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MS4 Audio Almost Here

Just a heads up to those of you who follow my blog…MS4 Blood Apocalypse is nearly ready.

MS4BA

Jack Voorhies of Falcon Sound finished up the audio files and I approved them just days ago. As soon as Audible does their technical checks, it should be available. Trust me, as soon as it’s ready I’ll announce it.

For those who have followed the audible stories, I wanted to let you know that Jack won’t be available to narrate the next saga. I don’t have a great amount of details, but from what I understand, he is transferring to another state. Falcon Sound has a full stable of able bodied narrators, so finding somebody else to become the voice of the Monster Squad won’t be difficult for them…they’ll just have really big shoes to fill. Finding somebody with the vast array of voices that Jack brings to the table won’t be easy.

Yes, if you can’t tell it by now…Jack, you will be missed. I wish you nothing but the best in the future, my friend.

Jack Voorhies

Stay tuned and I’ll post links when MS4 is ready. As always, I’m looking for people willing to listen and give an honest review. If you’re interested in stepping up and reviewing any of my audible books, send me an email. I’ll get you a free copy of whichever you want.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Monster Squad Emporium is Now OPEN!

Sounds kind of official, doesn’t it?  Well, it sort of is.  As most of you know, I’ve been on a constant search for a supplier of wholesale t-shirts, coffee mugs, pens…well, most anything that sounds ‘fun’ and can be used as a promotional item.  Since my brain is stuck in the 80’s and today’s prices just seem outrageous, I’ve only ordered what you might call samples.  A few shirts here and there.  A couple dozen coffee cups.  A few custom made pens, notebooks, etc.  Everything has either fallen short of what I was looking for or was too cost prohibitive.

Enter cafepress.  A friend turned me on to them and while they may not be the end-all answer I was searching for, they create on demand AND they offer shirt sizes above and beyond what most other online shirt places offer.  Yes, I can even find some in MY size. I’ve ordered a couple of t-shirts and a couple of travel mugs just to check out the quality.  They offer discount codes at checkout and it makes it just a wee bit more affordable.

I still intend to keep my eyes open for better deals so that I can offer them to my readers as either prizes or as a ‘thank you’ for all that they do to help keep my name in front of new readers.  Until something more solid comes along though, this sounded like a good idea. I know that I’ve gotten emails and PMs from people asking if items like this were available. Until now, they simply weren’t…and while this might not be my preferred way to go, at least it gives readers a chance to pick up their style of clothing or gift items with the logo they love emblazoned across the front of it.

So, just in time for the holidays (I’ve always hated it when people said that…) here’s the link to the new Monster Squad Emporium!
http://www.cafepress.com/MonsterSquadEmporium

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Quick Update

Things are fluid.  Much like life, no matter how much we plan and plot, things happen and monkey wrenches are tossed into the best laid plans.  Meh.  Take it in stride or your blood pressure goes up.  When you have a houseful of kids (and now grandkids) you soon learn that things get broke, other things get spilled, things come up missing and NOBODY did it.  If I ever find this invisible person named ‘Nobody’, I think I’m going to wring his neck.  Until then, he’ll continue to get the blame piled on his poor unfortunate soul.

Is there a point to my rambling?  Ha!  You should be so lucky.  Actually, yes, there was.  I’m finding a pretty consistent theme to the questions being asked.  Whether via email, Facebook or posts here on the blog.  What’s next for the Monster Squad?  Will there truly be a ‘next’ book in the series?  The answer is YES.  MS5 Homecoming has been sent to my editor and I’m in the middle of MS6.

Homecoming - Heath Stallcup

MS5 is planned for a September-ish release.  As we’ve all come to realize, it could be early, it could be later.  MS6 has been renamed from Snapback to Wayward Son.  The story took on an interesting twist and although the original title could have worked, Wayward Son is much more appropriate. I have a feeling that MS7 will probably take the title Snapback.

The compilation of the first four was placed on a back burner for a while.  Things at WHC weren’t what was expected and interest in a hardback compilation seems to have dwindled somewhat.  Will it still happen?  Perhaps in time, but there isn’t a huge push to make it so.

Will there be a YA spin-off of the Monster Squad?  As of now, it is only in the planning stages.  All of the ingredients are there.  MS5 & 6 lay the groundwork for a young adult series to spring from the original, but it isn’t etched in stone.  A different YA series has been discussed since Phoenix was originally published but the idea lost steam until recently when it was revived during a brainstorming session.  Totally unrelated to the MS storyline, this YA series would be centered around a shape-shifting family that still had to deal with common problems that most families see touching their lives in one way or another.

Caldera is sitting at the editor’s and the second in the trilogy is now only a few chapters into the story.  Things will have to be revamped in the storyline to prevent appearing as if it is stealing ideas from popular TV shows. Shortly after Caldera II – Return to Yellowstone was begun, certain TV shows aired that paralleled a lot of ideas that were highlighted in the story.  Rather than try to explain why there were so many coincidences, I thought it better to simply rewrite the story and omit anything that gave the appearance of being another person’s idea. So, it’s back to almost the beginning.

I know, that isn’t much in the way of ‘updating’ but honestly, not a lot has been happening.  I slacked off this summer.  Took it easier.  Dealt with things other than writing.  Now, it’s almost time to put the nose to the grindstone and get caught up.  I have to have MS6 & 7 to MDP by September.  And they have to measure up.  I need to have Caldera II to Todd by then as well.  Something tells me that I probably won’t make that one.  Not since I had to delete the better portion of the story.

Stay tuned.  Things are constantly changing, but I’ll keep you up as they happen.

Heath

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Spotlight on: Eric Shelman!

So, that group of writers that I’m with?  Yeah.  Well somebody left the door open and these strays wandered in. Lucky for us, they’re writers.  That means we have to lock up the beer, hide the good snacks and lock out the PPV on the remote.  But hey, other than that, they’re a great addition.

Eric

Of the additional members, one is none other than Eric Shelman.  Eric Shelman was born in 1960 in Fort Worth, Texas.  In his early teens, his widowed mother remarried a man named Ed Middleton, and his new dad moved the family to southern California.  Eric used to write short stories that featured all of his friends as characters, but because Eric was a longhair living in Laguna Beach, California in the 1970s, you can bet they usually involved drugs of some kind (this is from him, not me, so I don’t want to get any anti-hippie hate mail!).

Fast forward … to the mid-nineties.  Eric started writing some short stories, and finally had one published.  After that, he felt it was time to write a book.  He initially intended to write supernatural fiction, along the lines of Stephen King and Dean Koontz, as well as many others. But when he discovered the story of a little, abused girl who was rescued by the ASPCA in 1874, he got sidetracked and wrote the very first book on her case, Out of the Darkness: The Story of Mary Ellen Wilson. It came out in 1999, and since that time, thousands have read it, and it is one of his biggest selling books ever. It’s also been optioned for a Major Motion Picture.

From there he wrote a thriller called A Reason to Kill and shelved it.  Eric began work on a witch novel that involved past lives, but he became so confused while writing the book that he put it down at 53,000 words and didn’t write again for eleven years.

Wow.  That was dumb.

Eric Breaking Bad

Since 2011, Eric has written and released NINE full-length novels, including SEVEN volumes of his Dead Hunger zombie series.  So … time travel, zombies, witches and serial killers.  Something for everyone … everyone twisted, that is.

Eric A. Shelman lives in Southern Florida with his wife of 27 years, Linda.

Life is good.

Don’t forget that his newest release, Dead Hunger VII: The Reign of Isis should be available as a paperback on Monday!

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hunger-VII-Reign-Isis-ebook/dp/B00LOZN1UG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405465052&sr=8-1&keywords=dead+hunger+vii

If you want to find Eric, here’s some different links:

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorShelman

Eric’s Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/350507.Eric_A_Shelman/blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorshelman

Don’t forget folks, if you are a fan or if you become a NEW fan, the best thing you can do for ANY author is to leave a review!  We all live and die by reviews!

 

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Introducing: Shawn Chesser

It has been my pleasure to be a part of a really cool group of horror authors.  Over the next few weeks, I hope to highlight each of these fellows and let you the reader get to know a wee bit more about each of them.

Tonight I bring you a short interview I did with none other than Shawn Chesser!

Normally I ask for a short Bio to give the readers a quick primer on who we’re talking with, but come on!  This is Shawn Friggin Chesser here people!  But, in case you’ve been living under a rock or just arrived from another planet…

Bio: Shawn Chesser, a practicing father, has been a zombie fanatic for decades. He likes his creatures shambling, trudging and moaning. As for fast, agile, screaming specimens… not so much. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, two kids, and three fish.

Shawn Friggin Chesser

If any of you didn’t notice, I got the ‘friggin’ in there, didn’t I?  That’s a little joke between the two of us.  He’s been having his covers reworked by a really awesome graphics group and I commented that he really needed to have his name BIGGER.  He hemmed and hawed a bit until I declared, ‘C’mon man.  This is Shawn Friggin Chesser we’re talking about.  The name needs to be HUGE!’  Then I used my mad MS Paint skills and totally defaced his cover…but I think the point was made.

Shawn, I want to thank you for dropping by and gracing my humble blog with your presence.  As I mentioned, the whole point of this is to get the word out about your latest release and spread the word about you and your awesome writing.  How about we start with your Social Media links:

My pleasure.

Warpath

Warpath: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse on Amazon http://tinyurl.com/n7nvda7
Author Web Page http://www.shawnchesser.com/
FB page https://tinyurl.com/ksr93lg
FB author page https://tinyurl.com/lc36v9g
Amazon author page https://tinyurl.com/k8a7pnv
Twitter handle @sdchess

Sweet.  Hopefully we can get more people to stop by these places and experience all of the awesomeness that is Shawn Chesser!

Now, to the bangers and mash.  We can rapid fire a few simple Q&A for the folks and get the word out about your zombie series!

Me: What is the title of your latest release?

Shawn: Warpath: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

 

Me: Can you give us a spoiler-free quick description of it?

Warpath: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse- In the crucible that is the zombie apocalypse, Cade Grayson, father, husband, and former Delta Force operator has forged new friendships and tempered old ones. In those same metaphorical flames, he has seen blood spilled, loved ones perish, and dealt his own brand of justice. Now, three weeks after a world-wide viral outbreak has left the United States in ruins and transformed most of her population into walking corpses hungering for the flesh of the living, he finds himself at an Army Forward Operating Base on the outskirts of Grand Junction, Colorado. With only a set of GPS coordinates to go by, Cade must deliver his small family and a trio of young people from the distant outpost, across hundreds of miles of Utah’s sun-baked high desert, to the promise of safety the random-looking string of numbers represent. Meanwhile, eagerly awaiting their arrival at the Eden compound, Duncan Winters goes about the grim task of burying the recently fallen. With each shovelful of dirt he deposits on the bodies of kin and friends, his insatiable desire to strike back at the people responsible tugs him ever closer to the edge of insanity. With the dead hunting and moving in herds of ever-increasing size, will Cade and his group survive the running of the gauntlet? Will Duncan see the light and accept that he truly needs Cade’s special set of skills in order to find and bring those responsible for the recent murders and abductions to justice? Or will he give in to burning desires, shirk the old adage that revenge is a dish best served cold, and go it alone, charging blindly headlong down the Warpath to certain disaster? Come along and find out who has what it takes to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

Me: Man, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this one.  I’m still catching up though so I’m really glad you didn’t let any real spoilers slip.   So, what (if anything) makes this one unique?

Shawn: Warpath is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in a thoroughly devastated United States. This fast paced romp through Colorado, Utah, and Idaho is unique in that it features not only heavily armed hard-charging soldiers in camouflage and body armor, but also a group of regular citizens who have come together and are doing their best to survive the zombie apocalypse. Thrown into the mix are strong female characters, a group of younger survivors trying to find their place in the new world, and a host of human baddies my readers love to hate.

Me: Ain’t that the truth.  And you really do have strong female characters in your stories.  I remember you talking about possibly incorporating that into future covers.  Anyway, tell us about your zombies? Slow and rotting, but any chance of incorporating the viral fast ones in the future?

Shawn: I’m a Romero purist, Heath. My zombies are slow, plodding, and tend to hunt in packs, usually overwhelming their prey with their strength in numbers. These creatures are infected by the Omega virus which is present in their saliva and blood and spread by introduction of those bodily fluids to the living, mainly via bites. Infection of the Omega virus (so far) has proven one hundred percent fatal, however, the victim’s turn time is determined by a wide variety of factors.

Me: Ah.  Staying true to the original.  Well, there are a grand majority of folks who think that those are the only true zombies, so I can’t blame you a bit.  But tell me this?  What was your first experience with zombie media (movie, book, comic, etc)? Was that experience what drew you into writing the genre?

Shawn: When I turned twelve or thirteen my mom let me rent Night of the Living Dead and the original Day of the Dead on Beta or VHS…can’t remember which. I watched them with a couple buddies and have been a fan of the genre ever since. My desire to live vicariously through my characters in a world created in my own imagination is what prompted me to write Trudge. Over the course of a rainy fall and winter I wrote that first novel in small chapters on my iPhone while my son, Cade, played soccer and rode trikes at the indoor park. A friend read the first incarnation, liked it, then turned me on to Smashwords where I eventually self published my short debut novel.

Me: And man, are we ever glad that you did!  I think Trudge is my favorite because it introduces us to Cade and his family.  It’s raw and gritty and…well.  It feels like it COULD happen.  Forgive my gushing.  I just really liked the story.  Okay, now for a goofy question. Pop Quiz: The dead rise now and you can choose ONE weapon as your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival are?

Shawn: I know this is kind of a cop-out but, if the dead were to rise today, Heath, I’d want them to be the Romero variety. Frankly, if I had to face the rage infected creatures in 28 Day’s Later or the fast Zs from WWZ or the Dawn of the Dead remake I would have me foraging for Depends undergarments more so than beans, bullets and band aids.

Me: Sorry.  I snorted on that one.  Here I am thinking you’re gonna call dibs on some fancy assault rifle and you’re worried about Depends.  You got me with that one.  Okay, how about this one…if you had to give a list of authors who most heavily influenced your work, who would make that list?

Shawn: Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Cormac McCarthy, Dean Koontz, Terry Brooks, Lee Child, Brad Thor, Vince Flynn … to name a few.

Me: I know most of those names, but thanks for giving me a few new ones to check out, hehehehe.  Now to get personal. How do you balance your ‘writing time’ with ‘family time’? Do you find your wife encouraging you more now that you have a huge fan base?

Shawn: You know, Heath, my wife wears the pants in the family and I pretty much do whatever the hell she says. (Sound of whip cracking in the background) I find this approach instrumental at reducing domestic friction in our household. All kidding aside actually being able to make a living writing is a definite win-win in that I get to set my own hours, spend those hours doing something that is still very rewarding and then decide when I want to punch the clock and commence that short commute from my upstairs office and go down and hang with my family.

Me: Awesome.  And trust me…I think we all can relate with who rules the roost in most homes.  Shawn, thank you so much for dropping by and giving us some insight into what’s going on and what’s new with you.  I really appreciate it and I’m sure my followers will appreciate the heads up on your series.
Folks, seriously, if you haven’t checked out Shawn’s ‘Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse’ series, you NEED to!  You won’t regret it.

Shawn: Thanks for having me, Heath. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you via FB. Perhaps we’ll meet at a future Con or WHC.

Me: I am SO looking forward to that.  Take care buddy!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Okay, I know it’s a stupid title to announce the first of the Monster Squad books to be produced as an audiobook, but at the time, I thought it was cute.

I waited to announce the audible release of Return of the Phoenix because of my commitment to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014.  My date for SZBT was the 17th and I didn’t want to overshadow the author being highlighted.  If you didn’t get a chance to check out that interview, scroll down and give it a read.  Julianne Snow was the guest of honor and she’s a truly awesome little gal.  See?  Already I digress…I came here to announce the audio release and almost got sidetracked by her awesomeness!

Here’s the spiel.  Falcon Sound Studio’s Jack Voorhies threw himself into this production and it shows.  Talking with Jack, he’s told me how he got excited doing this project.  He really thinks that the premise has potential (and coming from him, that means something).  But first we have to get the word out about Phoenix, drive the interest up and get some reviews.

Keep an eye out for contests in the near future for free downloads of Phoenix and if you happen to run an audiobook review blog or website, feel free to contact me.

In the meantime, if you just can’t wait…here’s the link:
http://www.amazon.com/Return-Phoenix-Monster-Squad-Book/dp/B00KY9J6A2/ref=la_B00DALTYXU_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403127517&sr=1-7

 

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Subtle Changes

Those of you who travel here to catch up on things will be pleased to know that I wrapped up MS5- Homecoming a couple of weeks ago and have been tapping away at MS6- Snapback ever since.  I’m hoping that this next saga will only be a three book tale, but you never know exactly where the story will take you.  I will say that I’m fairly excited about one small aspect.  I’ve been wanting to delve into the world of YA stories for a while. Well, since Phoenix really.  Originally, I intended for the Monster Squad stories to be young adult, but in my efforts to ‘keep it real’, the language didn’t allow that.  Then the story took on a life of its own and if you’ve read them, you know.  Things happen. While many may feel that they’re appropriate for young people, my publisher and I both felt it best to engage the adult filters when searching for them.

And yet, I digress.  No doubt, if you’ve been here before, you probably noticed a small change when you came here today.  Unless you’re on a mobile device.  I have no idea what you may or may not see on your phone.  BUT, the changes in layout and images that you’re seeing are in preparations for bigger changes that I hope are soon to come.

I was extremely fortunate in my internet travels and ran into a young lady that absolutely blew me away.  ‘Why?’ you may ask.  I’m so glad you did! When I first saw her, I got chills.  She IS Laura Youngblood.  I mean, when I saw her picture, it was exactly who I pictured when I wrote that character.  We began to talk and the next thing I know, she’s telling me about graphics and splash pages and…she’s web design smart.  The graphic you see at the top of the page is a crop from an image she threw together in just a couple of minutes while we were messaging each other on Facebook.  I had sent her some images I had from the book covers, t-shirt designs, logos…just different images that were sitting on my hard drive.  I’m telling ya, the lady is awesome.  I wish I could tell everybody her name, but she hasn’t really given me permission so I’ll keep it to myself for now (Lisa Vasquez and she’s AWESOME at graphics and web design, but you did NOT hear it from me…unless she’s cool with it, then I totally told you to contact her).  So if she gives me permission to spread her name around, I’ll let you know how to contact her (at http://thedevilshalo.com/ ).

It’s taking a bit of time because we both have a bunch of irons in the fire but hopefully soon, you’ll see a cleaner and much cooler site with a neat portal or splash page or whatever it was she called it. Stay tuned!

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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