Monday, October 31, 2011

Review Roundup for Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator

Neeta Lyffe may feel like “popcorn reading,” but I enjoyed that, as I whipped through it, enjoying myself thoroughly, I felt like there might be some intellectual protein planted among the popcorn.  Highly recommended.  --Sarah Rienhard, Snoring Scholar

What does a Catholic military wife write about?  Zombies of course.  I will admit to not being a zombie fan.  I'm squeamish about gore and close my eyes when movies are bloody, but I loved this book.  It's a great mix of horror, humor, and reality TV that makes it the most fun book I've read in a long while.  I found myself laughing and snorting as people were eaten and zombies vanquished.  I'm pretty sure that means I'm going to Hell, but at least I got to read this book first.  --Rebecca Fresh, Shoved to Them

Huntress Reviews:  FOUR STARS! Usually I tell if a book is funny, serious, or whatever. Well, this book is funny, serious, or whatever. I opened this book expecting something along the lines of a cheesy B-Grade movie. Though this story does have a bit of that tongue-in-cheek flavor, it is written in a serious tone. The ZDE forum breaks in on the story at times and I found these sections to be realistic of how today's on-line forums read.... Many chapters begin with Gary Opkast, one of the show's writers, typing up a documentary, The Zombie Syndrome. Personally, I believe Gary's documentary sections to be a stroke of genius on the author's part. It gives the entire story a touch of realism, as does the forum threads. When it comes to ZDE's cast of plebes, each player has his/her own personality and set of personal quirks. They each have a well developed background which is slowly revealed as the story progresses. ...All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed this insane look into the world's future zombie problem.... Author Karina Fabian has a sassy, take-no-prisoner writing style that will keep you hooked from page one.

By Kat Heckenbach, Splashdown Book Reviews"Hell's Kitchen" with heart. Pretty much sums it up :). Neeta's got to whip her students into shape, so they can learn to slice and dice zombies. She's not the heartless terror that Chef What's-his-name is, but she can't afford to be soft when dealing with the undead.  I laughed SO hard while reading Neeta Lyffe. But humor is not Karina's only strong point. The book has an actual plot and real characterization--two things that often lack in parody and humor writing.

Available in print or electronic from

Neeta is to zombies what Buffy is to Vampires!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crapmaster Truck Commercial 2

This idea came from a prompt chat in The Writers Chat Room. It's, of course, perfect for the world of Neeta Lyffe, where the goverment has put out several "fine" automobiles like the Entitlement (which is huge) and the Deficit (whose brakes don't work that well. I'll be putting the Crapmaster in Neeta Lyffe II. (I did another one which I posted on September 22, but the idea was so much fun, I had to do a second one. I was giggling like a maniac for hours.)

I used to make this, but I am teaching how to make video book trailers at Savvy Authors.Check it out at

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Zombie Workout DVD

Welcome to the Zombie Workout DVD! I'm Roscoe, and I’m sure you saw me on Zombie Death Extreme. If not--where have you been? No matter. You're here now, and we're going to get your body moving, your heart pumping--and teach you a little about zombie defense while we're at it.

First, I want to congratulate you on your purchase of this video. The Zombie Syndrome is now, and it's not just in someone else's back yard. We don't know what causes some people to come back and others not to, so until we have an immunization, it's your responsibility to protect yourself. But you know that, so get off that couch--come on, up you go! Let's start with a good pat on the back.

Reach back with your arm and pat. We're so proud of you! Pat, pat…and now the other arm. You're going to feel so good when this is done--and safer, too! All right, now reach back with both hands and pat yourself on the butt. Oh--did you do that? You naughty people. We are going to have so much fun!

Let's roll those shoulders… Remember, you should never start a rigorous exercise regimen without first checking with your doctor. Moving to the wrists… If you've not exercised in a while, start easy. Now roll the ankles… If you feel any discomfort in the chest or pain anywhere in your body, slow down or stop, and see your doctor. I know the thought of a shambling hoard is a great motivation, but remember: I can't climb through the flatscreen to do CPR--much as I love mouth-to-mouth. Now shake it out. Work it!

Of course, the first line of defense against a zombie is to run screaming. Unless the zombie was an athlete in life, you can probably get away. So let's warm up with a light jog. Seven, eight… Now toss your hands up and scream! Good! Jog…and scream! Keep that pattern while we listen to a few words about zombie defense from one of my favorite people--Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator! …and scream!

Hi, I'm Neeta Lyffe, and I am a professional zombie exterminator. When the dead rise from the grave, it's my job to put them back. I'm certified and licensed to re-kill, and no one should attempt my job without proper training. However, in a pinch, there are ways you can defend yourself should you encounter a zombie.

The first thing to remember is that zombies are reanimated copses. Nothing more. Much as you want Aunt Sadie to come back to life, that is just a shell--and she wants to eat your brains, not pinch your cheeks. They are corpsicles. Animated rotting meat. And you should fear them.

Nearly all zombies have two things in common: they are attracted to meat and repelled by cleaning products. In addition, zombies have instincts ingrained by how they lived their lives. Use that. If you recognize that corpsicle as your former chain-smoking boss and you have a pack of cigarettes handy, toss them as far away from you as you can, then run.

Roscoe will have more tips for you. But remember: If you suspect a zombie is in your area, the safest thing you can do is call 911, arm yourself with Windex, and get to a safe place if you can.

…and jog and scream! Everybody march now. Wasn't Neeta divine? We're going to start with an easy basic--the 911 call. Put that imaginary phone in your back pocket. Ready? Reach and dial-9-1-1! Reach and dial 9-1-1.Now with the other hand--ambidexterity can save your life! Good! Let's up that pace! Reach and dial! Now back to the first hand. You can do it.

OK! We're warmed up and now we're taking it up a notch. It's time for some dashes. We're going to practice running to the window and throwing it open. First, let's work on the motion. We want to be sure we check the area for more zombies before we jump. Look before you leap! Still marching, right? Good! Now, reach down, look around, grab and lift! Reach down, look around, grab and lift! Keep it up--the corpsicles are coming! Reach down, look around, grab and lift! If you have a side-sliding window, reach sideways, but don't forget to look-see. Reach down, look around, grab and lift!

Fabulous! Now, we're going to combine these three into the window dash. When I say, "go!" toss you hands in the air and scream, make that 911 call and head to the nearest window, reach down, look around, grab and lift. But don't go jumping out just yet--we have 30 more minutes of body-building and life-saving exercises that'll tone you up your body and keep your brains safe.

Ready? GO!

By the 2040s, zombies are a part of our culture--and if you think the Zombie Workout is something, catch Neeta Lyffe as she and her partner take on an infestation in a Korean restaurant in "Wokking Dead," in The Zombie Cookbook, an anthology by Damnation Books. And be sure to look for Neeta and Roscoe, along with the rest of the cast and crew of Zombie Death Extreme, in Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, coming December 1 from Damnation Books. If you like Karina's humor, check out all her books at . In the meantime--reach down, look around, grab and lift!

* This is actually my sister, Regina Koske. Isn't she beautiful? And tough--definitely the Neeta Type. I'm so glad she posed for me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wrap-Up of the MuseOnline Conference

I had a terrific time at the MuseOnline Writers Conference, which ran on forums and chats Oct 3-9.  This year, I taught six workshops, plus one impromptu on housekeeping tips:
Developing a Unique Character Voice
Editing: Not For Wimps
Help! My Writer’s Block is Buried in Clutter (impromptu chat on housekeeping for busy writers)
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Making the Most of Your Research and Articles
Torture Your Characters for Fun and Plot-Fit
Worldbuilding 201
Zombies and Monsters and Pixies, All Mine
(I’ll be teaching these classes next year in other venues or at online conferences, so stay tuned or sign up for my newsletter, to get notices.)

The classes were a lot of fun, and I was thrilled at the stuff folks came up with for the homework.  A few said they had great ideas for stories or National Novel Writing Month (in November).  I love that I helped fire imaginations!

My imagination was fired up, too.  In Rosalie Skinner’s class, Focused on Fantasy, I played with my Gapman novel that is waiting its turn to be written, and her questions and assignments helped me figure out the evil overlord scheme a bit and gave me a wonderful crisis for the story.  P. June Deihl had a great worksheet of exercises that that I used to build some fun scenes for Gapman.  In Lynn Rush’s Mind Mapping seminar, I had a wonderful insight into my ship, the Santiago, in its AI.

I also got some wonderful critiques from Jane Lebak and Jim Harrington and learned a lot just listening in on agent Beth Fleisher’s pitch session.  (I was moderator.)  I got a few more marketing ideas, as well as a lot of food for thought.  There were some workshops I just didn’t have time for, but I plan to go back and read them.

Finally, for you DragonEye, PI fans, I discussed the possibility of publishing a few of my novellas with MuseItUp.  They have Live and Let Fly, and we’re both interested in making MuseItUp the home for DragonEye, PI from now on.  Lea Schizas, publisher, liked the idea and she’s a big Vern fan, too, so I’ll be following up with her on those.  Again, register for the newsletter at if you want to be kept up-to-date on this and other publishing developments.

MuseCon is over, but the next one is Oct 8-14.  This conference is FREE but worth hundreds of dollars in information, networking and opportunities.  Don’t miss out!  Go register NOW at  (If you attended this year, you MUST register again for next year.  (if you took the registration poll, then you are good; otherwise, go back to the forums to and take the poll!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Announcing the Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator Book Tour!

By the 2040s, the shambling dead have become and international problem. While governments and special interest groups vie for the most environmentally-friendly way to rid the world of zombies, a new breed of exterminator has risen: The Zombie Exterminator. When zombie exterminator Neeta Lyffe gets sued because a zombie she set afire stumbles onto a lawyer's back porch, she needs money, fast. So she agrees to train apprentice exterminators in a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like a game of tag. But that's nothing compared to having to deal with crazy directors, bickering contestants and paparazzi. Can she keep her ratings up, her bills paid and her apprentices alive and still keep her sanity?

The workout room had a weights set and an elliptical in one corner, but Neeta ignored them. She needed more vigorous exercise than that if she wanted to burn off her emotional funk.

None of the plebes had done the routine she'd just set for herself. It didn't really reflect the reality of zombie movements, either. Although the crew had designed the targets to look much like actual undead, they moved too quickly, changed direction too suddenly, lunged and retreated in ways zombies couldn't imitate. They zigged and zaggged, dropped from the ceiling to zoom back up, flung themselves from the ground to trip the unwary. For once, this wasn't about training.

Neeta steeled herself, found an opening and dove in with a roar. She swung high, tagging the first zombie with the edge of her blade just as it got within her reach.

This was about reflexes,

She jumped over the arm that sprung up in front of her, doing the splits as she brought down her chainsaw to slice the hand off at the wrist.

…about burning aggression,

She spun a full circle, moving the saw in a sine wave. She took one target out at the knees, sliced another sideways across the chest, beheaded a third.

…about moving beyond thought and planning and negotiations with writers and directors and people who cared more for ratings than lives,

She lunged, spun, kicked and swung, her battle cries a perfect accompaniment to the pounding music.

A buzzer sounded, and the lights brightened and steadied. The targets stopped their frenetic motions and presented themselves for her to examine. She dropped the saw where she stood and braced her hands against her knees to catch her breath. Her arms felt like lead. A good feeling. She moved among the grimacing targets, noting the strikes that would have severed limbs, the ones that would have beheaded... When she came to the long-haired one with the pot belly, she gave a feral grin.

She's landed the blade in perfect position to slice Dave's manic smile right off his face.

Want more fun? Check out the Zombie Death Extreme show website!

Check out the Tour!

Interview for Frightliner & Neeta Lyffe
Try a New Format
Why I wrote a Zombie Book when I Don’t Like Zombies
Websites and Worldbuilding
how to put on zombie make-up
Making Monsters
Best job in the world
review, guest post
What my Writing has done to My Kids

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Teaching Video Book Trailers at Savvy Authors

I'm teaching how to make Video Book Trailers at Savvy Authors starting October 31. The class (which I've taught in conferences) has been stretched out to a whole month to give you plenty of time to craft your video, get feedback, etc. Check it out at

Creating your own book trailer video doesn't have to expensive or difficult. With free pictures, free music and Windows Movie Maker, you can make your own in a weekend. This class will take you through the basics. Must have Windows MovieMaker or some movie-making program you are familiar with.

$30 for non-members
$20 for SavvyAuthor members

Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Inspiration behind stories in FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead by Colleen Drippe and Karina Fabian

This is the song that started me thinking about truck-driving vampires, and "Accidental Undeath," the short story included in FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead, is inspired by it.

"FRIGHTLINER" itself, however, came about when Colleen Drippe objected to the friendly good-o' boy depiction of vampires. (Note: This was before the sparkly emo vampires became a craze as well. I think her head was spinning when that came out.) Anyway, I said, "Well, let's write a real vampire horror story with a trucker vampire." That story ended up being just as much fun, if a whole lot creepier.

Anyway, I'd like to share this. The song, and all of Micheal Longcor's songs, are excellent. I highly recommend checking them out.

Truck Driving Vampire
Words and Music Copyright © by Michael Longcor
Recording Copyright © by Firebird Arts & Music/BMI.

I was parkin' my eighteen-wheeler outside of New Orleans,
When a big damn bat flew into the cab and I nearly soiled my jeans.
He latched onto my jugular and started chowin' down.
When I opened my eyes, much to my surprise, I'd become what I am now.

I'm a truck drivin' vampire, I only drive by night.
A truck drivin' vampire, undead, but not uptight.
I'm a good ol' nosferatu, and an eighteen-wheelin' stud,
Wearin' white socks, drinkin' Blue Ribbon, and redneck blood.

I wear my shiny cowboy boots, and a coal-black seed corn cap,
And a big, black cape with my CB handle embroidered on the back.
I eat at all the truck stops my rig should chance to pass,
But I never bite no furriners, 'cause garlic gives me gas.

I got a box of Mississippi Delta dirt stashed back in my sleeper cab.
I've lost my trucker's tan, of course, but not my beer gut flab.
If the smokies pull me over in my overloaded Mack,
I use some vampire mind control, and then I have a snack.

Playin' Bob Wills on the radio, and feelin' pretty good.
I got that white line fever and a hankerin' for red blood.
It's a carefree life I live now, and I have my job to thank,
'Cause I work at long-haul truckin' for the Interstate Blood Bank.
(Final Chorus)

I'm a truck drivin' vampire, I only drive by night.
A truck drivin' vampire, undead, but not uptight.
I'm a good ol' nosferatu, and an eighteen-wheelin' stud,
Huntin' for my victims like an evil Elmer Fudd,
("Shhhhh, be vewy, vewy quiet. I'm hunting twuck dwivers, duh-huh-huh-huh.")
Wearin' white socks, drinkin' Blue Ribbon, and redneck blood.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

My Novel's Journey: Old Man and the Void

Neeta Lyffe II is on hold until I can talk with someone at an oil refinery about how radical environmentalist zombies could wreck havoc.  In the meantime, I've started on a new project, another serious science fiction.

I decided to do something completely different for me.  Rather than come up with an idea and run with it, seat-of-the-pants style, I was going to take a more methodical approach, and take a tip from some successful authors--rip off a classic.

On the long trip to Moab, I mentioned this to my idea man, Rob, who suggested Old Man and the Sea.  He wasn't especially impressed with the book, which he read at the Academy, but thought the whole Man-Against-Nature was a sci-fi angle not really looked at in current novels.  We talked about the book awhile (I'd not read it yet) and decided to move the story to a black hole with an ancient alien ship as the marlin.

The first thing I did was go to SparkNotes and take notes on the important themes and events.  This will not be a knock-off of Hemingway--I can't mimic that well--but I want to capture the spirit of the book.  The exciting thing was by reading the notes and the important quotes, I got a lot of interesting ideas.

Next, I bought a copy of the book and read it through slowly, outlining my own novel as I went along.  Hemingway provides the basic sequence of events, though the pacing will differ. There will be other differences as well.  I'll talk about those later.  Thirty handwritten pages later, I was ready to be begin.

I've also been doing research about black holes. Incidentally, if any of you know someone who studies these and would talk to me, I'd love an introduction!

I've written about 2000 words, and I'm already loving it.

Monday, October 03, 2011

FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead by Colleen Drippe and Karina Fabian

Horror on the Highway

When Jay Carlson has a run in with a strange, dark truck on a lonely road, his life goes south. He sees things that others don't see. He learns things he wishes he could forget, and he is drawn into an ancient battle he wouldn't have believed in even a day in the past. This time, even country music and the open road can't save him. Join authors Colleen Drippe' and Karina Fabian as they take you to the darkest places on the road. Also includes two extra stories and an excerpt from the novel Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator by Karina Fabian, available from DAMNATION BOOKS.

Get it at Amazon:

About the Authors:

* Colleen Drippe: Colleen Drippe has been writing since age 6 and has had a lot of science fiction, a moderate amount of horror and fantasy, and assorted nonfiction scattered throughout the small press and online. She also writes for children and has had three children's books published so far (The Little Blue House, Christmas at the Little Blue House, and Mystery at Miners’ Creek) and another one (Growing with the Little Blue House) due out any day. She has had one sf book published (Godcountry) and another (Gelen!) coming out this year. She is the former editor of Hereditas (of happy memory but dried up funding) and is currently working on another sf book along with various other projects.

* Karina Fabian: Karina Fabian writes fantasy and science fiction, with the occasional foray into the world of horror. Her first novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, the 2010 INDIE Award for best fantasy. Her latest book, the comedic horror, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, was a top ten in the Preditor and Editor reader’s polls.

01-Oct about collaboration
01-Oct info
03-Oct info
05-Oct Colleen Drippe' interview
10-Oct inspiration and song
11-Oct back to basics
14-Oct information
15-Oct reviews
16-Oct review
17-Oct Interview for FRIGHTLINER & Neeta Lyffe
29-Oct podcast