Monday, August 30, 2010

The Living Dead 2

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Horror Bound Magazine

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Other Zombie Professor

The Living Dead 2

The great new zombie anthology, edited by John Joseph Adams is now available, with a story I co-authored with Julia and RJ Sevin (as well as stories by many more famous zombie authors like Max Brooks, Brian Keene, Robert Kirkman, and David Wellington).

Check it out here at Amazon.

Check out this review here.

And another review here.

Horror Librarian


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

(About) One Month

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Horror News Recap

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Interview

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Really Great Review

Horror Scholarship

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Upcoming Appearances

I always have trouble keeping track of them. So I made my usual list so I know (and now you know) where I'll be!

Horrorfind - SEPT 3-4

Horror Realm - SEPT 17-18

Funky WerePig Podcast - SEPT 24

Talk at Gonzaga University - OCT 8

Talks at SUNY Orange - OCT 18 and 20

Thanks! See you there!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Chapter 17

39,200 words total

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Horror Shop

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chapter 16

37,200 words total

"How Do You Write a Novel"?

This is not a how-to course or even advice. A friend asked me on Facebook and I said I'd try to respond. I don't think my answers are universal, but it's just a description of how I've done it for my five (going on six) novels.

1) The Idea(s). They just come to me. Almost never in the form of plot, unfortunately, but more characters I'd like to write about, and scenes I'd like to describe. So basically, I get these ideas, and then I have to wait for a plot to come along and string them together into a meaningful sequence that people would like to follow. For my first novel, I started writing with only a pretty sketchy middle of the plot: I knew the starting and ending points, but in between was not fully mapped out. But I did need the beginning and end and the cast of characters before I could start. So, for example, I've had another novel idea in mind for years, but I don't have enough to start: Set in the Old West, syphillitic robber baron terrorizes town with his army of zombies. I mean -w ow, that's not a bad tag line. It's probably a better tag line than a couple of my novels that I've finished. But I don't know who the POV character is, I don't know how it's going to end, or how he got his army of zombies - so there's way too much blank for me to start.

2) Outline. For my first, it was pretty sketchy. I basically had three places the action would take place, and the outline was "Museum - stuff happens. City - stuff happens. Prison - stuff happens." Since then I've gotten much more detailed. Much. But I still leave it open for development and detail: the outline for each chapter still is only a sentence, basically saying where they are and where they end up, whether they meet anyone, and what's been done to move the plot forward, sometimes a reminder to myself like "Make sure they find a shovel (since they'll have to dig somewhere three chapters later)". As I said the other day, the action sequence I'm working on now is taking much longer. It's much more elaborate than I first intended , but I see now that it needs to be. So the outline has to adapt.

3) Write. As above, once the parts are in place enough (however "enough" is judged), I put them in motion, moving them through the plot, while being open to changes and developments in where they need to go and what would make the story more interesting or exciting. As a writer with a day job and family responsibilities, I don't write every day, except sometimes in the summer and Christmas breaks, I might write every day for a few days in a row. Even then, I don't stay sitting at the computer when nothing's happening, though I know a lot of writers say they do and it's part of their routine and discipline. I'll just go do something else and try again later. (Well, that or I'll get in trouble on Facebook, but I'm trying to discipline myself away from that.) But even at a very moderate rate of 1k words/day, and only 2 days/week - that still means the thing would be done in 40 weeks. That's how long it takes to make a baby, so it's not an impossible length of time. If there isn't a market for zombie novels in 9 1/2 months, oh well.

4) Send It off. I have no special powers here. I just send them in. You are not (I'm pretty sure, unless I've missed something) going to sell a prospectus or idea to a publisher for a first book (you're not Sarah Palin). I can do that now with my non-fiction, after I've published 14 books of non-fiction. But fiction - no. Only one of my novels was contracted before I wrote it. Everything else I finished and sent in like everybody else, including the one I'm working on now.

So, I thank Dave for asking, and I hope I answered his questions, and I'm sorry if it's still (as they say) a descriptive and not prescriptive answer.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chapter 15

35,600 words total

Monday, August 09, 2010

Trying Out New Banner

Since I deleted the old one. Trying to get the image uploaded here.
Hmm, I actually kind of like that. If anyone still does things as primitive as banner exchanges, let me know!!

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Sorry, I've been doing more Facebook (and yes, Farmville and Frontierville), and forgetting to update the old blog.

Been busy with other stuff (making syllabi, editing book reviews, writing grant proposal, writing on-fiction proposal, suffering in the god awful heat). Hopefully, a quick trip to the supermarket this morning, then back to writing again, finally.

We are currently at Chapter 14 and 33k words. I'm gearing up (finally) for a chapter or two of violent action.


Triumph of The Walking Dead