The night before my family trip to Las Vegas and Lehman Caves, I received a message from my publisher asking how my latest project (DEAD PLAINS, Book 3 The Zombie West Series) was going. This was April 1st. It was also my deadline. It was also 10:38pm of said deadline.
Dread filled me as I was forced to respond and let him know I wasn't anywhere near ready. I'd hoped for a little more time and that I'd still be able to make the July publication date that had originally been decided. Nope. I missed the deadline and there were no extentions granted. If I now wanted my book published in September, my new deadline was May 20th. Still not enough time.
Absolute panic set in. I couldn't sleep. I perhaps got one hour's worth even though I knew the next day I'd be driving a long distance with my kids in the car.
I can't even explain how terrified I was. I HAD to make this deadline, and here I'd planned to take time off to go with my family on vacation where I wasn't bringing my laptop. Three days of no writing. I did something I'd never done before (complete fear pushing me to the brink of trying something new) and took a notebook with me. I began to write my ideas down and outline my novel. I'm a pantser, not a plotter, but I was desperate.
But as we drove what was labled "The Loneliest Road in America," inspiration started to come to me bit by bit. I needed this vacation. I needed my writing mojo back, and who knew that in the desert was where I'd find it. So far, since my return, I've written seven chapters. A start, for sure. Now to keep going.
(See pics below. I'll try and not bore you with too many, but I wanted to share).
Where have you found your inspiration?
Road from Lehman Caves to Las Vegas
Perfect. I have Indians in my book. This just may show up in book three.
Old abandoned homes out in the middle of nowhere. I mean NOWHERE.
Old telegraph lines in the desert.
Creepy cool formations inside Lehman Caves
It's me!! (Obligatory self picture in the cave). Remember, this is a very sleep, desperate me. Ignore limp hair :)
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.--Winston Churchill
We've become a society of instant gratification. We want it (whatever "it" is) and we want it now. As an author, I see this all the time in my fellow writers and authors. "There's not time for failure," I've heard one friend say. Another said, "My book has to launch big or else I'll be forced to quit doing what I love. This week is do or die for me." That's sad, really. Especially in a business where it's all about the long haul, hanging in there, pressing forward. If we based our successes on those few authors who sold millions of books within a short period of time (perhaps less than 1% of all authors out there), then good heavens, we should all give up now, because that's an ideal, not a reality.
We're not launching movies here, where the first week in a box office either makes or breaks the movie and determines how many screens it will have the following week. This is novel writing. We no longer have to fight over shelf space. With online retailers the shelf space is unlimited. Our books can live forever. You know that quote, "This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon?" It's true! Success is a marathon. We don't have to define our success in days or weeks. An author's success is measured in years and decades, over a lifetime. Ups and downs in this business are temporary. We need to strive for lasting success, over a great course of time. If we treat our success as a sprint instead of the marathon that it is, we will fall short, guaranteed. I heard one author say (and boy, do I agree), "If you want instant validation, play the lottery."
We have to continue writing no matter what. THAT is what a good author makes (Yoda talk). Despite rejections, despite first week book launch failures, despite marketing ideas that didn't work out as we'd hoped. That's okay. We have a lifetime to try other things. Perserverance is the key to all success. It's all about pacing.
A novel's success isn't made in a day.
A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts. --Steve Prefontaine
Here you are. You've just completed your mega manuscript and now it's all come down to this: the writing of the book blurb. This is perhaps the BIGGEST selling factor your book will ever have. It's the part that lets readers know what your mega manuscript is all about. It's the description, for goodness sake. How hard can it be to write it? Oh, it's hard. It's real hard a'right (There's a Steve Carell joke to made here, but I won't stoop that low). Anyhoo... A good cover is nice. Great editing is awesome. But if you can't even explain what your book is about in 200 words or less, you're pretty much screwed. Yep, 200 words. Sometimes even less than that (depending on the guidelines of certain online retailers). You have to take that 100K novel and condense it into a brief (and I mean brief) overview of what your story is about. And you have to make it compelling, hooking the reader and getting them interested without divulging everything. You have to give them a taste, entice them into reading more. Good freakin' luck, right?Writing the book description is a crucial element of selling your book and yet it is the most difficult. Ask any author and they'll tell you about all their hair pulling, their banging of heads on desks, and binge eating (or drinking, whatever the case may be). It's a frustrating process for sure. So I'm going to give you a couple of basic tips to get you started. Here we go: 1) This is a biggie. Go look at book blurbs on the backs of books. Simple, yet effective. Go to your local book store or library and pick books off the shelf, specifically in your genre. Look at examples and see which descriptions grab your attention. When I first started out, I did this exact thing. I was at a thrift store, thumbing through the used books when I happened upon the novel DEARLY DEVOTED DEXTER. Click that link and take a look at that book blurb. Seriously, it's good. I bought the book, took it home, and it sits on my shelf as a reminder of what a book blurb should be. 2) Think of a movie promo. Movie promos are like less than a minute long. They have to grab the viewer's attention and make them want to stand in line to see the new release. Did they tell you everything about the movie? Nope. Did they set the scene? Yep. Did they tell you who the main character or characters were? Yep. Did they tell you the outcome? Nope. You'll have to watch the movie to find that out. Keep that in mind when writing your book blurb. 3) Remember the main arc or plot of your story. Remember the main character. Stick to that in your description. Forget subplots or minor chracters. You don't have time or enough words to include all that. 4) Run it past your beta readers, your friends, your online author buddies, run it by someone, anyone! Ask them this question: Does reading this make you want to run out and buy this book? Why or why not? 5) And last, but not least, edit it! Oh my gosh! I can't tell you how many times I've picked up a book or looked online at book descriptions to see misspellings and grammar errors. That's the worst. Yikes! Make sure that thing is as polished as ever or you'll be turning readers away left and right. Good luck writing that book blurb. Believe me, I completely understand what you're going through. I'm in the process of writing my 5th book blurb for my upcoming novel and the process doesn't get any easier. Maybe it's not supposed to :) Leave a comment and let me know about your book blurb writing process. Pass on some tips and tricks of your own. Let's help each other out, because boy, we can use all the help we can get.
Are you going to sell a kazillion books by setting up a blog tour for your new release? No. Not even close. If you sell a handful of books, be happy. You'd think that blog tours would help you sell books (which we ALL would love to have happen), but it just doesn't work that way. I've accepted that fact. I've booked blog tours and have gone into them realizing that yeah, I probably wouldn't sell enough books to make back the money I spent on the book tour. So why do one then? Why spend that money? For me, it was for the reviews. Garnering reviews can be a daunting process, and yet, reviews are probably the ONE thing a book hinges on in the marketing place (besides a decent cover and professional editing). Readers look at reviews before making a purchase. With SO many books out there, readers want to know they're getting a decent product and reading reviews can help them to make that decision. Yes, reviews can be bought (we've heard the stories) and reviews can be exaggerated. (I'm not going to go into any of that right here. That's another post for another day). I'm just going to stick to the importance of book reviews and what they do for an author. THEY ARE IMPORTANT. That's all there is to it. You've got to have them. Good ones, average ones, even the negative ones to balance the whole thing out. I pay for blog tours simply for those reviews. I need them. I want them. I gotta have them. Getting exposure on a blog is great and getting your name and book in front of readers who otherwise may never hear about you any other way is important too, but that's not why I sign up for blog tours. I'm all about the reviews. But lately, something just isn't clicking for me any more. The process is broken, and I'm not sure why. (Again, not talking about hack reviews or any of that). To be blunt: reviews on a book bloggers blog (say that 10x fast) is nice...but that same review on Amazon is EVERYTHING. Yes, EVERYTHING. Book Bloggers Blog = helpfulBarnes and Noble = helpful iTunes = helpful Goodreads = helpful Amazon = SUPER DUPER ULTRA POWERFUL INTENSELY WONDERFUL EVERYTHING!!!
(95% of sales come from Amazon for most authors)Here's the problem: Not all book tour reviewers will post their glowing (or even not so glowing) review on Amazon. Some won't even post it anywhere other than their blog. I've booked three tours in the last five months with THREE different book tour companies and roughly 1/3rd of those reviewers (combined) took that awesome review and posted it on Amazon. It's posted on their blog but not where I REALLY need it. Why? I have no idea. Why not ask the blogger to post it on Amazon? I DID. I even had the tour company ask the bloggers as well. Nothing. For an example: I booked a tour for DESERT FLOWER with TWO different tour companies. It started in the middle of February and the tour runs until the end of March. Combined with these two tour companies there would be 30 tour stops with a guaranteed review at every stop. WOW!! Impressive. That would be GREAT!! I'm nearing the end of the tour, but have already had 25 stops to date. Now go click HERE to see how many reviews are up on Amazon. Yep. And FOUR of those didn't even come from my blog tour. Those four came in organically. So why aren't the bloggers placing those well-thought out, beautifully written reviews up on Amazon? I have no freakin' idea. I had a similar experience with my SURVIVOR ROUNDUP tour back in December. Did you know that there are some great and wonderful advertising opportunities for authors to participate in but only if they have a set number of reviews on their book? It's true. If you don't have the reviews, then say bye-bye to those opportunities. This is why I fork out money for a blog tour, so I can make sure I have those reviews in place so that I can participate in those events. The putting myself in front of potential readers is great. Having a wonderful review out there on someone's blog is great, but having that review placed on Amazon is ULTIMATE. BUT... if I'm not selling enough books to cover my book tour costs (which I understand) AND those reviews are not ending up on sites like Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, etc... then why in the world would I want to spend a couple hundred dollars anymore? The value, for me, is gone. I also know that I'm not the only author who has experienced this too. So, what to do, what to do? Honestly, I'm not sure. I'll have to come up with another idea to get those much needed reviews. Fortunately, I have some time to figure it out before my next book release :) * I LOVE book bloggers! I do. That's not what this blog is about. I'm just trying to understand what is happening, why those reviews never end up on retail sites where they are needed, and if paying a good chunk of change on a book tour is worth it anymore. What do you think of blog tours in general? What has your experience been like? Do have any guesses as to why book reviewers/bloggers don't post their reviews to retail sites where authors need them? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Marketing books is hard work. You try one thing, then you try another, and then you cross your fingers and pray that maybe, just maybe, all that effort, time, and money helped you to sell a book or two. There is no for sure way in which to do it either, and often times, when you finally find something that may work, a kazillion other authors have jumped on board and end up nullifying the whole thing (Just look at KDP Select, for instance).Marketing and promotion is a crap shoot at best. But the good news is that you can keep trying different things until you find that ONE thing that works for you. Years ago when I was about to publish my first book, I made a few jokes about the best methods for marketing. (See the post HERE). At the time, it was funny to poke fun at the whole process. Now that I'm fully immersed in it...it's not so funny anymore. I may have to resort to using the liquor or monkey idea (Read all about it HERE). But I do think that I've hit on something that may not produce big sales, but has brought my name to the attention of people, who otherwise, may never have heard of me. I put my info on my vehicle. ---> Why the heck not? I got the crazy idea from seeing other cars out on the road advertising their business and said, "Let's give it a try!" I'm constantly in my car, driving all over the place. We go on several vacations a year, driving to and from our destinations. I mean, if The Pet Poop Patrol can drive around all day with THAT signage printed all over the cars and trucks, then why can't I advertise I'm an author? Cheesy and rather dumb? Maybe...but let me tell you, I've had MANY people approach me and ask about the types of books I write just by seeing the sign. Did they go on to buy my books? I will never know, but I have a conversation starter and that's what counts. Just this morning when I dropped my children off for school, a parent approached my van and asked me about being an author and about the books I write. We talked for a good five minutes or more (I was slightly embarrassed as I was wearing my PJ's...oh well) but I'd never met this father before. Now he knows about me and my books. This cost me nothing to do. A friend printed it up for me on her machine and I slapped it on the back of my car. Most marketing costs a lot more than nothing, believe me, I know (been there and still doing that). So when it comes to marketing and promotion...you do what you gotta do and then hope for the best. What crazy things have you done or seen when it comes to marketing your books? I'd love to hear all about it.
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
-- W. Somerset Maugham
I've been asked several different times, "What is your writing method? Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?" My writing method is simple, really. I just sit at my desk, make sure my favorite diet caffeinated beverage is at my side, make sure my beta fish is fed so he doesn't stare at me as though he wants to eat me (his bowl is on my desk...dang it, he's staring at me right now. See pic below), then I place my fingers on the key board and mumble inside my head, "Please, oh please, oh please!" That is it. That is my whole writing process in a nutshell.All of my books have been penned this way. I don't have one scrap of paper with a plot or idea or a character sketch written down. Not a one. For me, the idea of actually writing ANYTHING down on paper, or using the Scivener software to plan out my novel, just about gives me an anxiety attack. Extreme, I know, but I have no other way in which to explain it. Okay, maybe I do. I would describe it like this: you know when you put your head under water and for the first little bit it ain't so bad? Then after a few seconds you're like, "I don't think I like this. I think I like air better. I want air. I REALLY want air. I NEED air! I need it soon! GIVE ME AIR! I think I'm dying!" That's kind of like the feeling I get when it comes to plotting and outlining a novel. I've taken several writing courses where the push has been to outline. What's going to happen first? What will happen next? How is it going to end? What are your character arcs? If I'm being honest here, which I am, then this is usually the part of the class where I take a nap or draw a picture while everyone else is scribbling away. Now don't get me wrong, I do have some basic ideas or story lines in my head before I begin. And then in between writing I do a LOT of daydreaming. Tons. I love daydreaming. Wait. What were we talking about? Just kidding. I think about my characters and about my story all of the time, but I never write anything down. You want to know why? Because things change. There have been so many times where I "think" I know where the story is going only to end up having a character do something RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of writing a scene that changes everything. She's pregnant? What the heck? I didn't see that coming! Cool. Or, as in the case of my current work in progress, Nuns with guns? That's awesome! Thank you muse! Characters show up out of the blue, twists and turns happen that I didn't plan for, and the story takes on a life of its own. (See DESERT RICE, for example). So why in the world would I EVER want to change that? I don't. I won't. I can't. This writing by the seat of my pants works for me. No, it's not perfect. Far from. I think because this is my method of writing, I tend to be a slow writer. I find myself swimming around in the writer's block abyss from time to time. But even knowing that sometimes there will be struggles, I still don't think I will ever try and write an outline.
*shivers*Writing, for me, is magic! Getting to see where the story is going as I write it is such an amazing feeling, one that I would never want to risk losing. Is it possible to plot and still experience magic? I'm sure other writers do, and I would never suggest that one method of writing is better than another (though I know many writers and one very stubborn/non-writer type husband that thinks there is). Do whatever works for you. If writing everything down on index cards works for you, then do it. If staring out a window is your thing, do it. If eating chocolate and drinking Pepsi is a must have (don't judge me), then go for it. Whatever process works for you to make sure you produce the best work YOU can, then do it. Plot away and create binders of character sketches and arc outlines, go for it! But while you do that, I'm going to eat leftover Valentine's Day chocolate and stare out my window for a little bit. Then I'm going to try and kill some zombies in my book and see what happens from there. So what is your process? What works for you? Are you a plotter or a pantser or somewhere in between? Leave a comment and let me know you stopped by.
This is my desk Beta Fish. He doesn't have a name. Help me name him. Give me a suggestion below in the comments. If your fish name is chosen, then you will win some lovely Swedish Fish (so yummy).
I'd never planned to write a book series...EVER. The reason why: because book series' are hard! Dang hard. Then I wrote DESERT RICE. I finished the book and didn't have plans to write a second. Guess what? The character of Sam wouldn't leave me alone. She demanded a second book (those of you who are writers will completely understand the concept of being haunted by a character. Those of you who are readers will think I'm crazy, and in a lot of aspects, you're right). That second book HAD to be written. I couldn't get around it, but I didn't necessarily enjoy the idea of doing so. You want to know why? Because what if I didn't write it in the way my readers were hoping for? What if the second book was no where near as good as the first? What if I let them down? *huge, crippling fear*So then guess what I went on to do? I wrote WANTED: Dead or Undead and part way through I realized there was no way everything would be tied up in a nice little bow by the time I got to the ending. It was going to have to be a series. Dang it. There I go again. The worry, the questions, the fears all came rushing back. And now that I'm in the process of writing book three in the series, it's become even worse, so much so that I'm finding it very difficult to write and most likely won't be able to publish it this coming Summer. It may have to wait until the Fall. Readers have expectations. They have their favorite characters and ideas of what THEY want to see happen. But here's the thing: each reader is different, each reader has their own ideas, and each reader is keeping that information locked away inside their own heads and not sharing it with the author. So where does that leave me? I have to write the story that is inside MY head and hope my readers will understand, and hopefully like what I've done and where I've taken the story. The other thing I've come to realize is that even if I wrote the second and third book in the series EXACTLY how my readers were hoping, they'd still be upset because the story was so predictable. I can't win. There's no way I can win. Ahhh...what to do, what to do? The only thing I can: write the book that is inside my head. That's it. I got the best advice from my editor that said, "You can't control the response to your book, only the book that gets written." That's all I can do. Simple and to the point. My editor is extremely wise. I love her. And in the future, I will only write stand alone books. That's my plan. (But we all know what they say about plans, right?). So I have a question for you: what series of books was your favorite? What ones disappointed? (For me, I loved the first book in the Hunger Games and then each book after that, not as much).
*WARNING: SPOILER ALERT*
I love me some Walking Dead. I'm a huge fan of the show. But in saying that, there are still a few things about the plot and its characters that I just don't get.
Last night's episode "Home" was by far one of the best we've had since the midseason premier. When I say, "Ewww! Gross!" several times outloud, then it's an awesome episode. Lots of zombie gore and action that will make you cringe.
But there were a couple of things that I just didn't buy into, nor appreciate:
Like, what in the heck is up with Glen and Maggie? I turned to my husband and asked him, "Why is Maggie so mad at Glen?" To which he wasn't even quite sure. I don't get it. Yes, they were kidnapped and tortured in their own kind of ways, and yes it sucked being vulnerable to the Governor's whim to save Glen from losing his hand and eventually his life, but the Governor didn't rape her. The Governor didn't do much of anything to Maggie (in the realm of possible things he could have done). Sooooo...then why all the anger Maggie? Why are you SO mad at Glen? What exactly did he do? To me, it just makes no sense whatsoever. It feels farfetched. maybe the writers just didn't know what to do with her character. I don't know, but that situation better get figured out soon before I start chanting, "Kill her off! Kill her off!" Like I did with Lori, and we ALL know what happened to Lori, don't we?
Speaking of Lori, even in death she drives me nuts. This whole weirdness with Rick hearing her on the phone and now seeing her ghost just isn't fun for me. I love Rick. Always have. But this new crazy Rick is driving me crazy. I get that going through life constantly fighting off the undead and losing loved ones left and right can take a huge toll on one's psyche. But enough already. Now we've got the guy throwing open gates and running out into zombie infested fields to chase after the ghost of his dead wife, who he even admits ISN'T THERE. I've gotten to the point that when he comes on scene I just about cringe inside and use that time to refill my drink or take a quick potty break. It's become that bad. BUT, the last scene of this episode where he is looking at all the devastation gives me hope that the Rick I know and love will soon be back. There was just something in his eyes that makes me want to tune into next weeks episode SO BAD. I sure hope he's back, because we all know that Glen is in no mental shape to be leader and take over--thanks to Maggie and her weird misplaced anger. I love Glen, but he's no leader.
And is it just me, or does anyone else think Andrea should just die? Why in the world is she still back at that compound? Why, oh why? Of course we need a pair of eyes back there, letting us know what is happening on the inside, and without one of the characters being there, we'd never know. I get that. But is Andrea really THAT dumb? Seriously? The Governor is coo-coo for cocoa puffs and she's seen his weirdness first hand, so why stay? Now that you know your friends are alive, WHY STAY? Again, I think the writers misjudged this. If anything, the way they've tried to keep her there, makes us, as viewers, really dislike her. It would've been better if she was there to keep tabs on him from the inside or something like that. But this, "I still like him, even though I know he's weird and he tried to murder all my friends, but we're lovers so I can let that slide" is just crap that makes me want to slap her. She better do something, and do it soon or again, I will be chanting, "Kill her off! Kill her off!" (Wow, the more I think about it, the more I realize there seems to be very few characters I like, and yet, I keep coming back. Why do I keep coming back then...DARYL!!)
I knew he'd be back! What an awesome moment that was! AND, I absolutely loved the scene between him and Merle in the woods. About time he put his brother in his place and told him exactly what he thought about him. (You tell him, Daryl!). When they both come to the rescue of a family, fighting off the undead on the bridge, there's a quick moment where I was a bit concerned: Merle is rummaging through the family's car, looking for food and supplies that he figures he has every right to take. If Daryl stood back and let Merle do what he wanted, then the Daryl who stood up to his brother would simply be a one time fluke. It's in this moment where we learn where Daryl's heart and commitment lies (Please not with Merle! Please!) But when he stuck that crossbow to the back of his brother's head, I punched the air with joy! Daryl is still a good guy! The best guy! I love that guy! All is well. I still have faith in the show.
I still have a couple of issues with this episode though, despite my love for Daryl, that I want to address. The first: where were the other people in the jail during this whole shootout? Tyreese and his sister and the other guys, whose names we do not know, where were they? Why not turn to them for help? Everyone knows the Governor is coming and going to act out some kind of revenge. Wouldn't that be a good time to open the gates and let the newcomers help? Nope. We don't even see them AT ALL in this episode. Our original group is getting their butts handed to them on a plate--a total shootout, a van filled with walkers dropped off right in the yard (very cool by the way)--and there is no Tyreese? There's FOUR other people in the prison who could help, and nothing? Are you kidding me? Ahhh... Dumb, dumb, dumb. This next episode they better use these guys. Come on. Let's be smart here.
And lastly, they killed off Axel. My heart hurts when I type that. I really, really liked him. He was a good guy, someone I thought could be a contender for Carol's heart (wouldn't that have been fun, watching Axel and Daryl try to win her affections...it could've been good). But no. Axel is dead. It was a powerful moment in the show, him taking a bullet to the head, but that doesn't mean I agreed with it. Now all the original prisoners are dead. Thanks a bunch, writers of The Walking Dead. Thanks a bunch. Yes it was dramatic and was set up to yank on our heart strings, which it did, but the thing the writers don't understand is that I now refuse to care for ANY of the new characters they plan to introduce. They're dispensable. We shouldn't invest in them. That's what I've come to learn. Nope, we can't kill off Andrea or Maggie (people who annoy us) we've got to kill off Axel, sweet, misunderstood Axel. That makes me so sad.
Despite all the "dumbness", if you will, I have faith that things will turn around for this show and the remainder of the season will be awesome. Rick looks to be on the mend from his craziness (which I still don't understand the purpose of), Daryl is back (Yippee!), the group HAS to fight back (which should lead to some great stuff coming our way), and Andrea appears to be a little wiser (about freakin' time).
Things are bound to get good and I can't wait. The count down to next Sunday has begun.
So what did you think about the episode "Home?" Love it? Hate it? Agree or disagree with me? I'd love to know what you think. Leave a comment. Let's discuss this show that annoys me, yet I still love.
Whenever we think of the zombie apocalypse, most of us would like to believe we would look something like this--->
When in reality we will most likely find ourselves looking like this
It's the hard cold truth, and I'm sorry to break it to you, but it's better that you know now so you can plan and prepare for your inevitable zombiehood and make the most of it.
Because here's the thing: There's usually a lot of zombies in a zombie apocalypse. Lots. Every movie says so. (And have you seen the movie for WORLD WAR Z? Damn. That's a lot of zombies. See trailer below).
Even super intelligent people become zombies—doctors, businessmen, scientists, rescue people, military—so how in the world is someone like you and me going to beat this thing? No offense, but we're not. We're just not.
In fact, unless you are a redneck with a bunker of ammunition, having prepared for a zombie apocalypse since birth, you are pretty much screwed.
Is this your face? No? Then you will be a zombie.
So now that we've come to accept our fate (Just embrace it. It will be okay), we can go about preparing ourselves to be the best damn zombie a zombie can be.
Tip #1: When you find you have been bitten, don't scream and shout that a zombie got ya. That's a no-no. Big time. You will end up with a bullet between the eyes before you even had a chance to enjoy yourself. Just relax. Take some deep breaths. And for the love of all that's good in the world, hide that bite. Don't show anyone.
Tip #2: Act natural. This will be hard, but I have faith that you can do it. Try whistling. Everyone likes whistling and people will think you're A-OK and not think anything is up with you.
Tip #3: Get to a safe place. Find somewhere that is comfortable for you, but make sure it's open and airy as well. Locked doors and windows will be your downfall and make being the best zombie you can be quite difficult (Zombies can't unlock doors. That's a fact) and you don't want to spend all your glorious zombie time trying to smash down doors. Wasteful. So if you chose to go to your home, leave all your doors open and try to stay on the main floor. Stairs can be tricky.
Tip #4: Before you go into convulsions and succumb to unconsciousness (this happens right before death) take the time to bathe. Freshen up a little. Wash all your parts, brush your teeth, and maybe put on your very best clothing. A nice suit and tie for the gents and a lovely party frock for the ladies. A well dressed zombie will get you much farther along than looking like a hobo. There's no need to play into the stereotypical zombie role. None-what-so-ever
Tip #4a: Spray your clothing with Scotch Guard. You will be outdoors a lot and most likely it will rain. But more importantly, it will help protect your clothes from stains as well (there will be stains. It's inevitable). WARNING: Scotch Guard is flammable, so proceed with care.
Tip #5: Be mindful of where you're swinging your limbs and where you're walking. There's no need to rush about once you've turned. Take it easy. Slow it down. Every movie shows that even the slowest of zombies still manage to do a lot of damage and eat a lot of brains. Your body is your temple. Take care of it. Injuries happen to the careless and to the overly zealous. That doesn't have to be you. You don't want to snag your arms on broken fences or twist an ankle by tripping over another zombie. That will just make things more difficult. Take care of your corpse. Be good to it.
Tip #6: Remember your manners. Don't push or clamor over other zombies. There's no need for rudeness. And yes, there will be jerk zombies. If they were a jerk as a human, then they will most likely be a jerk as part of the undead. Don't waste your time fighting them. Just shamble away. Move along. There will be other survivors to eat and nicer zombies to create a horde with. You have plenty of time.
Tip #6a: Don't become a member of the wrong horde. Your instinct will be to find other zombies, any zombies, to mingle and become friends with. Be careful. Some zombies are just buttheads. Don't let that be you. Find other zombies with similar values as yours. Working together can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing if you chose your friends unwisely. Watch and observe your new zombie friends' behaviors, if what they're doing feels wrong and goes against your principles, then go with your gut. You don't have to eat the baby if you don't want to. You have a choice.
Tip #7: Stay to side roads and trails. Open fields make you an easy target. Main roads will get you run over or blown up when the military drop their bombs. Country living is rather nice anyway, so look for little towns. Farmers are actually quite delicious. More organic than city folk.
Tip #8: This is the most important one, smile and enjoy yourself. You're a zombie! It isn’t like your dead-dead or anything. Aside from the occasional insane zombie survivalist, undead life can be pretty good. No taxes. No paying bills. No mowing lawns or taking out the trash. Look at the bright side and make your zombie living the best it can be.
Of course there is much more we can all learn to prepare ourselves. The above is just to get you started and give you a fair chance of "living" for as long as possible in your undead state before someone cuts off your head or shoots you. If you know any other tips or tricks that might be helpful, please share. We're all learning here. And, when the time comes, and you see me in my zombie state, wave and say hello. Maybe we can start our own horde together. Wouldn't that be fun!
I must admit that I haven't read the book that this movie is based on. So in saying that, my feelings are based simply on seeing the movie as is, without that knowledge of what was missing, what was changed, or what was completely off base. In some respects, I like that I didn't read the book first. This is my opinion of the movie, and the movie alone.
I'd watched the movie trailer for WARM BODIES a while back and was hesitant (see trailer below). Honestly, I thought it looked dumb and incredibly cheesy. It didn't grab me like the movie trailer for WORLD WAR Z. Now that movie had me sitting on the edge of my chair, nervous, yet highly intrigued. Because WARM BODIES didn't make a huge impression on me, I put this zombie movie on my "wait-until-the-video-comes-out" list. I was in no rush to go out and watch it.
Tonight, I went on a date with my husband and another couple (close friends of ours) and had planned to go bowling (Yes, people in their 40's go bowling. We're cool). When we got to the bowling alley, the place was packed so my friend suggested we go see WARM BODIES. She knew that because I'm a zombie enthusiast, not to mention an author of zombie novels (shameless plug here) she figured I'd be jumping at the chance to go see it. I wasn't jumping, but said what the heck. Secretly, as we searched our iphones for movie times, I checked out ROTTEN TOMATOES to see what the reviews had to say. I hate wasting money on poorly rated movies. But it had great ratings, which totally surprised me. Even the critics seemed to enjoy it (critics are hard to please, the buggers).
Well let me tell you, I LOVED it! I really, really loved it! The theater was packed and we had to sit like five rows from the screen--it was that popular (and we'd even bought our tickets an hour early...it's one of those theaters where you pick and reserve your seats. We didn't have much choice). Anyhoo...I was pleasantly surprised by this romantic comedy of a zombie movie. The concept is different (not one I've seen done before) and I totally enjoyed it. But I'm a sucker for zombies and humor. The zombie movies that are all serious-like and terrifying, not so much. I like my zombies shambling and not all "you-don't-have-a-friggin'-chance" kind of zombies. I do still plan to see WORLD WAR Z despite the fact that those zombies look horribly terrifying (see trailer below).
I would have to say that WARM BODIES is now among one of my favorite zombie movies. The others: ZOMBIELAND (of course), SHAWN OF THE DEAD, and FIDO (awesome). It was funny without being overly dumb and I loved the characters. Of course, there were some not-so-plausibe zombie moments (like I prefer my zombies NOT to have the ability to kick me in my chest or open plane doors, but that's just me).
I walked away from this movie thinking, "Wow, when this movie comes out on DVD, I'm getting it!" So it's February, the month of love, so grab your honey and go check out this movie. I enjoyed it, and based on the reaction from the packed theater where I watched it, everyone else enjoyed it too (lots of laughing and several times people made comments back to the screen). Fun times.
So, have you seen it? What did you think? Have you read the book and if so, how did it compare (I'm curious about that)? When you go see it (if you do) come back and share your experience with me :)