Apocalypse Springs: A Zombie Novel With A Twist

Lots of writers and artists like using Kickstarter as a platform to get people excited and spread the word about their project, and to fund it financially. And now my longtime friend and fellow writer Rob Killam has begun a new Kickstarter project, a zombie novel unlike any I’ve ever heard of.

The title: Apocalypse Springs: Reanimation

The pitch: “The apocalypse comes to Colorado Springs, and a crippled, mentally unwell man may be the only hope its survivors have.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds like something I want to read!

In our writing group he has read aloud several excerpts from this book. The writing and character development are solid, it has a much stronger basis in hard science than most zombie books (Rob is a meticulous researcher), and he plans on telling an epic story through several more volumes.

Not only is Rob a great man, he is a writer committed to telling the best story possible. Every little bit will help him bring this incredible story to life. Or rather, make it undead.

I’ll be backing this project as soon as I have the requisite cash. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in contributing to, be sure to visit his page and check it out. Lots of goodies are promised to the backers of the project, which doesn’t hurt. So, what do you say? Bring the zombies to the foot of Pikes Peak, and help out an author at the same time. It’s a good investment.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1513414342/apocalypse-springs-reanimation-a-long-form-novel

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The Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs

Well, I don’t think anyone in Colorado Springs thought this would happen. The wildfires from Waldo Canyon are spilling out into the city. They have already burned several homes, and landmarks like the Flying W Ranch. It’s a tragedy, but thank God there has been no loss of life.

These are some of the photographs I managed to take of the fire.

The dragons have certainly come to Colorado. Today is not a day I will ever forget.

I hope your prayers and support will be with the people of Colorado Springs, and indeed anywhere else in the state where there are fires. Pray for the mercy of rain, and for the fires to be extinguished quickly.

[Edit, July 09, 2012: as far as I know, the fire has now been contained, and two bodies were discovered in one of the burned down houses. Despite the tragedy of this event, I am glad it has finally been dealt with]

Colorado’s Quintessential Coffee House

All right, now for a bit more local advertising. R&R Coffee, tucked away in the heart of Black Forest (just outside of Colorado Springs), is one of my favorite homes away from home. It’s one of those friendly little places you hope to find whenever you wander through a town or community you’ve never visited, and I would recommend it if you’re ever in the neighborhood. Being a coffee house and all, they’re doing quite well for themselves even with other Mom and Pop stores dropping like stones. A strong reputation and stronger coffee have earned them a well-established standing in the area, and I am grateful that they have stuck around for so long.

The coffee and food are very high-quality, better than anything I have seen from Starbucks.

The foundation of their whole business, of course, is their customer service. I am glad to tell you that it has been consistently excellent in the 3-4 years I have been a patron. They’re your friends, and as soon as you walk in the door you’re greeted with a smile. One of the real charms of the employees is that they remember regular customers — by name and by whatever they usually order.

Heck, they even have hooks for the daily patrons to hang their mugs! Now that’s what I call trust.

Better yet, a number of local artists get to hang their works on the walls, and sell paintings when possible.

If only I had the cash, I’d rather like that waterfall painting.

As I understand it, they can also do book signings and live music.

The store is about to undergo a pretty significant change, too: at the end of the summer, they’re moving across the street to a larger building in what is now a lumber yard. I have a feeling business will pick up, but if you get the chance, drop by while they’re still in the smaller building, and enjoy the warm, quiet charm. R&R lives up to its name, and it is definitely worth a look.

The Pikes Peak Writers Conference: 20th anniversary

(Gathered from Facebook)

This April, I am (hopefully) attending the Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference in Colorado Springs, at the Marriott Hotel. My fellow writers who have attended the conference have assured me of its quality, helpfulness, and potential. From what I understand, it is among the ten best conferences in the nation, and the friendliest as well.

April 19-22 marks a special occasion, for it is the 20th anniversary of the conference, and contains an abundance of opportunities for those authors looking for an agent to represent their novel, pitching a book to get a publisher’s attention, forge connections in the writing world, or simply to search for community and helpful advice on making yourself a more recognized and more professional writer.

If you’re interested in going, there will be a good number of high-profile speakers there, including agent Donald Maass, bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, novelists Susan Wiggs and Robert Crais, and many others besides.

Their official website has what you will need to learn if you decide to go: http://www.ppwc.net/html/ppwc.html

A lot of the volunteers and leaders are good friends of mine. This will be my first conference, but I look forward to it. There you can also register, apply for a scholarship if you can’t pay for the whole ticket, or donate to the Pikes Peak Writers or the scholarship fund.

You can find out more about registration here: http://www.regonline.com/builder/site/default.aspx?EventID=972508

I hope to see you there in April! Keep writing, and keep looking for the best stories.