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Finding enjoyment in the writing process, “White Zombie” review

October 22, 2014

Hello ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the Casa!

I’ve been busy in the last two weeks that I spoke with you last.  I have started writing a new thriller novel since the earlier stories I’ve tried to tell have fallen beyond flat in my excitement of writing them.  I will be re-visiting them in the near future, but I felt a need to cleanse my palate so to speak of the writing processes I tried with them.  As writers sometimes we need to test out different ways to work on our prose to see if possibly a different method to getting the story down will work.  I tried plotting stories, focusing on the events of the story, even rotating into stories a chapter at  a time.  While the last one did seem to work kind of okay, the first two really didn’t click for me.  When I started my current project, I decided to try focusing on writing by the seat of my pants and putting the focus of my narrative on the characters.  I’m letting them progress the story instead of reacting to it.  So far, it is all working.  The story is progressing well, I have a better feel for the characters, and, most of all, I’m having fun in writing a novel again.  I can’t wait to finish it and see what other people think of it.

To any of you new writers out there, feeling things out and figuring out the best way for you to work, I do have one piece of advice.  You will have plenty of writers and creative type people making suggestions on the best way to create.  I’ve heard many anecdotes from people about how their one way is the best and only way to put out good art (and yes, story telling is an art).  They are all wrong, and yet they are right too.  The best and only way to put out good art is to sit down and create it, and different methods will work for different people.  My advice is to try the different ways, at least once.  You may find that it doesn’t work, but, then again, you may find that it brings out even better creations than before.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  In fact, it’s that kind of thinking to brings me to this week’s book review, “White Zombie, Volume 1” created by Richard Evans and edited by Andrew Ardizzi.

I’m sure by now, everyone is familiar with zombie stories.  It’s everywhere you look.  What it there were people who were immune to the virus, and this immunity was based on your race?  That is the premise behind the short stories in “White Zombie, Volume 1”  There is a flu-like virus spreading across the globe.  Once you get it, you have 24 hours before it kills and re-animates you.  The only people directly unaffected by the virus are people of African decent.  The stories chronicle the immune and what they must experience to survive.

I’m almost as white as they come, and I’ll admit I didn’t know what to expect when I read the book.  I almost expected a very heavy racial overtones, and, since I do this mostly for fun, wasn’t sure I wanted to dive into something so heavy.  After reading the stories, I’m glad I dove in with both feet.  The stories by themselves were wonderful and, aside from the person’s ethnicity affecting whether they became infected after a zombie bite, I really didn’t think anything about the color of the characters’ skin.  That’s not to say there weren’t some racial undertones to the stories, but they fit into them in a natural way.  I for one am looking forward to the next volumes in the series.  My rating is a 4 out of 5.

You can find “White Zombie, Volume 1” at Amazon, Smashwords, and the Itunes book stores in e-book format.

Well, I’m afraid I must bid you adieu for the week.  I feel another part of a balance life calling me… a nice soft bed and a good night’s sleep cuddled up with my fiancee.  Until next week…

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

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