The Cost of Living – a couple of questions answered

CostofLivingFirst of all, thanks to everyone who already downloaded a copy of THE COST OF LIVING. I’ve been blown away by the book’s popularity. It’s been sitting at number #3 on the Amazon.co.uk Survival Horror charts pretty much since release, and that’s amazing.

I’m regularly being asked the same couple of questions about the availability of the book, so I thought I should post the answers here.

First, can I get an ePub version (Nook, iBook etc.)?
Technically, no – I’ve restricted this release to Amazon to take advantage of their promotional tools. But… if you desperately want an alternative version, please buy the Kindle book, then send me a copy of your receipt and I’ll email an ePub version back to you asap.

Second, can I get THE COST OF LIVING in print?
Not yet, but here’s my plan. TCOL is about half the length of one of my novels, and I don’t think a print edition would be economical. My plan, however, is to repeat this later in the year with the release of another similar-length novella, then to bundle the two stories together in a single paperback.

I hope this all makes sense. As always, get in touch if you need more information.

And finally…

Just one last bit of clarification. I’m only closing the Infected Bookstore, not the Infected Books publishing business. Apologies if I confused/alarmed anyone. If you were thinking of making a purchase from the rare book sale I’ve been holding this week, I’d get in fast. There’s not a lot left! Click here for more information.

The Cost of Living

I know I’ve been quiet again recently – much going on, not all writing-related. Anyway, I’m very pleased today to announce a surprise release. I’ve gone back to zombies and the end of the world for THE COST OF LIVING – an ebook-only novella (hopefully the first of many) which is now available from Amazon worldwide for $1.99 (links below).

I combined everything I’ve learnt about writing apocalyptic zombie stories with everything I’ve learnt about creating real, believable characters, and I’m thrilled with the result.

AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.DE | AMAZON.ES | AMAZON.IT | AMAZON.CA | AMAZON.COM.AU

CostofLiving

The world is dying. An abhorrent epidemic is sweeping the globe, destroying everything it touches. Contact with even a single drop of contaminated blood or saliva is enough to spread the disease. Within hours even the healthiest people are transformed into hideous, germ-spewing creatures. They hunt out the uninfected in their tens of thousands, their sole purpose to continue spreading the infection.

On a recently-built housing development on the outskirts of a large city, one man will stop at nothing to protect his family from the coming storm. Stuart has been one step ahead of the game from the beginning. His garage is stocked high with supplies, the doors and windows of his home fortified, weapons held ready in case of attack.

With each passing minute, there are more infected surrounding the house. With each passing minute, Stuart and his family have less food and water available. Some time very soon, the balance will shift.

But Stuart won’t stop give up on his family, no matter what the cost.

Enormous thanks to my good pal David Shires of www.theimagedesigns.com for the cover art. More about David coming soon!

Want to be a character in The Spaces Between?

TSB logoIn the past I’ve held several competitions where folks could win the chance to appear in forthcoming novels. Most notably, Keiran Cope won a charity auction to be in the final AUTUMN novel and have his own AUTUMN short story (which you can read here). And way, way back in 2008, The Swimmer was based on a lovely lady called Joanna Milne who won a contest to become a featured zombie in AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION. Just below you can see Keiran in character (as immortalized by the mighty Craig Paton) and, next to him, The Swimmer (as sculpted by the equally mighty Patrick Crilley).

I think another contest is long overdue.

As you know I’m in the middle of writing the first part of a new four book horror/science-fiction series, THE SPACES BETWEEN. I’m offering FIVE people the chance to appear as characters in the books.

One randomly selected winner will:

  • Have a key character who appears in all four novels in the series named after them.
  • They’ll also receive a framed illustration of themselves depicted in a key scene from the first book.
  • And they’ll also get signed first editions of each book in the series as and when they’re released.

Four randomly selected runners-up will:

  • Have a supporting character named after them in one of the books (one book per winner).
  • They’ll also received signed first editions of each book in the series as and when they’re released.

So what do you have to do? It’s very simple. Visit this page where you’ll find all the necessary information. Good luck!

The infection spreads to Italy!

I’m very pleased to announce that the first book in the AUTUMN series has just been released in Italy. AUTUMN – L’ATTACCO DEI MORTI VIVENTI (which translates to Autumn – Attack of the Living Dead) is available now from Delos Books as part of their Odissea Zombie series.

Autumn ItalyThe Amazon Kindle version of the book is available here.

 

STRANGERS – sneak peek

1457766_544617192295675_1960183773_nNot a lot of news for you this week, so I thought I’d give you a taste of something new. Here’s the opening chapter of my as yet unpublished novel STRANGERS. There are no definite release dates available yet, but tentative plans are starting to be made and I’m looking forward to sharing those plans when I can. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy it!

“A spate of brutal murders occur in and around a small town. The bodies of the dead – savagely mutilated, defiled – are piling up with terrifying rapidity. There’s no apparent motive, and no obvious connection between the killings, but they all started when Scott Griffiths and his family arrived in Thussock…”

 

 

 

STRANGERS

FORTY-EIGHT MILES NORTH OF THUSSOCK

 

‘You all right?’

He just looked at her, struggled to focus, took his time to reply. ‘Sorry. Tired.’

‘It’s getting awful late. What are you doing out here at this hour?’

‘Not sure. Lost, I think.’

‘I’ll say. Where you heading?’

‘Can’t remember,’ he said, embarrassed, and he laughed like a child.

They blocked each other’s way along the narrow pavement. The silence was awkward. Joan’s dog Angus tugged at his lead, keen to get home and out of the rain. She tugged back. He’d have to wait.

‘I’m cold,’ the man said, wrapping his arms around himself.

‘I’m hardly surprised. Just look at you. You’re not really dressed for it, are you?’ Joan continued to stare at him. What was he . . . mid-thirties, perhaps? He looked about half her age. His nipples showed through his wet T-shirt and she couldn’t help but stare. He was shivering, but that was only to be expected. She was cold herself, and she’d a vest, a blouse and a cardigan under her anorak. In the dull glow from the streetlamp between them, she thought he looked beautiful. ‘You’re not from round here, are you?’

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Location Inspiration

Straight to You coverI guess I could file this post under the ‘What Works For Me’ heading, but it should also be of interest to those of you who are here more for reading than writing, in particular those who’ve already read STRAIGHT TO YOU.

WARNING – MILD STRAIGHT TO YOU SPOILERS AHEAD!

I wanted to talk about locations today: how rather than finding the right scenery to fit your story, sometimes the story can be shaped by a location or, in this case, a journey. If you’ve not read STRAIGHT TO YOU yet, why not grab a low price ebook or signed paperback then come back and see how some of the scenes in the new version of the story came about.

I’ve already spoken at length about how I wanted the rewritten version of STRAIGHT TO YOU to feel more honest and emotional in comparison to the hopelessly naïve original, and I decided early on in the planning process that in order for that to happen I’d need to give the book a foothold in reality.

Here’s me pictured in the idyllic Welsh village of Criccieth last Sunday, and in the background you can see the castle which features prominently in the book. Click the link below to find out more, but please be warned – there are potentially some spoilers ahead.

Moody and castle

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What’s next?

Since STRAIGHT TO YOU was released, a lot of people have been asking what’s next. That’s a difficult one to answer, but I thought I should at least try.

I’ve a couple of completed novels in the bag which I’ve told you about previously (STRANGERS and 17 DAYS). As yet no decisions have been made as to when/how they’ll be released. All options remain open, and I’ll let you know as soon as I do. There are a few other things in the pipeline…

I’ve been saying for a while that I’ve had my fill of zombies, infections, apocalyptic pandemics and the like. That’s not strictly true. There’s one story left that I want to tell, and I’m working on it at the moment. I hope to have it finished by April/May this year and released soon after, probably as an ebook-only novella. I also have a number of short stories due in the next few months, and I’ll let you know as and when each of those releases are scheduled.

But the project I think I’m most excited about right now is THE SPACES BETWEEN. It’s a four book horror/science-fiction series set in the near future. If I was to describe the tone of the books, I’d have to say they’re like a head-on collision between QUATERMASS and Stieg Larsson’s MILLENNIUM TRILOGY (well that’s the vibe I’m going for, anyway). I’ve been planning these novels for several years now, but have only recently begun the actual writing process. Here’s a bit of hastily thrown together blurb for TOMMY, the first book in the series:

Nine years ago London was wiped off the map as a result of a catastrophic terrorist attack. Millions of displaced people have since been rehoused in a number of hastily constructed newcities, the largest of which is Elysian Fields, just outside Birmingham.

Parts of Elysian Fields are no-go areas: dangerous, virtually lawless and hopelessly overcrowded. The government and police troops do what they can to maintain order, but it’s increasingly difficult. The residents are on their own.

Almost.

There are some who still try to help. Greg Dawson is one such person. An old-school social worker, he’s now forced to carry a gun and wear full body armour to work each day. But the job and the people haven’t changed, just the situation, and Dawson’s as dedicated to protecting the vulnerable as he always has been.

When Tommy Huxtable, the five year old son of a powerful party member, is taken, Dawson’s called on to find and recover the child. But the deeper he digs, the more he discovers that nothing is as it seems in Elysian Fields.

You can keep up with my progress with TOMMY and other projects on the ‘Forthcoming Releases‘ page on this site.

Phew. Relieved.

The AUTUMN: AFTERMATH hardcover I’ve recently been talking about took a huge amount of time and effort to organise. All that work just so one hundred or so folks could complete their UK AUTUMN hardcover collections. You could say the effort involved was disproportional to the gains (losses, actually… I’m still in the red with this project), but I’d disagree. Whether ten people had wanted the book or ten thousand, I thought it was important to make it happen and I’m glad that I did.

I’ve loved all the positive feedback I’ve received since the books have started to arrive… people commenting on Facebook and Tweeting photographs of their name in the back. I have to say, though, Ren Gaming’s YouTube clip was the coolest thanks of all.

The remaining copies of AFTERMATH are disappearing quickly and if you want one, you’ll really need to get in fast. You can pick one up from www.infectedbooks.co.uk or ebay.

They’ve arrived… (and they’re on their way)

Welcome to my office, which became noticeably smaller yesterday following the delivery (at long last) of the limited hardcover edition of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH, published by Infected Books in collaboration with Gollancz.

office2

Nine hours (yes, really) of signing and packing and the whole lot was delivered to a very understanding chap at the post office late last night. All orders have now been dispatched, and I wanted to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who pre-ordered the book for their support and their patience.

ukhardcovers

As you can see, the full set of UK hardcovers looks great. It’s satisfying to see all the books together (albeit almost a year and a half later than planned). There are a handful of copies of this extremely limited edition available. If you want one, you can pick one up from www.infectedbooks.co.uk or ebay.

Happy Birthday HATER!

Hater (Thomas Dunne Books, 2009)It’s hard to believe, but it’s five years today since HATER was re-released by Thomas Dunne Books in the US and Gollancz here in the UK. It’s no exaggeration to say that little book changed my life. Before its release I’d been doing fairly well for myself publishing the first three AUTUMN books through Infected Books and I’d been planning to expand. I launched HATER with the intention of kick-starting a new series, but I had no idea what would happen next.

Within a couple of months, with less than a thousand copies having been sold, I was approached about the film rights. That deal went on to see Guillermo del Toro, J A Bayona (director of The Impossible and the forthcoming World War Z 2) and Mark Johnson (producer of Breaking Bad, amongst other things) involved with my book, and led to the HATER series being picked up for publication in many countries around the world.

So please join me in saying Happy Birthday HATER! If you haven’t read the book, visit www.thehatertrilogy.com to find out more. And here, for old time’s sake, is a viral video released by Thomas Dunne to support the original release.

And no – I don’t have any news about the movie (I’ll update here if I do). But yes – one way or another I’m determined there WILL be a HATER film eventually!

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