Zombie Queen: Stacy Kingsley talks Zombies!

What better way to end my Halloween Blog Tour (I need to come up with a better name) than with the Zombie Queen herself, Author Stacy Kingsley! I met Stacy at one of the many conventions us local authors frequent here in Alabama. I was able to sit on a panel with her and I was glad that someone else in my state shared my love of the zombie genre. We also had a great discussion of how the modern media has romanticized the classic movie monsters. We won’t get into that in this blog post, but maybe another time. 🙂 Until then, get to know more about Stacy!

 

stacy-kingsley

Stacy grew up loving the horror genre. When she first saw the movie CUJO she learned that you have to wait because even in those last five minutes something will happen. Stacy loves horror so much she wrote her Master’s thesis on the decline of horror in popular culture and loves to watch every horror movie she can get her hands on, no matter how bad it might be. Her love of zombies stems from her desire to find true monsters, not sparkling vampires, loving werewolves, or ghosts who help you solve cases. Zombies have one thing on their mind, eating people. She loves zombies so much she has done zombie makeup for an ice skating exhibition, played a zombie in a short independent film, done several zombie themed runs and is working on her zombie series. ZOMBIES ARE PEOPLE TOO! is the first book in her “Do Zombies Win?” series. Her second book ZOMBIES BITE! was released 2014, followed by the third book in the series ZOMBIE WASTELAND in 2016. She has several stories available as part of the series and is currently working on ZOMBIMERICA, the last book in her zombie series. She is always willing to discuss horror with other fans, authors and those who just enjoy the genre.

 

Author Questions

 

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

S. When I was 9 I wrote my first book. It was about my favorite toy, a stuffed tiger named Jake, as a detective. I never realized I wanted to be an author, I just was one, starting at age 9.

A. In what genre do you write?

S. I mostly write horror, but right now specifically apocalyptic zombie horror. I am trying to figure out what to write next, but I don’t know what scares people anymore.

A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

S. Monetarily I would love to be able to write Erotica, just because it does seem to be so lucrative, but if I were going to try something new I’d like to write either YA paranormal or a mystery suspense novel

A. What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

S. I write everything longhand, just me and the paper, at first. Then I type things into the computer, which also takes care of my first round of edits. I often listen to music, usually depending on the character. Still trying to work out where to write, back home (Southern California) there was a great coffee shop near a college, but there doesn’t seem to be a place like that here in Alabama.

A. Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

S. I write short chapters because of James Patterson. Every book of his has pretty short chapters, which makes me want to keep reading because I always think, “Well I can just do one more chapter,” and before I know it I am halfway through the book. Also, I have looked up to both Stephen King and Dean Koontz because they have written several great books in the horror genre. Mostly though I like looking at all books for inspiration.

A. Dean Koontz! Yes!

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

S. I do tons of research, mostly on methods of death and murder, which makes me believe that the NSA is totally already watching me. I mean you can only look up the different uses and how to create cyanide so many times before someone is watching you.

A. The author search history is a deep and dangerous place.

A. Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

S. I do listen to music, but not a certain type since I let my characters choose what they want to listen to.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

S. I am also an artist. I paint on both canvases and shoes, I cross stitch bookmarks, I crochet baby clothes and scarves to give as gifts, I sew a little, and well, lots of other stuff. I sell some of this stuff on my Etsy shop Little Bit O Zombie. I also love being outside, being from Southern California means I love, love, love being outdoors, even if it isn’t super sunny.

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

S. The most exciting things have been meeting fans and other zombie lovers, and meeting other amazing authors. I have made so many amazing author friends and have started really feeling like I am part of a community, which for an Indie Author is a very important thing.

A. Yes, the Indie Author community is amazing. We are definitely cheerleaders for each other!

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

S. I did actually. I drew them and played with them in photoshop. The backgrounds for all of my books are infectious viruses like Ebola and the Plague.

A. Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

S. I’d love to say thanks to my amazing editor Michelle Hylton, and I’d love to thank the writer’s group I am part of here for accepting me, so thanks Writer’s Group at Lowe Mill and thanks to Jennifer Pinkley for starting it!

A. Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

S. I am currently working on the last novel in my zombie series titles ZOMBIMERICA. It is about the end of the zombie apocalypse. I didn’t want my series to be one of those that kept going and going and going without a final conclusion (which seems to happen a lot in apocalyptic books as people/survivors rebuild their lives). This last book follows my serial killer named, Marcus, a smart zombie, and a young girl who has almost nothing to lose.

A. This sounds so awesome. I like final resolutions of stories that have been going on for a long time. It’s bittersweet, but I get why it needs to happen.

patient-zero

Patient Zero on Amazon

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

S. I enjoy Halloween so much it is ridiculous. I love the scary side of life and celebrating ghosts, black cat, goblins, zombies, mummies, and all the dark side of life fascinates me. Halloween is the one time where I don’t feel like I have to pretend to be someone else and I can rock my weird self out in the open.

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

S. The only tradition I have is watching as many scary movies as I can, and buying either candy corn or those pumpkins which are like candy corn. I used to take my nieces and nephew out, and younger siblings, but the kids have grown up.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

S. Yes, and I have to do a lot of research on this for the books I write. Even though I don’t have ghosts, zombies themselves are supernatural. There are so many people out there who have claimed to experienced something, that it’s hard to say the spiritual realm doesn’t exist.

A. I have to agree with you on that one.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just explain?

S. Yes, but that is another story for another day.

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

S. Honestly I can’t say that I have just one. For a long time my favorite book was THE STAND by Stephen King, but then I discovered other authors, and I just don’t have a favorite. This is the same way I feel about movies, I can watch THIRTEEN GHOSTS over and over and over, but it isn’t a great horror film, it’s just fun. Although, SESSION 9 is one of the best horror films I have ever watched. It is scary but not in your face, an excellent movie.

A. The Stand freaked me out. It’s such a good story.

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

S. Candy Corn and those candy pumpkins, I love love love these, and one bag lasts me the entire month.

zombie-wasteland

Zombie Wasteland on Amazon

Reader Questions

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

S. BLACK BEAUTY by Anna Sewell, it is a beautiful book told from the point-of-view of a horse, and it is so heartfelt. This was the first book which made me cry. I loved Ginger so much and wish life could have been different for her.

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

S. I think most books should be left alone, but I would love to see a good movie adaptation of the THE RISING series by Brian Keene. It is a great series of zombie books and I think it would make a great movie series, or even television adaptation, because the characters evolve and the ending was fabulous.

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

S. In these days of anything can be self-published (and I say this as a self-published author) I hate when an author have spelling and grammatical mistakes in their novels. Also. if a book has been overdone (one reason I don’t read a lot of romance is that they often seem the same), I just can’t finish it.

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

S. I almost always try to finish, and there really haven’t been many books I didn’t finish. Although, because I can’t not finish a book I have read several bookS that I really hated.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

S. I will read anything, as long as it is interesting.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

S. Oh, I am absolutely a book-in-hand reader. I spend so much time on the computer for my day job and writing that I just feel like reading on an e-reader is just me continuing to be on a computer.

zombies-are-people-too

Zombies Are People Too! on Amazon

 

Random Questions

 

A. Favorite movie?

S. My favorite movie has been and will always be FIELD OF DREAMS. It was just such a beautiful movie and it said so much about life and family, plus it was one of the first movies to make me cry.

 

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

S. My favorite dessert is cheesecake, all kinds of cheesecake.

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

S. There are so many bands and musicians, I love, Metallica, Pink Floyd, George Michael, right now Twenty One Pilots has been on a good rotation, Black Keys, there are a lot more, but I don’t think this section alone needs to be twenty pages.

A. Rock on, girl!

A. What’s your hidden talent?

S. I am very handy, I can lay tile, hardwood flooring, laminate, build cabinets, furniture, I love using the miter and table saws, and have gutted and remodeled an entire house with only a little help.

A. Hmm, now I know who to hire to remodel my house!

A. What is your dream vacation?

S. It changes, but right now I have been dying to go to Japan to see the suicide forest and visit the haunted places there. I’d also love to go to Pripyat, Russia and take a tour of the Chernobyl area, well as close as one can get without getting radiation poisoning.

zombies-bite

Zombies Bite on Amazon

Contact Information:

Author Name: Stacy Kingsley

Blog: www.stacykingsley.com/oh-the-horror

Facebook: www.facebook.com/author.stacy.kingsley

Twitter: twitter.com/StacyKingsleyZH

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/3466767.Stacy_Kingsley

Book Links: www.amazon.com/Stacy-Kingsley/e/B00JEQVR30/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1476901229&sr=8-1

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/zombieauthor

The Origin Key: Fantasy and Sci-Fi Collide

s-d-mcphail

I’m thrilled to feature another Alabama author on my blog this month. Susan is such a sweet spirit and has always been so kind to me. Sometimes when you meet people you automatically think, “I like her. We’re going to get along just fine.” Believe me when I say those types of people are in short supply.

With that being said, it doesn’t mean she’s too sweet to write a nail-biting fantasy book with a dash of science fiction because she did the thing. Are you intrigued? Good! Keep reading.

Susan McPhail spent years writing technical documentation and developing marketing materials for high-tech engineering firms. She is now a fantasy/science fiction author living in Huntsville, Alabama (aka the Rocket City) with her husband. When she’s not writing or catching the latest movie, Susan enjoys handcrafts like crocheting and quilting because it looks like she’s doing something useful while in fact she is pondering how to work out tricky plot points.

The Origin Key is her first novel, and is the first book in the Treasures of Dodrazeb series. You can find her online at www.sdmcphail.com and on Twitter @susan_mcphail.

 

the-origin-key

The Origin Key on Amazon

Author Questions

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

S. I’ve always been a voracious reader and welcomed opportunities to get creative with words in my work life. A few years ago when I transitioned out of a full-time job, I decided to challenge myself and see if I could write fiction. About halfway into the first draft of my first novel, I realized that I had also always wanted to be an author—I had just not taken the time to acknowledge that passion.

A. In what genre do you write?

S. My first published novel is Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key. It’s historical fantasy adventure, a heroic quest that I describe as “sword-and-science” because there is an element of sci-fi in it as well.

A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

S. I have plans for a humorous cozy mystery series featuring a smart wife/mom/working woman who reluctantly gets drawn into murder investigations. It’s set in a small, rural southern town filled with marvelously eccentric characters.

A.Oooo! This sounds so fun!

A. What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

S. My process tends to be less outline-oriented and more seat-of-the-pants. I start out by jotting down notes about major plot points that turn into a somewhat vague synopsis. Then when I start working on a first draft, I develop new and better ideas as I go, so the story starts to diverge from my original notes. The basic story I had in mind remains the same, but taking my characters from the beginning to the end is a very satisfying creative endeavor.

I’m always jotting down notes about different ideas for different stories, so much of that is done with pen and paper (or notebook or napkin or whatever is handy when an idea strikes). But when I have big chunks of writing time, I like to be on my computer. I can type faster than I can write legibly!

A. Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

S. Stephen King has been a favorite author of mine for decades. I don’t like every book he’s ever written, but he is a master story teller. I love J.K. Rowling’s imagination and world-building skills. I was also influenced by lots of science fiction writers from H.G. Wells to Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Ray Bradbury. One of my all-time favorites is Anne McCaffrey’s science fantasy series Dragonriders of Pern.

A. YES! Rowling is an artist!

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

S. Since my series Treasures of Dodrazeb is grounded in real human history, I have to do quite a bit of research. The hero is a third-century Persian warrior-prince, so I’ve done extensive reading about ancient Persia and that region of the world. In addition to historical research, it’s also necessary to get the details right on a hefty amount of science. While on a quest to bring a criminal to justice, the Persian warrior-prince discovers a hidden kingdom using what we consider to be modern technology in everyday life. That means I have to understand their technology and then be able to describe how an ancient warrior would react to it.

A. Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

S. No, I’m not usually listening to music while I write—I listen to the TV. It’s an old habit from when I was in school. I would do my homework in the living room with the TV on. Apparently, that works for me just like listening to music works for others.

A. Interesting. I’ve never heard that before.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

S. What’s more fun than reading? I read a lot. I like going to the movies, too. Touring historical sites is fun. I recently got to tour the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta. Her novel, Gone with the Wind, was an incredibly successful historical novel with vivid, unforgettable characters. I was able to celebrate a love of history, movies, reading, and writing all at once in one afternoon!

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

S. Receiving the first print copy of my first novel was too awesome for words. Being able to hold an actual copy of a book that I had written made it real for me. I wasn’t just an aspiring writer any more—I was a published author!

A. There is no greater feeling!

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

S. I did! We tried working with a cover artist, but he just never could quite capture the look I wanted. So I put my years of marketing experience and working with graphics to good use.

A. That’s awesome. Maybe I’ll be hitting you up for some tips on that. 😉

A. Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

S. Absolutely! The Rocket City Lit Fest in 2015 was a major catalyst in spurring me to take the final steps and get my first novel published. Thanks to Ashley Chappell-Peeples and A.G. Porter, both wonderful writers themselves, for all your hard work on that event.

I also want to thank my amazing editor Molly Felder. With her help I was able to polish my pretty good story into a true gem of a first novel. I appreciate her patience, eye for detail, and willingness to teach me how to be a better writer.

A. The Lit Fest was amazing! Thanks for the shot out!

A. Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

S. Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key, is a historical sword-and-science fantasy adventure set in the third century. While on a quest to avenge a horrific attack on his father the king, a Persian warrior discovers a strange kingdom isolated from the rest of the world. He thinks the villain is hiding there, but a sly princess is determined to sabotage the Persians to protect her kingdom’s ancient secrets. What is she so desperate to keep hidden?

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

S. I do enjoy Halloween. I like seeing children donning costumes and exploring the idea of becoming someone or something else for a little while. I like seeing the older kids and adults freeing themselves of their conventional identities for a time and getting creative. I like the idea of costume parties. Perhaps most of all, I like CHOCOLATE!

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

S. I like to watch favorite old spooky movies or fun ones like Hocus Pocus or Nightmare Before Christmas leading up to trick-or-treat night. Then we usually order in pizza and have fun answering the door to shower neighborhood kids with candy on Halloween night.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

S. Yes.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just explain?

S. Yes.

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

S. Donnie Darko. Not necessarily scary, probably because I’ve seen it so many times, but that’s the kind of movie that haunts me.

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

S. Tootsie Rolls. Hershey minis. M&Ms. Milk Duds. Chocolate!

Reader Questions

A. What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

J.K. Rowling. She is my idol!

A. Yes! She’s on my list. I would probably faint. Haha!

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

S. It used to be Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. Reading it as a teenager introduced me to so many questions about so many things, I began to develop the ability to think independently, examining issues from many sides.

If you consider an entire series as a single story, it might now be Harry Potter. That story is just magical in so many ways with layers upon layers of meaning.

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

S. Other than my own book? 😉 I think, if done correctly, any good book can be a good movie if filmmakers respect the source material. The book will always be better, but sometimes it takes a movie to get a person interested in a book. The Harry Potter series was done well as movies and I was also impressed with The Hunger Games films.

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

S. I don’t care too much for whiny, one-dimensional characters.

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

S. When I start a book, I’m usually committed to finishing it. I keep thinking that if I stick with it, the book will eventually get better. This is not always the case.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

S. My personal preference tends toward speculative fiction, but I’m game for lots of other genres. The one I tend to avoid is Romance, unless there is a strong element of mystery, suspense, humor, horror, or some other kind of genre mash-up.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

S. I like to acquire autographed books, and there’s something about turning pages and never worrying about battery life that is appealing. But I also read e-books for their convenience, portability, and affordability.

Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

S. Donnie Darko

A. Favorite TV show?

S. All time: Star Trek (every one of them). Currently: Game of Thrones, Westworld, Big Bang Theory

A. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

S. That’s a tough one! If I could or if I had to? What keeps popping into my head as I ponder this question is pizza, so I guess that’s my answer.

A. You can’t go wrong with pizza!

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

S. Did I mention chocolate already? Warm brownies with a scoop of ice cream!

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

S. Beatles. Styx. Michael Jackson. Adele. Is my age showing yet?

A. What’s your hidden talent?

S. Sarcasm. No, wait—that one shows up pretty frequently. My hidden talent is appearing confident in public when I’m ready to shrivel up and die inside.

A. I know what you mean!

A. What is your dream vacation?

S. Leisurely touring Great Britain and Ireland, staying in castles that have been converted into 5-star luxury hotels.

Contact Information:

Author Name: S.D. McPhail

Blog: www.sdmcphail.com

Facebook: S.D. McPhail, Author

Twitter: susan_mcphail

Goodreads: S.D. McPhail

Book Links: https://www.amazon.com/Origin-Key-Treasures-Dodrazeb/dp/1533454116/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476817108&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Origin+Key

 

              

Call For Submissions-What Lurks in the Dark Anthology

What Lurks in the Dark

Halloween Anthology

 

Authors A.G. Porter and E.A. Kelso are compiling a Halloween themed anthology and we want to add your story to our collection!

You’ve heard the stories, read the books, and watched the movies, but we want to know which classic monsters keep you up at night.

Is it vampires, werewolves, zombies, or maybe even ghosts?

Whatever it maybe, we want your take on these classic ghouls. Tell us what monsters lurk in your darkest fears!

But, here’s the deal, it has to have a modern twist or a new spin.

Meaning, it can range from having your monsters set in the modern world or something we’ve never seen before.

Submission Open: February 1, 2016
Submission Close: June 30, 2016

Release Date (Estimation): October 1, 2016

 Payment: $10

Length: Max 15,000 words

*Will accept Horror, Supernatural, Science Fiction, Fantasy, or anything relating to a classic monster theme.
NO EROTICA
PG-13 Rating

 Submission Guidelines:

1. Word document submission
2. Times New Roman
3. Font Size 12
4. Double spaced
5. In subject line: E&A’s Halloween Anthology, Title of your story, Your name
6. Email to: whatlurksinthedarkanthology@gmail.com

*Any manuscripts submitted incorrectly will be rejected
*We reserve the right to refuse any story submitted without explanation

What Lurks in the Dark