“What, no zombies?” A guest piece from Russell James

“Q Island” is my third read from author Russell James, all this year, and I have to say that I have quickly become a fan. His writing is versitile, captivating and easy to get lost in.

Today I have the honor of having Mr. James as a guest as he sheads a little insight into “Q Island”. Mr. James, the floor is yours.

What, no zombies?

Believe it or not, I managed to write a post-apocalyptic story without zombies in it.

I thought about it. The genre is hot, the readers voracious. But I wanted to do something different, something more terrifying. I mean there are some zombie scenes where the shambling, unthinking, undead are pretty easy pickings. Unless they are in a group you need to be pretty stupid to get yourself bitten as long as you can manage to even jog a few hundred yards.

So in Q Island, when a 30,000 year old virus starts to run amuck, people don’t become the walking dead. They don’t even die. The virus turns them into psychotic killers with amazing physical strength. They don’t shamble after you, they hunt you. They don’t sniff the air and wander in your direction. They actively plan an attack and swiftly react when you defend yourself. A mob of the undead is scary, but even one person infected with the Paleovirus is terrifying.

In the story, Melanie Bailey’s autistic son, Aiden, becomes infected. But he doesn’t get sick. In fact, some of the symptoms of his autism decrease. The boy most saw as a burden to society now might be the key to saving it. But Melanie has to get him to people who can find a cure, people outside the quarantine zone dropped around what everyone now calls Q Island. With the help of some neighbors, she sets out to do just that.

But the infected are everywhere. And one other person on the island has survived infection. Small time criminal Jimmy Wade has survived infection and developed a psychic ability over the infected. He now runs a gang living off the scared inhabitants in this near-lawless place. He thinks Aiden will be his key to extending his psychic control to the uninfected as well. He sets his gang hot on the boy’s trail.

I think you’ll like this post-apocalyptic thriller, even if it completely without zombies. It’s now available everywhere. Give it a try and go viral.


Russell R. James, Biography

Russell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents’ warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn’t make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, and Dreamwalker. He has several horror short story collections, including Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness, as well as some science fiction collections. Now, Q Island, released July 7, 2015 and he’s already under contract for his next book for 2016.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.” He and his wife share their home in sunny Florida with two cats.

Q Island is the sixth novel (a novella collection with three other authors makes seven) that Russell James has published with Samhain Horror under legendary horror editor Don D’Auria! He’s also published various other books and short story collections that may be found on Amazon.

To find out more about Russell R. James, please visit his Website or follow him on Facebook! Join him on Twitter, @RRJames14. Also, feel free to drop him at a line at rrj@russellrjames.com.

Q Island, synopsis—

It’s an epidemic. An ancient virus is loose on Long Island, NY. Its black-veined victims become sociopathic killers, infecting others through body fluids or a post mortem release of spores. Chaos rules. The island is quarantined.

Melanie Bailey and her autistic son Aiden are trapped. Aiden is bitten, but survives. He might be the key to a cure, if she can escape what the world now calls Q Island. Further east, gang leader Jimmy Wade has also survived infection, and become telepathic with a taste for human flesh.

Wade sets his followers on a search for the immune boy who can make him a god, if only Wade can consume him. A scrappy, one-eyed nurse and a retired pipeline technician agree to help Melanie escape, but it’s a long shot that they can avoid the infected, Wade’s tightening grip and a military ordered to keep everyone on Q Island.

Q Island Nabs Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review—

Q Island, a novel by Russell James and published by Samhain Horror, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly! In short, “The horrors are not created by the virus itself, but by what it allows people to do to one another. This is a seriously creepy page-turner that will keep readers up at night.” You can see the full review here: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-61922-748-4

Praise for Russell R. James—

“James has a talent for combining action-packed vignettes into a powerful, fast-paced whole.”
—Library Journal on Black Magic

(Five Stars, A Night Owl Top Pick) “I loved the story so much that I’m eagerly waiting to read more from him. He carefully and very intricately wove his storyline to have elements of mystery and suspense throughout. I now have a new favorite book I’ll read over and over again.”
—Night Owl Reviews on Dark Inspiration

“The book had me at the edge of my seat. The writing is so vivid I even jumped a few times. If you’re a fan of the genre, love ghosts and are drawn to the supernatural, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book!”
—Long and Short Reviews on Dark Inspiration

“James fills the novel with compete characters that are easy to care about and cheer for (or against) when appropriate. There is a very strong human element to the novel that allows the reader to sink into the story and become involved in its events.”
–The Examiner

“Dreamwalker is the first Russell James novel that I have had the pleasure to read and it was an absolute blast! I am definitely looking forward to exploring his previous and upcoming works. There is something for everyone in this novel – action, horror, fantasy and a hint of romance. Highly recommended!”
–The Horror Bookshelf

“This could very well be the best horror novel of the year.”
–Examiner on Q Island

Purchase or Wish List Q Island—

Barnes and Noble:
Samhain Horror:


Rafflecoper giveaway for two audiobook copies of Dreamwalker. Two winners will each win one code for a free audio book, open everywhere. Must use a valid email that you can be reached by. By entering the giveaway, you consent to allow Russell to have your email for very infrequent newsletter updates. Contest ends August 31, 2015. Other contest questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, Hook of a Book Media at hookofabook@hotmail.com.
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