I’ve just emailed the final corrections to my publishers, so that means AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION is at last finally ready for publication.
It’s been a long haul. The book was originally announced in early 2006, and I intended to write it as soon as I’d finished the project I was working on at the time (that was HATER, by the way). A combination of work (I was working full time and trying to run Infected Books – a full-time job in itself back then), family issues, and various other distractions (such as the AUTUMN movie entering production, Guillermo del Toro becoming associated with the movie adaptation of HATER, and Thomas Dunne Books acquiring worldwide rights to the HATER series) prevented me from actually finishing the book until June 2008. I was poised, ready to release DISINTEGRATION through Infected Books, when I found myself in London meeting the team from Gollancz who’d just obtained the UK rights to HATER. They asked what else I was working on, and I duly handed them copies of the AUTUMN books (which I just happened to have with me!). They asked me not to do anything with DISINTEGRATION just yet, and who was I to argue? Within two months, the AUTUMN books had also been bought by Thomas Dunne.
Traditional publishing is usually much, much slower than self- or independent- publishing (I used to have books on sale within weeks of having finished writing them – now it’s years…). Even with the accelerated release schedule the AUTUMN books have enjoyed both in the UK and US, it’s taken another three and a half years to finally get close to the release of DISINTEGRATION.
I’m sorry for the delay. Thanks for sticking with me!
Last week I gave you a little background information about the book and hinted at the plot. This week I wanted to explain a little more about how DISINTEGRATION fits in with the rest of the AUTUMN series.
Incredibly I’ve already had ten books released in various countries this year but, to my mind, the two most important releases are still to come. In November THEM OR US will bring the HATER trilogy to its dramatic conclusion and then, a couple of weeks later (December in the UK), AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION will finally hit the shelves. As many of you will know, DISINTEGRATION has been a long time coming…
I’ll be posting a lot about both of the new books in the coming weeks. Today, however, I want to focus on DISINTEGRATION and give you a little bit of background.
In Summer 2005 I released THE HUMAN CONDITION (the book which is gradually being expanded and made available on www.lastoftheliving.net). I genuinely thought I was done with the AUTUMN series at that point, but new scenarios kept on being presented to me. As you know, the AUTUMN books aren’t popular with all zombie fans – there are a large number of people who don’t want to know about the survivors and their problems because all they’re interested in is reading about as many zombies as possible getting dispatched in as many gruesome ways as the author can imagine. And that made me think: what if those same people found themselves stuck in the AUTUMN version of the zombie apocalypse? How would they survive, and would they have more or less success than the survivors from the earlier books? That question is the crux of DISINTEGRATION, and here’s an extended version of the blurb:
The third book in the AUTUMN series is now available from Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Griffin.
Trapped between the military and the dead, the remaining survivors carve out a fragile and uncertain existence. In a moment of madness their safety and security is jeopardised. All hope is gone, but in the rotting shadows of the past, they find the key to what remains of their future . . .
I know I’m going way out of sequence here, but I thought you might like to see the cover art for the US release of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH, the final book in the AUTUMN series which is due out next March. I really like it – it captures certain aspects of the book perfectly. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what those aspects are or give you any information about the plot just yet, because that’d mean giving away spoilers for bothPURIFICATIONandDISINTEGRATION.
No updates from me in quite a while… Very sorry. I’ve been working flat out to get AUTUMN: AFTERMATH delivered, and this week I’m actually sat in a caravan in Wales with the family, so my time online has been massively reduced. We’re taking a short break around the locations which originally inspired the first AUTUMN book and STRAIGHT TO YOU. I’ll share some holiday pictures when I get back.
In the meantime, I’ve been planning to put together a series of features about the artists who’ve contributed to www.lastoftheliving.net. Craig Paton, who you’ll know from his magnificent Amy Steadman artwork as well as the covers for Iain McKinnons Domain and Remains of the Dead, has put together a fascinating piece on his blog about how Amy came into being. Head over to his site here and read it.
I’ll be back up to speed shortly and will catch up on my outstanding emails etc. as soon as I’m home. Oh, and I’ll have an AUTUMN: PURIFICATION giveaway for you next week.
Not long now until AUTUMN: PURIFICATION is out in the US. The book’s released on 16 August and in the run-up to publication I’ll be posting more stories on www.lastoftheliving.net to introduce some of the new characters from the book. I’ve just added two more to the site: Gary ‘Tuggie’ Keele and Jackie Soames. Both of these folks play a major part in the third AUTUMN novel.
Watch out for a PURIFICATION related competition in the next couple of weeks.
As promised, OFFICE POLITICS is now available to read on www.lastoftheliving.net. Of all the 40+ shorts I’ve written based in the AUTUMN world, this is one of my favourites, if not my favourite of all. During the writing of the AUTUMN novels, I’d often come up with interesting scenarios which didn’t quite fit into any of the main books and this was one of them.
We often hear inspiring stories about the survivors of catastrophic events – both real and fictional. These are people who’ve hit rock bottom and picked themselves back up again. People who’ve survived against all the odds. People who’ve stared into the abyss and been dragged back from the very edge to live another day. OFFICE POLITICS is definitely NOT about that kind of survivor.
Simon Walters, the ‘hero’ of the piece, can’t cope with any of what’s happening around him. His solution – his strategy for survival, I guess – is simply to carry on as if nothing’s changed.
Special thanks again to David Naughton-Shires (www.knightwatchpress.info). David originally produced this illustration for me with another story in mind, but I think it suits OFFICE POLITICS perfectly. I hope you enjoy it!
Two more brief stories have just been added to www.lastoftheliving.net. That brings the current total to 24 shorts, and there’s still much more to come. More about that in a minute.
Today’s first story concerns Robert Woolgrave – a young man who makes a few rash decisions in his fight to survive. Read his story first, because Robert also makes an uncredited appearance in today’s second short, the fifth part of the tale of Amy Steadman. She’s been dead for 17 days now, and as you can see from Craig Paton’s excellent illustration, she’s not looking too good! Robert’s story, by the way, is illustrated by a beautiful photograph by Antony White. You’ll see more of Antony’s pictures in the coming weeks, and later in the year I’ll be featuring interviews with all the artists involved with the project on this site.
Before you read the story, please take a few moments to watch the beautiful and incredibly atmospheric accompanying animation, which was put together for me by the very talented Daniel Boucher (of www.thenovelblog.com). A huge public thank you to Dan. Centrepiece of this artwork is the original 1950’s public safety movie from the US which gave this story its title and inspiration. Leave it playing in the background while you’re reading… it adds to the effect!
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