Posts Tagged ‘Opening Night of the Dead


Blake Has Written Books Part 3: Opening Night of the Dead

Opening Night of the DeadMy third novel, Opening Night of the Dead, is the second book in the world of the Curtain, although you don’t need to have read the previous book, The Beginner, in order to enjoy it. It’s almost Halloween, and at the Climax Studios campus in Hollywood, work is being done on a new zombie movie. On the other side of the property, though, at the Climax Studios Theme Park, a real zombie has stumbled into the costumed partygoers. A pair of former cops (as “former” as you can get) are sent to try to quell the violence, joining their skills with a studio stuntman and makeup artist, plus a tabloid reporter that has strayed on to the lot. In this humorous take on horror movies, it’s these five people who stand between the world and a zombie apocalypse.

This book is a bit more lighthearted than The Beginner, and in fact, establishes the tone I really want for the Curtain universe. It’s also where the term “Curtain” comes from. If you’re into weird takes on zombies, this is the Petit book for you.

And don’t forget, gang, please, tweet and share and reblog this post, and if you’ve already read the book, why not throw up a review at any of the above websites or at



Opening Night of the Dead

Combining the wit of the Siegel City stories with an offbeat look at horror stories, Opening Night of the Dead is my little twist on the zombie tale.

From the back cover:

The Climax Studios Festival of Fear is a Halloween tradition, but with monsters roaming the theme park and a monster movie filming on the adjacent film lot, what hell will break loose when a real zombie surfaces and starts biting? When you can’t tell who’s alive and who’s undead, can a stuntman, a makeup artist, a sleaze-slinging blogger and a pair of former cops stop the end of the world from sneaking off the studio lot and infecting all of California?

Available now:


Opening Night of the Dead is NOW AVAILABLE

Okay, guys, today is the day! Thanks so much for all your help and support this week. All that’s left now is to actually buy the book!

And tell your friends!

And maybe write a lil’ review!

Pretty please.

Opening Night of the Dead (Amazon Kindle Version)

Opening Night of the Dead ( — for all other reading devices)

Print version coming soon!



OPENING NIGHT hits tomorrow… read the prologue today!

As I mentioned Sunday, my all-new zombie novel Opening Night of the Dead is sittin’ high right now in the Amazon Kindle Store and the bookstore, for just $2.99 in any e-reader format. The book should soon be available in the Nook store, Sony Reader store, iPad store, and in print as well. (Watch this space for those announcements as soon as they’re available.)

Also as I mentioned, I’m asking those of you who are planning to get the book to wait until Wednesday to buy it. In short, I’m hoping to so a small-scale “rush” of Amazon, getting as many people as possible to get the book in as short a period as possible, helping it gain a more favorable position on the highly-competitive horror charts and increasing its chances to be seen by more people. I’ve even started a Facebook Event for the Amazon Launch, which you are all totally invited to join if you haven’t done so already.

To give you one last little bonus before tomorrow’s big push, I thought I would give you a taste of the novel itself. So here, for the first time, is the prologue to Opening Night of the Dead. Hope you enjoy it!



If he knew the crap he was in for after he died, Josh Cambre would have made a more concerted effort to stay among the living.

He wandered the Halloween Festival of Fear alone, Kelly having abandoned him for a guy in a Conan the Barbarian costume (and not a square of cotton padding necessary to fill out the muscles, either). Josh was dressed as a scarecrow, and like Kelly’s new Conan, he had the physique for his costume. Josh was thin, spindly – even sickly if you looked at him from the wrong angle. To be frank, it was astonishing that a zombie would bother to bite somebody with so little meat on his bones. Then again, it was just his luck to run afoul of the only member of the undead in the world busy counting Weight Watchers points. He hadn’t encountered any real zombies yet, but after his date walked off with the guy in the loincloth, he lost most of his inclination to keep on going. He wasn’t considering suicide or anything – Josh didn’t quite have the steel for that – but if you’d told him there was a flesh-eating ghoul marching around the Climax Studios Amusement Park, he wouldn’t necessarily have made an effort to flee in terror.

Wandering the park alone, not knowing or particularly caring if Kelly would have a ride home with her Cimmerian king, he decided to force himself to have a good time. This would have been a brilliant idea, had it proven even remotely possible. The roller coaster was a bust (literally, it broke down with three people remaining in line ahead of him), and the last time he’d gone on a Tilt-a-Whirl he’d been left with three days of hugging the toilet bowl. Popping into a Haunted House, he decided, would be his safest bet. It was unlikely he’d run into Kelly; if he did he probably wouldn’t recognize her in the dark, and maybe a good scare would wipe the depressed look from his face.

Of course, that was the great thing about the scarecrow costume – the mask covered his entire head. His Coke-bottle glasses fit under there as neatly as his enormous ears, his matted-down haircut was invisible, his acne across the bridge of his too-small nose was as good as clear. No one could even see the small brown blob underneath his chin, the birthmark that his mother always tried telling him looked like a lion, but that people always said looked like he’d been eating chocolate and hadn’t wiped his face well enough.

Chocolate if he was lucky.

Christ, it was amazing that Kelly had even agreed to come here with him in the first place, wasn’t it?

An enormous fiberglass proxy of Frankenstein’s monster was grinning down at him, lightning flashing up into his face and reflecting onto the ground with a strobe effect. Shuffling around outside of the building he saw mummies, werewolves, and slashers aplenty. This was the one he wanted. There were a dozen Haunted Houses on the Climax Studios theme park property, each with its own theme or overlay – Science Gone Bad, Gateway to Hell, Crypt of the Vampires (reportedly the tamest haunt on the property, and oh, how that wounded him). After very little deliberation, Josh decided to soak his sorrows in Silver Screen Screams, a house full of dioramas plucked specifically from classic horror movies – and, no doubt, liberal use of the characters from Climax’s recent horror hit, The Beginner. In fact, he could see one of the bad guys from that movie waiting in the wings – a little bald fella wearing all black and twirling what looked like a surgical scalpel from a leather thong on his left hand. Good job making the little bastard look creepy, if nothing else. He worked with this fright factory. It was good enough for Josh to waste a little time before he dragged himself home.

He was told that actors in a Haunted House are trained to leap at the most terrified-looking person in a group, and in front of him was a giggling mob of teenage girls, each of whom seemed to make for a welcome target when someone was primed to leap out from a casket or reach a mummified arm out from behind a hidden panel in the wall. Since the actors in their monster makeup invariably blew their wads trying to terrify the girls, they were always resetting the scene when Josh walked past on his own a few seconds later. He tried not to focus on the idea that even actors paid to terrify people seemed to have no interest in him at all.

After about 20 minutes in the house, Josh wandered into an area lined with rows of authentic-looking corn stalks, with yellow lights twinkling at him in pairs – eyes watching him from behind the rows. Interesting effect, one that worked pretty well, he thought. It would be better if they tried to shape the lights a little, they were too round to accept as eyes, but he could give the Climax folks an A for Effort. He even felt appropriately dressed here in the cornfield, even though he didn’t actually feel like he fit in any better than he did anywhere else.

A nasty chill whispered across his back when the gurgling sound began, and the zombie that moved out of the cornrows reached out at him, hissing and snapping his teeth. Josh didn’t scream – didn’t even flinch. He just rolled his eyes and said, “Dude, I really think you wandered into the wrong scene. You’re supposed to be a creepy-ass kid with platinum blonde hair. Good makeup, though.”

He moved to continue after the girls on the path, but the corpse wrapped its claw-like hands around his arm. Josh turned, starting to get angry with the pushy kid in the zombie getup. “Look, man–”

Whatever threat or ultimatum would have followed was lost when the zombie’s thick, yellow teeth chomped through the burlap shirt that was part of his costume and into the admittedly thin flesh of Josh’s arm. He shouted, yanking the limb back out of instinct, but succeeding only in helping the zombie rip out a chunk of stringy flesh. Blood spurted into the air and dripped from the mouth of the hungry ghoul. Josh screamed again, but still had the presence of mind to back away, flailing, and bolt from the scene.

The arm hurt terribly, not only from the wound, but from an intense burning sensation that seemed to consume the whole area. When he placed his good hand over the wound he was stunned to feel how hot it was already, as if his arm alone could somehow contain a fever.

Oh god, he thought, what if that guy had rabies? What if he had something worse? Those videos, those Curtain guys, what if— What did he give to me?

He rushed ahead into the house, shoving aside the teenage girls (who threw some decidedly un-ladylike language at him, not that he was in any condition to get into a snit about it), and began to wander through room after room, shouting for help. In an Egyptian crypt, he nearly trampled an old woman in a walker. In Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, he actually shoved the Monster himself over into the lab table, eliciting some joyous laughter from the kids Frankie had been attempting to frighten. Finally, he stumbled through the exit door and fell right onto the pavement, rolling to the feet of a little man with a big smile.

Josh looked up at him, seeing someone dressed in all black, which wasn’t exactly unusual at this time of year. The small figure had no hair, but a wide, toothy grin spread across his face like a famished man looking down at a perfectly grilled steak. He held something in his left hand – cradled it, if one was going to be honest – but Josh wasn’t even paying attention, which was the last mistake of his life. Josh was happy to see anyone, even someone dressed like the Closer-monster from The Beginner.

“Dude! There’s someone in there… someone biting people! You gotta call the cops, you gotta–”

“Joshua Cambre.”

Josh blinked, surprised to hear his name from the lips of this stranger, startled just enough to arrest his panic. “I… yeah, that’s me, but…”

“Eighty-two years old,” the little man continued. He reached out with his right hand, grabbing the burlap mask that shielded Josh’s unseemly face from the rest of the Halloween crowd. With one fierce yank, he pulled the mask away, exposing Josh’s skin to the warm autumn air of California. Josh looked up, seeing a horrible gleam in the man’s eye, and suddenly he was far more terrified than he was when it was just the walking dead after him.

“You die,” the man said. “You die alone, from a pulmonary embolism in your sleep, after a tragically lonely and pathetically uneventful life.”

“What the hell? Dude, break character! Some asshole bit my arm, you gotta help me!”

The little man raised his hand, and something flashed. Something long and silver.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’m about to spare you all that.”

*   *   *

Aaaaaand, scene! There you have it, friends, the prologue to Opening Night of the Dead, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget, some time tomorrow head on over to if you’ve got a Kindle or Kindle App and pick it up. If you’ve got an iPad or some other reader, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered at And don’t forget, as part of the launch celebration, I’m cutting the price of my previous novel The Beginner to just 99 cents until August 1. That, too, is available at, as well as The Barnes & Noble Nook store,, in print from (print version is still full price, sorry), and in your iPad bookstore.

See you all tomorrow!


Coming Wednesday to Amazon: Opening Night of the Dead!

Well my friends, after a lot of hard work, a lot of valuable help, and a little blind faith, my next novel, Opening Night of the Dead, is finally finished. I’ve declared this Wednesday, June 20, to be the official “launch day” for this new book, a zombie novel that combines my usual style of humor with the terror of wandering through an amusement park full of zombies… some of which are real, some of which may not be. Tell you what, let me let the back of the book explain it to you:

“The Climax Studios Festival of Fear is a Halloween tradition, but with monsters roaming the theme park and a monster movie filming on the adjacent film lot, what hell will break loose when a real zombie surfaces and starts biting? When you can’t tell who’s alive and who’s undead, can a stuntman, a makeup artist, a sleaze-slinging blogger and a pair of former cops stop the end of the world from sneaking off the studio lot and infecting all of California?

Blake M. Petit’s first zombie novel brings the sharp wit and genre-aware humor of his superhero favorite OTHER PEOPLE’S HEROES to the realm of horror. Fast, tense, and fun, OPENING NIGHT OF THE DEAD is a zombie tale unlike any other.”

Now, the book is going to eventually be available in all eBook formats, through the Nook and iPad and Kobo stores and even in print, but for the moment it’s only available at two sites: the Amazon Kindle store and in all other formats at In both places, the book is a mere $2.99 for a full-length novel PLUS the bonus short story, “It’s Time to Play the Music.” You can’t beat that, friends.

Now here’s the tricky part. The book is, technically, available for purchase right now. But I’m asking you, please, DON’T BUY IT YET. Wait until Wednesday?



Amazon ranking is influenced not only by how many books you sell, but also how fast they sell in a specific period of time. So if everybody reading this buys a book when they read this announcement, it won’t raise the book as high on the list as if everybody waits and buys it on the same day. And the higher it goes on that list, the better chances it’ll be found by people outside of my little community of friends and supporters, and that wil help this community grow, which is really my goal. So if you’re planning to buy the eBook for your Kindle or Kindle app on any device, great! I love you. But PLEASE, wait until Wednesday. In the meantime, though, help spread the word. Pass this link along to anyone you know who’s into zombies, horror, horror/comedy, or who you know enjoyed any of my previous books.

Speaking of which…

I don’t write any story in a vacuum, my friends. Like most of my work, Opening Night of the Dead has ties to another, specifically, it takes place in the same “universe” as my novel The Beginner. Now it’s not a sequel — it doesn’t share any of the same characters or pick up the story. To use a currently-popular movie metaphor, you could watch Captain America without having seen Iron Man and still get a complete story. However, just like those movies, if you HAVE read both of the books, you’ll see links and ties and begin to see a bigger picture.

And yes… just like those movies, those links and ties may ultimately be pointing towards a larger story in the future.

So, as a bonus to help people who discover my world through Opening Night, from now until August 1, I’m slashing the price of the eBook The Beginner from my usual $2.99 novel price all the way down to a mere 99 cents! Now it’s easier than ever to be introduced to this new universe of mine.

And one last thing, friends… every little bit of exposure helps. Once you read these — or any of my books, please go to Amazon (or Smashwords or Barnes & Noble or wherever) and leave a review. Reviews really are a huge help in spreading the word about a little book like mine, and it helps raise the profile on the site as well.

Thanks, everyone, who’s been asking about this book and when it was going to come out, particularly my beta readers and my sister Heather, who designed that spiffy cover. It couldn’t have happened without you.


Coming soon…

So as I’ve mentioned before, I intend to have several products available as eBooks before the end of the year. I’ve got two so far, my Chri– ah, hell with it. If you haven’t clicked on the links and bought ’em by now, this post won’t convince you.

But the next project that’s going to hit your  electronic reading device will probably be my sophomore novel, The Beginner, coming back to print. (Well… electronic print.) Like Other People’s Heroes, it’ll be an edited edition, but the revisions are much less extensive. Like Other People’s Heroes, I intend to include a little bonus content, but I’m not really sure what to include. Here are the options, and I’d like to hear from you guys which one(s) you would like to see in a Beginner e-book:

  1. My Christmas story Promise.The reason this one is under consideration is because it has a very clear connection to the characters in The Beginner. One of them even makes an appearance. Plus, it’s a ghost story, and that feels right.
  2. The prologue section of Tales of the Curtain. I’ve found that I have — quite unintentionally, mind you — divided up most of my writing into two distinct “universes.” The superhero world of Other People’s Heroes is one, the monster-filled land of Tales of the Curtain is the other. And although I haven’t had a reason to make it clear yet, The Beginner is part of the “Curtain-Universe.”
  3. The short story “It’s Time to Play the Music.” This was my Halloween story from 2009, and it too is part of the Curtain-Verse, although it doesn’t have any direct links to The Beginner. It does, however, have the advantage of being a complete story and not just a preview.
  4. A sneak preview of my book Opening Night of the Dead. Although I don’t have this one on the release schedule yet, the manuscript is finished and is being looked over by the Legion of Super-Editors. (If you’d like to join the Legion, by the way, please drop me a line over on Facebook or e-mail.) This is a zombie novel of sorts, and it too is part of the Curtain universe. I could easily pop the first chapter of this one into The Beginner.

So, friends… thoughts?


So now what am I doing?

So last week, as you may have heard, I finally placed my novel Other People’s Heroes in’s Kindle store. This was, by the way, the revised and expanded version, with two bonus short stories. I’ve also put it in the Smashwords eBook store, where you can download it in virtually any eBook format. So while it’s still pending approval in the Nook and iPad bookstores, if you have either of those devices, you can already get your copy of the book. And no matter where you buy it, it’s just $2.99 — less than the price of your average Marvel Comic Book!


So with that done, the question is, what comes next? Well, for you guys, hopefully the next step is buying the book. I mean, if you wanna and stuff. I’d really appreciate it. And I’d also really (really, really) appreciate it if those of you who’ve read the book, either in the eBook format, the original paperback, or even last year’s audio podcast, would take a few minutes and write a review at the Amazon and/or Smashwords websites. Getting reviews for the book helps to boost its profile, which helps other people find it, which hopefully will lead to other people buying it. So if you could do that for me, it would mean a lot.

And what am I doing? Well, like I announced some time back, I’ve also regained the rights to my second novel, The Beginner. As I’ve finished the second draft of Opening Night of the Dead, I’ve turned my creative energies to revisions to The Beginner. I don’t expect the revisions here to be as extensive as they were to Other People’s Heroes, but some editing is definitely necessary before I take it and put it out on the Kindle and Smashwords stores. (I will, by the way, include some new bonus content with this book, just as I did with OPH, although I haven’t decided 100 percent what I’m going to include just yet.)

So I’m still working, my friends. And now the stuff I’m working on is starting to become available to you. I’m really happy about that. If you can give me a little help getting the word out, I’d be in your debt.


How’d I do?

On Thursday, I posted my “weekend to-do” list, a simple list of a few goals I wanted to accomplish before the weekend was out. How did I do? Well…

  • I finished the revisions to Opening Night of the Dead. I’m now passing this totally new work on to my Legion of Super-Editors. (If you would like to be included in said Legion, let me know.)
  • I began the revisions to my second book, The Beginner, because now that I’ve got the rights back I can see it done right.
  • And as for submitting Other People’s Heroes to the Amazon Kindle store and Well, see for yourself. The book is now for sale at Smashwords, and pending acceptance into its “premiere” catalog it will make its way to the iPad and Nook bookstores. And Amazon? Accepted, and it should be available within 24 hours. All for the low, low price of $2.99.

Tell your friends, my friends!


Opening Night — FINISHED

Last night, I posted my weekend “to do” list, including finishing the revisions for my novel in progress, Opening Night of the Dead. I did not expect too finish that particular job before I went to bed last night. But I did. And it was fun.

I’ve talked a little about ONotD before, but I don’t think I’ve ever gone into detail about it. It was my NaNoWriMo project for 2009, and like most of my books, I needed to put it aside after finishing it before I could do the revisions. I actually took the first pass at it last summer, and I’ve spend the last two months giving it the final once-over. I’m not quite done, though, I’m going to ask a few trusted editorial type friends of mine to give it a peek, but very soon I’m going to start shopping for a home for this story.

On the off chance that you (yes, you) reading this may be in a position to help ONotD find a home in print — paper or electronic — let me tell you just a little bit of what it’s like…

  • This is, as the title implies, a zombie novel. It’s also, as I hope the title implies, a bit more lighthearted than the Dawn of the Dead type universe. Closer to Shaun of the Dead in tone, although drastically different in story.
  • This is, in fact, a story that takes place in my world of The Curtain, but you need not have read any of that story to understand this one. It actually takes place before any of the main Curtain stories you’ve read thus far, in YOTC+4. However, those of you who have read the Curtain stories will find familiar faces, as well as the answers to some of your questions.
  • The story also connects (again, not in a “must read that to read this” sort of way) to another story of mine that some of you have read, many of you have not, and I hope to remedy that situation in the near future.
  • The main setting for this story is in a working movie lot that shares property with an amusement park, shortly before Halloween. Ever wondered what would happen if a zombie started nibbling on victims in a place where half the people are already wearing monster makeup? How do you know who to shoot?
  • The final draft is a hair over 71,000 words. I hoped to make it longer (for comparison, Other People’s Heroes is about 90,000), but this is what it took to tell the story. Any more would have been needless filler.
  • I am quite satisfied with the outcome.

Weekend to-do list

My weekend to-do list, kicking off Friday afternoon:

  • Finish edits on Opening Night of the Dead.
  • Research proper submission format for’s Kindle store, submit Other People’s Heroes.
  • Write 1,001 reviews for
  • Find someone in my little group of geeks available to record this week’s 2 in 1 Showcase podcast with me.
  • Record said podcast.
  • Post said podcast.
  • Maybe try catching up on the continuing sleep deficit from Vegas.
  • Invent a cheaper hydrogen fuel cell, thereby reducing pollution, eliminating American dependence on foreign oil, and becoming stinking rich in the process.

I should be able to get these all done before I get my lesson plans in order on Sunday, right?

May 2023

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