I thought this would be a fun idea, but I didn’t want to ruin it for anyone by explaining too much too soon. When I started writing this story, folks from the world we live in started showing up. They were all heroes of mine, people that have deep thoughts and admirable work ethics. It only made sense that these folks that were working so hard in our world would be working just as hard in another world that was so much like it. I messaged a lot of people in our world to ask if I could mention them in my story about a reality much like our own.
I told these people, the ones I could get ahold of, that I wanted them in my book. Most of the mentions are first names, that might not be paired up with their last names until the next book. I wanted to get permission before I put the books in motion, though; I’m going to list them in order of appearance in the book, if you want to watch for them. Most are in the italicized first paragraph of a chapter, as are some character names, but not all of them. There will be more of nearly all of them in the next book.
The people that responded were very kind in doing so, and very thoughtful in many cases. I gave most everyone an opportunity to choose from a few options in the conclusion, ‘Zombie Zero: The Last Zombie’. Some of the enthusiastic responses I got had me walking on sunshine for days at a time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them:
In the world of Zombie Zero, Dr Christopher Ryan is working on a top secret project at a government facility that may or may not exist. In real life, he’s the co-author of the best selling book, ’Sex at Dawn’. Dr. Ryan was the first person to give permission to use his name in the book, which was very gracious of him, given what happens to his character (If you’ve read the prologue, then you know how things end for him). Check out his website and learn more about his mission – http://chrisryanphd.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, Ari Shaffir is a comedian and Allen’s favorite podcaster. In real life, he’s a comedian and my favorite podcaster. I’m a regular listener of ‘The Skeptic Tank”, and have been fortunate enough to see him perform his comedy routine at Punchline Sacramento. Check out all the funny stuff he does at his website – http://arishaffir.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, Adam Dreece is the dean of an esteemed university and a well known YA Fantasy author. In real life, he’s the author of ‘The Yellow Hoods’, a YA series that is stealing the hearts of young & old readers everywhere. He’s also a speaker, one of the nicest indie author mentors you’ll ever come across, and a good friend. Check out his books and read his blog at www.adamdreece.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, Christina McMullen is a Seasteader bent on survival. In real life, she’s the author of several books, including ‘Kind of Like Life’ and the ‘Rise of the Discordant’ series. I’ll admit it; I’m a HUGE McMullen fanboy, and one of my goals this year is to read all of her books. Check out her blog, and maybe you’ll understand why I feel the way I do about her writing – http://mcmullenwrites.blogspot.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, Megan O’Russell is a famous actress/author who’s been duped into performing on a disastrous cruise. In real life, she’s a very busy traveling actress and the author of ‘The Tethering’ series. She also happens to be one of my fellow ‘Paws for a Tale’ authors, which means she gets serious bonus points, IMHO. Learn more about her books and see if you can find out Where In The World Is Megan (she really DOES travel quite a bit) at her website https://meganorussell.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, Angela B. Chrysler is an expert gardener with a serious passion for the arts. In real life, she’s the author of ‘Fire & Lies’ (which just came out TODAY!), ’Dolor & Shadow’, and ’Broken’. She’s also one heck of an indie powerhouse; she is the brains behind Brain to Books, the founder of the Brain to Books CyCon (which takes place every April), and a tireless promoter of indie authors. I don’t know when she finds time to sleep, or even breathe! Pay a visit to her website and learn more about Angela – www.angelabchrysler.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, Doug Benson is a comedian that is about to have the worst show of his life. In real life, he’s an actor, comedian, and host of the hilarious podcasts ‘Doug Loves Movies’ and ‘Getting Doug with High’. You might have seen his Netflix specials, or perhaps you’ve watched his movie, ‘Super High Me’. Fun fact: Doug has actually been an extra in a lot of zombie movies, primarily back in his early days. Learn more about one of my favorite comedians at his website – http://douglovesmovies.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel are waiting out the zombie apocalypse in their remote recording studio, along with Sarah’s dog, Leroy. In real life, Josh and Sarah are Phantogram, one of the hottest indie/electronic rock bands out there. Dawn introduced me to their music when we got back together in late 2012, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Their new album, Three, comes out September 16th, and they’ll be touring the world to support it (with Leroy in tow, of course). Check out their new single, “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” and learn more about what Josh and Sarah are up to at their website – www.phantogram.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, Michael & Linda Stern are a couple on a cruise that’s about to go sour. In real life, they’re both indie authors; Michael wrote the ‘Quantum Touch’ series, and Linda recently released her book, ‘Boss & Blackjacks’. They’re incredibly nice people, and were very enthusiastic about appearing in the book; I think you’ll discover that Linda is fiercer than you might think by the time ‘Zombie Zero: The Last Zombie’ comes out.
In the world of Zombie Zero, Joe Compton loves to grow things; flowers, fruit, vegetables, you name it and he grows it. In real life, he’s the author of ‘Amongst the Killing’, a filmmaker, and the force behind the video magazine ‘Go Indie Now!”. Joe is quite the indie author supporter; he ran the 72 hour live cast during this years Brain to Books Cy-Con, and puts on a monthly panel which discusses different aspects of being an indie author (June’s panel was all about world building). Head over to the Go Indie Now website and catch up on all the episodes – www.GoIndieNow.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, Tom Corson Knowles spends his days working hard on the family farm. In real life, he spends his days helping self published authors realize their goals. His website has a wealth of information that every author or would-be-author should read. http://www.tckpublishing.com
In the world of Zombie Zero, T. Harv Eker protects his desert community from the ramblers and howlers with his crack shot. In real life, he’s an author (Secrets of the Millionaire Mind), a businessman, and a motivational speaker. You can learn more about the real life Harv at http://www.harveker.com