This is the week when I finally get caught up! I’ve been trying for months to get my zombie books into print, but there is always one thing or another that gets in my way. I should have the proofs this Friday for Books 3 and 4. People have been asking about this for just as long as I’ve been writing, and now I can finally put this baby to bed. Book 5 might hit print at about the same time it goes digital. That’s the dream anyway!
So zombie book 5 is titled Zombies Vs. Polar Bears. What does it mean?
In my universe the United States is very similar to present day. The (opposition party) won the presidency in 2017 (when the book takes place). Lots of Americans rose up to protest, and the movement became known as the Patriot Snowball because it kept growing larger and larger. Their flag had an angry polar bear on it. No one messes with a polar bear. Thus, if you were a Patriot, you were nicknamed a polar bear.
This book digs into a little of the origin of the movement, and the results. Liam is always digging for the truth, and the official word from government-sanctioned media is that the Patriot Snowball released the zombie plague on the world. A ridiculous claim, especially since Liam and Victoria have an inside line on other aspects of the plague and where it came from. But can they prove anything in a world where the internet is collapsed and the loudest speakers are controlled by the government?
And the zombies continue to intermingle. The “climbers” from Chicago have spread out far and wide, making it as far south as Cairo. The “dreamers” from Kansas City have reached the suburbs of St. Louis. And what’s so special about St. Louis zombies? We still don’t know…
PRE-ORDER on KINDLE [June 23, 2016]
Lots of stuff going on today. Books on sale. Launch parties. Sleep (somewhere along the way). If you pre-ordered book 4, I recommend you delete it on your Kindle and re-download it right away. I added some last-minute edits and I couldn’t beat Amazon’s cutoff to get them in. I want you to have the very latest version when you crack into it!
Last Fight of the Valkyries on Amazon.
Band of Dystopian Authors launch party tonight.
All my books are on sale. Check them out!
Only FOUR days to go before book FOUR launches. I need FOUR minutes of your time to click on my Thunderclap campaign and use the power of social media to spread awareness of the book before Thursday.
Thank you, as always, for reading.
I’m excited to announce a major milestone for me as a writer. My fourth book, Last Fight of the Valkyries, now has 400 pre-orders! This is amazing to me. Thank you to everyone who bought an advanced copy. If you all sat together you’d fill a good sized school auditorium. That is something I think about each time I sit down to write. Real people out there are taking the time to order and then read about my zombie universe. It doesn’t get any better for a writer!
PRE-ORDER on KINDLE
As always, it inspires me to work harder to cut new ground in the genre.
I wanted something suitably dark for the cover of book IV. I think my designer captured it perfectly. Two youngsters exploring a huge underground mine.
One thing I love about writing is that no matter how much you plan, you never really know where the book is going to take you. I listen to the story and let it tell itself. I do use an outline to keep a trajectory in mind so I don’t just write forever, but once I’m into the weeds of typing it out, I’m often taken into new areas I never imagined when I created the outline. I’m almost done with the epilogue of this book, and it’s taken me in some new directions. The ending of the main portion of the book was unlike anything I could have thought up prior to writing it. The ending only became obvious when I was deep in the story, and even then I resisted up until the very end to write what I needed to write.
Sometimes, you just have to let your characters tell the story they want to tell. Right?
I’m sitting at 87,000 words. This book is a little longer than I thought it would be, but I feel really good about the material I’ve written. I don’t see any reason why it will go over 90,000 after edits and whatnots.
Then, I can start on the next book!
Wow, I’m so happy to have enough readers go through my first book that 50 people have now left reviews. I view this as an achievement almost on par with publishing the thing. Real people have entered my imagination and spent the time there as they read through my story. That is probably the coolest thing about writing.
Reviews are a funny thing. Some authors studiously avoid looking at the reviews people leave for their books, because they don’t want to stress out about it. However, as a self-published author I’ve found it very helpful to at least check in once in a while to ensure reviewers aren’t reporting major problems with my book, such as it is missing a chapter or had so many grammatical errors they couldn’t finish it. Fortunately, I’ve avoided those big pitfalls.
Most reviews have been very favorable (4.6 average over 50 reviews). So many people gave it five stars, and there is lots of really great feedback about the book. It’s truly humbling to read. The book is about zombies, but I tried to add in some deeper meaning in how my characters handled the changes thrust upon them at the end of the world. Apparently a lot of people enjoyed that. The poorest reviews come from people who didn’t favor the religious predilections of Grandma Marty, which I respect. I’ve been told it should have a warning to let people know religion would have a role in the book, but I think the reviews do a pretty good job of that…so I’ll let them carry that load. I wrote the book by letting Marty say what she wanted to say, and what came out is what you see. You don’t try to tone down a 104-year-old lady.
Thank you to all who left reviews, even the negative ones. Taken together I hope they give future readers a good perspective on what they can expect when they open up book 1 and enter the zombie apocalypse with my characters.
Not even a computer crash can keep this book down! I’m paranoid about saving my work, but even with all the precautions I take, I still feel it will ALL get deleted by some massive accident. I’m happy to say that didn’t happen the other night, but we did have a wind-driven power failure in town which drained my UPS overnight and then caused my PC to shut off. When I pushed the button to turn it back on in the morning…it remained silent. What a horrible feeling.
However, I save my work on my main hard drive, a USB thumb drive, an external hard drive, and then for good measure I put it into a Google Drive folder. The only thing I’m missing is to go “Book of Eli” and memorize the whole thing!
I’m still at 67,000 words, but not because I haven’t been doing any work. I had to go in and totally rework an early chapter to match the action later in the book, so I scrubbed out about 3000 words, then added in about 3000 new words. This is my normal process in writing, as I tend to check my work as I go to reduce the editing needed at the end. Seems to be working out OK.
So what was the cause of my computer woes? As best I can tell it was a bad power supply. I bought a new one and slapped it in there and all seems right again. My computer is ancient (over 5 years at least) and I keep it on 100% of the time–so it was probably time for a new power supply. As long as I can keep hitting the keys in Libre Office, I can keep writing books. The old girl keeps on keepin’ on.
I’ve kind of lost track of the days. It says I did 7000 words since yesterday, but the time has flown by and I can’t really be sure. Plus, my story is in a deep dark place where time seems to fade away. I guess I’m REALLY getting into the story.
I was thinking this book was going to be a little shorter than my last three, but I’m already at 67k words? This thing is going to be much closer in size to the others (those are around 90k words) than I thought. The story just tells itself, so putting boundaries on it is tough. I have to aim for a good cutoff so I can start working on the fifth book. That is the big challenge for me when writing this series.
Not a bad problem to have!