SORRY, WE’VE MOVED HOUSE!
You can find our review of The Crows here;
Come join us at our new place!
SORRY, WE’VE MOVED HOUSE!
You can find our review of The Crows here;
Come join us at our new place!
Reviewed by Richard
Shady Palms has been sat on my ever-growing ‘to-do’ pile for quite a while now. Whilst trying to get settled in our beautifully dreary office space with the dripping pipes, broken windows and ever-present stench of decay, I’ve managed to collect quite a large pile of books that I intend to review. I’m sorry to say that Shady Palms was amongst this pile just waiting to be read. So imagined how much I was kicking myself when I realised just how awesome it is!
When I started the book the first thing I noticed was the foreign names and the foreign references. For all the readers that don’t know me that well, I have two mind sets that I establish when reading books. One is the lazy mind-set, where I just sit back and allow the author to spoon-feed me their story (this usually applies to straight-forward horror novels that are set in the US/UK with simple words and basic plot) my other mind-set is adopted when a book is more complex. For example if the novel is riddled with words exceeding four to five syllables, set in a country I’ve never been to, adopting words/phrases I’m unfamiliar with and/or complex twists that need you to pay attention to, then I need to be alert and focused.
At the time we were still in the process of setting up our new HQ which we have aptly named ‘Erebus Horror House’ (original right?) so when I saw these strange, new words and names my brain really couldn’t comprehend it at that time, so the book was shelved until we got set up. Well now we are up and running and I have since read the book in its entirety. All I can say is – What a story!
I was mistaken thinking that I would have to really concentrate on keeping up with the book. Once I was immersed into the perfectly described setting, story, dialogue and character development, I found it very hard to leave! There’s something about the author’s style of writing that is really compelling. His portrayal of the bizarre, and the gritty, perverted nature of some aspects of the book, really help to keep the pages turning. I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but in an ordinary world some of the issues raised in the book would be enough to turn you away. But in Shady Palms, it is almost enticing! Unpredictable twists, fast-paced action and an intense story-line make this book a great page-turner that you will struggle to put down. Allen Dusk is definitely an author to keep an eye on.
So here’s a bit more about the book:
Well it’s Friday the 13th – A day despised by some, but celebrated by others.
This is a day where horror is at its most popular, so we were left wondering how we would celebrate this momentous day. Should we post a toe-curlingly cheesy feature on the movie Friday the 13th? (like so many will probably do…) Or do we give you something new and different? Well, as you know, we’re all about giving you something new to sink your teeth into. Why should today be any different?
So, on this gruesomely delicious day, we introduce to you an amazing horror author specializing in……. ZOMBIES!
Yes it’s Julianne Snow! Here’s a bit about her;
It was while watching Romero’s Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of 6 that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead.
As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own. The horror and forensic/crime thriller genres top her list of favourites, but she can never turn down a good science fiction, fantasy or mystery read.
Julianne appears in the anthology Women of the Living Dead with a story entitled The Living Dead at Penderghast Manor. Look for her short stories in future anthologies. Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name.
Great right? Well we’re lucky enough to have conducted an interview with this great writer and you’re lucky enough to read it!
Here we go…
What made you decide to become a writer?
I’m not sure if it was really a decision I consciously made. I had always written short stories and prose-like poems growing up, but before going away to post-secondary education it got put on the back burner. I didn’t end up coming back to it until later when a situation that arose that caused me to lose a great deal of my sight for a period of time. As a result, I spent a lot of that time in my head, rediscovering my love for creating plotlines and fleshing out characters. After that moment occurred, there really was no looking back.
You’re a published author now. How hard was it to get where you are?
The hardest part was actually writing the book. That’s a lot of words to weave together in some form of coherency! As the ideas and plotlines swarm around the sieve that controls what flows out of your fingers, it can get difficult to filter which ideas are viable for any given story. The fact of the matter is that I enjoy writing; I enjoy the sense of satisfaction I receive when I finish a chapter or a story. Once the story is completely finished, and the editing starts, there’s almost a relaxation that occurs. You have the story that you wanted to write out of your head and your soul, now it’s just polishing it to the point that it’s the best that it can be. Teaming with my publisher, Sirens Call Publications, helped me to traverse the world of publishing as well. Was it a struggle at times? Absolutely, but in the end it was a labor of love and one that I will happily do over and over again.
Tell us about your Days with the Undead series.
Days with the Undead: Book One is the first thing that I wrote after my sight came back. It’s the story of a Zombie Apocalypse which starts in Toronto, Canada and is told completely via journal entries. You get one point of view, that of Julie, a former pathologist and part-time survivalist but don’t let that fool you; the cast of characters come alive through her words. The action starts from the first second and doesn’t let up throughout – the group of survivors, made up of Julie, Max, Bob, Ben and Barbara are constantly fleeing the growing army of the Undead. The uniqueness of a singular point of view is that you really get to explore the psychological turmoil that flight and, ultimately, survival, wreak on the psyche.
What is it about zombies that you find so compelling?
I honestly believe that Zombies are the most terrifying of the supernatural creatures. They are unwavering in their desires to pursue you and your flesh. Akin to a parasite or virus, they continually seek out new hosts to assimilate. That’s pretty scary when you think about it because there isn’t much that will stop them. The only way to protect yourself is to kill as many as you can…
What has been the most difficult hurdle to overcome on your journey?
My own self-doubt. I had a discussion the other day about narcissism and how some authors deal with it. While I am guilty of being narcissistic to a degree (I did put my own writing out into the public forum), I sometimes wonder if my story is appealing enough to the fans of the genre. I have had many positive comments as well as some negative ones but in the end, I grow as a writer from each and every one of them.
When you’re not writing, what are you generally doing?
Catching up on all of the other things that I don’t do when I’m writing! Mainly just work around the house, reading, watching a little television or perhaps a movie, and my daily walk. Oh wait, I totally forgot about the day job! The kinds of activities that allow your mind to relax and that allow the stresses of the day or the passage that I’m writing to melt away.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far?
It was receiving my proof in the mail. To actually see my name on a printed book was just awesome and it totally buoyed my spirits. As an author, you write, but there are times when the road to getting your work to the masses seems endless. To get to the point where readers can read it – that’s so rewarding!
Will there be any additions to the Days with the Undead series, or will you be starting something new?
I have many plans for Days with the Undead; there is a second book currently being adapted from my online serial series along with a number of companion books. The story is still unfolding so I have a long way to go before it’s over. I do have plans to write non-Zombie genre novellas and novels as well, I just need to get them finished. It’s hard work with a full time job and my other responsibilities – not that I’m complaining, I wouldn’t change my world for anything else!
If you were to set a goal for the future, what would it be?
To reach the point where I can quit my day job and concentrate on writing full time. Isn’t that every writer’s dream at some point?
And finally, who is your favorite horror icon?
That’s a very good question – Ellen Ripley, hands down! Even though I haven’t been able to sit down and watch Alien in one complete sitting, the franchise is still one of my favorites. As a female lead, she demonstrated that given the right incentive, you can do anything you put your mind to. I think her character really opened up the door to the believability of other strong female leads in horror.
The noise of our engine attracted some of the closer ones. They turned as if in unison to stare milky eyed in our direction. I never thought I would see the day when the Undead had a look of genuine surprise about them, but in that moment they actually looked startled to see us.
Purchase Links – Print:
Purchase Link – Digital:
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007F14OTA
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B007F14OTA
Amazon FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B007F14OTA
Amazon ES: https://www.amazon.es/dp/B007F14OTA
Amazon IT: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B007F14OTA
You can’t say we don’t spoil you.
Have a great Friday the 13th folks! And remember – watch out for ladders, black cats, cracks and mirrors… Yeah right!