Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Local Businesses Support Local Indie Authors

Did you know that various businesses about town carry my books? Sure you can have them ordered into a big-box chain bookstore [Barnes and Nobel] or buy them online [Amazon] or even direct from me. BUT...

If you're out and about you can pick one up at an indie bookstore, a coffee shop or even a shipping store (for that last minute gift). In so doing you not only get an enjoyable read and support a local author, you are also supporting a local business (because they take a cut, too).

New locations are being added over time, meanwhile here's where you can find not only my books, but other local indie authors, too:

PAPER TIGER COFFEE ROASTERS, 703 North Grand Boulevard, Vancouver, Wash., is the newest business to carry my work. They're a small local roaster, a coffee shop, an art gallery, a restaurant and they have a variety of entertainment events that include open mic author nights.

They have a few local authors represented in their small retail display which also includes hand made gifts and other treasures. Plus they have a rack of loaner books and Wi-Fi.

INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE BOOKS, 7732 N.E. Hazel Dell Ave., Vancouver, Wash., carries a wide array of books by local indie authors even though they specialized in used Sci-Fi reading materials. They are hosting the BOOK LAUNCH PARTY for my upcoming release The Amish vs. The Zombies on June 21. [Mark your calendars and watch for details.]

JACOBSON'S BOOKS & MORE, 211 E Main St., Downtown Hillsboro, Ore. also stocks local indie books and probably has the widest selection. If you're in the Portland area this is your best bet for indie books, games, toys and other gifts.

Located in Old Town Hillsboro along with many other delightful small businesses (a hobby store, several great restaurants, a music store, an old fashioned soda fountain, a theater, and more) it is well worth the trip. I'm scheduled to walk with their float in the city's 4th of July Parade and will be doing a signing at the store in late July. [Watch for details and plan to come out.]

SALMON CREEK SHIPPING, 14300 NE 20th Ave., D-102, Vancouver, Wash., has been carrying my books the longest. I am the only author they carry. Maybe because we've been customers (our mailbox is) there for a long time, too. They have locally made fudge and a variety of handmade gifts for sale as well as secure mailboxes for business or personal use, shipping/packing services and supplies, FedEx, USPS, DHL, stamps, stationary, greeting cards, fax and copy services and more!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Great AVZ Book Cover and Trailer Shoot Today

It was a great day for shooting the book cover and the book trailer video for The AMISH vs. The ZOMBIES. All went smoothly and quickly. And we went through a quart of stage blood.

Author/director Greg Zschomler on location directing models/actors
Anna (Hannah Stroval) and Hezekiah (the zombie) for the book's trailer.
We began with the zombie makeup session at 6 a.m. and were done by 7:30. The shoot began at 8 a.m. on location at a barn in Clark County where we shot both cover stills and trailer video footage.

We then moved to Ft. Vancouver and shot some beautiful footage on the porch of the Chief Factor's house. From there we went to the Ridgefiled Library for a quick, short shot (one take).

The last official shot of the day was a barn interior (three takes) then a pick up shot back at the original barn's exterior to assure coverage. We were done by noon and I am very please with the stills and the video.

Thank you Anna, Hezekiah and Isaiah; Ruth, Elijah and Benjamin, too!

I'll be creating the cover art over the next three days. Then I have a week's vacation. When I get back I'll be working on the final print proof and editing the trailer (which should be done two weeks before the book launch on June 21).

Friday, May 16, 2014

AVZ On Location Video/Photo Shoot Tomorrow

6 a.m. Makeup Call for our zombie (and artist)
8 a.m. Cast Call on location (Set 1) Barn Exterior shots
9 a.m. on location (Set 2) Fort Vancouver (Chief Factor's House)
10 a.m. on location (Set 3) Ridgefield Library interior
11 a.m. on location (Set 4) Barn Interior shots
12 n Cast dismissed/editing begins

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A TASTE of "The Amish vs. The Zombies" (Sample Ch.)


How could you feel all peaceful like and panicky at the same time? 

That was how Hannah felt around Zephaniah Miller. Sometimes she wondered what made him stand out in her mind at all. In many ways he was like every other unmarried Amish boy she knew. He dressed in black pants, vest and shoes, a blue ‘button-up’ type shirt (that really didn’t use buttons), suspenders, and a wide-brimmed straw hat. He lived on a farm with his family and worked from dawn to dusk most days. He went to church every other Sunday, drove a buggy instead of a car, didn’t go on dates, didn’t go to college (or even high school), and didn’t have any ambitions outside the expected Amish life. 

So why am I attracted to him? Hannah wondered.

Zephaniah stood at about five feet seven, had brown hair that covered his ears, brown eyes—nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe it’s because he simply pays attention to me, when no one else does. But why pay attention to me?

It was an off-Sunday (that meant there wasn’t church that day) in early September. A warm breeze scuttled dry, dead leaves of red, orange, yellow and brown into a clear afternoon sky of cornflower blue. Hannah sat in the wicker rocker on the front porch hand-stitching a quilt in her lap. Zephaniah, nearly eighteen years-old, sat on a stool not six feet away. He whittled at a small hunk of wood with an Old Timer that had been his grandfather’s before he’d passed away.

Zephaniah had been calling lately—well, calling more often—usually with some excuse to help around the place, but he’d always came around once in a while. After all, he lived just next door—which meant he was only about half a mile away, but still in the next district. Therefore, they’d not really grown up together—in the same school or church—but their families had long interacted with one another since they shared a fence line and both ran dairies. She and Zephaniah often mended fences together, chased stray cows, and shared thoughts—like today. 

“The way I figure it,” said Zephaniah, “we’ve just pulled over off the highway. No one’s going anywhere important anyway, but they seem in an awful hurry to get there. We Amish, well, I guess we realized that, so we pulled over.”

“And stopped moving all together,” Hannah sneered.

“No, just moving at a slower pace, that’s all.”

“So we’re going the same direction? Nowhere important?”

“I didn’t say that. I think we’re moving in a different direction, too. Maybe headed somewhere…”


Zephaniah stopped whittling and looked up at Hannah with his dark eyes. He shook the penknife between his thumb and forefinger, “A place called Gelassenheit*.”

“Phwesh! I know that place.”

“Do you, Hannah?”

Hannah looked up from her work and stared at Zephaniah for a moment, thinking. Gelassenheit, calmness, composure, placidity, peace. Maybe. Well, sometimes, or maybe it’s just boredom.

“No, no I don’t,” she had to admit, “except when… No, I wish I did.”

“When? Except when what?”

“I, I can’t say. How about you Zeph? Do you feel at peace with…” she swept her hand toward the horizon, “with all of this?” Farms dotted the golden fields that lay shorn under the blue and white sky.

“I guess I do.” It was said matter-of-factly, no hesitancy, no question, no doubt.

“Why? Why!? How can you, when there’s so much to see, to learn, to do? There’s so much more than working day in and day out on the same parcel of real estate that was worked by your father, and your father’s father and his father before him. There are things to discover—new things, Zeph! And I want to know them.”

Zephaniah hung and shook his head, then, looking up he smiled at Hannah, tipping back his flat straw hat. “You and me, we’re different, Han. Well, you certainly are.”

“Is that, like, a compliment or a criticism?”

“Neither,” he answered, standing to his feet and folding the pocket knife shut, “I guess…I guess it’s just what I like about you, that’s all.” He slipped the knife into the pocket of his pants and stared at the toe of his shoe. “I got to be getting on, Han. Daed wants me to stack the cordwood before supper tonight.” He turned toward the steps.

“Wait!” she blurted. Too earnest. “Wait a moment,” she said softer. Zephaniah turned back toward her. “Zeph,” she said pausing, “sometimes I am at peace. It’s when you’re with me, but I…well, I don’t know if…” Oh! Why is this so hard to say? “I just don’t think I could, you know, be, be…”

“Married to me?” Hannah’s mouth dropped open. “Not what you were going to say. I’m, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I’m flattered, but, you’re right, that’s not what I was going to…”

“I do like you Hannah.”

“I like you too, it’s just that, well, I’m not sure I want to settle down. Here.”

“Yah, the Amish way, doesn’t set with you, does it?”

“I don’t think so.” She cocked her head.

“I figured as much.”

“It shows?” she said with mock disbelief.

Zephaniah laughed. “Yah, it shows.”

After an awkward pause, Hannah broke the silence, “I couldn’t think of a nicer man to marry though. You’ve always been kind to me.”

“Why, thank you. But, you are easy to like.” He walked toward her. Oh no, he’s going to kiss me, she thought, but, maybe that would be nice. But wasn’t that only for marriage? She didn’t want to appear loose, but then again she wondered what a kiss would be like. She’d never been kissed before. He extended his hand.

“This, this is for you Hannah.” She reached out and took the little carving and he closed her hand around it, held it a moment then turned and walked down the stairs turning back on the last step. “If you ever wish to talk, Hannah, I’m here for you. Your secrets are safe with me.”

“Thank you Zeph.” He continued back to his buggy, climbed aboard and clicked for the horse to get along with the snap of the reins. Hannah watched him go off into the sunset toward his home and sighed. After a moment, she looked into her hand at the small figure he’d give her.

It was a car. She smiled and a tear formed in her eye.

Monday, May 5, 2014

First Illustration Sample for Samson

"I'm Samson, " said Sydney, "and I'm really tough..."

Here's the first pencil sketch illustration for "I'm Samson," said Sydney by April Bullard. After finalization color will be added. Awesome, huh?

Our book will have about a dozen illustrations and is scheduled release is for Thanksgiving 2014. I won't be sharing all the illustrations, but I will post a few ticklers so you can see how the work is progressing.

Friday, May 2, 2014


It was Saturday, April 19.

I'd just spent the day with my friend and fellow writer, Will Glessner, knocking around ideas, hopes, dreams, and random talk about movies, music and general mayhem. Over a couple of games of Pass the Pigs we discussed our writing projects. I lamented that I was having trouble finding an illustrator for "'I'm Samson,' said Sydney" a children's picture book I'd written several years back and had recently renewed interest in publishing.

We wrapped up our day and on the way home I stopped into one of my favorite local indie bookstores, Cover to Cover Books & Espresso, to check on a book I wanted. A local author/illustrator was just finishing up a Launch Party for her new book "The Sock Thief." I loved the art on the easel and struck up a brief conversation. I bought her book and we exchanged contact info.

After studying the beautiful and detailed work in her book I sent her an email pitching my own book and asked if we might work together. We met last week and discussed the project for which she was excited. After throwing ideas around and talking terms we came to a "gentleman's agreement"--we would work together and I drew up the formal contract.

Today, we signed that contract! And she had done twelve preliminary sketches for our meeting. Let me just say that I was more than pleased and they are amazing! I will be sharing one of them with you very soon. You can look forward to seeing other illustrations as we move along with the project. The book will be published before Thanksgiving this year and be available for the Christmas gift-giving season. This is going to be a great book for the toddlers in your life.

Also, and this is even weirder. My books are available in Jacobsen's Books & Gifts in Hillsboro, Ore. and I'm scheduled to appear there on July 26 (which I have been for nearly a month). All during the summer, every Saturday, they have a table outside of their store featuring local authors. There are a couple dozen appearing over the summer in pairs each week. Now here's the weird thing: I have been paired with April Bullard and no one knew we were collaborating!

I think that's a God thing.

Just HAD to Share This Review with You

“Lights, Camera, Worship”: A review


I’m so happy to be able to give a brief review of a book that a good friend recently sent me. Gregory E. Zschomler has recently gone to publishing of the Second Edition of “Lights, Camera, Worship”, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it to read.

I met Greg at a time in the late 90′s when worship music as we know it was going through a crossover from singing songs about God, to singing songs TO God. This era was welcomed with artists such as SonicFlood, Vineyard Worship was cutting edge, Hillsong’s “Shout to the Lord” became a staple and CCM artists began to release worship songs in droves. Church Production was another staple that became more and more popular, having been a part of a church where the overhead projector or slide projector were the latest technology. This is when I had the opportunity to meet Greg, and eventually be on staff alongside him. He brought an awakening of what the church could be through Media, and a fresh voice to the status quo. This book encapsulates, for me, the evolution of what was, what is, and what will become of church production and media ministries.

This book isn’t merely about Church Software Wars of who uses which program, or which set of Smart Lights to buy, but rather a collective look of how to get started and what to do next. It’s easy for me to sit back, as a consultant and tell a church that I’m working with to buy this Software for $14k, or this set of projectors for $8k. But Greg has gone through the legwork of sharing how he’s done things on a budget, and how to get the most bang for your money. God has entrusted us with the finances of the local church. It’s our job to be a great steward of it. Now, at first, your church may not share the same values as you, and that is ok. There is always a “baby step” to get you where you want to be. The early church used beautiful stained glass that told stories through Art and Color. We, as Media Directors, and Church Techies are no different. We tell our stories in creative ways and in beautiful ways. Who should check this book out?

1) The Church planter: Money is always a factor in getting started, and Greg gives great advice on what to invest in first, and how to make the biggest splash on a budget

2) The Tech Guru: You will find a well-rounded primer on lights, cameras, software, hardware, etc, and how to expand your tech ministry

3) The Artist: This book will reinforce what you already know, and that the Church and Art share a kindred spirit of beauty that God wants us to use to be a part of the Biblical narrative

4) The Lone Wolf in Ministry: Let’s face it, you didn’t go to seminary to study this stuff. And this book will give you College Level reading to get your Audio/Visual ministry off to a great start.

Greg is a treasure to the Church, and has been an inspiration to me, and my ministry even today. Take a look at this, and other books of his. It will expand your horizons. Buy this book HERE!

Be sure and visit Chuck's blog here.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Oh, the Faith of a Fellow Author

"I've read Greg Zschomler and he excels at creative concepts told with heart. I'm looking forward to his latest [The AMISH vs. The ZOMBIES] and I'm sure pinnacle work. This is why I love indie writing. You read something thinking this is wacky and afterwards you think I can't believe it was that good." 

             ~Andy R. Bunch, author of SUFFERING RANCOR