CYP#4: Lucas Complete!

Lucas Tesshu, the sword-toting modern day samurai whose greatest weakness was a compulsion to help everyone he met is now fully visualized with an origin story in the upcoming PATHOGENS. To all the teachers out there, I ask: What would you do if the zombie apocalypse hit while class was in session? Stay put with your students? Try to get them to their parents? Just leave the snotty brats and make a run for it?

Your answer might change if you were a master swordsman teaching a kendo class. Or not. Either way, get ready to live his journey for yourself!

 

Up next? Our final character: The cold, hard, badass leader: Cooper!


Thanks for reading! Excited? Confused? Bemused?

Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe!

CYP#4: Tyberius Complete!

::Walks away from explosion like a badass::

Tyberius, the street-smart athletic force of nature from INFECTED is now completed! Some might recall he reacted rather harshly at Deleon’s reveal in the high school. In the upcoming PATHOGENS, you can find out why as you live his story for yourself.

Most evocative image of the Tyberius path I could find. Still recovering from the Google image rabbit hole. Whew.

Up next? Kendo master Lucas Tesshu!


Thanks for reading! Excited? Confused? Bemused?

Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe!

Blackest Friday

As some of you consider braving the crowds for a 75% off Blu-ray player, or perhaps the most ticklish Elmo ever designed by man, let this excerpt from INFECTED serve to remind you of the depths of depravity that awaits you. Comparable to looting at the start of the zombie apocalypse….

Time to fight the crowds for Blackest Friday, the biggest looting day of the year. Guns, batteries, powdered water; you’ll take it all!

On a Spree

Have you ever seen the YouTube videos about Black Friday sales? It looks like a zombie invasion—and that’s just for videogame consoles and designer kitchenware. Today, people are looting for their lives, and the chaos in the streets makes post-hurricane Katrina scavenging look like a sleepy Borders bookstore on a Wednesday afternoon. You know, the ones that closed due to lack of business.

Cars are crashing into anything and everything in an effort to get whatever as fast as possible. People are smashing windows just because the world’s ending. This is going to be bad.

You head straight for the sporting goods megastore in search of a gun. You’re not sure if there’s a waiting period, but you’re thinking it’ll be waived today. Besides, you’ve only got a hammer and a steak knife; not ideal for home defense.

From the looks of the parking lot, the insanity has already begun to make its way here: people pay no mind to parking spaces or any other laws designed to keep order. It’s total Lord of the Flies madness.

Inside, the crowds seem to be cooperating. The employees are still taking payments, and people are happy to charge it, knowing the credit card bill collectors will have a hell of a time in the upcoming months. Some sprint down the aisles with their arms loaded to capacity; others use shopping carts as battering rams. Polite society hasn’t crumbled yet, but it’s certainly strained.

It looks like the rifle racks were the first to go. Disappointed, and about to turn and look for other supplies, you see a handgun on the ground resting under one of the shelves, just barely in view. You pick it up. There’s a lock on the trigger—to keep people from using it in the store—and evidently it was abandoned by a frustrated shopper. Time to see if you can find the keys.

“Give me that piece,” a voice from behind commands. You turn to see who is speaking. The man in question looks polite enough in his business suit, but the baseball bat he’s carrying (and the manner in which he holds it) tells another story. “I’m not asking.”

  • “Go fuck yourself.” Go to page 124

  • Give it to him. You can get some other supplies, then hole up back home. As long as you properly barricade yourself, you shouldn’t need a gun. Go to page 138

Get INFECTED for *FREE*

UPDATE: The promo is over, but you can still check out the results here.

That’s right, INFECTED is currently FREE on the Amazon Kindle. 3 Unique Storylines, over 50 Possible Endings, Just One Question: Will YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

This promo will last from 8-10 January ONLY, so tell your friends.

Spread the news and help the world Get INFECTED!
Spread the news and help the world Get INFECTED!

Why? With MURDERED out for a month now, I felt like it would be an appropriate time to give back. Limited-time free promotions can be a powerful marketing tool as well, so I’m hoping this will expand my audience and generate a buzz around Click Your Poison books. In accordance with my blogging New Year’s Resolution, you can expect some Lessons Learned from this promotion over the coming days and weeks.

Want more? If you’re a blogger with your own website, create a post during the free promotional period announcing the giveaway and I’ll mail you an INFECTED wineglass free of charge. These are limited edition, so it’s first-come, first-served and once the stock is depleted, that’s it.

Sip out of your free glass while reading your free ebook! Wine sold separately.
Sip out of your free glass while reading your free ebook! Wine sold separately.

INFECTED currently has a rating of 4.8/5 Stars based on 44 reviews — None of which are below a 4-Star rating. Pick up your copy today and see if YOU have what it takes to survive. Good luck, and remember, always aim for the head.

Free Zombie Swag

If you’re on facebook and love zombie fiction, today’s your lucky day.

ZFEEB

Check out Zombie Fest Free ebook Bonanza, a facebook event open to the public and supported by numerous zombie writers, artists, and fanatics.

I’m giving away a few copies of INFECTED to lucky raffle winners, and countless others are doing the same. There’s even a free ebook you can download the day of the event (an anthology of short stories) to which I’ve submitted “Corporate Zombie“.

So, click the link, head on over to facebook, get some free gear, and meet some talented artists!

And while you’re there, give a LIKE to Click Your Poison Books! 😉

CYPFB

Chance to Support Indie Gaming

Aim for the head in the upcoming indie FPS, Deadly Walkers — due out Fall, 2013.

I’ve been following the progress of Deadly Walkers for a while now, ever since game developer Francesco Calvi contacted me to see if I’d be interested in some cross promotion.

Specifically, he asked if I’d be willing to create a series of ‘newspapers’ for the game detailing how a zombie outbreak might progress in London. It seemed like a neat project, and I’ve always wanted to work in video games, so I accepted.

The first two newspapers are out now:

2 Day Before Plague (Click to Enlarge)
1 Day Before Plague (Click to Enlarge)

You can read the full story as it’s released (there should be a new edition today) by clicking HERE.

And now YOU can support indie gaming too. They just started their kickstarter campaign this week, and for only $10 you’ll get a full copy of the finished product. Check out their full list of pledge incentives at the Deadly Walkers Kickstarter.

Support indie artists!

Amazon Makes the Best Kool-Aid

My walls have been kicked down. Oh Yeah!
My walls have been kicked down. Oh Yeah!

It is with bittersweet anticipation that I announce INFECTED will be only available on Amazon.com very soon. Some of you are nook users or buy using itunes, kobo, etc — if you’ve been waiting to get the book, do so now. I’ll leave it active for another week or so. If you already bought a copy from another site, don’t worry, you’ll still have your book on your ereader.

Why go exclusive? If you haven’t heard of KDP Select, allow me to sum it up for the layperson: Amazon offers benefits for those who go exclusive. Most notably, five promotional free-giveaway days per 90 days of exclusivity. What? Giving away your book for free is a benefit? It is — and I’ll explain that in a moment. You’re also allowed to lend the book to Amazon Prime members, which makes it free for them to read (Amazon still pays you) and that sounds like a real win-win for readers and authors.

I already have two short stories available through KDP Select, and this week I’m using all five of my giveaway days on “Corporate Zombie” a short story. Please, check it out and download it free:

Click me. I'm FREE this week only.
Click me. I’m FREE this week only.

I’ll report back on the success of my “Corporate Zombie” giveaway later, but even now it’s being downloaded by new readers. I’ve already had half as many downloads this morning as I’ve had *total* sales, and that’s by just tweeting about it. Sure, it’d be nice if those were paying customers, but not many people buy short stories and I’m happy just to have it read. Plus, when you look at the short, it tells you that people who’ve purchased “Corporate Zombie” have also purchased INFECTED and the main benefit is that (I hope) people will like the story and want to check out my book. Cross some fingers for me.

It’s always seemed counter-intuitive to me to go exclusive with one platform, especially when the intended benefit from such an action is ease of giving your work away for free. Indie publishing, if you’re doing it right, can get expensive. I’ve spent money trying to make INFECTED a professional product, and if I’m paying a copyeditor, cover artist, formatter, etc — Don’t I want to try and earn some of that back? Aren’t you devaluing your own work by giving it away for free? Yes and no. I firmly believe that if you want something to be permanently free, the best place for it is your own website. But a free promotion gets… complicated.

After reading these two articles, I can no longer debate the power of a free promotion:

.

I’m planning a giveaway of INFECTED to coincide with the release of the next book in the series. Since I’m (hopefully) only 3-4 months away from releasing Click Your Poison #2, I need to go exclusive. Much like the second article I posted, I’ll be transparent about my success and share with you how it goes.

So… thoughts? Good idea? About time? Noooooooo? What do you think? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. And if you’re going to download “Corporate Zombie” — Enjoy!

Tell Me, Why Do We Love Zombies So?

This is an essay I originally wrote for zombie-guide.com and their “Zombies in Fiction” section. I also want to share it on my page because almost every time I do an interview this question comes up.

Tell us, zombie scribe. Why do the masses love the undead masses?”

So, make sure you go check out their site afterwards (lots of awesome zombie content), but here’s the article in full:

Why are zombies so popular? Well, for many, it’s a call to action. We’re Luke Skywalker, caught in the dregs of daily life, and the zombie apocalypse serves as the storm troopers coming to burn down our uncle’s homestead. Ready or not, time for adventure. Or (in case you’re not as big a Star Wars nerd as I am), let me put it this way: We’re not all the type to go out and join the military or the police force, but we’d like to believe that if danger came knocking on our door, we could rally to that call. The zombie apocalypse is when push comes to shove.

Zombie Luke Skywalker Credit: DeviantArt

It’s pure escapism. Once the zombie apocalypse happens, all the things that are important to us will fall to the wayside. Unemployment, politics, failed relationships–anything that might have you “down”–all become a moot point when the dead try to eat the living. It’s a second lease on life. You get to start afresh. This is where the true You comes out, the side that’s underestimated by coworkers, family, and friends; the side that, deep down, you know is there. The unlikeliest of heroes can now come out and save the day. Were you a pimple-faced pizza delivery guy back in the day? Well, now you’re a zombie-slaying badass and everyone’s clamoring for your protection. What about the overworked and underpaid nurse stuck on the night shift with little chance of promotion on the horizon? Well, now those skills mean you’re the most valued member of your survival team.

With zombie fiction, we can experience this release all from the safety of our own home. We can escape, if only for a few precious hours. That’s part of why with INFECTED, I made YOU the main character. You get to test that measure of your true self, if only for a bit of fun. Make your choices, then see the outcome.

Are zombies at the height of their popularity? Probably… but they’ll never fully go away, even if interest starts to wane. Like everything else in our world, fads come and go, but zombies are forever.

My Big Week in Texas

Hey, that's me!
Hey, that’s me!

If you follow me on twitter, goodreads, facebook, or have checked out my “events” tab in the last month, you probably know I went to Ft Hood, TX for a book signing (Or, to be more accurate, I went to Texas for my sister’s wedding and scheduled a book signing around the same time. Congrats Melissa and Craig!). Well, for a self-published author, this was a big week.

Knowing it would be a 3-day signing event, but not knowing what to expect, I ordered 3 boxes of books (24 each) and brought the 10 I had sitting at home, just because I was feeling optimistic. So, with 82 books, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to leave too many at my parents’ house.

First stop was to our hometown newspaper, where I was interviewed. I’m still new enough to the game where little things like this are novel and exciting. If you like, you can read the article here.

Source: “Heights High School grad pens zombie book” from KDHnews.com

Next stop? I’d heard that Hastings has a “local author” section, so I decided to give it a try and see if I could leave a few copies there. Much to my surprise, not only was I accepted at Hastings in Killeen, but I was placed on the “zombie” shelf right up front as well as out in the general “horror” section. Whoa! That in itself was a huge life event–my first brick-and-mortar store.

Make Your Choice
Make Your Choice
Note to self, stop having an "S" last name.
Note to self, stop having an “S” last name.

Then there was the signing. My sister Alison had the idea to dress up like a zombie on Saturday, and my other sisters soon caved to the peer pressure. After all, I offered a free t-shirt and a professional makeup job. I’d play Friday straight, have my zombies with me on Saturday, then offer a sale on Sunday in hopes of reducing my inventory. I needed to leave some books behind for Hastings, but not too many…

IMAG0311

Friday, day 1: People were very receptive to INFECTED! In fact, I sold 21 books–almost a full box. Not bad, maybe I could sell the same on Sunday and try for a full 30 on Saturday when my zombies were with me. That would leave 10 books for Hastings. My nervous fears that I’d be ignored for three days were proving to be unfounded. I even met some very nice people who were excited for me to sign a book for either themselves or a zombie fan in their family. At lunch, my fortune cookie sagely reminded me:

Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.”

Saturday, day 2: Thanks so much to my sisters–love you guys! The book sold like hotcakes. There was often a queue at my signing table, zombie fans eager for a book and a photograph with our crazy family. I sold 47 books. I had to tell my family members not to buy any for themselves, otherwise I’d be in danger of selling out. I had already dropped off  9 at Hastings, so I was left with only 5 left for Sunday… gulp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Don't worry, my family scares me too.
Don’t worry, my family scares me too.

Sunday, day 3: I sold out in about an hour. Boy, did I underestimate. I should’ve brought two more boxes at least. I think I could’ve hit Friday’s numbers at least, then I would’ve had some left over for Hastings after I left. Instead, I had to direct disappointed would-be customers to either this store or amazon.com. After checking with Hastings, turns out they sold out of my book as well–making it their #1 book for the week. Even beating out “50 Shades of Grey”! Granted, E.L. James wasn’t in Killeen promoting like I was, but it still felt like victory.

This was an appreciated confidence booster, and it was fun to be a minor celebrity for a weekend, but I still have lots of work to do before “Click Your Poison” is a household name. So what’s next? Of course there’s book #2 to work on, but I’ve also been invited to come back to Fort Hood any time, and I probably will. Maybe for book #2? Maybe around Halloween when the zombie craze is at its peak? In the meantime, I need to ship more books to Hastings and see about getting other stores out there to carry INFECTED. Maybe there’s a Big Week in California in my future? Who knows–but wherever life takes me, the future looks bright.

Thanks to all who attended!

What’s Happening?

Introducing the “Events” tab! See it up there? At the top; next to “Blog.” Go ahead, click it.https://i0.wp.com/www.birthdaydirect.com/images/36603-zombie-birthday-sign600x600.jpg

Now, whenever there’s a writerly event, you won’t have to miss out. Also, if you have an event and want me there, let me know. I’ll bring the party:
https://i1.wp.com/www.discountpartysupplies.com/media/catalog/category/zombies_420.png