I don’t know when I first got turned onto Joshua Guess’ episodic zombie blog “Living With the Dead”. From the looks of my Amazon order history, it was probably toward the beginning of 2011, which makes sense as that was right around the first season finale of The Walking Dead. I was semi-into the whole zombie genre as a kid, but kind of lost interest due to a lack of good content (more on this later). I seem to recall figuring hey, maybe there’s some other good stuff out there to whet my appetite, in between seasons. One way or another, I found the blog and was hooked by the concept immediately. The fact that these blog entries were collected into novel format and used as the foundation of a truly epic series was even more interesting to me.
All too often in zombie media, the entire focus of the endeavor is on the fight against the zombies during the outbreak. Joshua has that to some extent, but he takes it one step further, which is what really hooked me in the end. He showed the grind of day to day life, as survivors tried to adapt to their changing surroundings and make something in a more dangerous world. It’s a concept I adore, and one I tried to emulate in my own writing.
Slight spoiler warning ahead. This resolves one of the plot threads left at the end of “A Place Outside The Wild.” So if you haven’t finished (or started) yet, may want to avoid clicking the “read more” button.
I’m currently about 14,000 words into the sequel for “A Place Outside The Wild.” It’s coming together well. I’m doing some interesting things with story structure. Hopefully, dear reader, you aren’t too attached to certain POV characters from the first book. Not that anything bad is necessarily going to happen – just that for some folks, it doesn’t make sense for them to be front and center as the action shifts. Still on track for release this fall, knock on wood.
I’ve also written about 2,000 words to the followup to “Fade”, though I’m trying to keep the focus on the Z-Day series at the moment. As I get ideas and plot points I’m jotting them down, but it’s also a nice way to work through writer’s block. If I get stuck on something with Z-Day I’ll work on Paxton for a bit. It’s a nice mental palate cleanser and I avoid days with little or no production.
Sci-fi writer extraordinaire Jon Del Arroz liked Fade quite a bit.
As a little release-date goodie, A Place Outside The Wild is currently free on Amazon.
Superversive SF has a great review of Marina Fontaine’s ‘Chasing Freedom.’
I can’t add much to what is a fine review other than to say one aspect of the book that I found most interesting was the relative lack of action compared to what one might expect from the genre.
The hamsters are still churning their wheels at the ‘zon, so it’s not fully linked to my author profile and the paperback is not yet showing, but it’s there.
I spent 18 months writing and polishing “A Place Outside The Wild”, so the fact that I was able to get something else out the door just a bit less than six months later still feels surreal.
If all goes well, the sequel, “Nights Black Agents”, should be out around the same time next year. Of course, the funny thing is, I’m currently writing the sequel to Wild and little ideas and plot points for Agents keep popping into my head. I had an absolute blast writing Fade and sowing the seeds for what’s to come. I hope you like it as well.
I’m involved in a fun little Valentine’s Day giveaway. You could win some chocolate and one of several prize packages with free eBooks. Not sure how chocolate applies to zombies, but hey, Valentine’s Day, right? The folks behind it are also interviewing the authors involved to get our take on the genre.
Interview with yours truly
Also, Dragon Award Nominations are now open. Alfred Genesson over at Injustice Gamer gave me one of the best reviews I’ve had yet, and an endorsement I didn’t expect.
If you’d like to nominate “A Place Outside The Wild” for a Dragon Award in the category of post-apocalyptic fiction, nominations can be made here. There’s no charge to register, it just takes an e-mail address.