Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Summer of Zombie Blog Tour Continues

blog tour 13

For the second time this month it is my privilege to share with you another author form the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour.

My guest today is James N. Cook and rather than the standard interview or the usual blog post about his writing roots and such…James would like to cut to the chase and give you a taste of his latest work.

Take it away, James…

James CookHello everyone, and thanks for having me. For this post, I decided not to bore you to death with a bunch of anecdotes, un-funny jokes, and observations that no one cares to hear. I am not here to tell you all about how awesome of a writer I am, and why you should buy my books, and how hard I’ve struggled, and blah, blah, blah. Rather, I’d like to simply show you. This is an actual chapter from my new novel, Warrior Within. It is the third installment of the reasonably successful Surviving the Dead series. I hope you like it. Enjoy!

Excerpt from Warrior Within,

by James N. Cook Continue reading

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Are Independent Authors like Heavy Metal Bands?

A very good friend of mine plays guitar in a heavy metal band in Denver.

BTDSince I really don’t care for heavy metal, I won’t get into my personal opinion of their music. What I would like to discuss comes from a recent thread he started on facebook regarding the lack of air time that metal bands receive from radio stations. He claims that metal bands don’t get air time because they “refuse to follow the ‘code’ and ‘rules’ of radio.”

His comment implies that the reason we don’t hear bands like Anvil, Dream Theater, Slayer and Sepultura on our car radio, is that these bands refuse to cave in to “the man”. Furthermore, it could be inferred from his other comments that the only reason Metallica is heard on the radio is that they sold out.

What does this have to do with writing books, you ask?

Bear with me…

There are a few possible answers to the question of what keeps these bands off the air;

It could be that they just plain suck and they are blinded to that fact because they are lost in what they are creating.

It could be that, although they are talented, there is just not a big enough audience out there to warrant a radio station devoting serious (and expensive) air time to them.

Or it could be a grand conspiracy by said radio stations to only play that which they deem “worthy”.

Whatever the answer is (probably a little of each) I think this example can be carried over to the book world also.

The book industry used to be dominated by the major publishing companies. Back in those days, would-be authors would literally have to beg for a chance to get published. I don’t know the actual statistics, but the chances of an author getting published were somewhere between “don’t quit your day job” and  “not friggin’ likely.”

The recent upsurge of small press houses, vanity presses and self-publishing has thrown all of that out the window. Nowadays anybody, literally ANYBODY, can write a book and have it published.

Going back to our metal-band analogy…this is the equivalent of a band recording their own CD – which is also much easier today than it was 20 years ago.

However the same road block that exists for heavy-metal bands also exists for Independent Authors…getting air time – or in our case, shelf time. Book stores, even though they may be going the way of the dodo, still make it nearly impossible for Indie Authors to have their books presented in large quantities to the public.

So we have to rely on other methods. Just as a local band will play in bars and clubs to garner a fan base, authors will usually hold book signings at small venues, where they might sell a dozen books, and consider it a success.

The other tool we have at our disposal is the internet – a (basically) free outlet which has the potential to connect us to millions of people – instantly.

So here’s where you come in…

You may not realize it but you have great power to help your favorite Indie Author (like me)!

It is soooo helpful to us when you do simple things like sharing facebook posts, retweeting us, talking about us on Goodreads and LinkedIn and posting reviews on Amazon after you’ve read one of our books.

I’ll use myself as an example…

Currently I have almost 1,000 fans on my facebook page (thank you, by the way!).  If I post something about the upcoming release of a book, it will be seen by most of those people – let’s say 500. If half of those people (250) share it with their friends, and we assume that they each have 250 friends, that post has now been seen by 62,500 people.

That’s just facebook…

Numbers like that can really, really help.

I know you’ve probably heard all this before, but since Independent Authors are their own marketing assistants, we have to periodically remind the world that we are here. So consider yourself reminded!

Unfinished Business will be released in June, 2013

Unfinished Business will be released in June, 2013


And by the way, my next book, Unfinished Business, will be released in about 2 weeks (on or about June 30) – so spread the word!!!

You can read the first two chapters by clicking this link.

As always, thank you for reading.

Thanks to Chris Tucker and Beyond the Descent for being my example!


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The Summer of Zombies Blog Tour – Mark Tufo

For the second year in a row I have been invited to participate in the Summer of Zombies Blog Tour and as luck would have it, I am honored to welcome back Zombie/Horror author Mark Tufo as my guest blogger.

blog tour 13Mark has a couple of new works he’d like to tell you about. One them sounds particularly interesting…it’s a horror novel called Tim 2 (catchy title – don’t cha think?).

Just reading this post should stir your interest in Tim – I know it did mine.

So moving right along…please enjoy this short guest post from Mark Tufo, check out his website here, and please look for the rest of the Summer Zombie Blog posts here.

Take it away, Mark! Mark Tufo image

Back by popular demand Tim 2!!!! Okay so not really. Most folks who enjoy eating or have a fear of clowns will steer clear of this novel. Back in 2011 Severed Press had approached me and asked if I had a zombie story that I wanted published, at the time I told them I did not. A couple of weeks later, I pitched them the idea of Timothy, it is the story of a zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a self-aware zombie. S.P. was happy with the idea but said that seldom do these types of stories do well. Well that was really all the incentive I needed to get going. At the time I was busy writing Zombie Fallout IV and moving cross country it was a pretty stressful time in my life and I could only spare bits and pieces of time to cobble together the story. Took me somewhere in the neighborhood of six months to get them out a novella. Although I was happy with the results and more importantly so were they.

I had let the inner demon out to feed, he was sated and I put him back in the deep dark recesses of my mind, where apparently he festered. Late 2012, Tim 2 began to burp and belch his way forward to where I began to put pen to paper.

Mark Tufo Tim2 Three months later I had a full length horror novel on my hands. I don’t know what it is about writing about such a revolting creature as Tim. He has absolutely no redeeming qualities yet I find myself rooting for him. Maybe I should ask my doctor to up my meds, or cut them off, one or the other. There’s something to be said for traveling into your inner psyche, odds are you won’t like all that you see when you pull up those old wet moss covered stones, and if you can grab and write down what it is before it scrabbles away maybe you can ink it to life (Or death)!

My Zombie Fallout series revolves around Michael Talbot, love him or hate him with all his flaws, he is still an everyman doing his best in a world gone to shit to save his friends and family. My other series the Book of Riley is a zombie apocalypse through the eyes of an American Bulldog, both are characters I have come to love as I explore them. But Tim…I don’t know what it is, his stories are magnitudes of order darker than anything I have written to date and for that I love the bastard. I still hate clowns though, of which he is.

So if it’s a dreary Saturday, and the rain is coming down hard, your significant other has taken the kids to his or her parents house and you have the house to yourself perhaps you should give Tim a chance. I mean first I would make sure your doors and windows are locked. Check the closets and under the beds, and best go see what that weird noise in the basement is before you begin but after you get all that resolved grab a blanket, gun and a big dog and go hunker down on the couch, preferably with your back to a stout wall. And enjoy. Thank you for this opportunity to hang out on your blog for a few moments!

Join Mark Tufo and Eight other Zombie authors during the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2013, going on all of June. Visit the Facebook event page for more information, too!


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