Support Your Local Independent Bookstore

October 31, 2008

<strong>I’m getting near the end of my signing tour for ZOMBIE CSU.  Along the way I’ve hit several independent bookstores, and that’s always a lot of fun.  Indie stores are different from the chains in a lot of important ways.

First, they really know their customers.  There’s more of a conversational back-and-forth between Indie store owners & staff and their regular customers.  Which leads to a second and very important difference –since they know their customers they know what they like.  These stores often have a lot of specialty stuff on their shelves that you won’t find anywhere else.

Good example… my second novel, DEAD MAN’S SONG, sold out of its first print run.  All of the major chains (including Amazon) are out of copies, but you can find new, signed copies at some of the indies, including:




These stores support writers and their honor readers.  And as a writer AND a reader, I love ’em.

Check ‘em out!   And…support your local independent book store.

-Jonathan </strong>

Jonathan Maberry Book Signing Schedule for October

October 1, 2008

I’ll be signing gobs o’ copies of ZOMBIE CSU this month.  Some of these will include panel discussions on all things zombie.  Stop on by, grab a book, meet the experts, share your opinions and insights on the living dead.  Remember…this is the 40th Anniversary of Night of the Living Dead…what better way to celebrate it than by snagging a copy of a book that explores the science and implications of George Romero’s dark vision of the apocalypse.


Oct 3: Doylestown Bookshop 7-8:30pm


Oct 4: Collingswood Book Festival (all day)


Oct 7: Doylestown Library 7-9pm


Oct 9: Borders Center City; 12:30


Oct 11: Wilkes-Barre Barnes & Noble 2-5pm;jsessionid=B08A1FF24EA4D823308B7D85BFDE723B?store=2996


Oct 14: Hunterdon County Library 7-9


Oct 17: Borders Express Willow Grove 7-9 pm


Oct 19: Between Books / Claymont Delaware 2-4 pm


Oct 23: Jenkintown Barnes & Noble 7-9 pm


Oct 25-26: Zombie Fest / Monroeville Mall (Pittsburgh)


Oct 30: Clinton Books / 7-9 pm



Writers Coffeehouse with Jonathan Maberry– Sunday from Noon to 3pm – FREE

September 26, 2008

Writers Coffeehouse with Jonathan Maberry– Sunday from Noon to 3pm – FREE

Come and join us on Sunday, September 28, from noon to 3pm at the Bucks County Coffeehouse in Doylestown PA for a free networking session.  It’s a bunch of writers sitting around talking about writing…with coffee.    


No agenda…just chat about the latest trends in the industry, about markets, about pitching and selling, about frustration, about keeping the inner fires alight, about dealing with our families, about how damn tough it is to make it as a writer at the best of times and what writers can do to stay afloat in these troubled economic waters.    


This is stuff that writers can’t really talk about with someone who isn’t a writer.  Writers get other writers: they’re of a species.    


No previous publishing experience necessary…the Writers Coffeehouse attracts everyone from absolute beginner to award-winners and bestsellers.  We’re all writers.   


So come on out and join us.  This will be a monthly event.  Grab a cup of coffee and head on downstairs to the Conference Room. 


See you Sunday.


For more information, drop me a line at


Bucks County Coffee Company

22 N. Main Street

Doylestown , PA 18901

(215) 345-0795


Adventures in Small Town America

September 23, 2008

This past weekend my wife (Sara Jo) and I traveled to Tunkhannock, a small town of about two thousand people in Pennsylvania near(ish) to Scranton and Wilkes Barre.  We’d never heard of before.  Now that we’ve been there…we’ll absolutely be going back.  The weekend turned out to be one of those genuine surprises that has come to define small town America.


I was invited there by Hildy Morgan (of PennWriters) to give a full day’s worth of writing workshops for folks in the area.  The workshop was part of a larger event to support the planned expansion of the Dietrich Theater.  The old theater is a marvel.  Original built in 1936 and closed in the late ‘80’s, it was brought back to life in 1998 and since then has been continually refined so that it’s now an elegant movie house that shows a mix of films but with a nice bias toward art films.  Last weekend they were cruising along with a movie marathon that included MAN ON A WIRE, AMERICAN TEEN, BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, MONGOL (one of my recent favorites), and TELL NO ONE –a French film based on a novel by my friend Harlan Coben (current President of the Mystery Writers of America).


My wife and I were booked in at the Weeping Willow Bed and Breakfast, which has a view you won’t believe and true to its name, a massive weeping willow tree by the front drive that I first saw in the mist of early morning.  Huge, green against the gray mist and the red barn, surrounded by flowers and with a cornfield rustling nearby.  Pretty much a perfect image (even if you’re not a writer).


We dined at Seasons, a restaurant that is virtually unknown outside of Wyoming County and which can holds it own against anything in New York or Philadelphia.  My wife is still talking about the pan-seared Pistachio Parmesan Encrusted Grouper; and I will go on record that the crab cakes at Seasons are second to none (and yes that includes the Jersey shore and the entire state of Delaware).  The owner/chef Bruce Arrowood is a genius and the town wasn’t a three hour drive away we’d be there every night.  No joke.


The group of writers to whom I spoke was terrific.  Smart, focused, talented, and many of them are ready for that step into the pro leagues.  They asked all the right questions and we had a blast!


Sara Jo and I feel like we stumbled into someplace magical, and we know we’ve made some real friends.


This Christmas we’ll be going back for their Christmas festival at the Dietrich and a big-screen showing of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.  Can’t wait!




Jonathan at MONSTER MANIA this weekend

August 22, 2008

Jonathan at MONSTER MANIA this weekend

Hey, guys…fellow Stoker-winner David Kramer and I will be at Monster Mania this weekend doing book signings in the dealers room.

Dave is the co-author of THE CRYPTOPEDIA: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange and Downright Bizarre, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Nonfiction.

I’ll also be signing copies of my Pine Deep Trilogy: GHOST ROAD BLUES (winner of the 2006 Stoker for Best First Novel), DEAD MAN’S SONG and BAD MOON RISING; along with VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (a nonfiction look at monsters in folklore and myth), and will be previewing ZOMBIE CSU: the Forensics of the Living Dead, which goes on sale Tuesday.

There will be goodies at the table along with free chances to win a signed copy of my next novel, PATIENT ZERO.

So…come on over to Cherry Hill, NJ and have some horrifying fun.

Here’s the skinny on the event:

AUGUST 22-24, 2008
(Formerly Hilton Hotel: Same hotel, different name)
Cherry Hill, NJ
(4 Miles past Exit 34B of I-295)
Special Guest: Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger himself!)  

My website:
Pine Deep Trilogy:
Zombie CSU:

A Writers Voice

August 21, 2008

A writer’s ‘voice’ is usually a product of his word choice, phrasing
and pacing. Stephen King, for example, uses a lot of internal
monologue with his characters and is a cognitive rather than visual
writer. Dean Koontz uses a tremendous number of metaphors and
similes in his text. Read a page of each and you can tell one from
the other.

Also, a lot of writers use favoring expressions over and over
again. In every single James Lee Burke novel you’ll find the
terms "fecund", "chemical green", etc.

Some writers can change their voice -either because they aren’t
locked into one, or because their particular skill set doesn’t rely
on a central voice for storytelling. Richard Matheson is an
example. His style for What Dreams May Come is totally different
than the voice he used for I Am Legend or Stir of Echoes. Other
writers deliberately change their voice with a new project, though
this takes a degree of effort. When I wrote PATIENT ZERO, the novel
I have coming out from St. Martins in March 2009 I chose a lean and
nourish style that was unlike the much more ornate style I used for
my trilogy of supernatural thrillers (GHOST ROAD BLUES, DEAD MAN’S
SONG and BAD MOON RISING). But it was a conscious choice and I
spent a while reading sections of old and new works aloud to look
for similarities so I could deliberately change them.

I like experimenting with variations on voice, and I find it easiest
to do this experimentation in short forms. When I wrote the short
story Pegleg and Paddy Save the World for the History is Dead
anthology I wanted a light, comedic voice and that took some doing
because it isn’t my natural style. Earlier this year I was asked to
contribute a short story to an antho of West Virginia tales based on
folklore, and I decided to write a story in which Sherlock Holmes
visits the US and solves a crime tied to a folkloric event. That
was a deliberate experiment in voice because I wanted to see if I
could write in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle. To manage it I read
a ton of Sherlock Holmes stories and also fell back onto the useful
trick of reading things aloud: both Doyle’s stuff and my own.

Then I hand stuff over to one of my trusted `first readers’ and
asked him to see if it sounded like me or like Doyle.

I’m currently writing the sequel to PATIENT ZERO, so I have to
reclaim that noir-ish style; but at the same time I’m collaborating
on an urban fantasy novel with another author, and though we want
that to also have a noir feel to it we’re working to make sure that
it has it’s own unique voice.

It’s not easy, but the challenge is fun.

The most useful strategies are to read through your work and
highlight phrases that you know you tend to repeat. And then read
pieces from two or three separate works aloud. Those two steps
genuinely help.

-Jonathan Maberry

Zombie CSU Website is Online

August 5, 2008

Okay guys…the official ZOMBIE CSU website is up and running (or, if you prefer the slow zombies, it’s up and shambling.)


The site was designed and built by Rachael Lavin, a brilliant young web designer.  (A decaying round of applause for the young lady!)


We’ll be adding a bunch of stuff to the site over the next few weeks as we count down to the August 26 release of the book.  More artwork, more links, more zombies!


But for now go take a peek.  It won’t bite.  Much.

A conversation with Douglas Clegg about ZOMBIES

July 31, 2008

While doing research for ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead I had the good fortune to have a frank discussion with bestselling author Douglass Clegg.


Pull up a chair and listen in….


JONATHAN: Doug, thanks for stopping by to share your views on pop culture and the walking dead.  Why is it about zombies that draws our attention?


DOUG CLEGG: We’re fascinated by the physical body and what happens after death to it. Additionally, with zombies, there’s the sense of the dumb, destructive crowd out there that’s going to somehow drive us insane or destroy us — sort of like the guy in Munch’s painting, The Scream, with the world all around him while he exists in his own nightmare.


Overall,  I really think it goes back to a kind of thrill about coming back from the grave. And eating brains and other organs. I suspect that would be a bit sloppier than the vampire, who drinks blood in a kind of erotic kiss. It’s interesting that both the zombie and the vampire — in terms of the horror genre — have a cannibalistic hunger for the living.   It’s not enough just to be killed, but to be eaten or drained of blood, that seems a wee bit more horrifying.


JONATHAN: What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen humans do in a zombie film?


CLEGG:  Trust each other to do the right thing.


JONATHAN: What’s the smartest thing you’ve seen a human do in one of those flicks?


CLEGG: Keep running. Or else just shoot themselves in the head when surrounded by dozens of zombies. That’s what I’d do — after all, I don’t care what anyone does with my body after I’m dead. I just don’t want to be around to watch it happen.


JONATHAN: Okay,, quick question: Zombies…fast or slow?


CLEGG: Slow. There is something so terrifying about the slow attack that is inescapable. Serial killers can be fast, jaguars can be fast, a train about to hit you on the tracks can be fast — but there is a more nightmarish quality to the shambling corpse whose only goal is to find the nearest living human to eat. There is something incredibly horrible about the idea of being taken down by a slow, dumb predator — we expect the smart ones to get us, but not those relentless brainless ones.


JONATHAN: What are your favorite zombies movies and books?


CLEGG: Night of the Living Dead (the original) really launched the sub-genre of zombie flicks, but Shaun of the Dead certainly made its mark — as did 28 Days Later. I also enjoyed The Serpent and the Rainbow, more in book form than movie form — but still, the movie was fun to watch. For camp, those Return of the Living Dead movies were fun, too.


JONATHAN: Have you ever written zombie fiction? 


CLEGG: I have an unpublished illustrated children’s book for adults called The Saddest Little Zombie, with illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne. In it, a boy named Tommy is killed by his mother as she tries to dislodge a stew-bone caught in his throat. Later, a voodoo priestess raises him from the grave. He returns to his family for supper on Christmas Eve, but can’t stop himself from eating people. There’s even a Christmas tree made of bones in it. It’s sort of a holiday book with the living dead, for adults who like scary kids’ books. I have to admit, I’m not sure a kid should read it.



Visit Doug’s website at:


Look for ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead by Jonathan Maberry

Citadel Press – Fully Illustrated – $16.95

Available Everywhere August 26

Available for pre-order online at Borders, Amazon and Barnes & Noble

DEAD MAN’S SONG sells out its first print run

July 30, 2008

Hey guys…for everyone who has been asking why it’s so darn hard to snag a copy of the middle book of the Pine Deep Trilogy, the news is that DEAD MAN’S SONG has SOLD OUT!


DEAD MAN’S SONG links the first book GHOST ROAD BLUE S (winner of the 2006 Bram Stoker Award) and the concluding volume BAD MOON RISING (2008).  It gives the creepy back-story to the whole Pine Deep mystery. 


Bookstores (real world and online) are taking orders now so that when the new print run is ready the copies can be sent out right away.


So….go order your copy now!




Ghost Road Blues (Pinnacle Books; ISBN # 0786018151)

Dead Man’s Song (Pinnacle Books; ISBN # 078601816X)

Bad Moon Rising (Pinnacle Books; ISBN # 0786018178)  


February 14, 2008

A lot of folks have been asking me about writing classes, so I want to answer everyone at once with a list of the programs I have coming up at the Writers Corner USA.  And, for those asking about Online Classes…as soon as I find a decent chat utility I’ll be getting those up and running. 

So…here’s what’s coming up.  Registration info is at the bottom of the list.  -J 


DATE/TIME:  Three Thursdays, March 13, 20 & 27, 6:30 to 8:30

FEE: $100 (Ask about our Friends and Family Discount)

DESCRIPTION: The short story market is on the rise.  More and more markets are opening up for short stories in all genres.  This three-week program will teach you the basics of crafting saleable short stories and also how to locate paying markets; how to format your work; submitting your work; legal rights for short-story writers; and more. 

SHORT STORY BOOTCAMP –A Write, Revise, Submit in one Weekend

DATE/TIME:  Saturday Feb 23 and Sunday Feb 24; 10am to 4pm

FEE: $100 (Ask about our Friends and Family Discount).

DESCRIPTION: If you like a faster pace or need to acquire some writing discipline then enroll in our Short Story Bootcamp.  On Saturday, from 10-4 you get a crash-course in short story writing for today’s market and will then settle down here at the Corner and write an ENTIRE SHORT STORY.  Overnight the instructor will read the stories to provide feedback; and on Sunday as you revise the story the instructor will search the best of today’s markets to find the best places for you to submit your work.  By Monday your story will be in the mail! 


DATE/TIME:  A monthly program; starts Saturday, February 16, Noon – 2pm

FEE: $300.00 for the complete six-month program. (Ask about our Friends and Family Discount).

DESCRIPTION:  Most writing workshops are geared toward beginner writers, which can frustrate someone who already knows the basics but needs to take things to a new level.  The Advanced Novel Writing workshop is designed for established writers (of all kinds) who now want to write a novel, see it through to completion, and get it to market with the best possible chance of sale.  This program will cover all aspects of the novel craft (voice, tension, POV, character development, psychological subtext, imagery, dialogue, etc.) and will also provide an insiders view of the current status of the fiction market (who is buying and selling, what trends are hot and cold, etc.) and will help you prepare for the pitch, the sale, the deal, and the promotion.  Program also includes a Peer Critique group, the first session of which is moderated by Jonathan who will go through the steps of how for a manuscript analysis.  A dedicated Yahoo Group will also be set for this program. 


DATE/TIME:  Two Thursdays: February 21 & 28; 6:30 to 8:30

FEE: $50   (Ask about our Friends and Family Discount).

DESCRIPTION: If you have a book you are ready to market (or have been marketing and haven’t had any luck selling), then come join us at the Writers Corner USA on Sunday September 24, from 6 to 9pm for a special workshop on selling your writing.  There have been a lot of changes in the publishing industry and more than ever the Pitch has become a vital selling tool.  You’ll not only learn how to pitch…you’ll practice your pitch and get feedback and suggestions on how to fine-tune it so that it closes the deal.  Jonathan will be teaching this program along with director/actor/author Keith Strunk! 

Date/Time:  Begins Saturday, March 8, 3-5pm; Six 2-hour sessions meeting once per month, plus reserved monthly peer critique group;

FEE: $225.00  ($25 discount if you register before March 1). 

DESCRIPTION: Want to write a crime novel, thriller, suspense story or mystery? This writing-intensive program takes that idea that’s been knocking around in your head all these years and gets it onto the page. This 6-month course covers every aspect of writing and developing the novel, including: Building your platform; Creating a flexible book outline; Building suspense; Laying down the Clues; Creating Real Characters; Developing the story idea; Developing various versions of the storyline synopsis; Writing and Finishing the First Draft; Identifying Your Market; Insider tips on the writing business; Learning how to find an agent and/or publisher Outline the Novel; Preparing for Revisions; Preparing for Revisions; Publicity; Searching for Agents and Publishers; Setting a Practical and Possible Daily Word Count; The writing contract step-by-step; Time management for writers Working the markets; and much more.


DATE/TIME:  Sunday March 9; 10am – 3pm

FEE: $75   (Ask about our Friends and Family Discount).

DESCRIPTION: The truth is that authors have to do most of the work to publicize and promote their own books, and this is true whether you have a three-book deal with a major publisher or have self-published your own work.  The job is left up to the writer to get the word out there, set up their own signings, arrange public appearances, create websites and social networking sites, create marketing tools and giveaway items, and keep their books flying off the shelves!  Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry will show you what you need to know and share insider tips to make your book –and your writing career—really stand out.  


DATE/TIME:  Begins Sunday March 9; 4-6pm; Six 2-hour sessions meeting once per month, plus reserved monthly peer critique group

FEE: $225.00  (Ask about our Friends and Family Discount).

DESCRIPTION: The market for Thrillers and Mysteries is hotter than ever.  Crime Novels, Thrillers and Suspense Stories dominate the bestseller list, and editors are always looking for the next new voice who will intrigue and entice the readers.  If you want to learn the secrets of writing and selling for this market, then this is the program you’ve been looking forward.  This 6-month course covers every aspect of writing and developing the novel, including: Plots and subplots; character creation; scene building; POV; action and pace; ratcheting up the tension; as well as draft and revisions; figurative language; identifying the right markets; finding and working with agents and editors; publicity for authors, and much more.  

INSTRUCTOR: Jonathan Maberry is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Ghost Road Blues (Pinnacle Books).  He has been a professional writer for nearly thirty years and is the author of eighteen nonfiction books and six novels. He has also sold more than 1100 articles, numerous short stories, plays, poetry, greeting cards, workshop packets, training materials, instructional posters, and video scripts. Jonathan is a founding partner of the Writers Corner USA; the Executive Director of Career Doctor for Writers; a writing mentor for the Mystery Writers of America and the Horror Writers Association; a member of the International Thriller Writers; and a speaker for the National Writers Union. He is frequent workshop leader for writers’ conferences (Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Conference, Sisters in Crime, Bedford Springs Literary Series, BackSpace, PennWriters, etc.); and often lectures at colleges.  In March he will be keynote speaker for the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Conference, and will be a featured speaker at many other writers’ events.  Jonathan is also a founding partner of The Liars’ Club, a networking group of professional authors, screenwriters and journalists. 

TO REGISTER FOR ANY PROGRAM Contact Jonathan via e-mail at, or via phone at 215-808-0945 to reserve your spot today. If responding by e-mail include the name of the program in the subject line, and provide us with your contact information. 

CHECK/MONEY ORDER: Payable to: Jonathan Maberry – PO Box 84 – Southampton, PA 18966

PAYPAL payments can be made to

CASH: During class only; please don’t send cash via mail.