Well, what’s the point of subscribing to a newsletter if it doesn’t get you special treatment? I know that, and so does Dawn, which is why she made the companion tale to the Walking Between Worlds trilogy (The Walker’s Way) available only to newsletter subscribers initially. Now it can also be found in the Sudden Insight Publishing anthology Paws For A Tale, as can a collection of other wonderful stories from some great authors. But other than that, we didn’t know what to do to keep up the budding friendship other than regular blog posts.
Then we had a thought. With the other books I have written, the first few chapters have been made available to everyone in the weeks preceding their respective releases. We decided to change our approach with sharing, as well as our schedule. Rather than wait for the book to be done, and have four weeks of public posts, we are taking a different route with Zombie Zero.
Every month I will choose a chapter from the book, edit it, and share it with subscribers to my newsletter (aka, The Walker Army). If you hate spoilers, don’t worry; so do I. These chapters will be chosen carefully for their ability to stand on their own as short stories, and with a close eye out for any surprises that should not be given away early. It’s my way of saying, “Yeah, I know it’s totally different than what I have published so far; but have a look, I think you might like this too.” It’s also a way to let horror fans know this is legit: subscribe and see.
So, what’s first? The prologue. Editing this made me realize that it would make for a great short story on its own. Editing other chapters cemented the thought. I’m not just exploring another genre with this book, I’m also implementing an idea that I had. The premise of this book is an acknowledgement of many compelling discoveries, one of them being alternate realities. Whether you want to call them other worlds or different dimensions or alternate realities, the truth is that the phenomenon has moved decisively from the realm of science fiction and spiritual mumbo jumbo to science fact. Everybody knows there are realities stacked on top of realities now; and if you don’t, you should read more. Science is even tossing about that previously magic word, infinite, acting like they made it up or something. Funny, huh?
Anyhow, in the alternate reality that Zombie Zero takes place in, many of the same people who exist on this Earth now also exist on that Earth, then. Without giving away too much, I’ll just say that I need to e-mail a lot of people to pull the trigger on this idea. Some are friends, some are semi-famous, and others are really quite well known. I’m saving the e-mail marathon for when I’m in final edit, but I had to send one out to share the prologue today. I’d like to also share my impression of the exchange before encouraging you to dive into the prologue.
Doctor Christopher Ryan is the author of Sex at Dawn. Most folks don’t need me to tell them that; the book has swept the country off its feet with its evolved and insightful examination of human sexuality. In our world, Doctor Ryan is a brilliant and engaging man; and I encourage anyone who hasn’t heard them to listen to the podcasts he has done with Joe Rogan, and others, and to read his book. In the world of Zombie Zero, Doctor Ryan is a different kind of brilliant doctor. In order to put his name in the book, per the rules of my idea, I had to have his permission.
So I went on his website, subscribed to his newsletter, and sent him an e-mail. I told him a little about the idea, that I wouldn’t use his name without his consent, and that I would be happy to send him a copy of the prologue if he wished to read it. A couple hours later his assistant, Natasha, sent me a very polite e-mail. She said to send the file, and that she would pass it on to him. I was pretty giddy; I’m a big fan of Doctor Ryan’s. It’s why I wanted him in the book. I didn’t expect him to get through the whole thing; it’s pretty long, it is horror, and he’s a busy man. Hell, I was still just happy to know he had the file.
Natasha sent another nice e-mail, saying that Doctor Ryan had read some of it and that I could use his name. She said that he had pointed out that I didn’t need his permission, and that Christopher Ryan is hardly a rare name, both of which I knew before sending the initial query. I still wanted it, and would have changed the name and some elements of the prologue if he had said no or not responded. But he did respond, and gave his permission. Yay! And so…
Special thanks to Doctor Christopher Ryan, and his assistant Natasha, for taking the time to field my query and for approving my request. I hope if he does get around to reading the whole thing, that he realizes that it is meant as an homage from a fan. Despite the ending.
Look for a monthly sneak peek at #ZombieZero if you are a subscriber. I hope you love reading the prologue as much as I loved writing it; and I appreciate any thoughts you may like to share with me on it.
Thanks for reading!
Enlist in the Walker Army to read the prologue to Zombie Zero. You’ll also get a free copy of The Walker’s Way and automatic entry into Jay’s Birthday Kindle Giveaway (giveaway ends at midnight 2/29).