Sunday, November 10, 2013

Night of the Living Trekkies in Academia

Any writer that says he doesn’t read reviews is someone you shouldn’t stand too close to, because there is a good chance that at any moment their pants may burst into flame. When it comes to reviews, I can’t say I read them all… just the ones I find. Recently there have been some very flattering ones about my collection, Blood, Gridlock, and PEZ:Podcasted Tales of horror. Just thought I’d throw that in there. Reviews for my novel NotLT, which Sam Stall and I always appreciate, range from fantastic to less than fantastic. One phrase I’ve seen in many of the reviews, even the positive ones, goes something like Night of the Living Trekkies is not great literature, but…then it would continue on and say something nice. Okay, truth here, when I sat down to write that first draft of Night of the Living Trekkies, I wasn’t trying to be Hemingway. Hell, Hemingway couldn’t even be Hemingway, and he had 61 years to try. Point is, I didn’t sit down to write great literature, but I didn’t sit down to write mediocre literature either.  

So after reading that NotLT is not great literature line about a million times, I was pretty excited to hear that NotLT is required reading at Cayuga CommunityCollege in Kelley E. Rowley’s, PHD professor of English, Science Fiction Literature course. It has been for the past few years along with two other novels about the undead, World War Z by Max Brooks, and S. G. Bowne’sBreathers. Here is a little bit of what Professor Rowley had to say about why NotLT fits well into his class.

“The novel brings up veteran issues.  Our community college is close to Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division.  We get a lot of veterans.  Our students understand PTSD and recognize it in the Jim. (Jim Pike) Those that do not see Jim with PTSD identify a post deployment angst.  So one group sympathizes with the PTSD most all groups feel the angst that he does.  This universalizes the novel for any student going through a transitional stage.  What I like about the novel is that the angst is not a permanent condition.  It gives strategies to overcome the angst.  

Last, NotLT fits into a zombie trilogy that chronicles the post 9/11 world.  Many researchers are identifying the modern Zombie as a metaphor for fears of globalization and the struggle that is involved in the geopolitical boarder zones.  In these zones we are combating terrorists.  The first book we read is WWZ which introduces the common use of extreme violence to subdue extreme evil.  This was the zeitgeist of the early part of the Afghan/Iraq war.  Your novel provides a different prospective; rather than a zombie that is irrational, unpredictable and extremely violent, yours are intelligent, connected and persuasive.  They are recruiters that persuade some to their cause.  They are the ones that radicalize citizens into domestic terrorist through the use of the internet.”

And I’d just like to add a big fat, “Yeah, what he said.”

Along with NotLT being required reading, a student in France, ChloĆ© Royer, is currently translating the novel into French as a part of her Master's dissertation. Before she was allowed to use the novel it had to pass the scrutiny of her professor to make sure it was a proper literary challenge. It passed.   

In other news signed copies of Night of the Living Trekkies were a big hit at this years’ New York Comic Con. Looked like fun.

Few months back (September) marked the three year anniversary of NotLT release, and cosplayer, Lady Beth Vader, sent us a Happy Birthday picture. Thank you Ms. Vader.

Christa Abernathy-Meredith seven-year-old son drew this image for us. I assume he hasn't read the book but it’s a pretty nice rendition of Jim Pike taking on the Trekkie undead. 

There is a bit of movie talk going on again for Night of the Living Trekkies. Some nice folks with some interesting backgrounds and connections (which I’d love to share more about - not the right time) are working toward obtaining the novel’s film option. Like I said, I’d love to share more, but if it goes through I’ll be blogging and posting about it daily. 

Over at the Night of the Living Trekkies Facebook page I’m getting ready to roll out some new Geeky Holiday Wreaths for 2013. I have half a dozen ideas, but could always use a few more. Feel free to send me yours.

My collection Blood, Gridlock, & PEZ:Podcasted Tales of Horror, had a really good October, climbing up the Amazon rankings to hit #41 in the comedy horror category, right in-between Jeff Strand and S.G. Browne. Not bad for a collection with no traditional publisher, marketing plan, or any kind of promotion whatsoever.

My new novel Night of the ZomBEEs which was targeting for a Fall release will most likely get pushed back to Winter. After the holidays is not an ideal time to release a novel but we have fallen a bit behind on the editing, not my editor's fault, it’s pretty much mine. So we may be looking at an early Spring 2014 release. Either way, I’m very excited about this one!

Lastly, my flash fiction story, The Delivery, debuted in the anthology Dark Bits from Apokrupha press. Its 52 pieces of flash fiction that are not only a fast fun read, but the antho has been converted into a 52 week planner for 2014. (Sold separately) My story is on week two!   

And for those who give a ninja’s butt, here is what I’m reading, have read, and my reviews from GoodReads.

Currently Reading Death Troopers, Odd Thomas, and Forever Odd.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fantastic idea and execution. A retelling of Star Wars as if written by William Shakespeare. I hope English teachers tasked with the responsibility of teaching Shakespeare to middle and high school students jump all over this. What a great tool to introduce Shakespeare to students. I’m sure the publisher, Quirk Books, is planning to do Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but I’d really like to see William Shakespeare’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, or Serenity. Just a thought. 

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Masello is a fantastic writer. The narrative jumps back and forth through the centuries and never becomes jarring. I did get a little impatient waiting for the supernatural elements of the story to kick in but when they did it was worth the wait. It did seem that the story could have moved a little faster up front but overall a wonderful read.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A very nice read. Not thrilling, but nice. I was a bit disappointing, and it is entirely my fault. I skimmed the jacket cover just enough to get the impression that it was a ghost story. It isn't. Well not the kind of ghosts you would think. Valentine is a wonderful writer and spins a thought provoking, coming of age, self discovery, put away the past, and get on with your young life kind of story. A very good, solid young adult read.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Goodreads and Giveaways

I recently joined Goodreads, a site that post reader’s reviews of books. To be honest, I wasn't interested in Goodreads at first, and only noticed it because I kept getting requests to join from people I know, or...know online. 
Same thing.
Kind of.
Anyway. I caved to the online peer pressure, signed up, and have reviewed a few books. I’ll post them below. I'm not sure what the point of Goodreads is, but it is interesting to see what some of my favorite horror writers, like Jeff Strand, are reading. Maybe that’s the point.

Quirk Books is having a Night of the Living Trekkies giveaway for the next 5 days. They have 5 autographed copies and you can get in on the drawing at: 
Planet Quirk's Night of the Living Trekkies Giveaway

Good Luck!

My micro flash piece, The Fall of the Feast, is now out in the anthology Barnyard Horrors from JWK Fiction. It seems that the paperback is only available at the moment, but I’m sure the e-book is in the works.

Last week I held a one day giveaway of the kindle edition of my short story collection, Blood, Gridlock & PEZ. I was surprised to see that it had been downloaded several hundred times in just 24 hours. Nice. I did some quick calculations and discovered that 70% of several hundred free downloads equals zero dollars in royalties. I then double checked my calculations and came up with the same number. Drat!

Free giveaways are about promotion, and that’s what I got. Lots of folks now have the collection on their kindle readers and with any luck there will be some reviews coming soon.  There is already one fantastic review up on Amazon for the book. And that reminds me, Thanks Dad. You’re the best.
 Until next time, stay groovy. 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoy Hollywood biographies. Not the tell-all kind but the ones focusing on people that were at ground zero for some of TV and Films most iconic moments. Penny Marshall is one of those folks. This was a fun and fast read, and I most enjoyed her personal stories about Art Garfunkel, Rob Reiner, and her best friend Carrie Fisher. Marshall is a creative, comic artist who is as much a product of her relationships as she is of her talent. 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been a Darren Shan fan for a while and what I love most is how often he pulls inspiration from one of my favorite horror films – Phantasm.  Pretty much from the opening of Zom-B we are confronted with a Tall Man like figure that is every bit as sinister as the character portrayed by Angus Scrimm. After an unsettling opening the story settles in for a slow burn until the final 60 pages. I was almost put off by Shan’s exploration of domestic violence and racism, but in the end it made for a unique twist on the zombie apocalypse. This was just book one and I’m very interested to know where the rest of this story is going.    

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bad Parenting, Comic Con, and Me

My new book, a short story collection, is now available for Kindle and as a trade paperback on Amazon. It’s my first undertaking using the resources Amazon provides authors to get their material on the market, sans publisher. I learned a lot in the process, mostly that I’d rather a publisher was doing all the publishing work, but what I didn’t expect to learn was that I might be a bad parent. Let me explain: It was about 105 degrees out when my daughter and I shot the cover photo for Blood, Gridlock, & PEZ. As you can see she had to lay her arm on the hot asphalt (which I did water down) but apparently I grossly under estimated the heat conditions. She kept saying her arm was hot. I kept saying, keep still, and stayed focused on getting the shot. We took dozens of pictures while her arm was sizzling. Had I known what was happening we’d of stopped, but she is a tough kid, and didn’t complain much. When we finished she had blistering burn marks all down the back of her forearm.

There goes my father of the year award.

Her arm healed in a few days with no permanent marks, but I still feel rotten. My daughter forgave me, and I promised her that if she needs a body part model willing to burn their arm or foot for the cover of her novel, she only has to ask.

Comic Con is next weekend, and although I won’t be there, signed copies of my novel Night of the Living Trekkies will be available at the Quirk Booth (#1636). Stop on by and meet some of the creative folks at Quirk Books, and pick up a copy of their latest geeky incarnation William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. 

Been on a short story roll as of late with sales to Blood Bound Books, Apokrupha, and JWK Fiction. My flash piece The Fall of the Feast will be in JWK Fiction’s Barnyard Horrors, coming out later this year. Apokrupha’s flash fiction anthology, Dark Bits, will feature my story, The Delivery, possibly available this month. Coming out in the summer of 2014 the third installment to Blood Bound Books, Night Terrors series, Night Terrors Volume III, will feature my story, Home Care.

I should have a new novel out this fall. It’s a middle grade horror comedy, but more on that later. For now, good night and have a pleasant tomorrow. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Short Story Collection - Blood, Gridlock, & PEZ podcasted tales of horror

If all goes well, my first short story collection will be up on Amazon in trade paperback and as an ebook sometime in July. Its a collection of short stories that for the most part first aired on podcasts like the Drabblecast and Psuedopod. The lead tale is a coming of age story in which a geeky group of PEZ collectors finds themselves in a life and death struggle, caught between a traffic jam and a blood drenched ax. 

Now I know what you are asking yourself, what could Kevin possibly know about PEZ collecting? Great question, glad you asked. I collected the tiny candy dispensing toys for about seven years, even attended a few conventions. And in a completely unintentional show of synchronicity my entire PEZ collection is currently on display at the Temecula Public Library, and will be through July 16th. 

In other news, Dark Moon Books released their Young Adult edition of Dark Moon Digest with my story Mounting Fairies for Display, along with tales from Nancy Holder and Johnathan Maberry. The publisher told me that the issue premiered at the World Horror Convention in New Orleans a few weekends ago, and they sold out of every print copy in the first run. More are available on Amazon. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trekkers Against Bullying

A few weeks back a new Facebook page caught my eye – Trekkers Against Bullying. As a Star Trek fan and as someone who has been on both sides of bullying, I was really intrigued. The page is growing in popularity and even released an interview / PSA with the Great Bird of the Galaxy’s son, Rod Roddenberry. I wanted to know a little bit more about this page so I got in touch with the administrator and asked if the creator of Trekkers Against Bullying (Fred Monfeli) would submit to a brief interview. And, well, here it is:
1) What inspired Trekkers Against Bullying?
The answer is probably just as dramatic as the cause. My son has been dealing with bullies in school, something that he and I have in common unfortunately. In one such circumstance I just happened to be working of some personal Star Trek projects when he came to talk to me about it. While trying to boost his spirits and explain some of the basics to bullying I used Star Trek as a reference. From there it was an easy jump to the idea. It was with the poking and prodding of individuals who said I needed to actually do something with it and not just leave it as an idea that gave the REAL birth of TAB’s

2) What do you hope this page will accomplish?
The page is supposed to do a couple things. I wanted it to be a resource for parents who are looking for help with dealing with it, and for kids who need to know there is hope and there are options other than the terrible options some kids end up taking out of desperation and fear. More importantly it is to give a voice for those than can’t, won't or are too scared and give them a light to follow.

3) Do you think Sci-fi fans, in particular Star Trek fans, are often targeted for bullying? 
Yes! As a group Sci-Fi fans and more specifically Star Trek fans are portrayed in a comical light. Fan Boys for instance give a representation of what Star Trek fans are viewed like. The bad thing is, I know too many people who are not fans who really do see us in that light. So aside from the regular issues of being viewed as nerds who are by proxy considered weak we are a target, and the media doesn't always help.

4) Do you have any direct experience with bullying, either as bully or victim?
I was a victim of bullying, but not a victim. What I mean by that is I have and still do occasionally get teased or made fun of, but I tried to make sure to stand up and be proud of myself and who I am. Now to be honest that was not always the case but it was a hard lesson learned. There were some low points. 
5) What examples of Bullying do you see in the Star Trek universe?
Too numerous to pin point one great example. Q and the Borg are the first things to come to mind when I think of bullies in Star Trek, that and Klingons.

Final thoughts...
I have been a Star Trek fan for as long as I can remember. But besides that I have been bullied. My children have been bullied. This issue, this cause may be close to home for me, a little personal if you wish. However, I know I am not the only one and if my one voice becomes echoes through thousands of voices saying ENOUGH! NO MORE BULLIES! And just one child found hope, it would be worth it. I wouldn't stop with just one, but it would be worth it.

These images were created by JP Coree 
who also created and manages the Facebook page for 
Trekkers Against Bullying

To find out more about Trekkers Against Bullying go to:
Trekkers Against Bullying - Facebook  
Trekkers Against Bullying - Website

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We were LIVE in New Orleans

Last week, Thursday May 16th, Sam Stall and I were LIVE on WGSO 990am's THE WEEK IN GEEK, hosted by David Ducorbier from one of my favorite cities, New Orleans. We talked about our novel Night of the Living Trekkies, Zombies and a little bit about upcoming projects.

To listen to the broadcast (podcast style) follow this link. THE WEEK IN GEEK May 16th. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dark Moon Digest: YA Issue

The editor for Dark Moon Digest sent me a sneak peek at their special YA issue and its TOC. My story Mounting Fairies for Display will share the pages of this issue with Nancy Holder and Jonathan Maberry. I'm told it will be available in 2-3 weeks. 

Table of Contents:
"Among Men" by Joe McKinney
"Are the Stars Out Tonight?" by Nancy Holder
"Creepy Town" by C. W. LaSart
"Cyclops" by James S. Dorr
"Deadly Thin Ice" by Dawn Napier
"Franklinstein" by John Peel
"Lonely Is The Mothman" by JG Faherty
"Mounting Fairies for Display" by Kevin David Anderson
"Overdue Books" by Jonathan Maberry
"Rotten Inside" by Kimberly Yerina
"Scratch" by Jeff Szpirglas
"Smothered" by Sarah Ahiers
"Super" by Max Booth III
"The Nightmare Project" by Stacey Turner
"The Rainbow Coat" by Paul Kane

You can hear an earlier audio version of my story at:
the Dunesteef Episode 15: Framing and Mounting Fairies by Kevin David Anderson

My interview on The Week in Geek, a radio show out of New Orleans on WGSO 990 AM will be tomorrow night. It will be available as a podcast later on, and I'll post the link.

Monday, May 6, 2013

An Interview with ZOMBIE RIKER

A short while ago I noticed a strange fellow with a passion for Star Trek and Zombies appearing here and there on FaceBook. His photos both horrified and intrigued me.  I instantly felt a bizarre kindship with this unique genre mash-up fan and wanted to know more about him and his undead Starfleet persona, Zombie Riker.  Recently, I got the opportunity to ask a few questions of this interesting fellow from across the pond, and here is what he had to say.

Five Questions for ZOMBIE RIKER

1) Do you need fresh Starfleet brains and Federation flesh, or can you survive on replicated brains and replicated flesh?

I mostly live off the synthetic stuff. The infection that causes my body to decay for some reason doesn’t affect my ability to think which allows me to keep many of my human faculties such as speech, rational thought and some degree of compassion. So, I’m mostly harmless and rarely chomp on a genuine cerebrum – but that’s not to say I don’t occasionally get an uncontrollable urge. If worse comes to worse they usually feed me a stray Romulan.

2) Is there a taste difference between human brains and say Vulcans, Klingons, Andorians or Gorns? Follow up: Are Gorns as chewy as they look, and which alien race is the spiciest?

There are noticeable differences between each of these species’ brains and they usually reflect the personalities and cultures of each race. For example, the Vulcan brain has quite complex and rich taste and leaves you feeling quite enlightened. Klingon brains are the spiciest, this due to their fiery temper which has the tendency to repeat itself with the same aggression. As for the Gorns, their brains are indeed chewy. Like a piece of bubble gum – and about the same size but without the fruity flavor! And Humans are usually rather dull and tasteless as you could imagine.

3) Do you consider the Borg to be a relative, maybe an interstellar cousin species?

I’ve actually met a Borg, and we seem to have an unspoken respect for one another’s kind. That said, they’re still pretty unpleasant and if one of them was a relative of mine, I’d probably disown them!  Obvious similarities can be drawn between Zombies and the Borg. One of which would be that we both create more like ourselves virally, although the Borg has taken generations and has the technology to perfect its methods. And without a hive mind we undead generally lack the direction and cohesion that someone like the Borg Queen would bring to our kind. Maybe I could apply for the role? Zombie King Riker has a nice ring to it, right?

4) Commander Riker has quite the reputation as a ladies man. How is Zombie Riker doing with the ladies?

Ladies seem to love Zombie Riker – almost as much as his human counterpart! Whenever I beam down to a convention or club for a little shore leave there’s often a number of female fans who want to party with the festering First Officer!  But alas, the search continues for his true Zombie Troi.

5) Lastly, which Starfleet Captain would you most like to have for lunch?

There would be no greater honour for me than to consume the brain of our dear Captain Picard. As far as living humans go, he’s experienced a lot of things, has a great tactical mind and a wealth of cultural, general and historical knowledge. I think above all my fellow crewmen Jean Luc’s mind would make the most satisfying meal!

 Five Questions for Jay Curd, the man behind Zombie Riker

 1)So what is the inspiration for Zombie Riker, and why Riker?

Commander Riker has always been my favourite Next Generation character. He just had it all. He was the cool charismatic type, the action guy, the lady’s man and was not afraid to speak up - even to his Captain when situation required. I’ve also always enjoyed zombie movies and the classic schlock horror style make-ups of George Romero films. Combining the love of Star Trek and the undead was inevitable, and highly logical. Also I have a similar beard, which was a good place to start.
2) Zombie Riker’s makeup looks very professional, are you in the biz or is makeup just a hobby?

That’s a real compliment, as I’ve actually had no real makeup training. My Zombie Riker looks so far have mostly been comprised of tissue paper and latex with a lot of time, attention and fake blood poured in! A friend of mine did my first make-up for me at Halloween in 2011 and by myself I’ve resurrected and reimagined Zombie Riker a number of times since. People just take to the character with great enthusiasm and it’s a fantastic buzz getting praise and making an impression with something I’ve created.

It’s that encouragement and some good advice from pros which has pushed me to want to try out new things. I’ve recently been experimenting with different materials to add to my arsenal and currently working on some prosthetic pieces using silicone in hope of creating a more out of this world and alien looking infection for future appearances. But that’s enough with the spoilers!

3) I’ve noticed pictures of you at some conventions. Which Cons has Zombie Riker gone to this year and which ones are you planning on attending in 2013?

The U.K convention season tends to pick up as we head towards summer, so I’ve only done one appearance as Zombie Riker so far this year which was a nightclub zombie night. But when the cons start I hope to attend at least a couple of them as Zombie Riker.

Most notable as a Trek fan will be the London Film and Comic Con which runs from July 5th – 7th where there will be a reunion of Deep Space Nine cast members including Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko), Nicole DeBoer (Ezri Dax), Armin Shimerman (Quark) and a number of others from that show. They also have Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori) from The Walking Dead appearing as a guest, so it’s the perfect occasion for a Zombie Riker away mission!

4) While dressing up as Zombie Riker, what would you say has been the highlight of appearing as one of Starfleet’s highest ranking undead?

My greatest moment as Zombie Riker, and possibly in my life as we know it, was meeting Jonathan Frakes, ‘actual’ Commander Riker, while I was in character. This was at the Entertainment and Media Show in London last year and we got a professional photo taken together and he even asked me if he could take a picture of me on his iPhone! That was certainly a highlight that will be hard to top!

5) When not bringing Zombie Riker to life or undeath , what are you doing?
When I am forced reluctantly to face the ‘real life’ stuff I work in technical support and also write for a tech news and reviews blog called Gadget Helpline in which I try to drop a Star Trek reference whenever possible! Outside of work and aside from Star Trek fandom I’m also a horror movie enthusiast and run a successful social page called Krueger Kollectables. I also try to attend as many movie events and horror themed nights as possible and enjoy mingling with fellow gorehounds and meeting the talented filmmakers that inspire my dark and twisted imagination.

Another unusual public persona of mine is the M.C and ‘Commissioner’ for the British based Extreme World Wrestling. I host around 2-3 shows a year for their unique and alternative brand of pro wrestling and appear as a storyline character. It’s another perfect pairing for me, as I’ve been a fan of wrestling since childhood and there’s generally a dark and macabre tone which suits me perfectly. And co-incidentally our next show in Hastings on Saturday 26th October is called ‘Invasion of the Bodyslammers’ and it will carry a zombie theme. So expect me to come dressed appropriately!
- end of interview-

Special thank you to Ritch Simpkins of Discord for some of the photos, and to Jay Curd for being strange enough, and weird enough to create ZOMBIE RIKER!  Never change Jay!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Well there goes my New Year's resolution to Blog at least once a month. Jeez, what is it, April already? Oh, well, its not the first of my resolutions to last as long as a Red Shirt in a Star Trek episode. Anyway, on with the show.

Earlier this year my story Damaged, was published in an anthology from Gothic City Press. The collection is called Conviction: Anthology of the Con. It came out quietly in January, so much so that I didn't even know it was out until March. It's available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

A flash story I wrote called The Fall of The Feast will appear later this year in the pages of Barnyard Horror, an anthology with four legs from James Ward Kirk fiction. And Dark Moon Digest will run my story How to Mount Fairies for Display in their special Young Adult Issue coming out this summer, fall, or winter, I don't really know. But this sale was kind of a victory for me as I have been trying to get this piece in print for a while. Based on the stories sick and juvenile sense of humor, adult markets kept passing on it. But the first time I pitched it into the Young Adult market, bingo. Can't believe I've been doing this for as long as I have and sometimes I still forget the most basic of rules. The submission must fit the market.  

On May 16th, (on the night before the new Star Trek film is to be released) my co-author, Sam Stall, and I will be interviewed LIVE on WGSO 990am, a radio station in New Orleans. The show, which is new to the station, is called, This Week in Geek, and host David Ducorbier would like to discuss our book, Star Trek, Zombies, and all things geeky. I believe the show will be turned into a podcast later on for those not in the New Orleans area. I'll post more details when I have them.

Lastly, a fellow across the pond has been applying Zombie makeup, wearing a TNG Starfleet uniform, and calling himself Zombie Riker. I've been intrigued by his Facebook page and convention pictures, so I sent him an email and asked if he would submit to an interview. Well, Zombie Riker said yes, and I'll post that Q & A next time. Until then - QAPLA!

Conviction Anthology on Amazon
Sam Stall
WGSO - New Orleans
Zombie Riker on Facebook