Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!! BRING IT ON, 2010!!!

I have to say 2009 was an AMAZING year.

Just a quick rundown of the year's highlights:
  • As The World Dies: The First Days is nominated for the Dead Letter Award for Best Book (Fiction)
  • It wins the award.
  • As The World Dies: Fighting to Survive comes out in March to great sales
  • I am contacted about the TV/Film rights in May
  • After two tries, I find my entertainment lawyer, Barr Potter, and he negotiates the TV/Flim rights.
  • As The World Dies: Siege comes out in August, one year to the day the first book came out. Sales and fan reaction is very positive
  • I am contacted by a publisher one day before I leave to Horror Realm inquiring about the books
  • I am a guest at Horror Realm and sit on my first author panel
  • The TV/Film option is signed at Horror Realm. The producer throws a big party to celebrate
  • Barr and I listen to the pitch made by the publishing house. I ask him to look into my other options before I make a choice.
  • The Foundry in New York City becomes interested in my work. Within a month, I have signed on with Hannah Gordon to represent me.
  • The Tale of the Vampire Bride is released by the Library of Horror Press. Despite no real promotion yet, the sales are solid.
  • Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Novel comes under consideration for a possible film.
  • Two short stories appear in two anthologies: Zombology 1 and Wolves of War
Add in all the interviews I did, the other writers I met, the fans I have gained, and the books brisk sales, this has been an AMAZING year.

I loved you dearly, 2009, but it is now time to move on. Thank you for ALL the fabulous memories.

2010....bring it on, baby. I'm ready!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Stalker and Me

This whole writing thing is weird enough without a stalker ending up in the mix. The fact that someone would take so much time and put so much effort into trying to destroy someone makes me sit back in my chair and scratch my head. I find the passion behind love enthralling, but the passion behind hate is unsettling to say the least.

I decided to write about the situation on my blog because a lot of this has been in the open where people could see what was going on. I never did respond to her and I don't plan to now. But for those of you who have caught glimpses of the things that were going on, here's what happened.

My stalker appeared soon after As The World Dies: The First Days was published. I received an odd message from a woman telling me she was supposed to be the first female zombie genre writer. I had no clue how to answer to that. I had published my book because the fans wanted it. That I had inadvertently derailed someone's plans to be "the first" was not something I felt I could or should apologize for.

Our beginning, obviously, got off to a bad start.

We move through similar circles. but we were never friends. Once I sent her a message when I heard something terrible had happened in her life, but we remained in distant orbit from each other.

Negative comments made by this person began to trickle in to me over time. The accusations were easily dismissed: I was lying about my sales, I didn't have real ISBNS, etc. I shrugged it off, amused more than anything. I had documentation that said otherwise and I did not feel the need to defend myself.

The drama between this person and one of my best friends began to escalate before Horror Realm. I had my fingers crossed that nothing would happen at the con.

At Horror Realm I met this person. I tried to be nice, but I always felt uneasy. I had three interactions with this person that I felt were tense. I ignored them and continued to have a good time.

Since Horror Realm, the tension around this person steadily increased until there was a massive explosion. She leveled accusations against not only me, but two other people. A slew of comments were left over the Internet attacking me and my writing. The administrator for one website where she tried to leave an inflammatory comment warned me that I was in someone's crosshairs. They provided the comment and the I.P. address. The I.P. address was easily tracked back to my stalker.

Fake reviews popped up for the As The World Dies books. They sounded like her tone, reiterated her previous comments about me and my work, and were nasty assaults on me personally, not the books. My fans discovered them first and told me about them. I found the first one to go up to be amusing, but when more began to pop up, I realized she wasn't going to give up. She even went through and tagged all the positive reviews as unhelpful. I do not mind bad reviews. If someone hates the book, that is fine by me, but these reviews were personal assaults.The fans were already commenting back and reporting the reviews, when I sent my own email to Amazon. Amazon investigated the reviews and then pulled them.

(BTW, thank you to all the fans who stood up for me and books.)

It didn't end there. In fact it got much worse not only for me, but the other two people she's been going after. It finally blew sky high Saturday night and I took actions to limit her access to me.

Stalkers seriously suck hairy, rotting zombie balls because no matter what you do, they just don't stop. I'm pretty sure she will continue to bash me (and the others) wherever she can. I have placed her on Ignore across the board and have zero intention of responding to her. Should I see her in real life, I will walk away and not acknowledge her.

I did learn a few valuable lessons out of this whole thing.

1. Agents are awesome. Hannah's simple "This will not affect anything in your career" instantly alleviated the stress I had felt briefly. She also assured me that she had seen this sort of thing before from people jealous of writers.

2. My lawyer is awesome, too. He gave me simple guidelines on how to deal with the situation and told me what lines would need to be crossed for legal action.

3. My friends are amazing. They helped me collect the posts she was spewing out and compile a folder just in case the harassment escalates anytime in the future. They also encouraged me when I felt frustrated and gave me very good advice.

As for my stalker...well, she's still out there and I hope that someday she finds her own peace and her own success.

Meanwhile, on my side of the world, things are looking really good. I can't wait for 2010.

I think it is going to be AMAZING!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm a Zombie!!!!


Hehehehe...Of course, I'm flipping off the camera man for taking a photo of my bad errr..chewed up side.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Coolest Review Ever!!

I found this review on

I have NO idea what he says, but he smiles at the end and holds up two thumbs. I assume it's good.

Friday, December 18, 2009

As The World Dies: The First Days Makes Top Ten Zombie Books of the Decade

Today did not have the greatest start for me. A sinus headache that has been nagging me for three days threatened to evolve into a full migraine first thing this morning. I was an hour late to work and grumpy as could be. Thoughts of crawling back into my bed and hiding my aching head under a soft pillow instead of sitting at my desk at work kept flitting through my mind.

And then I saw a Twitter post that perked me right up. My head is still aching, but now I'm smiling. I saw a link for the Top Ten Zombie Books of the Decade. As The World Dies: The First Days made the list!

I'm so excited!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Tale of the Vampire Bride is Now on Kindle

The Tale of the Vampire Bride is now on Kindle!! I'm so excited that it has gone up so quickly.

Download it today!

A Chat with the Bryce Beattie, the Storyhack and Indie Author

Along time ago in an a galaxy far, far least it feels that way.

A long time ago (about a year and a few months), when As The World Dies The First Days was first released, I was approached by Bryce Beattie about an interview for his blog Storyhack. You can read that interview here. Today I get to turn the tables and find out why Bryce decided to self publish and if he has any advice for new writers.

As I have stated before, I have received quite a few requests for information on writing, publishing and requests for me to critique the work of new writers. It is very difficult for me to respond to each and every person, so I am doing this series of interviews to provide valuable information from writers who are moving forward in their careers.

Rhiannon: Why did you begin writing?

Bryce: I began writing "for real" after I got into old pulp novels. I loved the energy and the excitement in those old stories, and I was convinced I could put the same oomph into stories of my own.

Rhiannon: How many short stories and/or novels did you write before starting on Oasis?

Bryce: I'd written a few short stories before. Nothing I'm terribly proud of. Oasis was my second attempt at a novel. The first attempt was a science-fiction dystopian detective novel that I was co-authoring with a high school buddy of mine. We didn't get too far, but it was fun while it lasted.

Rhiannon: Why did you decide to post it online on a blog?

Bryce: I was realistic about the chances of getting my first novel published. It just seemed like every "real" author I talked to or read about had written two or three novels before getting published. Since I figured I most likely wouldn't be getting published anyway, why not post my work online.

Posting fiction online has it's bonuses. You can get 'live' feedback. You can build a readership. As you build a readership, there is also the bonus of having to write, or people complain. It forces you to find the time.

Besides, I was sure there'd be at least one person that would find it amusing besides myself.

Rhiannon: How long did it take for you to build a steady readership?

Bryce: I'm not really sure. I don't remember there being a day where I woke up and said, "Wow, I totally have steady hits to my site now." I know that it took longer than a year, though.

Rhiannon: Does the constant feedback from your readers encourage or discourage you?

Bryce: Oh, I love even the negative feedback. I'm an attention whore. I feed off of all of it.

Rhiannon: Why did you decide to self publish Oasis?

Bryce: If figured it'd be better than letting it decay on a hard drive somewhere. Plus I really, really wanted to throw it on a coffee table and when folks came over I'd say (nonchalantly) "Oh, yeah. That's my first novel." Now that I have the novel, all I need for that dream to come true is a coffee table.

Rhiannon: Had you submitted it to any publishers or agents before you decided to self publish?

Bryce: I submitted Oasis to one small publisher that specialized in post-apocalyptic "literature." I sent them the submission with the first three chapters and everything (this was before I had actually finished the book), then waited about six months. I hadn't heard back, so I went ahead and self published.

The day after Oasis went live on Amazon, they contacted me asking for the full manuscript. Alas, they were not interested in a reprint at the time. So, who knows where that would have gone?

Rhiannon: What was the hardest thing about self publishing?

Bryce: Well, once the book was finished, I thought the publishing process was easy. At least until the "OK, now what do I do with my published book?" Phase. Marketing the self published book, then, is the hardest thing for me.
Followed closely by editing.

Rhiannon: Have you noticed any stigma placed on your book because its not from a "traditional" publisher?

Bryce: Not so much that the book was self published. I get more flack in the real world due to the genre.

Rhiannon: What are your plans for the next book? Are you subbing it to traditional publishers or will you publish it yourself?

Bryce: I'm currently writing and posting the sequel to Oasis, called "The Journey of St. Laurent." Right now, I'm not planning on subbing it anywhere. My current plan is to form my own imprint and then go use LightningSource.

The book after that, though, will be more of a mainstream thriller, and I'll probably shop it around.

Rhiannon: Why did you decide to write about zombies?

Bryce: Well, at the same time I was getting excited about writing I was playing an online game called Urban Dead, so I had zombies on the brain.

Rhiannon: Do reviews help you in anyway?

Bryce: The well thought out ones do. And of course seeing many stars in Amazon would give me a warm fuzzy and make me want to write more.

Most of the time, though, reviews are just two lines of either pure love or excessive hate. Without mentioning anything specific from the book, one of the reviews on Amazon compared my work (unfavorably) to a bean burrito from Taco Bell.

Rhiannon: Do you feel you are developing a solid fan base?

Bryce: Well, I'm making a lot of friends online and I'm getting more and more regular comments on my blog, so I'd say "Yes."

Rhiannon: What is your latest writing project?

Bryce: As I mentioned, I'm writing the sequel to Oasis, and I've been off and on outlining about four or five other books.

Rhiannon: Do you plot our your novels or do you just see where the words take you?

Bryce: In general I make an outline using the first few steps from Randy Ingermanson's "snowflake method" of writing a novel. When I lose interest in outlining, I start hammering it out, then revisit the outline as needed.

Rhiannon: From where do you draw inspiration?

Bryce: Fiction influences include mostly old stuff, including the works of Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroghs, Robert Leslie Bellem, Lester Dent (Kenneth Robinson) and other great pulp authors.

From a certain standpoint, I'm inspired by modern authors like Dan Brown and Stephanie Meyer, inasmuch as every time I pick up one of their books I think, "Hey, if THIS can make a zillion bucks, maybe there's still hope for my books. I'd better get writing."

Rhiannon: Do you have strong support from your family and friends in you writing endeavors?

Bryce: My wife is fanatically supportive of my writing. She's a bigger fan of it than I am. And if you'd ever met my ego, you'd know that was saying something.

Rhiannon: Would you encourage other fledgling writers to self publish?

Bryce: Absolutely. I say follow your dream and if self-publishing helps you get there, do it.

Rhiannon: What is the one single piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you first started out?

Bryce: Read out loud everything you write! I feel very strongly about this one.

Rhiannon: What is your long term writing career goal?

Bryce: About six or seven books down the road, I'd like to write one that actually changes a lot of people's lives for the better. Whether I ever make any money or not is moot to me. I love writing, so I'll be doing it until they pry my spacepen from my cold, dead hands. Of course I wouldn't mind making a good living as a full time author, either.

For more information on Bryce and his latest works, check out his blog Storyhack here.

To purchase his novel Oasis, click here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Passing of ZA Recht

I wish I could say ZA and I were good friends, but the reality is that we spoke a few words to each other at Horror Realm, shook hands, and went on our busy way. I remember his twinkling eyes and his a smile under a big mustache. It's a pleasant snapshot in my memory.

When I heard of his passing last week, I felt the bitter bite of remorse that I had not spoken to him for longer. He was so very young when he died just on the brink of the next big step in his career.

All weekend I kept searching for any news on his passing. I admit, I did not want to believe it. I wanted it to be a mistake or a stupid hoax. Sadly, this is not the case. We had mutual friends who are now in mourning, and I hope and pray his family and friends find some measure of peace during this difficult time in the outpouring of affection from his fans.

Tonight, I read this article on his passing.

It's a tiny article, but at least it is something nice. I think the author expresses what many ZA's fans are feeling about the loss of his future works. This is a tragedy on two levels: the loss of a loved one to his friends and family and the loss of a favorite author to his fans.

When Stephen King was hit by that van, a lot of people were afraid he would die. I felt immensely selfish because I was horrified at the thought of never reading the end of the Dark Tower series. Other authors have died with incomplete works left behind and their fans are left to wonder what the future would have held for their favorite world and its characters.

I'm glad that ZA's family has vowed to put out the last book. I hope it helps their healing as they put this tragedy behind them.

Plague of the Dead will be released by Pocket Books in late December. It is available for preorder now.

Updated Information from Premuted Press:

In the wake of Plague of the Dead and Thunder and Ashes author Z.A. Recht's
passing last week his family has set up a non-profit memorial scholarship fund.
Donations may be sent to:


P O Box 193

Bunker Hill, WV 25413

Thursday, December 10, 2009


My apologies for the long delay in posting. A lot has happened since I last posted and this entry is to get you up to date.

I do plan to continue my interview series starting with Bryce Beattie, the self-published author of Oasis. You can read my review of his novel online at either or He's a very interesting fellow and you can check out his blog here. He was one of the first bloggers to interview me right after As The World Dies: The First Days came out, and I'm excited to turn the tables on him.

I also hope to interview genre favorites such as Dave Dunwoody, Rob Fox and many others. The whole idea behind the interview series is to highlight all the various ways writers began their careers and how they have progressed since their first published work. I also hope to interview the fabulous Jacob, owner of Permuted Press. He has been extraordinarily supportive of my career over the last year and has always given me good advice.

Now..for my big news...

I have a literary agent!! Her name is Hannah Brown Gordon and she is with the Foundry Literary + Media agency. And she hopes to take As The World Dies to the big NYC publishers and the foreign markets. did this happen?

Well....let's recap for those new to my blog.

As The World Dies was born online in August 2005. It was a flash of inspiration that had me write what was to become the opening scene of the series. I named that scene “Tiny Fingers” and considered it a short story. The immediate response was positive and readers asked me to continue. And continue I did until early 2007 when I finally finished the last scenes of what is now As The World Dies: Siege. Over those two years, I had well over 100,000 hits on the story and amassed a huge following. As the final reviews came in on the end of ATWD, I felt a great sense of relief and pride in the work. It was still a surprise when fans began clamoring that I should have the story published. Emails poured in asking that I have the story published so they could pick up a copy at their local bookstore and keep on their shelves. To the fans that loved the story so much, it was a no-brainer that someone would pick up ATWD and publish it.

So I pulled down the original and began studying the publishing world. I waded through blogs, writer’s forums, countless helpful books, websites, and joined writing groups. I wrote and rewrote query letters, studied how to write a synopsis, and got subscriptions to the Writer’s Market and other magazines. As I got deeper into the reality of the publishing world, I realized the chance of making a living off my writing or hitting it big were really slim to none. But the fan emails continued to pour in and I kept on sending out query letters. Over and over again, I was told my story was not what they were looking for at that time. I was referred to Permuted Press and found that submissions were closed. I sat at my desk and wept.

It was my husband who looked into independently publishing the books and encouraged me down that path. I was initially very resistant. I still had the dream of the literary agent and the big NYC publishing house. But I began to study how self publishing (Indie Publishing) works and how to avoid the vanity presses. My husband and I decided to put out all three books in one year, utilizing our friends with English degrees as editors and calling upon our artist friend for the covers. It was a lot of hard work and we made some mistakes, but we finally got the first book out.

The first month it sold 25 copies. My Mom bought one and another friend bought one. The other 23 were fans. The second month that number was over 60. My brothers and friends still hadn’t bought a copy, so I consoled myself with the thought that strangers were buying the books. The third month, the sales went up over 100 paperbacks sold for the first book. The numbers have steadily increased since that time. We’re selling between 400 and 500 paperbacks a month now of all three books combined.

Jacob contacted me about joining the Permuted Press family. My hands were trembling when the official offer came in. I read it over carefully and was so nervous I didn’t remember a thing I had read the first time through. I spoke at length with Jacob about Permuted Press and what it would mean to be published by the company. I was deep into the second book revisions and a little overwhelmed. I talked to my husband, best friend and mom about the offer. I paced through the house. I cried a little. Then I turned it down. I decided to continue on the course my husband and I had decided upon. I told Jacob that after the third book was out I would begin to consider other publication paths. He has remained a good friend and supporter since then and has always given me the best advice.

The second book came out in March. Sales continued to increase. One day when running errands, I told my husband about the fan emails I was receiving asking me if I was going to have a movie or TV show made of the books. I thought it was funny. I jokingly told my husband I wanted As The World Dies to be a TV show. When I got home, I took a nap. I woke up to an email from LA asking me about the TV/Film rights.

I could not believe it, but it was true! Someone in LA was interested in my books! What was really fun about the whole story was that he was attracted to my books because Jenni resembled his wife on the cover so he clicked on it to find out what the book was about. He read over the synopsis, liked what he read, and ordered the first two books.

After two failed attempts to find an entertainment lawyer, I received a referral for Barr Potter with The Fox Law Group out of LA. He is such a great guy and was very helpful in guiding me through the process of getting the option signed. The producer had already told me he was flying to Horror Realm to see me and hopefully sign the option, so I was already excited when I received a call from a publishing house the day before the convention. I told my lawyer about it just before I got on the plane.

At this point, I was in a state of shock and wondering what was going to come next.

At Horror Realm, I signed the TV/Film option and wondered what the publishing house had in mind. In the end, I would decline the offer, but it did make me realize it was time to seriously consider securing a literary agent. My lawyer had advised this right before Horror Realm and I realized he was right.

My lawyer sent out feelers. Within two weeks, I was sending off my books to Hannah Gordon. I spent a week wondering what would be her final assessment of the books and my writing. When the email finally came in that she wanted to talk to me about representation, I burst into tears then started dancing around the house. Just to have someone interested on that level was an amazing feeling.

When we finally spoke on the phone, I was a nervous wreck, but it went really well. It was strange to hear the opinion of someone at the upper end of the industry on my writing and my story. I had tears in my eyes through most of the conversation, and my heart was thumping so hard in my chest it almost hurt! By the end of the conversation I knew I wanted to sign with her. She believes in my writing, and I know she will do her best to sell the trilogy.

The final agreement was finalized the day before Thanksgiving, which gave me a whole lot more to be thankful for. The next week I received the paperwork with Hannah's signature already scrawled across the bottom. I could barely hold the pen as I signed. It was a big moment for me.

That night I told my husband that securing an agent, who believes in my work, felt like the ultimate reward for the years of failed submissions and countless hours writing. I felt happy not only for myself, but for the diehard fans that pushed me from the very beginning.

"Well," my pragmatic husband said to me, "that's all good and fine, but I hope she SELLS it now."

What comes next? I don’t know for certain, but I do know having a literary agent has the power to open new doors. The Foundry Literary + Media has a very good track record and have a staff of literary agents that have a lot of experience in the industry. I have a feeling 2010 is going to be a year of learning a whole lot more about the publishing industry. We’ll see what it has in store for me and As The World Dies.

As always, I want to thank YOU, the fans, for your support in your emails that pushed me to keep going and reach higher. You guys and gals are AWESOME!!!


Upcoming posts:
The Stalker and Me
Bryce Beattie and Self Publishing Your Dreams

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Tale of the Vampire Bride is now available!!

The Tale of the Vampire Bride is now available!! It just went live at the publisher's online store. will probably have it in 10 days. Disregard the estimated shipping dates from Createspace. They are greatly exaggerated. You'll get your book pretty quickly.

Special thanks to Dr. Pus and his Library of Horror Press for publishing my latest novel!

All Lady Glynis Wright ever wanted was the freedom to live her life as she pleased. Unfortunately, her aristocratic parents want her to marry well and settle into a life of luxury. When her family becomes guests to one of the most fearsome and powerful vampires of all time, Glynis finds her fate is far more terrible than an arranged marriage.

Trapped in the power of her new master, she fights for freedom, revenge against her creator, and the chance to be with the one she truly loves.

Bloody, horrific, romantic and rich in gothic atmosphere, The Tale of the Vampire Bride is sure to thrill fans of the terrible, yet romantic vampires of literary past.