For those of you out there who look at the daily helter-skelter rush of your life and think, “I can’t read a whole bunch of stories! I don’t have time between work and family and commuting and volunteering and housework and driving my kids to their extracurriculars and night school and my second job, not to mention squeezing my own writing in!”: you’re in luck! “The Twenty-Three Second Anomaly” by Ray Wallace is only two-and-a-half pages long! And it’s two and a half pages that pack a punch. Unlike some of the other stories, Wallace’s contribution to The Zombie Feed Anthology Vol. 1 takes on the government and scientific response to the suddenly rising epidemic of undead with tight, quick-paced prose that will pull you through the story and leave you a bit breathless, but satisfied. And it’ll probably only take you about a minute to read! So no excuses. Get your hands on Ray Wallace’s “The Twenty-Three Second Anomaly” today in The Zombie Feed Anthology Vol. 1!

You can pick up your copy of The Zombie Feed Anthology on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble.com, or from The Zombie Feed directly. Get it on your Kindle or your Nook (or in any e-format from Smashwords) for just $2.99! Seventeen awesome zombie stories for $2.99? 1337 b4rg41|\| |-|u|\|71|\|g 4 73h w1|\|! :D

1. The Writing Question: What story (published or unpublished) of yours is your personal favorite and why?

“One of the Six”. Not that it’s my best story (an H.P. Lovecraft/Clive Barker inspired tale that I have to admit I still enjoy reading on occasion all these years later) but it’s the one that got everything rolling for me. In 1998, I had yet to publish my first story. I had sent a few out, had managed to start my rejection letter collection, but not much else. Then I came across a website called The Chiaroscuro. They were holding their second fiction contest and I was told by the site’s creator, Brett Savory, that if I had a story ready to go then I should enter. There were some pretty well known judges, including Brian Hodge, so the idea was a little intimidating. I did have a story ready, though, called “One of the Six” and I figured, why the hell not? A couple of weeks later, I was informed that my story had made it into the final round of entries. A week after that, I was told that I had taken first place. That was the moment that I realized that, hey, maybe I actually can do this writing thing. The story’s still online at the site (now Chizine) for anyone interested in checking it out: www2.chizine.com/oneofsix.htm

2. The Horror Question: Some writers claim that writing dark stories is easier than writing light ones. True or false for you, and why?

True. Unquestionably. And the answer, as far as I’m concerned, is a simple one: Because writing dark stories is so much more fun! By working within the literary realms of dark fiction a writer can do pretty much anything that he or she feels like doing. Want to send someone to Hell? Unleash a global apocalypse? Make the dead walk? (As I do in my upcoming One Way Out Novel, Escape From Zombie City, coming soon from TZF Press – – now there’s a shameless plug for you.) Make a sword that steals souls? An army of relentless cyborgs? A weapon that can destroy entire worlds? As a writer of dark fiction, you can do all of that and so much more. You also get to create atmosphere. Fog shrouded cemeteries. Crumbling old mansions. Desolate landscapes. Try doing any of that while writing a “light” story. Sorry, not going to work. And not going to be nearly as much fun to create either.

3. The Oddball Question: Are you an e-reader or tree reader, or both? Why?

I’ve recently become both. After purchasing a Kindle about a year ago, I find myself spending most of my money on e-books instead of paper books. The reason for this is a simple one: I’ve collected more than 2,500 hard copy books over the years and, basically, I’m just sick of dealing with them. Especially when it’s time to move. Nothing will put your back through the ringer quite as much as lugging around boxes full of books. Also, it’a all about instant gratification. If I see a book online that catches my interest and it’s, say, two o’clock in the morning, I love being able to aquire it instantaneously as opposed to waiting a week for it to arrive by mail. Although, I have to admit, that ever since I got my Kindle the impulse buying has increased rather dramatically. Ah, well, I guess you can never own too many books. Especially when they don’t weigh anything.

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Ray Wallace hails from the Tampa, FL area and is the author of The Nameless, a hardcore horror novel published by Black Death Books. He has two forthcoming releases: Escape from Zombie City: A One Way Out Novel (The Zombie Feed Press) and The Hell Season (Severed Press). More than two dozen of his short stories have appeared in such magazines and anthologies as The Zombie Feed: Vol. 1, The Blackest Death Vol. 1 & 2, Erotic Fantasy: Tales of the Paranormal, and at Bloodfetish, Dark Muse, and Delirium Online. A few of his other stories have appeared at The Chiaroscuro website where he took first place in their second annual fiction contest. He also wrote a long running book review column for The Twilight Showcase webzine and now writes reviews for Chizine and SFReader.com.