Saturday, 24 February 2018

New release - The History Of Zombies

Its 2018 and The History Of Zombies is now on sale.

Here is the first press release...

Thursday 1st March is World Book Day, and local author Michael Madden is making it a special event by releasing his latest title, The History Of Zombies. We caught up with him as he prepared for the release day.
The History Of Zombies, what’s it all about?
It’s a work of fiction, aimed at young teens. The marketing blurb says Zak and Jimmy loved their X-Boxes, they loved their war games, and they loved shooting virtual zombies. A chance encounter in a local graveyard changed all of that when one of their school friends showed signs of being not quite normal, though not quite a zombie either. That is when the fun really started. They discovered that Jimmy’s dad is an expert on zombies, and his acquaintance, the fabled Joshua Lordsmith, is a self-styled zombie hunter. They got to know all about The History Of Zombies as the outbreak spread, placing Zak. Jimmy, his dad, and Joshua in great danger. The History Of Zombies is actually the title of an old chart that shows all of the different types of zombies and their family tree.

Young Teens is an interesting market. Why did you choose that?

I think there is a real danger that in a few years’ time people simply will not read books. My youngest son spends most of his free time playing on his X-Box or his laptop. He would not dream of picking up a book. In fact, when I suggested that he might like to read something he countered my suggestion asking if he could just listen to an audiobook instead! The subject matter is one that the X-Box generation are familiar with, fighting zombies seems to be a common theme.

And do you think your son will read this particular book?

Well, maybe. I gave him a physical copy so that he could be a beta reader. Don’t think he has quite finished it yet but he has read a lot more than I thought he would.

The cover is quite striking, did you do that yourself?

No, I used a lady called Emmy Ellis at Studioenp. She produces some magnificent covers, and they are amazingly priced. I gave her a few suggestions for imagery and the words, and within 24 hours I had my cover. She emailed me the final versions and would have changed them if they were not what I wanted, but I think they are perfect.

Graveyards, zombies, would you class this as a horror?

Not really, as I say, it is aimed at young teens. It seems that they are quite hardened to virtual death and destruction, they just hit the reset button and start a new game. I wanted the cover to depict things that might scare, as I would not want someone to pick up the book and not be prepared for some gore and killing.

So you want to de-sensitise the reader in advance?

Kind of! There is killing in the book, that’s what zombies do! But the people who die are not fully developed characters. They are almost incidental to the story. Some of them don’t even get to speak!

This is a departure from your usual style, why the change?

I don’t really have a ‘usual style’! My last two books have been music related, though both very different. Before that there was a cookery book, and an adult novel. Next up I am concentrating on horror. Adult horror. I read a lot of Stephen King so I suppose it is inevitable that I would slide into that genre eventually!

What events have you got planned for the launch?

I will be promoting the book on Ex Pat Radio, I do a Book Show on there every week or so. We are also looking to tie in events for World Book Day, maybe with giveaways in the local schools. There will also be giveaways on the Facebook page, so please visit and Like that!

And finally, how do we get hold of a copy?

It will be available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. It should also be available at other online book stores, but that can take a while to filter through.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Elvis Under The Covers by Michael Madden now on sale

Tomorrow sees the 40th Anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. Its going to be a busy day - with Ex-Pat radio in the morning, BBC Radio Sheffield at lunchtime and Oldham Community Radio in the evening.

The Ex-Pat session features Mindi Miller, one of Elvis's ex girlfriends. It promises to be an interesting couple of hours.

The book is now officially on sale - with links here:-

The Facebook page also has a competition where you can win a signed copy!

Win a signed copy of Elvis Under The Covers

Now on to my zombie book!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Elvis Under The Covers By Michael Madden - Press Release

In August 1977 the world stopped when Elvis Presley passed away. As we acknowledge the 40th anniversary of his passing, it is appropriate to remember the full extent of the man’s legacy, a legacy that continues to grow. Elvis Under The Covers explores his influence through the artists that have recorded his most often covered original songs. We asked author Michael Madden about the book.
What gave you the idea to produce an Elvis Presley book that’s not just about Elvis Presley?
I was asked by my 13-year-old son Zac, “Why is Elvis Presley so famous?” That’s a tough question to answer! He was comparing The King to Justin Bieber, and especially their respective hits on YouTube. I explained that Elvis passed away 28 years before YouTube was even created, and that Elvis’s legacy is there for all to see, and will remain forever so. And of course it is, but if you don’t go looking for it you might find yourself swamped with Bieber and completely overlooking the most important musical icon that ever lived! So I put this together to show the legacy through those that have covered Presley’s songs.

The book has an impressive list of contributors, including Suzi Quatro. How did that come about?

I was researching a particular Elvis impersonator who, by coincidence, came from my home town. He responded quite quickly, and he seemed genuinely pleased to be asked about his passion. So I emailed some more people, and very soon I had a deluge of responses. One of the first was Mary Coughlan who came across as a really warm person as we exchanged emails about being grandparents, Ireland, music and, of course, Elvis Presley. She inadvertently encouraged me to be more ambitious, and when I got a response from Suzi Quatro I was a bit more than pleased. I remember Suzi on Top Of The Pops when I was around 13 or 14. Dressed from head to toe in black leather and strutting her stuff with a bass guitar. She was my first real crush, and now here she was emailing me. She has a real ‘connection’ with Elvis, and she just wanted to give more, so I asked her if she would write the foreword. She didn’t hesitate, and within a day or so we had the finished piece. I think as well that you just have to imagine these people as just that - people! They are only human, and if you can get through the layers of management they are only too pleased to offer words, which says a lot about the individual artists and even more about Elvis.

Did any refuse?

Yes, of course. There were many I didn’t get a reply from, and a couple of artists who didn’t want to contribute, but they did at least take the time to reply!

Whose response thrilled you the most?

Well that has to be Suzi Quatro for the reasons already stated. But it would be unfair to single her out. Eddi Reader gave me a really nice quote, and to receive responses from Wanda Jackson, Stella Parton, Tanya Tucker, Al Kooper, well, there are just so many. Oh, and I mustn’t forget Kenny Vance. Kenny didn’t just want to give me a sentence, so he called me. We spent a very fine Sunday morning discussing Elvis, the 1950s, Brooklyn and Doo Wop. Another memorable one came from Ondřej Hejma of Czech band Žlutý Pes. When you read that you realise how lucky we are to have easy access to arts, culture and especially everything Elvis.

Why the top tens?

Oh, that was just a bit of fun! A book full of facts and figures should hopefully generate lots of debate – so I thought I would get mine in first!

Rock and roll entertainer Mike Sanchez has provided several pages, I believe there is some history there?

Yes, I wrote Mike Sanchez Big Town Playboy, which is Mike’s authorised biography. It was a lot of fun, and I got to meet Robert Plant, Jeff Beck and several other great artists. We still keep in touch, and I go to see him whenever he is in the area. Truly one of the greats, and when it came to Elvis he jumped at the chance to write a few paragraphs. Of course, when you are Mike Sanchez you have to be a bit over the top – so it ended up being several really well written pages.

That was published by Music Mentor Books. Did you approach them about this book?

No. George Groom-White at Music Mentor is one of the most professional people that I have ever come across. A real perfectionist and a pleasure to work with. But this was more a labour of love and I wanted full control, including putting it out on Kindle which George is not really keen on.

Is it a lot more work?

It is in the sense that I have to do all of the design and the typesetting, though Createspace provide templates so its really quite easy. I had a copy editor for the Big Town Playboy book, and I have 2 editors working on this one. There’s a lot of cross checking and re-reading, but that’s the same with any book. I have to give a shout to Hollie Crankshaw who created the artwork for the cover. She is very talented, and I am sure she has a great career ahead of her. I worked with her previously on The Raven, an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s work that I wrote for the Buxton Festival Fringe. She provided makeup and special effects for four bizarre characterizations and they were superb. August promises to be a whirlwind, with 5 radio interviews in the pipeline and several book signings, with hopefully more to follow.

Most of the book is dedicated to those who have recorded Elvis’s songs rather than Elvis himself. Do you think that will put people off?

Not really, because its all about Elvis’s legacy. These people, by their sheer diversity, extend that legacy to their own fans and music lovers the world over. I mean, they range from Bob Dylan to Daffy Duck, and from classical to punk. Just about every genre is covered, including some great jazz performers.

What’s next?

Who knows?! I have published books on music, cookery, adult fiction and children’s rhymes. At one time I did think …Under The Covers could be a series, with maybe Chuck Berry next. I’ll have to see how this one goes. I have got a teen fiction zombie book that should be out for Christmas, and a sequel to my cookery book! You can find details at Hopefully I will find time to update my website some time soon!

Elvis Under The Covers by Michael Madden is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle from August 2017.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Elvis Under The Covers by Michael Madden - My Favourite Quote

The hopefully final edits are complete and the book is off for review again. Next proof should be here within a week which allows me to get back to marketing!

Already got 3 radio slots booked, including BBC Radio Sheffield and Oldham Community Radio. I will publish a full list on the FB page.

One of my favourite quotes is from Ondřej Hejma of Czech band Žlutý Pes - I guess most of us cannot imagine what this would be like!

Elvis’s music was so strong you could hear it on the other side of the Iron Curtain. It was like a ray of light in those dark times. We knew very little about him, saw none of his movies, but the music was good enough all by itself.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Elvis Under The Covers by Michael Madden - the final countdown!

Got some great words from Kenny Vance and one or two other late quotes have come in. I've incorporated them into the latest (last?) version and am going through the final edits before the next proof.

August 16th marks the 40th Anniversary of Elvis's passing - so that's a real deadline, and I am booked on to Oldham Community Radio that evening - So I'd better be ready!

The artwork has finally come together - with Hollie Crankshaw providing these images:-

If you want to learn more about Hollie here is here Instagram link.

Now involved in the marketing (the hardest part of all).

Hopefully some of the contributors will give it a plug!


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Elvis Under The Covers by Michael Madden - Cover design

Spent quite some time yesterday revising the cover image (the one we are currently using is a stock photo and doesn't have that 'unique' feel.)

Its not quite finished yet - but you can get the idea - the names on the image are some of those listed in the book, superimposed on and around the image of Elvis.

Still need to work on the font and shade but its really not far off.

All artwork has been produced by the hugely talented Hollie Crankshaw - I'll get her page details and post them here.

Meanwhile the hard slog of proof reading continues. Hopefully this will be my penultimate trawl through the whole manuscript!


Saturday, 8 July 2017

Elvis Under The Covers by Michael Madden - The Impersonators

When Elvis Presley walked in to Sun studios in 1953 who could ever have known that his success would spawn a whole new career choice of 'Elvis Impersonator', and that career choice would itself hold national and international competitions as well as having its own Hall Of Fame?

There are some famous singers who could be classed as Elvis Impersonators, such as Freddie Starr or Les Gray who adopted the persona of Tulsa McLean, but my own favourite is Sweden's Eilert Pilarm.

I will let you make your own mind up about Eilert, he has had hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits, and he has reputedly played at Graceland. His songs were regularly featured on John Peel's radio show, and he was the Best Swedish Elvis Impersonator of 1999. It is unknown who the opposition were!

Eilert Pilarm sings In The Ghetto