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Find Out Each Featured Author’s Spirit Animal #SummerZombie

by Jay Wilburn

We took this post very serious at the Summer of Zombie Headquarters. We spent many hours in the SOZ executive cafeteria and screening room assembling the team to determine each author’s spirit animal. We gathered witch doctors, gurus, hippies, libertarians, dumas, aldermen, chimney sweeps, horse whisperers, experimental zoo keepers, old cat ladies, and raw vegan chefs to form a brain trust around this project.

It was not easy, but we came to exact animal spirit matches for the entire slate of authors on the tour so that you, the readers, might understand them better.

Also, check out what these authors have written to see how their spirit animals might have guided their muse.

Chuck Buda

zzz cb skunk ape

Chuck Buda’s spirit animal is the skunk ape. Oh, they’re real. I was nearly killed by one near Jekyll Island last Christmas. It smells about like it sounds. It seeks out troops and develops unhealthy attachments to its selected alpha male. They create dangerous situations around highways and they are the only known species of primate who can read Black Metal album covers. They like every Facebook post they see.


Rebecca Besser

zzz rb goat

Rebecca Besser’s spirit animal is the American Pygmy Murder Goat. This was true of her warrior spirit even before she began training them in her plot for world domination. They look cute, but they are crazy and thirsty for blood and gold. They write really gory horror scenes and only trust dogs. People are either enemies or food to them. They show no mercy. They sweep the leg even though it is clearly stated as a foul in the rules.


Peter Welmerink

Welmerink pic extra bull

Peter Welmerink’s spirit animal is the Fiery West Michigan Mutant Rage Bull. This creature terrorizes Michigan pastures while people are working to rebuild civilization and the waning auto industry. The bull jumps swiftly between genre and has been known to make things awkward among other mutant cattle at convention panels and readings. The mutant bull’s humor is really hit or miss, but it is an excellent storyteller between attacks.


Ricky Fleet

zzz rf fox

Ricky Fleet’s spirit animal is the Grumpy English Fox. He is tired of being dogged through the countryside. It will play games with other foxes, but it doesn’t have to like it. One day this creature will show its true powers and then all the other animals will be sorry.


Jack Wallen

zzz jw bird

Jack Wallen’s spirit animal is the Blue-topped Big Dreamer Kentucky Peacock. This bird does it all with style. Does it have a social media footprint? The biggest. Does it cross genre? All of them. This bird loves cats, poetry, and music, but gets very upset by politics.


Mark Cusco Ailes

zzz ma dragon

Mark Cusco Ailes’s spirit animal is the Indiana Silver Bearded Sky Lizard. This majestic creature carries books from convention hall to convention hall, distributing them to deserving readers. It is always willing to stop for pictures as well.


Eric A Shelman

zzz es monkey

Eric A Shelman’s spirit animal is this monkey. Not all monkeys, but this one in particular giving the Shelman salute. It probably won’t hurt you, but it is tired of whatever you are doing. Go look at the other animals and let this majestic creature write his zombie stories.


Alathia Paris Morgan

zzz am swan

Alathia Paris Morgan’s spirit animal is a swan. Swans write surprisingly good zombie stories and mysteries. You don’t see many of them in Texas, but they do alright for themselves. This swan killed three men in a bar in Austin in broad daylight and got away with it.


T. J. Weeks

zzz tw bear

T. J. Weeks’s spirit animal is a bear on a motorcycle. I really thought it was going to be a wolf on a motorcycle. That would have been a lot cooler. This bear doesn’t even look like he likes riding anymore. He’s just going through the motions. Bears and wolves riding motorcycles are a lot more common than you would think. They do not join the same gangs though. Those old divisions go way back.


S. K. Gregory

Southern Flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans, voplaning or gliding at night, steering with its tail to maintain balance and direction

S. K. Gregory’s spirit animal is a flying squirrel. It is the deadliest animal in the skies. It rules its territory with an iron fist and will attack with little or no provocation. By the time you see one, you are already dead. This is the last image most photographers ever see.


Derek Ailes

zzz da bird

Derek Ailes’s spirit animal is the Northern Mocking Bird. It lives its life by parody and satire. It is this creature’s mode of survival. Also, the mocking bird lays its eggs in other birds’ nests and pushes the other eggs out. I’m not sure what this says about Derek Ailes’s life, but it can’t be good.


Angela B Chrysler

zzz ac pegacorn

Angela B Chrysler’s spirit animal is the pegacorn. It glows with power and rules the skies everywhere except where those damn squirrels dominate. It is a Doctor Who fan and enjoys proper branding. Pegasus love this creature, but unicorns could care less.


Brent Abell

zzz ba tiger slug

Brent Abell’s spirit animal is a Tiger Slug. This is God’s most beloved creature in all of creation. You do not want to know about its sex life though. It goes about all its tasks with meticulous care except for metal. When it is listening to metal, it goes all out. It is into Star Wars and one day will learn it can fly.


Armand Rosamilia

zzz da cat

Armand Rosamilia’s spirit animal is the Jax Hairless Sphynx Cat. This animal terrifies most sane people. It expects to be pampered. It will take pictures of its food, but is very picky about what it eats and does not want others bothering it while it eats or sleeps or poops or really any time. This reclusive animal only goes into the sun when it is forced. You can pet it, but it will just be weird for both of you.


Jay Wilburn

zzz roo

Host Jay Wilburn’s spirit animal is the Three Kidney Ripped Roo which regrets nothing about this post.


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Jay Wilburn
Jay Wilburn has a Masters Degree in Education that goes mostly unused since he quit teaching to write about zombies. Jay writes horror because he tends to find the light by facing down the darkness. He finds the journey through life easier by having you join him. Jay is the author of 2 series: The Dead Song Legend and The Great Interruption. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. You can also find Jay's work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5 and Dark Moon Digest. Each year Jay has the pleasure of featuring many great authors in the genre through the Summer and Winter of Zombie blog tours on his website.

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  1. I had a hard time reading this post as my eyes kept tearing up from laughing so much. Why does laughing cause one to get all red faced (like when angry) and teary-eyed (like when sorrowful). I salute you, Jay, for this most awesome post. I am not sure which spirit animal I like best, but I can see that flying squirrel dropping out of the sky and latching on like a alien face-hugger to some poor bastard traipsing through the woods.

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