So, one final read through then the next AUTUMN book – INFERNO – will be sent to my editor, and pre-orders for the limited edition hardcover will open. What better time to reveal the cover. The marvellous CRAIG PATON has knocked it out of the park again.
Very excited for you to read this one. More details will be revealed asap. If you bought the limited edition hardcover of AUTUMN: DAWN, check your inbox in the next couple of weeks for your link to pre-order book two.
I finished the bulk of the writing of the next book in the AUTUMN series earlier this week. I have a couple of weeks work left before I send AUTUMN: INFERNO to my editor, but I wanted to break cover and give you an update. Here’s a very brief blurb to set the scene:
There are now more than three hundred people grouped together on the banks of the Thames in the shadows of the Tower of London. On one side, the river. In all other directions, nothing but the dead.
If they can make it through winter, they’ll have a shot at long-term survival, but with so many mouths to feed, food is at a premium. They have no choice but to scavenge through the ruins of London to survive, but with every street they clear, every building they strip, they risk enraging the vast hordes of the undead that have them surrounded.
It’s a delicate balancing act: stave off starvation while doing everything possible to avoid an all out war.
But there may be another option…
As I announced in my most recent newsletter, there will again be a limited edition hardcover. First refusal will go to folks who ordered the AUTUMN: DAWN hardcover (you’ll even get the same number if you order book two!), and I plan to open pre-orders in November. I don’t know if I’ve ever explained – these limited editions aren’t a cash cow. I guess they’re my alternative to Kickstarter and other crowdfunding solutions. The proceeds from the limited editions fund the production of the book – the editing, the cover, the interior design etc. I think it’s a win-win approach. I can fund the production of each new release, and supporters get something unique. With THE LONDON TRILOGY, that means bonus content you can’t read anywhere else, and early access to an ebook version of the novel ahead of publication.
One final update, and that’s about the book’s release date. Non-work related factors have knocked me off course recently (work on the house that lasted 4 weeks instead of 1, immediately followed by a flooded office), so I’m reluctantly pushing publication back a month to make sure the release is exactly how I want it and avoid it getting lost in the chaos of the holiday season. Current ETA is now TUESDAY 25 JANUARY 2022.
I hope by now that you’ve had chance to listen to the audiobook version of AUTUMN: DAWN. I think it’s my favourite audio adaptation of any of my novels, and the reason for that is my brilliant narrator, AUBREY PARSONS. He’s done an absolutely stunning job of bringing the mass of characters that inhabit my dystopian AUTUMN world to life.
I thought it would be fun to ask Aubrey a few questions about his narration, to offer a glimpse into the huge amount of work that goes into producing audiobooks. It’s definitely not just a case of sitting down in front of a microphone and reading a novel out from cover to cover! First of all, I asked Aubrey how he got into the world of audiobook narration.
AP: I was a professional singer for 20 years. I spent a lot of that time working away and travelling the globe. It meant that I didn’t get to see much of my family and I had absolutely no social life. I did get to see a lot of the world and meet a lot of wonderful people but the toll it took on my social life and family eventually got to me. So, I decided to try something different. Since I already have my own small recording studio at home, I decided that maybe voiceover work was the way forward. I searched the Internet and found a couple of different courses and trained myself up to become a voice actor. I’ve always loved listening to audiobooks so it seemed to be the natural progression to work on them myself.
Obviously one of the most prolific suppliers of audio books in the world is AUDIBLE so I looked at their website and found out how I could become a producer for them. it took around three years for me to get myself trained and build a database of authors that I could work with to make things worthwhile. Then COVID came along which in a weird kind of way gave me the perfect opportunity to concentrate fully on my voiceover work. Everything happens for a reason I guess!
I asked Aubrey how he approaches narration. Does he read the book first, or just dive straight in?
I’m pleased to announce that the AUTUMN: DAWN audiobook is now available from Audible, Amazon, and Apple. The book is expertly narrated by AUBREY PARSONS and I have a number of copies to give away, courtesy of Audible. Read on to find out how to get your hands (ears) on one.
I don’t tend to mark that many book anniversaries, but I noticed that the US release of AUTUMN: PURIFICATION is ten years old today. It’s frightening how fast the time passes. Even more frightening to think that the original Infected Books edition of the novel was released seven years earlier still. It feels like just five minutes ago.
I have a lot to thank PURIFICATION for. I learnt so much about writing while I was working on that book. The initial success of AUTUMN and then AUTUMN: THE CITY caught me off guard, and PURIFICATION was the first novel I wrote with the pressure of knowing that people were waiting for its release. It was the book where I realised just how much fun I could have with the living dead (I know how wrong that sounds), the book where I earned my chops and started to think big in terms of where I wanted the AUTUMN series to go.
On a personal level, much of the writing was done in my final year working in banking. I found myself managing a team of around 100 staff who’d all been given (myself included) around a year’s notice of redundancy – our jobs went overseas, and we didn’t. As the work volumes dwindled and the personnel issues mounted up, I used PURIFICATION as therapy. Their names were changed, of course, but quite a few members of my team ended up as featured zombies. When I got home from the office at night, I found there was something very cathartic about plotting imaginary fates for the folks who’d made my days such a challenge!
And here I am in 2021, writing even more AUTUMN books. AUTUMN: DAWN has gone down an absolute storm, and I’m making good progress on AUTUMN: INFERNO. But the fact is, if I hadn’t had such a positive experience with PURIFICATION, I doubt the series would have made it past book three.
There’s a vast amount of information about the entire AUTUMN series over at www.lastoftheliving.net. AUTUMN: INFERNO updates incoming shortly.
I’ve disappeared from view again. As I’ve said many times before, this always happens when I’m writing. Right now I’m working hard on AUTUMN: INFERNO, the second book in the LONDON TRILOGY.
The reception readers have given to the first book, AUTUMN: DAWN, has been wonderful. I thought I’d break cover to share a great review from www.sfbook.com which you can find here.“Autumn – Dawn is impressive, offering a new perspective on the author’s past creation, resulting in strong, atmospheric and thoughtful horror.” Thank you to Ant for the very kind words.
I made a dumb mistake, and the next five people who order a signed book from www.infectedbooks.co.uk will benefit from it. I wanted to order in some copies of STRAIGHT TO YOU, but I clicked the wrong ISBN. So, instead of the beautiful 2014 edition shown below, I ended up with a number of copies of this abomination (click to reveal – I couldn’t bring myself to show the image here). This version of STRAIGHT TO YOU represents me at my most naive. I’d just started publishing independently, and I made just about every mistake imaginable with this book. I’ve written much about my disdain for the original version of my debut novel – this paperback represents the worst edition of the worst version of the book.
I don’t want these copies cluttering up my shelves, and I’m not going to just throw them away, so the next five people to place an order for a signed book from www.infectedbooks.co.uk, will also get a free lump of turd copy of the 2006 paperback edition of STRAIGHT TO YOU.
There’s some good stuff available from Infected Books right now – see the list below.
AUTUMN: DAWN limited edition hardcover (FINAL COPY!)
I think perhaps the main reason I love dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction is the way it strips away all the divisions of society and (generally) puts us all in the same boat. It doesn’t matter what your background or beliefs are, how smart or rich or loud or quiet or well-connected you might be, when the shit really hits the fan, we’ll all likely have as good (or as bad) a chance of survival as the person next to us.
This is something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to recently, not least because we’re in the middle (or possibly the tail end, or maybe still the opening act) of a global pandemic which has had a profound and long-lasting impact on the entire planet, even those who continue to claim it’s a hoax. Far more trivially, I’ve also been thinking about the same themes as I’ve been working on the new AUTUMN books. Book one, AUTUMN: DAWN, was very much a straight-forward survival horror story in the style of the previous books in the series. AUTUMN: INFERNO and AUTUMN: EXODUS, however, will be altogether different. It’s not so much about picking up the pieces after an apocalypse; more about seeing if there are any pieces left to be picked up.
I’ve been catching up with some post-apocalyptic reading, and the novel I’ve just finished – SURVIVORS by TERRY NATION – makes this point very effectively. Unfortunately, it also drives home my earlier assertion that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, in the event of a global catastrophe, we’re all equally fucked. Grim, eh?!
I’m sure many of you will have heard of SURVIVORS – the two BBC TV series, if not the novel. The story, first published in the 1970’s, deals with the aftermath of a global pandemic. A disease with a 95% mortality rate spreads around the world in a matter of days, and the book documents the struggles of some of the remaining 5%. It’s sobering stuff.
In the weeks following the release of a new novel, I usually like to give readers an indication as to what’s coming next. Now that AUTUMN: DAWN has been out for the best part of a month (and huge thanks to everyone who has picked up a copy), it’s time for a brief update.
Coming in July, AUTUMN: DAWN will be released as an audiobook, and also as a German language paperback and ebook. Also next month, THE LAST BIG THING will finally see a paperback release.
By the end of July I fully expect to be deep into the writing of AUTUMN: INFERNO – the second book in the London trilogy – so my updates here may be a little less frequent. Picking up just a short time after the explosive (literally) end of DAWN, the story will see the survivors of book one trying to stay alive in the face of constant attacks from a) an unprecedented number of dead bodies, and b) each other. If the wind’s blowing in the right direction, the book should hit the shelves late this year.
This past weekend Chris Philbrook, Mark Tufo and I completed our edits for the final book in THE BLEED series – ARMAGEDDON. I’ve loved writing this series with Chris and Mark, and I think the conclusion is the best part yet. It’ll be out on 21 September, and can be pre-ordered on Kindle and Audible. A paperback version will be released alongside the ebook and audio.
Reality after reality is being destroyed by THE BLEED. With their options narrowing by the second, and with their group scattered far and wide across the multiverse, it’s down to less than 10 people to try and save the lives of billions upon billions of others.
I’m also working on another novel, and have been for a couple of years now. It’s a psychological horror in which THE WORLD DOES NOT END. Imagine that, a Moody book without an apocalypse! More details when I have something I can share.
I’ve been trying to schedule a Facebook live event for some time, and I’m hoping to make this happen later in July. I’ll share details nearer the time, but if you have any questions you’d like to ask about me or my work, please get in touch.