Returning to the DEAD world

OUT TODAY!

When I sat down and began writing the original DEAD series, I hoped that I would be able to put together a 4-book series. As the story unfolded before me, I realized there was so much going on…and that led to my producing 12 books (that was over 1,000,000 words!). The truth is that I could have gone on MUCH longer. There is a gigantic ten-year time jump for example. But I knew the ending, and to reach it in 12 books, I had to skip ahead.

I found that I skipped over a lot of details as I plowed ahead to that ending. Yes, I could’ve easily discarded my 12-book total announcement. However, I’d made that announcement publicly. I know of one writer that ended a series at book 6. This person went on to other projects that I was hired to edit. One day, book 7 of that series arrived in my email. I sent back a query.

Me: “Hey, I thought you were done with this one.”

Reply: “Yeah, the other stuff isn’t making the money like “Series X” so I am gonna extend it.”

I thought that was unfair to the fan base. And while I admit this is a business, I just thought it was playing dirty. However, true to the hopes of this writer, the fans scooped up the additional books in large numbers. So, I guess that is okay. I just feel that I gave my word. I wasn’t going to be like The Who and have twenty Farewell Tours” when it came to the DEAD series as the fans knew it.

To that end, I have produced the DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here} collection of standalone novels. To date, Portland, Oregon; Leeds, England; and Liberty, South Carolina have all received the DEAD treatment. I think the Leeds, England book is some of my best writing. It is one of the books that I truly felt good about. As a writer, I often feel my stuff is lacking.

So, all of this brings me to the real reason I am here with you today. On October 31, 2016, the DEAD world will be the setting of my new series. It begins with DEAD: Onset (Book 1 of the New DEAD series).

c11_dead_onset

So, what makes this different? For one, this series will be through the eyes of one man: Evan Berry. No rotating chapters with Geeks and Vignettes; just the story of one man trying to figure out what is going on and then how to stay alive.

Evan is just a regular guy. I think that resonates more with readers than some military super-soldier packing an arsenal and having a way to rig every situation to his liking. Evan will make mistakes. Sometimes, I am betting that the readers may not like him very much. You will be inside his head, and we all know that we’ve thought things that would cause those around us to be shocked or think badly of us. You will be privy to those thoughts when they cross Evan’s mind.

What I hope to do with this series is to explore the world a bit more closely. One of my favorite twists in the mythology of the zombie is how children are different after they turn. I was inspired along this track when I was in a college psychology class. The topic of how much more active the young mind is, how open it is to learning gave me the inspiration that my child zombies would have a degree of sentience. That makes them a bit more frightening. While not actually holding on to their humanity…they are somehow different. They don’t just walk into a storm of bullets. They lurk. They wait.

Additionally, I think I was one of the early writers to explore the idea of possible immunity. That comes from Stephen King’s The Stand. The human immune system is a mystery. Some people just do not get whatever bug or virus is making the rounds. SO why shouldn’t there be those who are immune to the bite? However, once bitten, why not make that person a carrier? Imagine the schism that would eventually arise as the survivors had time to get past that first shock. And now, a person bitten but immune could infect another through fluid exchange. Think back to the hysteria and societal over-reaction to HIV and the AIDS virus. Strip away law and order, toss in those who feel they are now “The Chosen” as well as those who see the immune as dangers and abominations.

It doesn’t take long in my zombie books for zombies to become the least of people’s worries. DEAD: Onset (Book 1 of the New DEAD series) has no set number of volumes. I willdeadevan write this story until I have nothing left to say. I am not in a hurry to reach an endgame. I want to suck the reader into this world and make them feel every emotion possible. Happiness, sadness, anger. I hope you enjoy it. I have said it before, but it bears repeating: I feel that every new book is my audition.

I look forward to hearing how you feel about this book. I don’t go out seeking a flurry of 5 star reviews. It is impossible to be all things to all people, especially in the entertainment world. And I often learn things from well thought out critical reviews. If you can’t take those 1 star stingers that come every so often…you are in the wrong field. Do they feel good? No, but as long as you are seeing more love than pleas that you never take up the pen again, you should feel like you are on the right track. Let’s hope I am with my new series.

Grab your copy of DEAD : Onset from Amazon today. What better way to celebrate Halloween.

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