First, win free books by subscribing on my home page. Click here. Now, what free books do I have? First of all, Zombie Turkeys, volume one of my comic paranormal animal series, Life After Life Chronicles.
Next, we have volume two of the Life After Life Chronicles, My Undead Mother-in-law.
Not literally, but metaphorically you have choices to make when you win free books. Your choices:
First, which book?
Second, print or ebook? Or, you can choose the audiobook format for Zombie Turkeys or My Undead Mother-in-law.
Third, you can wait for the third book, Paranormal Privateers, to be published in the spring of 2018.
Here’s your zombie turkey. You get a bookmark when you win.
First, subscribe to the newsletter here.
Second, each month, Andy Zach’s trained phoenix will randomly select one subscriber from the mailing list.
Here are our past winners:
|2/28/2017||Kathi – selected My Undead Mother-in-law|
|7/6/2017||Belinda – selected My Undead Mother-in-law|
If you see your name, email me, Andy Zach at email@example.com with your book selection and contact method.
I’m pleased to announce the production of my audiobook version of Zombie Turkeys has completed! As soon as the audiobook passes quality checks ACX, the zombie parody will be published on Amazon and iTunes
As soon as this one’s published, look for my next audiobook, My Undead Mother-in-law.
But that’s not all! Coming in the spring of 2018 is the third novel in my comic zombie series, Life After Life Chronicles. The name? Paranormal Privateers. Don’t miss it!
You can get Free SciFi Flash Fiction and Custom Artwork right here. First the custom artwork by Dex.
I saw this picture on the SciFi Roundtable on Facebook. We were to write some flash fiction, no more than two hundred words, based on the picture. I then contacted Dex and asked him if I could post his art here. He graciously permitted it. If you wish to use it, please contact him at his website here.
Eager, aren’t you? I put it at the bottom of the post! I want YOU to write YOUR flash fiction about this art first. Just enter it in the comment area. If you’re too shy, send me an email by clicking here.
Before you get to your free flash fiction, let me tell you about my science fiction history. I didn’t always write comic paranormal animal humor. I began by writing science fiction–in the third grade.
Before that, I discovered science fiction in the school library; this copy of Robert Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit Will Travel.
What boy obsessed with science and the space program in 1963 could resist this cover? And the book was better than the cover.
My third-grade fiction I wrote? It was derived from the Lensmen series. I had force fields and ray guns and evil alien Martians.
With no further ado, I present to you my Free SciFi Flash Fiction. Don’t forget to write your own in the comments. I assume you just scrolled down here. I’ll send a free book this month to the one I like the best!
“Criminey!” Jed swore as the rocket engine began to fail. The liquid oxygen, liquid acetylene mix was off in the red zone. “While we’re landing, naturally!”
“Looks like it’s O2 pump again,” said Betty Sue, his wife and co-pilot as she studied her instrument panel.
“Can you fix it?”
“Not before we crash. I’ll need at least ten minutes to get there and thaw out the frozen pieces.”
“This’ll be the last time I get a bargain on a rocket motor!”
“Probably true, sadly for us.”
“You can’t think of ANY way to fix it in, say, five minutes?”
“There IS a way, but you’d have to be crazy to try it.”
“I’m crazy and desperate!”
“Turn off the motors and dive.”
“Yeah, so are you. Turning off the motors stops the cryrogenic fuel. Diving generates friction, which might loosen the frozen oxygen pump.”
Welcome fun lovers! I hope your weekend has been great! You’ll get a summary of the internet here: the best of the Zombie Turkeys Internet!
My audiobook voice actors, Phil Blechman and Raven recorded the first two chapters of Zombie Turkeys.
Here’s the ACX site where I’m recording
If you’re a writer or author, this next article will interest you:
Here’s how this article from Goodreads starts:
Rainy Kaye August 24, 2016
It seems to me, fiction books can be broken down into major classifications: ones read to see how it ends, and others read to experience the journey. Okay, there’s also the ones read for both reasons, so maybe three. 😉
But my point is, sometimes “how it ends” isn’t a worthy driving factor. This is particularly true for prequels. The reader already knows the conclusion: Did they live? Did they come back? Did they make up? All that has been answered if they read the first story.
Authors can run into this problem when writing the story about a side character also. Unless their story stretches on past the original book, it’s about like a prequel; the reader already knows they wound up from A to B.
So, here are five ways to get the most out of a prequel or side story that ends up somewhere near where the original story begins.
I didn’t know this review was here. I didn’t publish the work. But someone mentioned me. Specifically, the review mentioned Andy Zach and My Undead Mother-in-law.
Where was the review? Amazon.uk Did you know they had a UK site? Here it is:
The work? The SciFan Magazine, Issue 8
Here’s the review:
Why should you subscribe?
First, it’s free. Just click here and enter your email in the subscribe box.
Second, you’ll get the latest blog posts delivered to you every week, along with special subscriber-only offers, like the monthly book drawings. And for Thanksgiving, we’re giving away a free turkey!
Thirdly, along with your first newsletter, I’ll send you a free short story by me, Andy Zach, “A Phoenix Tale”. In it I tell how I got my first pet phoenix. (I now have five.)
Several reviewers of my book Zombie Turkeys have commented, “I don’t normally like zombie books, but I loved yours!” I know exactly how they feel, for I feel the same way; I don’t like horror stories.
In my fifty-five years of reading, I read one Steven King novella, in the anthology Legends. I enjoyed it, admired his craftsmanship, but I didn’t like the genre. Then I also read John Ringo’s zombie apocalypse series, ‘Dark Tide Rising’. I loved that, but I generally love John Ringo. The zombies were just a convenient opponent. I looked with horror on the rising tide of zombie popularity in our culture, generally thinking zombies were disgusting and not nice.
Then I wrote Zombie Turkeys. What made me change my mind? My mind didn’t change; I just enjoy parody. So I have to read zombie books and watch zombie movies to write my parody. No one said the life of a writer was easy. I knew that when I signed up.
What was the genesis of Zombie Turkeys? Where was the moment when I, like Dr. Frankenstein screamed, “It’s Alive!”?
I just fried a turkey, outside in the driveway, with my obligatory bottle of cold beer. We got a new turkey fryer and I wanted to test it before Thanksgiving. I achieved complete success. My family gathered around the table, laden with the golden turkey and I had a funny, random thought.
And one of my children, not known for reticence, chimed in, “A zombie turkey!”
“A zombie turkey!” I exclaimed. “That’s it! That’s what I’ll write for NaNomo!” (National Novel for November month)
You see, I had been forced into retirement at 59. My company, Caterpillar Inc., was in the third year of a sales slump and as a grizzled, highly paid veteran, I was on the chopping block. They made me a retirement offer I couldn’t refuse, so I didn’t. This happened in September. By October I decided to write my first novel for NaNoMo, so I wouldn’t sit around and mope. I expected to fail with the first novel, so I wanted to write something light, easy, and expendable. Fail worthy, if you will.
Zombie Turkeys filled the bill. I saw the whole plot immediately: the zombie turkeys start from a small flock and spread irresistibly over the whole country. Starting in central Illinois, where I lived for the past thirty years, I would use all the standard zombie tropes: people would begin with denial and disbelief. There would be horrible grizzly deaths—not by a grizzly bear, but by a turkey. The government would be forced to take action by the outraged citizenry. There’d be political infighting. There would be denialists. We’d have blazing military action. Also, there’d be chainsaws and axes. Finally, there’d be screaming teenagers.
And every time the turkeys seemed defeated, they’d come back. But they’d be better, stronger, more numerous than before. Then, just when all hope seemed lost and the country and the protagonists were going under, they’d discover the cure and stop the plague.
This was the first time I had written a novel full time with a deadline. I soon discovered I loved writing dialogue and action scenes—but I hated transitions and descriptions. Every time I came to a lull in the action, I got bored and stuck.
I knew this was a learning process, so I stuck to it. To my chagrin, the novel ended and I didn’t have my required fifty thousand words. I went back through it and added descriptions and transitions. I only had forty-eight thousand words.
Worse, I knew the novel needed to be longer if I wanted to sell it. I imagined selling thousands due to its novel nature. But I was burnt out. It was December and the holiday season. We were busy spending my severance pay and we had a big Christmas planned. So I took the month off.
In January, I search earnestly for a ‘real’ job, as a project manager. I applied to hundreds and got lots of interviews, which took my time. I also read about publishing, traditional, indie, and hybrid publishing.
The more I learned, the less I wanted to go the traditional route. I had to sell my book to an agent, then he or she had to sell it to the genre editor, then the editor had to sell it to the company. Too much waiting, too many things I couldn’t control.
Indie publishing, using Amazon, Smashwords, or other online publishers looked really good. I loved the idea of selling with no inventory. I soon realized the major criticism of indie authors who were self-publishers was atrocious editing. Having gone through my Zombie Turkeys six times by March 2016, I realized I couldn’t edit myself. I had to pay the piper, the editor.
One of my neighbors had written and published a children’s book and he suggested some editors. I contacted them.
“Too gory!” said one.
But one editor suggested another and I contacted her, Dori Harrell. She was willing and gave me a sample edit. She really made the first chapter better! Dori was positive and encouraging, just what I needed after months of discouraging self-editing. Oh, and I got turned down from all my job interviews too.
I had to self-edit the manuscript before I sent it to her. Meanwhile, I had been busily reading about publishing and writing. I re-did several scenes and honed my transitions and descriptions. Then I added a surprise ending. Finally I sent it off in June 2016. My baby had left home and was in the hands of another.
Meanwhile, I knew I needed a book cover. I was quite pleased with the title, Zombie Turkeys, but I knew the cover was just as important. I had no clue about what to use, but I thought an action scene from the book might be good. Then, there was the minor detail of the artist.
I talked with my son, who led an art group when he was in college. He recommended his childhood friend, Sean Flanagan, who was an excellent artist. We talked and he agreed to do the cover art. With a couple of other artists, we brainstormed ideas for the cover.
They considered my action scene too busy. Looking at the top selling zombie books I saw all the covers were simple and dramatic. Sean came up with a group of cover proposals:
I liked the first image, but all the artists liked the third one. I thought it was a little childish, but I trusted my artistic crew. We went with the third image for the cover. (If you want to see the final cover, click on any of the images above.)
This was in August. Dori had been in steady, encouraging communication with me while line editing. Dori poured over every sentence, making it better. She pointed out several scenes where I didn’t describe the setting or the placement of the characters. She loved certain characters and I suggested adding a romantic subplot for them. Between corrections, additional descriptions, and new scenes, my forty-eight thousand word novel was now fifty-four thousand. I finally felt Zombie Turkeys was salable now.
I just needed the cover and chapter icons. We brainstormed chapter icons, where a brief image would summarize the chapter. Sean worked on those and the covers.
My first launch date was September 30, 2016. The chapter icon artwork wasn’t ready in time. Also, I had passed the manuscript from Dori to my layout editor, Rik Hall. He formatted the interior and the chapter icons, and much to my surprise, I found additional errors both Dori and I had missed. So neither the interior or the cover were done in time.
I decided to go Amazon Kindle and Createspace for publishing. Then I set up my accounts and got everything ready. Finally, I got the cover art in time, but even if the icons had been ready I couldn’t make the interior and exterior ready for the launch date. I pushed it back to October 31st. That seemed strangely appropriate for Zombie Turkeys, one of the horror stories I would write.
The book was also set from November to New Year’s Eve. Everything came together in synchrony for October 31st. I arranged the launch party at the local library. I invited dozens of guests. And I became a horror author writing horror stories.
This blog post also appears on the Sci Fan Blog site right here.
I thought I wrote funny books, like Zombie Turkeys and My Undead Mother-in-law. But these New Andy Zach Reviews are chuckle-worthy too.
First, there’s this one, about My Undead Mother-in-law
But you don’t have to click this link. I’ve copied it here:
But there’s more review goodness!
Lightning strikes again! Another laughing reader produced this second review. I’ve copied it below My Undead Mother-in-law back cover:
You didn’t know it, but you’ve been waiting for this next one.
The first step in Producing Zombie Turkeys Audiobook is to create your ACX audiobook account and connect it to your published book. For me, it’s my Zombie Turkeys book, the first volume of the Life After Life Chronicles.
I then published the audition script for the book, selecting the best sections to show the reader’s capabilities. I put the book out to bid on ACX.
After selecting a voice actor, Phil Blechman, I submitted a contract for the audiobook, and the person agreed.
Phil will send me a fifteen-minute sample. After I approve that, he’ll finish the book. That leads us to the final step of the process.
Along the way, I also send him directions on how I want the characters voiced: their accent, tone, and age.
I have over eighty characters in Zombie Turkeys. Of course, some of them die.
And here’s another:
Here is where you come in: would you want to buy the Zombie Turkeys audiobook? Reply to this post, or contact me, Andy Zach, right here. (Click here)
The audiobook will be for sale exclusively on Amazon.
Right off the bat, you have to assume that with a title like “Zombie Turkeys” that this will be a humorous story, yet it unfolds almost like a documentary. I wanted to love it, but something didn’t fully click with me. I did LIKE it, nonetheless. There are some cute running gags about expense accounts and the occasional shift of POV to the head ZT “He felt great. He was full of energy, he had many hens to breed with, and he was the leader of a great flock.” There are plenty of other gags (like ordering a Zombie Turkey killing flamethrower from Amazon Prime) that continue to make things fun, as well as all of the way-out ways they develop to dispatch the undead turkeys.
The central character is Sam Melvin, a reporter with the tiny local Illinois paper “The Midley Beacon”. Sam becomes an internet sensation by reporting on the Zombie Turkey outbreak. He always manages to be in the right place at the right time to get the story. Sam is a VERY mild-mannered reporter and I found him a little too ‘everyman’. Walter Mitty at least had adventures in his head, Sam seemed to get to the scene MOSTLY in the aftermath of the battle.
Overall, I think it was the characters that left me in the friend-zone with this story. None of them struck me as endearing, which I think could have gone a long way to make this a better story (for me). Perhaps I should also go on the record as stating that I’m not a Zombie Genre fan. Never watched an entire George Romero movie and switched off “The Walking Dead” after 3 episodes. I’m more of a “Shaun of the Dead” and “iZombie” kind of guy.
Before closing, I also have to say that at the end of ZT, there is an opening chapter of Andy’s second book “My Undead Mother-in-law”. I found it interesting enough to put it on my reading list for the future. Maybe I just don’t like turkeys?
If you have an off-beat sense of humor, give Zombie Turkeys a try. It might be right up your alley.