One year since Autumn: Dawn

Well, that went fast! It’s a year today since AUTUMN: DAWN hit the shelves. To say I’m thrilled with how the new AUTUMN books have been received is an understatement. I was worried how fans of the original series would take to the new trilogy but, by and large, you seem to have approved! THE LONDON TRILOGY is different in terms of scope and scale, but they retain the same gloom-filled atmosphere as the earlier novels. If you haven’t yet had chance to read them, please click the links to find out more. I can particularly recommend the audio versionsAUBREY PARSONS‘ excellent narration adds a whole new dimension to the story.

Now that both AUTUMN: DAWN and AUTUMN: INFERNO have been out for a while, I thought it was about time I provided an update on AUTUMN: EXODUS, the final book in the trilogy. To me, EXODUS feels like a hybrid of both series, combining the pace and attitude of DAWN and INFERNO with the quiet desolation of the original books. The writing process is progressing well and I’m hoping the book will be released in late November this year. As always, please keep an eye on this site for updates.

Until then, here’s a hint of the direction the story takes…

In the ashes of London, the survivors of the Great Fire wait to make their move. But even now, days after the inferno that consumed this once great city, the dead continue their relentless advance, hunting out the last of the living.

The survivors are going to have to risk everything to escape here, and then risk everything again as they attempt to reach Ledsey Cross, a fabled safe haven at the other end of the country. Every step they take will be fraught with danger. There will be no short cuts and no easy options. To have any chance of staying alive, the group will need to trek hundreds of miles through the harshest of winters, across a land ruled by the living dead.

Autumn: Exodus - coming from David Moody in November 2022

Read an eBook Week

I try and post about this initiative every year. Last year I wrote about how important eBooks were to me in the early days of my career (they still are today). When we’re talking about eBooks, the conversation often focuses on how convenient they are, usually culminating in a debate between those who’ll read in any format, and those who insist on print. There’s no right or wrong answer, and I still do everything I can to give my readers the choice of how you want to read (or listen) to my books.

But there’s another facet of eBooks that often goes unspoken, and that’s how accessible they are to authors. There must be thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of novels that have been released electronically over the last couple of decades which would otherwise have remained unread. It makes you wonder how many magnificent pieces of work have been lost over the years because they didn’t appeal to the right publisher, editor, or agent at the right time.

So that’s as good a reason as any to keep supporting READ AN EBOOK WEEK. For a couple of quid you could take a chance and download something from a new author. If you enjoy it, let them know. I can’t tell you how much that means to an author starting out. If folks hadn’t taken a chance on the free download of AUTUMN back in the day, and if those folks hadn’t got in touch with their feedback, then things could have turned out very different for me.

If you’re in need of inspiration, indie firm SMASHWORDS is a staunch supporter of READ AN EBOOK WEEK. They’ve got a huge sale on this week. All my Infected Books titles are heavily discounted (including AUTUMN: DAWN and AUTUMN: INFERNO), but why not spend some time browsing and take a chance on some new authors?

Autumn: Inferno cover reveal

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.

Not yet read the first part of THE LONDON TRILOGY? Here’s all the information you need to put that right…

AUTUMN: INFERNO

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.

 

Aubrey Parsons – AUTUMN audiobook narrator

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?

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Autumn: Purification – book birthday

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!

Autumn: Purification by David Moody (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011)

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.

Recommended reading – Survivors

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.

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Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

When I started work on the new AUTUMN trilogy, and particularly throughout the writing of the recently released AUTUMN: DAWN, I gorged on zombie movies. Nothing unusual in that, you might think, but given the fact I’ve been writing about the undead for a long time, I think I probably watch these films through a slightly different filter than most folks.

If you’ve read my comments on ARMY OF THE DEAD from last weekend, you’ll no doubt have picked up on the fact that I hated pretty much every second of it. In hindsight that may have been, in part, because the zombie movie I’d watched prior to ARMY had a very similar set up and premise, but was infinitely more enjoyable. That film was TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA. Crappy title – passable film.

I wrote about TRAIN TO BUSAN here in 2017, commenting that it was a ‘top quality action flick that just happened to feature zombies’. This second movie is not a sequel as such, but another standalone story set in the same world as TRAIN TO BUSAN, albeit four years later. Here’s the synopsis and trailer.

It’s four years since the outbreak of a zombie virus in South Korea. The infection has spread throughout the country and it has been sealed off from the rest of the world. On the promise of a better life, four Korean refugees in Hong Kong agree to sail through the blockade to the port of Incheon to recover $20 million US dollars sitting in the back of a truck.

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