The Sunshine Award


I look quite ridiculous right now, because I’m doing a little happy dance in front of my computer, clad in my blue plaid pajamas. You may be wondering why I’m merrily dancing around my computer at such an early hour on a Sunday morning (West Coast timezone!). Or you may not give a hoot, in which case, maybe you should go grab some coffee and come back later.

I’m doing my silly little jig because my favorite mother-daughter writing duo, Inion N. Mathair, authors of The Perfect 7, have nominated me for The Sunshine Award. They have a wonderful blog that you should check out: I had the great pleasure of reading their book, The Perfect 7, last month, and it was one of the best books I’d read all year (and I read A LOT of books!). Reading The Perfect 7 is like riding a roller coaster that you never want to end. As I finished reading the last page, all I could think was, “More, please!!” Fortunately, there is more to come, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series to be published! The writing is top-notch, and the nail-biting twists had me turning pages faster than I thought possible. If you’re looking for an amazing horror novel, check out The Perfect 7:

Naturally, I was honored when Inion N. Mathair nominated me for The Sunshine Award, and I happily accepted the honor. To fulfill the stipulations, I will answer seven questions about J. Cornell Michel, and then provide seven quirky facts about me (I think it would be more difficult to provide seven unquirky facts about myself. Spellcheck says unquirkly isn’t a word. Shut up, Spellcheck). After I share my quirky facts, I will pass this award on to other bloggers who have brought sunshine into my life.

Seven Questions:

1. If you could go back in time ten years and tell yourself one thing, what would it be? I would tell myself to start writing right away, and not to wait so long because of the fear of failure.

2. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? All. I want all the ice cream!

3. If you were to take me on a date, where would we go and why? Probably the movies. I love going to the movies. I love the overpriced popcorn, the anticipation you feel as the previews play, and being cramped in a dark theater with a bunch of strangers who are all sharing the same experience. I know it’s not a great place for a date because you can’t talk during the movie, but talking is overrated.

4. Above all else, what are you afraid of? Zombies. Duh.

5. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Take a year off of work and write one book per month. But someone has to pay the rent and put candy on the table, so that’s not going to happen.

6. What has been your favorite age to be and why? That’s tricky. Last year was pretty damn great. Turning thirty was a big deal for me, and I had a bit of a mid-life crisis (I have a feeling I won’t make it past sixty). So I filled my thirtieth year with amazing experiences, and I had such a blast checking off several activities on my bucket list. Publishing a book was on my list, and I’d say that that was one of my happiest moments of last year.

7. Coffee or tea? Both, please, with sugar.

Seven Quirky Facts about J. Cornell Michel

1. I love horror movies and romantic comedies. I would really love to see a romantic horror comedy one of these days (if anyone even thinks about mentioning Warm Bodies they will get smacked!).

2. I’m addicted to Twizzlers, and I wouldn’t eat real food if I didn’t have to. I would be perfectly happy eating a diet exclusively made up of candy.

3. I consider myself a feminist, but I listen to misogynistic rap music (weird, I know).

4. I enjoy writing hand-written letters. I feel like a character in a Jane Austen novel when I bust out my stationary (just like in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies).

5. I blush really easily (I hate it! Don’t look at me!).

6. I’m a Francophile, and I took French immersion classes a few years ago so I could speak fluently when I visited Paris on my honeymoon.

7. I’m painfully shy, but I enjoy talking to strangers.

Here are the bloggers I’d like to nominate. Each of these writers has brought sunshine into my life, and I’m grateful to them for all the smiles they’ve given me.

Ian McClellan
Cedric Nye
K.A. Davur!mackenzies-blog/c1rt2
A.S. Thompson
Edward M. Wolfe
Cristiane Serruya

Obviously, the nominees shouldn’t feel obligated to participate. I know you’re all busy, but I wanted to present you with an occasion to spread the joy!

A Year of Zombies


I was going to write this post on December 31st, but that didn’t happen. So I decided to do it on January 1st. Obviously that didn’t happen either, because I’ve been useless and lazy for the past few days, so January 5th will have to do. For me, 2013 was a year filled with zombies. I read twenty-six zombie books, watched countless movies about the undead, and I even hung out with a few zombies in real life. I had a blast attending zombie conventions, parties, and races, where I got to mingle with fellow lovers of the undead. I even went to a zombie walkathon that ended with a real zombie wedding (très romantique).

One of my favorite activities was participating in a zombie 5K, where I got to dress up as a zombie and chase down runners on an obstacle course. I loved every minute of it! I got to hang out with other zombies, and scare several people that day.



My second favorite zombie-related experience from last year was creating a diorama based on two of the best characters from The Walking Dead: Daryl and Merle Dixon. Anyone who knows me is aware that I’m addicted to candy, and I’ve always been a big fan of the Peeps Diorama Contest that The Washington Post hosts every year. I decided that 2013 was finally going to be the year that I entered this sugary contest. Guess what – dreams really do come true because I won first place!! OK, that’s a lie. I didn’t even make it into the top ten, but I had a blast making a zombie-themed diorama out of candy (yeah, I used strawberry Nerds for the zombie brains).


Not long after I created my candy version of the Dixon brothers, I got to meet them at the Horror Hound convention in Columbus, Ohio. My better half and I went on an eight-hour road trip to mingle with other The Walking Dead fanatics, and we even got to meet a few of the cast members. It was definitely worth the long drive (in the snow, no less).


I also got to visit the Zombie Apocalypse Store in Las Vegas, which is just as awesome as it sounds. The entire store is dedicated to zombies. They have zombie books and movies, weapons, post-apocalyptic rations, and even a fake gun range where you can practice shooting at zombies. Next time you’re in Vegas, you should drop by the Zombie Apocalypse Store for a unique experience.


One of the best moments of 2013 for me was when Frank Diepmaat asked me to write for Zombie Guide Magazine. It’s a fantastic website that’s dedicated to zombies. I’ve made some great friends on Zombie Guide, and I look forward to writing more articles for this awesome website! You should check us out:

The most rewarding experience of last year was publishing my zombie novel, Jordan’s Brains: A Zombie Evolution. Creating my own world of zombies was such a rush, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to write a second zombie novel, which will be published later this year. Writing Jordan’s Brains was a blast, and publishing my little zombie book was so fulfilling.

2013 was one of my favorite years, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store. Hopefully it will be filled with zombies, just like last year. I’ll have to start planning more zombie-related activities!!