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:
As some of you will know, I had a few major deadlines to hit by the end of August, and they conspired to keep me away from this site. Apologies for the temporary lack of updates.
I’m back now, and I’ve got a lot of good stuff to tell you about over the coming days. Later this week I’ll be adding new stories to www.lastoftheliving.net including UNDERGROUND – a glimpse into what happened in the military bunker after the catastrophic battle at the beginning of PURIFICATION.
I’ll also be adding a few posts about AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION: introducing the new characters, giving you an outline of the plot and how it ties in with the other novels in the series, and explaining why it’s taken so long (almost five years!) to get to publication.
It’s going to be a busy year with several more releases planned including THEM OR US and DISINTEGRATION, I have plenty more to share – news of some great events and appearances being planned for the end of this year, competitions, some top secret projects, and loads more besides. To whet your appetite for something happening later this month, check out page 7 of the September edition of The Zombie Times (and if you don’t already receive The Zombie Times, visit this link to rectify that immediately!).
There’s just one day to go before AUTUMN: PURIFICATION is released in the US (it’s already available in the UK and Germany). The third AUTUMN book was always a special one for me. First released in September 2004, it concludes the original trilogy. It’s also particularly exciting, because this book wraps up the re-releases. Next up is AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION, and I can’t wait for it to finally be available after having been delayed for so long (5 years and counting… more about that very soon).
So, to whet your appetite for PURIFICATION, why not head over to www.lastoftheliving.net and catch up on the back stories of the characters you’ll meet for the first time in the book. Jim Harper, Brigid Culthorpe, Karen Chase, Harry Stayt, Peter Guest, Gary Keele, Jackie Soames, Juliet Appleby, Jacob Flynn… they all play major roles.
And finally, read Kilgore – added to the site this morning. Kilgore’s not immune, nor is he one of the infected. He’s a cowardly, weak, terrified weasel of a man who just happens to have survived long enough to play an important part in PURIFICATION.
Please read, enjoy, and come back here tomorrow for a chance to win one of five signed copies of the new book.
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 both PURIFICATION and DISINTEGRATION.
Now I’ve just got to get the damn thing finished!
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.
I thought it would be good to give you a little more detail about what’s planned for www.lastoftheliving.net and the AUTUMN series in general…
I thought it would be useful to list the new releases I have coming up for the rest of 2011 because there are quite a few. As always, please remember that these dates may be subject to change. You can always check my regularly updated FAQ page for the most up-to-date information.
And there will be an anthology appearance or two and, I think, several more foreign language editions to add to this list. So it’s looking like a busy year, and I’m really pleased. I know lots of people have been waiting for AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION and THEM OR US for far too long…
Well that was quite a year! The last 12 months have been incredible, and there’s plenty more planned for 2011. Just to whet your appetite, here’s a taster of what’s due: the final book in the HATER series: THEM OR US (I’ve just seen some proposed cover designs: wow… just wow!), several more AUTUMN books (watch for AUTUMN: THE CITY at the end of January / beginning of February and yes – at long last – AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION later in the year), the AUTUMN website with over 100,000 words of free zombie fiction, and various other things I’m not allowed to talk about yet (including news of a long-gestating big screen project which I’m really excited about).
My New Years resolution for 2011 is to get more organised. I’ve got a stack of entries for the Post-Apocalyptic Movie Club to write up and post, and I want to talk about a few books I’ve recently read as well. I also owe blurbs to a few folks, so I’ll be trying to catch up on my reading over the holidays. This is my last planned post before Christmas, but I might sneak in a few reviews etc. if the kids let me get close to the computer!
My main reason for writing today though is to thank everyone who has supported me over the last few years, and also those who’ve discovered my books more recently. It really does mean a lot and I hope you’ll all stick around for more. Whatever you’re celebrating, wherever you are, I hope you have a safe, happy and enjoyable holiday season and I’ll leave you with this slice of utter genius from Team Unicorn.
[youtube 0UqEhUm2B_8 nolink]
I’m getting a lot of questions about the forthcoming re-issues of the AUTUMN books in the US and UK, so I thought I should give you a proper update. I also want to talk briefly about an AUTUMN-related opportunity that some of you might be interested in.
AUTUMN will be released on 26th October in the US and on the 28th in the UK. The next three books in the series (which have been slightly reordered and are now AUTUMN: THE CITY, AUTUMN: PURIFICATION and – being released for the first time – AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION) will be released in 2011 at three monthly intervals, starting in January/February. They’ll be hardcover releases from Gollancz in the UK (with paperbacks to follow later), and paperbacks from St Martin’s Griffin / Thomas Dunne Books in the US. Here’s the cover for the American edition of AUTUMN: THE CITY. Nice, eh? Just wait until you see what they’ve put together for PURIFICATION!
So what about the rest of the series? As it stands right now, AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION will not be re-released yet (except in Germany / Austria – more news on that later). The entire book, however, including a bunch of short novellas and over 20 ‘ECHOES‘ (short stories about some of the supporting characters from the saga) will gradually be released free online to enhance and expand the rest of the series. I mentioned an opportunity at the start of this post: I’ll shortly be relaunching www.theinfected.co.uk, and I want all this free content to be illustrated. I’ll obviously be approaching some artists I’ve worked with previously, but there will be ample opportunity for you to submit artwork for inclusion on the site. Drop me a line if you’re interested and I’ll send you a list of character sketches / scene descriptions. I don’t mind what medium you want to work in – traditional, video, photography, comic book… anything’s fine.
So there you have it. That’s the position of the books right now. Just one last thing to tease: AUTUMN is still a five book series, so there’s still something I haven’t told you…
Those of you who caught the AUTUMN books first time around will probably remember my ‘Spread the Infection’ tagline. I used it for years, and I’m sure it was responsible to some degree for the book’s journey from free pdf to half a million downloads, a movie, an audio adaptation, and now mainstream publication.
They’ve been unavailable for far too long, but the re-release of the AUTUMN series is close at hand. The first book is out in late October (US and UK – click the covers for information, Spain and Germany – you already have it!), and books two, three and four will be following in quick succession throughout 2011.
I’ll be able to give you more details about the release very soon. In the meantime, I wanted to ask a couple of favours…
First off, I want your memories of AUTUMN first time around for some articles I’m putting together. I’ve had emails from people who were freaked out reading the free download while working alone on the night shift, others who printed the pdf off and read it in class… please let me know how you found out about the series. Also, if you were involved in the book in any way and we haven’t spoken for a while (I’ve particularly been trying to get hold of Dave Joseph who created the face on the original cover if anyone can help), then please get in touch.
Secondly, I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me ‘Spread the Infection’ again. Follow me on Facebook, Friend Feed or Twitter, sign up for the newsletter (see sidebar), and invite your friends to do the same…
There’s going to be a lot going on with the accelerated re-release of the novels – including plenty of free fiction and much more – and there will be many opportunities to get involved so I’d like as many people as possible to know!
Thanks! More very soon!