Thursday, November 2, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: DedKode – Connected by Chad R. Hunter @DedKode1 @GoddessFish

DedKode - Connected

by Chad R. Hunter

GENRE: Science Fiction / Horror


Without warning, the demonic computing device rose up. Red arcs of crackling electricity snapped out from the server and struck the men and women in the chest. Involuntarily, they each screamed out in dying shrieks. Each worshiper hovered off the floor, transfixed and held for feeding.

DedKode moved forward but James knew it was too late. He placed his hand out and stayed the young, undead hacker.

The worshipers continued to undulate and now fluids ran from their orifices; heavy thick drops collected in puddles beneath each of them.

Faces sunk in.

Eyes rolled back.

Limbs twisted and cracked.

After what seemed like hours, but was only minutes, of watching these men and women sucked dry of their lives, the bodies collapsed to the flooring. Several landed in the pools of their bodily fluids - that which the server did not demand.

The server hovered still, humming like a thousand computer room fans and the singing of a damned chorus. The crimson energy that had drawn life from the worshipers crackled and snapped in oscillating arcs around the device.

The room was still empty as DedKode's hacks were still running and fooling the security systems.

"What's the plan now, Devon?" James asked, keeping his eyes on the demonic equipment hovering either obliviously or without care at his presence. "Do we still try to shut this thing down and take it back or—"

Suddenly DedKode held his hooded skeletal head. Palladino's attention shifted to his teammate.

"What is it?"

There was a feeling that stirred up from a buzzing between where DedKode’s ears once were to a deafening roar he could not ignore. It was an energy, a swelling that circled the room, and DedKode could feel it in part. "Shit, King James, look —"

He pointed a gloved bony finger towards the now pulsating vibration only he could feel. The zombie hacker directed Palladino's gaze to the dead, robed corpses.

They were rising to their feet.

Their hoods fell away and it was clear that they were once alive and were now resurrected dead. Jaws were sunken in, eyes pulled back into black sockets completely void of life. Mouths hung in slow, smacking moans and patches of hair fell with each step, covering the floor along with tears of desiccate flesh.

Arms lifted up and bony hands reached out in trembling grasps.

A hoarse cry rumbled from within breathless, shrunken lungs.


The street was once Lake Shore Drive.

It had been considered one of the most beautiful stretches of road ever constructed. From nearly any point on the arterial Chicago road, one could stop and see the lake, Museum Campus, and other aspects of sheer magnificence.

Testaments to humanity's architecture, designs, and vision literally reached up to the sky. Willis Tower was legendary. Floors and floors of beautiful windows that once caught the rising sun were now almost completely shattered. Unimaginable amounts of flesh-cutting shards of shining triangles littered the streets.

The Cloud Gate, lovingly referred to as "The Bean," was a mind-boggling, visually-stunning stainless-steel sculpture that had once captured the imagination of both locals and visitors. Its mirror-like surface played tricks with reality, reflecting the city's vibrant life in mesmerizing ways.

Now, the Bean was covered in scarred marks and awash in dark splotches of foul-smelling liquids. Instead of laughing faces and optically-twisted visitors, what reflected in the artistically crafted curves was now a sea of countless reddish white deathly stares of layers and layers of skulls laying under the landmark.

The air was layered with gut-churning rancidity not unlike the reek of meat left exposed atop rank garbage in offensive summer heat.

Even on a chill-bitten fall night, the gore was overpowering to all aspects of human interaction.

Nearby, the Crown Fountain had once captured onlookers with its interactive art, projecting the faces of Chicagoans on towering screens, spouting water from their mouths into the reflecting pool below. Tonight, the fountain did not spray immaculate pristine waters but instead bubbled from time to time, as would a swamp. The fluid within was greenish in color and reeked of acidic bile and vomit. Flies had made the site a place of egg laying and maggot rearing.

The Adler Planetarium once world-renowned for its celestial studies was a broken half-dome. Immense cracks ran atop the once majestic structure that had brought countless visitors from across the globe.

The Field Museum had been a cauldron of the past and the present with future aspirations and wonder. It was once the place where history was held in honored perpetuity. Now, whatever remained of mankind's history had violated and pulled from the museum's halls.

Glass cases had been shattered.

Exhibits had been torn out and thrown asunder.

Red, pink and white littered the stairs as intestines, blood and bone made a carpet atop the museum’s walkway.

Chicago was a city known for its sides - its South Side, North Side and West Side. Each was unique from its ethnic communities to its dominant food vendors and carts to its well-known struggles of parking. Yet now, there were no sides anymore.

Now all that was gone. Sides were identical - each area of the city, like each area of other metropolitan sprawls across the globe - were miles and miles of death.  

Interview with Chad Hunter

    How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

    Hi there, including DedKode: Connected, I have written 14. Once of which I fully illustrated. As far as my favorite, ahh! It’s like picking your favorite child! I say which ever I am working on or just wrapped up. So for this question – DedKode: Connected.

    If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

    LOL, let me recover from writing this one! I do have plans on future short stories featuring DedKode. I plan to dive into his background at the orphanage where he grew up.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    With the DedKode series, there is definitely connectivity between each one. Not only do the repeating characters tie stories together but the theme of supernatural evil utilizing today’s technology to threaten humanity is ongoing. Each story stands on its own however, readers should enjoy them all relatively close to one another for a more enriching experience and dive into the DedKode universe.

    How did you come up with the title for your book?

    Great question! DedKode: Connected (aka DedKode – Connected) is actually the third title. The first title was DedKode: App because software does play a part in the story. But that title sounded very weak. Then it became DedKode: Download and that was the name until a month before I finished the book! Connected refers to the name given this particular type of zombie featured in the novel. They have an ability to coordinate and move in synch due to their “connection,” BOOM – title!

    How long did it take you to write this book?

    About two and half years. I started it right before the pandemic and while the mass quarantine gave me time to write, truth be told, it had some negative impact on my creative process. I slowed down a lot and other responsibilities popped up that took my attention and time. But, like I tell other writers, never kick yourself because your novel, short story or poem took the time it took. “When you’ll finish” is always better than “if you’re going to finish.”

    What does the title mean?

    DedKode: Connected refers to several concepts in the novel but primarily it refers to the zombies known as the Connected. It also puts attention on the concept of connectivity between people, between time itself and also how depended or ‘connected’ we are on technology.

    What did you learn when writing the book?

    A lot of about quantum physics, cosmic strings, the city of Chicago and France! I was reminded greatly however to enjoy the process of writing. It was easy to get bogged down and worried but I kept reminding myself to enjoy the creation process, warts and all. I also learned that, Allan Trautman. the actor who portrayed the horrible Tar Man zombie from “Return of the Living Dead.” is one of the nicest people I’ve ever emailed. On a shot in the dark, I reached out to him to write the foreword and he did it in a heartbeat. Eight-year-old me, terrified of the brain devouring zombie, could not have imagined that moment in a million years!

    What surprised you the most?

    The strength of the ‘click,’ which is what I call that moment that the story surpasses what you envisioned for it, the moment when the characters and their actions and the theme and everything just vibes, gels, etc. When it hit, I was blown away. It’s a moment I look for in every story and I have never felt it this strong as I did with DedKode: Connected.

    Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

    I’ve killed off characters I loved which is more painful!

    What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

    I use the following steps for getting in their head –

    1. I review their backstory – both the aspects that I write about in the story and especially the things that I never tell the audience.

    2. I use all my senses – When I create a character, I use all my senses to experience them. What do they sound like? What do they look like? How do they smell? How do they feel if I was to shake their hand or give them a hug? I take that sensory package into every scene when I pull that character into the forefront.

    3. We have coffee – As odd as it sounds, I envision having a cup of coffee with the character. It’s very much an eye-opening exercise because they have their own way of existing while drinking coffee that helps me understand them. Do they relax and drink? Are they impatient and tapping their fingers while waiting? Do they look around the coffee shop or are they focused just on me or what’s out the window, etc.

Thank you very much!


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

About Chad Hunter

Chad Hunter was born in East Chicago, Indiana. Raised by a single mother in the city's Harbor section, he is the youngest of four. Growing up in the Midwest and a proudly self-proclaimed "Region Rat," Hunter has written and published several books and novels. He has written for magazines and newspapers throughout North America and has been published in several languages. His writings have been called sophisticated yet humorous, sharp witted and unrelenting.

Most often, Hunter's writings have been considered so wide and diverse that they span a scale that would include multiple writers with multiple forms. If anything binds his varied styles, it is Hunter's theme of the human condition, humor and family closeness - all to the backdrop of romantic love, vibrant remembrance and even monsters themselves.

Connect with Chad Hunter

Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter / X ~ TikTok

Join the community list – The Ded Thread

Shop – DedKode - DedKode

Amazon Author Page



$10 Amazon/BN GC 

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you so much for hosting today.

Marcy Meyer said...

I enjoyed the excerpt and interview. Sounds like an interesting story.

Elaine G said...

Not my usual genre to read but this does sound like an interesting read.

Sherry said...

Sounds like a really good story.