We feel like having a rant today & this is a clear case of television causing these violent feelings. We switched off the programe we’d recorded & the TV was tuned into The Hunks programme. In case you’ve never seen it, it’s about a bunch of hunky guys living together in Cornwall. We only had to read about it in the TV magazine & we could feel our brain cells withering. Anyhoo, it was on & we couldn’t be arsed to get up to switch the TV off, so we watched 3 minutes of it. It’s amazing how much irreparable damage can be inflicted in 3 minutes. Maybe we caught it at a bad time but the bit we saw had them discussing the ideal breast size and trying to pull girls by doing an ab workout in front of them. Really? That works? That’s when we switched it off. Our laptops have more personality than these vacant, permatan, prima donna princesses. Their perfect bodies kept us interested for thirty seconds – which is probably longer than their attention spans. We like guys who have personalities & can make us laugh. These guys were as funny as funerals. We would’ve put on our documentary of the history of mental asylums to give our brain cells some CPR but we were tired & needed some sleep.

Thing is, if we were to write a novel that contained as much tripe as this, the various Katie Price shows, My Sweet 16th & The Only Way is Essex, our manuscripts would be burned. And rightly so. Because they’re filled with 2D characters who you don’t care if they live or die & no plot – the two most vital ingredients in any story. Ok, TV companies love them because they’re cheap to make – there’re no writers, costume designers, set designers, or actors to pay, but that’s no excuse for making them. If writers don’t get away with writing novels like these, TV companies shouldn’t get away with making these programmes.

Though saying that, we’ve read numerous novels without plots & whose characters are so bland they might as well be called Magnolia. We’ve always made it our mission to finish a book, despite hating every page, but now we’re realising that finishing them achieved nothing & life’s too short to waste on a terrible book, so we’ve actually abandoned our first ever book. Luckily we didn’t waste money on it – it was given to us because the main characters are twins. The blurb promised a ghost story. Lynx managed to force herself to read just over half the novel & the ghost part was barely mentioned. It’s the equivalent of calling Home and Away a horror because a lot of people die.

Rising from the Dead

Hey tasty brains, it’s Scott. I just have to get something off my chest. Seeing as it’s Easter, everyone’s celebrating the annual return of the Easter bunny. That IS what Easter’s about, right? But some people are also celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. This is what’s getting my stitches in a knot. For two thousand years, people have worshipped this guy who died then rose from the dead and carried on a normal life. Who does that sound like? ME! I died, was struck by lightning & rose from the dead to carry on a normal life working in a supermarket, but is anyone worshipping me? NO! HE inspires a whole religion. What do I inspire? A lynch mob!

If you think about it, Jesus is the original zombie. Ok, there’s no mention of him eating brains in the bible, but we all know only a few books were selected to go in that, like in all other anthologies. Maybe the zombie chapter was poorly written or didn’t meet the required word count so was dropped in favour of Luke, or Mark, or maybe even Revelations. The point is, he rose from the dead. So either he has that rare condition where sufferers can appear dead then recover, or he’s a zombie. Vampire’s another possibility, but vampires get enough good press without claiming Jesus as one of them.

So now I’ve exposed Jesus as a zombie, it still begs the question why does HE get people worshipping him, while I get people trying to cut my head off? Ok, I can’t heal the sick, but I can raise the dead. And yes, he may be the son of God, but my dad was in the Thriller video… Ok, that’s a lie, but it’s a better story than his. Plus my hairstyle’s better. And I’m a nice guy. Yes, I kill people, but I do apologise. Sometimes. It’s not like I enjoy being a serial killer, but a guy’s gotta eat. If I could buy my brains from a supermarket, I would. So why does he get chocolate eggs to mark the anniversary of his death, but I don’t? Mind you, I died on Halloween, so I get the coolest day of the year to celebrate my anniversary.

This wrong needs to be righted. From this day forth, I’m starting my own religion. Zombieism. No. Zombieanity. Zombie. Zombieology. I’ll go with Zombie for now, but I reserve the right to change my mind. My novel will be the sacred book and Halloween can be the special day. I’m not going to be all dictatorial and tell you what to do, except you have to keep your brains healthy and active to one day sacrifice them to your idol of worship – me. I’m going to impose a rule of religious garmets – pro-zombie t-shirts. Religious jewellery will consist of charm bracelets with zomibe-related charms, i.e. brain, gravestone, eyeball, brainsaw, hammer & chisel. Zombie songs must be sung once a week in a zombie place of worship – a graveyard. Every Halloween there must be a zombie walk like a pilgrimage. They have these in Kansas & Missouri. Oh and when you die, you will become a zombie.

Happy Easter and beware the Easter bunny. I might’ve turned him by now 😉

Scott x

The Good, the Bad & the Zombie

Should we start with the good news or the bad? Where’s Magic 8 ball when you need it? Ok, bad first. Yesterday we were checking up on submitted stories that we hadn’t heard back from. All four didn’t make it 😦 We weren’t really surprised because as anyone who’s tried to get published knows, the rejections far outweigh the acceptances. Still, it was disheartening to have to remove 4 smiley faces from our short stories list. We have a list of all the short stories we’ve written & the ones that get submitted have a smiley face next to them, the ones that get shortlisted have a lightning bolt & the ones that are published get a star.

Now for the good news. We’ve just had another story accepted for publication by Dark Fire Fiction! 🙂 The story’s called Deadly Reflections & has been rejected 9 times but FINALLY someone likes it. It will come out in issue 52 at the beginning of July. This is actually breaking news ‘cos we’ve just found out.

And now for the zombie. Our short story featuring Scott, Parliament of Monsters, wasn’t even longlisted for the Sunday Times short story award. We didn’t expect to be, after all, the authors who make it onto the shortlist are all multi-award winners with either their short stories or their novels so a story about a zombie appearing on a Jerry Springer style chat show written by two novices was never gonna make it. But we’ve now sent it to an anthology by Aeon Press so talons crossed they like it. We’re not holding out a lot of hope because the anthology wants horror, dark fantasy or weird & it’s basically a comedy with horror characters. But the way we see it is if we don’t send it off then it definitely won’t get accepted. Death or glory.

Third time’s the charm

Hey scrumptious brains, Scott here. My Necromancers have just finished their third redraft of my novel. They tell me they want to send it to the Yeovil literary prize in May. I can’t wait that long! If it doesn’t win then it will have to do the rounds with publishers, other competitions, etc. Ok, I may not have an expiry date on my life but they do. I don’t want them to be one of those writers whose genius is only discovered after they’ve died! What use is that to me? I’ll be left languishing in my freezer. That’s not a worthy fate for a special zombie such as myself. I want them to write ‘Scott reserves the right to eat anyone’s brain who doesn’t publish his book’ at the end of the covering letter but they feel this might jeopardise their chances. Chances? Well they’re not exactly best sellers doing it their way! A light hearted threat could be just what they need. No-one else will have thought of it. It could be their unique selling point – a hungry zombie. I’d better make sure I keep up with my embalming and fake tanning, for the book launch and festivals I’ll be invited to. I have to be at their book launch. I’m the main star. Without me their book wouldn’t exist and they would be living their lives without the constant threat of having their brains eaten. How boring would that be? I like to think I’m the reason they work so fast. They claim it’s all the Red Bull they drink but I know better. Red Bull won’t hack open their skulls.

I’m trying to convince them to self-publish so I (I mean they) can have full control over the cover, design, layout, font & full profit, but they claim they’ll suck at the selling part. That’s true. They couldn’t sell brains to a zombie. They also worry they won’t know when the book is good enough to publish. I tell them it doesn’t matter how crap their writing is, all that matters is that I come across well. They just glare at me and threaten to lace my brains with peanuts. There’s no reasoning with some people.

They still haven’t got round to making their I ♥ Scott the Zombie t-shirts, with my Facebook and Twitter accounts on the back. I’m very disappointed. How am I supposed to become a superhero with my own merchandise when my Necromancers are letting me down? I want Scott the Zombie clothes, keyrings, mousemats, mugs, stickers, toys. Hell I’ll even endorse products, like other desperate, fame hungry celebrities. Once they’ve learned the secret of my everlasting youth, they’ll be queuing up to get embalmed – it gets injected and staves off rot. It’s the new Botox, baby! 😀


Missing: Muse. Please return

On the day we find out our story Six String Heart was not even shortlisted in Writers’ News musician story, there was a letter in Writing Magazine by published authors and identical twins, praising our Scott the Zombie extract! They said we have a special, humorous writing style and encouraged us to get our novels published. That really cheered us up, so a thousand thank yous, Helen and Morna Mulgray 🙂 you made our day. Now to redraft our story and send it elsewhere.

In the meantime we’re near the end of Scott the Zombie’s 3rd redraft and will submit it to the Yeovil Prize in May so talons crossed. We’re also writing a story based on our visit to Usk Castle. When we were at the paying hut, we got a really creepy feeling and thought ‘this would make a great start to a horror film’ so wrote a story on that premise. Now we usually wing our stories, we have a vague idea then just hit the laptop running. Well, typing. Don’t want to break it 😀 This has always worked for us. But we wrote this with no idea whatsoever, just a feeling. Really should’ve come up with a vague plan. It’s been so hard, we’ve reported our Muse missing and are offering our eternal gratitude for her safe return. If someone out there is holding her hostage, please be gentle and release her unharmed. It’s not her fault, she was assigned to us. No-one else wanted the job.

But at least we have something to fall back on if this whole writing gig fails – setting out and putting away chairs. We’re not kidding. We’re demons at it. We’ve done it for National Trust meetings for 10 years and recently got headhunted by the WI to do it for their meetings. Now the Civic Society might be interested in hiring us. One problem – Cat is having major knee surgery in just over a week so Lynx is going to have to hire an apprentice. We’re volunteering our sister or her boyfriend. On the plus side, our writing productivity is going to rocket as Cat will be on crutches for 6 weeks. We’ve fallen so far behind on our submission mission that it ran over us and we got a face full of dust. Although we have just sent four poems to Writing Magazine’s humorous poem competition. Yes we only sent them four so April’s submission mission deadline is complete but it still counts. Now to make up for only submitting one piece of work in March…think the submission mission might have just crashed over a cliff…

Hit List

Ok, we didn’t make the shortlist for the Pratchett Prize 😦 As disappointing as that is, what makes it worse is that we now have to send back that helicopter we ordered. We were looking forwards to terrorising shoppers as we landed in the supermarket car park, or pretending we were with the police & hunting innocent people with spotlights & thermal imaging, whilst blasting the Airwolf theme tune. The Airwolf theme tune just won’t sound right being blasted out of our car windows as we’re stuck in a traffic jam.

We’d been counting on the Pratchett Prize to give our novel credence for when we approach Tim Burton to ask him to make it into a Nightmare Before Christmas style animation. But without this backing we’re just going to sound like crazed fantasists. We’ve even got the action figures planned with little accessories. Back to searching for a publisher, we suppose. Damn. We really wanted that helicopter.