Remnants: The Colcoa Wars Volume 1 June 28, 2014

Remnants by Kirk AllmondI’ve just received confirmation from my publisher, Permuted Press, that Remnants will officially launch on June 28, 2014. This book has been a long time coming, I originally started it for my 2012 NANOWRIMO project.  After Nano, it sat at 50,000 words for almost six months before I picked it up again.

In a flash of inspiration, I found the direction for it. The characters gelled, the story became clear, and the world clicked into place.  More importantly, the theme of the book came into focus. With the message clear, it only took a few quick re-writes of earlier bits and  I finished the book in a few weeks.  I sent it to several publishers, and based on the strength of this book, signed an eight book deal with Permuted Press.  It was based on the strength of Remnants that we worked out this agreement, and they bought my entire back catalog.

If you’d like an email reminder when Remnants is available for purchase, please sign up for my mailing list. I *only* use it for emailing out new book announcements, so you’ll only get a few emails per year. I promise.  Sign up here.

This book is a very different writing style than What Zombies Fear. Willa is a teenage girl. She shares some heroic qualities with Victor, but she is has a completely different set of motivations and goals.  You will absolutely recognize my signature style of writing, character driven stories

Remnants is the bridge between What Zombies Fear and The Evolution of Vaughn.  If you haven’t read “Vaughn” Now’s the time! It’s on sale for only 99 cents!


How to Make Bacon Post Apocalypse

Bacon Rules

baconBacon, the loveliest food in the world. The creation of bacon is an age old process, one mastered eons ago. The earliest record of bacon I could find was 300 B.C. There is no reason that the walking dead should stop humanity from enjoying it’s crowning culinary achievement. In fact, knowing how to make bacon will save your… bacon… post apocalypse. Curing meat for long term storage is something of primary importance to the post apocalyptic survivor. Eating squirrel and other single-serve meat is good, but time consuming. To really thrive through the zombie apocalypse, you’ll need the ability to cure and store meat.

Continue reading

The New Facebook Timeline Do’s and Don’ts

Yesterday I talked about how Facebook killed itself.  I don’t generally do things without a plan, nor do I ever bring up a problem without offering solutions.

The solution in this case is fairly simple.  Facebook MUST return control of what appears in a user’s newsfeed to the user.  As I stated yesterday, I am find with the social network inserting extra things in my newsfeed, but limiting content from pages that I subscribe to are my job.  Give me tools to set a percentage of posts.  Give me tools to rank post-styles from various pages.  And give me a “wide open” option.  I don’t care if my newsfeed scrolls, that’s my problem to deal with.  Twitter doesn’t seem to have any problem with that, and my twitter feed scrolls pretty quickly sometimes.

Continue reading

Blog Direction

There is a huge difference between a blog FOR writers, a blog ABOUT writers, and a blog FOR readers.

I typically try to just make it a blog about “Kirk Allmond: The Writer”.  The things I’m doing professionally, the decisions I make, and the reasons for it.  I generally try to live by the code of “Praise in public, criticize in private.”  Which means I’ll probably not be talking about anyone else, unless it’s to talk about the great things they’re doing, like Armand Rosamilia and his Authors Supporting Troops book drive.

The problem about a blog about “Kirk Allmond: The Writer” is that I’m not really that interesting.  Here’s my schedule for 90% of my days.

  • 7:00 Get up
  • 8:00 Take the boy to daycare
  • 8:30 – 12:00 Write
  • 12:00 – 12:30 Lunch
  • 12:30 – 4:30 Write some more
  • 4:30 – 5:00 Pick up the boy
  • 5:00 – 7:00 Make dinner, hang out with Laura and The Boy
  • 7:00 – 8:00 Bedtime routine, and read to the progeny
  • 8:00 – 02:00 Write some while watching TV or play a video game with Laura (Currently Borderlands 2)
  • 2:00 go to bed

Sunday – Saturday, that’s my day most days.

Kind of boring.  I guess I could write a daily log of word-counts and plot ideas. But professionally, things don’t happen very often.  Think about your job, where you do your daily grind every day.  Every now and then, something noteworthy happens, but most days are just grinding out the work.

The way to be successful in this industry is to write.  In this day and age of a super-crowded, super-saturated market, the trick is to KEEP readers reading my work.  Which means I have to have enough work to keep them (you) reading.  And that means, putting down the words.

So.  I’m a guy who has been amazingly lucky in this industry.  I’m well aware that my success is based on luck.  I was in the right place at the right time and met the right people who pushed me to write and publish.  Again, not much to talk about there.

Which brings me to the point of this whole post.  I rarely update this blog, not because there aren’t things to talk about, but because there aren’t things to talk about relating to me as a writerer of wordy things.

Bucking the Trend: Why this Best Selling Independent Author signed a Publishing Deal

The Start

What Zombies Fear 1: A Father's QuestWhen I wrote my first novel, What Zombies Fear (Amazon, Barnes and Noble), I never expected anyone to read it.  I was the administrator of a massive zombie preparedness website, and many of the regulars there asked me about my plan for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.  I wrote out a long, detailed post about my priorities, my “alpha site” (my first choice for a place to survive the apocalypse) and how I would get from my house in York, Pennsylvania to my mother’s bed and breakfast (my alpha site) in central Virginia.

A couple of months later, a guy posted on my message board about how he’d written a zombie book that was going to be published by Random House, and included a sample of the book.  I can’t remember the guy’s name, but the story was awful.  At the time, I’d read every single zombie book I could find on Amazon, and this was by far, the worst zombie story I’d ever read.  But, it was on my website, and I couldn’t be a complete jerk.  So I wrote a detailed, well thought-out critique, including some things I thought he did well, some things I thought he could improve, and a few things he should stay away from.

Continue reading

Character Archetypes and Writing

There are  52 character archetypes in the world.  These are “Base” character personalities.  That doesn’t mean there can’t be hybrids, for example, Hermione Granger is a Bureaucrat, but she’s also a Catalyst and a Perfectionist.

When building a character, it sometimes helps to pick the archetype you need to fill a specific role in the group.    Here are the archetypes with example characters.

Analyst: Can explain anything rationally. Ex: Mr. Spock
Anti-hero: The hero who didn’t ask to get involved but does. Ex: Sarah Connor, Wolverine
Benefactor: Has a whole lot of something he wants to share. Ex: Miss Havisham
Bully: Has no tolerance for weakness, especially in himself. Ex: Scut Farkus (Christmas Story)
Bureaucrat: Follows the rules no matter what. Hermione Granger
Caretaker: Cares for others. Ex: Digory Kirke
Catalyst: Makes things happen.  The Catalyst’s actions cause reactions in others.
Child: Could be a literal child or just living like one. Ex: Wally McDoogle, Peter Pan
Coward: Afraid of everything, controlled by fear. Ex: Adrian Monk, Cowardly Lion, Alexandra Rover
Curmudgeon: Irritable and cynical and proud of it. Ex: Ebenezer Scrooge
Dreamer: Longs to be something he isn’t. Ex: Annie, William Thatcher (A Knight’s Tale)
Elder/Mentor/Teacher/Parent: Been around long enough to know some vital information. Ex: Ben Kenobi, Mufassa
Explorer/Wanderer: Wants to see the world—could be running from something.
Extraordinary man: The guy who can do anything. Ex: Indiana Jones, James Bond
Gossip: Must be the first to know everything and the one to pass it on. Ex: Rachel Lynde
Guardian: Protects the weak.
Hedonist/Thrill-seeker: Lives for today in case tomorrow never comes.
Herald/Messenger: The bringer of news, good, bad, or necessary.
Hermit/Loner: Just wants to be left alone. Ex: Phil Hercules, Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon)
Hunter/Predator: Can catch or kill anything. Ex: Terminator
Innocent: An inexperienced individual exposed to the evils in the world. Ex: Dorothy Gale
Introvert: Lives inside his shell to prevent anyone from seeing the real him. Ex: Gabriella Montez (High School Musical)
Investigator: Thrives on puzzles and riddles. Ex: Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes
Judge/Mediator: The arbitrator or peacemaker in a conflict.
Leader: Always knows the best thing to do—and people follow. Ex: William Wallace
Magician/Wizard/Superpowers: Has special powers or abilities. Ex: Superman, Harry Potter
Manipulator: Plays with people and situations to get what he wants. Ex: Scarlett O’Hara
Martyr: Willing to suffer or die for others or a cause.
Masochist: Finds pleasure in torturing himself, denying himself—may take on too much.
Masquerader: Pretends to be something he is not.
Monster: A depraved beast. Ex: Gollum, Grendel (Beowulf)
Ordinary Man: Your average Joe, just like you or me or the guy across the street. Ex: Dr. Richard Kimball, Frodo Baggins.
Penitent: Lives to atone for his sin.
Perfectionist: Every action and word must be flawless.
Pleaser/Show-off: Craves approval from anyone and may do anything to get it.
Poet: Life is art, be that through story or song or art or sculpture.
Rebel/Revolutionary: Stands opposed to the status quo and fights for his cause.
Rogue: Looks out for himself and no one else. Ex: Han Solo
Saboteur/Betrayer: For whatever reason, he will make sure something fails. Ex: Edmund Pevensie
Samaritan: Does good deeds wherever he goes.
Scholar: Wants to learn.
Sensualist: Addicted to feeling good about himself.
Slave: Does not belong to himself. Ex: Dobby the house elf
Survivor: Pulls through no matter what happens, doesn’t give up.
Sycophant: Self-seeking, flatterer, who works to please those in power. Ex: Smee (Peter Pan)
Temptress: Uses power (intellect, magic, beauty) to make others weak. Ex: Megara (Hercules)
Thief: Takes what he wants or needs. Ex: Philippe Gaston (LadyHawke), Jean Valjean
Trickster/Jester: Always looking for the humor in a situation. Ex: Fred and George Weasley
Tyrant: Must be in control at all times. Ex: Captain Hook
Victim: Was hurt by someone or lives in fear that someone will hurt him. Ex: Claireece “Precious” Jones
Villain: Seeks to destroy/trap the hero. Ex: Evil Queen in Snow White, Lex Luthor
Waif: Appears innocent and weak and often relies on the pity of others. Ex: The Kid (Dick Tracy)

Hell On Rails: 1.01

“Nyko,” shouted Jonas.  The excitement was palpable in his voice.  “We got it!  Come check it out!”

Nyko limped across the barren landscape, the remains of a junkyard in Fort Mojave, Arizona.  To his left, a lone corpse stood up from behind a rusted out Buick Skylark and stumbled towards him.  It had been a girl in its previous existence, but now it was just a corpse.  Her clothes were torn to shreds; the junkyard was full of sharp pieces of metal.  Her once white, spaghetti strap tank top was torn half off, one strap trying in vain to hold the tattered garment over her breasts.

Continue reading