Zombies and Real Life Monsters by Christine (C.A.) Verstraete

Today, I’m excited to have Christine Verstraete back in my blog for the Brain to Book Cyber Convention’s Genre Tour.

Christine is an award-winning author and journalist from Wisconsin. She loves writing odd little stories with a touch of the macabre. I’m currently reading her book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and loving it.


When I mention zombies to some people, they cringe and complain about the blood and gore. They’re grossed out.

Maybe they don’t watch The Walking Dead or are a crime TV fan instead, which has its own share of blood and death, albeit in a different format. But in either instance, it’s a depiction of something we fear—crime, death, danger—that draws us in. It’s watching or reading about what seems impossible or often unbelievable.

Real life, of course, can be more frightening than anything an author can create. That’s what makes actual killers scarier than any monster with fins, scales, fur, a non-beating heart, or other elements. You can’t imagine what leads someone to cross the line to the “forbidden” and kill their own family, or attack a stranger, or do even worse things.

Maybe that’s what made writing my recently released book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, so interesting and challenging. In reality, it’s almost hard to accept that Lizzie—a seemingly “normal” Victorian woman, Sunday School teacher, daughter of a wealthy businessman—could so viciously attack and kill her elderly father and stepmother. At least that’s what the jury probably thought, declaring her not guilty of the crime in June, 1893.

But was she?

That’s what we have trouble with, and what makes human killers so scary: they don’t have four eyes, or scales, or whatever. They can look perfectly normal, like your neighbor; like the girl or guy next door. And even more frightening? You can’t see what’s going on inside their heads.

In my case, writing about an accused killer had to come with a reason as to why she did it. And what more plausible reason could there be for viciously striking them in the head, especially once you look at the actual autopsy photos, than to say she committed the crime since her family members had turned into zombies?

It doesn’t mean the crime should be taken less seriously, of course. It was a terrible crime made even more horrific if she was indeed guilty and got away with it. But as this year marks the 125th anniversary of the murders, it’s far enough in the past to make it more of a historic event.

Sadly, history is full of real-life monsters, from Genghis Khan to 1920s mobsters, Manson, and those who kill out of hate, for so-called “honor” or other nonsensical reasons. The list is endless. The human race is drenched in blood. Maybe it’s true that it seems worse the older you get.

And that’s the scariest part of all: fictional monsters can be vanquished, but the human soul has a darkness that often can’t be cleansed.

About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:

Every family has its secrets…
One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become… zombies?

Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.

Amazon: http://getbook.at/LizzieBordenZombieHunter
Add it on Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/hp9rvyd
Website: http://cverstraete.com
Blog: http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com

C.A. Verstraete is also appearing this weekend in the B2BCyCon Book Expo, Blog Hop and various Panels.

RETURN TO B2BCYCON HORROR PAGE


The Goodies

WIN A ZOMBIE MUG: For those of you in the U.S. and Canada, leave a comment on any of the blog posts for the event or LIKE my Facebook page and you’re entered to win one of three of these zombie mugs. I’ll draw a new name all three days of the convention. Winners will be announced in the right column.

WIN A $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD: Anyone who signs up for my newsletter or downloads Call for Obstruction on NoiseTrade during B2BCyCon is entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Ghosts Dance to a Favorite Woman in Horror

Today we’re talking about everyone’s favorite women in horror for the Women in Horror Month Blog Talks.

I’m excited to have Naching T. Kassa with me in my blog. Naching is a wife, mother, and Horror Author. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the Demonic Visions series.

At the age of 15, a friend introduced me to a novel called, Ghost Dance. The book was terrific and had a great mixture of genre elements. Mystery, romance, suspense, horror, the book had it all. It also had a Native American protagonist and a page-turning style. I never forgot it.

Fast forward 24 years.

I joined the Horror Writers Association in February of 2014 and volunteered as a proof-reader for the HWA newsletter. It was a fun job and I started exchanging e-mails with the newsletter’s editor, Kathryn Ptacek. Her name seemed familiar but I didn’t think anything of it.

One day, a few months later, I looked Ghost Dance up on Amazon. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered the author and the editor were the same person. Talk about a “DUH” moment! I’d been e-mailing my favorite female horror writer and didn’t even know it!

Kathryn is not only a writer, she’s an editor. She’s edited some great anthologies like “Women of Darkness” and “Women of Darkness 2.” Her books include Shadoweyes and The Hunted among others. Please, treat yourself to her work. You can find some of it here: https://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Ptacek/e/B001KHFCXM. Search her name on Amazon and you’ll find more.

Website: http://frightenme.weebly.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nachingkassa
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Naching-T-Kassa/e/B005ZGHTI0

The Deadliest Weapon By C.A. Verstraete

Today I’m welcoming Christine (C.A.) Verstraete for the Women in Horror Month Blog Talks. Christine loves writing with a bit of a scare! She is the author of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and a young adult novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. If you visit my blog, you know what a huge fan of zombies I am, so this is exciting to have her here for the Choice of Weapons day.

CHRISTINE’S DRAWING
Comment below and you’re entered to win a
Kindle copy of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter.

Having just written about one of history’s most infamous alleged killers, Lizzie Borden, I’d have to choose the hatchet or axe as not a favorite, but the most deadly, if not the scariest of weapons.

There’s something eerie, and truly frightening, about the idea of a woman—and an upstanding Sunday School teacher at that—swinging, hacking, and attacking not one, but two people. But that is what 32-year-old Borden was accused of doing when she was put on trial in 1893 for the murders of her father, Andrew Borden, and stepmother, Abby Durfee Borden, on Aug. 4, 1892.

No direct proof connecting Lizzie with the crime was ever found, though only she and the maid, Bridget Sullivan, were at home at the time of the murders. Did she do it or didn’t she? The jury thought not, or at least weren’t convinced by the lack of evidence, and voted not guilty.

A Victorian tragedy, Borden continues to fascinate today. Dozens of reasons have been given as to why she might have committed the crime—madness, jealousy, rage, female hormones, an illicit affair, incest…

When I decided to write about Lizzie Borden, I followed the timetable of the actual crime, used transcripts and newspaper accounts as part of the story, but came up with an even more unique solution as to why she might have committed the crime. What if Lizzie did kill her father and stepmother… because she had no other choice?

Here’s a short excerpt:

Every muscle quivering, Lizzie fought with everything she had to keep his mouth away from her body and limbs. Her strength waning, she hoped to fight for as long as possible when Emma yelled from the doorway.

“Father!” Emma screamed. “Lizzie, what are you doing? You’re hurting him!”

A quick glance told Lizzie her sister was still not herself. Lizzie struggled to talk while she fought to keep her father at arm’s length. “Emma, help.” She panted with the effort. “Please, help. He’s sick, he’s gone insane. Help me.”

Emma finally blinked and stared like she was seeing everything for the first time. “Lizzie! What should I do?”

“The hatchet!” Lizzie pleaded. “Get the hatchet. Hurry, please hurry! I can’t hold out much longer.”

* What’s your view on Lizzie Borden? Guilty or not guilty?

About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter: Every family has its secrets… One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become… zombies?

Visit her website: http://cverstraete.com
blog: http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com
Amazon: http://getbook.at/LizzieBordenZombieHunter
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/hp9rvyd

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