He had just turned ten when the world ended. At first it was fun, because some of the teachers stopped showing up at school. The principal, tall and angry, kept stuffing the students into the gym to watch movies, promising each day that next would be normal. Instead, fewer and fewer of Tevy’s friends came to school, and one day neither did the principal.
Category archive: Apocalyptic Fiction
I’ve got a confession to make: book two of the 1000 Souls series is ready to go, but I’m not going to launch it just yet. I apologize to my fans, some who’ve been on my Facebook page gently urging me to hurry up. I know I’ve missed several deadlines, and I hate to make people who are eager to read my novel wait just a little bit longer. I’m as eager for them to read it as they are.
Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
Blogging requires commitment, and all the experts warn me that abandoning a blog for a month or more is the kiss of death. Stupid experts. Okay, maybe they’re right, but last month I had to decide how long I was going to make my fans wait for book two of the 1000 Souls series. I was overdue, buried with work, and the kids were getting out of school for the summer.
I could have written this post a week ago, but summer got in the way. I’ve finished book two of The 1000 Souls. Yes, I’m being cagey about the title until I have it published, but my fans already know.
Revisions are going well, and I hope to be able to turn it over to the editor in just a few days. He’s fast, so if all goes well we’re looking at a launch date of July 20th, 2012. Thanks to all those who have e-mailed asking when book two is coming out, and thanks for your patience. I know I’m three weeks late, but I think you’ll be happy with the results. I’m pumped.
As for summer? Kids out of school. Warm weekend in Muskoka at a friend’s cottage with many other kids. Swimming, water fights, capture the flag and even tubing. Scraped knees, racoons, a deer leaping through the forest, and a blown radiator less than seven kilometers from our second destination. Tow Truck. Car in shop. Swimming at a beach on a river. Running around with the cousins.
All in all, pretty damn exciting. I think the kids are having fun too.
I’ve got nothing against cheesecakes–honestly–but funny things happen when you do a KDP Select free day.
Some people just download everything they find that’s free every day. I have thought of them as compulsive collectors, but there is a method to the madness of acquiring everything. What if a book breaks out and becomes a bestseller? What if the price shoots to ten dollars? Our collector simply checks his or her Kindle and presto! They picked it up for nothing a year ago, and now that they know it’s good they can read for free. They’re building a library.
But that means that an author can find their novel associated with a book from a totally different genre on Amazon. In the case of Apocalypse Revolution, the best free day I had saw 1300 downloads in four hours. It just so happened that Amazing Cheesecakes was also free that day, and people were downloading it at the same time.
This meant that in the alternate product display underneath my novel, Amazon stated, “Customers who bought this also bought…” You guessed it: Amazing Cheesecakes.
Now it certainly seems like a great cookbook, but when I cook (which is pretty often) it usually involves fire–in my case the BBQ, even in winter. What can I say? The kids like burgers, sausages, boneless chicken, etc. Don’t worry, my wife makes some great pastas, so the kids will reach adulthood with unclogged arteries. But alas, baking is not my forte, and I’ve never been that interested in cooking.
But here’s the problem: while I think whipping up some cheesecake and sitting down to read about the apocalypse might be a nice way to spend the evening, some people might get to the middle of the novel and discover their appetites have been disturbed. I mean, all that red jam spilling down the side of their cheesecake might not look so appetizing after reading about the assault on St. Mike’s. Horror or horrors, an amazing cheesecake might go to waste.
Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeesica Tamturk, the AC author, was a little alarmed to discover that this association was reciprocal. On her Amazon page it said, “Customers who bought this also bought Apocalypse Revolution.” Not exactly a cookbook.
But those people at Amazon have written some smart algorithms. It only took a couple of weeks of purchases for Apocalypse Revolution to be associated with other apocalyptic novels, and for Amazing Cheesecakes to be associated with other cookbooks.
Although it’s kinda of funny: I liked being associated with Amazing Cheesecakes–and Phone Kitten. Oops, as of today Phone Kitten is still suggesting Apocalypse Revolution. Maybe our novels are more alike than I thought.
Johnny Depp has a knack for picking unusual and interesting films that don’t fit with the Pirates of the Caribbean box office smash, so when my kids wanted to watch Rango, I sat down with them, surprised that an animated Western even existed.
The Western, both as a film and novel genre, fell on hard times during the 1970s and 80s. The movie-going and reading public had begun to realize the Indians weren’t nameless and faceless “savages,” but rather that they were actually human beings who had, and still have, a legitimate grievance. The public lost interest in seeing John Wayne indiscriminately kill people who dared to oppose the US Cavalry or tried to stop the flood of settlers into the west. The audience began to feel guilty.
Westerns didn’t die, of course, but they centered more on outlaws, sort of the Mad Max movies set in the 1860s. Rango is definitely in the latter category. Thugs dominate a town while controlling its most limited resource–water. People are leaving, and everyone who stays behind owns a gun and knows how to use it. During a gun battle, creatures on both sides kill indiscriminately–yup, just like John Wayne in a 1940s Western.
That’s when it hit me. We’ve come full circle back to the Western. Now the stick-figure enemies are zombies/vampires, but this time our heroes can kill without remorse. The zombies are already dead and there are no land claims. The humans who need killing are vicious Mad Max-type bikers with no morals. They would be locked up if only there were any jails.
But it goes beyond just guiltless killing. It’s also the freedom that comes with being in a post-apocalyptic world, one where your credit card and mortgage are unimportant, but your next meal is always on your mind. I read a great blog by author Steven Montano on the appeal of the post-apocalyptic world. People actually enjoy the fantasy of waking up one morning to find out that they don’t have to go into work, that the boss is a zombie and their car payments can be skipped. Indeed, if you can drive, you can grab any car you want, preferably a big SUV. You don’t even have to worry about sustainable development anymore. Better yet, in every post-apocalyptic scenario, you are the one who survives and gets to wield the shotgun.
There was a time when I wondered if this genre would peak at the end of 2012 and dip after the Mayan Calendar reset and the world didn’t end. But now I believe that as long as the population density in major cities is on the rise, as long as consumer debt is high, as long as unemployment rates force people to stay in low-paying dead end jobs, there will be demand for post-apocalyptic fiction. That’s what Rango is: post-apocalyptic fiction set in the lawless West.