Publishers Weekly have had their say on CHOKEHOLD. Considering it’s the sixth book in a six book series (which technically takes place after books two and five and before three – make sense of that if you can), I’m more than happy with this write-up. CHOKEHOLD was never going to be a jumping-on point for the casual HATER series reader! Warning – spoilers ahead.
In Moody’s blood-soaked third Final War novel, Matthew Dunne and a handful of fellow survivors emerge from an underground bunker into a nuclear-blasted Britain still overrun with vicious, rage-fueled Haters, transformed humans whose overriding need is to kill Unchanged people like Matt. Beaten down and exhausted, Matt only wants to be left alone, but he’s drawn back into the fight when he and his group are taken to a fortified compound run by an old acquaintance, Estelle Bisseker, commanding officer of the Civil Defense Force. Estelle is eager to take the Haters down once and for all, but she’s not prepared for a massive cell of Haters that’s primed to wipe out the last of the Unchanged. When Matt spots a Hater in their midst, no one believes him, and he’s drugged, only to awaken to carnage. Matt sets out to find the rest of the group and warn them of the impending bloodbath. Moody toggles between the perspectives of the Haters and the Unchanged, eschewing nuance and peppering Matt’s harrowing journey with brutal fights that pave the way for all-out final battles. Fans of exceedingly bleak survival horror will be satisfied.
And here are a couple of other mentions I’d like to share. SFBOOK recently posted a great review of ALL ROADS END HERE, and I was interviewed by Todd of LONG SHOT BOOKS here. Finally, I recently recorded a huge (three hour!) podcast for THIS IS HORROR on independent publishing, mainstream publishing, and everything in-between. I’ll let you know as soon as it goes live.
As you may know, I’ve been working hard over the last few months with some very talented narrators to make my Infected Books back catalogue available as audiobooks. I have a load of free download codes available which I’d like to give away. Want one? Fill in the form below.
All I ask in return is that you listen to the books and help me spread the word, ideally by sharing on social media or writing a review. There are three titles available – STRANGERS, THE COST OF LIVING and STRAIGHT TO YOU. Enjoy!
UPDATE – 7 JUNE 06:00 – DUE TO OVERWHELMING DEMAND I’VE HAD TO SUSPEND THIS OFFER. ALL CODES HAVE BEEN TAKEN. THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST!
I get very jittery when I don’t post here for a while (I worry you’ll forget about me!) so this is me coming up for air to say a brief hello. Lots going on in the background as usual, all of which I’ll tell you about in due course. I’m neck-deep in a new novel at the moment, which is proving to be a real challenge as it’s like nothing I’ve written before.
Last week I re-read CHOKEHOLD to complete the final edits, and I really enjoyed it. I hope you will too (it’s released on 19 November). I think it ties the first and second HATER trilogies together nicely, and it does so in a way I don’t think you’ll be expecting.
The picture above is included as evidence that words are still being written and progress continues to be made. I’ve got a backlog of news about foreign language editions, audiobooks, new projects, film and book recommendations, and re-releases of old novels by friends which I’m looking forward to sharing with you soon.
Last year two of the German language publishers I’d been working with for some years closed down unexpectedly. It was a real disappointment, not least because I’ve always enjoyed a lot of success in Germany. But every cloud has a silver lining, and the experience forced me to think differently about how I want foreign language editions of Infected Books titles to be published in future. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I always try to have a foot in both publishing camps – traditional and independent. The wide exposure of mass market publishing is vital, but I also love the level of control that independent publishing offers. As demonstrated by what happened in Germany, having other publishers involved can have risks.
So I’ve decided to take a new approach. Foreign language editions of Infected Books titles will now, wherever possible, by published directly through Infected Books. Rather than pay translators a fixed fee, I’m instead tipping the usual relationship on its head and paying them a royalty.
The first fruits of this new strategy are starting to appear. I’ve worked with the original translator and cover artist and a revised edition of Straight to You: Postapokalyptischer Thriller is now available from Amazon.de. The re-release of the Herbst (Autumn) series will follow shortly.
For me this is a logical progression in independent publishing and I’m excited by the prospects. Are there any of my novels you’d like to see available in your language? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
My mission to get audiobook versions of all my novels published is a little closer to completion as STRAIGHT TO YOU has just been released. It’s superbly narrated by Matthew Jackson, and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. You can listen to a sample here, or grab a copy from Audible, Amazon or iTunes.
The sun is dying. The temperature around the world is rising by the hour with no sign of any respite. At this rate the planet will soon become uninhabitable; all life extinguished. It might be weeks away, it might be days…we may only have hours remaining. Society is crumbling. The burning world is descending into chaos.
Steven Johnson’s wife is hundreds of miles away and all that matters is reaching her before the end. He has to act now, no time to stop and think. Every second is precious. Tomorrow is too late.
“Straight To You deserves to be ranked alongside such classics as The Stand and Swan Song.” –Ginger Nuts of Horror
“A truly breath-taking and awe-inspiring read from an undeniable master of this sub-genre.” –DLS Reviews
I thought it would be interesting to just ask the one question with no follow-ups. I could have asked whereabouts in the world you live or any number of other questions to see if what factors affected your allegiance, but I didn’t. In the HATER books, the Hate ignores all our existing differences, so it made sense for this very unscientific poll to do the same.
369 people voted across this website, Facebook and Twitter, with 59% of people picking Haters over Unchanged. Interestingly, this varied between platform. On my website the split was 49% Hater, 51% Unchanged, on Facebook it was 62% Hater, 38% Unchanged, and on Twitter it was 58% Hater and 42% Unchanged. Does that mean people feel more Hate on social media sites than here on my warm and welcoming website? I don’t know, maybe they do. Interestingly, Haters were far more vocal, with around 60% of comments being from Haters and only 40% Unchanged.
So there you have it. Totally unscientific and little more than a ‘finger in the wind’ exercise. Still, if you’re in the UK like me, I hope this has taken your mind off the other votes we’re currently having to contend with for a couple of blissful minutes!
One last thing. I was interested to read a comment on this poll where the commenter said their allegiance had switched now they’re reading the second HATER trilogy because it tells the story from the Unchanged perspective. If I’m honest, the same thing happened to me while I was writing the books. As I worked my way through HATER, DOG BLOOD and THEM OR US I was Hater all the way. But having spent the last few years writing ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING, ALL ROADS END HERE and CHOKEHOLD, my loyalties seemed to switch. I wonder if, by the time you’ve read CHOKEHOLD, you’ll have come to the same conclusions about the state of the human race as I did…
Really pleased to have a (very) short story in this collection. Editor Kevin Kennedy has assembled seventy micro-stories, each no longer than one hundred words, and has bound them up in this fine looking volume. It’s available now in paperback and ebook from Amazon and all the other usual online places. Great to see some familiar names in the table of contents, including Shaun Hutson, Richard Chizmar and Paul Kane. And if you’re wondering how long a one hundred word story is, here’s your answer: this blog post is exactly one hundred words. Not a lot of space, is it?
This week is READ AN EBOOK WEEK – a long-standing initiative that I’ve been pleased to support for a number of years. The debate over the merits of print books versus ebooks versus audiobooks will never be settled – I believe each format has its plusses and minuses, and what suits one reader (or listener) might not suit the next. I just try and make my books available in as many formats as I can, and I also try not to exploit my readers by asking them to buy the same book many times over. Never forget – if you buy a signed copy of a title published by Infected Books from www.infectedbooks.co.uk, you’ll immediately be able to download a complementary ebook version. Similarly, buy a print Infected Books title from Amazon, and you can claim a Kindle copy through the Kindle Matchbook programme.
My career was built on a foundation of ebooks. If I hadn’t been able to give so many copies of AUTUMN away (somewhere in the region of half a million by the time the free download disappeared in 2008), then I doubt anyone would have ever heard of me. So please, download and read an ebook this week. And when you’re done, please review and share. Recommendations are invaluable for authors and are always appreciated.
All my recent talk of book launches and anniversaries has left me thinking about what I’ve achieved as a writer and what I still want to achieve. If I think of my career in terms of how a farmer manages their fields, then I’d say I’m currently in a fallow period after a couple of pretty decent harvests. I caught the crest of two waves originally when I a) started publishing independently before most others, and b) wrote about zombies just as the living dead became massively popular. And then, a few years later, I enjoyed another prolonged purple patch when Guillermo del Toro somehow stumbled on a copy of HATER and, for a time, everyone wanted a bit of me.
But writing is a fickle, unpredictable business. Just ask my friend Joseph D’Lacey who recently posted this brutally honest piece about his career.
For those of us who just happen to love writing and who hate self-publicising with a passion, being an author is not the easiest of career choices. You keep doing it because you can’t stop, and with every page you write you convince yourself that this could be the next big thing, even though you know that competition to actually be the next big thing is impossibly fierce. And then when you’ve finished writing and you hand your work to someone else to read, all the confidence you’ve built up evaporates and turns to crippling self-doubt. Well it does for me, anyway.
A frustrating amount of this is completely out of the writer’s control. You don’t control the market, you have no influence on current trends, you can do little to make sure yours is the right book seen in the right place at the right time… and yet, we keep at it. Sometimes even the very thing you’re trying to write can conspire against you.