In 2016, Wayne Simmons and I curated YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE, which saw a host of zombie authors each contribute an original novella to a year long project. I’m pleased to announce that we’ve now collected the 12 stories together and made them available in a single volume. YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE is out NOW from Infected Books. The ebook – coming in at a massive 180,000 words – costs only $3.99. The paperback is a hefty 492 pages!
We recruited a star-studded line up of authors for the project.
It’s been an odd few weeks (though, to be honest, I’ve forgotten what a normal few weeks is supposed to feel like). I’ve spent a lot of time travelling, culminating in my first trip to Iceland which was the single most surprising and invigorating place I’ve been in a long time. Seriously, if we get word that the end of the world is imminent, I’m booking myself another ticket over there. It’s a remarkably quiet, remote, welcoming, and self-contained country. More about that another time. I’m sure I’ll set a book there one day.
Right now, though, my mind is focused on the setting for one of my earlier versions of the apocalypse – the town of Lowestoft, as featured in THEM OR US, the final book in the first HATER trilogy. At the moment I’m outlining CHOKEHOLD – the final book in the second HATER trilogy (hope you’re keeping up with all these book numbers!) which bridges the gap between the end of DOG BLOOD/ALL ROADS END HERE and THEM OR US.
I wanted to brush up on my HATER history, so I’ve worked my way through the original books while I’ve been developing the new series. It’s a weird feeling when you go back and read your own work. I don’t know what it’s like for other writers, but it always catches me by surprise. I remember most of the plot twists and can finish many lines in my head long before my eyes have reached the full-stop at the end of the sentence, and yet there always seems to be plenty I’ve forgotten too. I’ve enjoyed reading HATER and DOG BLOOD for the first time in years, but THEM OR US has been a different experience altogether because reading it followed the recent passing of my mother-in-law.
Betty was the indirect inspiration for THEM OR US. I’ve written here before about how my in-laws’ decision to relocate to Lowestoft in 2004 resulted in me getting to know this most unusual of towns. I’ve a real personal affection for the place, but because of its geographic location (it’s the most easterly point in the UK), it’s often overlooked. Generally, you don’t go to Lowestoft unless you’re going to Lowestoft. It’s not on the way to anywhere, and in many ways it feels like the end of the line. It has a suitably apocalyptic edge which made it the perfect setting for Danny McCoyne’s last stand.
Do a search for Lowestoft on this site and you’ll find loads of entries: the launch event I held at the town’s library when THEM OR US was first released, the four subsequent HORROR IN THE EAST conventions we held there which were always sparsely attended but huge fun to be a part of, David Shires’ excellent apocalyptic artwork… Lowestoft is a place I’ve enjoyed going back to time and time again.
But no more.
It’s taken Matthew Dunne almost three months to get home. Never more than a few metres from the Haters at any time, every single step has been fraught with danger. But he’s made it.
In his absence, his home city has become a sprawling, walled-off refugee camp. But the camp – and the entire world beyond its borders – is balanced on a knife-edge. During his time in the wilderness, Matt developed a skill which is in high demand: the ability to anticipate and predict Hater behaviour. It’s these skills that will thrust him into a web of subterfuge and danger. As the pressure mounts inside the camp, he finds himself under scrutiny from all sides.
He’s always done his best to avoid trouble, but sometimes it can’t be helped. The shit’s about to hit the fan, and this time Matt’s right at the epicentre.
I’m very pleased to have a story in THE BLACK ROOM MANUSCRIPTS VOLUME THREE from my friends at THE SINISTER HORROR COMPANY. The profits from this anthology are donated to charity, and this volume features a host of great names. Release date is February 24. The ebook is available to pre-order now, with print links to follow shortly.
My story is an odd little tale about a small-time crook from the Welsh valleys. It’s called NOLAN HIGGS IS OUT OF HIS DEPTH, and it was inspired in no small part by the most recent album from one of my favourite bands. The band is PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING, and the album is EVERY VALLEY. Give it a listen while you’re reading the book. I’ll post again soon and explain why I chose that particular place and point in time to tell grubby Nolan’s story.
Well, the final tweaks have just gone off to my editor so I guess I can now announce that the HATER story will continue on 25 September 2018 with the second novel in THE FINAL WAR series: ALL ROADS END HERE. The action picks up a couple of months after the events of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING and whilst I’m not able to share any specific plot details with you just yet, I can confirm that ALL ROADS takes place in the same location and at the same time as DOG BLOOD. Can’t wait for you to read it.
Thanks again to everyone who has picked up ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING. Not yet got a copy? It’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, Indiebound and all other good bookstores. The ebook is available from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and other stockists and the audiobook version can be found at Audible, Amazon and iTunes.
A clickbait post title if ever there was one, but there’s a genuine point to this so bear with me. It begins many years ago, when I worked as a manager in a processing centre for a bank, looking after around 100 staff as we wound our centre down to a close. The work we did was being farmed out to newly opened sites overseas, where it could be done at a fraction of the cost, leaving my team and I redundant. I’m glad it happened, all things considered, because leaving the bank gave me a chance to take Infected Books to the next level and turn my part-time writing hobby into a full-time career.
But that’s not what this post is about. I was working on AUTUMN: PURIFICATION at the time, and having to deal with the redeployment of so many people in the real world brought unexpected benefits to my writing. I was able to release my stresses on the page (ever wondered where the inspiration for Samurai sword-wielding Harry Stayt came from?), and if I found myself becoming frustrated by my bosses, members of my team, or other people I was having to deal with at the time, I’d often picture them as a zombie and give them a particularly gruesome death in the book (without mentioning any names, of course, as I’d already got enough to deal with without being sued by anyone who took objection).
My new book which came out last week, ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING, has again reminded me of the usefulness of creating characters based on facets of people you know or who you’ve had interactions with. I find that it really helps keep them grounded and real, and if the characters in a horror novel are believable, it can add an enormous amount of weight to the emotion and impact of the vile situations you drop them into.
At the weekend I went away with my wife, and on the way home we stopped at Crosby Beach near Liverpool where Antony Gormley’s spectacular ANOTHER PLACE is installed. If you’ve not come across it before, it’s a series of 100 cast iron figures placed facing out to sea across a 2 mile stretch of beach. We visited on an ice-cold, exceptionally windy day, and that added to the impact of the sculpture. There’s something really affecting about seeing so many motionless (and emotionless) figures being buffeted and beaten by the waves. It felt quite dystopian, and the picture I took which I’ve posted here reminded me both of Danny McCoyne in THEM OR US, and Matthew Dunne at the beginning of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING. These characters are the intentional antithesis of each other, and both play pivotal roles in their respective trilogies as you’ll discover as the new series progresses.
When I was at a particularly low ebb a few years ago and my creative spark had been snuffed out, my wise wife said to me ‘how can you write about people anymore when you don’t know any?’. She was right, of course. I’d become a bit of a recluse, and my writing had suffered. I went back to work in an office, intending to stay there for a few months, and I’m still there after more than 3 years (and just by way of an aside, I now manage a team doing pretty much exactly the job I had Danny McCoyne doing in HATER all those years ago!). Though I have less time to write, the writing I produce is far, far better now that I’m mixing with other people on a daily basis again, and dealing with all the emotions of those interactions, both positive and negative. For me, the benefits of having a completely separate day job are clear, and right now it’s something I wouldn’t want to be without.
And that’s the reason for this post, I guess. ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING has been my first major release for some time, and it’s the first novel in which I’ve used characters inspired by the people I’ve recently worked with. Being around such a wide range of people while I’ve been writing the new HATER novels has been bizarrely therapeutic. I don’t really advocate killing your work colleagues, but do take inspiration from them. If you’re anything like me, it’ll help you in both your writing and non-writing careers. It’ll improve the quality of your characters, and it’ll help you get through those challenging business meetings as you imagine the horrific ending you’re going to give to the person currently giving you an ear-bending…
So thanks to the real Ronan Heggarty and Paul O’Keefe, for the inspiration they’ve both unwittingly provided. You don’t know who you are, but I do!
ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING is out now from St Martin’s Press. Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, Indiebound and all other good bookstores. Ebook available from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and other stockists. Audiobook by Macmillan Audio available from Audible, Amazon and iTunes. Signed hardcovers available from Infected Books.
“…a bloody fun ride… Another wetwork nightmare that should delight fans of Haters and intrigue writers who wallow in the genre.” – Kirkus
“Moody really knows how to write creeping, claustrophobic terror, effectively sneaking up on his readers and, finally, scaring the life out of them. Top-drawer horror.” – Booklist (starred review)
“A near-perfect example of humanity fucking up as our last card is played.” – DLS Reviews
ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING is released tomorrow, and I’ve just got time to pass on a couple of snippets of information I haven’t had chance to share before.
First, the second HATER trilogy now has a name. My editor and I racked our brains long and hard about what to call the new series, and we went through a number of options before settling on our final choice. Cast your minds back to THEM OR US, and you’ll be able to find the genesis for the title… there’s no going back for the human race after the events of the HATER books. The fighting will continue until there’s no one left, so there’s no question that this is THE FINAL WAR.
Second bit of news – the ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING audiobook is also out this week from Macmillan Audio. The excellent chap who narrated the previous HATER audiobooks, Gerard Doyle, is back behind the microphone. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite.
I’d like to close this little pre-release round-up with a few words on the new book from Chris Hall of DLS Reviews. Chris has been following my work for a long time and he writes some of the most well-considered reviews on the web. So you can imagine how pleased I was when he finished off his review of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING with these comments:
This is Moody doing what he does best. This is his natural environment. His turf. This is how he writes his very best work. And it’s utterly, uncompromisingly, gut-wrenching stuff. The novel rips you out of your safe and snug world and thrusts you into an environment where anyone can turn on you in the blink of an eye. It’s hard-hitting, head-poundingly tense, and drenched from head to toe in blood-splattered cruelty.
A near-perfect example of humanity fucking up as our last card is played.
The book hits the shelves tomorrow. Don’t forget, signed copies are available exclusively from www.infectedbooks.co.uk.
It’s two weeks until the official release but, as you can see from the picture below, I’ve just taken delivery of the first shipments of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING – the new HATER novel. I’ll be sending the books to those who’ve already ordered copies over the next few days.
Official release isn’t until 5 December, but it’s not too late if you want to grab a piece of the pre-release action. Signed first edition hardcovers are available to order here. There’s free shipping for UK orders, and if you don’t use Paypal, you can now pay via Amazon.
ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING is also available to pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, Indiebound and all other good bookstores. Ebooks are also available, and an audiobook version is coming soon.