How often can you buy a full-length recently released novel for less than 10 cents? I think it’s been decades since I did that. But right now you can pre-order and buy not one, but ten complete novels for only $0.99! Steven Ramirez is part of The Shadow Box, an incredible collection of dark novels. He’s stopped by today to tell us about his own intriguing entry in this set. Let’s find out more.
Steven Ramirez is the author of Books One and Two of The Dead Series, Tell Me When I’m Dead and Dead Is All You Get. He has also published a number of short stories, as well as a children’s book, and he wrote the screenplay for the horror-thriller film Killers. Steven lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughters.
You can find out more about Steven at these links:
Read on for more about Steven and his awesome book!
Tell me When I’m Dead
It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Dave was a changed man. He regretted the years he spent lost and drunk, hanging out with his best friend Jim. When he met Holly, a beautiful, strong-willed woman, she made him her mission. Now two years sober, Dave was on top of the world.
But on that night, Dave’s old friend shows up drunk. While driving Jim home, Dave swerves to avoid a rabid dog. They crash. When Dave regains consciousness, Jim is gone. Only a bloody hole in the windshield remains.
Missy, a woman Dave cheated with months before, suddenly decides she wants him back. He needs to get rid of her before Holly can find out.
Meanwhile, people in the town are coming down with “the jimmies,” a mysterious illness that leads to death.
Only they don’t stay dead.
They come back as shrieking flesh-eaters. And so does Jim. As Dave tries to convince Missy to leave him alone, Jim finds them. Instead of helping Missy escape, Dave runs. Missy gets infected, and now she wants revenge.
The contagion has spread, and Black Dragon Security is brought in to restore order. Soon they discover that in addition to the outbreak they must battle the Red Militia, a paramilitary group led by a charismatic madman. And as conditions in the town deteriorate, it’s clear that the Black Dragon supervisor is coming unhinged.
In the midst of the mayhem, Dave, Holly and a group of armed soldiers and civilians must find a way to survive. But how can they? Dave is this close to drinking himself into oblivion. Missy is after him—even though she’s no longer human. The hordes of undead are growing and security forces are outnumbered. Hell has arrived in Tres Marias.
Nowhere is safe.
Grab Tell Me When I’m Dead and follow Dave, Holly and their friends as they fight against looters, paramilitary crazies and the undead. And remember—if the zombies don’t kill you, people will.
Don’t want to wait until January? You can find Tell Me When I’m Dead at these retailers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBookStore | Kobo
The link to pre-order The Shadow Box is below, along with some info on the other fascinating books!
Now let’s shine the spotlight on Steven!
Steven: I guess this one falls under “Odd.” Years ago, I wrote screenplays hoping, like everyone else in LA, to hit it big. Anyway, I was in Beverly Hills one time and ran into Andy Garcia. I happened to have my screenplay with me, and I tried to give it to him to read. He must have thought I was a stalker. I will say, though, that he was extremely polite.
Maer: Do you use beta readers and, if so, what qualities do you look for in a beta?
Steven: That’s a great question. Yes, I do use beta readers. Writing is an iterative process, and it’s also very much like having a conversation with yourself for weeks or months on end. Once you reach a certain point, you really need to step back and allow others into the world you’ve created. I like to invite other writers to read my work—mainly because I am not looking for compliments. They can see all the plumbing and wiring that goes into creating a story, and offer valuable feedback.
Maer: What is a one line synopsis for your book?
Steven: When a contagion decimates the town of Tres Marias, recovering alcoholic Dave Pulaski, his wife, Holly, and a group of armed soldiers and civilians must find a way to survive.
Maer: I’ve already got this on my TBR list. Is this a stand-alone or part of a series?
Steven: Funny story. When I began writing Tell Me When I’m Dead, I fully intended it to be a one-off zombie-horror-thriller. By the time I got to the end, though, I realized that I couldn’t just leave the reader hanging—there was so much more story to tell. So I wrote Book Two, which is called Dead Is All You Get.
Maer: Can’t wait to read that one, too! Which character, other than Dave, is one of your favorites to write and why?
Steven: I love all my characters, but I really enjoy Irwin Landry. He’s the main character’s high school science teacher, and offers a lot of practical wisdom. And he’s pretty crusty.
Maer: If you had to pick a color to describe Dave what would that be and why?
Steven: I was never good at associating people with colors, but I’m happy to try. I guess I would have to say that Dave Pulaski is red—mainly because he has a temper. Things get him wound up, and he reacts easily.
Maer: You did great. Now tell, us, Steven, who are your favorite authors to read?
Steven: The authors I’ve admired over the years—and in no particular order—are Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Joseph Heller, Jane Austen, Douglas Adams, Kingsley Amis, Franz Kafka, Cormac McCarthy, James Ellroy, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Jack Finney and Gabriel García Márquez.
Maer: That is an awesome list! Can you share a bit about the project you’re working on now?
Steven: Sure. As I mentioned, Tell Me When I’m Dead is now Book One of The Dead Series. Dead Is All You Get is Book Two, and I am hard at work on Book Three, which doesn’t have a title yet. So, the innocent little zombie novel I wrote ended up as a trilogy!
Maer: Wow! So what do you do when you’re not writing?
Steven: I spend time with my family. Also, I read a lot and enjoy movies and television.
Maer: What influenced you to write in your genre? Do you write in others?
Steven: Over the years, I’ve written in a number of genres, including comedy and YA. But I continue to be drawn to horror, for some reason. I think it’s because as a kid I used to love watching those cheesy black-and-white horror movies on television and getting scared. Also, I think that most of my work revolves around the eternal battle between Good and Evil. So, horror is really a nice fit for me.
Maer: What music, if any, do you like to listen to while writing?
Steven: I enjoy listening to straight-ahead jazz and alternative rock, but never when I am writing. It’s too distracting.
Maer: Thanks again for stopping by, Steven. Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Steven: Yes, this was a lot of fun—thank you, Maer. And I want to add that I am thrilled to be part of The Shadow Box. I feel privileged to be among these other wonderful authors. What we have created collectively should make for some nice nightmares.
Maer: It was my pleasure, Steven. Your books and the collection, The Shadow Box, sound fascinating and I can’t wait to read it!
The Shadow Box
The Shadow Box is a collection of ten dark fantasy, paranormal thrillers and horror by some of the best writers in the genres. Here’s some info on each of these great novels:
DARKER THINGS by Rob Cornell
Fifteen years have passed since Craig Lockman worked for a shadowy agency fighting monsters most think exist only in nightmares. A mysterious teen girl arrives at his door with his fiercest enemy on her tail. Now he must protect the daughter he never knew from the dark world he thought he left behind.
MOTH by Sean Poindexter
Social worker Max Hollingsworth is no stranger to monsters. Supernatural or human, he’s faced all kinds. But when he’s called upon to investigate a missing child, he may have met his match.
THE SHEPHERD by Travis Luedke
After saving a mysterious girl from a hit and run, 16 yr. old Mike Evans soon finds his life spiraling out of control. Facing clairvoyant visions of grisly death, Mike struggles to avert disaster and make his way through the chaos.
COUNCIL OF PEACOCKS by M. Joseph Murphy
A band of misfit, half-demon teenagers join the ruthless, immortal Wisdom, to stop The Council of Peacocks. The Council, a secret society of sorcerers, has plotted for centuries, and now the time has come for Activation – a hostile takeover of Earth.
A DEATH DISPLACED by Andrew Butcher
When Nicolas Crystan unexpectedly sees the future, he acts fast to save Juliet Maystone from a fatal accident, unintentionally “displacing” her–giving her the power to see ghosts. Together, they must use their newfound abilities to unravel a mystery more connected to Nicolas than he ever imagined …
BOUND BY BLOOD by Shane KP O’Neill
Vlad Dracula: ruler, tyrant, warlord, and champion of the Catholic faith, is seized by Lucifer in his moment of death and becomes a monster, born of Darkness. Vlad is charged with destroying the institution of the Catholic Church, to help turn man against God so that Lucifer may finally return to Heaven and end all of mankind.
LUNA SANGUIS by Simon Okill
A mysterious woman awakes in an asylum in France, 1925, with amnesia. As her memory is restored she reveals her true vampiric nature and unleashes a bloody nightmare that might destroy all humanity.
TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD by Steven Ramirez
When a contagion decimates the town of Tres Marias, recovering alcoholic Dave Pulaski, his wife, Holly, and a group of armed soldiers and civilians must find a way to survive.
THE LONG WAY DOWN by Craig Schaefer
The death of a porn star leads sorcerer Daniel Faust down a rabbit hole of conspiracy and madness. For the first time, black magic and bullets might not be enough to save him from the brink of damnation.
BLACKJACK by Kristopher Norris
When Vincent Black, a gun for hire, is told vampires are all too real, he thinks it’s a joke. But soon he learns that he is not the most dangerous brand of hunter out there…
You can pre-order The Shadow Box collection of all ten novels, including Tell Me When I’m Dead at: