

D2L2 and History are both hovering around 10,000-15,000th, while the original D2L has been under 5,000th most days!

Still time to shop! Easy to wrap! Have it delivered!

Redheads and Kissable Lips

One of my greatest (and thankfully few) detractors once said I write sex scenes like Mr. Rogers. I'm still amused, and not 100% convinced that's accurate, but I will say that it's all the "perihperals" of sexuality that fascinate me and take up the majority of my description of it in writing. Even when I have a dream at night, most of it's spent on kissing and not on thrusting. Or even better than kissing - almost kissing, being right on the verge of kissing! It's all about expectation and desire, not fulfillment (and that's Platonic prudery, not Christian, BTW). The curve of a woman's neck, eyes closed, mouth slightly open....

Yeah! Like that pic up above! That's one of Rosetti's paintings of Beatrice. I saw several of them in person this summer and was so taken by them (they are striking after only seeing little reproductions in books and on the net) that I was all set to rewrite her scenes with her as a redhead. But I kept thinking, "A redhead? An Italian? Really?" And as I was thinking that, I wandered into the next room of the gallery and thought, "Oh, look, another redhead!" It was by the same painter. This time the subject was Helen of Troy. Next to her? Another redhead. Eve. Next to her? Jezebel, also a redhead. Mary the mother of God, Mary Magdalene, Salome - all redheads when this guy's holding the brush. So I figured it was some "thing" of his (which is fine and all) and didn't rewrite.

But, crimson locks or no, the guy captured that sense of suspension and expectation, rather than possession and use, that I find fascinating in feminine beauty.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Academics vs Fiction Authors, Part II

Here's another stark contrast.

When we were looking for blurbers for Gospel of the Living Dead, we went around to some of the experts quoted therein. Most are professors and/or film critics. Most (as per my previous blog on this topic) refused us as they were too busy. (Hmm-mmm, you work three days per week, nine months of the year and you're too busy to read a book on a topic you're supposedly interested in?) But one turned us down because in 49 footnotes, I agreed with his point, but in ONE footnote, I said he was wrong. Now there's a thick-skinned fellow with good self-esteem, and no desire for petty revenge! Since I've been interacting with fiction authors, I've had to turn down many for writing blurbs for them, often after reading their manuscripts and telling them, frankly but politely, that I can't have my name on their book, because I don't think it's very good. I've turned people down for nominations for the Stoker Award similarly. And, at least to my face, all of them are still perfectly friendly and helpful: sometimes they turn down a blurb for me, sometimes they write one. It's just how it goes and there are no hard feelings.

So, I think the only question are these.

A) does the ethereal, heady world of academia attract small-souled, petty little tyrants?
B) does the work involved (sitting around, ALONE, thinking about hard, troubling questions that most "normal" people avoid) turn one into such a troglodyte?
And on the other side:
C) does fiction writing attract humble, well-adjusted people?
D) does the rubbing against one another necessary to succeed in the writing world build up some healthy calluses so that people act better toward one another?

I'll start the conversation by answering (B) and (D).

Review in Monster Librarian

A nice one!

In the sequel to Dying to Live, we are thrust forward twelve years. The community confined to the museum in the last book has ventured forth and reclaimed much of the surrounding city thanks to the help of Milton, who continues his mission of collecting the dead and keeping them in various compounds so that they cannot hurt the living. Dying to Live: Life Sentence has two plotlines. The first follows a girl, Zoey as she comes of age. The other plot thread follows Truman, a recent zombie who is slowly piecing together what he is and who he was in the past. Much zombie literature is fairly focused just on the action, and Paffenroth does supply action, but he also provides a thoughtful look of how society might develop after an apocalyptic zombie plague. It is this thoughtful examination that makes the book enjoyable. Character development is key in Paffenroth's book, and he does a fine job of fleshing out Truman and Zoey. For those who like zombies but might be suffering from "zombie fatigue", Dying to Live: Life Sentence is a breath of fresh air. Paffenroth leaves the door open for a third book, so we may see more of his post apocalyptic world. Recommended for libraries, zombie fans, and those looking for a thoughtful take on a post apocalyptic zombie world.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dante's Huge (Again)

Gaming buffs take to the infernal regions!

Taking movie makers with them!

Come on! Zombies are HUGE! Dante's HUGER! Who can deny the timeliness of my idea? No one - that's who!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Revenant Review

Inferno - the Sequel!

Not mine (yet), but TOR is doing the sequel to the SF classic:

I keep telling people - Dante's always huge!

Now hurry up and buy my version, somebody!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shroud Magazine!

Hey - my name's up there, like it'd actually sell copies or something!

Augustine vs the Zombies?

Hey, if zombies are what gave Dante the idea to write Inferno, why not?

Think of all the interpretative questions it would solve:

Why's he so down on the flesh? (Seeing flesh w/o Spirit will do that to you!)

Why such a strong sense of original sin and the need for Grace? (Seeing mindless husks of people w/o God will do that!)

Why such a carpe diem attitude in his early life? (Better have fun before you're eaten!)

Why so much guilt? (Better get right with God before the zombies get you!)

Nothing like rainy, dreary days to come up with ideas!

Paddington - Home for Christmas?

Dare I hope? Otherwise, I'll have a blue Christmas, that's certain!

Whatever you do, if you see him, do NOT say "Happy Holidays!"

He hates that almost as much as his friend, O'Reilly the Felafel-Loving Rabbit.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Zombie Fighting Weapon!

Because we wouldn't want only the medieval geek-fans to be fabricating neat stuff in their garage workshops!

Dante's Women!

When I was explaining what I write to a friend, I had to revisit my ideas about Dante and I thought through it a little differently.

When I wrote about Dante, I had to deal with his (to our minds) odd ideas about love. He famously fell in love with one woman, Beatrice, with whom he never had a "real" relationship. Later in his life, he married a woman, Gemma, with whom he had four children (IIRC the number) and by all accounts was successful in their marriage (by the standards of their time). Of course, in our modern age, we try (often unsuccessfully) to combine those two roles (lover to oneself and parent to one's children). And when I went to give a fictional version of Dante, I had to think how I'd work those elements in.

Now, I didn't consciously think through the problem (which is the difference between writing a story and writing an essay), but it worked out nicely, I think. Because I had Dante meet and fall in love with a woman (toward whom he was very chaste throughout their adventures). But she neither met his expectations of an "ideal" woman (no girly-girl, she), and she was pregnant when they met (so clearly she's a mother, and with her recounting of her life, clearly a good one, but it's not HIS). And perhaps most differently from his relations with either Gemma or Beatrice, he's engaged in a fairly active project with her - bashing in zombies heads to save both their lives (a task which she's up to, but still needs his help, so he can feel both vulnerable toward her, and still feel like her savior). So they're "partners" in something, which I feel is what missing in his (non)relation with Beatrice: she's just an object, an ideal, not an active, subjective part of his life.

Again, none of this was deliberate as I wrote, but looking back on it, it's a nice balance and takes account of the women in his "real" life!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Joe the Plumber's Book

A nice little rant about it in the NYTimes:

I especially like the idea of a publishing equivalent of Karaoke, so such people can flex their literary muscles in a harmless way.

Why not publish Kim the Professor's book? Please? I'll be your BFF!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Kim is UnAmerican!

I think one of my good pals at Shocklines whose name rhymes with "label" called me that once, but despite that perception, I really do get all warm and fuzzy and proud about this country pretty frequently. Election night was one time. And when I see the diversity of this country, especially in previously hard-core white-bread neighborhoods, I feel pretty proud and optimistic, at how this country attracts people from so many places - but more particularly, at how it then accepts and even fosters their various cultures and doesn't force them to assimilate completely. So today I was in the town where my grandparents lived. When I was growing up, you would never have seen anyone there but white, Protestants of northern European descent. Today I pulled into a little shopping center there and side by side there was

Franicco's Pizza and Italian Restaurant
Li Fun's Chinese Restaurant
Jean Claude's French Bakery and Pastry Shop
Old World Bagels and Deli

(Tokyo Plum sushi was a half block down Main Street.)

Now, that's pretty nice, I think. Tasty, too.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

More Free Swag!

I'm straightening up and clearing out some stuff, specifically some packing material and some of the promo tshirts I have for my new novel Dying to Live: Life Sentence. (The tshirt features the book cover art, above.) So I am offering the first FIVE people to email me at kimpaffenroth at msn dot com a FREE tshirt, pens, and bookmarks. (I will have to limit this to USA addresses.) One of the lucky five may have two shirts, if s/he wishes (whoever asks first). I only have L and XL left.
UPDATE: All given away now. If you find me at a con in 2009, I may still have some to give out with a purchase. I hope everyone enjoys theirs.

Olga the Red - Favorite Food?

She's as tough to get past as the Iron Curtain, and she hits as hard as a hammer (and sickle)!

Well, judging by her name, I'd have to guess borscht, but I don't know for sure. Doug? Kyle? Confirm? Deny?

Well, I made a batch with left over beets. It's pretty good. But I have to wonder about the physics behind it. How can it be that when I cook and puree the following:

beets (dark purple)
carrots (orange)
cabbage and onions (light green)
broth (golden)
Worcestershire sauce (black)

That I come up with a mixture that is the color of cherry pie filling? I mean BRIGHT RED. Weird.

Great Review!

Takes the sting out of the stinky one they gave Orpheus and the Pearl!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Right when I'm on the cusp of selling my break-out novel, the publishing industry implodes!

Figures. Just figures.

Passing Grade!

That's all the Sevins and I managed to pull out this time:

Monday, December 01, 2008

History Is Dead Nominated!

It's a nominee for the Black Quill Award!

Now get on there and vote! (You have to register, but it's free and looks pretty easy!)


Triumph of The Walking Dead