This weekend just gone I was a guest at the Phoenix Convention in Dublin. A very small and informal event in comparison to the recent SFX Weekender and the like, it was a great opportunity to catch up with friends and spend a weekend in Ireland with the missus.
The convention has an almost exclusively literary focus which is refreshing. I took part in a number of panels, most notably ‘What do we do with Zombies?’ with Wayne Simmons (who surely by now needs no introduction), and Derek Gunn author of The Estuary and the popular Vampire Apocalypse books.
But it wasn’t all about the living dead (for once). Other panel topics included ‘Mission to Mars: who would you send?’ (answers ranged from George Lucas to Jedward (and if you don’t know who/what that is, I envy you), Justin Bieber and, bizarrely, Geoffrey Boycott!), and ‘Routes into Publishing’ – a discussion about the various options available to writers in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.
Another highlight for me was meeting David Naughton-Shires. For those of you who haven’t come across David, he’s the brains behind Knightwatch Press, a very active member of the Moody’s Survivors Facebook group, and a damn fine artist who’s responsible for some of the artwork over at www.lastoftheliving.net – the new AUTUMN website. David was kind enough to give me several of his original illustrations, and you’ll be able to see them shortly as more stories are added to the site. In fact, he’s illustrated the next three entries I’ll be adding. Check back tomorrow to find out how the end of the world actually turns out to be a good thing for Jim Harper, one of the characters you’ll meet in AUTUMN: PURIFICATION.
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!