The Next Big “Horror” Thing blog hop



Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop – a creepy edition.


Please allow me to properly explain what this is, and give the respect and thanks due and owed to the author that tagged me for the blog hop.


What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them.  I hope you’ll find new-to-you authors whose works you enjoy.  On this stop on the blog hop, you’ll find a bit of information on me and one of my books, as well as a link to a group of some talented, dark and sinister, slightly demented, and blood of my blood authors [Pen of the Damned] you can explore and get to know.



First of all I want to express my gratitude to fellow author K.B. Owen for inviting me to participate in this event.  You can click the following links to learn more about K.B. and her book.

Website:  K.B. Owen, mystery writer .  Check her site for the latest info about pre-ordering her upcoming book.



In this blog hop, I have answered a few questions about myself and my work-in-progress.  I have also placed a link for a pretty Damned good group of authors whose ability to create angst with a single stroke of their Pen might leave a few of us hiding under the bed.


There is a big difference between this blog hop and many others.  I’m not passing this on to a few specific authors.  Nope.  In my portion of this blog hop, I am going to pass the ball to the enigmatic group “Pen of the Damned”.


Pen of the Damned is a collective site for the work of the group’s members.  The group takes turns writing and posting stories.  The work is great.  Not all of the members have active blogs, so the dynamics of this blog hop are different.  But the individual and collective writing of the authors in this group is fantastic.


I’ve bloodied my feet and tormented my ghoulish mind in the difficult journey to hunt down these Damned souls that are, without doubt, heinously wicked traffickers of horror.  But I didn’t want to place anybody on the spot.  In the end, I decided to leave only the sanguine passing of my steps at their door, hoping they would respond in kind, rather than thinking  “Tis the wind and nothing more.”



After you read this fantastically entertaining morsel, (this is meant to be a nearly subliminal message) and get the sudden and overpowering desire to buy my book, please check out Pen of the Damned


In the meantime, please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions.


Here is my Next Big Thing



1: What is the working title of your book?

 Realm Crossing


2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

This book is the sequel to my first book – Smite the Damned.  As I was nearing the end of Smite the Damned, I already had a pretty good idea of where the sequel was going.  For me it was a natural chain of events born from the events in the first book.

To be honest, Realm Crossing was much more fun to write because I was completely engrossed and captivated by the story unfolding in my head.  I can’t wait for people to read it.


3: What genre does your book come under?

This is such a hard question for me.  I’m not sure how to classify it.  It’s dark – be sure of that.

I know, I know, I didn’t answer the question.  I would say it falls under paranormal thriller and horror.  There is blood.  There is death.  There are people and beings that I want you to fear, loath and detest, but there is also the struggle of the imperfect.


4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jesse Williams (The cabin in the woods) would play the protagonist.  I think he would be perfect for the character of Keith Da Silva.  The dude looks like a match.

The role of the primary antagonist would have to be a very beautiful female that could bring hell itself to its knees.  She would have to be cold in a sensual way, and leave you feeling as scared as you are excited.  I think Charlize Theron would do a great job with this, or I would go with Francia Raise or Anna Paquina.

(Now all we need is the movie deal)     😉


5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

“A beautiful demon’s consort threatens to cripple Keith’s struggle against the damned.”


6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

My book is self-published.  Why?  Thanks for asking.  Well, simply because I chose to write in my extra time rather than try to get picked up by a publisher.  Maybe I will revisit the idea after I get a few more books under my belt.  As for right now, I LOVE writing.

I have three more novel length ideas that I have written down and will start working on as soon as I finish this trilogy.


7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me about 4 months.  Most of my writing is done while I commute to work, so my time is limited.


8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That is a tough question.  I don’t have a good answer for you….

I would love feedback on this question from my readers.  What is it similar to?  Hmmm..  You are going to buy the book since I enchanted you earlier with my amazing skills in subliminal messaging, so I will wait and see what you think.   *sinister laugh*


9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My head is constantly full of stories and scenarios.  If I have access to a pen or a computer, I have something to say.  The inspiration comes from a fair amount of exposure to the darker elements of society, as well as exposure to things that go bump in the night.  When you combine that kind of exposure with the literature I grew up reading, my imagination puts the story on a mental rack and starts to turn the wheel.


10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

How about a little excerpt from the book?  Since my readers will most likely be interested in something dark, or something outré, I will leave you with a taste of one of the demons to be found in this book……


A dark form started to emerge from the tar-like substance in the ground.  Black hair clung to the head of what appeared to be a woman.  Her face was dark.  She had full lips and cavernous eyes.  The demon rose sedately from the liquefied earth.  Two muscular arms pulled stray hairs away from her face as she stepped out of the hole.  A second pair of smaller arms stuck out of her elongated torso.  One of the smaller arms held a bowl made from the top half of a skull, while the other gripped an ornate dagger.  The demon’s full breasts appeared dark in the night air, glinting from the moisture of the substance she just emerged from, and swayed heavily with her authoritative movements.  She wore a yellow loincloth adorned with bones of various sizes.  Her strong legs and bare feet looked soft but calloused.  Her beauty and macabre appearance were a mesmerizing dichotomy that was impossible to not watch.

Baal bowed slightly to her, and then turned to face the chained spirits.  “I give you the demon Kali, the Dark Mother of Death.  She is the Destroyer.”



Thanks for reading this.  As I mentioned earlier, check out Pen of the Damned.  This talented group of writers deserves to be read.  Check them out.  My thanks again to Kathy, as well as to Joseph Pinto and a few other authors at Pen of the Damned that expressed interest in this blog hop.




24 comments on “The Next Big “Horror” Thing blog hop

  1. You direct, I follow, Zack! 😉

    Check out Pen of the Damned…done. Dang, there are talented, dark writers in that group based on the samples I read.

    Your next best kept secret [that you can tell us about]…

    Your book. I purchased it (finally, right?) this evening. Love what I’ve read so far. But, I may need to sleep w/a teddy bear.

    More later.

  2. Joseph Pinto says:

    Who dare knocks upon the door of the Damned???

  3. Thomas Brown says:

    Great post, Zack, I’ve really got a feel for the book, based on a few revealing questions! I agree with Gloria, the description at the end is delightful (in all the right, Damned, ways. 😉 ) Good luck and keep writing!

  4. Tyr Kieran says:

    Brother Z, I look forward to reading your books. There is a lot of talented authors self publishing these days and it’s too easy to miss the amazing stories, so I apologize for not picking up your works sooner. Thank you for recommending The Pen of the Damned group. It truly is a great place for any horror fan, I am very proud and honored to be a member… though the Tale Weaver gets overzealous with the whip and scythe at times and he’s got a mean backhand too. ha ha

    • zkullis says:

      Thank you Tyr.

      I would love to hear any feedback you might have on my work.

      As far as the Pen of the Damned group goes, I think it’s an unsung source of horror and dread-filled prose.


  5. K.B. Owen says:

    Zack, you sure do write scary, shivery stuff, dude! Nicely done! I’m not usually a horror fan, but I love the way you write. You were even able to conjure Pen of the Saucy, LOL!

    Will have to go check out book #1…good luck with the sequel, and let us know when it comes out! Thanks so much for being part of the blog hop, too! 🙂

    Kathy, aka Pen of the Cozy

    • zkullis says:

      Ah, thank you Kathy. I love to write, and writing the “shivery stuff” feels natural to me. Thank you for the huge compliment regarding the way I write. (Conjuring Pen of the Saucy is not easy task!)

      The sequel is with my editor now. (I didn’t utilize a real editor for my first book) Once I get the manuscript back from the editor, and get the cover art finalized, I will get Realm Crossing out there.

      Thank you for inviting me to the blog hop!


    • K.B. Q for U…

      Which holds more promise to deliver on my favorite quote: “Well behaved women rarely make history.”? Pen of the Cozy or Pen of the Saucy?

      Hmmm. I suppose it depends on what sort of history one wants to leave in their wake. Eh? (Dang Canadian contacts!)

      Cancel the Q. We both win.

      Pen of the Damned? Now, there is some history waiting to happen.

      • zkullis says:

        Well behaved women rarely make history – I’ll place my bets on that.

        Pen of the Damned. I really enjoy their stuff. They should have a ton of traffick on that site.

  6. Joseph Pinto says:

    Oh Zack…what have you done, my friend? It’s one thing to bring attention to Pen of the Damned, which we all truly appreciate, by the way. But your kindness will not save you from the Tale Weaver, should he indeed choose to migrate from our tenebrous haunt…

  7. Yes. I know. “Get a life, Gloria.”

    Hugo First is MIA, so I decide to blog-jack.

    Flashbangs* and Fiction got the blog-jack nod this evening.

    [*Why do I always want to make a snarky comment about that word? Oh! I know. Never mind. Forget I asked. ;-)]

    It’s late and I chose to close my evening with a new word: Tenebrous.

    I had to Google the definition: Dark and ominous

    ERK! Do I want to go to bed with that thought in my noggin? Um. No. Not exactly sugar plum material.

    So, what does Pen of the Saucy do? She Googles antonyms. Victory! I now take light and inviting thoughts night-night.

    • zkullis says:

      Blog-jack does scream for snark or something naughty.

      Tenebrous, it just rolls off the tongue.

      Literature is like chocolate…. Darker is better *wicked smile*

      – night

  8. Hi Zack! Thank you for slapping Pen of the Damned with “The Next Big Thing”! I’m honored, as are all the other members!! I’m going to do my best to get “The Next Big Thing” going on my end – it may take me a bit, but I’ll get there!

    Your book sounds great, and I can’t wait to sink my itty-bitty little fangs into it when it hits the world for consumption! Thanks again, Zack! ;}

    (I apologize that my response isn’t as thoughtful as yours always are. I’m limping on three paws here…)

    • zkullis says:

      Ah, my dear Nina. Please don’t feel like there are any time constraints. I didn’t want anybody to feel pressure. This was just an avenue for you wonderful writers at Pen of the Damned to showcase your talent.

      I would be honored to have you read the book, and give me any feedback. Please feel free to sink your fangs at any time. Judging by the bite of your pen, I doubt your fangs are anything short of exquisite! 😉

      Please, no apology. A response is, by nature, thoughtful. Thank you!

      I must know….. Why are you limping on three paws? You have pulled this dark soul into your den.

      • Hi Zack! Is the book out already? Or is it a pre-read? I’m sorry if I missed that part, I assumed this was a WIP you were describing. I’d love to give it a look-see. As to the time constraint, I didn’t want you to feel your gracious effort was for naught. 🙂

        I’m limping on three paws because I have an injured arm. Unfortunately I think it’s going to be kicking me off-line very soon today! It’s an old shoulder injury that nips my but from time to time… But I’m a tough ‘munk – I can take it. My next post might be a bit angrier for it though! LOL ;}

      • zkullis says:

        Thanks Nina, I appreciate it.

        My fault, I should have made that more clear. I talked about a WIP in my blog, but it is the sequel to something I already have out there. The book already out there is called “Smite the Damned”.

        Best of luck with the arm! Was it your rotator cuff? LOL Use the pain!! 😉

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