As you surely know at this point, I am kinda knee-deep in gore with my current writing project. In the same movement that stopped me killing trees and smearing graphite or gel ink all over my hand (yes, I am left-handed; no, I don’t want to learn to contort my hand so that doesn’t happen. Those people are in the same part of their brain as all the right-handers; there are enough of them already). So now I use both hands, and my brain lights up in more places, and we all benefit from that.
How do you benefit? Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you! Let’s go back a little bit, so I can explain more throughly.
When I first started working on Zombie Zero, I thought it was going to be one long book. There were so many things happening in the story, and so many characters introducing themselves to me in my head; not only that, there was a whole world falling apart, and countless stories to be told within that fall. The thought of considering all of this supporting material ‘fat’, and cutting it, was an impossible one to consider; some of these characters show up in the sequel, although if their stories were told in the first book it would seem like a bunch of irrelevant fluff. I don’t mind the apocalyptic novel that spends a bunch of time on a bunch of characters that end up dying before the story really gets cooking; but it’s been done before, plenty of times, and that was not going to do anything but slow down the pacing of this book.
So, what to do with all of this supporting content? Does it all just live in my head, and make this world more real to only me? Nah, that would be silly, and kind of sad. I figured out a better option.
I wrote a blog telling you that I would be releasing a chapter from Zombie Zero every month until its release. This is one of those rare occasions where I have changed my mind. It only happens when a better idea comes along, and this is definitely a better idea. Yep, you guessed it: I’ll be writing a series of short stories that go along with Zombie Zero! I’ll be sharing them exclusively with my newsletter subscribers. At least one short story will be sent out every month. It begins March 18th, next Friday. Every third Friday, a new short story will go out to subscribers. Watch for bonus months, with two or even three stories showing up in subscribers’ inboxes! It will end the third Friday of December 2016. The free exclusive content won’t end; it will just go along with my next project, so it will change.
There are eighteen short stories altogether. I already have them outlined, and ordered. They’re not random or unrelated; when the books come out, it will be pretty clear how each story ties in. The first fifteen stories will be compiled into three books after Zombie Zero Book II comes out. The other three stories will remain exclusive to newsletter subscribers, forever. It’s a way for me to say ‘thanks for subscribing’ using more than just those words.
So, I should clear up how one long book became five shorter ones. Well, as is generally the case with me, I have to give all the credit (or blame) to the story itself. I looked at the way the first part of this tale and its characters were presenting themselves, and I realized that it was better on its own. I looked ahead, and realized the ending wasn’t just an ending; it was a story in itself. I looked around, and realized that all of these supporting stories could be written while the two books were being written, and could be compiled together at the end. It would make a great set of short stories compilations, and they will stand on their own as well.
The truth is, there is a real opportunity for me to create a lot of content to support this story, but this is about all I can talk about here. That being said, I think it’s already a lot. I would have cowered in a corner at the prospect of such a huge amount of writing and editing two years ago, or even last year; now I have a schedule and a plan, and all the resources and experience I need to pull this off. I can’t possibly express how excited I am about all of this here; hopefully you have some idea.
Book one will be titled Zombie Zero: The First Zombie. It will be available for pre-order April 4th; it will release July 1st. Book two will be titled Zombie Zero: The Last Zombie. It will be available for pre-order July 11th; it will release October 7th, 2016. The companion tales will be compiled into three books; they will be available for pre-order the same day book two drops, October 7th; they will release November 11th, 2016. All five publications will be available in ebook and print format, and dedicated print copies will be available on my website. And now we both know the schedule! I hope you look forward to all these dates as much as I do!
One last thing: I know I’m doing this backwards. The way to make folks buy the short story books is to make all of the stories available in there, and only give away fifteen to newsletter subscribers. Well, I like this model better. If you like all the stories, and want to support me and Sudden Insight Publishing, I would appreciate the sale a great deal. (I appreciate reviews too, as do most authors.) But I want to show you that I’m in this for the long haul, and that it will continue to pay off for you if you join me in that long haul. Free quality content exclusive to newsletter subscribers will be a consistent part of whatever I am doing from here on out. Again…thanks for subscribing!
And, as always, thanks for reading!
All the best,