I’ve been a fan of zombies for decades (yikes, I’m old), long before The Walking Dead made ’em cool. It all started when I was thoroughly freaked out by the original Night of the Living Dead.
I watched it with my friend, when I was maybe 13 years old. His family lived out in the middle of the forest. Way, way outside of Spokane, Washington. Their house didn’t even have electricity or running water (they did this by choice). At night we’d use kerosene lamps inside the house. Going out there to visit him was always an adventure.
Anyway, his parents were in town. So, we stayed the night at their friends house, a sweet old lady with 3 dogs.
Outside was dark, the only light came from the wood stove and the moon outside glistening on several feet of snow. Coyotes howled in the distance. No joke.
We found the VHS tape (Google it) on the lady’s shelf and decided we should watch it – Night of the Living Dead.
I was surprised that it was black and white and that it wasn’t gory. But it was spookier than when I watched Freddy Krueger present a talking head to a girl he was tormenting a few years prior to this. For some reason though, I was hooked.
Fast forward to January 2014, and I’m sitting here in my tiny apartment writing up my goals. One of them was to (finally) write a book. Its one of those things I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. In fact, in 2011, I seriously launched into writing a story I’d had in my head since college. About 7-months later, with not much to show for it I got stuck and stopped. At some point, I’ll write a post about that. It could be useful for other new writers to read.
Anyway, I embarked on a mission to write a story in 2014. To keep things simple, I decided to first tackle a short story. My initial goal was 10,000 words (roughly 40 pages).
Because after struggling for years to take an idea and craft it into a story, I needed to aim for something manageable. A full-length story was daunting, especially with the mental and skill-based roadblocks I kept running into. I stopped, took some time to pull back and learn more about the process. Now, I’ve dived back into it.
I’m very pleased to say that I have finally finished my first book!
What I ended up with was a story called DEAD ISLANDS, a zombie apocalypse story, that weighs in at 30,467 words (novella length, about 120 pages).
Earlier today (April 14, 2014), I emailed the story to an editor, which was very exciting. Yep, an actual professional will be helping me level up my story, tighten up the plot, polish the characters, and catch grammar and spelling mistakes.
What is DEAD ISLANDS?
A mysterious disease kills dozens.
Political tensions mount between old enemies.
A man must confront his past in the face of death.
Trapped on an island and surrounded by the undead, a small group struggles for survival.
Ben Chase and Ty Smith, friends and English teachers working in Korea, travel to Hawaii for an adventure. Paradise becomes hell, when the dead awaken and attack the living. Caught in crowded streets during a sporting event, Ben must confront his past and overcome his fears. Will the group find safety so they can plan their escape?
On April 21st, I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for my book. There will be some cool rewards including photo prints from locations in the book, art prints from Ryan Browne of ZombiePETZ, and even a chance to name a character.
I hope you will join me in making this happen.
To receive a launch notification and updates, register below.