Genre: Horror/paranormal with Action/adventure
Publisher: William Burke
Date of Publication: June 17th 2016
Number of pages: 333
Word Count: 96,000
Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor
The forces of darkness are out to destroy mankind… Too bad they never reckoned on facing Maggie Child!
Army chopper pilot Maggie Child has a reputation for being fearless, professional and, above all, rational. But when she's shot down over Iraq her well-ordered life spirals into a paranormal nightmare. Alone, wounded and surrounded by hostile forces, Maggie is rescued from certain death by a demon straight out of Dante's Inferno. Then, barely alive, she's abducted by a private military corporation conducting insidious medical experiments. Her escape from their covert hellhole lands her on a Caribbean island where an evil voodoo spirit and a psychotic female dictator are conspiring to unleash an apocalyptic zombie plague. Then she uncovers the most terrifying secret of all—her own destiny. It seems a Voodoo oracle has ordained her the only warrior capable of saving humanity from a supernatural Armageddon … whether she wants the job or not!
But saving the world isn't a one-woman job, so she teams up with a trio of unlikely heroes—a conspiracy obsessed marijuana smuggler, a Voodoo priestess with an appetite for reality television, and a burnt out ex-mercenary. Together, they'll take on an army of the walking dead, with the fate of humanity resting in their eccentric hands.
Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising is the first novel in a new horror series packed with supernatural thrills, rousing adventure, dark humor, Voodoo lore and plenty of zombie stomping action. But a word of warning; don't shoot these zombies in the head … because that just makes them mad!
It's the legions of hell versus Maggie Child … and hell doesn't have a prayer!
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/yPfVbgm-1XY
Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising by William Burke is a fast-paced horror novel with quirky characters…Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
About the Author:
After two years of ghostwriting, William Burke has released his first novel VOODOO CHILD, Book One: Zombie Uprising. It's the first installment of a new horror series chronicling the exploits of Maggie Child and her Voodoo priestess partner Sarafina as they battle to save the island of Fantomas from the wrath of evil Voodoo spirits.
The author was raised on a diet of late night creature features, comic books, Mad magazines and horror stories. As a result every volume will be packed with eccentric characters, dark humor, chills, zombies, ghosts, monsters, military hardware and plenty of stuff blowing up.
Prior to writing Voodoo Child he was the creator and director of the Destination America television series Hauntings and Horrors. He has also written scripts for two Cinemax television series, Forbidden Science and Lingerie, which he also produced. He has also written magazine pieces for Fangoria and the Phantom of the Movies Videoscope among others.
William began his film and television career as a perfectly respectable video engineer at the venerable United Nations. Budget cuts shifted him to becoming a production manager and assistant director on an array of New York based indie films. With that experience under his belt he relocated to Los Angeles where he eventually produced sixteen feature films and two television series for the Playboy Entertainment Group. After years of producing T&A extravaganzas, kickboxing epics and gangster rap videos, he created a self financed television pilot entitled American Mystery Tour. Canada's CTV picked up the series under the title Creepy Canada, which was then re-titled Hauntings and Horrors in the USA. Since then he has successfully produced three series for HBO/Cinemax as well as documentaries and other … stuff.
After hundreds of hours of film and television production he is basking in the freedom of the written word, where small budgets and giant egos are only memories. He lives in Toronto.
If you enjoyed the first adventure please visit www.williamburkeauthor.com where you'll find lots of interesting information about Voodoo and military hardware, along with excerpts from Sarafina's personal diary AND, as a gift to readers, the author will be serializing a prequel novella
I’m originally from Poughkeepsie, New York, also the birthplace of film director Ed Wood… that’s pretty much our claim to fame. But I’m nomadic by nature and during my time in the military I lived in Germany (back when there were two of them) and Louisiana. After leaving the military I lived in Manhattan for eight years, Los Angeles for seven and then moved to Toronto, Canada where I’ve been for the past eight years. So I’m either an enlightened, rambling free spirit, or just carnie trash with a library card – it depends who you ask.
Tell us your latest news?
The latest news is really this book tour, which gives me a chance to reach out to readers and, more importantly hear their thoughts. How this book series goes forward is very dependent on the feedback I get from readers… so don’t hold back, I can take it.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a teenager, but later shifted into the creative aspects of television and film rather than trying to write novels. Ultimately I’m finding more satisfaction in the book realm than I ever had in film or TV.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my first script was accepted by HBO for the series Forbidden Science. That made me feel like I could cut it.
What inspired you to write your first book?
After years of working in television and film as a producer and occasional writer I became more and more frustrated with how difficult it was to get anything read by broadcasters, never mind produced. At the same time I was ghostwriting, which is enjoyable but has no payoff, except more anonymous ghostwriting.
So I channeled my frustration by taking a project I’d originally developed for television and adapting it into a novel. But once my imagination was free of worries like budget and special effects I found myself throwing away most of the television concept away and going wild. It’s a great feeling.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I consider my style to be very “pulp” – like the old action adventure paperbacks of the 1960’s and 70’s minus the buckets of exposition and the rampant misogyny of that period. One of the problems in the horror or action genres is that strong female characters are often really overly sexualized male fantasy figures. So I strove to have actual women as the central characters who provided the emotional center of the story. Embracing a pulp style also means doing anything and everything you can to keep reader’s eyes glued to the page, freeing me to leap from humor to action, to graphic horror. Fortunately those kinds of shifts in tempo felt very organic to the book’s tone and storyline.
How did you come up with the title?
Well, of course there’s the classic Hendrix song. But in truth it came when I was taking a class at my gym. The song Rouge Traders song Voodoo Child (written by Elvis Costello) by was playing over and over while I was doing bench presses or some other painful thing. The chorus played over and over until I realized, “Hey that’s a good title.” I thought the “Zombie Uprising,” part had kind of a pulp-western vibe. I think “Sioux Uprising,” was the title of one of the old “Edge” series of western novels. It’s not plagiarism- it’s homage.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The main characters in my book are very eccentric so I suppose the message is that your perception of people is often very different from the reality. If you look beyond those preconceived notions about folks you just might find the genuine heroes you need.
How much of the book is realistic?
Well, the concept is pure fiction, but that’s no excuse to skimp on the actual details. I think readers can always tell when a writer has really done their homework and I’m pretty proud of mine.
In the course of writing I did extensive research into the actual practice of Voodoo. It’s a very misunderstood religion, and I’m probably not doing it any favors. But I incorporated as many genuine aspects of the belief, including recognized spirits (or Loa) like Baron Kriminel, and proper usage of terms like bokor (a practitioner of dark Voodoo). I also made my Voodoo priestess (or Mambo) Sarafina into one of the heroes, even though 99% of the time that character would be depicted as a villain. In reality women like Sarafina are often the heart and soul of their community, and I wanted to portray that. I didn't want to insult those who practice Voodoo (more properly Voudon), which is why I chose Baron Kriminel as the supernatural villain – nobody actually worships that particular spirit because he’s just pure evil, which makes him pure awesome.
I did an equal amount of research on the book’s military hardware, like Maggie’s UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, Rip Flowers DC-3 airplane and even the Saracen Armored Vehicles that are important to the book’s finale. I probably spent a solid week just writing the chapter where her helicopter is attacked, ensuring that all the technical details were authentic.
That attention extended into other; seemingly minor details, like getting Maggie’s Army rank correct. Like the majority of Army Chopper pilots she’s a Warrant Officer, not a traditional commissioned officer. So she went straight from high school to flight school. There are female military helicopter pilots like her risking their lives every day, so the least I could do was get the information right.
It’s important because I think readers deserve the best and most authentic book possible. It’s even more critical because the supernatural aspects of the book are completely off the map in terms of reality.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A bit of Maggie’s unusual upbringing is borrowed from my own childhood. My mother was a professional psychic and our house was very metaphysical and new age, which isn’t as cool as it sounds. Great people, but it was an odd environment to grow up in.
Lavonia’s biography (or more properly Her Excellency Madame Lavonia Dawes, Prime Minister of the Republic of Fantomas) sprang from some sad childhood stories I was told by models when I worked at Playboy. Because they were pretty as children many of these models were forced into the circuit of toddler and teen beauty pageants by their stage moms. That kind of childhood really did a number on their heads, leaving them insecure, vulnerable and unprepared for the real world. Most of them also discovered that mom had spent the prize money they earned, so they were broke to. Of course in my book these childhood experiences turned Lavonia into a murderous sociopath, who ultimately becomes dictator of a Caribbean country… she’s a lot of fun.
What books have most influenced your life most?
At an early age I delved into some of the more outré authors available, and I think Harry Crews and Harlan Ellison both had a huge impact on me. They showed that fiction does not have to have rules, and the expression of ideas is limitless. I recently reread Crew’s novel A Feast of Snakes, and was once again struck by his melding of beauty, sadness and humor.
On the guilty pleasures side I’m a huge fan of Warren Murphy’s book series The Destroyer, which appears to be part of the manly adventure genre, but is in truth a merciless satire of virtually everything that caught the writer’s fancy.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would probably pick Harlan Ellison, even though I’m not in any way a science fiction writer. His versatility and discipline are inspiring. He also says whatever is on his mind, regardless of the consequences, which I have to admire.
What book are you reading now?
I recently shot a video about my literary influences, which inspired me to reread some of those books from my past. Right now I’m finishing Jim Thompson’s Population 1280, and it’s given me an even greater respect for his talent because it’s so dark, twisted and amazing.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Well, maybe new-ish. Christian Cameron is an author I really respect and admire. He’s breathed new life into historical fiction with his Tyrant series. Jim Mullaney is an author who ghostwrote over a dozen of the best Destroyer novels, and has recently released his series of Crag Banyon novels, a hilarious satire on the hardboiled detective genre. Crag is a down on his luck private eye whose clients include Santa Claus, Satan and Poseidon.
What are your current projects?
Voodoo Child, Book Two: Title TBD. This time the US Navy is headed for Fantomas to quarantine the island and render aid to its citizens. In doing so they’ll ignite a disaster of global proportions, unless of course Maggie and Sarafina can save the world.
What would you like my readers to know?
Just that I work for them, so please shoot me any feedback or customer reviews on Amazon. Also they can check out my website www.williamburkeauthor.com – where I have some fun articles about Voodoo, zombies and military hardware. Thanks so much and I hope they enjoy the book.
Author interview video: https://youtu.be/SXanlSkmHEI
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