Posted in Monday Mayhem

A Word of Thanks

Tomorrow I will be releasing Ranger Martin and the Search for Paradise, the third and final book in the Ranger Martin zombie trilogy. I should be happy, and I am, but I have to admit I’ll miss Ranger and his gang of misfits. He and the kids provided me a wonderful outlet to talk about society, relationships, and the pains of growing up in a confusing world. Although the story is set during a zombie apocalypse, the angst felt among the characters is what I believe everyone feels at some point in life. I found it easy to write the scenes where Ranger, the shotgun-toting undead killer, and Matty, the fiery teen and natural leader to her peers, would have it out while everything around them collapses.

A Word of ThanksYet, I’m also excited the trilogy is complete. I can’t express how thankful I am to all those who have supported me this year, day after day, as I would churn out page after page while the deadline loomed to remind me there is a finite date when it would all be over.

My biggest thank-you goes to my wife for all that she has had to put up with while I completed the trilogy. How she did it is beyond me. Scintillating conversations such as, “Honey, do you think when a bullet pierces a zombie head the brain will explode behind its skull in fragments or in a uniformed splatter pattern?” Or this, “What if the undead bleeds green, does it mean I can amp up the violence because green will make it seem more of a comic book?”

To her, I owe my sanity.

Next, I’d like to thank the rest of my family. This includes my parents, who, even though they can’t read English, attempted to make sense from my rambling pages about the undead taking over the world. My mom, especially, took it upon herself to read a page a day, not knowing what she was reading, in order to show her support for my work and me. Every year I would release a book she’d ask, “What are you going to do now?” And I’d answer, “I’m going to write another book, Ma.”

I’m thankful to have such a supportive family.

Of course, I couldn’t do any of this without the kind supporters who visit my site every week, liking and commenting everything I’ve published, and providing me with the inspiration to continue writing.

If I didn’t have your attention, I’d probably be spraying graffiti throughout Toronto’s train system.

Lastly, a big shout out goes to the members of my review team who have taken time from their busy schedules to read my book and provide their thoughts. Nothing I can say would say it better than how they’ve said it below.

Meet the Review Team

K. Andrews’ Barnfullawalkers“It is a testament to Flacco’s skill as a writer that he manages to create two parallel journeys for our gang of main characters in the Ranger Martin series to embark upon, each one as harrowing as the other. On one hand, we have the journey of Ranger and the kids through the hellish, apocalyptic world around them, a world filled with death, horror, and unspeakable evil. On the other hand, we have the equally fraught, terrifying emotional world within each character, as he or she must grapple with the terror of allowing others in, to risk opening their hearts, and feeling love for another, when the reality of the times poses a constant danger that any of them, at any time, could be killed at a moment’s notice.”

Chris Harrison’s The Opening Sentence“To describe the Ranger Martin trilogy as a parable of our times would be confusing Jesus with John Wayne, but there are times when you wonder if the story is somehow apocryphal: the grizzled adult leading the future generation towards a promised land and salvation. But most of the time the young ones are telling the old one what to do and Ranger Martin starts to look more like the put-upon dad than God the Father.”

Kim Lo’s Tranquil Dreams“In this final installment to his Ranger Martin trilogy, we’re back to a zombie heavy novel. I feel that this third one may be the strongest one of the three. While the others are still very good, this one brings in a new aspect and focuses on the kids a little more, specifically the personal relationships going on between the teenagers here, Matty and Randy. We get a little bit more of Ranger Martin’s back story in a little more depth and understand his actions and why he is the way he is and all the hatred aside from the obvious need to survive in this zombie apocalypse thats turned him into a ruthless zombie slayer. They deal with their feelings and decisions. While this could have turned lanky and heavy, somehow it managed to steer away from that territory even if there were slight moments of silly teenage drama that seemed to come up.”

Katie Sullivan’s The D/A Dialogues“Ranger’s final chapter starts with a punch to the gut and never lets the reader rest until that final, bittersweet page. Along the way, characters we grew to love over the course of the series, face challenges that would test the mettle of any good man or woman. And a good man is what Ranger is – but even good men make mistakes, and for me, the question of trust, in the face of utter devastation, was what really turned the pages in Search for Paradise.”

A.M.’s nimslake“This book will have you cheering for Ranger, Jon, Matty and Randy. All the pickles they get themselves into to save their rag-tag family and those they save along the way. It will definitely have you biting your nails as you are gripped in the middle of the melees that happen to them on their quest to ‘Paradise’. You want to be there to shout out ‘behind you!’ You want to be there to shoot down some ‘chewers’ to help them out.”

As a final thought, to those who feel bullied or oppressed, may Ranger Martin inspire you to fight back against the real zombies of this world. May nothing get in the way of your success.

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Favorite Zombie

Jack Flacco is proud to announce RANGER MARTIN AND THE SEARCH FOR PARADISE, the final book in the Ranger Martin trilogy, will publish on October 20.

When it comes to zombies, I have favorites. Who can forget the zombie from The Walking Dead the survivors find at the bottom of a well? What about the zombie from apartment 406 in the movie Zombieland? And of course, then there’s R from the film Warm Bodies. I think he’s the most endearing—even though he cracked a victim’s skull with his bare hands in order to get to the victim’s brain.

Jesse Eisenberg and Amber Heard in Zombieland
Jesse Eisenberg and Amber Heard in Zombieland

Let’s talk about favorite zombies for today’s Monday Mayhem. What makes them special? Why are they the way they are?

I mentioned the zombie from The Walking Dead caught in the well. The creature is not only one of my favorites, but the scene itself is hilarious—that is, if you like dark humor. The scene begins with the survivors finding a well. The resource would not only provide usable drinking water, but also allow them a measure of hygiene. The problem? There’s a walker in the well. They figure that if they can haul it out, they have a chance of salvaging what’s left. The plan calls for sending one of the survivors to tie a rope around the walker as a means of hauling it from the hole. Right up until they noose the walker, the plan seems to be working fine. As they heave the walker out of there, they don’t realize how heavy it is. And just as they had pulled half of its body out of the well, what do you think happens?

Well (pun not intended) the walker that had been in the well for such a long time, had absorbed a fair amount of water. The sheer weight of its body and the force the survivors exerted on that body caused it to tear in half. The walker’s lower half, including its entrails, collapsed back into the well. Not only was the scene kind of gross, but if you like that sort of humor, it was funny. Suffice it to say the survivors couldn’t save the well.

Nicholas Hoult as R in Warm Bodies
Nicholas Hoult as R in Warm Bodies

Another one of my favorites is the zombie from apartment 406 from the movie Zombieland. She doesn’t start as a zombie, but after a few hours hanging out with our hero Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) in his apartment, she’s ready to tear out his jugular. What I like about this zombie the most is the audience first sees her before she changes. She’s warm, considerate, and true to “the girl next door” moniker, she’s the girl any guy would love to date. Somehow, though, a homeless person bites her and she runs into Columbus’ apartment for safety. He has no problems with that. She’s attractive, what guy could resist not having an attractive girl asking for help?

Several hours later, the effect of that bite takes hold. Columbus runs for his life. What happens next is anybody’s guess.

What I enjoy about the whole scene is watching this beautiful girl turn into one of the zombies that then threatens to take Columbus’ life. A lot goes on in this scene, and it’s worth watching a few times to gain the subtle nuances the filmmaker intended.

Lastly, my other favorite zombie is R from the movie Warm Bodies. He’s the zombie that gains intelligence as the movie progresses to its inevitable conclusion. The theme is simple. A zombie falls in love with a human and wants to change the world with love. As ideal as it sounds, the story works for many reasons. The best reason I can think of is the love he has for the girl. Throughout the film he allows Julia into his world, and he’s the one who ends up changing for the better. R not only redeems himself by granting Julia her freedom, but also grows as a character, which then leads to greater things for him.

Barring from spoiling the entire film, R is one of my favorites because of his potential for growth, regardless if he is undead.

Your turn. What is your favorite zombie?


Do you have a favorite zombie? How about a favorite zombie movie?