THE KATY RECEIVES AN AWARD

I am truly humbled and excited today because this blog was given an award by UrbanEpics for being one of the best YA blogs of 2015. Check out my best of 2015 post to see which books I really recommend.

Thank YOU for making this blog a success. Please check out the link to find some other awesome book blogs!

BEST YA BOOK BLOGS OF 2015

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To celebrate, I am giving away a $5 Amazon gift card (that’s enough for possibly 5 ebooks)! Enter below.

And THANK YOU AGAIN for being such an amazing group of people.

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Beautiful Freaks, Season one release and giveaway!

 

#UpperYA #Gothic #Dreadpunk #VictorianLondon #FairyTales #Feminist
#ParanormalRomance #Detective #Murder

Beautiful Freaks: A Serialised Story in 12 parts.

SEASON ONE. Episodes 1-12

A dark and twisted saga that winds its way through the Victorian streets of London like a luxurious and lethal ribbon.

When a series of terrifying and seemingly paranormal murders occur at a rapid rate, panic and fear grip the city.

Still haunted by the ghost of the Whitechapel Ripper case, Inspector Steptree is forced to admit the murderer he now pursues maybe even more wicked and brutal. As the case closes down on the mysterious No.7 club, owned by the enigmatic Evangeline Valentine, Steptree discovers that evil is far from a fantasy.

It is against this backdrop that Kaspian Blackthorne turns eighteen and begins his apprenticeship under the scientific maverick, Doctor Greyson, a pioneer in brain surgery, and human transplantation. Whilst Kaspian is introduced to the horrors and wonders of man’s scientific progress, he also begins an epic adventure of self-discovery and infatuation. Guided into the decadent and luxuriant world of the London West End night scene by his new friend Hugh Denvers, Kaspian tastes the sweet temptation of a life less ordinary, but such a privilege comes at a terrible price.

A cast of timeless characters and dark, grown-up fairy tales interweave to create a rich and haunting tale of fear and desire.

Based on the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ written and published in 2013 by Katie M John, this series is a development of that world. This is the first season of a planned three seasons. You can find out more about this season and forthcoming seasons on the official site. www.katiemjohn.com

 

EPISODE 1 & 2 are now available

 

 

GIVEAWAY
For your chance to win a very special Beautiful Freaks Hamper, to include a beautiful Freaks Mug, pen, signed paperback of the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ on which the series is based, then follow the Rafflecopter giveaway prompts below.
The giveaway is open to international, but please be aware for places outside of the UK and Europe then prize will be sent surface mail and may take 6-8 weeks to arrive (especially over Christmas period)

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BOD ZOMBIE CRAWL GIVEAWAY WINNERS!!!

Wow, I cannot believe that Halloween is over! Time to put away my goggles and blaster for another time. Sigh. I always get a little sad after Halloween until I remember that MORE Holidays are on their way! Which holiday do YOU like best? I am probably most excited for Christmas.

This is ME:

Ok, you’re probably a little anxious to hear who won the awesome prizes on my giveaway in the Zombie Blog Crawl! Here is the original post if you’re interested. The contest is closed, but the interviews and fun posts are still up if you’d like to find some new authors!

Mortuary Arts

Drumroll PLEASE!

WINNER 1: Megan Henn

WINNER 2: Cassandra Jones

WINNER 3: Jeri Rodriguez

I am still waiting for one of the winners to email me back, but they will have their awesome prizes soon. I’ll definitely be participating in the BOD Zombie Blog Crawl next year! So. Much. Fun.

I also had a gift card giveaway for my Facebook blog page reaching 400 likes! I’ll be having more giveaways in the future based on the number of likes I get, so share, share, share!

Some fun Halloween Photos below!

BOD ZOMBIE BLOG CRAWL INTERVIEW: Authors Heath Stallcup and JJ Beal

CHECK OUT MY MAIN POST FOR THE BAND OF DYSTOPIAN ZOMBIE BLOG CRAWL HERE (INCLUDING THE GIVEAWAY)!


Please welcome Authors Heath and Jessie Stallcup(JJ BEAL) to THE KATY blog today!

AUTHOR BIOS

heathstallcupHeath Stallcup was born in Salinas, California and relocated to Tupelo, Oklahoma in his tween years. He joined the US Navy and was stationed in Charleston, SC and Bangor, WA shortly after junior college. After his second tour, he attended East Central University where he obtained BS degrees in Biology and Chemistry. He then served ten years with the State of Oklahoma as a Compliance and Enforcement Officer while moonlighting nights and weekends with his local Sheriff’s Office. He still lives in the small township of Tupelo, Oklahoma with his wife and three of his seven children. He steals time to write between household duties, going to ballgames, being a grandfather to five and being the pet of numerous animals that have taken over his home. Visit him on Facebook.com or heathstallcup.com for news of his upcoming releases.

FIND AUTHOR HEATH STALLCUP ONLINE

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Website/blog
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jessiestallcupJJ Beal was born and raised in Oklahoma. Having attained BS degrees in Business and Education and a Masters in Library Science, she has served over ten years as an educator. She still lives in southeastern Oklahoma with her family of seven children and five grandchildren. She steals time to write between household duties, going to ballgames, being a grandmother and being the pet of numerous animals that have taken over her home.

FIND AUTHOR JJ BEAL ONLINE

Amazon
Facebook
Twitter


INTERVIEW

How did you decide to become an author?

Heath: Well for me, it was always something I wanted to do but never really took seriously. I started and never finished probably 75 or more ‘great American novel’ projects before my first ‘finished’ work was ever done. I put quotes around finished because it was the first book in the Monster Squad series and the series isn’t done.

Jessie: I’ve always been an avid reader. It’s my escape. Others use television or movies, video games or whatnot. For me, reading was a gift and I enjoyed the gift whenever I could.

After Heath started writing, our girls asked him to be in a story. He had an idea but it didn’t sit well with them. They are avid zombie fans so I thought, I’ll give it a go. Possibly the only people to read it will be my girls and Heath. I’ll admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the reviews it has gotten. I’m sure that once I can put more time into writing and follow up with the sequel, I’ll see even more reviews.

Any books, movies, or people that inspired you to pursue your dream?

Heath: Wow, umm. No, I can’t say that I was inspired by any of that…at least, not in the beginning. What inspired me to write was my missus. She basically challenged me to do it, then teased me relentlessly until I started the project, but like all the others, I walked away from it. It was probably 9 months later that I stumbled upon the file on my computer and re-read it. I thought… “Hmm, this has potential.” And went back to work on it.

Jessie: I think my girls inspired me the most. I know Heath provided a lot of tips and hints and was always very supportive of my effort, but it was for my girls. I really wish my mom could have read it. I think she would have really enjoyed the story.

Are you self-published or traditionally published?

Heath: I started with a small press out of Oregon. They really got the ball rolling for me. In the beginning, Mark Tufo gave me a LOT of helpful suggestions, but I was so intimidated by the whole process that when I was offered a shot to go with a small press, I jumped on it. I did eventually break away and go full indie. That was more of a financial decision than anything. I know that the stuff I learned from the publishers was invaluable and I still call them with questions every now and then, but I made connections in the world and there are really a lot of good people out there willing to help, share knowledge, even teach you how to do things. Now that I am indie though, I still find myself calling on Mark and Tracy Tufo pretty regularly. Tracy is a marketing genius.

Jessie: I went full indie simply because Heath had paved the way for us. He knew what needed to be done by the time my manuscript was finished and he had all the right connections. I pretty much handed it over to him and let him run with it. I’m glad he had those connections, too because if I had been left to my own devices, I really don’t know if I would have seen it through.

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Are you a plotter or a panster?

Heath: Definitely a seat of the pants writer. When I break ground on something new, I know the beginning and the ending. Whatever happens in the middle is just as surprising to me as it is to the readers.

Jessie: I’m kind of a hybrid. I have an idea in my head and I know that I want my characters to be at a certain point in the story by a certain depth into the book. I don’t write it down and plot, but I have it in my head. If the lead characters are going to be at Point A in the first third of the book, the rest of the action and dialogue has to match in order for them to reach that point. I still allow the story to develop its own twists and turns along the way, but I have to maintain momentum and remain on pace.

What draws you to writing about zombies in particular (along with other supernatural beings)?

Heath: In the Monster Squad series, there are very few zombie outbreaks and the few that do occur are quickly quashed. I knew that my girls were nuts about zombies so for Caldera I decided to delve into that world for them.  All they had really been exposed to were the slow, shambling Romero type zombies. I wanted to give them something different. The rage-virus fueled zombie. True, they’re still technically human, but ravenous cannibals that never tire. Which, by the way, are the scariest zombie to me. In a Romero Z outbreak, I think my slow, out of shape self might stand a chance. But with FAST zombies?
Nope…I’d be zombie chow.

Jessie: I’d been a fan of zombie stories for some time and noticed a certain lack of Young Adult Zombie stories. Using teens as the lead characters, cut out most of the profanity, innuendos of drugs or sex and the unnecessary violence. Trying to pen a YA zombie story was challenging, but from the reviews LTZ has gotten, I think I’m at least headed in the right direction.

What do you see as a future?

Heath: More writing. I want to branch off into other genres and have actually broken ground on a political thriller that I hope will measure up. I have some very informed and well trusted betas that will let me know if I’ve achieved the mark or not.

Jessie: Just finding time to write would be nice. It seems that even when I do find a few moments, there’s always something else that needs to be done. I actually wanted to hold off on publishing LTZ until I had the sequel penned or at least a major portion of it done. Heath wouldn’t let me. He insisted that we get it out and let people start reading it now.

Are zombies a possibility?

Heath: If you ask my girls, not only is it possible, but it’s how the world will actually end.
As for me? Well, yes. I think it’s a possibility. Either through some natural procedure or man-made chemical warfare or…whatever you want to call it. Especially the rage virus type. I think that’s a lot closer to being the zombies we would see than anything.

Jessie: I remember as a young girl watching the Serpent and the Rainbow. That movie scared me more than anything I had ever seen. Do I think it’s possible? Wasn’t that movie based on a true life story? So, you tell me.

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Do any of your characters represent you as a whole or someone you know?

Heath: In my Monster Squad series, most all of the characters are based off somebody I used to know. In Caldera, I did the same thing. I took real people, changed their name, put them into the situation and wrote it. I think it makes it easier to keep your characters separate from each other if you have someone to fall back to…someone they are based on.

Jessie: My story actually is centered around my twin girls and their friends. It was a lot easier to write their stories because I let them each display the traits they already have.

Do you have a favorite zombie book or movie?

Heath: Wow…um…The Walking Dead is a good one to fall back on.
Mark Tufo, Shawn Chesser, John O’Brien, Joe McKinney, all excellent writers. Those are just the ones off the top of my head. There are others, but I couldn’t begin to list them all.

Jessie: Walking Dead, definitely. We DVR it and can’t wait until we hit the 20 minute mark so we can jump through the commercials. Every episode we swear that there’s less ‘show’ and more commercials. It’s one of the few shows that all of my kids watch. My girls claim that it’s a training video for surviving the ZomPoc!

Do you have an advice for aspiring writers?

Heath: Write what you care about. Don’t try to write to the whims of others. If you write about something that YOU care about, that quality will shine through and you’ll have a better finished product. “If you build it, they will come.” That premise holds true with writing, too. If you produce a quality product, they will find it. Then they will tell others about it.
If you just pump out blah after blah because it’s the ‘in’ thing to write about, it will feel like every other cookie cutter production out there and people will dismiss you.

Jessie: If it’s something you really want to do, don’t let others talk you out of it. Surround yourself with positive people who will help inspire you and uplift your efforts. I’ve heard expressions like, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” To me that means, if you really want it, create the time, create the habit, create the story. Give it your best shot. You’ll never know what you could achieve if you don’t try.

Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?

Heath: I’ll soon be releasing Monster Squad 8 – Specters. It closes out the second saga in the Monster Squad series. I’m also working on a political thriller and I have either the first in a new series or I may just let it be a stand alone book about a Vampire Hunter. Of course, I’m working on the sequel to Caldera. And a King-ish type story about a fellow who can see the sins of others. It’s getting a bit darker than I am usually comfortable with, but, I might tone it down a bit.

Jessie: Oh heavens…I have started the sequel to Lions & Tigers & Zombies, but with my work schedule, it will have to wait until after the holidays before I can put any real effort into it. Being the music director for Pre-K through 12 and with the Christmas season quickly approaching, I have no time to spare.

Please tell us about your donation to the giveaway!

Heath: I figured an autographed copy of Caldera would be fitting.

Jessie: I’m offering up an e-book copy of LTZ to a winner in the Continental US.

We are excited to hear about it! Ok, really important question here. What are you going to be for Halloween?

Heath: I’m going to be that grumpy old man who sits on his porch and yells at kids to ‘Stay off my lawn!”
Actually…I’m that every day. The only difference with Halloween is, as they’re running away, I’ll throw candy at them instead of rocks.

Jessie: I don’t dress up for Halloween any more. I have more fun taking the grandbabies around to Trick or Treat.

Thank you for joining me on THE KATY today, Heath and Jessie!

Heath: Thanks for having us.
Thank you!

BOD ZOMBIE CRAWL INTERVIEW: Author P Mark DeBryan!

Check out my main post for the band of dystopian zombie blog crawl HERE (including the giveaway)!


Please welcome Author P Mark DeBryan to THE KATY blog today!

Picture1Hello all, I have always been a bit of a vagabond. Born in Washington, raised in California. I joined the Coast Guard after high school. During my Coast Guard career I was an Admiral’s driver in San Francisco, a deckhand on a 378’ cutter in the Bering Sea, and an Aviation Electrician in North Carolina, Texas and Southern Florida.  After I left the Coast Guard I worked security, first guarding MX nuclear missiles, then at a nuclear power plant in California. Eventually I went to college in Wisconsin, only to drop out after meeting my future wife. I went on to finish college at 36 and own a Miracle Ear franchise. I went into publishing for a short time before becoming an Information Systems Specialist. I currently split my time between West (by God) Virginia and Surfside Beach, SC.

Find author p mark debryan online

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His website

His blog

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How did you decide to become an author? Any books, movie, or people that inspired you to pursue your dream?

I have always been a voracious reader, and once I read Stephen King’s “The Stand” I was hooked on post-apocalyptic genre. I read everything I could get my hands on. Back when King’s book came out there wasn’t a lot of it, so I exhausted most of what I could find. Just recently I began reading some Dystopian and Zombie Apocalypse books and found an author I really liked. John O’Brien wrote a series that really gripped me and I friended him on Facebook. Sometime later he ran a contest of sorts. He asked his fans to write a short story in his world… long story short (story haha) he chose my story “In For A Dollar In For A Dime” to publish along with three other fan stories and a bunch of his own in his book “Untold Stories”. He then graciously allowed me to take the short story and expand it to a full length novel. That was the birth of Family Reunion and that’s how I became an author.

Are you self-published or traditionally published? Why did you choose to go that route?

I am self-published, but that is kind of deceiving. Very few people do it all by themselves. John gave me my start, and one of the other fan authors has since become a good friend and awesome editor and writer in her own right. That would be Sara Jones who runs Torchbearer Editing Services. There are many others that had a hand in bringing Family Reunion to fruition, but technically I am self-published.

Are you a plotter or a panster?

I would have to say I am a little of both. I start out with a plan and then the characters jump in and drag me around by the seat of my pants.

fam

What draws you to writing about zombies or the apocalypse in particular?

As I said earlier, it was a combination of several different circumstances that led me to write in this genre. My love of reading, Stephen King, and eventually John O’Brien was the impetus that got me going. I think the Zombies, or in my case “Freaks”, and the apocalypse are not the main focus of the story. They are something the characters have to deal with and that lend to the book’s excitement and tension, but hope and human relationships are really what any good story is about.

What do you see as a future? Are zombies a possibility?

Anything is possible. As a species we are always thinking of ways to destroy ourselves… lol.

Do any of your characters represent you as a whole or someone you know? Or are they qualities you admire in others?

Write what you know, is what I was told. So, yes I draw heavily from my past and that of those around me. If you read the book and still wonder, give me a call.

Do you have a favorite zombie book or movie? Which one and why?

Wow, do you have about a month? We could go on and on… O’Brien, McKinney, Christy, Rosamilia, Chesser, Tufo, are all authors in the genre that I love and that doesn’t even start to crack the file on books for me. Movies have all fallen in the so-so category except for the classic, Night of the living Dead, has to be at the top of almost everybody’s list. World War Z was good, but after the book it kind of left me wishing they could have followed the story closer. I am always a reader verses a watcher.

Do you have an advice for aspiring writers?

Sit down and write! Get it from your head and onto the paper, or computer. (backupbackupbackup). Then find a competent editor. This is not as easy as it sounds, but it is imperative! It will cost you, but there are so many badly edited books out there today that no one will read past the second page if it is full of typos and grammatical errors. Have several people (not related) read it and give you their opinions. Don’t give up! Writing is fun, but being an author is work.

Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?

I have been working full time on promoting Family Reunion since it released, but I have already started a second book to follow on with the same characters… the ones that made it.

Please tell us about your donation to the giveaway! We are excited to hear about it.

Well, there are several things that I plan on adding to the pot of goodies. To start with, a signed copy of Family Reunion with a signed bookmark. Both of which were designed by Justin McCormick and how about an 11×17 signed poster that is a reproduction of the book’s cover, with a copy of the ebook?

CHECK OUT THE GIVEAWAY HERE!

Ok, really important question here. What are you going to be for Halloween?

A writer… lol! I have a book signing on All Hallows Eve. I might go as a character from the book, haven’t decided, but carrying an AR-15 around might not be a great idea.

Thank you for joining me on THE KATY today, Author P Mark DeBryan!

No, thank you! It has been my pleasure.

BOD ZOMBIE CRAWL INTERVIEW: Author Emily Shore

If you missed my BIG ZOMBIE CRAWL giveaway post click here!

Today, we welcome Author Emily Shore to THE KATY!

Author Bio:

bestheadshotEmily Shore has enjoyed writing books since she was very young. With time, her passion only increased and drew her to earn a B.A. in Creative Writing from Metro State University. Since graduating in ’09, she’s penned seventeen books. She is represented by Allison Singer of ZSH Literary out of New York and Boston for her anti-sex trafficking dystopia due to ship out to publishers soon! Emily writes full time and is a stay-at-home mother to precious toddler, Emmy. In her free time, she enjoys baking, acrylic painting, interior decorating, scrapbooking, campaigning against sex trafficking, and spending time with all her gorgeous nieces!

FIND AUTHOR EMILY SHORE ONLINE

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CHeck out Emily’s post for the BOD ZOmbie Crawl ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE, complete with amazing giveaway!

Interview:

How did you decide to become an author? Any books, movie, or people that inspired you to pursue your dream?

I don’t think I really chose. Ever since I learned to read, I started to write. I never could write short stories very well. From the beginning, it was always long fiction. From Boxcar and Nancy Drew type books to epic fantasies (i.e. thank you, Lord of the Rings) in high school to paranormal series in college, I have always felt drawn to long fiction and specifically the YA market. When working at Barnes and Noble, my favorite thing to do was recommend books for teenagers and tell them about my books. I love connecting with YA audiences and influencing the next generation, particularly females, to be stronger and more empowered.

Are you self-published or traditionally published? Why did you choose to go that route?

I actually was a victim of self publishing once upon a time. Years ago, I signed with a marketing agent who I believed was a professionally literary agent. Turns out he only did the literary agent gig on the side. After pressuring me into self publishing two of my beloved paranormal works and having a failed turn around, I ended my contract, removed my books as quickly as I could, and rewrote one from scratch. It is all the more improved from that re-write, and I took the few reviews I received from it to better the work. It was a lesson on my journey as a writer, and I’m glad it happened since I started focusing on my anti-trafficking dystopia, The Menagerie, which is now signed with Zachary Shuster and Harmsworth.

Are you a plotter or a panster?

Depends on the book. I’ve written seventeen of them after all. One I researched plot outlines in depth and spent hours at a coffee shop until I’d hashed out the entire plot. Others, I begin with an idea and go with the flow like my Greek mythology meets Modern Day inspired by a fanart picture online or my Sci Fi/Alternate Universe novel crafted from a dream sequence.

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Do any of your characters represent you as a whole or someone you know? Or are they qualities you admire in others?

I think most of my characters have bits and pieces of me in them. Some more than others. The Menagerie book has a good amount of ‘me’ in my main character. My Roseblood, vampire book’s MC is very much based off of me and my family and those in my inner circle. Only a couple characters I’ve written aren’t like me at all.

What draws you to writing Dystopian literature?

Initially, I got my feet very wet with dystopia during the Hunger Games craze. My first dystopia was a total flop in my opinion (though it has since become seed ground for a new idea). My second dystopia became The Menagerie, but that has been a work in progress for the past five years. It has gone through a fierce evolution but all has revolved around one question: What would the world look like if prostitution were legalized across the board? That gave birth to a host of images – ones involving museums where girls are displayed as living art. And The Menagerie’s world came to life from those images.

What does the Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans group on Facebook mean to you?

I love this group. I came upon it by happenstance. I enjoy the support authors give each other. I found one of my all time favorite indie authors through this group, and I can’t imagine my reading life without her *cough Lauren Taylor cough* It’s encouraging to see all the work that goes into this group with the many posts and threads and little contests. And of course sharing photos and quizzes is always a plus.

What do you see as a future? Are zombies a possibility?

I tend to see terrorism domination more of a likely scenario, possibly a police state, or even a new Civil War based off racism, but I don’t experiment in those when it comes to writing. They terrify me. I’ve written three zombie series, but I don’t dabble too much in current events leading to an apocalypse.

Do you have a favorite zombie book or movie? Which one and why?

Favorite zombie book: The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I love Carrie Ryan’s symbolic-style writing, the vividness of her world, and the coming of age struggle of her characters. Favorite movie: The Returned. Probably the most creative zombie film I’ve ever seen-based in a dystopia type of society as well!

Do you have an advice for aspiring writers?

Get involved in contests as much as you can. If you can’t afford to hire an editor (like me), then enter as many Twitter pitch contests as possible where editors and agents are prowling to find new authors. This is how I was chosen by my fabulous freelance editor, Kate Angelella formerly of Simon and Schuster, who selected me from 2000 other candidates for The Menagerie, and I will always be indebted to her. Trust me, editors know what they’re talking about! Their input is priceless, more valuable than gold! I can’t imagine my book without my editor’s experienced hand.

Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?

Just be on the lookout for Menagerie news and any upcoming book deals because we are sending out to publishers soon! And Rick Richter’s name will be attached to the project. He represented some little known titles oh *scratches head* trying to remember…oh that’s right! The Mortal Instruments Series, The Uglies, and The Spiderwick Chronicles to name a few. He also happens to be the former President of Simon and Schuster, so it’s pretty doggone amazing that he’s reading my book and offering his support!

Ok, really important question here. What are you going to be for Halloween?

Actually, my family doesn’t do Halloween, we just spend the evening away from the house going on a family date. But if I were to dress up, my husband and I would go as Westley and Buttercup from the Princess Bride. Or I’d go alone as Rapunzel, my favorite Disney Princess.

Thank you for stopping by THE KATY today, Emily!

 

z crawl schedule

Zombie Crawl 2 – Blog Party

October 22 – 31, 2015

by Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans

How it works: Each day, the scheduled authors and bloggers will post awesome zombie-tastic content for your enjoyment along with a giveaway on their site/blog/page. You can hop around to all of the participating sites and enter as many giveaways as you like! If you would like to be emailed links to the new posts each day, join this Zombie Crawl Daily Digest list which will ensure you don’t miss a post (or join the party on Facebook to get notifications). Make sure to leave comments and interact with the participating sites. Thanks for joining the party!

The Schedule:

OCTOBER 22 – Thursday

Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans (Party & Grand Prize Host)

Jo Michaels Blog (author)

Rissa Blakeley (author)

OCTOBER 23 – Friday

Claire C. Riley (author)

2 Girls & A Book (blog)

Emily Shore (author)

OCTOBER 24 – Saturday

Kathy Dinisi (author)

Us Girls & A Book (blog)

The Voluptuous Book Diva (blog 18+)

OCTOBER 25 – Sunday

Casey L. Bond (author)

THE KATY blog (blog)

OCTOBER 26 – Monday

Saul Tanpepper (author)

Warren Fielding (author)

The Leighgendarium (blog)

OCTOBER 27 – Tuesday

Kody Boye (author)

Rhiannon Frater (author)

ER Arroyo (author)

OCTOBER 28 – Wednesday

Allen Gamboa (author)

Armand Rosamilia (author)

Ethan @ One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads (blog)

OCTOBER 29 – Thursday

Kate L. Mary (author)

aftershockzombieseries (author)

Eli Constant (author)

OCTOBER 30 – Friday

Aria Michaels (author)

Brian Parker (author)

Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps (blog)

OCTOBER 31 – Saturday

Cindy Carroll (author)

M. R. Pritchard (author)

Toni L.H. Boughton (author)

Digital Dirty Girl (blog)

To learn more about Band of Dystopian and/or to enter our Grand Prize Giveaway, visit BandofDystopian.com and don’t forget to join the group on Facebook!

BOD ZOMBIE CRAWL ON THE KATY!

Today is my opening post for the Band of Dystopian’s Annual Zombie Blog Crawl! Basically, everyday from October 22nd-October 31st a different blogger or bloggers will have awesome new zombie related content to share along with awesome giveaways! See below for more information. I also have an AMAZING giveaway to share, so you’ll definitely want to check it out! Today is my day and I am so excited to be a part of BOD’s Zombie Crawl this year.

Onto the Zombie-ness:

I love zombies. But…I honestly can’t watch The Walking Dead. What I watched of it (cough…maybe four episodes…cough) was great, but my poor little heart can’t take how serious and horrible everything. is Yes, I know that it’s going to be horrible because ZOMBIES…but I still can’t. So, I am a BIG fan of ZomComs (Zombie Comedies)! I’ll post of few of my fave below, but be sure to comment if you have anymore that I didn’t mention. I would love to see more! I’ll add, that I also love reading zombie books. For some reason, I can handle those!

    1. The classic movie, Sean of the Dead. I’m sure you’ve seen this movie by now, but I make sure to watch it a few times per year to relive the awesomeness. “You’ve got red on you!”
    2. Fido. Not as many people (that I’ve talked to) have seen this one. It’s great! Basically, people keep zombies as servants, but one woman falls in love with theirs. Hilarity ensues.
    3. Watch this short, called “Steadfast Stanley.” Ok, it’s not really really funny, but it is sweet and endearing!

Steadfast Stanley from John Cody Kim on Vimeo.

  1. Zombieland. It’s been awhile. I need to watch this one again! I am not a huge fan of twinkies, but I can respect a man’s search for a sugary treat at the end of the world!
  2. Warm Bodies. May I say this movie is heartwarming or is that too much? A fun twist on Romeo and Juliet makes this zombie movie a Zom-Rom-Com (Zombie Romantic Comedy). I also read the book (ok, listened to the audiobook). I actually like the movie version better! That is RARE.

I hope you enjoyed my little list of Zombie movies! Please check out my giveaway, which is going to be EPIC. Many wonderful author interviews this week as well (many of them donated items for the giveaway!) so stay tuned!


GIVEAWAY

Where do I start? See the three prize packs below. You can enter the rafflecopter below the Prize Pack photos! I will be choosing three winners total. The giveaway goes from October 25th until Halloween. Have fun!

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ENTER HERE and click the arrows to choose which giveaway (or all) to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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View a schedule of the ENTIRE BOD Zombie Crawl below! Be sure to check out the other blogs and their giveaways!

A few prize photos!

Print from

Print from “The Mortuary Arts” by Author John Hancock.
*Weimaraner not included.

“Skull-ombie” drawing by Artist Jenna Weaver of Fine Line Art

z crawl schedule

Zombie Crawl 2 – Blog Party

October 22 – 31, 2015

by Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans

How it works: Each day, the scheduled authors and bloggers will post awesome zombie-tastic content for your enjoyment along with a giveaway on their site/blog/page. You can hop around to all of the participating sites and enter as many giveaways as you like! If you would like to be emailed links to the new posts each day, join this Zombie Crawl Daily Digest list which will ensure you don’t miss a post (or join the party on Facebook to get notifications). Make sure to leave comments and interact with the participating sites. Thanks for joining the party!

The Schedule:

OCTOBER 22 – Thursday

Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans (Party & Grand Prize Host)

Jo Michaels Blog (author)

Rissa Blakeley (author)

OCTOBER 23 – Friday

Claire C. Riley (author)

2 Girls & A Book (blog)

Emily Shore (author)

OCTOBER 24 – Saturday

Kathy Dinisi (author)

Us Girls & A Book (blog)

The Voluptuous Book Diva (blog 18+)

OCTOBER 25 – Sunday

Casey L. Bond (author)

THE KATY blog (blog)

OCTOBER 26 – Monday

Saul Tanpepper (author)

Warren Fielding (author)

The Leighgendarium (blog)

OCTOBER 27 – Tuesday

Kody Boye (author)

Rhiannon Frater (author)

ER Arroyo (author)

OCTOBER 28 – Wednesday

Allen Gamboa (author)

Armand Rosamilia (author)

Ethan @ One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads (blog)

OCTOBER 29 – Thursday

Kate L. Mary (author)

aftershockzombieseries (author)

Eli Constant (author)

OCTOBER 30 – Friday

Aria Michaels (author)

Brian Parker (author)

Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps (blog)

OCTOBER 31 – Saturday

Cindy Carroll (author)

M. R. Pritchard (author)

Toni L.H. Boughton (author)

Digital Dirty Girl (blog)

To learn more about Band of Dystopian and/or to enter our Grand Prize Giveaway, visit BandofDystopian.com and don’t forget to join the group on Facebook!

Author Spotlight with Ann Christy

Please join me in welcoming Ann Christy for the author spotlight on THE KATY today!

Ann is an awesome writer of such novels as Strikers, The Between Life and Death Series, and many short stories in many wonderful anthologies.

(Check out a few of my reviews of Ann’s books here!)

Thank you for joining me today, Ann!

annchristyAUTHOR BIO

Ann Christy is a recently retired Navy Commander and secret science-fiction writer. She lives by the sea under the benevolent rule of her canine overlords and assorted family members. You can find her running about the house in her pajamas and taking great glee in creating terrible situations for her characters to find their way out of…or not.


Stalker Links

Find Ann Christy on FacebookTwitter, her Website, and sign up for her VIP List (Free stories for VIPs!).

INTERVIEW

silo49What point in your life did the dream of being an author pop into your head? Any inspirational people or books that helped you take that first step?

I’ll be honest, it never did. I had never once considered this as a profession before I actually put that first cover on that first book. Seriously. I was a scientist and a naval officer and that’s who I was. Hugh’s first tiny volume of WOOL changed that. I wrote the Silo 49 series set in his world without knowing anything at all about writing. But it’s like all the other things people warn you about that will get you addicted…I was hooked from the first bite. Now, instead of working like crazy at my former profession, I spent up to 16 hours a day writing and I rarely take a day off and I love it. It’s the hardest and most awesome job I never thought I’d have.

What are the pros and cons about being an Indie published author?

inbetweenerThe list of pros is far longer than the list of cons, so I’ll start there. Freedom is first on that list because it’s a factor in every single part of the writing/publishing process. From finding that story in your head to advertising long after the book is out, all of it is *more* possible…or possible at all…when the author is Indie.

I’m free to publish on my schedule and work on the projects I want to. I adore my editor and he is my choice. The cover artists I work with are my choice, not a publisher’s. I keep all my money! I advertise and put on specials in terms of pricing as I want to and I don’t have to beg anyone to do it for me. I make sure my VIP list can buy every new release at $0.99 for the first few days after release and no publisher would go for that. Really, the list is endless.

Cons? Well, I suppose the main one is that I’m not in physical bookstores. While I could probably work very hard to get a few copies into bookstores on my own, it’s a labor intensive process that takes time away from writing and publishing, so I have to pick and choose my battles when it comes to time. The only other con I can think of is that there are still a whole lot of people who see me as a wannabe because I haven’t signed away all my potential profit by signing on the dotted line.

The truth is, I was offered contracts twice. I turned down both. The terms were egregious and none of the books I’ve published since those offers were made would have been published. *Not one book.* Primarily because of non-compete and first-refusal clauses. When you look at it from that perspective, it’s very hard to understand why anyone like me…solidly midlist because I’ve not yet had any breakout hits (::weeps silently::)…would ever sign a contract like the ones we’re traditionally offered.

What is your favorite experience as an author so far?

perprFrom the perspective of being a writer, it would be publishing that first book. It was amazing to click on Amazon and then see my book come up. I squealed.

From a public response point of view, it’s a tie. The first was being asked for my autograph for the first time. True, it was awkward because I was in Wegman’s near DC and was standing at the meat counter, but even though I was a bit flustered, I was also secretly delighted. The other was getting that first piece of reader email telling me how much they liked the book. I freaked in happiness. I still have it. I’m going to save it forever!

Are you a plotter or a panster?

Pantser! But that’s sort of not a good description because I have a really good memory, so the story is laid out in my head and I write it from that. So, I pants from the outside looking in, but often it’s from a well-thought out plot already in my head.

The downside of doing it that way is that there is often a great deal of cutting involved in my editing process because something that takes one second in my head might actually drag on for a bit on the page. I’m trying to be more methodical because it’s more efficient, but I don’t want to lose what’s working for me either.

I loved your Between Life and Death series, which had such an interesting and unique take on the zombie apocalypse. How did you come up with that awesome and terrible world?

futurechrScience! (Use a teen titan voice there.) I’m a huge zombie fan and always have been, but as a working scientist in more than one field, it bothered me a great deal when there was never any logic involved in how it happened. I know how viruses and bacteria will work in terms of spread and no, it won’t happen like “that.”

While I enjoyed many of those books and could rattle off a list as long as my arm of books I loved, I wanted to feel that sense of looming terror while reading because it could happen or something. (Not that I want it to, but part of that tension comes from that feeling.) Suddenly, after reading some papers on nanotech in the course of regular life, I had a sort of bingo moment.

A lot of research followed that included many papers and reports on current research and testing, but in the end, I thought I had something that resonated with our technological trends in a way that might enhance that sensation for the reader. It’s still a huge stretch, but there is workability there. After the science part, it was all just my naturally diabolical nature having a good time romping through the wasteland.

strikersAnother of my favorites Is Strikers. The main character, Karas, is a tough girl in a brutal dystopian society. Is Karas (or any other of your characters actually) created after yourself or someone you know?

Not really, but always. There is strength and resilience everywhere you look in the world, and I think I take something of everyone I’ve ever met and put them into my characters. In particular, I’ve known thousands of sailors in my life, and almost every single one of them is a tower of strength. That gives me a whole lot of material to work with.

How did you get involved with Samuel Perelta’s amazing anthologies? I loved your story, Vindicia, which was set in The In-Betweener world.

I was right there at the beginning and had a story in the very first volume, The Robot Chronicles. I think it sort of Zchronhappened by him saying something about putting together an anthology and asking if I felt like being in it. No one knew the Chronicles series was going to be a juggernaut that raised the bar for anthologies. If I would have known that, I probably wouldn’t have been asked to be in it. 😉 Just kidding. Well, hmm, maybe I shouldn’t think too much about that now that I come to think of it.

Since then, I’ve been in a few of them and will be in the upcoming Time Chronicles and Doomsday Chronicles. My story for Doomsday is called A Mother So Beautiful and I love that story. It’s just freaking creepy. Sam was very enthused about it after reading the draft and that made me do the happy dance.

If you had to spend a week in any fictional world (yours or otherwise), which one would you pick and why?

No way would I want to go into one of mine! Are you kidding? Those places are way too dangerous. I’d be dead in a heartbeat. If I had to pick one, I’d pick something nice and relaxing and far into the future so I could get a peek at the future I won’t live to see. ::pause:: I just went to look through my bookshelves and pretty much every world has far too much craptasticness in it, so I’ll just stay here.

Can you give us a hint for future projects? 😀

cea57-thebookofsamHints, eh? Well, I had to push back Strikers: The Eastlands because of reader response and requests for “origins” stories for characters in the Between Life and Death world. So, The Book of Sam is coming out at the end of October since he got the most email. I really liked writing that book and I feel so bad for Sam. Such a nice guy.

Once I’m done with the wrap-up and launch of that, I’ve got my stories for the Chronicles to polish off, plus more to write for another anthology. Then it’s back to work on Eastlands and possibly another Between Life and Death Origins book, this one with my personal working title: Savannah Slays. I’m not sure what the real title will be, but that’s my own fun one.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

I say this all the time and it’s probably the biggest lesson I learned. Once we put words down with the intention of publishing them, we’re no longer objective about them. A good editor is an absolute must. If that’s not at all possible due to finances, then get as many other eyes as you can on it. Also, use the four views method to find errors and improve writing.

Four Views Method:
1) Regular read-through in your word processing program. Edit there.

2) Have the program read it to you using text-to-speech. Word can do this very well. Edit again.

3) Read it on kindle like a regular book. (This one you might have to do more than once, but put it in Kindle format and read it like a regular book.) Highlight what you don’t like plus errors, then edit again.

4) Print it out and read it aloud to yourself in a room. This is seriously important. Our brains process words on a page slightly differently than we do on a screen. We’re less efficient at it and that means you’ll see things you didn’t see before. Also, our brains translate written words to verbal utterances in a radically different way than simply reading silently, so you’ll be amazed at the things you find when you do it like this. Not just errors, but awkward phrasing, habitual words, sentences that don’t work…etc.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I absolutely love books, movies, and pretty much everything entertainment, (which includes cute animal videos), so find me on Facebook or what-not and let’s be friends! I also love Goodreads as a reader, though I’m very quiet on there because I’m now an author, so if you’re also a Goodreader, hit me up as a friend so I can find more great books to read too. I’m a habitual shelf-peruser and I find loads of books that way.

Thank you for joining me today, Ann! It was great to have a chance to chat with you.

And you, as always, are awesome, Katy!


GIVEAWAY ALERT!

Visit bandofdystopian.com to check out their second annual Zombie Blog Crawl, which begins TODAY! My crawl day is this coming Sunday (October 25th), so stay tuned for my own (amazing) giveaway.

Get to know YOU giveaway! (NOW CLOSED)

Well, I finally got with the program and started a Facebook page for THE KATY. I promised that once I received 100 likes I’d have a giveaway and you did it in ONE DAY. I’m amazed! Since I’m still getting my stuff together on my end as I figure out the Facebook page, I decided I want to get to know you all a little bit during this giveaway. I’ll go first!

THE KATY’S FAVORITES11027519_10206317043020860_1153504254232455163_n

Book genre: That’s tough. I love reading all sorts of fiction. I love non-fiction too, but usually end up finding more and more non-fiction to read… Recently I’ve found a love for the Dystopian genre after joining the Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans group on Facebook. If you like this genre, definitely check them out. Such a great bunch of people. I also enjoy paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, romance (it depends), and I will try anything really.

Favorite Geek Fandom: I have to say Star Wars. It’s been in my blood since 1st grade (the boys I had a crush on loved it, but I’ll say my love for Star Wars definitely outlasted my crush for that boy!) and I married a man named Luke WALKER. Destiny? Definitely.

Other fandoms I enjoy: Various Anime, Supernatural, Firefly, OITNB, How to Train Your Dragon, Bob’s Burgers, Zombies (does that count?), Jurassic Park, and again, I will try (pretty much) anything!

If you want to hear more tidbits about me, check out the posts from the A-Z Blogging Challenge in April this year. I talk about kids, geek, books, and more!

Any questions? Anything you want to see? Comment below!

Without further ado, The giveaway! I hope to see you on the Facebook page. 🙂 (This giveaway is now closed! Congrats to the winner who has been contacted via email. Look forward to more giveaways as my blog grows. This was FUN!)

Facebook and Amazon have NOTHING to do with this giveaway.

Prizes: $5 Amazon Gift card, I created one of the prizes, “Ghostly Hugs” ink print, and the author swag was gifted (or won) from various authors. 

Click the Rafflecopter link below to visit the giveaway! Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One of the prizes is a limited edition ink print. I carved the image out of a linoleum block and used black ink to create the image on paper. Fun!

One of the prizes is a limited edition ink print. I carved the image out of a linoleum block and used black ink to create the image on paper. Fun!

Interview with author Aria Michaels

Today is a really awesome day on THE KATY because I have Aria Michaels, author of “Killshot” and “Before the Sky Fell” with me! (I reviewed Killshot the other day)


INTERVIEW WITH ARIA MICHAELS11267704_1582761735335097_345551150_n

Thank you for joining me today, Aria! I thoroughly enjoyed Killshot and Before the Sky Fell. I need more and can’t wait for the sequel.

What made you want to be a writer? Did any certain books, authors, or movies inspire you to pursue writing as a career?

I have always been the creative type. I started drawing, singing, playing music and writing from a very young age. I was torn between being greater than Picasso and being the next Laura Ingalls Wilder. While I hadn’t the means to achieve it yet, that dream stuck with me even when life threw a few hurdles in my path. I lost my way for a while but four sons and two step-sons later, the universe shoved me back onto the right path. A couple years ago, I had a pretty serious health crisis that almost took me away from my family. Sometimes it takes something like that to make you realize there is a difference between existing and living. A year later, I published Killshot. 
 
My biggest inspiration- that one literary voice that hit me and made me believe I could really do this was Author Elle Casey. I have always been a big YA fiction fan but her Apocalypsis series was the first post-apoc dystopian series I had ever read. I gobbled her words up and finished all four books in less than a week and have been an avid fangirl ever since. Her style spoke to me in a way that none before it ever had. 
Where did your love for Apocalyptic/Post-apoc/Zombie lore come from?

Actually, my love for the lore is rooted in film. I have always loved horror movies, even as a young child…there was just something about that hint of danger that fueled my imagination (and my nightmares, as it turned out). Still, I couldn’t stay away from the fear inducing high that was the horror genre. I saw Night of the Living Dead when I was maybe ten years old and I was hooked. Since then, I have seen pretty much every Zombie movie ever made (the good and the bad). It is my sincere hope that one day the Icarus Series will be on the big screen. I wouldn’t even wait for the DVD on that one…I’d pay full ticket price and everything! (laughs)
Do you have any advice on finding time to write while balancing family life?

Honestly, there is no magic answer to that one. Writing is now my full-time career (in addition to my Etsy shop), so I suppose I juggle the same types of things that any other mother of six would. Basketball games, dentist appointments, karate, and homework; it’s all part of the package. The best piece of advice I can offer is to be flexible and be prepared to compromise. My boys understand that from the hours of noon and three, mom is working. In exchange, when my “office hours” are closed, they have my full attention. We play games, catch up on our day, make dinner and hang out. If I get the chance to get back into the writing cave after they go to bed, that is a bonus. My priority will always be taking care of my family. Thankfully, my husband and my boys understand that sometimes that means that mom has to focus on herself in order to make that happen. Whatever schedule or agreement you decide on, commit to it and set the expectations as soon as possible to avoid any confusion or hurt feelings. 
 
I just finished reading “Before the Sky Fell”, the companion novella to “Killshot” and felt such raw emotion in the lives of Liv and Beans. Do you have experience with the foster care system or something else in your life that you pulled the emotions from for their story?

While I have not been in the system myself, I have had some first-hand experience with those who have. Once upon a time, I was a psychology major. As such, I did a brief internship with social services. Needless to say it was eye-opening for me. At that time in my life, I had a tenuous relationship with my own family but seeing the struggles these kids faced each day really put things in perspective for me. Those children left a mark on my heart. 
Is Liv like a daughter to you or is she you in a sense?

I connected with Liv’s character more than you will ever know. Her overall attitude in life, her single-minded determination and even her desire to control the universe…all me. Many of Liv’s experiences are based on my own; the mural she painted, her part-time job at the local diner, and her tendency to fiddle with her hair when she is upset or nervous. I poured so much of myself into this character that I feel as though we are kindred spirits. If anything, I would say that Liv is my sister. 
 
If you were in Liv’s post-apocalyptic situation would you have taken a leadership role?

Without a doubt. Call it Type A personality or maybe I’m a just a control freak, but I somehow always seem to fall into that role- even if I am not consciously trying to. 
While reading Killshot, I was blown away by the scientific knowledge the characters possessed. And it was written in away that I could understand, which I appreciated. Do you have any background in science or tech fields or are you just really good at research?

That is a huge compliment Katy, mostly because I absolutely DESPISE research. Thing was, it was absolutely vital to the foundation of the story. All together, I would say I probably did at least 100 hours of basic research for Killshot. The difficulty was that a lot of what I wrote about was theoretical science, at best.The last major solar flare occurred in the 1800’s and none of today’s tech existed back then so I had a lot of balf-baked theories to sift through in order to figure out how it would all go down. Once I had the science of it hammered out, I actually enlisted the help of my 12 and 14 year olds. I tweaked it and edited, simplified and smoothed it out until even they understood what was happening. The last thing I wanted was for the story to be drowned out by overwhelming factoids and over-complicated science. Glad to hear I hit the mark!
Anything else you want to tell readers or aspiring writers out there?

Aspiring Writers…You CAN do this, you just have to decide to do it. Sit down, put pencil to paper (or fingers to keys) and make it happen. It doesn’t have to be perfect or amazing the first time around. That is what beta readers and editors are for. Once you have your word-baby, KEEP WRITING. It’s so easy to get swallowed up in the numbers, marketing and muck of social media in an effort to be the next big thing. The best thing you can do to ensure your longevity is to keep writing. Your best marketing tool for your book is to write the next book. Just keep writing and when you are done writing, write some more. For the love of God, don’t stop.
 
Readers…Ironically there are no words that can accurately express how much your support means to me. Writing has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl but I honestly never imagined that I would make it this far. It’s one thing to put your words out there into the universe but it’s quite another to have those words embraced with such enthusiasm. I have never been so proud, or so humbled in my life. I know, as do so many of us who put our words and our hearts into your hands ever day, that without all of you I would not exist. I will forever be grateful for that…for each and every one my readers. 
 
“There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” –Hemingway (…and he pretty much nailed it)

Thank you for joining me on THE KATY today, Aria!

Find Aria on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and other awesome places.


EVENT ALERT!!!
Please join Aria and many other authors celebrating her novella, Before the Sky Fell, this Saturday on Facebook. I will be adding the amazing giveaway pot with a $5 Amazon giftcard and some signed Aria Michaels swag.
Join the event on Facebook! The party is from 10am-10pm on Saturday, May 30th.