Saturday, 8 November 2014

Write your own Walking Dead

Get your teeth into writing a zombie novel

I never expected to be able to write a zombie novel. I thought horror was best left to three of my favourite authors – Shaun Hutson, James Herbert and Graeme Masterton.

Then this image came into my head of a couple lying in bed when there’s a knock at the door. One of them pads down the hall, opens the door and finds his friend Archie standing there. Archie looks like he’s been mugged. Then they notice that his insides are dripping out…

And so Dead Bastards was born. So called because the zombies are dead and a bastard to kill (a Glasgow phrase for difficult).

Along the way I’ve learnt a few things -

1. Don’t concentrate on too many people’s stories.
This is a big mistake. Too many characters and too many stories distance the reader from the story you are trying to tell. You want to being everybody into the world you've created. 

2. Respect the genre. 
When it’s a genre that people are well acquainted with like zombies, you need to stick to the rules. By all means push the limits. I recently read a book by a well known author who gave one of his zombies the gift of thought. Bad enough, but he also gave them the cloak of invisibility. I threw that book across the room in a hissy fit. 

3. Make your characters distinctive.
People should know who’s speaking even without speech tags. This is tricky to do. 

4. Every step of the way, your characters must have a goal.
Simply surviving isn't enough. Just look at The Walking Dead. They always have a goal, whether it's to get revenge, find the rest of the group or help take Eugene to Washington because he says he has a cure.

For instance, in Dead Bastards they had to go to a shopping mall for supplies. There was no way out of it. Having goals creates conflict and brings your characters to life. Put your characters into a situation and see how they get out of it. 

5. Don’t do what writers of The Walking Dead’s did and get too bogged down with one aspect of your plot.
In the case of the hit show, they dwelled too much on the Lori, Shane and Rick love triangle. In the end, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who got bored with it. If I wanted that kind of storyline, I'd watch a soap opera. 

In a zombie novel, the zombies must be king. 

Now for the zombies

Now yo've got the book sorted, it's time to think about what kind of zombies you'll have? 
Will it be the shufflers or the runners?

Will they be smarter zombies or the standard slow kind? 

Choose wisely, then run (or shuffle) with it.

Remember, it's your story and nobody can tell it like you can:) 

Why not check out my zombie novel? 

Dead Bastards is available is paperback at - 

Check out the cover. It's pretty cool and is actually a scene from the book.

And available as an eBook from the following stores (not sure that I approve as an ereader isn't going to be much use against zombies, whereas a book comes in handy) - 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Where's The Walking Dead's Beth? - some theories

Daryl says, "You can come out now."

So, who is the mysterious person/people in the woods? 

This is what I think - 

Beth appears with half a dozen other young women. They're all in various stages of pregnancy. They've been held at a hospital run by a mad scientist who want to repopulate the post-apocalyptic world and who forcibly impregnated all the girls with donor sperm. 

Beth & Co have been used to test a vaccine to see if the infected can be uninfected.

What do you think?

Where is Beth? 

What's happened to her? 

We'll find out the truth on November 2nd in Slabdown (we hope). 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Why Rick Grimes will shave off his beard (we hope)


Crazy beard man.

As well as not wanting to look like the crazy man who he let out of the old railway carriage (who promptly got eaten), there's one reason why Rick Grimes will shave his beard - bearded men don't do well on The Walking Dead.

Don't believe me? Just ask these guys.


Jim was left to die against a tree at his own request after being bitten. Maybe he should have shaved. 

Daryl had to end poor Dale. 

Dale was walking along the quiet fields of Hershel’s farm, when he was bitten by a roaming zombie and had to be put out of misery by Daryl Dixon. Ironically, Carl Grimes had been taunting the walker earlier.

Trusting Shane can seriously ruin your chances of staying alive.

Otis was collecting medical supplies for Carl, when he and Shane were confronted by a gang of walkers. Shane thinks how do I get out of this and decides to use Otis as a diversion. He shoots him in the leg, leaving him to be devoured by walkers.

Baddie Tomas gave him a few whacks to the head.



At the prison, Big Tiny was scratched by a walker while clearing out the cell block and fellow convict Tomas who repeatedly smashed his head in with a crowbar.

Hershell will be missed.


When the Governor cut off Hershel's head with a sword, we wept.


Pulling a gun on Rick was a bad idea, as was not getting a shave.
 Joe from The Claimers got what he deserved.
Rick ripped his throat out, we cheered.