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DEAD: Snapshot-Liberty, SC

12 May

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To those of you who are true dead heads, the name TW Brown is synonymous with zombies. One thing Todd’s fans have to get used to is, ‘NOBODY is safe’. Just as the Walking Dead might tease with killing off Glenn or Darryl, they know the fans would riot and most likely boycott. Their advertisers like making money and AMC likes people tuning to their channel. Brown’s vision of the Zombie Apocalypse is nothing like that. It’s gritty. It’s gory. It’s dangerous. And, as stated before, nobody is safe. Not even the main characters. One can almost smell the sweet stench of decay when reading his stories.

The original DEAD series finished with Book 12. Quite a haul for any series, but even more of an accomplishment when you realize, this was a story about those who survived. They faced monsters, humanity in both it’s best and worst guises and of course, their own fears. However, the fans wouldn’t let the series die. I remember speaking to Brown about his series a couple of years ago and he told me of the people who would write and ask him to include their town in the storyline somehow. That struck a chord with the visionary writer and he decided before the series even finished that he would break off with a ‘spotlight’ series based in his DEAD world. He would take up the offers from his readers to focus on their small towns or large cities, include real people in the story and find a way to kill them or help them survive as only he can.

Allow me to introduce you to the third installment in his exciting new series: DEAD: Snapshot-Liberty, SC.

Dead_Snapshot_Liberty_book

Rather than bore you to tears with my take, I’m turning my blog over to him and letting him tell you in his own words what this newest release is about.

Behind the curtain of the DEAD: Snapshot {your town here} series

“THE DEAD WALK!”

You sort of dream about that headline. Admit it. You watch shows like The Walking Dead and think, That would be SO cool! Would it really? I want you to bring your own arm up to your mouth and bite as hard as you can. Now keep going until you rip the flesh. (In the interest of our “sue happy” culture, I am not really suggesting that you do this, and if you already did then can I ask what in the hell is wrong with you?)

So…how cool is it now? And then there is the idea of finding a loved one who had the misfortune of not heeding the warnings and got bit trying to hurry home to take care of you. They are coming at you with filmed over, dead eyes. So grab a gun or something and shoot or bash them in the head. Oh yeah, that includes your precious little Jimmy or Janie. You know, that apple of your eye…the one thing that you love more than life itself.

Not sounding so great anymore, is it?

The reality of the zombie apocalypse is probably more terrifying than we want to imagine. However, reading about it is a blast. On that, I think many of us can agree. Only, when you read these stories, don’t they always seems so far away and remote? Unless you have a local zombie author who loves to set his novels in his or her (and by extension…YOUR) neck of the woods, you have to imagine places you have never been and hope to sink into the story enough to feel like you are “there.”

Well, wait no more. With my new spin off of my successful and best-selling zombie series DEAD, the apocalypse can be right outside your own front door. How? I will tell you later. You don’t think I am gonna give you ALL the good stuff right off the bat, now do ya?

My new series is titled DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here}. Okay that last little bit is just the generic filler. To be clear, the first book is titled DEAD: Snapshot—Portland, Oregon. I set it in my town because it is someplace that I know pretty well. However, the most recent book is titled DEAD: Snapshot—Liberty, South Carolina. Never been there, but with the help of Google, I can get down to street level and “walk” about from the comfort of my computer.

Welcome to the third installment of the DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here} series. This is one of those stories that I am very excited about. Now, no spoilers, but this is another time I got to put a different spin on the normal zombie tale. So often, the destruction is total and complete. But what if a small town banded together to stand against the walking dead? That is part of the idea behind this tale. Also, I get to drop a bit of a morality story on you. I hope it plays out as well on paper as it did in my head.

I will say that, as a fan of the original Dawn of the Dead, I am of the belief that endings in a zombie story can often be a bit open and ambiguous. While there is certainly a lot to be said about a hard or solid conclusion, the zombie genre is not always best served by that approach.

I am a fan of how Fran and Peter are lifting off from that mall in the WGON chopper as the zombies pour out onto the roof. (Forget how they managed to suddenly learn to climb ladders.) I walked out of the theater and spent hours wondering what happened next. Did they find someplace safe? Did Fran crash when they ran out of fuel?

To that end, I want to give my readers a conclusion, but I also like them to be able to ponder the fate of the characters they have come to love or hate in the pages of this book. When reach the last page of this particular tale, I hope the story remains with you for a while. No, this is not the start of another series. This is a stand-alone title; just like all my other Snapshot books. However, I think we all know that “life goes on” so to speak after the story ends. Just like real life. Just something to ponder.

Each of these books will be a stand-alone novel set in the mythology that I built in the DEAD series. Some of them may see “guest appearances” by characters that you know and love or hate from DEAD. You don’t have to be a reader of the series to enjoy or understand the book. It is zombie fiction, not Twin Peaks. For those totally unfamiliar, my zombies are like those found in Romero flicks. Still confused? (I weep for you, but I will clarify.) The Walking Dead. You know, basically slow and not all that coordinated. I do have a few twists in my mythology that differs from the norm. While I won’t state it as a fact, I had not read (in my VERY EXTENSIVE reading) any instances where the bite was not a catalyst for somebody to turn. Also, children of the younger age bracket might behave just a bit differently. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I will leave it at that and let you discover for yourself why my series has allowed me to be a writer full-time and quit my day job.

So, how do you get zombies to come wipe out your town (or maybe the town of an ex, or somebody that you just really don’t like), so to speak? Simple. All you have to do is send me an email at twbrown.maydecpub@gmail.com with “I WANT TO SEE THE DEAD TAKE MY TOWN!” in the subject line. From there, in the actual email, tell me where you are from. Tell me a little bit about your town and what makes it special. Feel free to offer your own name up for use as a character. You are even free to give me a description or photo that I can use to design this character. I even let you specify if you wish to be hero or villain. Sorry, no promises that you will survive in any case, and your character’s depiction may be NOTHING like you in manner and action. It will simply carry your name into the annals of zombie apocalypse history.

So…are you interested? Curious? Or maybe you really dislike those snobs over in Shelbyville? (Simpson’s  reference…sorry.) Well, you now have the power of life, death, and undeath in your hands. What will you do?

me and mototrbreathBrown went an extra step by including the members of Motorbreath (A Metallica Tribute Band) as a band of bikers in this new story. These are his friends…I’m telling ya, NOBODY is safe with this guy!

Now, I know this has been a rather lengthy post, but if you’d like to get a taste of what the apocalypse is like in Liberty, read on. He’s allowed me to post part of the first chapter here for you to check out.

Welcome to Liberty, South Carolina

Bruce Gibbs started to bring his big rig to a stop. The car just ahead was only partway off the highway and had its hazard lights flashing. Sure, he could have just drifted over to the left lane and shot past, but that simply was no longer in his nature.

Two months ago, Bruce had come to the Lord. After over a decade of drug and alcohol abuse, his sister had staged an intervention. It was then that she revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and needed her big brother’s shoulder to lean on in the trying times that lie ahead. He’d started attending church with her every time he was in town, and was starting to feel better about himself than he had in years.

The big rig shuddered as it came to a complete stop and Bruce engaged the brakes before opening his door. The cool night air made his skin erupt in goose bumps, and he got a funny feeling that sent him to his favorite verse of scripture. It was the first bit he had ever memorized and it always calmed him when Satan tried to unsettle him, to lure him back to the bottle or the women.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures…” he whispered as he approached the beat up old Buick. There was something peculiar about the rear window. As a car zoomed by, coming from behind him on the Calhoun Memorial Highway, better known to passing truckers simply as Highway 123, the rear window looked like it was melting.

“…You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil…” Bruce continued as he reached the rear bumper.

Almost immediately, there was a horrific smell that was foul and gagging. It was like feces mixed with spoiled chicken. This had to be serious. He finished his recital of Psalms Twenty-three and switched over to simply praying for the poor souls in that vehicle. He fished his cell phone from his pocket and hit the emergency button as he reached for the recessed handle of the front, driver’s side door.

“Nine-one-one…police, fire, or medical,” a bored sounding voice answered.

“I think all of them,” Bruce gasped as he gave the door handle a tug. “Oh, my God.”

In the front bench seat, a male was sprawled over and lying on his side. Crouched in the floor well on the passenger’s side was a child. He couldn’t have been older than seven. His face was a dark mask. But Bruce knew that the moment that face came into the light, the black stain would morph to red.

The man’s throat had been torn open and blood had sprayed all over the interior of the car. A good jet of it must have hit the back window; explaining why it had looked like it was melting. Bruce staggered back and dropped his phone. The tinny voice on the other end was now unintelligible.

Losing his footing, Bruce fell backwards—directly into the path of one of his fellow truck drivers. This particular eighteen-wheeler was hauling a full bed of thirty-foot poles and moving at just over sixty-eight miles per hour when it slammed into Bruce, killing him instantly. The impact was so great that there was very little of the poor man other than what dripped from the front grill of the semi.

The newly arriving big rig began to squeal as the brakes were applied much too hastily to be safe. The trailer heaved around and the rear end began to catch up with the cab. It drifted into the median and began to destroy the high-tension cable line that so many people in the area had complained was completely useless and needed to be replaced with an actual concrete divider that separated the east and westbound lanes.

An oncoming SUV with a family returning from a trip to Greenville after checking out the upstate campus of the University of South Carolina was coming east at that unfortunate moment. The oldest daughter was planning on attending USC next year if everything went well.

The family was cruising along at just over seventy when a dark shadow filled the entire lane directly ahead in the blink of an eye. All plans ended abruptly when the rear trailer full of poles smashed into the front of the SUV and sent the engine block all the way through the rear of the car, killing the mother, father, and oldest daughter, as well as seriously injuring the fourteen-year-old sister who was thrown out the rear of the SUV.

Nobody would know that her body lay broken and bleeding in the tall roadside grass. The living were so occupied with the terrible scene of the accident that nobody saw the three figures coming out of the trees as they paused and suddenly changed direction. Almost as one, they dropped to their knees and began clawing, biting, and tearing at the helpless girl who was fortunate to never actually regain consciousness.

Cars from both directions began to stop and people emerged from their vehicles; some to see if they might be able to help, others just to be able to get a better look. One boy ignored his mother’s reprimands and emerged from his parent’s car with his cell phone in hand. He felt his heart race as he neared the carnage. This was the first time he’d even used the new cell phone and he had to fumble a few seconds to get the camera function to start recording.

He approached a body that lay sprawled on the ground. There was a dark pool on the asphalt that he knew had to be blood. Another person was crouched over the body and twelve-year-old Ben Jones zoomed in on his screen so that he could see a little better. He expected to hear crying or maybe the crouched person trying to communicate with the individual lying flat on his back, but what he heard was a strange sound that reminded him of how his cousin Jenny ate spaghetti. There was a loud slurping noise and then what he thought to be open-mouthed chewing.

The long hair that hung down from the head of the crouched person prevented him from really seeing what was going on and so he took a few more steps closer. This is going to blow everybody away at school on Monday, he thought. A smell hit his nose as he took those final steps that put him in arm’s reach of the scene. It was possibly the nastiest thing he had ever smelt in his life. It was worse than going into the bathroom after his dad in the mornings.

“Is he dead?” Ben breathed as he got to within a few steps of the man who stared straight up with eyes that looked sort of strange. Ben noticed that they looked clouded over like the blind man who sat in the front row every Sunday at church; only…different.

The person who was crouched over the body paused whatever it was doing. For a moment, there was no movement, then the head began to crank around in slow, jerky, bird-like fits.

Young Ben Jones did not even realize that his phone slipped from his fingers. He was in shock as his brain struggled to make sense of what he was seeing. The man’s face was a dark mask around the mouth and something long and stringy dangled from one corner. The man’s long hair was dripping from where it had been dragged through the horrible and bloody open gash in the belly of the man on the ground.

The crouching figure began to move towards Ben, hands reaching and mouth opening in a low moan. That sound was the last straw for Ben’s bladder although he no more registered that fact than he had dropping his phone. He stood frozen in terror as the long-haired man stumble-crawled towards him. A hand grabbed his ankle and he simply watched the bloody face come to his leg. The stained mouth opened and then clamped down on the outside of his right calf. Now his bowels joined his bladder, but Ben registered nothing. He had already gone into shock and continued to stand unmoving as a piece of his leg was torn free.

At last, pain registered in his brain, but Ben did not scream, he simply let out a feeble whimper. His eyes had now fixed on the second man who had been sprawled on the ground; this person was sitting up with his insides spilling out onto the highway; and now he was coming for Ben as well.

Ben’s mother had jerked away from his father and stood outside the passenger’s side door. Much like her son, she could not believe what she was seeing. However, she did not freeze in shock, instead, her motherly instincts took control and she charged the two terrible men who looked to be attacking her son.

“Shondra!” Clarence Jones shouted as he now emerged from the car as well.

He heard a sound behind him and turned to see a child standing just a few feet away. The boy couldn’t be any older than seven or eight, and he was covered in blood and gore. The stink rolling off the child was enough to make Clarence take an involuntary step back. What began as a reaction to the smell changed to fear as a man came stumbling up behind the child with pieces of his face looking like they’d been chewed off.

His first thought was dog attack, but then his eyes returned to the child who had stopped advancing and was cocking its head first to one side then the other. The man behind the child made no attempt to slow and stumbled past the little boy, sending him sort of careening off the side of Clarence Jones’ car.

“You just stop right there,” Clarence warned.

At that same instant, his wife screamed their son’s name. Clarence turned his head to see Shondra lit up by the headlights of his car. She was on her knees trying to pull Ben free from two men. She didn’t even see the woman stumbling up behind her due to the blue-white glare of all the headlights. This creature was limping horribly from what looked like the left foot having been turned completely backwards and dragging along with a scratching sound as exposed bone scraped asphalt.

Clarence’s head whipped around when a strangely cold hand swiped down his face and landed on his shoulder where it grabbed hold with a peculiar firmness. He tried to jerk away but his feet tangled in those of his attacker and the two fell down with Clarence landing flat on his back and the strange, foul smelling man on top. The impact knocked the wind from him. In the end, he was only able to emit a feeble squeak as teeth tore into the flesh of his throat.

Pain slammed into him and he was almost certain that he saw a dark jet that had to be his own blood spray across his vision. He blinked once and opened his eyes to see the darkly stained face of the child leaning down over him. Its tiny mouth was open wide and came down to fasten on the bridge of his nose.

Clarence’s screams were just one of many as the unsuspecting living emerged from their cars and made for easy prey. Not one person in the midst of the carnage could fathom what was taking place. Nobody could force themselves to believe that the dead were getting up and attacking the living.

It was simply too ridiculous, a thing of pop fiction.

 

Now, before I go, let me tell you. He’s offering up 5 audio copies of DEAD: Snapshot–Portland, Oregon and two Kindle copies of DEAD: Snapshot–Liberty, South Carolina as a giveaway. You don’t have to jump through major hoops to get it. Just go by his Facebook Author Page and click ‘Like’. Shoot him a message and let him know. So easy even a zombie can do it…wait…
If you’ve already liked his author page, and still want to get your mits on the freebie, I have it on good authority that he’s open to trading a copy for a fair and honest review…

Share the love…give him a ‘Like’ and enjoy the fruits of his labors. Til next time my little monsters…be safe!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

3 responses to “DEAD: Snapshot-Liberty, SC

  1. Todd Brown

    May 12, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Big thanks for sharing!

     
  2. Stephen Deese

    May 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I live in Liberty and reached out to Mr. Brown when he first mentioned this. It is amazing how accurate he is. I know for a fact he went beyond Google searches and actually talked to people in the town. I cannot recommend enough to other readers to give him a try.

     

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