Friday, January 24, 2014

Deadly Dee's Review for "All Together Now: A Zombie Story" by Robert Kent

Moan for joy!!! To celebrate its new cover, All Together Now: A Zombie Story is free on January 24 and 25. Get your copy at Amazon.

Book Summary
Yea though we perish, yea though we die, we'll all be together in the sweet by and by...

Fifteen-year-old Ricky Genero is writing a journal of the zombie apocalypse. His high school has burned to the ground, his friends are all either dead or shambling corpses roaming the earth in search of human flesh, and his best friend died saving his six-year-old brother Chuck from a zombie horde. When Chuck is bitten and infected with the zombie virus, Ricky must travel among the walking dead in search of a cure.


This YOUNG ADULT novel is mean and nasty and intended for a mature audience. It is absolutely not appropriate for younger readers. All Together Now: A Zombie Story is a gruesome, repugnant tale featuring horrific acts of violence sure to warp young minds.

Deadly Dee's Review

So, if you've read any of my past book reviews you know by now I don't usually mince words. I'm actually kind of surprised authors still want to give me their books, because I feel like I'm not the nicest reviewer out there. I'm pretty hard on them if their writing doesn't really "do it" for me (or is filled with typos - ick) but heck - at least I can sleep knowing I'm honest to you guys - the readers.
So, let me start this review on All Together Now by saying this:
Wow. Wow. Wow.
I was so totally and completely taken by surprise by this novel. If you're like me, and love reading indie authors, you know it's a lot of hit and miss out there. Ok... a lot of miss. This is one HUGE hit. Kent's writing style flows naturally. He reads like someone who was born to tell a story, and I for one, feel like I want to keep reading his stories (hint hint Rob - gimme more!!)
YA fiction, imho, can be so stilted sometimes - it kinda makes you wonder if the person writing it was ever young. (...and if they were, did they just sleep through adolescence and then totally forget what it was like?)
On the other hand, if I'm going to enjoy reading a YA book, it's got to have enough oomph in it that I, as an adult (no, don't ask how old I am, who cares?!) actually get caught up in it and care.
I really cared about the characters in this book. A lot.
Besides that though, the story itself was fresh and different - not your typical run of the mill zombie story. I wasn't sure I was going to like the journal concept, but that also flowed well.
Oh, and did I add that it actually felt believable? Believable and zombies all together in one place! What a concept!
One word of warning: Watch out for the ending. I kind of thought I should've seen it coming, but I didn't. Made it rock even more.
Mr. Kent, you are the man.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Cover Reveal for "All Together Now: A Zombie Story"

Hey, zombies and the humans who love them! Check out the new cover for Robert Kent's awesome All Together Now: A Zombie Story.

Be sure to shuffle back tomorrow for Deadly Dee's revolting review.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Eviscerating Excerpt from "All Together Now: A Zombie Story"

Fiendish author Robert Kent has good news for zombie lovers. He is working on a new book about the hungry undead. Until Robert delivers his next nightmare-inducing novel, he's provided us a taunting taste of All Together Now: A Zombie Story.

Eviscerating Excerpt

Michelle, Levi, Chuck, and I got back to Harrington this afternoon. It took us four hours to get here from Brownsborough—a trip that used to take 25 minutes by car.

We walked in the fields that run parallel to I-65. We only saw three zombies during the whole walk, aside from Chuck, of course.

The first two weren't a problem.

In our first hour of walking, we came across a green truck lying on its roof, its wheels in the air like the stiff limbs of a carcass.

It was in the center of a field, but we could tell from the thick tracks leading up to the wreckage that the truck had come from the highway.

A side mirror lay in the grass several feet away and I had an idea the truck had flipped over at least twice, breaking off its mirror before rolling to a stop on its back.

Levi wanted to walk around the wreck and I thought that was smart, but Michelle marched straight to it. "They could've packed food or weapons," she called over her shoulder.

That was a fair point.

I hurried to catch up, but I stopped when Michelle brought our only gun out of her jeans and pointed it through the truck's windshield.

She knew not to fire it. A gun's good for getting out of a tight spot, but the shot will draw the attention of every zombie in hearing distance.

I had my bat up, ready to swing before I knew what the danger was.

Then I heard the muffled thumping. There were two corpses pounding on the windshield from inside the truck.

"They're out of food," Levi said.

When I looked where he was pointing I felt faint and my vision clouded with black spots. If this had happened a week ago, I would've thrown up. But I've seen a lot since then.

At first I could see only the zombies lying on the roof of the truck's cab, Mommy and Daddy. Both of them had the dark-rimmed, all-white eyes of the dead, sunken because the pale grey skin surrounding them had gone lax and hung off their skulls like dough.

Mommy was wearing a blue summer dress, stained maroon all down the front. Daddy had broken his neck and his head lolled on his shoulder. An unnatural bulge protruded beneath his jaw and stretched the skin there to near bursting.

Then I saw what Levi meant by "food."

Hanging upside down behind Mommy and Daddy was a car seat. It was still strapped in, despite the seat belt straps on either side having been gnawed through.

The soft grey lining of the car seat was stained red and black and covered in flecks of skin and hair.

They're trapped in there," Levi said.

How can you tell?" Michelle asked.

Levi shrugged. "If they could've got out, they would've. Let 'em starve."

He kept walking. Michelle followed.

I stood a while staring at the car seat, but when I heard a faint crack in the windshield the zombies were pounding on, I got moving.

The third zombie wasn't trapped. He came right at us.
To read more, check out All Together Now: A Zombie Story at Amazon.
Chase down Robert at his blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Zombified Interview with author Robert Kent

Robert Kent is the fiendish fella behind the zombie novel All Together Now. Taking a break from gnawing away at his writing, he let us dig around his cranium...

Ang: When were you first bitten by the zombie affliction? Can you take us back to how the infection began? What’s the most difficult part about sharing this ghoulish love as an indie?
Robert: I love the wording of this question:) I've been a zombie fan as far back as I can remember, but the first time I remember taking zombies seriously was when I read Stephen King's short story "Home Delivery" at age 13. That story blew my mind then and it still does. It has all the markings of literature and all the fun of zombies. That story taught me that zombies could not only be serious, but a writer could work within that genre to tell a compelling tale revealing a universal truth as surely as if he were writing any other genre.
Honestly, I don't think being an indie today is that different than being an author with a mainstream publisher. An acquaintance of mine is promoting his book published by one of the big five publishers (only a matter of time before it’s the big four and so on) and his marketing budget is essentially the same as mine: whatever money and time we can throw at it while working our day jobs. Except he doesn't control the price or availability of his book and I do. I think readers are less likely to take a chance on a new author at $9.95 than at $2.99 (both Kindle prices).
Ang: If you had to dumb down the plot of your book so a zombie could understand, how would you explain it?
Robert: It's the zombie apocalypse set in a small Indiana town. My protagonist, 15-year-old Ricky Genero, has reason to believe there's a cure for the zombie virus being manufactured at the local soda plant. When his 6-year-old brother Chuck is bitten, Ricky risks everything to get him to the cure. Along the way there's some romance, plenty of zombie attacks, and crazy religious folks more terrifying than the shambling corpses.
All Together Now is grim, extremely violent, and offensive. I like that in a zombie story.
Ang: Describe the lucky survivors who engage with the festering horde of the dead.
Robert: Ricky Genero is an everyman. He's an average teenager who's dealing with his parent's messy divorce and the difficulty of high school life when the zombies attack. He's also good with a baseball bat, which comes in handy.
His stepsister, Michelle Kirkman, is a spoiled rich girl whose mother has recently died from cancer, giving her an inner strength Ricky lacks. She's also 15 and a bit of a badass. She doesn't believe a cure exists, but she wants to get back to her father, who owns the soda plant.
Levi Davis is 17 and I can never decide whether he or Michelle is my favorite character. Levi's parents are extremely religious and restrictive and Levi's got a big chip on his shoulder.
Chuck Genero is 6 and a real sweetheart. Unfortunately, he spends most of the novel as a snarling zombie being lead around at the end of a catchpole.
Ang: What was the most important aspect when writing your non-zombie characters? Realism (losers, assholes, and cowards) or fantasy (Rambo or the guy/gal who has a Rambo hiding inside them)?
Robert: It was most important to me that my characters be realistic and relatable. Michelle's got a bit of Rambo in her, but I wanted to take zombies seriously and that starts with character.
If the zombie apocalypse breaks out tomorrow, most of us aren't suddenly going to become crack shots or fearless warriors. That's all good and well for video games, but in books I think you can have extraordinary characters in ordinary situations, or ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, but it's difficult to pull off extraordinary characters in extraordinary situations in a way that's consistently interesting and suspenseful. The zombie apocalypse is an extraordinary situation, so I did my best to create characters I feel could be living next door when it hits the fan.
Ang: Does your book begin just as the zombies start building their paradise or have zombies already gotten things rocking and rotting?
Robert: Both:) All Together Now is told as a series of journal entries written by Ricky, allowing me to play with time and structure. When the story begins, the zombie outbreak has already occurred and Chuck has already been zombified. I hate stories that make me wait for the zombies, which is what I paid to see, so All Together Now opens with some intense zombie action. But because Ricky is telling the story in his present reality of running for his life, he can flashback and fill in the essential details of the start of the outbreak.
Ang: Zombies are people too. They come in all shapes, sizes, speeds, and smarts. What types of the walking dead inhabit your novel (or series)?
Robert: All Together Now is at its heart a tale of a fear of conformity, so it was very important to me that my zombies all be the same. In Ricky's universe, there is only one zombie with many faces, though Ricky encounters adult zombies, child zombies, and my personal favorite, baby zombies. As I write this, I'm within two weeks of becoming a first time father, and nothing is more terrifying to me than an infant corpse crawling up my leg (writing a book is cheaper than hiring a psychologist).
I love fast zombies, but the zombies in All Together Now are slow, rotting, and stupid. Their only thought is killing the living. Otherwise, they're completely vacant--though I love Hugh Howey's take on the internal struggle of walking corpses in I, Zombie.
Ang: Will your infection spread to more books and series? How many blood and guts offerings do you predict in your future? How soon can our zombie and human readers expect to see your next festering contribution?
Robert: All Together Now is planned as a standalone tale, though all my stories have sequels I just never get around to writing. I didn't hold anything back. I put everything I have to say about zombies in this book and for now, the well is dry. 
My next book will actually be a children's tale coming out sometime next year--more on that one soon. I run the blog Middle Grade Ninja and most of my writing is targeted at a younger audience.
But underneath my nice guy routine, something dark and antisocial festers until I can't suppress it any longer. When it grabs hold and overtakes me, I have to write something as bleak and nasty as All Together Now, which features a slaughter at a daycare center. I have no doubt my dark side will surface again after enough time has passed, and when that happens, all bets are off.
Ang: What is your favorite way to kill a zombie? Shoot ‘em, hack ‘em, poke ‘em, burn ‘em, or something even more fiendish? ***Zombie readers please turn away to avoid having your putrefied feelings eviscerated.
Robert: Definitely hacking. I can think of nothing more satisfying than the thwack of a machete in a walking corpse.
Ang: Do you have a favorite cinematic zombie? Example: My co-blogger Zombie Earl is quite fond of Zombie Roger from the original Dawn of the Dead.
Robert: Not to tread on the next question, but at the moment, my favorite zombie is Sophia from season two of The Walking Dead. I don't think I've ever been more moved or devastated than when she came shuffling out of Hershel's barn.
A close runner-up is the underwater zombie in the 1979 classic Zombi. He fought a freaking shark! You gotta love a zombie with heart. I rooted for him to eat the human because he just wanted it more:)
Ang: Who is your favorite character from The Walking Dead (comics or TV show)?
Robert: It's no secret that I'm a mega fan of The Walking Dead. My main character's name is Ricky and he's traveling with a girl whose last name is Kirkman:) I love the comics slightly more than the TV show, but they're both the best there is (so is the video game).
It's hard to pick a favorite character among so many greats, but Michonne is the best. Mrs. Kent and I allow for fantasy loves. She lusts for the president in Scandal and I'd brave the zombie apocalypse for a date with Michonne:)
Ang: Finally, how prepared are you for the zombie apocalypse that we all know is just around the corner?
Robert: Not at all. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, I think the folks who die first are the lucky ones. If I see zombies breaking out, I'll be happy with the life I've lived and accept its end. I'd hole up in a library to reread my favorite books until someone chomps my brain.
Chow down on your copy of All Together Now at Amazon.
Chase down Robert at his blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Author Bio
Robert Kent is the author of the young adult novel All Together Now: A Zombie Story. He runs the popular blog for writers, MIDDLE GRADE NINJA, and lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he's hard at work on his next book.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Book Scarecase: "All Together Now" by Robert Kent

Gnaw into this new zombie frightfest by Robert Kent. Tear into All Together Now: A Zombie Story at AmaZon today!
Book Summary
Yea though we perish, yea though we die, we'll all be together in the sweet by and by...

Fifteen-year-old Ricky Genero is writing a journal of the zombie apocalypse. His high school has burned to the ground, his friends are all either dead or shambling corpses roaming the earth in search of human flesh, and his best friend died saving his six-year-old brother Chuck from a zombie horde. When Chuck is bitten and infected with the zombie virus, Ricky must travel among the walking dead in search of a cure.


This YOUNG ADULT novel is mean and nasty and intended for a mature audience. It is absolutely not appropriate for younger readers.
All Together Now: A Zombie Story is a gruesome, repugnant tale featuring horrific acts of violence sure to warp young minds.
"All Together Now: A Zombie Story is by turns disgusting, terrifying, funny, and heartbreaking. Fans of The Walking Dead will eat it up like, well, zombies munching fresh brains. A stellar debut from a novelist to watch!"
--Mike Mullin, award-winning author of Ashfall, Ashen Winter, and Sunrise
"Robert Kent's All Together Now explodes with action, near escapes, flying guts (and other body parts), and bad luck for the main characters followed by even worse luck. In other words, a perfect YA zombie book. But the heart of this story are the realistic characters. I found myself staying up late over several nights, unable to put Ricky's tale down"
--Darby Karchut, author of Griffin Rising and Finn Finnegan"When I say I found this book horrifying, I mean that in a good way. I mean it in the best way there is. There were moments in this book that completely spun me out. I read the disclaimer, but I wasn't expecting it to be as intense as it was."
--Anniki, Anniki's Bookcase"The action, interspersed with introspection, Ricky's back story, the story of why the zombie outbreak occurred, his relationship with his step sister who he is escaping with, it all melds together in a really moving book."
--Becky Gardens, Top 50 Amazon Reviewer"All Together Now is fast-paced, well-written, and thought provoking while still filling its pages with plenty of action, suspense, and, of course, Zombie carnage. If you like Zombie Action combined with dark humor and a twinge of romance, then All Together Now is definitely for you."
--Blood, Sweat, and Books"Kent doesn't pull any punches. This is a violent story that not only shows the zombie carnage, but also how humans can be just as nasty and dangerous as zombies."
--Pearls Cast Before A McPig