Posts Tagged ‘zombie’

Demon Rising is Live

June 2, 2017

500 pages and one masterpiece later, Stephan makes a horrifying discovery.Almost two years ago my brain was bubbling with too much Walking Dead and zombies when I figured I would like to write such a novel. Flicking over a unique take, a decided to do a fantasy as it seemed to me most zombie apocalypse shows and books were set in the modern world. What exactly would happen if the dead were unleashed on the land in the 17th or 18th century? Would the lower population numbers mean that it was less of a threat, unable to spread itself as much? Or perhaps tougher times would mean they people would be able to fight off the new terror. Would there be a supernatural reasoning behind it, bringing in magic and the unexplainable? Or would it have a scientific basis like many zombie apocalypse programs?

Nailing myself down in front of my laptop to actually complete this book, I started forcing myself to write a couple of thousand words a day. As usual my imagination shaped the pathway by book would take, coming up with ideas that I weaved into the novel. I decided that I would write it from the protagonists views, exploring the minds of each character and how they perceived the scenes. At that point I hadn’t read Game of Thrones so hadn’t seen a book done in such a way and it seemed like a different take.

By the end of the year it was finished with beta readers giving the thumbs up for the first five chapters. However, to my horror I realised I’d slipped back into past tense since chapter two! Having the change the tense of the whole book disheartened me and, with the year becoming busier than ever, I put down the quill and returned to the tedium of teaching and tutoring. Several months ago I promised to finish the redraft. I’d already written two short stories, Heart’s Siege and Into the Desert (only £0.99), based in the same world, stories taken from the characters backgrounds, and so I began to trudge through the chapters to finally reach the glorious day that is today.

I’m definitely not expecting big sales, possibly any sales lol, but its satisfying to finally publish my first book. There’s a proper cover being made but for the time being the one I’ve dug up seems pretty good. If you’re into fantasy books try Demon Rising , its only £3.10, and I hope you enjoy!

You can find out more about me and my books at my website www.hywelgriffiths.co.uk at my website. You can read snippets about the book and look for other info in my updates page here or even give me a shout on the contacts page!

Happy reading!

Picture taken from http://www.cartoonstock.com

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Snippit two

May 30, 2017

shaun of the deadAnother free snippit from Demon Rising that I’ll be publishing tomorrow. Remember, you can read my short story Into the Desert at Amazon Kindle here or another short story set in the world of Mariad, Heart’s Siege, here. Also, updates and info can be found at my website www.hywelgriffiths.co.uk.

In this snippit, Heinrich and Rondur have just about escaped the living dead and are fighting their way in through a crowd of survivors to get past Abendale’s gates before they are locked out. As they make their way to the front, mounted on horses, the undead start their attack on those at the back.

‘At the back of the crowd, like hyenas pouncing on trapped animals, the reanimated corpses are feasting. They leap on backs, swipe at legs, bite into necks. The desperate travellers try to fight them off but the crazed hunger makes them unstoppable.

One man strikes a rotten corpse back but a soldier with face slashed open from eye to neck gladly grabs at the exposed arm and bites in hungrily. Another person is pushed to the ground by the rioter next to him and she is quickly smothered by a pack of nightmarish creatures. They have no qualms about who they attack, no prejudice; anyone and everyone is their next target. With psychotic madness the crowd pushes the gate open and we swarm in, our horses forcing through to be ahead of the rest. Rondur does not stop and I can see why.

Behind they could not shut the gates in time and the guards, few that there are, can only let the remaining survivors through in a wave. The howls and groans echo out, a stench of decay filling the air, and we know what is to come. Taking a second glance at Rondur as he dashes away, I curse at his cowardice and leap from my horse, slapping her on the rump to make her speed away. I will need her no longer.

Pushing through the last stragglers that have made it in, the first of the dead comes before me and I strike out with the spear, plunging it into the yellowing head. To my amazement it collapses to the floor, and I turn to face another whose putrefied flesh has almost completely fallen from it’s bones. Bringing the shaft of my spear around in a sweep, hoping to knock it off balance, my blow clubs away the very bones that holds the thing aloft.

Sweat is breaking out on me now, the effort of riding, fighting and keeping my mind steady have all driven my body hard. I know someone is at my side, and I raise my weapon to strike out, but rather than a monster I see a guard dressed in the red and yellow checkers of a strange and bizarre uniform. He holds his own against the dead that fight forward and I realise that we need to work as one to fight them back.

“To me!” I cry, striking out again, but this time the corpse almost tears the spear from my hands as is turns to hit back, oblivious of the impaling.

“Its head!”

His words ring home and the images of my encounters with these things flash into my mind. As Rondur and I had rode past, I had struck out at the chilling hands and mouths that had so desperately fought to feast on me. Only some had been felled and now I realise it is those whose skulls were smashed or heads had been impaled. It is their Achilles heel.

Several other guards appear, having fought his way through the mass, and we stand in a point. The people have fled, stalls abandoned and celebrations ceased, and in this deserted arena we three keep the invaders from their ceaseless march. Only that morning I had been new to the battlefield and yet now those experiences fill me with a confidence. I had fled that doomed battle and I will not flee again.

Thrust, parry and swipe, the spear dances a rhythm that I did not know I could play. The leaf of steal that tips the shaft cuts into flesh and stabs out at gaping maws, forcing them to keep at bay or ending their return to the living world. It is becoming instinct, the training and skirmishes with outlaws suddenly making me a warrior.’

Snippet from Demon Rising

April 29, 2017

zombie.jpgSo for anyone who is interested in the book I have just written, here’s a snippet for you to try out.

At the water mill, the undead are trying to force their way in, driven by a hunger for Aldar’s flesh. She and her family try to keep the dead out but it is an impossible task.

‘The sailor, a mass of blood and shredded skin, slams into the creature and his hand hits me, pushing me back and leaving a print of red blood. Even as it leaps upon him, tearing his top apart to expose his soft belly, he looks up with pleading in his face.

“Go.” And then his screams ring out in my head as it rips his abdomen open before me and I shriek aloud, my stomach close to releasing its contents. Instead, something inside me kicks in and I scramble into the house, shouting for my brothers. Running in I cry out in shock as I see father slumped against the wall. Darting to his side I drop to my knees, clutching his lifeless fingers. I weep, tears falling from my cheeks onto the cold floor below. A warm arm wraps around me and I look into my brother’s face, comforting but as pained as mine.

“They are coming through!”

The words come from somewhere in the background but my mind does not recognise the voice. It seems that nothing registers at the moment, that I am lost in my own world. Even as my brother lifts away from me, rising to his feet and disappearing from my side, I struggle to come back to the now.

Opening my eyes I looks across at my other sibling who seems in the same state as I am. I rarely see my brothers hurt, never crying, yet here is one of them with jaw locked in an effort to fight back the tears. He is failing. His lips tremble and moisture collects, trickling a pathway down his cheek. With a sudden movement he grabs my father’s chest, causing the body to shudder. He clutches the pale body tight to him and father’s head flops over like some rag doll.

Then, with sudden movement, father’s jaws open. Hands clamp onto my brother’s side, and teeth rip open my brother’s neck with one frenzied bite. Blood sprays across me, fountaining into the air. Screaming I can only watch as my brother’s eyes bulge in shock and then he pushes with all his might to force the reanimated corpse back against the wall. Even as father lunges at him full of ravenous hunger, he clutches his neck in a useless attempt to stop the blood escaping. Instead he simply coughs and splutters, spewing up the red fluid as he falls forward.

I scream again.’

If you’d like to read more of my stories you can find them at http://www.hywelgriffiths.co.uk or read more about my world at my Facebook page here alternatively, if you want to jump straight to kindle to find my works you can buy the short stories Heart’s Siege here or Into the Desert  here for just £0.99.

Picture taken from http://www.pixabay.com

Death

April 24, 2017

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere had to be a death. Any good zombie book has a load of deaths, and not just the bit part characters who get ripped to shreds. Valen had died at the start but we never knew her, she was just telling the readers that death could happen to anyone. Helmvich was killed next but then Khazar resurrected him as a strigoi. Of course he’d ‘died’ a second time but he was the bad guy, you’d expect it, and the twist of him becoming trapped by the water rather than destroyed was more interesting. The first big death was Tom, but then again I didn’t really like Tom. He was sulky and of all the characters I hadn’t really bonded with him, it was easy to have him lose his jugular vein and the majority of his blood. Who to chose, who to chose?

I liked Wilhelm, Emile and Rondur. I just couldn’t kill them yet, I wanted to explore their characters more before finally knocking one or two of them on their heads. They had to appear in the sequel. This pretty much left Aldar and Heinrich. Who to chose, who to chose?

Aldar was ok, her character was developing and I liked her changing from a romantic infatuated girl into a survival woman. She hadn’t yet gone that way (in fact I don’t think she does anything big in the book) but that could happen more in the sequel. At the time, I wanted the sequel to end with the beginning of Demon Rising in the mind of Heinrich (an idea that has now since been dispersed) so I was left with…um…no-one to chose, no-one to chose.

Then it hit me, the best kill I could use to move the reader. Gypsy. Ok so I haven’t mentioned Gypsy in my blog before so perhaps an explanation is due. Rondur has a horse (called Gypsy) with quite a personality and someone I really did want to write more about. Really. But someone had to die. People like animals, people like animals with cute loveable faithful personalities, people would be shocked when the strigoi Olrev sinks his teeth into her and slays her in front of Rondur. Sigh, poor old Gypsy…

You can read up on Wilhelm’s biography, recently posted on my Facebook page here or visit my website here to find out more about my writing and myself. If you want to go straight to my library to see Into the Desert and Heart’s Siege (two short stories based in the same world as Demon Rising), just click here.

Picture taken from http://www.ichregistry.com/gold.htm

 

A Day’s Vacation

April 22, 2017

hammer timeSo after the final day of my holiday and a day off from blogging I’m finally back! Shooting pain down my back – the damage is really back now – and the knowledge that non stop work is just around the corner (well it never really goes) but heh ho, I still have the unstoppable imagination of my mesmerising mind to display on paper and laptop alike. Must admit its more on laptop.

My last scene with Emile was a culmination of  her character and how it had developed throughout the book. She had started as a typical heroine in distress, about to be sacrificed and rescues by the heroes. Your average Joe Bloggs reader might easily have suspected this.

Next we saw how damaged she was by the incident, but also that her strong character was fighting through. She was manipulating the men around her to take her the path she wished, not the way they planned. She even used Rondur for sex in order to try and clear her mind of what had happened. By the time she got to Abendale she was even clobbering guards over the head with a paperweight.

But in my mind the cultist ceremony had to have done more damage to her than she realises. I’ve had several partners with incidents in the past that caused conditions in the future and although its something you can sometimes tuck away it will usually flood back eventually. However, I wanted this to break out that day.

When cornered in the lumber yards by three rioting thugs, Rondur comes to her rescue. We never find out if she could handle herself on her own but the last one is certainly finished off by her and with the very hammer he was about to attack them with. That kill shows the pent up aggression within her as she beats his dead corpse’s skull more than enough times (and it wasn’t to prevent him raising from the dead). Whether this is the vent she needed for the finally recovery or if its just the start of something we shall have to wait and see.

Tricking Rondur into giving her his sword, she leaves the gambler weaponless and heads for the Western gate and her escape. On the other hand, Rondur must return to the Governor’s house after the latest clue tells him Joseph was there, a man who worked with Wilhelm and the sword the rogue seeks.

If you want to find out more about my world you can visit me on Facebook or twitter me @Hywel862. My Facebook page gives links to a couple of my short stories or you can go straight there for Into the Desert, a story about Khazar before Demon Rising, or Heart’s Siege based on Alta, Rondur’s father.

Picture is taken from http://www.anaknyasar.weebly.com (The Raid 2 originally)

The city falls

April 17, 2017

zuluMan its been hectic here, getting all the jobs done for the holiday. We have tonnes of animals so everything has to be just right ready for the chap who’s going to come down and check things out! Food ready, water full, hay and straw…it goes on and on!

Has anyone here seen Zulu? A cracking film, ok not historically accurate in a lot of points and maybe the British Empire isn’t everything to be proud of (though we did make some changes that aided development of the world) but the military technique of the redcoat is amazing. Or maybe you’ve see Waterloo? An extremely epic film with some fascinating sights for those who have interest, particularly those of the infantry square holding off the cavalry with fixed bayonets.

Of course such formations go back further and further, and so my halting of the undead had to be carried out by the Governor with his small regiment of men in two ranks, spears ready to hold them at bay. The flood gates of the city are pushed open and once the surviving civilians have escaped around the ranks, they prepare themselves for the clash of the undead.

With Rondur fleeing (I like the cowardly/self survival side to his nature, it makes him a not so perfect hero), Heinrich decides to aid the cause after losing at Darkwood. Of course this is useless. Not only are they outnumbered, but they have no knowledge of how to kill the zombi, Heinrich not having time to tell them to go for the head. With Joseph pulled into combat by the Governor, the dead leave him alone as per Khazar’s wishes and while the rest are swept aside, the demon’s henchman manages to escape. In all I didn’t right about how many survivors there were, they could all be dead or a smattering survive, but Heinrich decides to take after Joseph as it is the way to get to Emile.

But will he catch him?

You can find out more about the world I’m creating at the Facebook sight Mariad.It’ll soon be the countdown to publishing the book at the end of next month, so there’ll be more snippets published every few days.

Picture taken from IMDb

Les Miserables

April 16, 2017

les miserablesIts my second day with silence emanating throughout the house, aside from the usual bleats or barking that occur once in a while. When everyone settles its almost eerily silent. Having four kids for the last two years its a strange sensation being on my own, and not one that I prefer! I remember going through the sensation of a piece missing when I lost my wife, and I certainly feel this way now my partner and kids are on hols. Role on Monday when I get to join them.

Whilst Khazar was bringing up the dead in huge numbers, Rondur and Heinrich thought they had a break to get to Abendale. With the roads bustling with travellers who are heading for the festival, it felt like the right moment to yet another mass killing scene.

In the Walking dead there were always those highway roads with abandoned cars and slaughtered occupants, just watch the first episode. I figured what would happen in this fantasy world? The roads usually have ditches and possibly banks on the side, and with the landscape I’m describing there wood be woods too. What would happen if the dead Khazar had drawn out of the ground suddenly started to storm towards the road and all the citizens of Mariad travelling to Abendale?

This was just what happened. With the city gates in sight they had a race against time, the waves of dead crashing in upon them. With the citizens panicking and all only having one way to go, they soon start to get bogged down and have to find a way out. Before they are eaten alive.

This also gave me another plot point; the gates could be held open to allow entry of the dead. I wanted Khazar’s new army to swamp the city but I didn’t want it to turn into some military siege, that might happen in the sequel. Instead, this allowed me the opportunity to prevent the gates from shutting as screaming travellers try to push their way in. The dead were now in the city.

You can read about Khazar’s past in my short story Into The Desert. Alternatively, have a look at my Facebook site where I write character biographies and give titbits about my book.

Picture taken from http://www.deadline.com (hinting at the song ‘On my Own’ for those who don’t know the musical. Good musical)

Holiday fever

April 14, 2017

cadoxton church.jpgThe room is buzzing this morning (not of the odorous variety) as my lovely partner prepares to take the girls on holiday. I don’t think I’ve seen them awake this early, being night birds who prefer to stay up late. I’m downing my usually morning caffeine intake whilst my sore throat and cold batters away at my immune system. Three days to fight back before I join my family in Center Parcs.

The temple/church scene that I wrote was based around Cadoxton church, my childhood religious establishment. I’d go to Sunday school there and learn about the bible, before being promoted to the church itself when my age range took me out of the classes. I even spent some time teaching there. Cadoxton church was where I got married and where the church service for my wife’s funeral was held so it means a lot to me and I know it well.

It was easy for me to picture the small trail that runs up to the huge building, and the ancient, worn slabs that line the ground just outside the church doors. Its rather a grand building, and I didn’t want this image to be laid out on the canvas, but the huge doors were still used as it gave Khazar a significant presence to the reader.

I think many horror movies have painted the church scenes as eerie and spooky, so although I didn’t go for this angle it will definitely play on the readers’ minds, particularly when dead start to raise out of the ground!

Exploring Khazar’s thoughts, we see a definite change from the man who wanted power to one who thinks he is trying to save a decaying kingdom by wiping the slate clean. This is one of the things I love about his character; its up to the reader to decide what is the real reason behind his insane plan of mass slaughter. Does he actually do this because he feels it will help other people in the long run? The way his thoughts describe it this is certainly the way things are playing out but just because he believes it does that actually make it the reason why he is doing it? Is this just justification for his actions? Only the reader can decide.

Keep the action coming

April 12, 2017

**EXCLUSIVE** Actor and star of 'Twilight' Kellan Lutz seen laughing and joking with model girlfriend Sharni Vinson while on a shopping trip at a Los Angeles mall

I started to get into the action now and so the typing came thick and fast. The images were coming to me and I just had to get the words down. My uncle’s yard has a large outdoor building known as the wood shed or cart shed, the former due to its new purpose as firewood storage and the later for, well, its old purpose as cart storage. This struck me as the next route for Wilhelm, Aldar and Tom to take. This would be another bite for Tom to take as Wilhelm saves the day, slashing out with the sword he locates inside whilst he gets Aldar up onto the cart.

It all made sense that I wanted the three parties (Emile and Joseph, Rondur and Heinrich, and Wilhelm, Tom and Aldar) to meet up in Abendale, a nice way to conclude the book. It was clearly turning into an escape from the jaws of death (or at least the jaws of undeath) book, and it would be the final scene of will they or won’t they. Bursting from the yard on the cart, they beat the dead back as they escape out onto the road and head the way to the city.

During this, the undead had been the closest threat to Wilhelm and the others, but I wanted to show the readers that they were being tracked down. Thus I needed to Helmvich and his vampires, gradually turning and closing in on Wilhelm. This would be the next pathway to describe.

You can see links to my tales, snippets and news at my facebook site https://www.facebook.com/HywelGriffithsAuthor/ – feel free to leave comments!

Picture taken from http://www.justjared.com

 

Flee!

April 11, 2017

walking-deadThere were certainly hints of The Walking Dead in Rondur and Heinrich’s escape from the Woodcutter. After the younger of the two rescues the debonair gambler from the well, they find an empty inn with signs of fighting but not a single body. Of course we all know where the corpses have gone, and when the scene comes alive (or maybe I should say dead) with reanimated bodies, they just about manage to escape.

I did enjoy doing this action packed ride by the two survivors; seen from both sides they approach each other with different agendas and thoughts on how to deal with the situation. Heinrich is more occupied with finding Emile, staying true to his mission, whilst Rondur is more eager to leave. We’re definitely exposed to the very different sides of their characters.

In the flight that ensues, the dead come fourth and start to swamp the inn. From the silent, empty ghost house that has been created, we are suddenly thrown into the thick of the action. Rondur and Heinrich ride out hard and fast, dodging between the arms that reach out. It seems obvious they will escape until they find the surrounding landscape becoming an obstacle course of undead.

I was really getting a feel of the zombie genre by now, and this scene changed the book completely from a supernatural story to one with swarms of dead hungry for flesh. It was now a fight for survival.

If you want more snippets and news, you can now follow my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HywelGriffithsAuthor/ for regular updates!

Picture taken from http://www.iDigitaltimes.com