James J. Stubbs


I did start writing "Raven Blade" - the novel I said would follow last years "Kraken Orbital". I did in fact make a decent start. But something about it just wasn't right. I don't know what. It wasn't the characters or the setting, or even the themes and so on that I was planning on juggling. Maybe it was faith in myself. If I ever write a perfect book, as in a book that most perfectly illuminates the style that I will forever aim for, it will be a classic Gothic tale. I thought "Raven Blade" could be that book but I was wrong. I just lost it. Some of the characters that I was planning to use have filtered into other projects and some of the themes are still spinning around there in the background but I'm just not in that place where I think I can make a start writing it.

So I started writing nonetheless. I swore I would never do a sequel. I thought the books that I wrote would just be self-contained and stand alone. I want to challenge myself by using different themes and different groups of people in every book. But when "Raven Blade" just wouldn't come together, I drifted back to the first genre I dabbled in. Zombies. I couldn't help myself. I couldn't help but to think about where Logan, Lizzie and Jack might go next and that led to whole possible story arcs and situations. It led to some dark places that I could take those characters so I just couldn't stop myself from writing Zombie-dem.

One of the biggest drives for me in writing "Reggie" in the first place was the fact I find it so annoying that zombie literature never ends. Never is there a full blown solution to the zombie problem. I think that is supposed to be part of its appeal, but I just don't get it. I need it to end. If it ends with the death and destruction of the entire human race then so be it. I just need it to end. Stop banking on the sequel, stop raking in the cash by dragging it to the end of anything it's worth. That was what "Reggie" was supposed to be, an ending, but looking back, it didn't end on a finite note when perhaps it should have. So I needed to write "Zombie-dem" - yes I realize the irony before anyone points it out - because I needed more time to end it. And I still haven't...

I was just having too much fun with the characters, too much joy in the locations I could put them in, too much heart-ache when I decided which of them live and which of them die. So now I need a trilogy. Which I will one day get around to finishing. So Zombie-dem is not so much a self-contained story arc as it is a link between three. The Empire Strikes Back to "Reggie" if you like.

I'm still playing with ideas for that Gothic tale, but it won't be "Raven-Blade". To be fully honest I am working on a book by that name, but it has somehow evolved into an epic set in the final days of WWII. Not too sure how... So I think that will be next. I might write a short story or two if time permits - though no one seemed to fully understand that my last one "The First Zombie" was an out and out parody of a previous job of mine. It was never a zombie book. Honestly, if any one got it, please get in touch! But nothing has yet come to mind on that front. Who knows.

All the best smash readers and authors!

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
Sit down, throw up the words on a page via Microsoft Word until you have no more energy left to write. Do the same the next day. Keep doing it until the story you want to tell is out. Go climbing and think about anything I have messed up or about anything I could add or should take away. Leave it alone for a few weeks in case my imagination dreams up anything that I should have put in there, be it people, themes or circumstances. Then edit it slowly and painfully with as much discipline as you have before giving it to some trusted beta testers.
Describe your desk
I don't have one. I have a couch and I have a third hand laptop, which I owe to my generous father, and I balance the laptop on the arm under a book. I have a USB keyboard because I can't stand typing on a lap top keyboard, a cushion to balance the keyboard on, and a cat permanently residing on my knee as I attempt to write. Desks suck.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find James J. Stubbs online


Series: Reggie. Price: Free! Words: 79,410. Language: American English. Published: October 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Part 2 of the Reggie series. A true zombie road trip across the north of England. Logan wrestles with both the zombies and the monsters inside of himself while Lizzie recalls the fall of New York and the death of her best friend and love of her life, Jason Seven. She thought she has dealt with all the loss she could, but now must watch another friend die through the scope of her gun.
Kraken Orbital
Price: Free! Words: 79,870. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
I don’t even remember hitting the ground. I remember the hyper drive cutting out and I remember the jet engines failing as I tried to land this old crate. But I don’t remember the damn thing hitting the surface of the planet. I suppose that’s what I get for stealing it in the first place. But I just couldn’t work for those jerks for another second.
The First Zombie
Price: Free! Words: 9,660. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
A short story about the first zombie, who had not realized his own death. Join Dave on his journey from life and into death.
Series: Reggie. Price: Free! Words: 76,440. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Adventure » Action
The Final Cut. James Logan wants to save the world but can't. General John Cygan wants to burn it and can. Two friends are thrown onto the opposite sides of a war until brilliant scientist Abe Priest finds a way to end the zombie outbreak once and for all.

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