Word-Slingers – Guest Emily Goodwin

Today we have Emily Goodwin who came to me from Bewitching Blog Tours. She is touring with her release, Contagious.

1) How long have you been writing?

I started writing in college while working on getting a degree in psychology, which was back in 2010. I graduated and got married that year, so I didn’t have much time to put into writing. I’ve been ‘formally’ writing since October 2011, so almost a year!

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.) 

Too many! I’m a full time nursing student (I graduate in December, woo-hoo!), I have horses, ferrets, and a dog to take care of on a daily basis. I have a stock model account on Deviantart.com and I make most of my own costumes. I give riding lessons, am in an unofficial ghost hunting club, and of course write. Plus, I’m married, so I have a husband to spend some time with.

3) What can you tell us about your release Contagious?What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. 

I had a really weird dream that inspired the entire Trilogy. In my dream, I needed my appendix out. The surgeon replaced it with pot roast—which was normal in the dream—and when I woke up after surgery, I discovered that everyone was dead or insane. A hot Irish doctor (who inspired the character Padraic) saved me and told me that the crazy people were infected with a zombie virus that made them feel intense rage and aggression before they turned into zombies.

I thought it would be fun to write about zombies and tossed some ideas around, though none were too serious in the beginning. The plot was just sorta born, I can’t even think of the exact moment when, and I went from there.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted a different kind of main character. Too often in books, the MC is ‘good’; nice, kind, caring…that sort of thing. I wanted to write about a more realistic lead, who has made bad choices and lives with regrets. I also knew that I wanted the books to be more than just badass fighters ripping zombies to shreds. I wanted to keep the resiliency of humanity rather salient; Contagious is just as much about finding the will to keep going in a dead world as it is about zombie slaying.

4) What is it about the occult/zombie genre that you like so much?

It’s just fun. Writing about characters who live in a horrible, harrowing world opens up so many possibilities. The Zombie Apocalypse brings out the best and worst in people, and it was really fun being able to play on those strengths and weaknesses. And, there might be a little part of me that is slightly afraid that the ZA might really happen…

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I also write fantasy and paranormal romance novels. I’m not sure if I’d move outside the occult/horror/paranormal genre, it’s just not my cup of tea. I prefer to read those genres as well.

6) Sweet or sour?


7) Chocolate or vanilla?


Emily Goodwin resides in Indiana, where she lives with her husband and many four legged children, including their much loved German Shepherd named Vader. Accused of being a day dreamer, Emily began writing at an early age, making use of her active imagination. She has a degree in psychology and is currently working on her second degree in nursing. Emily likes anything paranormal, 80’s rock, going on crazy adventures with her friends, making (and wearing) costumes, Renaissance Fairs, and is an animal rights activist.

I wasn’t afraid of death. If I died, it would be over. My worst fear wasn’t of dying, it was of living. Living, while everyone around me had their flesh savagely torn from their bodies to be shoved into the festering and ever-hungry mouths of zombies. It terrified me, right down to my very core, to be alive while the rest of the world was dead.”

In the midst of the Second Great Depression, twenty-five year old Orissa Penwell doesn’t think things can get any worse. She couldn’t be more wrong. A virus breaks out across the country, leaving the infected crazed, aggressive and very hungry.

Orissa will do anything-no matter if it’s right or wrong- to save the ones she loves. But when she discovers that most of the world is infected or dead, she must decide if those lives are worth saving at all. 

I grabbed a rifle, sticking my head through the strap. I slung the quiver of arrows and the bow over my shoulder, stuffed an extra clip in my pocket, and stood.

“What the hell are you doing?” Padraic asked, over Argos’ muffled growls.

“I’m going to bring the truck around. Get in the back as soon as you can.”

“No!” Raeya objected. “Rissy, you’ll die! You-you can’t go down there with them!”

“They’re still far enough away I can get to the car.”

“No, they’re not. Stay here and they will pass us,” she pleaded.

“They will find us. Our best chance is getting out of here. Then we can double back for the SUV.”

“Orissa, that is crazy!” Jason shouted. “What if you don’t make it?”

“I have to try.” I moved to the ladder.

“You could die,” Raeya cried, scrambling to her feet.

“You either die trying or you just die,” I told her, feeling like this wasn’t really happening. “I’m not giving up yet. I said I’d keep you alive, and, well, this is the only way.”

My feet hit the cold cement, shock stinging my ankles. I pulled an arrow, ready to shoot. My breath clouded around me as adrenaline coursed my veins. The zombies were closer than I anticipated. They surrounded the cars, passing them without a second look. Hungry, they followed our human scent. I released the arrow. It zipped through the air and passed through a mushy zombie skull, continuing its lethal voyage into another’s eye. 

I couldn’t do that again if I tried. I ran around the barn, clambering onto the roof of some sort of out building. I fired the rest of my arrows. Two fast zombies raced in front of the rest, stretching their arms out when they caught sight of my movement. Firing the gun would give me away for sure. I dropped the bow, jumped down and held the rifle like a baseball bat. I whacked one in the head and kicked the other in the chest.

Its skin slimed off, making the bottom of my boot slippery. My foot skidded out from underneath me. The zombie I kicked grabbed my foot, bringing it to his mouth. He couldn’t bite through my boot. The M9 was wedged in my waistband, hurting like hell when I landed on my back. I madly thrashed around, retrieving it. I held it to the zombie’s head and pulled the trigger.

Spoiled bits of brain and thick blood splashed across my face. Thank God I remembered to close my eyes. Wiping zombie blood from my lips, I rolled over, shooting the other in the cheek. Dammit, I thought, cursing wasting a bullet. I fired again, this time hitting him right in between the eyes. Yellow brain matter oozed from the bullet hole. I scrambled back onto the roof of what had to be a chicken coup, based on the feathers. I emptied my clip, burying each round deep into the skull of a zombie.

Though they dropped like flies, it didn’t even dent the horrifying number that lumbered toward us. I switched to the rifle, shooting anything that moved. I needed to get off of the roof before I was completely surrounded. I dropped the rifle, shoved another clip into the M9 and jumped off. I sprinted to a silo. I climbed six feet up the ladder, twisting, and shooting.

A zombie moved through the crowd with sickening speed and grace. I had one bullet left. I aimed carefully, lining the scope up with his eye. I paused, thinking he was the best looking zombie I’d ever seen. His eyes met mine right as I pulled the trigger.

A zombie next to him fell to the ground. He put his finger to his lips and walked, unnoticed, through the flesh eating monsters that clawed at the broken side of the barn. When he was at the bottom of the ladder, he motioned for me to come down. I swallowed, not knowing why in the world I would trust this person or who the hell he was walking amongst the zombies. I shoved the empty M9 in my waistband and climbed down, hands trembling almost uncontrollably.

As soon as my feet hit the ground, he pressed himself up against me, pinning me between his body and the silo. Over a black, long sleeve shirt, he was wearing a hairy, moldy leather vest. It was wrinkled and rotten in parts. I wanted to shove him off me when I realized it was made out of zombie skin. Fingers, tied to strings like freaking decorations, hung from his neck. A hand was tied to his belt. I didn’t know what part of the zombie was stitched onto the baseball cap he was wearing.

It was disgusting, having zombie parts rubbing against me. It smelled revolting. So revolting, that the zombies wouldn’t be able to distinguish his human smell from the rotting flesh of one of their own. I closed my eyes and buried my face against his chest.

As if we didn’t exist, the zombies milled by, grabbing at the weak wood that kept my friends safe. I was grateful for this very odd stranger but I wanted to help my friends. A gun fired. My body tensed, thinking somehow one of my friends had gotten a hold of a weapon and shot the guy who was saving me, thinking he was really a zombie.

He put an arm around me, obviously thinking the echoing shot scared me. My fingers closed around the material of his shirt. A zombie stopped, eyeing us hungrily. I pulled the guy closer to me, holding my breath. He inched closer, every part of him pressing into me. Too scared to breathe, I held my breath until the zombie moved on.

There you have it. Hope you enjoyed Ms. Goodwin’s visit. Please let her know you stopped by by leaving a comment below.

Have a great week, people.


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