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Lupo's World ~ A Blog

"Are We Heading for a Zombie Apocalypse?" - Guest post by C.J. West

(Another in my continuing series of guest blog posts, giving different voices and ideas the opportunity to speak their minds. In this piece, author C.J. West gives his take on the legalization of drugs and what it might mean. WDG)


The title of this blog may have you thinking about the recent cannibalism events in the United States. And you may love The Walking Dead on television or even the movie Zombieland and you may be conjuring Hollywood’s version of flesh-eating zombies. I’m personally a fan of the movie and the television series, but I’m not writing about infected, mindless people roaming the streets.

What I’m really talking about is something I heard over and over from the real life hero in my Lorado Martin Mystery Series. He often talks about the Zombie Apocalypse as a metaphor for a rising tide of drug abuse and crime.

Lorado works with recovering addicts and sees firsthand the toll drug abuse takes on people. Families are splintered apart as trust between spouses, brothers, even children and parents is shattered by lies and deceit. Many of these relationships can never be truly mended. Users rack up criminal records so long they can never hold a position of responsibility. Many lose their right to vote. When they finally get clean, many recovering addicts are resigned to life as second-class citizens. Portraying their struggles in Dinner At Deadman’s was heartrending work.

Why this happens and why the Zombie Apocalypse tag is so fitting is because some people are so powerless to hard drugs they have no choice but to feed their addiction at all costs. They mindlessly wander in search of money for their next fix, like the walkers in The Walking Dead, scouring the world for their next meal.

Lorado says that movie makers have been using zombies as a metaphor for drug users for years and that the population at large has yet to catch on. Whether you believe him or not, the push to legalize addictive drugs is more scary than any zombie movie.

Thirteen of fifty states have decriminalized marijuana. Politicians as disparate as Ron Paul and Rev. Jesse Jackson are calling to end the war on drugs. Senator Paul sees the drug war as an infringement on individual liberty, while politicians from the Congressional Black Caucus like Rep John Conyers see the war on drugs disproportionately targeting people of color. Actor Brad Pitt calls the war on drugs a charade.

With so many voices calling to legalize drugs, we have to wonder what would happen to our young people if they could go to a liquor store and buy heroin when they turn twenty-one. Would a cheaper, regulated source of heroin be any less devastating? Or would we be cultivating a crop of zombies that will roam the earth searching for their next fix?

Polls show about fifty percent of people favor legalization of marijuana and a smaller group favor legalization of heroin. Which side are you on? And what do you think would happen if we opened the floodgates and allowed anyone to go out and buy drugs?


C.J. West is the author of seven suspense novels including The End of Marking Time and Sin and Vengeance, which was optioned into development for film by Beantown Productions, LLC (screenplay by Marla Cukor). C.J. blogs at www.cjwestkills.wordpress.com. You can also find him at www.22wb.com or at www.facebook.com/cjwestfans
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Diving into Uncharted Territory: Audio Books by Armand Rosamilia

Diving Into Uncharted Territory: Audio Books By Armand Rosamilia

I read things, whether in print or with my Kindle. I always have and I always will. I love books and read 3-5 of them a week if I have time, and can't go to sleep unless I've read for at least an hour a night no matter how late and no matter where I am.

Before last February I swore I'd never buy a Kindle and had no desire to read inferior eBooks. I was old school, damnit, and I'm in my forties and too old to change now. Then Kim bought me a Kindle and I fell in love and can't imagine life without it.

I swore I'd never listen to an audio book as well. What use was that when I still had good eyes to relax and read with? I didn't want to hear some strange voice reading to me. I wasn't four anymore and needing mommy to read me a bedtime story. I was a big boy and could now read to myself.

But, as an author, I'm always looking for new ways to connect with readers. It seemed like every eBook I added to Kindle someone wanted the link for the B&N version or SmashWords or Lulu. So I spread my work around to appease the masses (said tongue in cheek, I promise).

Then someone asked if I had any of my books available on audio. I answered, truthfully, not yet, but I was working on it. As in, as soon as you asked me the question I started working on it.

I spent days and nights researching the various ways to get a quality audio book together, and decided right away I had neither the voice nor the equipment to do it myself. I needed a… wait, what did they call them again? Oh, yeah, a Narrator.

So I signed up on a site and posted a sample chapter of my Dying Days zombie novella, figuring it would be a perfect place to start. Besides, that was the book the reader asked about, so I was hoping I'd have one sale from it.

I also put out a blanket call on Facebook and Twitter in case anyone was interested in narrating it and had a good voice. If I could throw some work at someone I already knew, so much the better, right?

Then I started getting narrators interested and sending me samples of the work. As soon as I started listening I realized something: I had no idea if they were good or not. I'd never listened to a book in my life.

So I bought three of the cheapest horror and/or thriller audio books I could find and listened to them and heard what I liked and hated about the narrators and style.

I decided what made sense for Dying Days would be a female narrator since our main character, Darlene Bobich, is a female. That made sense. I had several to choose from and a couple narrators were pretty good, but one above all else intrigued me.

Amanda Lehman. I loved her sample and knew her voice well. The reason? I grew up across the street from her. How weird is that? We both grew up on Orchard Avenue in Belford, New Jersey, directly across the street. I hung out with her older brother as a kid and we all played kickball and football and manhunt at night.

I hadn't seen or spoken to her in probably twenty years. She'd married a guy I knew that was always cool, played bass, had long hair, a crazy dry sense of humor and loved Queensryche as much as I did. Alexis was the man, and the handful of times we hung out we had some fun. Heck, somewhere is a demo tape of me screaming into a mic doing Metal/hardcore crap with Alexis putting it all together musically.

Amanda was a few years younger than me, and I even remember her parents bringing her home from the hospital when she was born. Now, here she was, dropping the F bomb reading my story and making it come to life.

Out of everyone in the world who could potentially read Dying Days, she'd grown up a kickball throw away. And I couldn’t be happier with her reading and look forward to her diving into Dying Days 2 at some point as well.

Funny how life is sometimes stranger than fiction.


All six of us - Todd Brown, Mark Tufo, Ian Woodhead, Armand Rosamilia, John O'Brien and Dave Jeffery - hope you'll keep following us on the Summer of Zombie blog tour, and comment as we go along.

And… one lucky commenter for each blog will receive a Free eBook or Print book from one of the authors! Simply leave a comment with your e-mail address and we'll pick a random winner each day! Simple as that!

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