So, tomorrow is my first ever book signing. Now, I'm no Stephen King...Max Brooks...or Mark Tufo. I'm just a guy who has clawed his way to the middle and finally done well enough that he could devote his life to a dream. Tomorrow at noon I will be having my first book signing at noon PST for Zomblog: Snoe. I don't think I have ever gone into something with such a bad case of the nerves. My dream last night, not even the bookstore staff showed up to work! Tune in Monday to find out how it went. For now...here are a few words about the book (available on Halloween!)
It has been a crazy road when I look over my shoulder at the Zomblog series. Considering that the very first book was never intended to be published, I would have to say that I have very little to complain about. For those who didn’t know, I actually began work on Zomblog as a daily writing exercise that was supposed to get me warmed up for writing my first real zombie novel—Dead: The Ugly Beginning. When a small publisher found it (as an actual blog), I was asked if I had considered publication. Long story short, a last minute email with a “deal change” that meant less money for me and more for the publisher brought the whole thing to a screeching halt. That year, my wife Denise presented me with the physical copy of Zomblog.
As time went on, due to the ledge that I left readers on with Zomblog, I wrote a second book, creatively titled Zomblog II. Since trilogies are fairly common, I eventually penned Zomblog: The Final Entry. In my heart and head, I was satisfied with the series and prepared to put it to rest. Some of my readers were not exactly happy with that decision. I’ve always claimed that I am in this for the readers and see them almost as my boss. After a few very adamant “requests” from some very dedicated readers, I agreed to return to the Zomblog universe. The question I had for myself was this: What the heck are you going to do now?
Fans of the series know (and many asked) about Sam and Meredith’s daughter. So it seemed logical that Snoe be the central figure for the new book. To that end, I had to put the world on fast forward and then introduce the readers to a world almost twenty years after the first zombie got up and took a bite out of some poor unfortunate individual. Snoe grew up in a world where zombies are a way of life.
The biggest challenge was getting inside the mind of an eighteen-year-old girl; being a forty-seven-year-old man…that was quite a task. I had to go back to all of those excellent History Channel shows, Life After People, to get my brain around how the landscape would be changed. Also, I wanted this to be something different. I did not want it to be “just another zombie story.” Also, I had to take into account that some folks may pick this book up without having read any of the others in the series. I had to balance giving new readers a good story with rewarding the fans of Zomblog. One thing I have learned when it comes to a world that you create…your readers know it far better than you ever will.
I guess if you take anything away from this before you set off on your little adventure with Snoe, it is that this is NOT a “zombie” book. Yes, there are a few zombie appearances, but after twenty years, they really have been managed as far as being a threat. I don’t delve into biology, so just assume that whatever freakish event (like those giant rat-type animals discovered in Indonesia back when I wrote the original Zomblog) that has turned people to zombies is also keeping them from all turning into decomposed piles of goo. What I want to do over this three book story arc (and them I am OFFICIALLY done with Zomblog) is delve into the people. What makes us tick?
I’m no shrink, but I have studied people. I catch some flack about how negative I can sometimes portray humanity. The thing is, if something like this were to happen, it would devastate our infrastructure. First responders would be decimated and hospitals would be a nightmare. Those who are always the first to offer help would also be the first to fall. What would that leave? Cowards? Those people who tend to look the other way? The bad guys? Would some decent folks survive? Sure…but just pick up your paper or watch the evening news if you don’t think there is some legitimate evil right in your own back yard. People out for themselves would outnumber the rest. And with nobody to enforce the rules…have you ever been in a citywide blackout? How about watching some footage of the Los Angeles riots? How much worse would it get if ALL law and order were wiped out? These are the things I considered when I sat down to write Zomblog: Snoe.
Above anything else, I hope I entertain you. When it all comes down to the bottom line…a story should entertain. If I accomplished that one task, then I have succeeded in my ultimate goal. I don’t have any lofty ideals that I am trying to push…I am not into being symbolic or trying to make some grand statement. When I sit down to write, I have one goal: entertain you.
Now for today's Coffin Hop entry...what will you find in stall #102? (And yes...you can enter each day if you like!)