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The state of things

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I’ve had a lot of folks ask if I’ve abandoned some stories that are currently unfinished, such as Diary of the Displaced, Thrown Away, Last to Fall, etc.

For the record. Arisen is the only series I no longer write – Michael Stephen Fuchs is finishing that.

I’ve been busy with Dustfall 3, and because it’s co-written I have an obligation to keep up with J.Thorn on that. So it’s taken priority and other projects are delayed (some of them by quite a bit of time! Sorry!).

NONE of the other series are abandoned. They will all be finished.
I also have ideas for a new projects – far too many ideas – but will hold off on starting them until I finish some of the current ones.

That’s my problem, see. Too many ideas demanding to be written.

Thrown Away episodes 6-8 are finished in draft but need editing – then it’s done. It’s possible I may write other tales in that setting, but I’m not going to promise on that.

Last To Fall 2 is half-written in draft. There will be 4 novellas in that series, so 3 more to come.

Diary of the Displaced 5 is partly written, in draft. Each book in that series comes as it does, when it chooses to, and I have a feeling the story is not even close to being finished. You’ll get a new one soon, but there’s no point asking when that tale will come to an end because I’ve no clue! It could be book 6, or it could be book 25. Who knows? I won’t until the end presents itself.

Other stuff to read

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Here is a quick list of other books that may interest you. Some are zombie apocalypse, some are survival apocalypse, others are just different. A few of these are very popular and I’d be surprised if you haven’t read them anyway!

There is also a “best zombie books” list on goodreads –

(BTW the Arisen books are in that list if you feel inclined to vote on them.)

I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
Max Brooks – World War Z
Stephen King – The Stand
Robert R McCammon – Swan Song
Hugh Howie – Wool (Post Apocalypse Survival)
Hugh Howie – I, Zombie (told from the point of view of the zombies – be warned it’s pretty icky in places)
Carrie Ryan – Forest of Hands and Teeth (Zombie apocalypse but also YA romance, so be warned)
Justin Chronin – The Passage (Non-zombie apocalypse – but damn good)
Brian Keene – The Rising/City of the Dead/Dead Sea/Ghoul
David Moody – Autumn Series / Hater Series
Rats/Lair/Domain – James Herbert (No zombies, just lots and lots of rats. Lots of them)

I haven’t read these, but they are popular –

Joe Nobody – Holding their Own (Post Apocalypse Survival Series)
J W Vohs – Zombie Crusade Series
John O Brien – A New World Series
J L Bourne – Day by Day Armageddon
James Cook – Surviving the Dead series
David McAfee – Bachiyr (Vampire series)
Stephen Knight – The Rising Dead
Robert Kirkman – The Walking Dead – Rise of the Governor
D J Molles – The Remaining Series
Mira Grant – Newsflesh Series
Z A Recht – Morningstar Series

Diary of the Displaced book 4

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I’m into my last editing/rewriting of the fourth book of the Displaced. After nearly three years away from this series I’ve managed to get back on it and write the next book.  That’s so much longer than I intended, and far too long for me to be happy about it, but it will be finished and off to my editor soon and then out into the world it will go.

And then I’ll get onto book 5…

Of course I’m nervous about it. I think expectations are far higher than I can achieve, but I do like where I’ve taken it – finally. I’ve actually written the book three times, now, and not liked where it started. The other versions seemed to pick the story up much too soon, but oddly, with how it’s turning out, I’d written half of books 5 and 6.

I’m also preparing up for Nanowrimo, so something cool is going to happen there. I hope!

I’m not sure why I bother saying I’m doing Nanowrimo, though. Every month is a Nanowrimo month for me! I guess it’s because I’ve done it so many years in a row.

Advance Reader Copies

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I’ve been getting a lot of queries about my ARC group and how to join it, so thought I’d better post something. What the Advance copy readers get is access to pretty much every book, for free, in return for (hopefully, maybe) posting honest reviews and also getting back to me and letting me know what they think. It isn’t about spell checking. It’s not free editing for me. I pay an amazing editor and proof reader to go through my books.

It’s all about feedback and reviews, reviews, reviews. To a full-time indie writer, reviews are absolutely gold.

But my ARC list is full.


At the moment it’s over one hundred people and that’s quite enough! I’m capping at at 100 for now.

BUT if you really want to join the list I can put your name down in reserve. I will occasionally be refreshing the list and removing folks that aren’t interested any more and I’ll add in anyone who has asked to be added.

Of course if you are already posting reviews and want to let me know then you can use the contact section of the site to get in touch!

Another writer in the family

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erinbookLooks like I’m not the only writer in my little clan. My daughter, who started showing a huge reading and writing interest from quite an early age (She reads far more than I do) has managed to write her own book. It’s a short story anthology grouping some of the little gems that she has written over the last year or so.
Hey, maybe I’m not destined to be a famous writer, but the FATHER of one?
How cool would that be?

And no this isn’t available publicly. Signed personal copies only to friends, family and teachers at her school. She’s only nine and she is no way ready for the harshness that is indie publishing.

New Year. Strange day. Late news.

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And so this has been the strangest day of my life so far.
The kiddies are out with grandparents, and I just sat all day in front of my computer, tapping out new words added to the new “Thrownaway” (Tentative title) serial novel, and it’s coming along very nicely.
My first official day, at home, as a full time writer.
Cripes. This is weird as hell. Fun. But very, very strange.

Anyway. I suppose a new years update is due, like, five days ago. So I’ll do that now.

“Arisen” readers – don’t fret! We’ve taken a short while (until March I think) off from the series to work on other stuff, just as a short break, but realistically to put together our ideas and brainstorm for what is effectively the second half of the series. We know where it’s going, sort of, and we know what’s next, sort of, and you’ll get the next book in a few months.

“Displaced” readers – You’ve waited ages! Well, the good news is I’m basically half way through the next book, and halfway through another “next” book. The bad news is I’m not sure which is really “next”. As soon as I sort that out I’ll finish and publish the next in the series. Again, like Arisen, just a few months away.

My new project – Tentatively called “Thrown Away” is set a few hundred years after major disasters (of a currently unspecified kind) destroyed the world as we know it, except that it was the world a hundred years from now. Ruined cities cover the planet and are magnitudes bigger than the cities we know today. And it starts with one man, a loner by nature, meeting a little boy desperately in need of help.
It was inspired one day, not too long ago, by me standing in front of my son, telling him off for drawing on something he wasn’t meant to draw on, and then realising that it was in fact me that was the bad one, making a big fuss over something really not that important. An hour later (me and son now happily sitting next to each other playing plants vs zombies and the telling off incident forgotten) and the same image re-appeared in my head, fully fleshed out, but in a totally different setting, and one that really brought home to me how futile the whole thing is, or was, and how it is so easy to forget what’s important, and that we should think before it’s too late. I had to write it. So I have been.

Other news!
I’ve signed with Podium Publishing to do audio versions of Arisen, which is wicked. I’m dead excited about this.
Also we’re currently in discussions with a paperback publisher about a possible deal there. No further news on that until something is solid!
I’ve also got a Dark Fantasy collaboration project planned with a very cool writer, for later in the year.
And lastly, yet another secret, secret project that is so secret I’m not even meant to tell you it’s secret.
More soon.

James herbert

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jamesherbertcreedThere is a row of books on top of one of the shelves in my little library (it’s actually not that small any more) that I’ve owned for a very, very long time. They are all paperbacks and all dusty, discoloured and cracked and that’s just how they should be considering how many times I’ve read them.

The shelf is right at the top of my horror collection, and every book on that shelf has the name James Herbert on it.

I often attribute the beginning of my interests in writing to “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson, and that would be the first book that struck a note, but it is by no means the only one.

I haven’t read a James Herbert novel for a good few years, but I do have a brand new copy of every unread release sitting on another shelf (my “unread” shelf) just waiting for me. One day I will read them all.

You entertained millions with your crazy stories and influenced many to take up the pen and follow you. It’s sad to look at my book shelf and think that there won’t be another book to add to it.

RIP James Herbert.

This time it will be different.

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Last year I was absolutely rubbish.

I published so little during that twelve months that I’m disgusted with myself. I can’t even give a good reason as to why it happened. I released only one book myself – the third book of the displaced, and a co-authored two other books with Michael Stephen Fuchs. Now, I’m not saying that I’m unhappy with what I did manage to write. I’m pleased with the third DotD book, and VERY pleased with the Arisen series so far, I’m just incredibly disappointed with myself for not finishing more.

I started and did not finish seven other books in 2012. They are all still sitting there waiting for me to go back to them, along with about two hundred others that I’ve accumulated over the years and also left unfinished, so I haven’t really lost a lot of time, but I made a decision at the beginning of last year that I would put out more books than ever, and didn’t achieve that. That needs to change this year.

Ironically enough, the amount of sales success I’ve had from what I did finish has been phenomenal. The Diary series continues to sell well, and Arisen book sales are way off the clock, having hit the best-seller lists and stayed there, and are STILL there.

So this year I’m going to get my head into gear.
This year we will see Arisen 3 (I’m just about to get rolling on that and Michael is already a leap ahead of me), and also at least book four of the Diary series, hopefully five and six as well. This depends on whether other books demand to be written first.

I also have a new novel to write, which may or may not be published by a traditional publisher. No more details here yet, but you’ll get to read it regardless.

I’m not going to be daft and put some prohibitive and over optimistic word count per day over my head, but I’m determined to get back to being prolific, as I was in 2011. No, I don’t think I can hit the same level I did that year, but damn it, I can try.

The end is not the end.

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Just a few answers for the people who have asked, and I’m surprised at how many of you there are now!

The Corridor IS the last the current Diary of the Displaced series, but I never said to anyone that we would never be hearing from James, DogThing and friends ever again. I’m far too invested in those characters to just leave it at that.

I already have some ideas for a second series, but that is all at the moment. I need more than just an idea to open a new word document and start typing.

Plus, I have a collaboration project in the new year, with a very good friend and one of my favourite authors – Michael Stephen Fuchs – I’m very excited and nervous about this, having never written with someone else before, and to working with someone so talented, and the book we are going to write is something quite out of both of our comfort zones. Basically take the zombie apocalypse and add in fast action, deadly and adrenaline rush special ops comabt. Yeah, Delta force and the SAS are gonna take on the zombies! It was an idea/plot I had a while ago and I knew that the action scenes would require a little more than my writing skills when it comes to combat and certain elements of fast action thriller. So, I threw the question at Michael, who writes techno/modern warfare thrillers (they are awesome, did I mention that?), expecting a polite, “You’re a mate, but” answer. But I was surprised when he said, hell yeah, why not? This should be fun.

I never write one thing at once, that is why even a 50k novel that should be written in a month, often takes three. During that time a lot of other stuff gets written.

There are about ten unfinished novels, over a hundred unfinished short stories, and the Joe Dean series, all of which in my opinion deserve to be finished, added to, published etc.

On top of this, there is The Riverfall series, The Whispering Coast Series, and two more “maybe” series that I will be looking at launching in the new year/soon. They are “maybe” because they are out of my normal genre, so I’m still considering them.

All in all I have a whole heap of fun stuff that I want to write.

Somewhere in the middle of all that lot I will spring a new series of James & DogThing books upon you, I promise I will, but I don’t know when.

There is also a follow up tale to “At Last, Goodbye.” It’s part done.

There is also a story narrated by Bailey, Joe dean’s friend, that is also part done.

And lastly, I also have a story that is unfinished that has the maw as the only characters, yes, a story narrated by a maw. And it may or may not be set in a rather dark place at the same time that a certain man was trying to survive on fizzy coke and mushrooms, and it may or may not be narrated by a particularly young maw that a lot of you are fond of…coming soon.