Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Guest Post + Character Interview [Angela Scott- author of Zombie West Trilogy]


ZOMBIES! The Wild West! Romance! Mayhem!
Angela Scott's Zombie West Omnibus has all this, and more!
"...this is one of the most unique concepts I've come across." --Brian, Amazon reviewer
"These books had me on the edge of my seat and at one point in book three I had to set the book down and pull myself out of the story so I wouldn't cry." --Emily Pearce, Amazon reviewer
"This series is one that will stay with you for a long time, prompting you to want to read it again and again." --Tracy Haidle, Amazon reviewer

About the Zombie West Omnibus

Zombie West Omnibus Angela Scott

The Wild West is hard enough to survive with its native territory, wanted outlaws, and harsh terrain, but with a plague turning civilized people into brain-eating monsters, survival becomes nearly impossible. Red has lost everything to the fast-spreading disease: her family, her trust in mankind, and her hope for a better tomorrow. When she meets Trace, a smooth-talking gambling man who’s more city boy than cowboy, she’s forced down a path she’d been avoiding for years. Until his arrival, she’d lived by a certain set of rules—don’t ask names, keep to yourself, don’t let anyone too close—but the jackass of a man won’t let her be, and he has an uncanny knack for appearing at all the wrong times and in all the wrong places. Each, with a secret of their own, will need to learn that only by working together do they have any chance of surviving The Zombie West. That is, if they don’t kill each other first. [Angela Scott’s Zombie West Omnibus includes the three books in the Zombie West series WANTED: DEAR OR UNDEAD, SURVIVOR ROUNDUP, and DEAD PLAINS. Find these books on AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo, and Smashwords.] Genre classification: YA/Western Romance/Action and Adventure/ with added zombies for utter mayhem.

About Angela Scott

Angela Scott

Angela Scott hears voices. Tiny fictional people sit on her shoulders and whisper their stories in her ear. Instead of medicating herself, she decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. She’s not crazy. She’s an author. For the most part, she writes contemporary Young Adult novels. However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, she found herself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West–and loving it. Her zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, she wouldn’t suggest it. She lives on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. She graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because of her love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. She can’t spell, and grammar is her arch nemesis. But they gave her the degree, and there are no take backs. Find Angela Scott on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Get the book!

Find the Zombie West Trilogy on Amazon. Don't forget to add the Zombie West Omnibus to your Goodreads to-read shelf. Connect with Angela Scott on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

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Hello Everyone! Today I am interviewing Trace, one of the main characters from The Zombie West Trilogy. (: 

Hello Trace. It is lovely to meet you and thank you for agreeing to a short interview. I just wanted my followers to know a little bit more about one of the characters from this amazing series. I must admit, however, that you weren’t my first choice. I was a little afraid to ask Red for an interview, however. She is so intimidating.

That she can be. You hit that nail on the head. You ask the wrong question and she just might tell ya to go to hell. You gotta love that about a woman, right?

So for the people who have not yet had a chance to the book-it is centered on your rag- tag gang of survivors trying to stay alive in the west. Oh, and there are zombies. Lots and lots of zombies. However, you do not come in until years after the zombie outbreak occurs. Your story starts in that bar. Where were you when you realized the world as you knew it was over?

For the most part, I stayed ahead of the outbreak and lived my life as I always had—gambling, cheating, and winning at it. The undead didn't affect my way of living at all, and I must admit, I didn't give much thought to it. I'd have to say that the moment for me where I knew the world had officially gone to hell had to be in the land of milk and honey when I almost lost my life to a crazed woman who harbored a disturbing secret. (Trying not to give too much away, ya know?) That's when it got real for me—too real.

Your gang picks up a lot of different characters throughout your journey. How hard was it going from relying solely on yourself, to having a large family to take care of. Especially having a large family to take care of when zombies are everywhere.
–Do you have any regrets?

Regrets—never. But I must say that it took some getting used to the idea of it. I'd lost my parents to a cholera outbreak as a kid and never had a real family after that. I lived my life on my own. Not that I wanted to, but I wasn't given much choice. Not until now. It took this rag-tag group to make me realize just how much I wanted to be a part of a family—be a part of something bigger than myself. I needed it. This is my family, and there isn't anything I wouldn't do for them. Zombies or not.

Alright, I know this may be a bit of a sore topic for you. But I am going to ask anyway. In book two, when you were recovering from your injuries at the Native American camp, you were forced to work with the women. What exactly does “Kaw” mean? Did you ever figure it out?

Oh, I figured it out rather quickly! A couple of slaps to the hands did that for me. And that old native woman had a mean slap too! Kaw means NO, at least that's what I figured it meant. And when I needed Aponi to "back off," if you will, I told her Kaw—I'm a quick learner-- and it seemed to do the trick. She stopped. I may not be the smartest guy in the bunch, but you slap me enough I'll catch on.

Now onto the questions I have been dying to ask. (: Your unusual friendship and tentative romance with Red was very heartwarming. However, you and Red had a long and trying road to happiness, paved with numerous obstacles. To begin with, she didn’t trust you for anything and gaining her trust took a lot of effort on your part. If you could go back to those first few weeks when you were just getting to know one another, would you do anything differently?

Since everything eventually worked itself out well for the both of us, I'd have to say no. I wouldn't change a thing. Had I shown Red the wanted poster any sooner, I wouldn't be talking to you today. That's for sure.

Red can be a bit violent and unpredictable sometimes. Did you ever believe you were in danger from her? Well, besides those first few weeks when she was deciding whether or not to shoot you to get you to quit following her.

I had an inkling she had a soft side, and once I got to witness it first hand back at the wagon train, I knew she was no threat to me. Not even when she held the barrel of her pistol at my chest. Could she have shot me? Hell yes, numerous times, but I'm a gambler and placed my bet that she wouldn't. The more she got to know me, the better my odds were.
I adore all of the children that are integrated into your group. They are all special in their own ways, but is there any one child that you may feel a stronger bond with than the others? Is there one that you have difficulties connecting with?

Kids are strange little creatures—they're small, they whine, and they smell. But having been around Rivers and Fisher for quite some time, I've developed a fondness for them both. Fisher a little more, perhaps due to us both being male—easier to relate to. He's my little shadow, and I have to admit, I don't mind it at all.  

I do not want to bring up memories better left buried, but you and Red have both lost a lot of loved ones in your search for someplace safe for your family. The pain from those losses must have been incomprehensible. Do you believe it would have been better if you had never known those that you lost? In other words, do you believe it is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all? Or have you somehow grown from those losses.

Would it be better to never have known these people than to love them as my flesh and bones only to lose them later? That's a question I still struggle with. The pain of losing them was unbearable, worse than anything I'd ever experienced in my life, but even so, I can't imagine having never known them. I'm a better person, a better man, for having them in my life, however briefly it may have been.

Now that I have that depressing question out of the way, I will move onto a less serious question. Food must be scarce in the Wild West, especially with the hoards of undead destroying everything in sight. What is the weirdest thing you have been forced to eat in order to survive? Is there anything that you absolutely refused to consider as food?

When you're hungry, you're hungry. You can't be picky when your stomach is digesting itself—except when it comes to tainted meat. If a zombie munched on some poor cow, then that meat is best left to rot on its own. No one would ever be that hungry to attempt such a meal, though I can bettcha some sick fool gave it a try. As far as weird food goes? I can't say that I've ever ate anything too out of the ordinary, but I've ate a lot of boring tasteless meals and I've done my fair share of starving when there's been nothing to eat. I sucked on a pebble once when I had nothing, not even a drop of water. That's gotta count for something.

Well, I believe I have taken up enough of your time, Trace. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all my questions for the blog audience. Don’t be a stranger. And hey, you have a beautiful family. (:

That I do. I couldn't have asked for a better family than the one that life and circumstance threw together.

Thanks for having me, and be careful out there—you best hold onto your brains because you never know when life is gonna get a bit bumpy and toss a walker in your way.

The Every Day Joe Essentials for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
Angela Scott

I'm going to be upfront and honest here: I will make a horrible survivor. I know this. I accept this. My family is uber aware of this and have offered to put me out of my misery, if by some chance I make it through the initial outbreak. I will suck at survivorhood. But on the plus side, I will make a mighty fine zombie. I'm pretty sure I can rock that role.

But, in the event I do happen to pull myself up by the boot straps, keep from tinkling my pants and/or having a full blown panic attack, there are a few essentials I would like to have in my "zombie-butt-kicking-bucket" if you will.

First and foremost, I would love to simply have Daryl Dixon as my companion. "But he's a fictional character," you say. And to that, I say, "Perhaps so, but you can't tell me that Norman Reedus hasn't learned a little something in his years of perfecting that role on TV. I will kidnap him and make him mine." That is plan number one. Everyone could use a Daryl Dixon, but I've called dibs first, so I guess you all can fight over Rick and Glen. You can even have Maggie and her kid sister if you like. No Daryl for you.

Number two on my list would be a nice vehicle of some sort, something where the undead can't get to me and where I can smash them to itty-bitty bits should they hinder my way. Something like this:


Okay, let's get real. Most likely I will be driving my Honda minivan since I do know where the keys are to that. The minivan could be cool though since I do have this on my back window:

Maybe the zombies will think I'm a zombie who knows how to drive and will let me be. If not, perhaps they will find my humor entertaining and choose to let me live with my brain still intact.
Number three on the list: a weapon.
In my dream world, I will have something awesome like this:

A gun and sword/knife combo. Kinda cool. I'm pretty sure I could use this without causing bodily harm to myself. That's always my worry. I'm not the most agile person around.
In reality, this will be my zombie killing weapon:

And the truth is, I actually have one of these. It's under my bed, seriously, and I do refer to it as my zombie killing bat. Just ask my kids. It's not the best weapon, that I agree, but it's all I have for now. Well, that and a locked rifle with two bullets that are somewhere in my house. Where, I have no idea. So, yeah, I have that.

Oh, water. Water would be good to have in the middle of an apocalypse. Better yet, a water purifying kit. You must keep hydrated. That's super important. I have a water purifying kit—yay for me! I may or may not share. It depends on what you bring to the table.

Food is good, but don't carry anything too heavy. Canned food is heavy and will weigh you down for sure. But nice packets of Ramen noodles are not only light but delicious. I'm an author. I'm poor, so of course I have plenty of Ramen on hand. I can live for months on that deliciousness if I must.  I have beef flavor. If you have chicken or oriental, we may be able to do some trading.

So I think basically, that anyone who plans to survive a zombie apocalypse—us every day Joes—we need five things
  1.  A companion we trust. That could be a spouse, a parent, one of our children. A companion will make us try harder than we've ever tried to keep safe and alive. On my own, I will succumb to death quite quickly. I'm a blubbering wimp. But if you team me up with one of my children I will become one of the baddest badasses around. So grab a partner and doesy-do. Do it.
  2. Get some transportation. If walking is your only option, then you best be in shape and walk fast. If not, grab your car keys and your minivan. It's a whole lot better than nothing. It might also get you to some higher ground while providing shelter in a pinch.
  3. You need a weapon. Pick something that works for you. If you're a maniac with a room full of guns, all the better. But if you're like me, a mom and author who likes to believe these kinda things never happen so why bother preparing, then pick up a bat, a shovel, a butcher knife, something. You're gonna need it. Fighting without a weapon will most likely get you eaten. A knife or a bat gives you a chance. Make sure your companion is armed as well. And if your companion is a kid, give them a weapon and let them lead the way. They play a lot of video games now days and probably know how to do this thing much better than you.
  4. Get water. Lots of it. Public water systems may become contaminated or worse yet, they just may shut it down all together. Get a water purifying pump or something. Tablets are okay, but can taste nasty, but it's better than nothing. Without water, the zombies will be the least of your problems.
  5. Food. You must have some sort of food. Light food. You got to pack light so you can keep light on your toes. Carrying a huge backpack filled with canned goods and you've now given zombies a tasty meal with side dishes. Granola bars can be nutritious and filling, but they usually taste like crap. Unless they have built in M&M's in them, then those are okay, otherwise, toss in several packets of Poptarts and some Raman noodles. Light and delicious. Goldfish crackers are pretty good too, as well as Golden Graham cereal—put in a plastic baggie for less weight.

I hope my tips help you to feel confident in being able to survive an outbreak. If you follow the above five tips, I guarantee you will make it for about an hour's worth of time should a zombie apocalypse befall you. An hour is all I guarantee, but you never know what could happen in an hour—find more survivors, more supplies, a cool awesome prison fort to hold up inside. In essence, an hour is all you need to change your fate... or become a member of the walking dead.

Either way, make your hour count. Good luck.

I'll try not to bite you should we cross paths, unless you smell like M&M's and my zombie brain remembers the flavor. Then it's everyone for themselves.    

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