Calling All Authors

I was picking up my condo the other day for Burgers Beers and Beatdowns 2 when I noticed a couple of things. One was that after the fact I felt I needed to subtitle the event to Burgers Beers and Beatdowns 2: Electric Boogaloo. (If this confuses you, then you obviously didn’t watch the fly weight championship. Seriously, you only see someone as fast as Johnson was in that fight in the comic books!) The other is that I still have the Neo2 from Camp NaNoWriMo.

Remember? The one that I’m going to give away in a young writers contest? Yeah, I nearly forgot too.

On the upside, school is in session. That means I have an excellent method to get the word out to local teen writers. It’s a community thing, I would like to see a strong showing for our local teen writers.

So you might be wondering why I am titling this “Calling All Authors.” This falls back to me looking for authors who would be willing to read/judge in the contest, or might have goodies they’d like to donate so that I could include prizes for more than just first place.

If you’re interested and know me locally, personally or such, just call, text, tweet, or email me. Hell, send up smoke signals. Whatever.

If you’re a follower or chatter on social media, then tweet me, post here, email me at mister dot zombie at gmail dot com. Smoke signals would only work in your instance if you’re somewhere near Wisconsin. My eyesight is only really good at reading levels, so further out and I wouldn’t notice them.

My goal is to shoot for submission by the end of November and judging in early December. Before the holidays get really busy. Interested?

Name a Wight

EDIT: Extended! Both offers below are extended until I get back from camping the end of this week. Naming opportunities will still be done, but the closer I get to the end the less my ability to enter those. Naming the wight will be a simple search and replace on the placeholder name. ūüėČ

This is the first real sponsorship challenge I am offering. For all I know, it could be my last. The inspiration for this one came from out of the blue – much like the inspiration for Duke himself. Only this time it came from writing.

If you’re following me on Twitter you may have heard me mention at some point that I have used zombies as the foot soldiers of the Big Bad‚ĄĘ in my story. Specifically zombies born from the use of bath salts. I’m not talking straight up drugs, although that is part of it, but also¬†synthetic¬†drugs altered by dark magic to create the necrotic disease that brings the victims back from the dead. Much like with the very real world Miami bath salts incident, these walkers tend to shred off their clothes. The fever cooks them and they remained flushed for the first bit of time after turning. It also allows them to move faster and with more coordination until their muscles start to rot.

Enter the trio of zombies to the University Book Store on State Street. Never mind their reason for being there. They just  are. And so are my two heroes. Except only two of the dead guys are pouring with sweat and stripped down to only their humility and humidity. The other guy is taller, more solid, cold to the touch, and decked out all in black. This includes a black leather duster. In Wisconsin. During the Summer.

I had no idea what he was, but he was there to lead the strike on the book store. He was there for the intelligence as he wasn’t a brainless zombie. I am playing with calling him a wight, but that will likely be decided in revisions. He is dead, still walking, intelligent and is not vulnerable to the hunger. What I didn’t do in the scene I wrote him in to was name him. All of his companions were fever zombies so there was no dialog like, “What to go zombie pal.” Or “Hey, these are some pretty good cheesy fries.”

My detective called him Scooter. That may morph to Skippy though. I can’t continue forward with that as a name, but I need to name him something. He’s the right hand of the Big Bad‚ĄĘ and will come into play in at least one more scene. Probably more. That’s where you all come in.

Monday the 18th I leave for Door County camping for the entire week. So, the first person to donate in for the option of naming a character and leaves it in the comments will have the ability to help me name the right hand of the villain. I’ll even include a special thanks in the¬†acknowledgments. Also, for anyone who donates in at least $10 to the pledge page by Sunday night (say 10pm CT) can send me their address and I will ship them a care package. It will be food related and linked to one of the characters in the stories. Anyone earning the care package, let me know about any food allergies.

Sunday night or Monday morning I will post who is naming the character with me and list people who will be sent care packages. Hopefully I will have something to report.

And speaking of reports… (You see what I did there?) I am currently at 21306 for the month. I am stopping at the coffee shop for a second bout of writing, so that will go up. Basically with a near full day of Legend of the Five Rings on Saturday I wanted to build up a cushion.

Who has two thumbs and is going to be writing Saturday morning before the tournament? This guy! Zombie Joe!

In Review:

  • First person to donate under the “Name a Character” option will get to help me name the Wight.
  • Anyone donating at least $10 worth this weekend will get a care package from me in the mail.
  • The link to the pledge page is on the right. The stamp that says “Sponsored Camper.”

You’re Doing It Wrong

Last week on Twitter there was an odd interaction with an author. It led to one of the more awesome promotional ideas I’ve seen in a long time. Which for some reason (I’m blaming the cold I am currently fighting off like a mongol horde) led me to the statement of “If this doesn’t make sense to you, you’re doing it wrong.” Clearly an addled brain mash-up of an Internet meme, but hopefully it convinced people to check it out.

This isn’t to say that no other author is doing anything similar. It also isn’t to say that no other authors should do this. This is just my account of one that is awesome. It’s also my reminder to myself to put an entry into this one. But now, I’m just addling your brain as much as mine.

In short, Amber Benson asked Twitter followers for a favorite word and a number. She took the chosen entries from those and formed them into a challenge to get 77 reviews of Serpent’s Storm – book 4 in the Calliope Reaper-Jones series. The challenge (for us, the collective readers) is to fit the word “chicken” into the review as much as possible. The winner gets a Skype lunch of disgusting foods with Amber Benson. The only sure thing I recall seeing is that chocolate covered ants would be involved. You can get all the information over at her blog post on the challenge.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love me a signed book. And if there is an ARC involved, I’m there (assuming I am caught up on the series in question). That said, there is a definite allure to something as¬†eclectic¬†as “Skype Lunch of Disgusting Food” as a prize. I guess my high school creative writing teacher was right… I am eccentric.

The magic number 77 comes into play for a challenge on the author. Once she reaches the magic number of 77 she is posting a video of her singing one of two songs that readers choose from. This is similar to her first challenge of 85 reviews and she’d post a video of her doing the macarena. This right here is one of the reasons Amber Benson is on the list of my favorite authors – her willingness to do something fun and potentially¬†embarrassing¬†to promote her books.

Either that or I simply like watching people embarrass themselves. Come to think of it, Truth or Dare Week was my favorite week on the YA Rebels channel on YouTube.

As it took me a while to formulate this post, I will be getting back into the swing of things in the next day or so. That means I am going to be tweaking my format of the blog (and hopefully convincing my wife to finally hook me up with some graphics), and posting some recipes and information from my Change Write Now challenge going on.

For now, I am going to start rereading Serpent’s Storm.

Eat Soup, Read a Book

Really I had some incredibly insightful stuff to post about cooking soup and focusing on my diet this past week. But much like when I was making the soup last night, the further I get away from a “meal” the less my brain seems to want to behave. I explained it today as being like a hobbit. You know; breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea… the whole nine yards.

In lieu of anything insightful, I will announce a little change to my blog postings. Not really a change so much as a backup. I’m going to start posting recipes that I’m using including the calorie count that I’m getting for them. I’ll start with the pasta fagouli and probably the devil’s food cupcakes. That is all a moot point as it will likely happen this weekend. I have some big plans over the next 24 hours – not the least of which being getting the new graphics and such for this site.

As far as the “read a book” goes, I have three books I’ve really been looking forward to (two of which I’m already finished with) and one I took up for a book club. It’s non-fiction, but it’s one my wife would be interested in. But that’s not the real reason I included it here. The real reason is to let you know about a contest going on for one of those authors.

Bitten by Books is hosting a chat with Diana Pharaoh Francis along with a giveaway. I really enjoy the series and look forward to each new book that comes out. I could say tons more, but I would hate to spoil anything in the books for you. The series (The Horngate Witches) revolves around a witch and a college roommate she turned into a night-dwelling bodyguard known as a shadowblade. The world building in this series is pretty awesome, and the characters are surprising in how much you start to like them Рeven the bastards.

Go forth, read more on the series, pick up the books, ask the author questions… just click on the¬†Bitten by Books link above.

As always, included below are my stats for the day…

Change Write Now (1/12/12)

  • Food – within 100 calories
  • Water – right at 64oz
  • Exercise – walking
  • Writing – at least 500 words
  • Good Habit – wrote, all meals home made
  • Bad Habit – didn’t weight myself


  • Reading (print) – Silver Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
  • Reading (Nook) – The Power of Less
  • Writing – naughty project take three

New Author Month

Are you familiar with the League of Reluctant Adults? Are you a reader of Literary Escapism? Are you simply bored and looking for something to read between commercials during Law & Order? Well, then consider the New Author Mini-Challenge being done over at Literary Escapism.

For those of you not wanting to click over and read the original post, the idea is to read up to five books from authors in the League of Reluctant Adults that you have not read before. If you run short on that, reading a book from one of them you have not read before. I am going to push the tin a bit more than even that though.

If you are a friend of mine on Twitter and/or Facebook you likely are familiar with the snark. You are probably a fan of the smart-ass too. Also, if you are following me on those sites or are a real life friend of mine, there is a better than even chance you are a fan of the zombies. With that in mind, I am going to challenge you to read Mark Henry. This should be made easier as Happy Hour of the Dead (the first Amanda Feral novel) released in mass market paperback this week. For the layman that means seven bucks instead of fifteen for the trade paperback. Also, should you like that one, Road Trip of the Living Dead (the second book) is budget priced on Amazon.

Although I have read all of his books (including Battle of the Network Zombies which releases in February), this is my effort to support the Save Amanda campaign. You see with the economy the way it has been, that has been a stake in the heart for the trade paperback market. I can use the vampire metaphor since one of Amanda’s friends she goes clubbing with is a vampire. Again – in layman’s terms – unless the mass market paperback sales pick up, there will be no Amanda Feral book four. I hear tell the plan is for Amanda and her entourage to take a cruise. Honestly, with me going on an Alaskan cruise next summer, I really want to read that book on a cruise ship.

Happy Hour of the Damned (or ask for it at your local store)

Road Trip of the Living Dead bargain priced

For my part, my plans are to read through at least five books from other members of the League. While I have read many of them, there are ones I have not gotten to. Also there is more than just Mark Henry releasing a book this coming month at the League. My short list for the month includes:

  • Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler (been sitting on this for a month or so)
  • Dead Matter by Anton Strout (releases on the 23rd of February)
  • Hell’s Belle’s by Jackie Kessler (so I can finally read that copy of Road to Hell I won)
  • Road to Hell by Jackie Kessler
  • Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland (since I really dug Mark of the Demon

In the event that I have to fill in due to not being able to get the books in time, I will likely fill in with Mario Acevedo as I have two of his books sitting in my to read pile. Of course I also have access to Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy as well. My options are open at this point.

Now comes the fun part. Pop over to the New Author Mini-Challenge and sign up. There is fame and wonderful prizes available – well at least a chance to win a book of your choice from the listed authors. If nothing else it will act as a motivator to get you reading and possibly try something new.

Also you can make the difference in the life of a single zombie with your purchase of Mark Henry’s books. Because a mind is a terrible thing to waste. (Get it? She’s a zombie?) Um… so… uh… Save Amanda!

Zombie Out!

Curl Up with a Book… and a Nook!

Contest Link (Edit: The embed of the Flash elements are not working. Check out the page directly until I figure it out.)

This is a contest being held by a pair of Paranormal Romance authors who are giving away books this holiday season. With the amount of advice I seem to be getting on reading Paranormal Romance to help with my Urban Fantasy (not to mention the amount of Urban Fantasy I have been reading lately with naughty bits in it) I have been looking at a few paranormal romance authors.

So in short, I saw this contest and figured it was an excellent way to dive into the genre before Romantic Times this coming summer.

Also, it was something I could post quickly as I did not prep a blog this past weekend. I was busy… honest! ūüėČ