The Joy of Publishing



I’m sitting on my couch on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, battling the cold that has been making me feel lethargic for the past few days. Fortunately, I had enough “indoor time” to finish up my second novel this morning. I did a little happy dance after finishing my first draft, and then I decided to celebrate…by plopping down on my couch and guzzling two cups of tea (I’m not really in a party mood because of my seemingly endless cold).

My “couch time” has given me an opportunity to think about what I’ll do with my second zombie book. Naturally, I’ll have to wait until after I’ve completed several rounds of self-editing, enlisting beta readers, and hiring a professional editor or two. But what’s a writer to do with his or her completed manuscript? I happily self-published my first book without even considering putting it in a drawer to let it collect dust. I’m sure it was because I needed validation. I had just celebrated my thirtieth birthday, and I wanted to publish my book as a way of saying, “Hey, look! I did something with my life.” My experience with self-publishing was great, but I’ve spent the last few hours of my “couch time” weighing the pros and cons of publishing my work. To be honest, all I could think about were the positive experiences I’ve had since publishing Jordan’s Brains six months ago.

The friendships that I’ve formed with readers and other authors are so special to me, and I’m immensely grateful to have such a close group of writer friends. I know it sounds silly, but I feel like when you read someone’s book, you get to know a part of them that they wouldn’t necessarily show the world in their everyday life. In books, authors get to say things they wouldn’t normally say, and make their characters do things they might not have the courage to do in real life.


Publishing a book can make authors feel vulnerable because they really are baring their soul to anyone willing to pay a small fee for their book. But there’s something freeing about writing down your innermost thoughts and feelings, and being able to share it with others. Writing a novel is a fulfilling experience, but there’s something special about going the extra step and publishing your work.

After you publish a book, it’s inevitable that readers will review your work. It’s an intense feeling when someone reviews your book, your baby that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. Whether the review is negative or positive, it’s an incredible feeling when your work makes an impact on a stranger. Even the negative reviews are welcome because they can offer helpful advice on how to improve the author’s writing. If writers never let their manuscripts see the light of day, then they won’t know what it feels like to read a review by someone who has enjoyed their work.

Writing a novel is a rewarding experience on its own, but going the extra step and publishing your book allows you to share your work with the world. Sure, not everyone will enjoy it, and that’s fine. But if only one person reads your book and finds joy and meaning in your writing, then all the time and money you spent working on publishing your book will be worth it. Knowing that your work can touch someone’s life is an indescribable feeling, and that is the best part of publishing!

2013 Best in Horror


What Horror Looks Like has posted nominations for the 2013 Best in Horror category! The most exciting part is that three out of the four finalists are zombie novels. All hail zombie books!! Of course, the second most exciting part is that my little zombie book Jordan’s Brains: A Zombie Evolution was chosen as one of the finalists. I feel honored to be nominated with talented writers like Cedric Nye, Phillip Tomasso, and Mark Matthews. Here are the four nominees for the 2013 Best in Horror award:

Vaccination: A Zombie Novel, by Phillip Tomasso III

What if the H7N9 vaccination wasn’t just a preventative measure against swine flu? It seemed like the flu came out of nowhere and yet, in no time at all the government manufactured a vaccination. Were lab workers diligent, or could the virus itself have been man-made? Chase McKinney works as a dispatcher at 9-1-1. Taking emergency calls, it becomes immediately obvious that the entire city is infected with the walking dead. His first goal is to reach and save his two children. Could the walls built by the U.S.A. to keep out illegal aliens, and the fact the Mexican government could not afford to vaccinate their citizens against the flu, make the southern border the only plausible destination for safety?

The Road to Hell is Paved with Zombies, by Cedric Nye

Jango doesn’t know it, but his vacation is about to go right to hell. However, the growing hordes of ravening undead aren’t the only problems Jango is facing. His mind is breaking apart, and he is losing his grip on reality. With bloodthirsty panache, Jango kills humans and zombies alike with whatever weapons
he can find. As his mind splinters, and then breaks,you will find out that THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH ZOMBIES. Get your gear, because THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE HAS BEGUN!!

Jordan’s Brains: A Zombie Evolution, by J. Cornell Michel

Jordan is a psychotic yet friendly zombie expert whose gender is never revealed. Having prepared for the zombie apocalypse since childhood, Jordan is thrilled when hordes of the infected undead finally invade. With a bug-out bag and a confident grin, Jordan leaves the safety of the psychiatric hospital and wanders alone into the zombie-infested streets to rescue family and strangers alike. Everything seems perfect until Jordan’s loved ones start dying, and Jordan has to face the harsh reality that the zombie apocalypse isn’t going according to plan.

On the Lips of Children, by Mark Matthews

Meet Macon. Tattoo artist. Athlete. Family man. He’s planning to run a marathon, but the event becomes something terrible. During a warm-up run, Macon falls prey to a bizarre man and his wife who dwell in an underground drug-smuggling tunnel. They raise their twin children in a way Macon couldn’t imagine: skinning unexpecting victims for food and money. And Macon, and his family, are next.

You can cast your votes on the What Horror Looks Like website until December 22nd, 2013: