Announcing LAST OF THE LIVING

lastofthelivingMany of you have been asking if THE COST OF LIVING and ISOLATION will ever appear in print. The short answer is yes.

I’m really pleased to be able to announce the imminent launch of LAST OF THE LIVING – a paperback collection bringing together the two novellas and associated short stories (i.e. the short story and flash fiction versions of THE COST OF LIVING, as well as WHO WE USED TO BE, TIGHTROPES, MURIEL and WISH I WAS HERE).

Pre-orders will open next week.

ISOLATION – additional short stories

I’ve talked a lot about ISOLATION recently, but I’m conscious I haven’t told you very much about the four additional zombie stories which come bundled with the new novella. I’m going to put that right today.

IsolationSlideTHE COST OF LIVING and ISOLATION ebook releases represent all of my non-AUTUMN zombie output. If you remember, THE COST OF LIVING includes two previous versions of the story. With ISOLATION, I’ve included two previously published shorts, and two which were written specifically to close out this collection.

WHO WE USED TO BE
Originally appeared in John Joseph Adams’ excellent THE LIVING DEAD 2 anthology, and I’ve grown to think of it as the antithesis to THE COST OF LIVING. One minute, everyone in the world dies unexpectedly. A minute later, they all reanimate. The story focuses on a small family unit as they try to prolong their increasingly precarious existence for as long as possible…

MURIEL
Was written for an SFX magazine zombie special. I make no apologies for it being a more mainstream zombie tale than anything else I’ve written, as I was writing for a specific audience. It’s a quick, gory and fun tale of a lone survivor living on his nerves in his parents’ house.

TIGHTROPES
A brand new story set in a world which has just about managed to pull itself back from the brink of the zombie apocalypse. So when we’re used to living alongside the threat of the undead, how long will it be before we slip back into our old ways again…?

WISH I WAS HERE
I’ll say little about this final story, other than it was inspired by a thought that’s regularly struck me… No matter what the reason we’re given for the dead beginning to rise, at the outset there’s a stark difference between us and them. But the longer the situation goes on, the less noticeable those differences become. When the dead walk the Earth, can there be any winners?

I hope you enjoy ISOLATION – early reviews have been great (the ever-reliable BookBloke said: I was once again blown away by the recognisable settings and relatable yet engrossing characters. A gripping read. Treated to four more short stories within this book, all with different takes on zombie fiction, it’s a must have for zombie lovers, people who love gore and violence and people who love stories with exceptional characterisation. It’s one that’s not to be missed”). And finally, for those who’ve been asking, in the coming weeks I’ll be formally announcing LAST OF THE LIVING – a new paperback release which will include ISOLATION, THE COST OF LIVING, and all the other stories I’ve talked about today.

The Black Fang Betrayal

And now for something completely different…

I made a decision early in 2014 to push myself out of my comfort zone more often this year, and the result of one such excursion is released today. THE BLACK FANG BETRAYAL is a collaborative novel produced by J Thorn and written by Thorn, TW Brown, Michaelbrent Collings, Mainak Dhar, J.C. Eggleton, Glynn James, Stephen Knight, T.W. Piperbrook, J.R. Rain, and myself.

Black Fang BetrayalLevi Phillips is a warlock living in the woods of rural Ohio. With his apprentice, Matthew, Levi operates one of the most ferocious covens in the world, known as The Black Fang. Managing the coven like an international corporation, Levi controls its enormous wealth while running a moonshine operation as a front. But when a plot to assassinate Levi is exposed, the warlock decides it’s time to destroy The Black Fang and the destruction could create a new beginning.

The Black Fang Betrayal features today’s best horror, dark fantasy and thriller writers collaborating on a unique and fascinating novel. Armed with nothing but a prompt and a character name, each author became a warlock of The Black Fang and wrote a first-person account as a member of the coven. Using themes and sequences woven throughout the complete narrative, a cohesive page-turner emerges.

It was great to be a part of such a unique project, and folks who’ve read the book so far seem to have really enjoyed it. It’s available at the astonishingly low introductory price of $0.99 for a limited time, so please do check it out. Visit www.theblackfangbetrayal.com for more information and an opportunity to enter an exclusive competition. Can you match the authors to their stories?

Available from: AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | IBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO

Isolation Locations

I hope by now you’ve had chance to read ISOLATION, and I hope you enjoyed it. Early reviews certainly have been reassuringly positive. Shadowlocked said “Isolation is a taut piece of character driven writing“, and BookBloke said “it’s a must have for zombie lovers, people who love gore and violence and people who love stories with exceptional characterisation“.

One thing you probably didn’t know, is that the park-keepers bungalow – the location where most of the action in ISOLATION takes place – actually exists. When we were planning the original short movie, I did a little location filming which you can see embedded below. It’s only a minute long, and it was filmed at completely the wrong time of year, but hopefully seeing where Keith and Anna make their last stand will enhance your enjoyment of the book.

This footage was, in fact, taken in a park near my parents’ house in Birmingham where I grew up. Like Keith, as a child I spent many days mucking around in the streams and fields in the park, building dens and hiding from imaginary monsters and aliens and the like. Fortunately for me, unlike Keith, all my monsters were make-believe.

ISOLATION is available from AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.DE | AMAZON.ES | AMAZON.IT | AMAZON.CA | AMAZON.COM.AU

Isolation

Cast your minds back a few years, and some of you might remember ISOLATION – a short film project I announced along with Will Wright but which, for various reasons, never made it to screen (though I hope it still might). I’m pleased to announce the release of an adaptation of my original screenplay. You can pre-order it now, and it’ll be available to download from tomorrow (20th).

ISOLATION (which also includes four additional zombie short stories – two of which were previously unpublished) is a companion novella to THE COST OF LIVING. There are no connections between the stories, but they’ll appear together in a combined print edition later this year. Here’s the ISOLATION blurb:

IsolationKeith’s in his early twenties. No girlfriend, no hobbies, no future. He spends his days working in an office and his evenings, weekends and just about all his free time looking after his alcoholic dad.

And then the zombie apocalypse changes everything.

Suddenly Keith’s free. For the first time in a long time, he’s got nothing to worry about (apart from several hundred thousand reanimated corpses heading his way).

But then he meets Anna, and everything changes again. Cocky, cool, confident… she’s everything Keith isn’t. Holed-up together in an isolated bungalow, besieged by the living dead, will they survive, or will they tear each other apart before the dead can get anywhere near?

Download ISOLATION for the paltry sum of $2.99/£1.99 from AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.DE | AMAZON.ES | AMAZON.IT | AMAZON.CA | AMAZON.COM.AU

Cover art is again by the brilliant David Shires and, as with THE COST OF LIVING, I’m experimenting with Amazon exclusivity for now. If you want the ePub version of the book, simply buy the Kindle edition, then send me a copy of your receipt and I’ll email an ePub version back to you asap.

I’m very proud of this one. I hope you enjoy it.

Dead Water

51HLsrsAvrLSometimes things just click into place. Here’s an example: a while back I had an idea for a short story which was inspired, in part, by the steel works at Port Talbot, Wales. You can see a photograph below. I’d always loved the idea of a place like this, perched on the very edge of the land, being one of the last enclaves of the human race after some unspecified apocalyptic event.

And then I was contacted by a friend of mine, Dan Boucher, who is one of the minds behind www.thenovelblog.com (and who has helped me out on a number of occasions in the past… remind yourself of his incredible work here). Dan’s partner in crime on the blog, Peter Mark May, runs Hersham Horror Books and releases regular PentAnths – themed anthologies featuring stories from five invited authors. So I landed myself an invite to contribute to DEAD WATER, and my Port Talbot-inspired story seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

We all need water to live, but what if that life giving body was not so friendly after all?

The book is available now (Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Book DepositoryKindle US / Kindle UK – more links to follow) and features my story THE LUCKY ONES alongside tales from Dan, Maynard Sims, Alan Spencer and Simon Bestwick.

Click the link below the steelworks picture for a brief snippet.

Steel Works

Continue reading

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.