Rocking Zombie Release Parties ~ Diaries of the Damned by Alex Laybourne

Anyone who has spent time around me knows how much I love zombies. Bug and I have a regular zombie movie night. We hunker down with popcorn, pizza, some choice drinks, and our Nerf guns. Why Nerf guns? Well, the front of our older television has a wonderful glass front. Yes, they’re still around. Anyway, part of our ritual is to shoot the zombies before the characters do. At the end of the night, the person with the most hits is the winner! *crowd screams and claps wildly*

Due to my love of all things zombie-ish, I could

n’t miss a chance to help a good friend with his new release, especially since it’s Halloween. *release the zombie Kraken* Yikes!

While I battle zombie krakens I’ll leave you to get acquainted with this wonderful new group of short stories.

P.S. if you don’t hear from me after a week or so don’t send a search party it’s likely I didn’t beat the sea creatures of the undead. Just start dividing my stuff up. Do zombie pirates have a code? 😉


Diaries of the Damned

by Alex Laybourne


Ebook Cover

The dead have risen and a desperate struggle for power has begun. The military are evacuating all survivors in passenger planes. With their destination unknown, one group of survivors led by a journalist named Paul Larkin, decide to share their experiences with the hope that when combined, their stories will reveal the answers that the government had not been willing to give themselves.

Nine survivors banded together, yet none of them realized, as they stood to tell their tales that they stood on the brink of discovering a conspiracy the likes of which the world has never seen.

Grab your copy from Amazon today for just $2.99.

I ♥ zombies.



Chapter 1 – Boarding


Paul Larkin sat in his seat and fastened his seatbelt. His body was caked with sweat and dried blood. His ears rang from the gunshots, and his ankle was swollen again; remnants of an injury he acquired jumping from the first floor window of his suburban home. At least, it used to be suburbia, before everything went to shit.

He sat back and let out a long, deep breath. Shock threatened to take hold of him, so he closed his eyes and waited. The plane filled up and the cries of those refused admittance echoed down the walkway, swiftly followed by the sound of their execution.

Paul spared but the most fleeting of moments thinking about it. He found it strange how killing and death had become such a large part of his life.

“Excuse me,” A fragile sounding voice stirred Paul from the calm place he had just started to settle into. “I believe this is my seat.” An elderly woman, late seventies at best stood before him, her face was smeared with blood, while one eye had been covered by a filthy rag that had been hastily secured to her face with what looked like duct tape.



Meet the Author

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Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that he became a horror writer.

Married with four children; James, Logan, Ashleigh and Damon. His biggest dream for them is that they grow up, and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.

‘Diaries of the Damned’ is his third full length publication along with numbers of short works.

Amazon Author Page:



Categories: Alex Laybourne, author, Short Story Collections, Zombies | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Why I’ll only be a Bestseller by Accident.


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Bestseller. Amazon Bestseller. New York Times Bestseller.

It’s a constant mantra in the writing and publishing industry. Write more, market more, sell more. Those words can be found on nearly every blog from nearly every writer or publisher disguised in a variety of ways.

My first publisher warned me about launch day – don’t expect too much, this is a long process, it takes time and larger catalogs to get the sales numbers you’re expecting, etc.

He was trying to soften the blow of disappointment most first time authors experience. A kind gesture really, but my anxiety and frustration leading to launch day had nothing to do with expectations for sales. It was merely a matter of the push and conflict to get there.

I recently spoke with another publisher. This man’s enthusiasm is absolutely contagious. I mean, he is seriously pumped to make sure one of his authors becomes a bestseller. And hell, I believe he’ll get exactly that. They have a host of talented authors who will do well, if not extraordinarily well.

He said, “One of you are going to be a bestseller, it’s a matter of odds.”

He’s right, but it brought up a dilemma I’ve struggled with since I started writing. In fact, as I clumsily described what I wanted for my career and from them as a publisher, I inadvertently offended their marketing director by implying I didn’t their services to market. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Why? Because I don’t really market, but this goes back to the title of my post.

In all the conversations I’ve had with writers and publishers, not one of them actually listened to or believed me when I said, “I don’t write to be a bestseller. I write because I have no other way to get rid of the stories in my head. Whether I sell one book or a thousand, it doesn’t matter because I have to write.”

“Oh, that’s not true because I know you’d be thrilled to see your name on that list,” they’ll say.

“Right, but you’d be happy with the money,” they’ll assert.

“Every writer who says that is lying to themselves,” they’ll challenge.

In the exhaustion of yet another failed attempt at communication, I quietly slip away to the peaceful silence of my gatehouse. Here, the trees know why I write. Their reverent observation encourages self-reflection and honest words. With shushing whispers and ancient wisdom, they speak of being true to my vision, the one compelling me to write this post today.

I admire the authors I know that spend hours trying to achieve amazing success in publishing. But that’s their path, and I respect the hell out of it. My path is different, something I realized very early on, but couldn’t quite put into words until now.

My goals as an author are modest – write, edit, format, cover, and print.

Their simplicity has nothing to do with avoiding work. Hell, writing a book or several is damn hard work, and I believe in every story I write. But it’s not about sales or notoriety. It’s not about being on some list, like an international show dog on display. It’s not about proving my worth or ability as an author.

This is about looking back in fifty years, taking my very last breath while lying next to the man I love, and smiling one last time, knowing I accomplished everything I wanted to, knowing I lived my passion well.


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Categories: author, bestseller, Publishing, simplicity, writing | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

An Author Who makes Excuses Invalid: Alex Laybourne

Writers are good at creating excuses not to write. Let’s face it, we’re a creative bunch with broad imaginations, so it’s no wonder we’re able to concoct amazingly intricate ways to lie to ourselves.

Let me introduce everyone to an author I admire greatly who makes every excuse automatically invalid.

Alex Laybourne

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I’ve watched his career and life through social media over the past several years. We’ve chatted about everything from family to writing. With four children and a full time job, money and time are in short supply, but can’t isn’t in this man’s vocabulary. 

He gets up in the wee hours of the morning to edit and write blog posts, then carves out a few minutes during lunch to write books, and ends the day with marketing for other authors and freelance work. When exactly does this man sleep? Probably never, but can’t isn’t in his vocabulary.

He recently released his second horror novel in his Highway to Hell series, Trials and Tribulations. Along with a host of short stories set to come out, he’s been doing radio interviews and blog tours. Did I point out the four munchkins, full time job, daily blog posts, and marketing for other authors?

I should also mention one of his sons, now 4, has autism. For anyone who has dealt with an autistic child, you already know the great patience and care it takes to ensure these children have full lives in a compassionate environment. The outbursts alone, usually caused by an inability to process their surroundings and emotions, can be challenging and exhausting. For Alex, this simply makes his son unique. 

All excuses are now invalid.


Hero is a mighty big word, so I won’t lay that weight on his shoulders, but I admire the hell out of him. Watching his struggles and triumphs has shown me anything is absolutely possible if you pour every ounce of your passion into it. 

I can’t. There’s no time. It’s too much work. I’ll never get it done. No one will like it anyway.

These words have been stricken from my vocabulary. They don’t exist anymore, due in no small part to the many authors I see carving out five more minutes to devote to their dreams. They have no more time or money or energy than anyone else. The only difference is choice. With single-minded determination, people like Alex choose to solidly plant their backsides in a chair and write. 

It’s not about inspiration or muses or excuses. It’s about putting words on the freaking page, even when they’re crappy. Because first drafts aren’t final drafts. Let me say that again…

First drafts aren’t final drafts.

I’ll post more on drafts later, but for now… to learn more about Alex, catch him on Facebook, Twitter, Website, and find the first novel in his Highway to Hell series on Amazon.

I leave two questions for you to ponder: Where could you carve out five more minutes to devote to your passion? What excuses keep you from finding them?

Categories: Alex Laybourne, author, excuses, Highway to Hell, writing | Tags: | 11 Comments

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