Friday, October 25, 2013


Genre: YA horror
Word count: 60,000

My Main Character's Greatest Fear: 

My MC, Dallas, fears anything happening to her younger sister, Talia. Now that Tally is 16, she's starting to notice boys. Her new boyfriend, Pierce, has a cute haircut, a good laugh...and a bad temper. When the zombie outbreak begins, Dallas and Pierce's ideas of how to protect Tally are differing at best. If they can't get along, the living dead may be the least of Dallas's worries.


When 17-year-old Dallas Langdon sees a bloody, gray-skinned girl eating a man's intestines, she knows it won't be another Friday night on the town. She's seen Night of the Living Dead, and this scene is straight from a zombie move. What do characters in zombie movies do? They seek shelter. Fortunately, Dallas's eccentric uncle owns a farmhouse in Chattanooga, an eight hour drive from New Orleans. It's on top of a steep mountain, surrounded by electric fences, and cut off from the world -- including zombies.

Dallas's parents, still safe at home, laugh at her idea over the phone, but say they'll meet her there anyway. Her friends only agree to join her when she tells them it's a mini vacation. Plenty of sun, drinks, and maybe even a chance to miss school Monday.

But then Dallas's best friend is killed by a zombie horde when they're attracted to her ringing cell phone. Civilians think their reanimated loved ones simply have the flu, leaving them alive and rapidly increasing the zombie ranks. And since minors can't buy guns, Dallas's only weapon is a giant industrial pizza cutter she swipes from a gas station. George A. Romero never mentioned anything like this. With one friend dead and no zombie survival guides to help, Dallas and her friends must get to Chattanooga before developing a taste for human flesh themselves.

STATE OF EMERGENCY is a 60,000 word YA horror novel. It combines the zombie action of Jonathan Maberry's ROT & RUIN with the self-aware humor of Zombieland and the Scream movies. It's a standalone novel but has series potential.

I have a degree in Creative Writing from Belhaven University.

First 250 words:

Two hours before Dallas Langdon saw the first zombie, she sat in an uncomfortable plastic chair backstage at the House of Blues in New Orleans. A table covered with microphones and wires stood in front of her, and a fancy camera was pointed toward it. A tray of cupcakes coated with bright pink frosting sat at the edge of the table.

"Dallas? Dallas!"

"Huh?" Dallas turned her eyes to the plastic chair to her left where Talia, her younger sister, was snapping her fingers. A man with a clipboard hovered over them.

"This man just asked you a question," Talia said.

The man sighed. "I want to know your thoughts on Tatum Jones."

"Tatum...oh, um, yeah." Dallas scratched her head. She's...she's really something. Known her for years."

Talia rolled her eyes. "I'm sorry," she said. "My sister is a little burned out from midterms."

The man grunted and turned away. Talia glared at Dallas, but giggled. "Sorry," Dallas muttered. It was hard for her to hold her tongue when it came to Tatum, and she was doing her best to be polite already.

"Would you ladies like a cupcake?" The anchorman, who had been standing at the wooden table like a statue for nearly twenty minutes, picked up the cupcake tray and held it out. “Tatum made them for us, and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if we started eating them without her.”

"I do," Talia said. "I'm starving. Want one, Dal?"

Dallas didn't care to eat anything Tatum Jones had presumably baked, but she hadn't eaten much at dinner and her stomach was growling. "Sure, bring me one."

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