Book Four Updates

I’m happy to report the first draft of book four is done and heading into rewrites. I estimate it will be published early-mid April. I know I’m a shocker for missing my deadlines, but this time I’m on track and have been more focused than ever.

The book has a heap of new characters and a totally new location. It goes back to the beginning (before we pick up the characters in book 1) and explains a little of how things broke down. In fact, the tentative title is BREAKDOWN.

The idea of a new book might make some people happy, but book four doesn’t involve characters from books one to three.

Ouch.

I did post a warning about this in the afterword of book two, and it has always been my plan to converge two groups of characters for the final three books (seven-nine).

However, books four to six are integral to the final three books. I hope the idea of not reading about your favourites from books one to three does not put you off book four. Trust me, there the characters are different and engaging. All the characters have a place in the future of this world that you will enjoy as much as the old ones. Those that survive, anyway.

Here’s my problem…

Due to deadlines, I left book three (Escape) on a massive cliffhanger (bad me). I regret not concluding this and have received a lot of e-mails and quite a few reviews basically telling me in a nice way that such a conclusion was not very nice.

So now, the question is:

Do I finish the cliffhanger for book three and add it to the existing version, then notify all those who have purchased it to download the updated version for free? Amazon has a system that allows an author to do this. Anyone who has purchased it would then just get the same book with the last chapter added.

Or do I leave the cliffhanger to be concluded in book seven?

I really had not planned on taking so long to get book four done, but life got in the way (and a little story called Murder Inc.). Originally, I was going to add book three’s conclusion to the start of book four, but I feel I need to keep them separate.

Book seven would still be another twelve months away. Perhaps people have forgotten the end of book three now and it no longer matters.

I’m looking forward to hearing what readers think so hit me back with your thoughts and thanks for staying interested…

 

 

Working Away On…

While I wait for my editor to return Murder Inc. (expecting it any day now), I’m tapping away on two writing projects.

Many readers have inquired about book four from the Invasion of the Dead series, and I’m pleased to report the outline is coming along nicely.

The outline is a critical part of the book for me, and without it, the process of writing would take much longer. For many years I thought the only way to write a story was just to begin, with little idea where I was going and how to get there. This process may work for some, but I can’t seem to organize the thoughts in my head very well, and consequently I spent lots of time rewriting and throwing stuff out.

Now, I rough out ideas, character information, and a detailed scene by scene guide for the story. While it’s not perfect, and much of it can change, it gives me and plan of where I’m going and how I’ll get there. The first draft comes out fairly promptly, which for many, is the most difficult part. Then the rewrite begins, which can be both challenging and fun, but it’s the downhill slope for me.

I expected to release this book much earlier in the year, but due to several factors—including the growth and complexity of Murder Inc.—it hasn’t happened. I feel terrible about it and am trying to work out a way to repay readers in addition to publishing it as quickly as possible. Realistically, it won’t be done until the New Year, but I am intent on providing details as I progress to give those who are keen on it some hope.

The second project I’m writing is a horror short about a teenage boy seeking revenge in the aftermath of his father’s death. The story is inspired by a hidden reservoir near where I live and owes a debt to Robert R. McCammon’s 1988 classic short story, The Deep End. I plan to get this out before Christmas.

Once final edits are back for Murder Inc., I’ll give it a final touch up and then publish. Although it isn’t a post-apocalyptic zombie story, I’m hopeful readers of the IOTD series will give it a try.