Monday, 15 January 2018

Javan Bonds Author Feature and Giveaway!

Please welcome Javan Bonds to the blog today. Javans series is called the Still Alive series, with 4 books currently available. The Still Alive series follows a group of survivors in a small southern town as they try to keep their wits about them and make a new life in a world over run by naked, nocturnal, s**t spewing, yellow eyed, blue skinned zombies intent on chomping on them to infect or devour every last piece of flesh on their bones. Fun times!?! Think WW Z, Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead, just better!! 

Let's get to know Javan and his books first, then we will get to the interview, and giveaway! 



YOUNG AUTHOR OVERCOMES THE CHALLENGES OF MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY TO EXPLORE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

ALBERTVILLE, AL – Like many young writers, Javan Bonds dreams almost daily of the apocalypse – usually one populated by the walking dead. But his real-life day-to-day existence is almost as challenging as the world of zombies and collapsing civilizations. Javan, now 30 years old, was diagnosed with Friedrich's Ataxia, a form of muscular dystrophy, at the age of 11.

Today, Javan's condition, though stable, is progressively worse. He was 13 years old when he became wheelchair-bound; his sight has been diminishing since 2010 (he is now legally blind), and his hearing has been affected as well. “The summer before my senior year,” he says, “my heart started beating out of rhythm.” Diagnosed as atrial fibrillation, it eventually formed a blood clot. “I had to undergo a transesophageal cardioversion to shock my heart back into rhythm. I went from being a fat kid at 220 pounds to a waif at 120 pounds in just a few months. The class ring I got in my junior year was size 10; I currently wear a size 6.”

But Javan has never let his disability rule him. In spite of it all, he continues to “read” as many as five audio books every week, and with the help of adaptive technologies, as well as his friends and family, he continues to explore his own dark, dystopian worlds. His five current books, he says, are only the beginning.

Javan's MD hasn't slowed him down; quite the opposite. He has already written and published four books in his “Still Alive” zombie series – Zombie Lake, Zombie Island, Zombies on a Plane and most recently Zombie Oasis – as well as a grim near-future dystopian novel, Free State of Dodge, about the decline of the United States and its rebirthAnd to hear him tell it … he's just getting started. Zombie River RunZombie Paradise LostZombie Deliverance, Zombie Tide and Zombie Bayare all in the works and that’s just what he plans to release in 2018.

“I'm a working author,” Javan says. “Though not starving as some are, I do try to watch my girlish figure.” He published his first book, Zombie Lake, in 2016, and was able to publish three more books in the series by the end of 2017. His books have become Amazon best-sellers, praised for their humor as much as their action.The Still Alive series follows a group of survivors in a small southern town as they try to keep their wits about them and make a new life in a world overrun by naked, nocturnal, yellow-eyed, blue-skinned zombies. “Fun times,” Javan says. “Think Zombieland crossed with World War ZThe Walking Dead and some Shaun of the Dead thrown in (just for fun) only better.”
Meanwhile, his condition continues to deteriorate, and Javan is not shy in talking about it. “Things that were blurry a few years ago are nothing but flat blobs now,” he says. “My sensitivity to color is gradually fading and my depth perception is nonexistent. Reading has always been my escape; and it still is; only now I am limited to audiobooks.”

Yet the stories keep coming. “For some time, I enclosed myself in a bubble of depression and bitterness, only viewing the world through eyes that could no longer really see it. In December 2015, I entered the hospital, holding over 30 pounds of water weight. The doctors gave me six months to two years to live.” But it was that pronouncement that changed everything. “In that moment,” he said, “I decided that if I was going, I would leave something of myself behind to be remembered.”
Free State of Dodge was released in May of 2016. The first of the Still Alive series would soon follow and was published at the end of 2016. Today, he says, “I am doing everything in my power to not let my disease keep me from living my life to the fullest.” And he has these words for other stricken by a life-shortening illness:“Live your life. Light your candle on both ends and let it burn. It may burn out faster, but your flame will burn brighter than some who live much longer.”

Javan Bonds is available for interviews, through his family and adaptive technologies. Write zombie@javanbonds.com or call Randy Bonds @ 256-738-5990 to arrange to speak to this remarkable man about his life, his work, and the challenges he faces and overcomes every day.


Javan on social media:
The Official Javan Bonds Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1446780428741620/
Twitter: @JavanBonds

Author Interview: 
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Javan Bonds, I’m thirty years old, and I live in Alabama. I am legally blind, functionally deaf, and in a wheelchair. You are probably asking the same question everyone asks. “How does he write if he’s blind and deaf?” I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a speech to type program. I wouldn’t be able to write a word without it. I am functionally deaf, not completely. I can hear just fine over my sound canceling headphones in a quiet room. Don’t expect to have a conversation with me in Walmart, though.

In December 2015, the doctors gave me “six months to two years” to live. We worked as fast as we could to get my first book, Free State of Dodge, published in May 2016. After the ball started rolling, it was hard to stop.


2. Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

Well, I use myself as the archetype for Mo. at least in personality, of course. The physical inspiration for Bradley and Dr. George are people I know. I actually had a service monkey just like Mary. Real life is my biggest inspiration.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

As ridiculous as it sounds, I didn’t start writing until after I started going blind. After I started having vision issues in 2010, I couldn’t watch any television or movies but found audio books to be enjoyable. Reading four audio books a week, my dad finally came to me and said that since I had been reading so much, I probably had my own story in my head. My only response was “Yeah, I do.”

4. What makes you unique as a writer?

Besides the things I’ve told you about myself, the thing that makes me different than probably any modern zompoc rider is that I’ve never seen a single episode of The Walking Dead. Nor have I read any of the graphic novels. I’ve read some of the audio books, but I have not really been influenced by any TWD.

5. What was your first introduction to horror literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?

The first zompoc novel I read and remember clearly was Mark Tufo’s Zombie Fallout. Before I even finished ZF2, I was inspired to write a humorous journal by a survivor after the zombie apocalypse. Without Zombie Fallout, my Still Alive wouldn’t exist. Since my first taste of zombies, you can add authors like John O’Brien, Shawn Chesser, Nicholas Sansbury Smith, David Simpson, and many others to my influences

6. Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite horror book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of the horror genre?

Besides the books and authors I’ve already named, I’m loving RR Haywood’s series at the moment. When I actually get the opportunity to read, if I’m not going for zombie books, my favorite genre has to be Westerns. I love Robert B Parker’s Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch series.

7. Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?

The deeper into my series you go, the more violent and disgusting it gets. My zombies are living infected, not Romero classic reanimated corpses, meaning they shit constantly. I spend an unhealthy amount of time detailing the excrement of the infected and the horrible, grotesque ways they die.

I don’t think I can ever write erotica. Just reading it makes me turn red. There is a sex scene in my third book, but the only thing steamy about it is the diarrhea. Anytime you read the word “genitals” in any of my books, expect to be horrified rather than turned on.


8. Why should fans of horror read your books?

Because they are horrifying. I take a different approach to the zombie apocalypse than most authors. Besides just that, I think they are pretty humorous. Mark Tufo called my third book, Zombies on a Plane “damn funny.” For fans of movies like Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead, my series has an interesting twist. Besides just the unbelievable gore and laugh out loud humor, it seems to follow a predestined script.

9. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Besides Mark Tufo, John O’Brien, and Shawn Chesser, Independent authors like Boyd Craven and Michael Pierce have been very supportive and helpful in my own struggles. The independent authors in the Zompoc/PA genre are a great group of folks who help each other out all of the time.

10. What are you reading now?

Actually, I’m not. Bobby Adair told me once that he barely has time to read because he’s writing all the time. I never thought that would happen to me, but now I can say I’m in the same boat. I am working on getting the fifth book in my series published, writing the sixth, seventh, and eighth. At my first opportunity, I’m hoping to read Frank Tayell’s Surviving the Evacuation.

Some get to know me questions:


1. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I read. Any free time I have is spent reading. It’s funny that my life is all about books. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have a read half as much as I do now. I also love meeting new people on FB and talking zombie apocalypse. It’s great.

2. What’s the best vacation you ever had?

In all honesty, I don’t take vacations often. Call me a homebody, I’d rather sit at home in my underwear and read a book or write then have to deal with going somewhere.

3. What’s your favorite rainy day movie?

Being blind, I haven’t seen any movie in so long, I really couldn’t tell you. I favorite movie of all time is The Dark Knight, so we’ll go with that.

4. If you could be any age again for a week, which would you choose and why?

Twenty. Homework was no longer an issue, I went to parties at least every weekend, and there were always a handful of people at my house. That was the greatest summer of my life. No school, job, or responsibilities.

5. If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would it be?

I am a crazy history buff, so any part of the Revolutionary War or D-Day in World War II. I don’t think I’d be bothered by the blood and guts; it would just inspire my writing for.

6. What's you favorite place to read?

Since I only read audio books, I always stay in my room when reading. My headphones are wireless, which is a good thing if I need to pee.

7. When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?

Shades of Pemberley, a used bookstore, just opened in my hometown. I typically stay up front and talk to the owner or other customers.

8. If you had a million dollars, what would be the first thing you would buy?

I’d build a completely self-sufficient, underground bunker that I would use to survive the coming zombie apocalypse. Of course, my underground greenhouses would be full of subtropics fruit trees. My underground aquarium will... Wait, did you say “a million” or “a billion?”


Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview, Javan. I really appreciate the effort. 


Javans books:


33628230 34542523 35228551 36341004


GIVEAWAY:

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