Dead Boy Number One

Hey Intrepid Readers,

It's almost Christmas and what goes better with Christmas, the snow and the kissing under the holly than zombies...  Zombies?  Yes, zombies.  I can’t imagine kissing a zombie and liking it, but when the call for ZOMBIALITY (Library of the Living Dead) came to my attention, I felt the urge to at least consider the subject.  Perhaps, given the above introduction, it won’t be a surprise that I chose to make my submission more light-hearted than just dead flesh gore…although, don’t get me wrong, there are just some things about a zombie that you really shouldn’t change.

    I had a bit of fun with my contribution to ZOMBIALITY in my submission, Dead Boy Number One (based on a true dead story). I decided to make my zombies a little less brain dead, a little more living dead; sure there's decay, but with refrigeration and preservatives, there's a lot more to death than zombie mayhem, but as my main character--the self styled and titular Dead Boy Number One--discovers, sometimes getting past expectation is a lot harder than simply beating death and running away to join the zombie theatre...

ZOMBIALITY (A queer bent on the undead.)
    Zombies don't care who you love...they want to eat us all. 
This book contains 28 stories with a perspective on zombies never quite imagined before. These stories reflect a variety of queered lives and experiences and explor the depths of what a zombie is. From the traditional to the fantastical, these stories are sure to entertain all of humankind.


Stonewall Rising - Vince Liaguno
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Die - Rob Rosen
GirlWorld - Lisa Morton
Just The Three Of Them At The End Of The World - John Grover
Still Rolling - Angelia Sparrow
Unrest In Cowpat - Stephanie Kincaid
To Please - Nicholas Alexander Hayes
Till The Last Beat - Clancy Nacht
Zombie Fiction - Dave Dunwoody
The Cairn - Christopher Fletcher
Unholy Alliance - Ben Langhinrichs
Eating Peaches - Rachel Green
Accepting Death - Tony Schaab
The Duval Crawl - Dave Chrisom
Among The Living - J. R. Rodriguez
Cocktail Conversation - Patrick F. Murphy
Walk Through The Fire - Jennifer Povey
ZOMB-mailion - Eric Andrews-Katz
The Dead Walk In Brooklyn - Molly Rydzel
Dead Boy Number One - Quinn Smythwood
Quickened Wood - Nathan Sims
World Without Snow - Jesus Morales
Sweetness - B. C. Edwards
Food Chain - Steve Spinale
The Quick And The Undead - Thomas Logan
Meatbots : A Love Story - Timothy Capehart
Humans Being Human - Patrick D’Orazio
Drag Queen vs Zombies - MP Johnson

    ZOMBIALITY is out now and available at Amazon.  If you want to share your holiday season with zombies...let me know how you survived.  Was it easier defending against zombies than the seasonal family onslaught?


Quinn Smythwood.

Imaginary Friend :: Nilla Hayes

Hey Intrepid Readers,

Writing; it’s life without the boring bits and making friends with imaginary people.  I’ve had a witch on my mind since writing the short story Gloam (HELLEBORE & RUE, Drollerie Press) and she’s been talking—over copious cups of exotic mochas (Could I try that white chocolate mocha with an infusion of mint please?  It sounds really good.)—about witchy godmothers battling it out with candy bars and spells at twenty paces; demon night riders who string up mortals like puppets to dance; not to mention chasing stolen dreams as well as the less glamorous side of a magical life, covering the rent.  I guess her BFF—Livia Darrow (who salsas through a room projecting Halle Berry at a Latin dance club, while looking like Reese Witherspoon taking afternoon tea with the Queen)—is dating someone new and consequently witch, Nilla Hayes, isn’t getting her quota of chat in. 

    It’s part of the spill over effect that happens after writing—however brief a piece—about any particular character; those imaginary people don’t want to get out even after you’ve penned the end.  They want to live on to see another page and as a writer, you’re feeling comfortable enough with them to actually indulge these post mortem conversations with imaginary friends that could have been so last chapter.  It doesn’t hurt that the modern view on writing a series is all good news… (Don’t you wonder what the classics would have been like if the authors had lived in a similar publishing environment?  At least those that didn’t end up killing off their characters, or so firmly ensconcing them in a Happily Ever After so as to make a series an impracticality short of going Wuthering Heights: In the Hands of Resurrection Men.)

    So you indulge your imaginary friend and even let her order yet another mocha that you’re half sure isn’t sold in any coffee store you know of outside of your head, because it sounds like she’s got much more in her than just one little short story for an anthology.  In fact, you’ve got this thrilled little cocoon of a million butterflies ready to burst through you like a river of adrenalin; this little witchy imaginary friend has enough promise to fill an entire novel…perhaps an entire series with her quirky little tales.  Of course, as she is your personal imaginary friend, you’re also completely convinced she’s got something original to contribute to a genre and so…you let her bend your ear a little more.

    Before you know it, you’ve jotted a few notes and penned a title (BUMP) for an undefined project (Novella? Novel?) featuring a lesbian witch who made (or as at this writing rather will make) her debut in the HELLEBORE & RUE anthology.  Already I can see my beta reader (or is that prime critic), Misty, rolling her eyes and frowning at me…her meaning is obvious, enough with the imaginary coffee party, write already!


Quinn Smythwood


Dear Intrepid Reader,

Do you like a little witchcraft in your fiction?  I do and so I was more than a little intrigued when I came across a call for submissions from Drollerie Press for their forthcoming anthology collection HELLEBORE & RUE: Tales of Queer Women and Magic edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft and Catherine Lundoff.

    "We’re looking for stories about lesbian-identified sorceresses, witches, magicians and magic users of all kinds. Lesbian and trans protagonists are welcome. All stories must include a woman who identifies as a lesbian and who uses magic. The definition of magic is open to interpretation-surprise us, dazzle us, make us believe in all different kinds of magic all over again!"

   When I sat down to write something for the anthology, I decided that it would take place within a tenative universe that has been forming as I've jotted a few short stories; a universe I hope to one day write a novel, or a whole series of novels set in.  I call the stories that take place here 'Cusp Tales' and the story I finally submitted to the editors of HELLEBORE & RUE, entitled Gloam, is certainly a Cusp Tale.  The protagonist of the piece, Nilla Hayes, is a witch with a problem.  She's seen a shadow out of the corner of her eye, a corpse shadow.  Somebody is going to die and as soon as the corpse shadow steps into the light Nilla Hayes will know who and when.  It's the one thing she hates about being a witch.  A bad start to her morning, but that's only the beginning...of course, things always get darker, darkest at the approach of the storm...

    I was delighted when Gloam was accepted for the anthology and impressed by the various authors who joined me in the anthology.  The Table of Contents of HELLEBORE & RUE promises an excellent collection of tales:

Counterbalance” by Ruth Sorrell
Trouble Arrived” by C.B. Calsing
Personal Demons” by Jean Marie Ward
The Windskimmer” by Connie Wilkins
Sky Lit Bargains” by Kelly A. Harmon
Gloam” by Quinn Smythwood
Witches Have Cats” by Juliet Kemp
D is for Delicious” by Steve Berman
And Out of the Strong Came Forth Sweetness” by Lisa Nohealani Morton
Bridges and Lullabies” by Rrain Prior
Thin Spun” by Sunny Moraine
A State of Panic” by Rachel Green

    I may have a story in the collection, but it's a collection that I can't wait to read.  There are twelve stories in the anthology and I anticipate twelve very different witches in unique worlds with boiling magic and bubbling plot lines.  HELLEBORE & RUE will hopefully release soon.  Do you like a good tale featuring a witchy heroine?  What do you most like about witches?  The magic?  The familiars?  The paranormal?


Quinn Smythwood

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