Here it is, the loooooong awaited cover reveal for Limerence 2, coming September 2014!
It's true that Mia and I have been having issues for the past year, thankfully she seems to be behaving now for me...well in some respects. If you remember where we left Mia at the end of book one, you'll know that she wasn't exactly in a good place.
In fact, I've posted a little teaser for you below, but first take a look at the cover :-)
Limerence II Teasers
Teaser/Excerpt of Limerence 2
The dining room is quiet at this time of the day. It is neither lunch nor teatime, however there is always food prepared. I take my glass from the stand and move along the counter until I reach Donny, the chef here. He smiles warmly at me.
“Mia, how are you today?”
“I’m good.” I mirror his smile as I look at the selection. “Hungry.”
“Of course, aren’t you always. What would you like? Something sweet? Something spicy perhaps?” He licks his lips greedily and rubs his hands together. Donny is always hungry, though he should have learnt to control his thirst by now. He is far older than Evan, and me, and even older than most of the other vampires around here. His eyes gleam at me. I don’t know how he does this every day; the smell alone would drive me mad, but he seems to relish in it. Perhaps his pleasure to it is because of his constant overindulgence.
“Sweet please, Donny,” I say and hand him my glass.
He turns to the selection of humans behind him, and reaching for a youngish man he pulls the seal from his wrist and holds it over my glass. The man’s eyes are glassy and hollow. He stares at nothing.
My stomach grumbles as the glass fills, and I urge him to hurry. My fangs unsheathe in expectancy.
Down boys, not this time.
Donny reseals the wound and turns back to me with my now full glass of sweet B-.
“Thanks.” I smile wider this time and hurry to a table by the window. I want to sit and enjoy the sun on my face whilst I drink. It’s cold out, but the sun still rises each day in retaliation of the coming winter.
The first taste is always the best. That first millisecond when the blood touches your taste buds is as if every one of my senses are being caressed by the hand of god. Every stroke, every touch, awakens my very soul, devouring my body from the inside out. Though without doubt, not by God.
I stare at my glass for a moment, watching the gentle waves of red caress the sides of the thin glass; almost teasing myself, and then I bring it to my lips. The smell makes my face flush, like an ocean breeze, the wave caresses my skin. I lift it to my lips, tipping it a fraction until the blood drips, in what seems like slow motion, on to the tip of my tongue. The fire ignites instantaneously within me upon that one drop, my eyes blurring upon the heady satisfaction and I tip it further and swallow the full glass down eagerly. I can’t stop the moan of pleasure that leaves me. It’s warm and magnificent, and when I’m finished I pick up my glass and go back over to Donny with a grin.
And here's the new cover for Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella Part TWO, coming September 2014!
Who will be featured this time around? I can give you a little tease and let you know that Max and Mathew will both have their stories featured. They were only small characters in the book, but they will both be featured in Odium III so get to know them a little bit better. There will be two other characters featured, I know who I'm doing, but I'd love to hear who's stories you would like. Leave me a message and let me know.
Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella Part II
Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella Part II Teaser
And FINALLY, my last awesome bit of news. Odium The Dead Saga is now available on Audible! My narrator Jennifer Reilly has done a fantastic job, and really captured Nina's snark. i hope that you enjoy it too :-)
Odium The Dead Saga AUDIOBOOK Out Now!
Available now only at AUDIBLE
Happy reading book whores!
Woooo! Daryl Banner has done it again...is doing it again...Ummm, well, I'm currently reading his newest awesome creation and freaking loving it so go check this one out!
While you're one-clicking, like the awesome readers that you are, check out his other books too. They're all currently on sale at the moment! Including one of my favorite reads this year - The Beautiful Dead, so go crazy with that one-clicking finger before it's too late
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
FACEBOOK| GOODREADS | AMAZON |
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Super sexy excerpt!
Now it’s just his wife and her slender, soft, supple body and long tangles of hair … and she’s poised at the sink, slowly washing the last of the plates … oh, the way her hands work. Forge spins her around and attacks her with his lips, unable to stop himself. She laughs into the kiss, then gives in, her body slackening. Suddenly he surprises her, carrying her up to the kitchen counter like a hammer to the anvil—she shrieks giddily—and with his big hands at her hips, he slips one under her dress to pull off her panties in one deft yank. He buries his face in her breasts, making his wife squirm and moan … He’s so good at this, he knows it.
“You’re gonna be late,” she whispers while he’s working her long neck, kissing his way down the happiest of paths leading somewhere pleasantly lower, lower, lower. “You don’t want to--Ah, lower—You don’t want to piss off your--Ah, ah …”
“Don’t spoil it,” he says from somewhere between her thighs.
“Forge,” she manages to say, gripping the side of the oven for balance—then for the next long while, can’t say a thing at all.
Outlier: Rebellion Book Cover, Blurb & Purchase Links
Amazon have released the Kindle version of Outlier: Rebellion early, so it's already up and available! Here are the Amazon links for you.
Every citizen in Atlas, the last city on the planet, is born with a unique, special ability, and no one sleeps past the age of two.
Except for Wick Lesser who, at seventeen, still sleeps. Hiding this rare ability from the world, his father, who can calculate futures, trains him in self-defense and combat while his healing-gifted mother works an unglamorous job in the muds and keeps his secret safe with the help of Wick’s older brothers. The Lesser family of the ninth ward slums manages to keep afloat, suffering under the corrupt, greed-driven Kingship of the Lifted City.
But not for long.
In the first installment of the Outlier series, Wick’s unassuming slumborn life soon explodes into a full-speed adventure of danger, betrayal, and self-discovery when he secretly joins an underground rebel movement working to take down the oppressive ruling power. But the task is far from easy, and there are more adversaries than Wick can count. Not to mention the complication of an intense, unplanned attraction ... to someone on the wrong side of the rebellion.
Powerful forces are gathering to put an end to the uprising, including the city’s elite crew of law-enforcers called Guardian, of which Wick’s own two eldest brothers are sworn members, and all corners of the slums grow ever restless: a lustful boy with blackened eyes leads a violent street gang, with Wick’s younger brother as his newest recruit. A cunning orphaned girl whose ability is to be unseen, sees everything. And high up in the Lifted City, a privileged and wealthy boy yearns for an exciting new life in the slums.
Their world is at a precipice of great change. No one is safe. The rebellion has begun.
*** Reader discretion advised: contains M/F and M/M romance, mild violence, and adult language. ***
Outlier: Rebellion Release Offer
In celebrating its release, I've made ALL my other e-books just 99 cents!
Happy reading book whores!
Warpath Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse blurb
"Through a combination of tight, well-structured plots and fully realized characters, Chesser has emerged as one of the top indie writers in the business." Joe McKinney - Two time Bram Stoker award winner and author of the Dead World Series.
Warpath, Book 7 in the bestselling Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse series begins the day after Mortal, Book 6, ends.
In the crucible that is the zombie apocalypse, Cade Grayson, father, husband, and former Delta Force operator has forged new friendships and tempered old ones. In those same metaphorical flames, he has seen blood spilled, loved ones perish, and dealt his own brand of justice.
Now, three weeks after a world-wide viral outbreak has left the United States in ruins and transformed most of her population into walking corpses hungering for the flesh of the living, he finds himself at an Army Forward Operating Base on the outskirts of Grand Junction, Colorado.
With only a set of GPS coordinates to go by, Cade must deliver his small family and a trio of young people from the distant outpost, across hundreds of miles of Utah's sun-baked high desert, to the promise of safety the random-looking string of numbers represent.
Meanwhile, eagerly awaiting their arrival at the Eden compound, Duncan Winters goes about the grim task of burying the recently fallen. With each shovelful of dirt he deposits on the bodies of kin and friends, his insatiable desire to strike back at the people responsible tugs him ever closer to the edge of insanity.
With the dead hunting and moving in herds of ever-increasing size, will Cade and his group survive the running of the gauntlet?
Will Duncan see the light and accept that he truly needs Cade's special set of skills in order to find and bring those responsible for the recent murders and abductions to justice? Or will he give in to burning desires, shirk the old adage that revenge is a dish best served cold, and go it alone, charging blindly headlong down the Warpath to certain disaster?
Come along and find out who has what it takes to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.
"Unlike other authors, even some of the big names, Chesser understands female characters as well as male ... Believe me when I say his writing is top-notch." Terra King, horror and paranormal eBook reviewer. Examiner.com, Las Vegas.
Warpath Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse
As Always Happy Reading my little zombie freaks!
Claire C. Riley
Word Play Synopsis
Michael Rourke learned this the hard way.
Struggling to make ends meet as a mystery writer, he sold his soul - and his pride - as he pedaled sex and lust writing under the pen name Christoph Strong.
No one knew he was the one behind the steamy stories on the bestsellers lists. And he planned to keep it that way.
Until he met her.
Monica Singer, an infamous blogger, is keen to discover the truth of his secret identity.
During a chance meeting at a book convention, Michael and Monica form an instant connection. And soon, an industry rivalry becomes something else entirely.
But as Michael starts to let his guard down, he doesn’t realize that the person he's learning to trust may be hiding secrets of her own.
Secrets that could ultimately destroy everything.
*Release date July 14, 2014.*
Word Play Excerpt
As Always Happy Reading book whores!
I have M&M and bacon loving Armand Rosamilia on the blog today talking about many things including his newest creation in his
Dying Days series - DYING DAYS 4!
I've been a fan of his work for quite a few years, but first met him - virtually anyway - through one of my own events last year (Horror & Thriller month) and have been chasing his tail on several of his own events since then. Including the fantastic - 'Authors Supporting Our Troops event' and 'Summer of Zombie 2014 Blog Tour'
I've also had the pleasure of working with him on a couple of projects including 'Let's Scare Cancer to Death' (a charity horror anthology) and the upcoming 'Fading Hope' and 'State of Horror' anthologies. And I look forward to working with him on further projects in the future also.
So yeah, he's hard working, helps out other authors when he can and works hard for good causes... right, enough of the praise and gushing, dude has trouble fitting through doorways with his huge ego as it is!
Let's let you meet the main man himself.
Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he's not watching the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music... and because of him they won the 2013 World Series, so he's pretty good at watching!
He's written over 100 stories that are currently available, including a few different series:
"Dying Days" extreme zombie series
"Keyport Cthulhu" horror series
"Flagler Beach Fiction Series" contemporary fiction
"Metal Queens" non-fiction music series
He also loves to talk in third person... because he's really that cool. He's a proud Active member of HWA as well.
You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!
and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal:
1.Tell us all about your latest Dying Days release. What can readers expect from this book in the series?
It is a historical romance with Fabio on the cover. I also used many unicorns and… Dying Days 4 moves the story along into an area no one (hopefully) saw coming. I know the beta readers, editor and first buyers of the book are shocked at where I went with it. I was quite happy. It still retains the Dying Days feeling of hopelessness and you'll cry at a death or two, but you'll be able to cheer on and smile with Darlene and company. I hope.
2.Do you find it hard, this far into the series, to keep coming up with original plots, and plot twists also I guess?
Yes and no. I have a few basic ideas for the entire series already in my head. I know the progression of the zombies and where Darlene and most main characters will end up. But as I write the stories they surprise me and go in other directions. I think when I run out of anything fresh to say, I'll know it is time to end Dying Days.
3.Do you have an end game for the entire series, or does it come to you as you write?
I know roughly at what point the story will have to end, but it might not be a true ending. It could lead to another series for the future. But I think I still have enough story right now that the end isn't necessarily in sight.
4.My favourite thing about your Dying Days series is that you take a somewhat different approach to it. On one hand, your MC Darlene Bobich is very realistic in that she’s ridiculous type heroine with over the top skills. Yet you also write extreme horror which means I never have a freaking clue what you’re going to do next, or should I say what—or who your zombies are going to do **shudder** But do you ever worry about going too far? And is there anything that you wouldn’t ever write about?
A full-blown rape scene is not going to happen in the series, although you could argue the opening line of Highway To Hell was pretty brutal. I never worry about going too far when I write. I don't censor myself. But I do have a moral compass I try to adhere to, even if I come close to that line a few times. I want to keep the reader guessing, and them not knowing how bad it is going to get for Darlene and her friends. And enemies.
5.Though Darlene is your MC are there any other particular favourite characters within the series, and why?
Tosha Shorb might actually be my favorite. She's a tough redhead who uses her sexuality to get over on men, even in the zombie apocalypse. And there's a scene in Dying Days 4 where she bumps heads with Darlene over it.
6.How many Dying Days books are you planning? Or do you intend to continue until you feel it reaches a realistic ending.
How many are you planning on buying? I have the next 2 books formed in my head, with either an ending or an escape clause for another book or three after. I'm not sure. At this rate I'll put out a new one in June each year, with another instalment of the satellite series once a year as well: look for Dying Days: Origins 2 in late Fall, and in the next year we'll have Hell's Bells: Highway To Hell 2, Still Dying 3 and of course Dying Days 5 right in time for the Summer of Zombie blog tour 2015.
7.What aspects of writing do you find the most difficult?
Getting my butt in the chair and not immediately going onto Facebook each morning. Most days I fail miserably. And then keeping the flow going once I begin. And running out of coffee. That really sucks.
8.All writers know that reviews are our gold, but are there any reviews—both good and bad—that have stuck with you?
The one that comes to mind was for my Tool Shed horror novella. I got a one-star review on Amazon. The reviewer talked about buying an actual tool shed from Sears and how it was flimsy and fell apart, and how disappointed he was in it. Nothing about my book, and it wasn't a joke. When I called Amazon the guy on the phone laughed and took it down. Now I wish I'd saved it first.
9.Out of all your work, and there’s a lot, which is the piece that you’re most proud of?
Dying Days 4 is a close second to Death Metal, which was more thriller than horror. I think because it was the first longer piece I got published from another publisher. I still love the story, and someday I'll do a sequel to it. If I ever get time.
10. If you had to pick a soundtrack to your Dying Days series, what would it be?
A Best Of collection of Thrash Metal music from my youth: Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, old Metallica, Testament, Overkill, Exodus, Britney Spears…
11.What’s the next thing that you’re working on, and when can we expect to get our filthy little hands on it?
First off, go wash your hands… second: I always have many projects I'm working on at once. Right now, as we speak (or don't, whatever) I am working on Dying Days: Origins 2, three short stories for anthologies, a movie adaptation, finishing a horror novel and a horror erotica short story in my Necromance series. And drinking coffee.
Dying Days 4 Cover Blurb & Purchase Links
As Always Happy Reading my little zombie freaks!
Lets get to know tonight's author shall we?
Jay Wilburn is an author of horror and speculative fiction. He taught public school for sixteen years. He left teaching to care for his younger son and to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time writer. He challenges himself to write 3000 words a day and a million words a year. He uses this goal to create novels, novellas, and short stories for his readers.
Follow his many dark thoughts Via
Twitter | Website |
His new book 'Zombies Believe in You' released today, and it looks and sounds awesome!
Zombies Believe In You Blurb, Book Cover & Purchase Links
Excerpt: White Pebbles, The Woodcutter's Son
As Always Happy Reading my little zombie freaks!
So, it's been an awful long time since I actually wrote a blog post all about me. that's for several reasons to be honest.
Number one is that I'm not very good at this whole 'talking about myself' thing. It brings me out in all kind of hives having to talk about my work, so I tend too let other authors take over my blog instead. And that brings me on to my second main reason. I REALLY like introducing people to knew authors and their work. I know when I'm looking for a new book, or author, I look to my peers and see who they recommend, with that said, I always post to my Goodreads account, so be sure to follow me there if you want. I also have a slight Pinterest addiction, so feel free to come over and obsess with me over random things there. I think all my links are on the main page.
So, you may have noticed that the look of my website has changed. Well that's all down to my awesome geeky web guy who does all things awesome for me like makes everything look all purdy' for you haha. Seriously, I would be totally lost without this guy, and I can't thank him enough. The nicest thing is that he does this all just to free up more writing and family time for me, which it does, brining me on to my next point... but before I move on, THANK YOU, GEEKY WEB GUY, SAN!
Odium The Dead Saga is coming to Audible!
Yes, Odium The Dead Saga in audio books is so close to completion you could stick your tongue out and touch it. Seriously, go on, stick that tongue out... okay, stop it, you look kinda goofy.
I have had the utmost pleasure in working with the oh so talented Jennifer Reilly (freaky that we share the same name, even though it's spelt different, it's like it was meant to be)
Jennifer has been a professional voice over narrator for over ten years, and has worked with the likes of Chevrolet, KFC, Corona Light, Harley Davidson and many more. What's more is that she's agreed to record Odium II at the end of the summer, and I can't tell you how pleased I am about it.
The book sounds amazing, and it should be out in the next two weeks maximum. I'll post as soon as it's available.
Upcoming books - Odium Origins part two, Limerence II, Odium III...
Yes, I am hard at work on so many new stories for you. Odium Origins A Dead Saga Novella Part 2 is nearing completion, and Limerence II is really getting good now. I'm hoping to have both out to you by September, and then all my attention will be on Odium III (of course!)
I'm really enjoying how much darker Limerence II is, and I'm finding it a really nice change from zombies. Not that I don't love my zombies, but I really love Bram Stoker esq style vampires, and I really feel that with Limerence II I'm taking things back there.
For as far back as I can remember, I've wanted to write about zombies and vampires, and now I feel like the cat that got the cream, because not only am I doing it, but people are reading the stories, and you can't put a price on that. It's the greatest feeling to know that my stories affect you so much.
Writing a book is a lot of hard work. We writers don't just sit down and type, we pour our hearts and souls on to these pages. We are stalked by our characters, awoken by our plots, and frightened by the prospect of sharing it all with you crazy readers.
I'll be sharing the new book covers with you all very soon. Amy Queau from Qdesign is helping me out, and from what I've seen so far, they are looking amazing!
Qdesign Facebook Page
I can't wait to hear what you think about these new stories.
Speaking of new stories, guess who also started a new zombie series? Me! Don't shout at me! I promise I've still been working my butt of to get these other books to you, but sometimes a plot or character just speaks to me and I have to go with it. I'm not telling you anything about it yet, just that I'm hoping to get it to you by the end of the year, or early 2015, and I'm loving it so far. Oh, I have included a teaser poster for you though...
Upcoming Book Events.
This Friday there is a SUMMER CHILLS event. Romance and horror books all at 99c from some amazing authors including Michelle Kilmer, Jack Wallen, myself, Eli Constant, Ian McClellan, Rachel Tsoumbakos, Tonia Brown, Saray Lyons Flemming, Ian Woodhead, Rachel Aukes, and many many more. ALL books will be 99c or less for 24 hours.
There will be games, Q&A, giveaways and others tuff going on, so head on over and join the event, and hey, share the event and let some of your book loving friends in on the fun!
Summer Chills Facebook Event
There's also the CONTAGIOUS READS HORROR CON happening this month. It starts on the 13th July and runs to the 20th.
There's some HUGE names in female horror, again with Q&A and discussion panels, so if you ever wanted to find out more about writing horror, then you should definitely head over. There's also an awards ceremony on the last day for all the authors. nominations have been going on for several months now for different categories 'best novel' 'best main character' etc. so you should definitely head over and take a look. Again, I will be there heading up a couple of panels and chatting with everyone, and I'd love to hear from you.
Contagious Reads Horror Con
That's all for now, thanks for listening to my prattle on with myself. Let me know if I can do anything for any of you, and thank you again for reading my books. You all rock so hard!
Ps. Don't forget to enter the T.W.Brown giveaway on the previous blog piece. There's only a couple of hours left to win a copy of his latest book DEAD: Spring.
Thanks for reading book whores!
I have the fitness mad, food loving, Zombie killing machine (at least he would hope) Todd (TW) Brown on the blog today, telling us all about his newest release - DEAD: Spring: Book 9 of the DEAD series.
He answers some important questions on the series, and is also offering up three chances to win a copy of either his latest book or the first three in his series.
So sit back and enjoy the ride zombie lovers.
Todd (TW) Brown is the author of the DEAD series, That Ghoul Ava, and the Zomblog series. He is also the editor for May December Publications with numerous anthologies to his credit as well as the full length works of authors such as Mark Tufo, John O' Brien, Chantal Boudreau, Robert Dean, and Heath Stallcup.
Feel free to stalk him at any of the following, especially if you're bringing baked goods!
| Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads |
Claire - Tell us all about your latest DEAD release. What can readers expect from this book in the series?
Todd - First off, this is the longest read of the series. Most of the DEAD books come in around 100,000 words. This one hit over 174,000. Also, I have some fun plans for the final three books in the series, so I really wanted to put that in motion. To that end, I wanted the reader to be in a pretty good place with the multiple story lines. Lots of closure here.
C. Do you find it hard, this far into the series, to keep coming up with original plots, and plot twists also I guess?
T. Sometimes I go in totally blind. I have to let the story find itself. That seems to be when things are the most fun. Also, I am really trying to make this more about people dealing with the aftermath. The zombies were just the catalyst; sort of like the whole nuclear scare we lived under in 60s and then again in the early 80s.
C. Do you have an end game for the entire series, or does it come to you as you write?
T. Most of this stuff comes as I write it. I have a few things in mind for how I want the final book (#12, and it will be titled DEAD: End) to wrap. But honestly, even those ideas are not etched in stone.
C. You write realistically, and aren’t afraid of killing characters off if needed, something I try to incorporate into my own work. I know I’ve gotten stick at times for doing this, yet I continue to do so because for me, that’s life. What are your reasons for writing this way?
T. I think one of the worst things is to feel somebody is safe. It takes away from the feelings of tension. If you can pick out who will live and who will die in the first ten pages, what is the point of reading the rest of the book?
Also, my goal from the start has been to hit some chord of realism. In the real world, the good guy does not always win, people do not always get closure, and sometimes you walk away from a situation having no idea what the hell just happened. I think leaving things like that not only adds to the realism, but it also gives the reader something to ponder.
C. What aspects of writing do you find most difficult?
T. Editing. I am lucky that my words seem to just come. I think that is the benefit of keeping the story “organic” and allowing it to wander. But I hate going in and trying to clean it up in post-production. That is the only aspect of what I do that feels like work.
C. All writers know that reviews are our gold, but are there any reviews—both good and bad—that have stuck with you?
T. A few. I had one lady who has medical issues and escapes through reading. When she wrote her first review, she said that I had taken away her pain to the point where she was able to cut back on being medicated as much for that time she spent in my books. That was huge. But overall, anytime somebody says that I made them ACTUALLY laugh or cry…that is the stuff right there. I invoked real emotion with a string of words on paper. How cool is that?
C. There are a lot of clichés in horror, and I base a lot of my writing on avoiding these. What, if any, is your particular pet peeve when it comes to this sort of thing. Mine would have to be the woman running into the house where she heard the screaming coming from and not even bothering to turn the light on! **groan**
T. I think it would be a toss-up between the “super” military guy with all the answers and the unlimited supply of bullets…that, and the dark basement with the burned out light bulb.
C. Out of all your work, and there’s a lot, which is the piece that you’re most proud of?
T. Actually…it would be my “That Ghoul Ava” books. Writing comedy (or attempting it) is a struggle. However, I have had critics and reviewers who refuse to believe that man wrote the books. That is a huge compliment. But I would be remiss if I did not say that I am very proud of the world that I have created in the DEAD series.
C. If you had to pick a soundtrack to Dead: Spring, what would it be?
T. I love Future Sound of London’s Dead Cities.
C. What’s the next thing that you’re working on, and when can we expect to get our greedy little mitts on it?
T. I am busy with the next That Ghoul Ava story which should be out by the end of July, I am also putting together the second volume of Special Editions from the DEAD series where I take the three rotating chapters of DEAD: Winter, DEAD: Siege & Survival, and DEAD: Confrontation (the first person story line of Steve/Billy which I call Perspectives, Geeks, and Vignettes) and add some bonus material based on reader response. I do that after every three book in the series for those who don’t like the rotating chapters. Those are due in August, and of course, the next 10th book in the DEAD series, DEAD: Reclamation is due on Halloween.
In between I am starting to lay down the beginnings for the first of the DEAD: Snapshot books. DEAD: Snapshot--Portland, Oregon will roll out early next year, and I already have dozens of requests from people who want to see their town fall in the DEAD universe.
Thanks, Todd, really cool chatting with you as usual.
Thanks so much Claire. I really appreciate it.
Behind The Curtain Of The Dead Series
When I first sat down and wrote the opening line for the DEAD series, I was thinking, “Maybe I have a five book series here.” By then end of that book, I knew it was going to take more than that. My mind was made up that I was going to write the Wheel of Time (or, if I can be so bold…The Stand) equivalent for the zombie crowd. I was set to build an entire world and then take the reader on a whirlwind tour of the apocalypse populated with a cast of characters that might reach a hundred in any given book. And yeah…I knew it was risky. But I also felt that the zombie fans were a group that deserved something with depth.
The formula that I chose was inspired by George R.R. Martin. If you have dipped your toes in the books that the very popular “Game of Thrones” series is based upon, then you know how he does each chapter from a different perspective of one of his characters. I tweaked it for my own devices and came up with “Steve’s Story”, “The Geeks”, and “Vignettes” as my three rotating chapters. If you have read any of my DEAD series, then you know that each book is always 18 chapters long (6 per story line). However, things have changed some since that first book. I learned some lessons.
Of course, Steve’s chapters are all in first person. That lets you really see things from one person’s perspective. You are only as clued in as he is during any particular moment. The Geeks was my homage to every single zombie fan who thinks that the Zombie Apocalypse would be so freakin’ cool. This is the story that I get to sink in to as I write it. I channel many of my friends and the snippets of conversations that we have had since that day in the 70s when we all came out of the original Dawn of the Dead with some fairly silly adolescent fantasies. However, it is the Vignettes where I think I have learned the most as a writer. And that is sort of my focus here as I let you peek behind the curtain.
The vignettes were initially just supposed to be snapshots of the world in chaos. I even toyed with the idea of folding every one of those stories in to my two main story lines. Somewhere along the way, many of those shorts began to take on a life of their own. In fact, they are the source of the most hated and loved (according to reviews and personal emails) of my character; Garrett being the former and Juan the latter.
In the first book, DEAD: The Ugly Beginning, I wrote the vignettes as they came to me. So, there was no order, rhyme, or reason. However, as some of the stories began to take on a life of their own, I started to really get invested in what would happen. By the second book, DEAD: Revelations, I realized something: I needed to keep the stories in the same order chapter by chapter. By the third book, DEAD: Fortunes and Failures, I had a refined formula. What I would do was continue to keep the main vignettes in order, but I would give each vignette chapter what I termed as a one-timer. This would be a single open-and-closed short.
Funny thing about when an author sits down with an idea. They are usually the only one who understands it. So was the case with Vignettes. The idea is one that I would not change as a whole, but I do think that I would have modified it to some extent. And that is where I believe it to be now.
Readers of the series have had to go through this process with me, but I do think what I have now is the way to go. Now, in Vignettes, there are the main story lines that have endured since the first book or two of the series. However, since I try to complete the main ideas of a story arc in each three-book offering, I now introduce a new vignette at the start of books 4, 7, and 10. That will allow me to write a bit of a novella-length story. Some will fold in to the main stories, some will simply reach a climax and end, and others might be melded into one of the other vignettes.
Now, I realize that I still run the risk of “too many characters” as some critics have pointed out. However, I believe that, once you become engrossed in this DEAD world, you will find it a very rewarding experience.
At least that is what I am hoping.
As book nine, DEAD: Spring, hits the ground, I am more excited than ever before. For one, I can’t be sure, but this might be the largest (in terms of word count) of any zombie novel out there to date. And if you find a longer zombie novel, you have to let me know because I am as much a fan as anything else and I would love to read it (if it is good).
Book eight was the riskiest for me due to all of the cliffhangers. But I was fairly confident that, if you have come along for this much of the ride, then you are probably a fan and will be on board for the next one.
So, I hope that you enjoy it. I think that it is my best to date.
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As Always Happy Reading my little zombie freaks!
Claire C. Riley aka Red x
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