Book Review: Any Zombie Fans?


Book Review: Any Zombie Fans?

Natalie Bright

One of my favorite things about writing conferences is meeting other writers and being exposed to genres that I never would read otherwise. Case in point, I met Mr. Ray Weeks at the Canadian River Valley Writer’s Workshop several weeks ago. He happened to take a seat across the table from me. Ray had returned to his home town of Canadian to run the movie theatre in town, and he writes stories. More specifically, short stories and stories about zombies. I bought his book EAT ME for my son. It’s autographed, “To David. Eat ‘Till your dead and then some.” My plan was to read the first few pages, but then I couldn’t put it down.

As a zombie fan, you may think that you have read every possible scenario involving zombies. After all we’ve been reading about the fictional undead since 1929, with the book THE MAGIC ISLAND by W. B. Seabrook. Horror, fantasy, science fiction – the genres can be varied but the scenario is basically the same. An undead man-eating creature destroys humanity. I thought I had read enough to last me a lifetime until I picked up this book by Ray Weeks.

EAT ME is a unique, highly inappropriate, often gross and shocking collection of zombie short stories. I love this book! His writing is brilliant.

You will be entertained by original premises from humans living in the tree tops to a zombie animal, which has always been impossible. Animals can’t be zombies. It’s unheard of. Not in the world where Mr. Weeks resides.

Buy this book. You will not regret it. In fact, order some extra copies for your friends. They will love you for it. Here’s the link for Amazon.

Eat Me: A Zombie Story Collection

 

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Spooks


Outtakes 218

Spooks

by Cait Collins

I love the fun of Halloween. Kids and adults dressed up and pretending to be someone or something they aren’t is part of the holiday. I just don’t get the all the slasher, zombie, and thriller costumes. Whatever happened to doctors and nurses, cops and robbers, cute little witches and devils? It seems these days the more gruesome the costume, the more hefty the sales. What is the draw to being scared or grossed out?

Take books as an example. I’ve read good horror and I’ve read terrible horror. The bad novels are usually good for a laugh. In attempting to be frightening, the stories can become campy and silly. The good stuff I can’t read. Sorry, but I don’t like being frightened. I tried reading Stephen King’s IT. When I got to the description of the cellar, I had to close the book. King is so masterful with his description, he terrifies me. I could not only see the cellar, I could feel it, smell it, and taste it. That’s too real.

Think about it. What is more frightening; a zombie or a boy-next-door serial killer. I’m more frightened by reality, by something that could actually happen than fantasy characters. I couldn’t sleep after reading Helter Skelter. Charles Manson is far scarier than the Phantom of the Opera. Reality is makes good fiction because a writer has a plot and characters at hand.

I may not enjoy ghouls and goblins, but I appreciate the talent it takes to write good horror. The Stephen Kings, R. L. Steins, and Dean Koontz’s are rare and should be respected. That said; forgive me if I prefer my suspense and women’s fiction books.

 

Goblins, Ghosts, and Ghouls


Outtakes 172

Goblins, Ghosts, and Ghouls

By Cait Collins

 

I love kid holidays. Halloween is probably the best holiday for our young ones. Last Saturday night, our congregation held our annual Fall Festival. There were about 300 children participating in our Trunk-or-Treat event. I saw bumble bees, witches, scarecrows, Transformers, Captain America, Batman, Elsa and Anna, Olaf, a fairy princess, and a little zebra. I even met Velma from the Scooby Doo cartoon series. She reminded me a bit of Beezus from Beverly Cleary’s Beezus and Ramona series. Then there were the ghouls and zombies.

Seeing the array of costumes, I began to wonder what drew the child to their costumes .and to the characters. Did the glittery ice-blue dress make a little girl want to dress like Elsa from Frozen? Did the dress and crown make her stand taller, assume a regal air, and create an innocent beauty? Did the Batman costume make a young man feel like a hero? And did Velma finally become comfortable with her knowledge. Did the costume choice reflect a personality or a desire to be more like the alter-ego?

What if I could have sat down with just one child and asked questions in order to get my answers? What kind of story would I write about the child and his character? Would it be a happy tale or would my information reveal a frightened lonely child? If there were only time to visit and learn more about each child, I could have outlined and written 300 children’s stories.

Big Dreams


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Big Dreams

By Nandy Ekle

What do you dream about when you sleep? Do you have fantastical visions of pink and purple grasses and talking trees underneath a turquois moon? Or maybe you dream you’re falling and know you must wake up before you hit the bottom. I once dreamed a scary clown was lying on the floor between my bed and the wall. I woke up when my son cried from another room because zombies were chasing him, but I was afraid to get up because I didn’t want the clown to grab my ankle.

The world of psychology tells us that dreams are our subconscious minds sending us messages. While some of these messages are very easy to understand (dreaming of an accident may cause us to be more cautious during the day), most of them are so cryptic we have a hard time decoding them.

If we wake up and can remember some of what our dream was during the night, that might be a clue that we have the makings of a story. I like to write down things I saw during the night, people I might have met, and feelings I might have had. Somewhere in the hazy illogical world of night vision, an interesting subject or character will appear, and you can fill in whatever blanks you might have and come up with a great tale.

Keep a pencil and paper near your bed so you can write down any parts of a dream as soon as your eyes pop open in the morning before it withers away in the sunlight. Keep a dream diary. Find music that brings back some of the feel of what you dreamed. You’ll have a great story beginning.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Zombies are Among us Still?


Zombies are Among us Still?

by Natalie Bright

 

This is a topic that I should defer to the horror writer of our group, Nandy Ekle, but I read a zombie novel, TRUE NATURE, and it blew me away. I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading about gory, flesh-eaters.

Which got me to wondering, why is everyone so fascinated with zombies?  It seems like they’ve been around forever.

A Classic Flesh Eater

The classic Night of the Living Dead started it all in 1968, so yes, they have been around for a while. The director, George A. Romero, and co-writer John A. Russo, redefined modern horror at the cinema. This classic can be found on YouTube.  Romero went on to expand this classic into a trilogy, and returned in 2000s with three more flicks (Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead).

The famous deathlike stupor, typically after death, has roots in various cultures throughout the world. Africa and Haiti repeat tales of wakening the dead, past relatives coming back, or witches that can inhabit bodies. Even as recently as 1982, a Harvard ethno botanist claimed his research in Haiti resulted in the discovery of two special powders with the ability to turn a living person into a walking-dead zombie-like state.

The zombie remains undead to legions of fans through movies and books.

eBook Debut

The author of TRUE NATURE, Jere Ellison, met with our writers critique group several years ago and I knew this novel in its infancy. I was intrigued then by the characters and writing style, and I couldn’t wait to see how it would develop into a full story. I wasn’t disappointed.

Jere kept writing and kept polishing, and thank goodness, shared this story with the world as an eBook. It’s available now on Amazon.com.

Writers who Stretch and Grow

For the New Year, I’ve decided to stretch out and consider reading genres that I normally would never spend time on; horror is one of those categories.

Writers write, and in order to have a greater appreciation for the flow and order of words, I think that it’s imperative that writers read too. Even zombies can teach us a thing or two.