The first two collected volumes of Dead Souls are now available from Amazon!
Because of the huge size of the Dead Souls serial, I’m dividing it up into 13-part chunks. There are two reasons for this: first, because that’s how I plot out the story, and second, because if the collected volumes were any larger, I wouldn’t be able to put out paperback versions. As it is, they’re coming in at around 800 pages each, which is just shy of the maximum page-count offered by Createspace.
Dead Souls is designed as a kind of ongoing paranormal romance / horror serial. I currently have the first 65 parts mapped out, but I hope to keep it going longer than that. I know that a lot of readers are wary of authors who cut up books into smaller chunks to make money, but I want to make it clear that that’s not what I’m doing with Dead Souls at all. This is an ongoing serial, with real cliffhangers each week, and I’m writing it because I grew up loving TV soap operas like Eastenders, Coronation Street, Neighbours and (from the USA) Days of Our Lives.
Yes, I know it’s a bit odd for a Brit to like Days of Our Lives, but it’s true! I’ve always had a soft spot for E.J. and Sami, as well as the version of Shawn who was in it up until around 2005 / 2006. So yeah, I could go on and on, but I love ongoing stories and I’ve always wanted to write one. I’d been planning Dead Souls for a while, and then when Kindle Unlimited launched with its unlimited subscription offer, I realized the time was right!
Ward Z: Revelation is out today from Amazon! As the title suggests, this is a sequel to Ward Z, which came out back in 2013.
Having said that this is a sequel, however, I should point out that for the most part Ward Z: Revelation contains completely new characters. Only one character from the original Ward Z shows up in the new book, although the storyline is definitely rooted in the original and the focus is once again on the cancer mutants. And the original hospital is quite important still…
When I wrote Ward Z, I had no real plans to write a sequel, but the idea kind of snuck up on me. It’s quite different in tone, but I hope you’ll like it. And if you do, then hopefully you’ll be pleased to learn that a third book is on the way later in the year! Ward Z: Apocalypse will finish up this loose trilogy.
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Now that the first three books are out, I should mention the new 13 Nights of Horror series. This is a series of unconnected horror novellas, ranging in length from around 20,000 to 40,000 words, designed to offer shorter, sharper scares than my longer books.
The first book in the series is The Writer, about a woman who turns to her neighbor for help when she sees the ghosts of her dead husband and daughter. The second book is The Disappearance of Rose Hillard, in which a dead girl seemingly returns to ensure that the truth about her murder is revealed. The third book is The Fan, about a trouble music star. The next book in the series, Mary, will be out soon.
There will probably be thirteen books in the series, although I’m not totally closed to the idea of extending it somehow. Also, one or two of the later books might be short sequels to some of my earlier titles, but I’m not saying which ones yet…
Just a quick update to say that Graver Girl (Grave Girl 2) is coming very soon, almost certainly within the next week. The delay has been due to two things. First, a need to change the ending, which now sets up the third book in the series; and second, some changes to Dead Souls as that serial moves past its original thirteen-part run.
After part 13 of Dead Souls, there will be a short break, just a week or two. This is partly to exploit the big cliffhanger, and partly to facilitate a small change to the way future installments are released. Starting with part 14, there will be pre-orders, which means each new part will be available to pre-order at least a week before its actual release date. Dead Souls has always been a bit of an experiment, so little things are changing all the time.
There’ll also be a Dead Souls omnibus at the end of October, containing parts 1 to 13. I’m putting the file together now, and it’s coming out at roughly 900 pages. I have to cut some of the back-matter, though, because 900 is slightly above the maximum limit allowed by Createspace for the paperback edition. Speaking of which, paperbacks of Asylum and other books are still in the pipeline, I hope to have more news soon!
First, a quick update to say that Graver Girl (Grave Girl 2) is still on the way. It’s taking longer than planned, because I wanted to rewrite the ending. Also, the second Ophelia novel is almost ready, so more news on that soon.
Second, Amazon has now expanded the pre-order option, so I’ll be able to put up pages for books with pre-order buttons ahead of their release. I’m not quite sure how the logistics will work, but I’m planning to give it a try with some upcoming books.
Starting today, the first three parts of Dead Souls are available from Amazon. Dead Souls is a new ongoing horror / paranormal serial set on a remote island, focusing on the return of the mysterious Edgar Le Compte and his impact on the local inhabitants.
Dead Souls isn’t a novel cut up into smaller chunks. It’s plotted and written as a serial, so each part has a cliffhanger and it’s designed to be read as a weekly series of 20,000-word novellas. A new part will be released every Monday, and the usual price will be 99 cents. Each part will get a few free days shortly after release. And they’ll also all be part of Kindle Unlimited.
There will be a total of 26 parts, so by the time it’s finished, Dead Souls
will run to around 2,000 pages and half a million words. There’ll be an omnibus edition at some point when it’s finished.
I figure this is the perfect time to try this kind of serial fiction, which I’ve been thinking about for a while. When I was a teenager, I even hand-wrote story ideas for a (non-horror) soap opera I came up with, and I ended up with twenty years’ worth of episodes planned out. The notes filled six big ring-binders. I wish I still had them, but one day I threw them out! Um, yes, I guess that sounds a bit weird, but at least I had a hobby!
So this is like the way that Dark Season was originally released, except that this time it’s a much longer project! I’ve got the whole series mapped out, although reader feedback could affect some of the plot elements if people feel strongly about anything. The main story, however, is about Edgar and Kate’s relationship, and I know exactly how that develops and where they’ll be (or not be!) when the whole serial ends.
Hugo: The Lockton Downs Haunting is out now from Amazon. It’s a novella (about 56 pages) about a haunted house, and it’s all told from the point of view of the family dog. Yes, you read that right. A dog tells the story. The usual price is 99 cents, but right now it’s free for a few days, so now’s the perfect time to download it.
I got the idea from watching a couple of horror movies a few months ago and realizing that in both cases there was a dog that was with the families when they moved in. It’s quite common for dogs to be shown reacting to weirdness in a house before the rest of the family notices, so I figured it’d be fun to take a traditional side character and make him the focus. The fact that this character happens to be a dog turned out not to be an insurmountable barrier.
The original schedule for the end of this month has changed a bit. Graver Girl (Grave Girl 2) will now be out in August, after a paranormal horror novel titled The Girl Clay. More about that later. Also coming soon are The Dead City (Ophelia 2) and the third Joanna Mason novel.