Welcome to Wednesday’s Blue Light Special. My good buddy Todd Brown is joining us to share his Celebrity Author Playlist for his newest release That Ghoul Ava & The Queen of the Zombies.
Before we start, let me introduce Todd to y’all.
Todd Brown is a jack of all trades in terms of writing. Though he is probably best known for his two zombie horror series, DEAD and ZOMBLOG, Todd also writes in other genres and he edits.
In addition to the writing, Todd is a musician and just an all around nice guy. He is straightforward, hardworking, and pragmatic. Plus, he loves his dog.
About That Ghoul Ava & The Queen of the Zombies
So, many people know me for my zombie stuff. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that some of my earliest (paid) writing came when I was writing comedy material for a local morning show. It was a lot of the typical stuff, re-writing song lyrics (a la Weird Al), poking fun at current events. So, my new series, That Ghoul Ava, is really just a return to something that I know and love.
For those of you unfamiliar, the brief synopsis is this: Ava is a ghoul. She eats the dead. She became a ghoul after committing suicide. She quickly learns that there is a huge supernatural world out there that exists right under our noses. Her humor is rude and somewhat sarcastic. She usually speaks without thinking, and seldom pays attention to what those around her are saying.
Ava came about because of one of my earliest supporters who uses that as her Twitter handle. I wrote the first short story as a way of saying thank you to her. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote a second short story and then offered them on Amazon. After having so much fun on the shorts, I decided to take on a full-length Ava adventure for NaNoWriMo this past November. What I came up with was That Ghoul Ava & The Queen of the Zombies. And I can say without a doubt that Ava will be returning.
It is no secret that many of us writer types use music to set the mood. For Ava, I needed to stay immersed in the vibe she has going which is Totally 80s! One thing that I am revealing here, but am actually very anxious to see a response to is the fact that every chapter is the title of an 80s song.
It kicks off with the Motley Crue’s Same Ol’ Situation. What was funny about making this choice was that I usually have no idea where a story is going to go until I begin writing. So, as I would start a chapter, I would already be trying to guess which song to use. This was the intro, so it was perhaps the easiest.
With chapters like Rumors in the Air and Nobody’s Fool (Cinderella is the only group to get two songs in this book) I was worried that I might be skewing too much towards the Hairbands. And while there is nothing really wrong with that, I wanted to make sure that I did not pigeon-hole myself with just the glam metal bands.
With Ava’s “condition” of having all black eyes, Sunglasses at Night proved to be an easy choice. That was when I realized that I was on to something that I really believe will add to the entertainment value for the readers. From that point on, I created a playlist on Spotify that has every song used as a chapter title. However, because Ava also talks a lot about the music of that era, I also add every song she mentions. So, I do believe that I have the only playlist that includes Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? By The Culture Club and Suite Sister Mary by Queensryche.
At least once per book, I will hit my “Shuffle” button on my vast 80s library collection and whatever song comes up will be the chapter. The challenge will be to write and keep with the story while still making some sort of connection to that song. In this particular story, it was the chapter (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight.
So, if you use Spotify, you can do a search for “Ava’s Playlist” and follow it. When I write subsequent books in the series, I will actually be posting the music as it comes up during the process. So, should Ava create a fan base, and you just happen to become one of them, you will always be able to see what might be in store just by following that playlist.
[Catie’s note: I had the best luck searching for Todd Brown and browsing through his playlists until I found the right one. If you can’t find it, let me know and I’ll find a way to help you find it.]
I hope that you will give Ava a try. If you are curious, but just want to see, the short ebook, That Ghoul Ava: Her First Adventures is available on the Kindle. However, I highly recommend the audiobook version narrated by Celia Aurora de Blas.
And for one lucky reader who comments, I will GIFT the audible version of that first adventure. My only request is that (good or bad) I hope you will go to Audible and leave a review. Those are so important these days in getting the word of mouth spread.