VIRGIN ZOMBIE is now available for the kindle. It’s a 10,000 word short story that teams my private investigator Wade Griffin with J.A. Konrath’s Lt. Jack Daniels. The basic idea is that Jack, who’s a homicide detective with the Chicago Violent Crimes Unit, has to travel to the small town of Wellman Georgia to hunt down Armand Brule, aka ‘Houngan’, a meth cook wanted in connection to a murder in Chicago. The cops can’t offer her official backup in Wellman so she ends up with mercenary turned private investigator Wade Griffin. The hunt for Houngan brings the pair into conflict with a biker gang known as The Brothers of Chaos ( a tip of the hat to Michael Moorcock) and with some fairly creepy goings on, as visitors of Wellman would expect. Houngan is another name for a voodoo priest and he’s cooking up something worse than crystal meth. Oh, and there’s the dead guy with the hatchet.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of J.A. Konrath’s books and that I’ve also been reading his team-ups with other authors like Jude Hardin, Tracy Sharp, and recently F. Paul Wilson and Ann Voss Peterson. I reviewed the short novel FIX a couple of posts ago. After seeing all the other Jack Daniels crossovers on Konrath’s Kindle world, JACK DANIELS AND ASSOCIATES, I decided that I’d like to write one too. I figured I would start with a short story just to get my feet wet, and that I’d team Jack with Wade Griffin, one of the protagonists of the Griffin and Price novels that I co-author with James A. Moore. Two have been published so far, BLIND SHADOWS and CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD, and there’s a third, A HELL WITHIN, completed and in the pipeline.
Now here’s the thing. Though Konrath writes horror as well as crime fiction, the supernatural hasn’t had a place in his Jack Daniels novels, (BLOODY MARY, RUSTY NAIL, DIRTY MARTINI etc) so I thought I should stick to that worldview. However if you’ve read any of the Griffin and Price novels, you know that they are a mix of crime fiction and horror and that the boys from Wellman have fought creatures from the outer dark and Evangelical Christian Vampires. I didn’t want Griffin’s fans to be misled, so I came up with a way to have a horror connection without using anything overtly supernatural. Through a bit of synchronicity, I found a title which matched the other books in the Jack Daniels series, which tend to be named after drinks, and also fit the idea I had. Thus, VIRGIN ZOMBIE.
The funny thing is, after I finished the story, I read a comment by Konrath at his blog where he said he was fine with people bringing supernatural or fantasy elements to his Jack Daniels and Codename Chandler Kindle worlds. So I may write another team-up soon with a bit more weirdness going on. Time will tell.
Anyway, I tried to write a story that kept both Jack and Griffin in character, using First Person for Jack and Third Person for Griffin as each is usually portrayed in his or her own books. VIRGIN ZOMBIE is a fast paced tale with a lot of action and I hope that fans of both series enjoy it. If you’d care to check it out, the link is below.