Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Some silly questions with Armand Rosamilia and review of Dying Days

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida. His self-confessed obsessions are Horror, Heavy Metal, M&M's and Zombies.

He co-hosts a radio show "Friday Night Writes" & manages just fine on his own when let loose with "Mando's Manic Melodies" on flagler beach radio, which you can listen to anywhere in the world! He is an avid Facebooker and Twitterer, loves the Red Sox (whoever they are!!)  and did I mention he is addicted to M&M's. 

AR is a prolific author with over 100 stories published to date, he has been a big contributor to multiple anthologies and has a huge list of novellas including Flagler Beach (contemporary fiction), Metal Queens (a non-fiction music series), Miami Spy Games & the Keyport Cthulhu series, not forgetting to mentio the amazing novel Tool Shed but for this review I have concentrated on his fantastic Dying Days series. 

What is your favourite sandwich? Drink? Chocolate/candy bar? (you can just pick one if you like!)
Favorite sandwich is either tuna on a cinnamon raisin bagel or a pork roll, egg and cheese on a hard roll sandwich… both yummy. I am addicted to sweet tea with lemon and love a good banana bread beer… I love everything chocolate and I eat it in bulk…

Do you have a favourite place to write?
Yes. Thank you for asking. Oh, where exactly? Kokomo's Café in Flagler Beach Florida is my spot, in the corner drinking coffee and eating way too many great sandwiches.

Who or What is your personal favourite character/novel?
Of my own work it would definitely be Darlene Bobich in my Dying Days zombie series, although after finishing Dying Days: Origins featuring Tosha Shorb, it might be darn close. As a reader Conan by RE Howard was always my favorite character to read.

If you had a theme track, what would it be?
Definitely something sexy. Barry White and Marvin Gaye would follow me around and sing softly behind me as I was buying cupcakes or candy or going to the bathroom.

And back to silly, if you could have any supernatural power what would it be?
The power to move you…

Having read several of Armand's novels I can say he certainly does that for me, my favourite "story" of his is Tool Shed, but my ultimate favourite is the Miami Spy Games series - I was riveted.

However, I recently treated myself to the Dying Days series, starring the ever thong clad Darlene Bobich. It comes as separate novels and novellas or you can do yourself a money saving favour and buy the boxed collection. 

Dying Days: the initial introduction to Darlene is intense but matter of fact, just like the lady herself. She has some deep emotions but she keeps them under control and does what has to be done.

How she manages to get naked so many times is astounding but this also adds some real humour to some really horrific situations, she certainly meets some extremes of people along the way - as always with an apocalyptic story (and proven in documented wars) it seems to bring out the extremes in people.

The writing of AR is direct, there is no faffing about with undue emotions, this is all zombie action and storytelling, not that it’s devoid because there are some heart catching moments, but this is not about anybody’s emotional journey, just a survival trip.

I had a few niggles in the book such as her “reassuring” house keys – but she left the militia group butt naked….so did she go back for them, or where did she hide them? I’m not sure I would be so keen as to want to clean the floor with a toothbrush but hey maybe she has a touch of OCD regards to cleaning as she seems to want to do that as soon as she is settled anywhere for a few days! Also what’s with the raping zombies! Never explained but an amusing quirk.

Dying Days 2: the sudden glut of characters did take me a few rereads to get familiar with but they all have a definitive personality and even thought some are eaten, bludgeoned you feel like you know them.

The return of the militia really increases the tension, because you know that eating and raping zombies (not always in that order) aren’t bad enough!

The timeline scurries along and left me with some grinning and shuddering moments, I found the ending a little too rushed with too many loose ends, but as book no.3 is now out and about this should be problem solved.  It was nice to see that Darlene was still arse kicking and cleaning!

Select Scenes: this was basically all the back stories, and then some, from the beginning of the zompoc ala Rosamilia; this gave some good insight to who people were previously and why they became how they are. Some really humorous moments too.

I really enjoyed the Armand Rosamilia skit with all the self-depreciation, the ending was a little sad but I was still grinning from all the “name” dropping; if you don’t recognize the names mentioned then you are reading the wrong zombie books!

More in this series are some little shorts called Dying Shortly, Dying Shortly 2, Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer and the European Siege (soon to be no.2).


This is a look at the characters that surround Darlene Bobich and the start of the Zompoc.

This one focuses on Tosha Shorb, her twin Trista, Randy Jackson and finally Eric and Jessa in an awesome piece of fan fiction.

I say “this one” as AR promises more in this series, woohooo!

This starts off brilliantly with a party fight, just as you would expect Tosha to be in; she is one tough little cookie, but one with a heart. I really like ARs female characters, they are all well able to look after themselves, have a sense of humour, sexy as hell, tough as nails yet show a lovely sensitive side.

As the Zompoc takes hold she and Trista do what should be done and hole up with blankets, snacks and daft stories. However, as practicalities set in they go searching for food and weapons.

When tragedy strikes and Tosha is left alone, she goes into melt down mode but not for long as Trista soon turns up again as a guiding force, this little twist to the Zompoc in ARs world is interesting and gives a new focus, or Tosha is just bonkers!

There area few other characters thrown in, like all her apartment building occupants, which all lend themselves to some humourous and gory moments!  She also comes across a complete female lunatic, which just had me in giggles. 

There is some serious vengeful stuff that occurs and really gives you the gore factor, although what a waste of alcohol!  This scene adds to the whole build up story of why Tosha is the way she is when you meet her later in the Dying Days series.

Near the end we are introduced to Randy Jackson in the funniest way; can’t wait to see how he gets out of that predicament!

The last few chapters are written by Dying Days fan Lisa McKinney and she does a great job of telling Eric and Jessa beginnings.