It's been quite a while since I've made a blog post.
It's also been quite a while since I was on Facebook, and there is a good reason for that: I've been trying to finish the sequel to No Easy Hope. This week, I finally completed the manuscript and I can't tell you how exciting it is to know that this project is almost complete. I have to do a couple of rounds of editing to polish things up a bit, but it probably won't be more than a couple of weeks before the finished product is ready to go. The cover art has been ready for a couple of months now, thanks to Keary Taylor, and now that I know how to properly format and convert my own documents for upload to Amazon and Nook, things should go much more smoothly than the first time around.
In gratitude to everyone who has been patiently waiting for this book to be released, let me provide a bit of insight (no spoilers) to the story.
It picks up three months after the epilogue in NEH. Gabe and Eric have just survived a bitter, freezing nuclear winter and are starting to run low on supplies. With pickings grown painfully thin near their remote Appalachian hideout, they decide to embark on their journey to Colorado, but not before meeting and befriending some unexpected allies. This book covers the beginning of their trek westward, but does not cover the entire journey. That is far too big of a story to fit into just one book; it will probably take two or three. It does, however, tell the story from both main characters perspectives rather than just Eric's as in NEH.
Although Eric is still the primary focus of the story, Gabriel's role takes on much more signifigance as we learn more about the kind of person he is, and what his life was like prior to meeting Eric. This Shattered Land becomes more than just a story of survival, it becomes a testament to the power of loyalty, friendship, and perseverence through the most difficult of times. Surviving the Dead, as a series, is meant to be a story about the power of the human spirit to endure and to overcome, and I think the second installment in this series embodies that idea very well.
The book itself is about 110,000 words long, slightly longer than standard novel length. I think it's probably between 350-400 pages in standard paperback print, about the same length as NEH.
Finishing this book comes right on the heels of hitting the 10,000 copy sold mark for my first novel. As of today, it's 10473. (yes, I check it everday because I'm OCD like that) I can't begin to describe to you how much of a sense of accomplishment that gives me. I know for some people 10,000 copies is no big deal, but for me it's huge. For most of my life, I never imagined I'd ever sell 10 books, much less 10,000. I consider No Easy Hope a resounding success, and I am more motivated than ever to keep writing, keep improving, and keep coming up with fast paced, entertaining stories that will keep readers coming back for more.
So what's next for Surviving the Dead?
I think the end of This Shattered Land makes it pretty clear what direction the story is going. I don't want to give away too much, so I will just say that this series is only getting started. There is a lot to tell, and it is going to take me a long time to tell it. The plot thickens, the action scenes will get larger and more dramatic, and the story will take several dark twists and turns in the years to come. I'm looking forward to it.
After TSL is published, I'm going to take a short break from the series so that I can start on a project I've had on the back burner for quite some time now: Jeremiah Cain: Vampire Hunter.
Where Surviving the Dead is my contribution to the Zombie Apocalypse genre, Jeremiah Cain is my contribution to Dark Urban Fantasy. And no, it's not going to be a bunch of smutty porn. If you want that, go read Fifty Shades of Grey. It's going to be a thriller/action adventure series. Expect lots of fighting, blazing guns, flashing swords, and hard boiled anti-heroes. Should be a hell of a ride.
Lest you grow impatient with me, and the dragging snail's pace at which I write my books, I ask you to remember that I have to work a full-time job to support my family and my writing addiction. I also have a two-year old who pretty much runs my life, and takes up all of my free time while he is awake. Not that I mind, I love the little guy, but spending time with him makes it tough to find time to write. Maybe one day I'll be able to make enough money at writing to do it full time, but I'm not there yet. Not even close.
In the mean time, I'll keep plugging away at it and hopefully someday things will work out for me. I write because I love writing, and I'm going to keep doing it because I want to. If people are kind enough to spend a few bucks on my work and enjoy it, then that's even better.
As always, thanks so much for reading my work, and if you like it, go tell a friend. Or at least leave a good review. You keep buying 'em, and I'll keep writin' 'em.