How to Start Living (in the Zombie Apocalypse): Available for Purchase 2/13/2017!

I started writing my second novel, How to Start Living (in the Zombie Apocalypse), for National Novel Writing Month in November of 2013. Unfortunately, personal upheaval combined with a lot of work making major edits to my first book, The Way of Reckoning, kept me from finishing it in a timely manner.

That said, I’m excited to announce that the first draft of How to Start Living (in the Zombie Apocalypse) was completed last summer, it was beta’d last fall, and the final edits were completed just last month – which means that the ebook will be available for purchase starting Monday February 13th!

How to Start Living in the Zombie Apocalypse T.L. Walker

Many thanks to Tony of AZCS Technology/Dark Catt Studios for supplying the cover art, which I’m VERY excited about.

How to Start Living (in the Zombie Apocalypse) is the story of how a young woman faces the end of the world as we know it head on – and doesn’t exactly feel ‘fine’…

How would YOU survive the zombie apocalypse? It’s a question Charlie never thought to ask herself, but now that she’s been dropped into the middle of it she has to face her new reality. She isn’t sure if the answer is simply to kill or be killed, or if there’s some way around that…and she’s not even sure she wants to take the pacifist route, anyway.

Follow Charlie as she leaves a yoga retreat and is forced to begin a journey back to her childhood home; as she struggles to survive, only to discover that she’s never felt so alive before.

If you are interested in procuring a signed physical copy of the book, I will be offering them for sale at my booth at MegaCon Orlando May 25-28, 2017, or feel free to purchase one online and bring it to either of the following upcoming events:

  • ClexaCon – Las Vegas, NV – March 3-5, 2017 (please note that the best/easiest way to procure a signature from me at this convention will be to attend one of my panels)
  • Ice & Fire Con – Pembroke, VA – April 28-30, 2017

Please note that while the ebook will be available on February 13th, paperback copies will take a bit longer to finalize, but they will be available before March 1st…I’m just too excited to wait much longer to release this book; writing it has been such a labor of love and I can’t wait to share it!

 

Cover Artist Bio
Antonio Maldonado is a custodial hero by day and a snack lovin’ cartoonist at night. He shares his home/studio/dojo with Stella (9th level Puggle Warrioress) where they share snacks and… okay, they mostly just share snacks. However, drawing things that make people go “Oooh!” is in his blood. So keep your eyes peeled for more stuff over at thecucoking.deviantart.com and/or cucoking.wordpress.com

Every part of my body hurts.

It’s been a really, really long few weeks.

I’ve essentially packed up and thoroughly cleaned 1.5 living places and moved into another one. Exciting, but backbreaking.

On top of that, I really did start reading up on AND training for my AT hike later this year, first with a combo of walking 1 mile and running 2.5 at least 5 days a week, and more recently by walking 1 mile and running just over 3 (still at least 5 days a week). On top of that I’ve added 200 crunches and 50 pushups to my daily routine, and yes, my abs feel weird and my legs have already gone from hurting to actually feeling kind of okay. Previously I wasn’t running quite that much so the sudden jump in activity definitely took some getting used to 😉 Thankfully I should have my rowing machine set up soon, as well, and I can’t wait to start using it again – not having it around the past five months has definitely made me feel, well, kind of lazy.

Appalachian Trail guides

Now if only this whole moving thing could get wrapped up so that I can really focus on the important things… (I’d say I was kidding, but I’m kind of…not.)

In terms of money, I’m still trying to raise enough via my GoFundMe for the backpack and several other essentials that I need. The backpack alone is about $200, so hey, if you’re feeling generous, please consider donating – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: every penny helps!

Thankfully, I found a couple things while moving – including a really awesome sleeping bag! – and received a couple of necessary items for Christmas (a great pair of socks and the trekking poles that I wanted), so between those, the donations I received (which allowed me to purchase my camp sandals and hiking boots), and my evolving training schedule, I’m making little bunny hops toward my goal.

Appalachian Trail sleeping bag

Appalachian Trail trekking poles socks

Appalachian Trail camp sandals hiking boots

People keep asking me if I’m sure about this, or still set on doing it – the answer is a resounding YES. Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared as hell, but I also know me, and once I announce that I’m doing something I pretty much never back out of that commitment. Does this always turn out well for me? Noooot necessarily. But this time I can’t imagine that I haven’t made the right choice, in deciding to take on this challenge 🙂

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

 

I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell (and I want to get better)

Appalachian Trail GoFundMe ageeksaga

For many years I’ve dreamed of attempting a long backpacking trip, and as luck would have it, I have the chance to do a 20-ish-day hike of a section of the Appalachian trail starting May 1st, 2017. My minimum goal is 200 miles, although I hope to hit 275 miles (the Long Trail in New England being 273, I would love to hike at least as far as that trail is long, even though I will be doing most of my hike in Virginia).

To be honest, I’ve never considered a GoFundMe campaign for myself before, but as it turns out, if I want to take this next step in my life – to make this attempt to better myself both physically and mentally, to experience something amazing that will fuel my writing for some time to come – I need money to make it happen. Sadly, as an independently contracted writer and entrepreneuer, money is one thing I don’t have much of right now.

So I am asking for the absolute minimum amount of money I will need to purchase necessary gear to hike. I already started a wishlist on Amazon (which I am constantly editing) and sadly even in the timespan of a week many of the items I wanted have already been marked unavailable. So while I will be saving up my pennies for the next several months, I really do need to purchase the gear I need to train myself for a long-distance trip like this sooner rather than later…hence this campaign.

What can you expect if you donate to my campaign? Well, at the end of it I will be writing a Thank You entry on my blog and listing anyone who is okay with it by name/nickname. I will also be using my blog to review the items I purchase, detail my training for the hike, and then to write about it when I return. My hope is to even gather enough experience to write a book/ebook about my trip.

The thing is though, this isn’t just about realizing a dream. Not that long ago (within the past couple of years) I was diagnosed with PTSD. I have since done everything from self-medicating to taking up to four prescription medications at a time to therapy…and I continue to do a lot of the above. So while this trip will surely be an adventure, and while it will definitely give me a lot to write about (which is exciting)…I’m also undertaking it for my mental health. I want to “get clean”, so to speak – to spend 20-ish days with nothing more than the food and water that’s necessary to keep me going. And yes, that will be part of what I write about, as well.

I honestly can’t express how grateful I will be for every penny that is donated to this campaign, and I’m also more than willing to take suggestions on what I can do for those of you who donate. You want me to take a picture of something specifically for you? Sure! Prefer a postcard or mailed thank you card during/after my hike? I will do everything in my power to make it happen! Because to be honest…I likely won’t be able to make this hike at all without this campaign. That said, if you would prefer to donate something you know I can use directly, or outright purchase an item off my wishlist to send to me, I’m more than happy with that as well! Shoot me an email if you’d prefer either of those options 🙂

Thank you in advance and with all my love,
Tara

Saga Event Planning: A New Venture

Saga Event Planning

With all of the recent changes surrounding Ice & Fire Con and the many discussions I had with my new fellow organizer K-K about expanding that convention’s model to other fandoms, I think it was only a matter of time before I finally buckled down and started my own business: Saga Event Planning, LLC.

After four years of planning a successful small single-fandom convention, along with dozens of themed parties and events and even a charity bar crawl throughout the years, this was the most natural move for me to make right now. I’ve had a great job for a long time, but now I need to focus on the things I love – convention and event planning, and my writing.

 

Saga Event Planning Ice and Fire Con 2017

So that’s what my June has been spent doing – figuring out ways to focus on those things. Saga Event Planning has already brought Ice & Fire Con under its umbrella, and we are also deep in the early planning stages of Beach City Con, a Steven Universe-themed convention scheduled for October 13-15, 2017.

 

Saga Event Planning Beach City Con 2017

The honest truth? Of course I’m scared. I know that I can plan successful events, I trust that I’m a good writer, but will those things sustain me? I think so, but I’ve been wrong before. (Many, many times.) That said…I’m 33 years old. I’m not getting any younger. ::Insert other cliches here:: If I don’t do it now, when will I? If I don’t take the leap now, when will I? Thanks to that great job and the fact that I’m the penny-pinching type, I have a few months to figure things out before I’d need to bow to the American corporate god(s) again. And if that happens, you know, I’m more than okay with it. Because at least I can say I tried.

But I’m going to do more than try. I think I can. I think I will. After all, as Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

The Way of Reckoning is Now Available as a Paperback!

I premiered the paperback version of my novel The Way of Reckoning at MegaCon 2016, and as of this past Saturday (June 4th – right at one year, six months after it was published for Kindle) it is now available on Amazon and Createspace!

The Way of Reckoning

I’ve been busy setting it up for paperback sales as well as doing tons of work for Ice & Fire Con, hence my lack of updates here on my website. (Yes, I feel like I’m always explaining away my lack of posts because I am legitimately always busy and feel bad that I don’t have time to engage my website followers as much as I should.) But I have a lot of exciting things in the works, so hopefully life will settle down and I’ll have time to write about them soon 🙂 Meanwhile, if you’re so inclined, please head head over to Amazon or Createspace and check out my novel!