Monday, March 18, 2013

Seagal v Putin, or Why I Love Twitter


I’ve been on twitter for a long time, and as a journalist it provided an invaluable tool for getting statements and updates from official sources, and for getting a feel for what was happening on the ground in places I couldn’t visit. The recent Kenyan presidential election was great for that. It was a lot of fun listening to all the jokes being cracked at the start, and you could almost feel the tension mounting as the election body botched the announcement of results.

But that’s not why I love twitter. I love twitter because it enables you to have silly exchanges like this one imagining what would have happened had Steven Seagal and Vladimir Putin, two of the world’s most macho men, gone toe-to-toe when they recently met in Moscow. (the first tweet was from my account).

Seagal meets Putin. I think Seagal would win the fight. He can't kick above waist height any more, but Putin is short so it doesn't matter.

@MichaelLogan unless Putin puts in a sucker punch early.

@Woozie_M Nah. Seagal's scrote is protected by a woven net of spongy ball hair, which absorbs and redirects the force.

@MichaelLogan but Putin is a mastermind of war he'll find a weak spot. Like jumping to get Seagal's double chin.

@Woozie_M His double chin is so large they could lose Putin in there. It would take a rescue party 2 weeks to find him.

@MichaelLogan Not necessarily. Putin's nose always points north. I'm sure it would help him navigate his own way out

@Woozie_M Seagal would use his Kung Fu Zen to unleash an electromagnetic pulse, rendering the nose compass impotent.

@MichaelLogan not if Putin releases his fail safe: weapons of itch destruction, causing Seagal to scratch him out.

@Woozie_M Ah, but Seagal's nails are made of titanium and his skin of diamond, so scratching would cut Putin to ribbons.

Considering there was no response, I take that as victory for Seagal. Sorry, Michael Onsando!

The results are in and the winners are...everybody!


Thanks to everybody who entered the competition to get your name included in Cruel Britannia, the sequel to the mild-seller Apocalypse Cow. You have saved me from trying to come up with names. For this you have my eternal gratitude, although rest assured it won't manifest itself in any payment whatsoever. However, I will do my best to get signed copies to all of you if, by some miracle, my publisher decides I haven't completely lost my marbles under the sofa of insanity with this one and puts it out there.

The entries were a mixture of bribery, shameless flattery and mild insanity, all of which I wholeheartedly endorse. Since the entries from the small-but-dedicated band of zombie cow acolytes were relatively few, and the cast of the novel last relatively large, I can do my Hot Chocolate impression and announce 'Everyone's a winner, baby.'

And so, with no further ado, here is a who’s who of the characters assigned.

Ruan Peat – One of the four main POV characters, a young female survivor who enjoys shooting sheep and the taste of Pedigree Chum Fish Oil with Chicken. This name just fit the character perfectly, so thanks Ruan!

Scott McDonald, Hannah Campbell, Eva Gilliam, Tom Dixon – Members of the resistance commune practicing combat yoga.

Glen Forbes, Tim Roast – Members of the pretty bloody useless inner council of BRiT (Britons for the Rights of the InfecTed), which is making a hash of ruling the post-infection Britain.

Jack Spencer – A representative of the British government-in-exile, who is involved in long-winded UN discussions on exactly what to do about the UK, particularly which type of large, deadly bomb to drop on it.

Andy Scholz, Mick Sailor, James Anthony Hilton, Peter Abraham – Mercenaries all. One South African, one Irishman, one posh Englishman who does it for fun, and former SAS guy who needs the money to support his three ex-wives.

And here, in the random order I cut-and-pasted from various social media pages, are the full pitches:

Glen Forbes
UK govt/mil official... cos I can do it. Or I send the boys round!

Mick Sailor
I say, in honor of St Patty's Day, a character by the name of Mick should be included. The Irishmen and the Scots have history, after all. And the fact my name is a derogatory term for myself is something I've always found amusing. Plus, I'm recommending your book to everyone I know who reads. Okay, I'd be doing that anyway, you caught me. Besides, it's not like I have many friends to begin with, so your fan-base could only grow by half a dozen. Oh, wait, one's since passed. Five, then. Wow, five friends... Sad. That alone would be reason enough to include my name, yes? No? How about the fact I bear a striking resemblance to Geldof? Hell, I don't care, I just want the sequel to get here ASAP! :D

Tim Roast
I'd like a character named after me, Tim Roast, preferably as a government/military official. Why I deserve to be a character? Because I read the first book, reviewed it on Amazon and here (Amazon headline "Apocalyse Cow... Wow!"), 5 star ratings both, which was well deserved because of the outlandish premise of the story and the humour that ran through it, from start to finish (flattery will get you everywhere).
Of course my name may not be suited to being such a character in your eyes in which case I respect your decision should another name be used, but to be a character in a book written by someone else would definitely be a very fun thing, especially if it is as good as the first book.

Hannah Campbell
There are a variety of reasons I could list as to why my name should be used as a character in your upcoming sequel. One reason is that if a zombie apocalypse were to strike, I would likely be one of the first unfortunate idiots that caught it eating an infected cheeseburger, so I feel a bit of a connection with the randomly sentient zombie, searching to satisfy an insatiable hunger (much like I already do). On the other hand, if by some miracle I were to make it out with my "humanity" intact, delivering the virus to the rest of the world does sound like something I would do...
Another reason is destiny; if you hadn't liked my review and if I weren't up at 3AM for no reason then I never would have found this. This is obviously fate at work here.
But the main reason is that my first name is a palindrome and my last name is a popular brand of condensed soup. Why would you pick anyone else?

James Anthony Hilton
I’m a wannabe writer, who better to have in a crisis than a writer, sat typing away on his typewriter or 20th century ipad while all hell is let loose around him! Anthony- or ant for short hasn't been a popular name in fiction, friction or sci fi, what better way to renew Anthony as a famous character name! The world is his oyster!
Hilton - the jokes are fair to many, perez, paris, hotels, smelly cheese etc etc.
So you have a wannabe writer, late thirties, family man, his good drinking days are gone but he still has the belief that his next piece of written work will win him fame and fortune, alas he works in catering and instead spends his time microwaving meals and losing all respect he once had for himself.

Scott M. McDonald
The name Scott McDonald fits both geographically AND topically. I am a man the size of a bear with the temperament of an artistic ogre who is reputed to eat small children on occasion, you could do a lot worse for a character. And then there's the 5 extra copies I would have to buy for sharing with friends. Maybe 10, I have a lot of friends for an ogre…

Peter Abraham
Because I feel horses should have their own back on the shameful volume I eat my burgers, and at the same time I owe my friends an extension laugh on biblical/presidential/Chelsky references to my name, for putting up with my never ending glowing reports on your excellent book!

Jack Spencer
Jack - A strong and traditional English name that provokes mischievousness and amusing anecdotes. My name should be included in the sequel as since reading the brilliant first novel, I have purchased no less than 4 extra copies as gifts for friends and family. Imagine how many I would buy and distribute if my full name was included as a main character!

Eva Gilliam
I think my name should be used for: "A member of a resistance commune living in an abandoned torpedo station in Scotland, where they learn combat yoga and meditate to resist the imperatives of the virus" because I have been doing yoga consistently for two weeks, and I meditated 3 times in 1992 - in INDIA!

Tom Dixon
I deserve to have my name chosen as Mr Logan once nearly made me give up writing completely. Only after talking to me online for 3 hours convincing me otherwise did I continue. Therefore I reckon he owes me one. I will gladly take any character.

Andy Scholz
I would like to put my name forward for a South African mercenary. I have dedicated the last 10 years of my life to trying to say 'white bread brown bread' in a South African accent. Surely this means I deserve the accolade of appearing in your book representing the South Africans? (I was born in Blackpool)

Ruan Peat
I would love my name used for your book, I am so torn though, I think I could be wonderfully long winded and if you wanted I could suggest parts of England that could be enhanced by a little C4! but then I live in Scotland and while hatha yoga isn't combat yoga, it could be! I don't like the commune Idea as I am a bit OCD about things! But that could be fun too... and then I do go off and do daft and nutty things (like commenting here!) so a stupidly dangerous mission is right up my street, could I take sandwiches? The only one I wouldn't be is a random Zombie, there is nothing random about me! And football is just nasty! disorganised and played in mud! :-) I have had my name used before which I found out afterwards when I met the author and she found out I am a she and not a he! Her male protagonist got named Ruan, but I am not male :-( but for the zombie cow book 2 I care not, Use my strange but fun name if you can! I challenge you.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Have your name used for character in Apocalypse Cow sequel

Today, almost three years after I finished Apocalypse Cow, I started working on the sequel to the book. Rather tardy of me, I know. I have had a firm idea in mind for a while, but I wanted to finish another work first. The follow-up  is called Cruel Britannia, and is set in the UK now fully in the grip of the virus, with hops to cities such as New York and Nairobi.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to be assigning names to the supporting cast that will back up some familiar faces. I want you to have the chance to have your name used for some of these characters. 

If you want to have a character named after you, leave a comment on this blog or on my author page on Facebook explaining why you deserve to have your name chosen. Also please indicate which of the following characters (subject to change) you would like your name to be attached to:
  • A South African mercenary hired by Geldof to carry out a stupidly dangerous mission;
  • A member of a resistance commune living in an abandoned torpedo station in Scotland, where they learn combat yoga and meditate to resist the imperatives of the virus;
  • A UN delegate involved in long-winded efforts to decide exactly what to do about the UK, particularly which types of large, deadly bombs to drop on it;
  • A member of the UK government/military charged with developing a way to deliver the virus to the rest of the world by intercontinental missile;
  • A random sentient ‘zombie’ in the pub or football ground.
I will be predisposed towards funny answers.

I will post the names and pitches of the winners up here once they are decided. The competition closes on March 17.

Good luck!
Michael.



I will be predisposed to funny answers.