One year to go

H4dummyOne of the major differences between traditional and independent publishing is timescales. Indie publishers tend to have very short lead times between a book being finished and being released. Traditional publishers, on the other hand, do not. So bear that in mind as I tell you that ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING, the fourth HATER novel, will be released by Thomas Dunne Books on 17 August 2017 (ie one year yesterday). I’ll share more details as soon as I’m able. There’s lots of HATER stuff going on behind the scenes. Lots of HATER stuff.

I know it’s going to be a long wait. Keep yourself busy by reading the free STRAIGHT TO YOU serialisation on WATTPAD. The second of this week’s chapters has just gone live.

Remember me?

I thought it was about time I made an appearance here! It’s been a while, I know. As many of you know, I went back to non-writing work a while ago to save my sanity (seriously, it was doing me no good at all sitting at home on my own all day every day, writing about the end of the world), and that, combined with sorting out my dad’s affairs and working on a surprisingly large number of different writing projects, has led to me neglecting this site. I’m hoping to remedy that in the very near future.

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on a couple of projects. Firstly, I’m really pleased to announce that Thomas Dunne Books will be publishing the second HATER trilogy, and I’m thrilled to be working with the team there again. I’ve been working hard on the first novel – ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING – and I look forward to bringing you more news in the coming months. OOUWBDBM is a very different kind of HATER novel which sets up a new cast for the other two books (THE OTHER HALF and THE LAST SUMMER) which will weave in and around the events of the original trilogy and bring a new perspective to the overall story. Can’t wait to tell you more.

Tim Long and Craig DiLouie are no doubt cursing me for my lack of speed, but I’m also busy writing THE FRONT: RED DEVILS – a continuation of the World War II with zombies story Tim so excellently kicked off with SCREAMING EAGLES.

All this means THE SPACES BETWEEN books have been on the back burner (again), but never fear – they will be written and you will get to read them. And all those folks who won the competition to appear as characters in the novels will still see their names in print. Unfortunately I can’t give you a timescale (and if I did set myself a deadline, I’d inevitably miss it!).

And that’s not all… YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE continues apace. June’s book will be launched next week, and it’s another cracker. Genuinely unsettling. When Wayne and I were planning this series, we wanted to publish a really diverse range of stories and, six months in, that objective has already been achieved. From Iraq to Wales, from psychological horror to blood and guts, from high octane thriller to slapstick comedy, from hunting zombies to dodging sheep, our authors have really delivered. Check out the releases here. And yes, you might see something from me joining the line-up in the not too distant future…

A bunch of short stories, a host of other novels (KAI, 17 DAYS, WAS SHE NEVER THERE?), the HATER movie… there’s a huge amount of stuff to come from me soon. Thanks for your patience. I’m off for a few days’ break with the family now. Plenty more news when I return.

HATER – US and Canada ebook price drop

Not read HATER yet? Need to get into the series in readiness for the new books coming soon? Want to read the story again ready for next year’s movie? Now’s the perfect time to do it. The price of the ebook version of the book from St Martin’s Press has just been slashed to $2.99! Get in quick! Get it from Amazon, B&N, or iBooks.

Hater (Thomas Dunne Books, 2009)

The Hate continues to spread… now Turkey’s been infected!

44_salgin-103735_1I’ve just discovered that a new edition of HATER is released this month. SALGIN (which translates as Epidemic) is about to be published in Turkey by Artemis. This is my first Turkish release, and it’s very satisfying to see new versions of the book still hitting the shelves after all this time. Incredibly, the first, self-published Infected Books edition is almost nine years old, and it’s six years since Thomas Dunne Books in the US and Gollancz in the UK gave the book its first mass market releases. I actually think HATER is more relevant today than ever. There are a lot of uncomfortable parallels to be drawn with some current world events…

But whenever I mention HATER, I get a flood of questions asking ‘what about the movie?’. You’ve had years of me telling you to be patient, that I’ll have some news soon. Just a little while longer now, I promise. Things are beginning to happen.

Salgın, benim Türk arkadaşlar tadını çıkarın! (thanks, Google translate!). If you’re new around here and haven’t yet read the HATER series, visit www.thehatertrilogy.com now.

The future of Infected Books

So, a while back I promised to explain what was happening with Infected Books.

You might recall that, sometime around the middle of IBlast month, after clearing a lot of my shelves and stocks of books, I shuttered the website (which had become known as the Infected Bookstore, because that was pretty much all it was). People asked if I was disappearing or giving up… if I’d had my fill of independent publishing… if I was through with writing altogether…

That couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how things used to be back in 2001 when I started giving away the original AUTUMN novel for free via my website. The eBook market was small back then, and self-publishing was a dirty word (I know it still is to some people). These were the days before Kindle, Nook and iBooks… when I was literally emailing pdfs, Word docs, and all manner of obscure early eBook formats directly to interested folks.

Infected Books was created in early 2005 as a clear and very definite brand – a way of publishing my books independently which a). didn’t make me look like a one man band operating out of the spare bedroom at home (which I was) and b). gave me a professional-looking brand with which I could compete with other publishers around the world. In that respect, IB worked brilliantly. It was, as one senior editor working for a UK publisher told me a few years back, a masterstroke.

But then everything that happened with Guillermo del Toro and HATER and Thomas Dunne Books happened, and I pulled down the virtual shutters.

Fast-forward a few years, and I re-launched the business back in 2012 to republish my remaining novels – books which had been released previously, but which I knew would benefit from an upgrade. It worked really well. TRUST, AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION and, most recently, STRAIGHT TO YOU have been very successful.

But things really changed again at the end of May, when THE COST OF LIVING was released. I’ve already said this, but I’ll say it again anyway – the success of my little zombie novella has far exceeded my expectations. In some ways, THE COST OF LIVING has been a catalyst for the changes I’m going to tell you about now.

Infected Books is a publisher first and foremost. In the future, it’ll be much more than that (starting with, I hope, Infected Films in a couple of years time – more about that later). The website, though, didn’t represent that. In fact, it had become a glorified bookstore which took more time and money to maintain than I had available.

I’d like to invite you to visit the new www.infectedbooks.co.uk which has just been launched. It looks much the same visually, but there’s been a definite shift in content and focus (although you can still buy signed books from the site – now with free UK shipping). You’ll find much more about the titles IB publishes, and there will be plenty more new releases to come in the next few months. A mix of eBooks, limited editions, and new paperback releases are coming… there are things planned every month from hereon in. Please also follow IB on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to hear about these releases.

THE COST OF LIVING has reinvigorated me, and I can’t wait to let you see what’s coming next.

Infected Books is very much alive and kicking. As I first said back in 2001 (a line which plenty of others have pinched since then…) stick with me and let’s SPREAD THE INFECTION!

Happy Birthday HATER!

Hater (Thomas Dunne Books, 2009)It’s hard to believe, but it’s five years today since HATER was re-released by Thomas Dunne Books in the US and Gollancz here in the UK. It’s no exaggeration to say that little book changed my life. Before its release I’d been doing fairly well for myself publishing the first three AUTUMN books through Infected Books and I’d been planning to expand. I launched HATER with the intention of kick-starting a new series, but I had no idea what would happen next.

Within a couple of months, with less than a thousand copies having been sold, I was approached about the film rights. That deal went on to see Guillermo del Toro, J A Bayona (director of The Impossible and the forthcoming World War Z 2) and Mark Johnson (producer of Breaking Bad, amongst other things) involved with my book, and led to the HATER series being picked up for publication in many countries around the world.

So please join me in saying Happy Birthday HATER! If you haven’t read the book, visit www.thehatertrilogy.com to find out more. And here, for old time’s sake, is a viral video released by Thomas Dunne to support the original release.

And no – I don’t have any news about the movie (I’ll update here if I do). But yes – one way or another I’m determined there WILL be a HATER film eventually!

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A look back at AUTUMN: THE CITY

A brief disclaimer: as I’ve said previously, it feels pretentious to be writing a retrospective of my own books. I think I’m doing this for my own benefit more than anything else, so please bear with me. It’s some weird kind of personal therapy, I think…

For me, the writing process usually begins when I come up with an ending, then work my way back to the beginning of a story. Not so with the second AUTUMN novel. This time, just to be different, I began with the middle.

I’d been wondering what had happened to Michael and Emma after escaping the farm house at the end of the first book (it wasn’t until recently that I actually went back and filled in that part of their story – see BREAKING POINT over at www.lastoftheliving.net). I had visions of them quickly coming to the conclusion it would be too dangerous to stay in one place, and so electing to base themselves in a mobile home and move whenever the immediate danger became too great. But I knew that in order to move the overall AUTUMN story forward – and it was starting to feel like a much bigger story by that point – they’d need to interact with characters we hadn’t yet met. This meeting – whenever and with whomever – would have to happen almost a month after the initial infection, and yet I wanted these new characters to feel like people we already knew. The best option, I thought – though not necessarily the most obvious – was to rewind time and start from the beginning again.

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Recommended Reading – REEL TERROR

About a year ago, I received an email from Nicole, my editor’s assistant at Thomas Dunne Books, asking me to blurb a new title they’d acquired – REEL TERROR by David Konow. Those of you who’ve had the misfortune of waiting for me to blurb something will know that it usually takes me somewhere between a long time and forever. Not on this occasion: I picked the book up early on a Friday evening and was done by the next day.

REEL TERROR is a lovingly written history of horror cinema, covering everything from The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, right up to Paranormal Activity. It’s a fascinating read which looks at why some movies hit the mark and others don’t. Replete with huge numbers of anecdotes and interviews with some of the most important people in the genre, you’ll lap it up if you’re a horror fan like me. Here’s my blurb:

“REEL TERROR is a love letter to a much-maligned genre… thoroughly recommended to anyone with even a passing interest in the history of horror movie scares. Written with passion and deep respect, it’ll broaden your understanding of how horror developed from the black-and-white Universal classics to the mainstream smashes of the last decades. A fascinating look at the history of horror, filled with stories, details, and memories that remind you why you fell in love with the genre in the first place. Superb.

Well worth picking up! REEL TERROR is out today.

THEM OR US – new UK paperback out today

Can it be almost a year since THEM OR US was released? Incredibly it is, and today Gollancz are releasing a mass market paperback edition of the book.

I always knew the final HATER novel would be a divisive book. After the maelstrom and fury of DOG BLOOD, the violence couldn’t just keep increasing exponentially, and so I took the decision to follow Danny McCoyne’s story in the radioactive, rubble-strewn aftermath of the war between the Haters and Unchanged. It’s a grim and uncompromising conclusion, I think, and to my mind it’s the only way Danny’s story could have ended.

I’m insanely proud of the trilogy as a whole, and will be putting together a brief retrospective in the coming months. If you haven’t yet read them, please do grab hold of HATER, DOG BLOOD and THEM OR US and enjoy (though I’m still not sure if enjoy is really the right word to use…). And don’t forget EVERYTHING AND NOTHING – the free short which takes place between the first two books – available here.

THEM OR US is available now from Gollancz in the UK and Thomas Dunne Books in the US. Find out more at www.thehatertrilogy.com.

And before you ask (because lots of people do every week), I don’t have any more news on the HATER movie just yet. But I will go digging for updates now…

THEM OR US – US paperback out today

Thanks to the ineptitude of a certain British Telecommunications company I won’t name, I’m currently offline and probably will continue to be so for the next few weeks. I’ve got a lot of posts to share, so I’m currently doing the rounds of relatives’ homes and local Starbucks trying to schedule them all in without outstaying my welcome anywhere…

First off, today sees the release of the mass market paperback edition of THEM OR US in the US from Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Griffin. The longer I have to reflect on the HATER trilogy, the prouder I feel of the story as a whole. I’ll be putting together a retrospective on the series at some point in the next couple of months. (It was nice to see Glen Mazzara – Walking Dead showrunner – saying kind things about the first book again recently…)

The paperback is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, and all the usual places, and for those of you who’ve not yet read it, here’s the blurb:

“The war that has torn the human race apart is finally nearing its end. With most towns and cities now uninhabitable, and with the country in the grip of a savage nuclear winter, both Hater and Unchanged alike struggle to survive.

Hundreds of Hater fighters have settled on the East Coast in the abandoned remains of a relatively undamaged town under the command of Hinchcliffe—who’ll stop at nothing to eradicate the last few Unchanged and consolidate his position at the top of this new world order. This fledgling society is harsh and unforgiving—your place in the ranks is decided by how long and how hard you’re prepared to fight.

Danny McCoyne is the exception to the rule. His ability to hold the Hate and to use it to hunt out the remaining Unchanged has given him a unique position in Hinchcliffe’s army of fighters. As the enemy’s numbers reduce, so the pressure on McCoyne increases, until he finds himself at the very center of a pivotal confrontation, the outcome of which will have repercussions on the future of everyone who is left alive.”