A blast from the past

1975It’s the first of the month, and that can only mean one thing – the release of the next YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE novella. This month we have a real blast from the past, as the brilliant SEAN T. PAGE takes us back to 1975 and a top-secret bunker in the middle of zombie-infested London. Sean is one of my all-time favourite zombie people and an expert in his field, and it’s a real honour to have him on board. 1975 is available now from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de and other sites worldwide for just 99c.

The Ark is a secret Ministry bunker hidden deep beneath the streets of London and humanity’s last hope for survival.

Sealed inside, a small team oversees 5,000 cryogenically frozen humans whilst the world above disintegrates.

But, as bunker fever spreads through the concrete walls of the Ark, those still awake begin to wonder if they’d be safer on the outside.

Random murders, claustrophobic violence and plastic mannequins… far too many plastic mannequins.

Polyester flares and the Osmonds aren’t the only things to be afraid of in 1975.

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Recommended reading – ZOMBIE SURVIVAL by Sean T Page

By now I’m sure you all know Sean T Page. He’s the Ministry of Zombies chief who sealed himself in a nuclear bunker last May (remind yourself here). More than that, he’s an all-round good man, one of the lynchpins of Moody’s Survivors, and a zombie survivalist expert. How do I know that? Because I’ve just read his latest book.

Sean, cunningly disguised as Shaun, with his invaluable guide (photo: Grace Elkin - www.graceelkinphotography.co.uk)

Sean, cunningly disguised as Shaun, with his invaluable guide
(photo: Grace Elkin – www.graceelkinphotography.co.uk)

When I bought my first car I remember my parents proudly presenting me with my first Haynes Manual to go with it. I’m not sure if this is a peculiarly British thing… just in case it is, I’ll explain. Haynes manuals were produced for just about every type of car around, and they showed you how to strip them down and repair pretty much every fault you could imagine. Times have changed, of course, and with the technology inside our vehicles becoming ever more complicated, home garage repairs are increasingly less viable (to be honest, Haynes manual or no Haynes manual, fixing my own car wasn’t something I ever had any success with). So, in order to survive, Haynes diversified and began to produce all manner of other guides, from the Millenium Falcon to Thunderbirds via everything in between. You can see more at their website here.

zombie-survival-owners-apocalypse-manual-sean-t-pageEnter Sean and his zombie survival expertise. To coin a phrase, the Zombie Survival Haynes Manual does exactly what it says on the tin. What more can I say? It’s incredibly detailed, beautifully put together, and absolutely hilarious. From a section on the science of Zombology, to home preparation and defence, to weapon selection and use, this book is the only book you’ll need when the inevitable zombie apocalypse begins. There’s even an exam at the back to make sure you’ve been paying attention. Buy copies for all your family and friends this Christmas. Not only will they have some interesting reading for the holiday season, but you might just save their lives too.

Invaluable. Required reading. Get it now.

Amazon / Book Depository / Hive / Indiebound / Waterstones

UK Festival of Zombie Culture

This is a quick post to publicly thank Zombie Ed and everyone involved in the UK Festival of Zombie Culture last Saturday. As always it was an excellent event: a gracious host (Ed), the usual suspects (myself, Wayne Simmons, Adam Millard and Sean T Page), loads of great traders (the Zombie Shop team) and staff, and about 500 rabid fans all crammed into the Phoenix arts centre in Leicester to watch a marathon thirteen hours of zombie movies (click here to see what you missed).

Since I started writing zombie books we’ve become overrun by the living dead. Back then there only seemed to be me, Brian Keene, David Wellington and a handful of others doing anything with zombies, but over the course of the last decade our undead friends have shuffled out from the fringes of horror to take up their current position right in the middle of the mainstream. In some respects that’s great, but I’ve been increasingly worried that zombie fatigue will soon start setting in. On the basis of what I saw in Leicester this weekend, we’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about.

A picture tells a thousand words they say, so I’ll save myself some typing and let these excellent photographs from the very talented Grace Elkin do all the talking instead. You can see the rest of her pictures here.

Make sure you’re signed up to receive the Zombie Times (click here if you’re not signed up already), and do yourself a favour: when tickets for the 2014 event go on sale, get in quick. This is an annual event that no self-respecting zombie fan can afford to miss. Special thanks, as always, must go to the man in the first photo below: the driving force behind the festival and the Zombie Times, the one and only Zombie Ed.

UK Festival of the Undead - photo by Grace Elkin photography (www.graceelkinphotography.co.uk)UK Festival of the Undead - photo by Grace Elkin photography (www.graceelkinphotography.co.uk) UK Festival of the Undead - photo by Grace Elkin photography (www.graceelkinphotography.co.uk) UK Festival of the Undead - photo by Grace Elkin photography (www.graceelkinphotography.co.uk) UK Festival of the Undead - photo by Grace Elkin photography (www.graceelkinphotography.co.uk)

From Lowestoft to Leicester

Had a brilliant time at Horror in the East last Saturday. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s a lovely little convention which boasted a host of top guests. It was great to catch up with old friends again and to take in a long-overdue viewing of the BBC’s controversial (back in 1992) GHOSTWATCH. Thanks to Henry Baker, all the day’s panels were recorded for posterity and are available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. To save you a click, you’ll find the Armageddon-related discussion featuring myself, Adam Baker, Sean T Page, Adam Millard and Simon Coleby at the bottom of this post. Huge thanks to Emma and Jo, the event organisers – you did a cracking job, ladies. Here’s to next year!

David Moody, Adam Baker, Sean T Page, Adam Millard and Simon Coleby at Horror in the East. (Photo: Deborah Cosgrove - deborahcosgrovephotography.co.uk)

David Moody, Adam Baker, Sean T Page, Adam Millard and Simon Coleby at Horror in the East. (Photo: Deborah Cosgrove – deborahcosgrovephotography.co.uk)

Don’t forget – this Saturday I’ll be at my final event of the year, the annual Day of the Undead at the Phoenix Centre, Leicester. Click here for information. Hope to see a few of you there!

The Next Big Thing

If you visit many other authors’ blogs, chances are you’ll have come across The Next Big Thing blog chain. Here’s how it works – an author answers ten questions about their next piece of work, then they tag five other authors to answer the same questions one week later. Adam Nevill tagged me last week (here’s Adam’s post), and here are my answers.

What is the working title of your next book?
17 DAYS

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s a concept I’ve been toying with on and off since the mid-nineties. It occurred to me that if we knew the precise date of our own death, it would affect absolutely everything we do in the time which remains. But would that necessarily be a bad thing?

What genre does your book fall under?
It’s probably a little more mainstream than anything I’ve written before, but there are definite dystopian overtones.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Complete unknowns. That’s essential.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Mark Thane is going to die in seventeen days time. Probably. (Sorry, that’s two sentences).

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Represented (by Scott Miller at Trident Media, New York).

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Excluding the fifteen years I’d been messing with the idea on and off, about six weeks.

What other books/films would you compare this story to within your genre?
There are very definite shades of NETWORK, the 1976 Sidney Lumet movie. I guess there’s also a V FOR VENDETTA influence in there too.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The initial inspiration came so long ago now it’s hard to remember. I’m fascinated by our attitudes to death. I’ve always thought it fantastically liberating how animals live without fear because they don’t know they’re going to die. They assume they’ll just keep on going. We, on the other hand, seem to have either an unhealthy preoccupation with (or an equally unhealthy ignorance of) our own mortality. What happens if the rules change? How would you react if you knew exactly how long you had left?

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think it’s a really original book which takes the story in very unexpected directions. In seventeen days the main character goes on a remarkable journey. Oh, and there’s loads of sex. Move over ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, Moody’s gone all soft-porn.

More news about 17 DAYS coming soon. Here are the chaps I’ve tagged for next week:

ADAM BAKER
CRAIG DILOUIE
IAIN MCKINNON
ADAM MILLARD
SEAN T PAGE