Friday, July 27, 2012

Bath Salt Zombie

Caterina Torres has offered to post on my blog today about bath salts and zombies. If you haven't heard about it, back in May, a man on drugs was shot by police after he was caught eating a homeless man's face while in the nude. Read more about it here. A lot of people were talking about the effects of bath salts for awhile, which many people take as a type of recreational drug, and whether it had the ability to turn people into zombies.

Here are her thoughts:

I know, it might seem like it’s a bit late to write about this, but the bath salt zombie fiasco was huge for a while. And if anything, it helped bring back the zombie craze.

I’m the author of Zombie Whisperer, and yes, I love zombies. No, I’ve never met one in person. The reason I picked that topic for my first book was because zombies are our greatest threat. Think about it – people we once knew turn on us and try to eat our brains.

Come on, can’t get any scarier than that.

There’s also a strong possibility it could scientifically happen. There are parasites, toxins, viruses, nanomachines, and more. (I name two of those in my book as the cause of my zombie outbreak)

But then the unthinkable happens – people snort bath salts and turn into zombies.

Huh? Since when did bath salts become dangerous?

Looks like the government better keep a tighter seal on those nasty smelling water enhancers.


So next time you think it’s impossible for a zombie apocalypse to occur because you’ve already ruled out all of the above, just think of the possibilities for other types of ‘bath salts’ people will snort to get high. And stock up on some ammo and food.

Hey, I’m just saying.


Please also make sure to check out Caterina Torres' book: Zombie Whisperer on Amazon. I've already read most of it and love it! - E.B. Black

Visit to purchase.

She can speak to the dead. Only problem is, they’re still walking around.

After enduring a week-long flu, Jane Smith wakes to find out a  terrorist organization has spread a deadly virus over the nation, changing anyone who’s infected into the walking dead. With no choice but to flee her home, Jane teams up with her boyfriend, Josh Williams, as  they venture to find something better than the desolate land that was  once called the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Driving across the country, Jane encounters some of the newly turned and finds she can hear their thoughts inside her head. Before she can understand her link to the undead, Jane and Josh are captured by the terrorists responsible for the virus because of one special reason: they know she can communicate with the infected and they want her to be a part of their fight to take down the rest of the world.

Afraid for their lives, Jane must decide if she should join the terrorists or use her new found powers to stop them.

My name is Caterina Torres. I am in my mid-twenties and I graduated with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Humanities. I truly aspire to be a writer and I hope you enjoy my books.

Nah, doesn’t sound interesting enough. How about this:

The name I go by is Cat and I love to write about the apocalypse, but not in the biblical sense of the word. Any sort of dystopian, end of the world stories seriously interest me. I guess it has a lot to do with being part of the rat race of life, trying to climb the great ladder of success.

Regular life just seems so…boring.

Learn more about Caterina by visiting her on facebook:

Or following her on twitter:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Redemption by J.R. Turner

Today, I am happy to have a guest on my blog today. J.R. Turner is offering a book thong (shown above) for her novel, Redemption, to anyone who comments that she will ship to anywhere around the world, so be sure to read and comment below. (Leaving an e-mail address in your comment will help her contact you so she can give you the present.)

This is what amazon has to say about Redemption:

"Half-angel Savannah Mantas smells the sulfuric stench of wrath when it enters her city, Iron Point. Resurrected by the archangel Michael, she's hunting for redemption and half-demon Nico Montenegro is her prey. He comes from the Fringes, the border between the city and the toxic wasteland beyond.

When they meet, Nico tells her a story, one of genocide and confiscated bodies. Not revenge, but justice is his purpose and his target is the most admired family in the world-Commander Hathaway and his daughter.

Hathaway's soldiers are slaughtering Fringers and secretly feeding them to Revenants, mutants who survived the bio-bombing of 2120. They have a twisted idea they can train these clever creatures like dogs and keep them out of the city long enough to mobilize an evacuation for the wealthy and well-connected.

Savannah knows better. Revenants are what killed her. When they attack, the last of humankind may be wiped out completely. Stopping Hathaway might just be enough to gain her redemption and escape a hellish fate."

J.R. Turner has this to say about it:

I have been truly blessed to have some wonderful support for Redemption. Nancy Holzner, one of my most favorite urban fantasy authors, gave me a super prerelease review. I can’t tell you how much that means to an unknown author.

Redemption is special to me. After years of fulfilling contracts for one series after another, I finally decided to write something that would really be unique. The idea for Redemption came while watching a post-apocalyptic movie. I love that genre and for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why I had never written one myself. So I did, and I love how it turned out. I hope you do too!


J.R. Turner is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Writers Association. She writes in a variety of genres including middle-grade adventures, young adult horror, romantic suspense, horror, military action, and urban fantasy. In her spare time she enjoys arts and crafts, traveling, and movies. Few things in life compare to her passion for the written word, except perhaps the pursuit of chocolate.

Redemption is available here:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"You'll Never Be Published"

"You'll never be published." I'd expect these kind of words from a non-writer, but I'm shocked by the amount of times they commonly leave writers' mouths as well.

I've been told this because I got upset over something another writer said about me once. I've heard people told this because they couldn't handle critiques or rejections that agents or other writers gave them. I've heard people saying this when they see a writer ignore their advice and go off to do their own thing. And I've also heard people say this because the person in question had no grasp of the English language.

Writing is a learning process. We're all at various stages and levels of it, understanding concepts of some things and not others. All of us do stupid things at times and have to learn the hard way or take certain critiques wrong. I know I've ignored advice before only to have it haunt me later.

But people can only take so much growth as writers at once. The very first manuscript I wrote, someone told me was so bad, I should just trash it. It hurt and I was offended after working years upon it. They said the language was too flowery, the problems were cliche, and the characters were boring. And you know what? They were right about all of it and I wound up trashing it, but it was too much for me to take in all at once at first. I got angry at the person, who probably thought I was an idiot. I had to process it for awhile before I could improve. Growth happens in writers slowly, which is why we so often see people getting defensive about their writing. They can only take so much of the advice at once as their brains mature. Be patient with them and remember the amount of work that was put in your own error-riddled manuscript. I've had beta readers argue with my critiques and I don't usually push most issues because they don't generally argue unless I'm giving them more advice than they're ready for. I also always keep in mind that I could be wrong.

Not to mention that writers don't always have bad attitudes about it. Sometimes they receive so much advice that they wind up getting overwhelmed and getting writers block. They're not ready for all those ideas to be thrown at them at once.

That being said, it's all right to confront an author about their bad attitude or the mistakes in their writing. They'll never learn unless they are taught in some way how to do things right, but just know that even if they argue with you, get angry, or don't do as you say, it doesn't mean that they'll never be published or never wind up getting better. They're still learning and the only ones who truly never will be published are the ones who give up on their dream forever. The rest of us, with our bad attitudes and flaws, are still in the stages of learning and messing up. And also learning how to handle things with more maturity.

I've always thought good beta readers and critiquers (of queries, manuscripts, and synopses) were the ones who see your potential and not your flaws. They point out things because they know you can get better and want to see you achieve your goals. They'll never resort to telling you that you can't make it or that you are worthless as a writer.

And yes, you are welcome to point out when I do something wrong. I'd rather hear the criticisms than live in ignorance about it and make a fool of myself in front of more people. Every day I learn and am amazed at all the things I didn't know when I first started, so I'm expecting to improve a lot as an author in the future.

I just don't always expect to get critiques perfectly the first time. I've been told show, but not tell for years and I'm still learning new things about it. It's frustrating that I can't get good all at once. I just want to write the perfect manuscript and trying to do so has been giving me many headaches lately. Because I can only improve so much all at once. It takes a lot of time to be good.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Some of you may be wondering what in the world that thing in the picture above is. I have no idea either. (If someone does know, I'd appreciate being told in the comments.) All I know is that the moment I turned around and saw an evil Mickey Mouse that looked like it wanted to eat my face, I had to take a picture of him. He was even nice enough to pose for me!

This picture was one of many pictures I took at Comic-Con yesterday. If you've never been to Comic-Con, then you're really missing out! If you're an artist, a writer, a video game lover, a comic book fan, or a nerd of any other kind, you'll love this place! People dress up in amazing costumes (before going, I thought only a few people would be dressed up, but it was actually tons. I would have taken more pictures, but it would have involved stopping people every ten steps or so to ask them to pose for me). There's all kinds of fun trinkets and things to buy (they had a giant selection of dice to choose from for tabletop role-playing fans for instance) and celebrities (the cast of firefly was there, but unfortunately, we weren't able to make it in to see them.)

One of the most amazing costumes was a wookie costume. I don't know how it was done, but there was a seven or eight foot Chewbacca there. He was so detailed that he looked like a real wookie. I still can't figure out if they found a man that was that tall to dress-up or if he was walking on stilts. Either way, he pulled it off effortlessly and gave me a silly picture of my 6'1" boyfriend looking short standing next to him.

There were several huge things there, including a life size statue of Optimus Prime and a thirty foot tall Power Ranger. There were giant screens playing clips from Dexter and advertisements for Game of Thrones.

They had seminars on writing. I attended one of them given by Maxwell Alexander Drake on showing, but not telling. It's something I've heard a ton of times, but he really got me thinking about it more deeply and how I still have ways I could improve in this area amongst others in my writing.

I also bought a really cool comic book series called Love and Capes by Thomas Zahler. (You can read a lot of it for free on his web-site.) It's a cute romantic comedy about a guy who's a super hero and a normal girl who is dating him and finds out his secret. I love it so far. The author was very nice, autographing the graphic novels I bought from him, and just chatting with me and smiling. Funny enough, on the first page is an intro written by Mark Waid about him sitting at his booth in Comic-Con, smiling and being friendly with everyone. That's exactly how he was!

I had to leave early unfortunately because I got tired from walking around for hours. I was carrying around the giant bag they give you when you get your lanyard for your badge. It was full of my new books and my purse. My boyfriend tried to carry it, grunting under the weight, and calling me crazy for lugging that much stuff around.

I wish I had a pass to go on more than just Friday. I'm already having difficulty getting back into the swing of things after the excitement I experienced yesterday. I'm definitely going to Comic-Con next year.

If you've been, I'd be happy to hear about some of your experiences.

Monday, July 9, 2012


I just came across a hilarious tag on twitter called writer hell. There were too many good ones to retweet them all, so I decided to share them in a blog post with links to the comments if you click the people's names. Some of them make me feel pain deep in my soul and others make me laugh. Here's some of my favorite posts for it:

@IsaboKelley: In #writerhell‬ you HAVE to rewrite your novel according to 10 conflicting critiques by ppl who don't read your genre.
@Andrew_Kincaid: In someone reads your WIP aloud to a live studio audience as you type. And you have no backspace or delete key.
@gingerkytten: in every word you mispell is carved onto your body with a blunt knife.
@JentheAmazing: In , there is only decaf coffee. 
@ChuckWendig: In , you have to craft a query letter just to go to the bathroom.
With the follow-up of....

@JRVogt: And it's always rejected because the bathroom "just didn't quite love" your submission.

@Necropology: In every incredible story idea you have hits the bestsellers' list three days later.... written by someone else.
@EvanGore: is when the most widely-read thing you've written is a tweet tagged

What's in your writer's hell?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ten Random Facts About Me

I post a lot about myself as a writer, but rarely say anything about myself as a person, so I thought it would be fun to post ten random things about me. Feel free to tell me about yourself in the comments as well.

1. A few weird things make me grimace. The feel of cotton balls, popsicle sticks when people bite them, and the sound of gum wrappers being rubbed together. I don't know why, but all these things make me feel sick to my stomach, even when I just think about them.

2. I have two dogs. They are both part rottweiler. One's a girl and one's a boy, the girl is also part pitbull.

You can see their pictures here.

I love them. I call them my babies and coo over how beautiful I think they are. But in reality, they're always trying to find new ways to steal food from me and fight over attention.

Izzy, the girl, claws at me too hard when she wants hugs and it can hurt. Mika, the boy, gets anxious and won't speak to me (he turns his back on me and ignores me when I call) when he feels like I give too much affection to Izzy.

I didn't name either of them. I rescued both of them from a shelter.

3. My boyfriend and I have been together for the last two years.

4. I live in a small town in California. Everything important is an hour drive away, except for the grocery store. And it actually snows where I live.

5. My favorite weather is the fog. It's perfect for wrapping myself in a blanket with a good book and sipping hot chocolate. Also, it makes me feel like I'm in a fantasy book, in some kind of mystical new world or something. It also feels like I'm hiding from the dangers of the universe in a blanket of clouds.

6. I get insomnia a lot and you can tell it's happening when you see me tweeting at 3 am or reading people's blogs and commenting on them at the same time, like I was doing last night. When I used to have severe sleep apnea, I'd only get an hour of sleep at the most because of the headaches and the fact that every time I closed my eyes it felt like someone was choking me.

I often can't sleep through an entire night. My Dad has this problem, too. We would sometimes wake-up at midnight and say hi to each other before going back to our computers and goofing off for awhile until we can get sleepy again.

7. I am a nerd and love to date nerds. I've participated in playing World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Hero Clix. I've read comic books (although usually only for the sake of the boyfriend) and love Super Hero movies. I've watched all of Star Wars and love Star Trek: The Next Generation. I'm going to Comic-con this year. I was obviously bullied when I was younger.

8. I'm a hopeless romantic. There's nothing like curling up with a good romance novel or movie and eating chocolate to me. It's a horrible way to handle depression, but it's what I turn to often.

And I tear up easily when watching anything. I get caught up in the emotions of the characters: good or bad. Sometimes I cry just because they've suffered so much and now they are finally getting what they deserved for all their hard work.

9. My Mom is the most embarrassing person in the world and she always surprises me. I've known her all my twenty six years, but I still don't know what to expect from her at any given moment. For instance, one time I was watching Eminem perform live on stage when I was a teen. My Mom entered the room and instead of condemning his language like I expected her to, she grabbed her crotch and flipped the room off with her middle finger like he was doing in the actual show. I was just thankful that none of my friends were there.

10. My Dad is a hundred percent convinced that I will be "famous" someday. It's a strange argument him and I have regularly. I insist that even most of the popular writers aren't famous and that I doubt I'll ever be that that popular anyway (most writers aren't) nor do I desire fame, but he's too busy being a proud father.

He readily admits that he made mistakes in raising me and says that when I write my autobiography (which I have no intent of doing), I'll write about all the things he did wrong and that he's okay with it. And I always yell,"Dad! I'll never do that!"