Zombie Rain Interview part III by Zach Sweets

For anyone who enjoyed He-Man and She-ra as a kid, spent hours devouring comic book lore, or those who can’t get enough of black and white cult classic horror films, then I have a recommendation for you. Zombie Rain is the first installment of a fast paced, chaotic world at the beginning of a zombie apocalypse. Like any good serial the ending will give you more questions than answers, but don’t fret, there is much more to come in this ongoing saga. And to hold us over until the next release, author Zach Sweets is conducting a series of interviews with the two heroes of this universe, Jake and Rex.

Interview with Jake Part Three

To read the first part, you can go to Joyfully Jay’s website.
To read the second part, you can go to Chicks and Dicks.

“Hi, Jake. Does Rex tend to do that? Locking himself in a room without letting you in?”

“Every time he thought he heard Carl, yes. I have no idea if that was really Carl’s voice. I never met him. We did search for him and found his truck but he wasn’t inside.” Jake stared at the door, looking sad.

“I really hope it’s really Carl. Rex seemed really upset when I asked what happened to his family.”

“You actually asked him that? Are you some heartless jerk or what?”

“I’m sorry, but the readers need to know who Rex is. I want to know who he is. He has so many secrets.” Walking toward the wall, Zach rested his back against it, standing still.

“I know. That’s one thing I love about Rex. He never ceases to surprise me.”

“I guess that’s a good thing about relationships where you continue to learn something new about him.” Smiling, Zach flipped a page to a blank paper and had his pen ready. “What happened the day you first learned about the Zombies?”

“Now you want to interview me?” Jake looked furious for some reason.

“Rex’s occupied and you’re the only other person that knows what’s been going on lately.” Zach answered as fast as he could before Jake lost his temper.

“The first day I saw a zombie was my own son.” Jake snapped. “Thomas was only seven years old. He was full of joy until that damn girl bit him. We’d only gotten back from camping. If I never let him go to the neighbors to play and instead forced him to help me put our stuff away, he’d be still alive.” Tears were pouring down Jake’s cheeks and soon he was sobbing hard. He fell onto his knees. “I refused to believe Rex that Thomas was really dead until Thomas was about to attack me when I opened the bedroom door. Rex shot Jake in his head. It all happened in just a few hours!” Jake yelled in agony.

Zach went silent and wished he’d never asked him that question. “I’m really sorry.” Alternating between thoughts of wanting to approach Jake to comfort him or staying where he was, he decided to do nothing for now.

Jake took a deep breath and struggled to control his crying. Looking up to Zach, his eyes were red and he used his shirt to swipe his nose. “Jeez, I can’t believe I lost it. I thought I’d be fine talking about Thomas. It felt like it happened only a few hours ago.”

“It’s fine, really. Is there anything else you would like to tell me about the zombies? If you can, if not, that’s okay.” The last line, he spoke it fast to ensure Jake was okay.

“Yes, I’m fine. In between locking Thomas in his bedroom and Rex finding me, I was at my neighbor’s house. Their front door was knocked down and I found Mrs. Jones trapped under a table and her husband was dead. As soon as I got her out, she was lost to one of the zombies. Many children were turned too. It was like watching a horror movie where everyone was killing each other. Blood everywhere. It wasn’t a pleasing sight either.” Jake shuddered.

“I can imagine. You said you both were coming back from the camp, didn’t you see zombies wandering or hear on the radio about them?” Zach continued writing the answers on his notepad.

“I played music on radio all the way back home and zombies weren’t around.” Jake sighed deeply. “I wish I listened to radio instead.”

“Jake? Can you come in here, please? Zach, you stay!” Rex called out through the room door.

“I’ll wait in the kitchen.” Zach stated before Jake apologized or said anything.

Well, there you go, it was hard to interviewing them! Hopefully there will be more as soon as they get out of the room.

Blurb: Jake’s world is torn apart when his son dies, killed by a little girl who has infected him with a strange disease. Soon, Jake’s entire hometown is overtaken by the disease. A disease that turns them into flesh-craving monsters. The combination of tragedy and horror is almost more than Jake can take, but then he meets Rex, a man who has been struggling through the horror in search of more survivors. The two men travel together, searching for answers and other survivors, the growing bond between them the only bright light in their dark world.

But then that light is taken brutally away, and Jake is left struggling to find it again, fighting against insurmountable odds and growing despair …

Buy Link: Less Than Three Press for $3.99

About Me:
Zach, an army brat, was born in El Paso, TX, and has lived in North Carolina, Germany, Kansas, California, and the District of Columbia, before graduating from University of Baltimore in May 2010, with a degree in Applied Information Technology. He now resides in Arizona, where he moved to start a new adventure with his partner and dog.

In his spare time, Zach enjoys reading, mainly horror. He enjoys doing outdoor activities, and he runs on a daily basis. He participates in charitable running events, from 5k up to marathon distances.

Zach writes as often as he can and likes to push himself with writing challenges. Joining the M/M Romance group on Goodreads.com has immensely boosted his motivation to become a successful Deaf author, writing about man to man love, with some horror thrown in for good measure.

When he is not writing or reading, Zach likes to practice his web design and development skills. He loves to hang out with love of his life as often as he can, finding things to do inside and outside the house, whether it be yard work, hiking, bike riding, walking their dog, eating out at a cozy diner, or just loving.

You can find Zach at his website, share books with Zach on Goodreads, follow Zach on Twitter, or friend Zach on Facebook.

CR Guiliano’s Inspired Community

Series creation has always fascinated me. How does an author decide when to stick with a set of characters and when to say goodbye? How do they keep all the timelines and minute details together? Just thinking about trying to plot out all the possibilities makes my brain hurt. But for some, like new author CR Guiliano, community living is as easy as 1-2-3.

I’ve had many people ask me where I get my inspirations for stories from, especially with the genre I write. The truth is…everywhere. I get inspired by other’s stories. I get inspired by certain careers and even certain types of men. I see something and suddenly I’m scrambling for my ever present notebook to scribble down the bones of the idea before losing it.

I have ideas bombarding me on a daily basis; it can get a bit daunting. But I love telling stories. I love creating the characters, both major and minor. I love how I get involved in my writing and suddenly, that story sparks another…and another…and another.

I didn’t think I would be good at, or want to write series’, but that has turned out to be one of my most favorite things to do. Seems I can’t write a stand alone without wanting to do a prequel, or a sequel or a brand new story on a minor character. If I keep following this way of writing, many of my characters are going to get very popular. They’ll be showing up all over the place. *grins*

I have to say, and give credit, that my first thought in writing stories that interconnect came from G.A. Hauser. She is clearly the queen when it comes to storylines and cameos with her characters. I adore that! It gave me the inspiration and courage to do the same. Since then, I have come across many of my favorite authors that do that as well. It’s wonderful to see beloved characters show up in another story or to read a book that tells you all about how that character came about.

It may be a personal choice in enjoying those kinds of books versus stories that stand alone, but I don’t think I’m the only one that feels that way considering how popular they are. Many of my own readers and fans have asked when such-in-such is going to have their own story, or is such-in-such going to be featured in another book, or even will you ever give us such-in-such’s background story. My answer is always…YES!

So, my dear ones, expect many more stories to come and just maybe, you will already know the people in it. And I, lovely readers, will go out and get inspired and sit down to tell you more stories.


I am a fairly new author, only published since September, 2010. I have seven self-published books (two in a series), one anthology (with two more in the works) and one submittal to a publishing house. I have more than 35 works-in-progress. Needless to say, I love to write.

So far, my genre has been gay erotic romance, however, I have several books in the works that are paranormal, fantasy and science fiction.

I, periodically, load free reads on my blog and enjoy visits there as often as possible.

I’m a single mom with a day job, but I hope to someday write full time. That is my dream, my goal. I have wanted to be a writer since I was a child, and there is nothing more fulfilling for me than to tell a story and have others enjoy it.

Author Blog
Works in Progress Blog

Geoffrey Knight Plays Well With Others

Have you ever wondered how two authors can write one book? I have. 2 visions, 2 styles, 2 speeds, 2 egos and sensibilities, and, in the case of Knight & Day, even 2 different continents. But if this post is anything to go by, I don’t think Geoff and Ethan had any trouble mixing it up.

A couple of days ago, as the pressure was getting to Ethan Day and I to finish our first co-authored novel, To Catch A Fox, I sent him an email saying this:

You shit all over everything I write! I hate working with you!

To which he replied:

Yes, it’s my life’s goal to piss all over everyone else’s dreams.

And on opposite sides of the planet we both LOLed! Of course I was joking, and in response, Ethan raised my joke and called my bluff. And that right there is what I call a great writing partnership. It’s just like any great partnership. You have to know when to push and when to pull back, when to give and when to take, when to laugh and when to say “that sucks!”, when to say “you’re awesome!” and when to say “are we writing the same book here??”

So let me tell you more about the book we just finished (which will be out in time for GRL 2012!). As I mentioned, it’s called To Catch A Fox. It’s a gay mystery-thriller-action-comedy-everything that tells the story of Jon Fox, a hot gay detective in New Orleans (is there any other kind we want to read about?) who one day has a new client walk through the doors of his office. She’s a sweet old lady, kinda like Betty White, the image of whom became so stuck in our heads that we ended up calling her character Betty Black. Anyway, so Betty walks into Fox’s office and says she wants to hire Fox, not to track somebody down, but to teach her everything he knows about detective work. Why? Because she wants to track someone down on her own. Why? Because she wants to kill that person without being detected herself.

Ah, but that’s just the beginning of the story, one that has so many twists it’ll make a corkscrew blush with inadequacy!

But back to the art of co-writing a book.

The fascinating thing about this process is, not only do you learn a lot about your co-author, but you learn a lot about yourself! Would you like juicy details? Of course you would, but unfortunately we’re writers, so there ain’t much juiciness happening… except of course when it comes to writing a sex scene together!!! Ooh-la-la! But I’ll be leaving those slippery secrets to the very end of this post.

In the meantime, here’s what I learned about myself as a writer in this process:

1. I’m SLOW! I write really slowly! Ethan can bang out 5,000 words in a day no problems, whereas me? I potter about taking dogs on walks, updating my iTunes playlists and posting hot guys on Facebook (hey, it’s a New Year’s Resolution, I can’t stop now!)

2. I’m UNORGANIZED! (Helen Beattie can verify this fact! I would have had nothing to take to GRL last year if not for her!). While Ethan is writing lists containing names of minor characters and backstories that provide the motivations of why our characters murder, blackmail, screw, or fall in love with each other, I bug him with questions like, Who’s this guy? Why did he do that? What do you mean you killed him off in Chapter 6, I just wrote him into the climax?!

3. I’m WAY TOO LAID BACK! I think it’s an Australian thing. Last year I told Ethan we’d easily have this book finished for GRL… 2011… in New Orleans! Mmmm, I think we missed that riverboat! Nevermind, we’ll make the next one. I promise!

And here’s what I learned about Ethan (brace yourself, baby, it’s all coming out)!

1. He writes like a DEMON, then sits up in bed at night and rewards himself with fluffernutters! The first time he said he was eating a fluffernutter in bed I thought he was fucking some cute chunky guy with big balls! I’m Australian, I’ve never heard of a fluffernutter before. When he told me what it was I was (a) disappointed, and (b) revolted! Marshmallow and peanut butter? Where’s my sickbag?

2. I am suspicious that he is officially a VAMPIRE! I send him emails when he should be asleep, not expecting (or wanting) an immediate response, hoping to buy myself a little more time to write, when suddenly ZING! A reply comes through. Back in thy coffin, Nosferatu! Let Geoff make a desperate effort to catch up with your word count!

3. Apart from the thought of sandwiches that make me sick up in my mouth and my frantic efforts to write as fast as him, I can now testify that Ethan is a true ANGEL of our industry. He is an amazing writer! He’s hilarious, intelligent, practical, daring, inventive, compassionate and just plain fun… and so is his writing!

In short, I can’t wait for us to start writing the second Fox novel—A Fox In The Hole—and I hope Ethan feels the same!

Oh wait, I didn’t talk about writing sex scenes together…!

Mmmm… maybe next time. 🙂

To celebrate the completed first draft of his current project, Geoffrey Knight is offering up an e-book copy of one of his recently released, Scott Sapphire and the Emerald Orchird. To enter, comment below on the great fluffernutter debate of 2012. Are you a fan or do you have another guilty pleasure?

Open until Saturday, June 30th at 11:59 pm (PST). Winner will be selected and notified on Sunday.

Val Kovalin on Writing Yourself into a Corner

Are you a stickler for a timeline? Or are you a fan of those books with the multiple endings? Author Val Kovalin has found middle ground between the two.

I have a two-book gay romance series: FALL INTO THE SUN (published January 2012) and REACH FOR THE MOON (estimated publication August 2012). Both books are contemporary romances that center on the same two men and both are stand-alone books. You can read them in any order you would like.

FALL INTO THE SUN centers on Alejo Sandoval and Bobby Gallegos, soul mates from the age of six. They are now forty years old and trying to get back together over the course of one week after life has swept them apart for twenty-two years.

According to the blurb: “They should have spent the past 22 years together, but life took some unexpected turns […] Heartbreak and rejection can harden the hearts of two passionate, stubborn men. One, deeply devout, wanted to attend college. One, who perfected a tough act to deceive his brothers, might have followed his dad to prison. […] When Bobby returns to Albuquerque, he will use sex, persuasion, and memories of their shared past to try to convince Alejo to take a chance on him and reach for the future that they were meant to share together.”

So how does this connect with writing yourself into a corner? Well, I didn’t know when I wrote FALL INTO THE SUN that I would want to write another book about these characters, titled REACH FOR THE MOON. I also never dreamed that their story would be so popular with the readers.

At first, I wasn’t sure when in the characters’ timeline to focus the events of REACH FOR THE MOON. It didn’t feel right to introduce more conflict after the events of FALL INTO THE SUN. I mean, oh, my God. Haven’t the poor guys been through enough? But their early days, that is, Alejo and Bobby at age eighteen, looked promising to me as an exciting time of choices and first love.

So that is where I placed REACH FOR THE MOON on the characters’ timeline. REACH FOR THE MOON will be easily twice the total word-count of FALL INTO THE SUN. Here, I focus on a road trip that Alejo and Bobby take at age eighteen on winter break before they graduate high school.

However, I did almost write my way into a corner with the timeline I introduced in FALL INTO THE SUN. There, Alejo and Bobby break up the summer after their high school graduation, so I can’t send them on a road trip after they graduate. I can’t have it happen during the school year. And I can’t set the story when they are younger than eighteen because of reader-publisher concerns about erotica and underage characters.

Hmmm. Talk about giving myself a narrow window for the events of REACH FOR THE MOON! Their road trip has to take place over two weeks of their winter vacation before their last semester of high school. But another concern arose for me to address. You could call it another roadblock that I put in my own way when writing FALL INTO THE SUN.

It is best summed up by reader comments that appeared on Goodreads.com when I created the book page for REACH FOR THE MOON. Some readers wondered if they wanted to read a story about young lovers on a road trip if they already knew from reading FALL INTO THE SUN that Alejo and Bobby will experience a twenty-two-year separation before getting back together at age forty.

After I saw these comments, I thought, “Oh, my God. Good point!” Would any reader want to invest emotionally in a story, even a much more light-hearted story, knowing that separation lay ahead on the timeline between the end of REACH FOR THE MOON (at age eighteen) and the beginning of FALL INTO THE SUN (at age forty)?

Another Goodreads.com reader commented that she might read REACH FOR THE MOON and enjoy their adventure at age eighteen while pretending that the next twenty-two years of separation never happened. This comment gave me a huge burst of inspiration.

I loved the concept of something causing the next twenty-two years of separation not to happen. I decided that I would write REACH FOR THE MOON this way. In REACH FOR THE MOON, Bobby and Alejo rewrite their future through the events of their road trip at age eighteen.

Therefore, they move to a different timeline than the one on which FALL INTO THE SUN occurs. On this different timeline, they are free to build their future together starting at age eighteen. FALL INTO THE SUN remains as a glimpse of what-might-have-been.

This may seem like a cheat, a negation of FALL INTO THE SUN, a moment of total science-fiction nerdy-ness, or all of the above. I hope readers won’t find it too weird. For me, it’s a legitimate way to go, coming from my decades of science-fiction fandom.

I have always been fascinated by the Many-Worlds interpretation in quantum physics in which (according to Wikipedia), “there is a very large – perhaps infinite – number of universes, and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but did not, has occurred in the past of some other universe or universes.”

In such a reality, you can have Schrödinger’s cat both alive and dead, coexisting on different timelines. As with the apparent paradox of Schrödinger’s cat, neither timeline (the one introduced in FALL INTO THE SUN and the one in REACH FOR THE MOON) is more or less real than the other timeline.

So, is REACH FOR THE MOON a sequel to FALL INTO THE SUN? I had to list it on Goodreads as REACH FOR THE MOON (Alejo and Bobby, Book 2) because I’m publishing it after I published FALL INTO THE SUN (Alejo and Bobby, Book 1). But some would call REACH FOR THE MOON a prequel because it takes place in the lives of Alejo and Bobby twenty-two years before the events of FALL INTO THE SUN.

Ultimately, though, this is how I see it. The events of FALL INTO THE SUN happened on one timeline. The events of REACH FOR THE MOON happened on another timeline. Both are real and both are valid.

Both are still happening somewhere on different timelines in the Many-Worlds interpretation universe. I am writing this, and you are reading this, each of us located somewhere else, on other timelines, in the Many-Worlds interpretation universe.

Read FALL INTO THE SUN for its sense of longing and for the emotional intensity of the connection between the two mature characters. Read REACH FOR THE MOON for the characters’ youthful exuberance and passion as they start their life together. Confusing? I hope not. I hope that both books have much to offer the readers. (Thank you for reading!)

Val Kovalin is giving 1 lucky reader a chance to win both novels. Fall Into the Sun deliverable once the winner is selected, Reach For the Moon deliverable on its official release day. To enter, please comment below about the age you would be if you could go back and change the course of your future. Or would you stay on the path you are already on?

Open until Saturday, June 30th at 11:59 pm (PST). Winner will be selected and notified on Sunday.