Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My Favorite Zombie Movie

I often think about how I would answer the question: what is my favorite zombie movie? And I often find myself unable to come up with anything. I like so many of them for so many different reasons, it’s hard to point to just one. There are several that have made an impact on me, so I’ll talk about those.

First and foremost is Night of the Living Dead. Amazing movie. I saw it when I was in junior high (which was not when the film first came out), and it made an impact on me. This is the film that started my obsession with the undead.

World War Z influenced me to write my nonfiction zombie book. Such a great movie!

28 Days Later introduced the world to the fast zombie and changed how we view the genre. It scared me and made me rethink zombies.

Maggie was incredibly emotional and human. It was a zombie film with very few zombies, but it was heartfelt and amazing. Since my goal in my zombie books is to explore what it means to be human, this film really made me look and think deeper about the undead.

Day of the Dead ranks really high on my list. It was the first film I watched that showed that zombies can evolve and relearn things from their human lives. It still fascinates me!

Then, there are all the fun zombie movies (which, really, is all of them). The ones I watch just for the carnage and to escape for a while. Those include Doom, Land of the Dead, the remake of Dawn of the Dead, and practically every other zombie film out there.

What is your favorite zombie film?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cover Reveal

I'm posting today instead of yesterday so that I can share with you the new cover for Death to the Undead.  This is the second book in the Life After the Undead series, which are young adult books about the zombie apocalypse.

You ready for it?  Are you sure?

Here it is:


I'm very excited about it.  I think it looks awesome!  In case you're wondering, here's what the book is about:

Seventeen-year-old Krista has already proven she can survive the zombie hordes.

After moving to North Platte with her distant cousin General Liet to help build a wall that will keep the zombies in the West, it becomes apparent that the zombies aren’t the biggest threat—some survivors are far more dangerous than Krista had ever imagined.

With the help of Quinn, a survivor and fighter from the zombie-infested wildlands of the West, they free the garrison at North Platte from the power-hungry Liet. But there is a bigger battle to fight.

The Families who rule Florida and use intimidation and the threat of the zombie horde to coerce their territory want Krista and Quinn captured, the zombies want to devour them, and other survivors want them dead. Caught between powerful forces, will they survive long enough to devise a new plan and put it into action? Or will they self-destruct?

Find out in book two of this thrilling apocalyptic series by author Pembroke Sinclair.

The book will be available on February 16th, so if you haven't had a chance to read Life After the Undead, you  have plenty of time.  Here's the information for that book:


"A must read for those looking for a fun and different read in the world of zombie fiction." --Eric S. Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Kaiju Apocalypse

Seventeen-year-old Krista must quickly figure out how she's going to survive in the zombie-destroyed world. The one advantage humans have is that the zombies hate humid environments, so they're migrating west to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors plan to construct a wall at North Platte to keep the undead out, and Krista has come to Nebraska to start a new life.

Zombies aren't the only creatures she has to be cautious of--the other survivors have a dark side. Krista must fight not only to live but also to defend everything she holds dear--her country, her freedom, and ultimately, those she loves.

Join Krista in her quest to survive in this thrilling apocalyptic novel by Pembroke Sinclair.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Obsession Continues…and it has Sparked Inspiration

As many of you know, I am obsessed with zombies. I love to read about them, watch them in movies/TV shows, and write about them—both fiction and nonfiction. My snowmobile is adorned with the undead, I give presentations and workshops about them, and my boys and I are always making plans on how to survive the uprising.


I started watching Z Nation last week, and I can’t get enough of it! I’ve tweeted about it and done another blog post, so it’s not a secret that I really, really like the show. I’m flabbergasted that I waited so long to start watching it.

How many of you wonderful readers out there watch it? What do you think?

I won’t go into details about how much I love it because I kind of did that here. Plus, I need to get further through season 1, then I’ll write more about it. But I do want to say this: watching the show has been a huge inspiration.

I’ve been working on a new young adult zombie novel (still untitled), but I haven’t been working on it very hard. I’ll do a chapter or less every once in a while. But watching Z Nation has encouraged me to work on it more. It has rekindled my love of the undead and pushed my imagination into overdrive.

I love it when this type of encouragement hits. I love it when the fires of my obsession are stoked. I love being reminded that there are people out there like me who also enjoy zombies and are ready to devour anything that comes their way.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Coolest Thing that Almost Happened

Before I tell the story, I must announce the winner of the Hello, My Name Is… blog hop. Congratulations to Laura! Crossing your fingers and toes worked! Please email me so I can get your address. Thanks!

Okay, story time.

Last Wednesday was a bit of a challenging day for me. My alarm went off at 4:45 like it does every morning, but I had a pounding headache, so I decided to ignore it and went back to bed. I got up later than normal, but decided I still had time to work out, so I headed downstairs and hopped on the stationary bike.

I still had a headache and I was feeling a bit grumpy and irritable. I knew I needed to do something to turn my day around. Riding the bike is so incredibly boring. I used to listen to music, but I would still find myself staring at the timer and urging it to go faster.

A while ago I decided that watching Netflix would be a good way to make the time go faster, so I decided last Wednesday was the perfect time to start watching Z Nation. There’s nothing like some zombie carnage to calm me down and ready me for the day. Oh, and I guess the exercise helped too.

When I came back upstairs to get ready, I realized that I was crunched for time. From there, it became a race to get ready for the day. As I rushed around the house trying to get myself ready, I also tried to get the boys in gear.

Normally, the first thing I do in the morning is check my email. Mainly because my alarm is on my phone and I can’t help but notice the envelopes when I shut it off. Since I was so tired and hurty on Wednesday, I didn’t notice, so I didn’t check my email until later that morning.

One of the emails I received that day said this:

I write from the BBC. Would you be able to speak on the BBC Radio 2 programme to Simon Mayo about the enduring appeal of zombies. Why we are obsessed with them and why they are still relevant today? We would need you at 17.20 GMT.

I didn’t even question it. I immediately hit the email address that was in the text and replied YES! (There was a little more text, but the basic message was yes.)  Then I rushed around the house and finished getting ready.

As I was in the process, it occurred to me that they had no idea what I was saying yes to. So I hurried downstairs to get on the computer (I had been on my phone earlier) and replied from there. This time, I replied to the email so they knew what it was in reference to and apologize for being overzealous.

Unfortunately, by that time (this was a little more than 2 hours after the initial email had been sent), they had already found another guest. I was bummed, but I couldn’t deny how freaking cool the situation was. I’m still smiling about it. So amazing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Romance? In a Zombie Novel?

It seems counterintuitive. I mean, the whole reason for a zombie novel is for there to be carnage and death and destruction and blood and guts. Zombie novels exist for there to be rotting flesh and people dying horrifically. If zombies have risen, that means it’s the end of the world and the characters should be more concerned with surviving than finding love.

For the most part, I agree with all of this. That’s part of the reason I find zombie books and films so intriguing. It’s mindless. It’s escapism. It’s predictable.

But on the other hand, zombie books and films are so much more than the gore. They show us what it means to be human.

Life After the Undead follows a lot of the same tropes you find in other zombie stories: the undead have risen and destroyed the vast majority of the human population. While they are a huge threat, they aren’t the only ones the survivors need to be afraid of. Other survivors are just as dangerous.


This idea isn’t new. Night of the Living Dead, along with all of Romero’s other films, highlight this notion. Ben and Barbara are content hiding from the zombies in the farmhouse, but then they discover that there are more survivors hiding in the basement. When these folks come upstairs, that’s when things go awry. Mr. Cooper desperately wants the gun that Ben has, and he is willing to fight to get it. All thoughts of working together get thrown out the window (or left on the porch—if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know what this means), and this leads to people getting killed.

The Walking Dead excels at showing how corrupt and devious other survivors can be. The zombies are dangerous and have to be avoided, but so do other humans. I mean, they are downright terrifying. At least the zombies are predictable, but the other survivors are devious and conniving and can’t be trusted.

When it comes to zombie stories, most of the time the stories aren’t about the zombies. They are merely the catalyst that thrust the world into chaos. The stories are about how the survivors cope. And more often than not, they don’t cope well. With the world at an end, this brings out the worst in humanity. There’s always a fine line between the zombies and the humans and who the monsters really are.

These are exactly the same types of themes I explore in Life After the Undead. Humans are corrupted and power hungry, and zombies are the reason the characters are in that predicament. There are survivors who take advantage of other survivors for their own gain, and there are those who fight against zombies to ensure survival.

There’s also a romance story.

What? Ewwww! In a zombie story?

I know, it seems weird, right? But there’s a reason I put it in.

First and foremost, we humans are incredibly social creatures. We have a large network of family and friends that we interact with on a daily basis. Because of the internet, we have been able to connect with people all over the world. We may not ever meet them in person, but there’s a relationship there nonetheless.

We don’t thrive well when we don’t have our social connections. Sure, not all of them are healthy or uplifting, but we have to have them. We have to be connected to other humans in one form or another.

Most zombie stories highlight these unhealthy and domineering relationships. They show how destructive and cruel humans can be. In Life After the Undead, this is highlighted by Krista’s relationship with Liet. It’s also embodied in The Families.

These types of relationships are destructive and depressing. Isn’t it enough that zombies have destroyed the world? Why do the humans have to take advantage of others as well?

I strongly believe that not everyone is inherently cruel. I believe that humans have a huge capacity for compassion and empathy, and I try to show that through the good relationships that Krista has. With all the death and destruction, Krista needs to know there are people out there who are still good, that she can have a connection with. And she gets that with Quinn and Pearl.

Krista is tough, strong willed, and completely capable of taking care of herself. She can fight zombies and stand up to her cousin, but she’s also still human. She can’t thrive without connections. Her relationship with Quinn may seem to some to be rushed and without a spark, but it’s honest. She needs someone who can be her equal and her partner, and he fits that bill. As a 17-year-old girl, Krista is still a bit na├»ve when it comes to romance and love—and yes, her world has been turned upside down by the undead—so her relationship might not start and grow the way it would in a non-zombie-infested world, but it’s still important for her humanity. 

Relationships are complicated even when zombies aren’t thrown into the mix. And when you’re a teenager, they can be downright confusing. Everyone has different expectations and experiences with love and romance, and not all of them happen like they would in fairy tales. Krista does the best she can with the life she’s been given.  

We all expect something different from our zombie stories, and we don’t have to like everything that happens in them. The point of stories is to make us ask questions and to give us the feels—whether those feels are good or bad. When it comes to my zombie stories, I like to explore the question of what it means to be human. And part of my answer is that my characters have to love.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Fun Video

I couldn't think of anything to blog about today, so here's a video my niece and son made with my Alien toys.  Enjoy!

Here's the link since it's stretches oddly across my blog.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hello, My Name Is... Blog Hop

my name is

We’re ringing in the New Year with lots of giveaways and by sharing some fun and wacky facts about ourselves. There’s a new giveaway at each stop, so be sure to visit them all!

Hello, my name is Pembroke, and here are some things wacky things you may or may not know about me:

1. I am an incredibly picky eater. I’m getting a little better as I get older, but not much. I can’t even eat tri-colored chips. I know they all taste the same, but in my mind, the red, blue, and green ones are different. They have to be yellow or white or I won’t eat them.

2. Gremlins scared the ever-living crap out of me when I was a kid. I swear they were living under my bed and were waiting to kill me in my sleep.

3. I have a ridiculously overactive imagination, which serves me well as a writer, but also causes a lot of undue worry and stress. 

4. I have an unnatural fear of bats. When I was a kid, we would go back to Iowa to visit family, and they have a ton of bats back there. My grandparents would buy my siblings and me sparklers to light in the yard, but then my grandma would tell us that because we were blond, a bat was going to get tangled in our hair and bite our heads. Scared the crap out of me!

I know my fear is unnatural, so if given the opportunity, I would hold one of the winged creatures (in a controlled environment, of course) just to see if I can overcome it.

5. I’m deathly afraid of badgers and wolverines. I’ve only seen one badger in my life, but they freak me out! If given the chance, I probably would not hold one of those to overcome my fear.

Giveaway!

For everyone who comments on my blog (please leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re a winner), I will enter them into a drawing to giveaway print copies of The Road to Salvation Series, open to U.S. shipping only, which includes three books—The Appeal of Evil, Dealing with Devils, and Good Intentions.

Thanks for stopping by!




Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How Could I Forget DOOM?

Over the winter break, Starz was having a free preview of their channel. We had the chance to watch Ash vs. Evil Dead—which got me hooked and I want to see more—and they were showing Doom, which is an awesome movie.


This film first came out in 2005, and I remember going to see it with my mom. We’re both huge fans of The Rock, but I was surprised she wanted to go because it’s a horror film. She actually saw it before I went, then went again with me. There’s a part in the middle of the film where it basically becomes the first-person video game, and she thought that was kind of weird, but I thought it was amazing.  I never played the video game, but I knew about it.

 I absolutely love this film. It’s got a lot of great action, explosions, eye candy, and creatures—including zombies. I own this film on DVD, but I haven’t watched it in a while. Seeing it on Starz brought back such enjoyment.

As I was watching it, I couldn’t believe I didn’t include it in my Undead Obsessed book. It would have been perfect for the zombies from space section. I mean, it has zombies from space! And the portrayal of science is pretty stereotypical, but there’s also the twist. Perhaps if I ever do a version 2 of the book I’ll make sure it’s included. OR, if I’m so inclined, maybe I’ll write an article.

It made me so happy to rewatch this film. I want to watch it again with the boys, but it’s still a bit scary for them—they have to be a little older. I’m looking forward to the day when we can enjoy Doom together.

Have any of you seen this movie? What did you think about it?

Monday, January 4, 2016

I Accomplished Some Things…

Last week, you may remember that I told you I was on winter break. I also mentioned I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish. Here’s what I said:

“I have so many plans for this week, including writing, painting the inside of my house, and general laziness.”

Well, you will be happy to know that I accomplished some of those things and did a few that weren’t on my list.

The one thing I didn’t accomplish was painting the inside of my house. But that’s okay. There’s plenty of time in the future to get that accomplished.

I got some writing done, which felt really good. I’ve been working on a new young adult zombie novel. It doesn’t have a title yet, but I’m on chapter 13. I have no end date planned, and I work on it when I can. I had a huge breakthrough over the break, so now I know where the story is going.

I have a plan in place for books I would like to have published this year, and they include my grandfather-in-law’s biography and another reprint. The reprint is tentative because it depends on whether or not I can get my rights back. I’m assuming I can, but we’ll have to wait and see.

I’m also planning on 2016 being a great year. I have a feeling that like so many other years it will have its ups and downs, but I hope there are many more ups than there are downs. I hope that all of you also have a fantastic year!

2106, let’s do this thing!