TPOD tickles you to zomgasm & braingasm. #Book #deals at ThisPlagueOfDays.com to get a bonus ebook. #suspense #Top100 #horror
Did you pop in for the book bargains on This Plague of Days? Click here to go straight to those details.
Q & A #7: Five questions from readers answered
1. The last book of the series kind of freaked me out. What’s the message about life and death going on there?
RCC: Aside from all the scary beasties running around, I suppose one theme that emerges is:
Our Existence is brutal, but we have it in us to make the future great.
2. I thought the atheism was preachy in Book 1. By Book 3, you seem to move beyond that. What do you believe?
RCC: Really? Dad is an atheist and Mom is a Christian. When Jack talked about her faith, did you think that was preachy? I think the parents have discussions that come up naturally when you’re constantly facing mortality. Just like a story, in life, we all want to know what happens next, even after we die. Make that, especially after we die. I explore a lot of ideas in This Plague of Days. I leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions. I think I give all the ideas I explore a fair hearing.
What I believe doesn’t matter, anyway. It’s about what you think as you read. I’m happy to provide stimulation, but if I tell you what side I’m on, somebody will say I’m “preachy.” Instead, consider the last chapter again. There’s optimism, but there’s also a deep questioning of what forces were working against each other. Please, meet me halfway and decide for yourself.
3. When is your next zombie book?
RCC: After TPOD, I’m not sure what’s left for me to say about zombies, at least for a while. My mission is always to do something different and unexpected with all I write. That’s why I consider myself a suspense novelist first. I played with zombies and vampires in TPOD (sort of) but it wouldn’t be fresh if I dragged it out or did more in that world. Never say never, but…no more zombies for now. I do promise all my books will be shorter with a faster pace from here on out. TPOD took years.
4. What book is next?
RCC: I’m committed to three thrillers this year: the autobiographical crime novel, the time travel savant novel and the third instalment of the Hit Man Series. I have plenty of other books in various stages of writing, but I’ve settled on those three next. At least one or two before the end of summer, I hope.
RCC: #3, easily. Despite the weirdness and Jaimie’s unique point of view, I think Season One starts off in a place closer to what people expect in a disaster novel. I allow the crisis to unfold internationally and went deep into how slowly and how quickly civilization’s fall could occur. Many of the expected elements are there, despite the autistic twist and Jaimie Spencer’s other gifts.
#2, I like for the fast change in pace. People who appreciated the literary depth of Season One got a slap across the face with the evolution of the virus and of species. A few readers are uncomfortable with the paranormal turn Season Two takes, but I hope there’s enough going on and enough cool characters that they’ll hang in for the ride. A couple of reviewers have made the connection to Stephen King’s The Stand in a disparaging way. I can’t think of a higher compliment to my work.
Season Three gets crazy meta, metaphysical and a little psychedelic amid the carnage (and several beta readers said it could stand on its own as a book, with or without Seasons One and Two.) I love where things ended up because I always want to defy expectations. If anybody thought this was “just” a zombie novel, surprise! There’s enough action for lovers of Zompoc but jokes and brain tickles, too.
I love to tickle readers to zomgasm & braingasm.
~ The TPOD bargains continue and I’m back in Amazon’s Top 100 horror authors again. Word must be getting around. Thanks so much to everyone who spread the mind infection.
Want to help out? I’d appreciate it. Please tweet this:
The details about getting a free ebook from the TPOD OMNIBUS are below this post, here. Thanks so much for reading This Plague of Days.
I’ve just sent the new cover through to Amazon. Within hours, this will be the new look of This Plague of Days, The Omnibus Edition.
Thanks to Kit Foster of Kit Foster Design, I have a lovely cover! If you need a book cover (ebook or print), a new web banner, advertising…whatever your design needs, Kit is The One. Check out his portfolio at KitFosterDesign.com.
For details on This Plague of Days book bargains, read the post below this one.
The official launch of This Plague of Days, Season Three and the TPOD Omnibus is Father’s Day, but here you are so, scroll down see the clickable covers (linked to Amazon.com.) Have a look and pick up a book, but, before you go…
The big book launch deal
But there are more ways to save you cash below, and get an extra book!
If you haven’t read any of This Plague of Days or if you prefer to read it all in one huge ebook, you’ll save a couple of bucks with your purchase of the This Plague of Days, Omnibus Edition (which delivers all three seasons back to back to back.) So, you’ve got several options, all designed to save you some bucks and finally find out what happens to Jaimie, the Spencer family, the European refugees, Shiva, Misericordia and…well…all of us, actually. The end of the world gets weird and scary and…well, you see.
There’s a bonus offer, exclusive to those who purchase the TPOD Omnibus Edition: another free thriller!
A secret is buried in This Plague of Days, from Season One all the way to Season Three. That secret will finally be revealed. (Please, no spoilers in the reviews! Thanks!)
Here’s the kicker for you:
For those who purchase the Omnibus Edition, there’s a private link to a video. I chat a little about the journey, but I also have a question for you.
Answer that question in the comments thread of the video and I’ll send you my next thriller (coming this summer) for FREE, my gift to readers.
So, for six bucks, you’re actually going to get four books and save even more dough if you get the This Plague of Days Omnibus Edition.
I’m so grateful to TPOD readers for their support and enthusiasm for the saga. Sincerely, thank you for digging This Plague of Days. It’s been quite a ride and I’m very happy with how the finale has turned out. I think you’re going to like it, too. TPOD3 goes big and wide.
UPDATE: Since Season One is now just 99 cents for the entire thing (which includes all five episodes), the individual episodes for Season One are disappearing from the Amazon store. This is an effort to avoid people paying for each episodes when they can get all of Season One for one incredibly low price. Yep! 99 cents! Pick up the first book in the series here.
UPDATE: Thank you for your feedback so far. Here’s another cover to consider. This is #6:
It’s cover choosing time!
Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com has created the cover for Season 3 of This Plague of Days and it is wonderful. I have no doubt you’ll be impressed. I’ll leave that awesome reveal for later. It’s different from the other covers, but, given where Season 3 takes us, that’s appropriate. It gets weird. I’m aiming for Strangest Zombie Apocalypse Series Ever Award. It’s given out by the Nobel committee each year, but the competition is stiff and those nerdy Nobel chemists grab all the glory.
Season 3 is due out on Father’s Day.
You can pick up Seasons One and Two through the affiliate link at AllThatChazz.com if you’re so inclined (and if you like autistic heroes trying to save the world from several kinds of monsters, including humans.) There are a couple of sneak peeks below this post, too, if you’re looking for more of a taste.
About that prize for a random assist: the compendium of Seasons 1, 2 and the finale in 3 will launch on Father’s Day, too.
In addition, I’m taking care of the cover for the Plague of Days compendium myself. About that, I have many doubts. Which cover do you prefer?
Please let me know which one you like best in the comments, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5? A combination of several elements? None?
Thanks for helping me out with these heavy decisions as the big day approaches! And by “big day” I’m referring, of course, to the release of the pandemic flu virus that will kill most of us, turn a bunch more into zombies and…well…it gets worse as the virus mutates. Have a great day!
Kelly Dickson had been a mother, wife and elementary school teacher at the Brooklyn School for the Blind. Before X, Z and A — three deadly strains of the Sutr virus — pulled the world down the path toward the new Dark Ages, Kelly lived in New York all her life. She named her dog (a tall, affectionate boxer) Batman. She faced the darkness with a smile, confident she could find the way.
As the summer turned to autumn and Sutr’s first stirrings were still a vague, foreign problem mentioned at the bottom of newscasts, Kelly shook as she asked her husband to check the electronic test kit for her. Kelly was nervous about having a child. The sensor read: blue.
Kelly didn’t know what blue meant. She didn’t know what the color blue looked like, either.
“It means we’re pregnant,” Brad said.
“One of us is more pregnant than you,” Kelly said. It was true the baby was an accident, but one of the happy kinds.
“It’ll be okay. It’ll be better than okay. We’ll make it good. Maybe even great.”
“I’m scared, but I think we’ll just have to settle for perfect,” she said.
“We’re too ambitious not to try, right?”
“Yes, that’s true.” She kissed him.
Her husband, Bradley Dickson, was an engineer for Dell. Brad had been buried under high aspirations and heavy work long before the baby. As the baby grew within Kelly, the world changed behind the Dicksons. It was as if they stood with their backs to a movie screen, oblivious as the plagues built in strength. They fixated on a bright future instead. They talked of someday grandchildren. They could only see each other.
When the baby came, Kelly gave birth at home. The hospitals weren’t considered safe for childbirth by then. A neighbor woman helped Brad deliver the child, a little girl the Dicksons named Susan. After the baby was born, Brad took up any slack. He helped with the baby without a grumble, rising above Kelly’s expectations in every way.
Then the first wave of the Sutr-X virus hit New York deeper and harder. Quarantines and looting began. Brad’s abilities shone even brighter. He was strong. He knew guns. When the looters came to steal from the Dicksons, he drove the gang away with a bullet between the eyes of the first thief who made it through their barricaded door.
“Count the days,” Brad said. “On the other side of this thing, we’ll say we spent 100, or maybe 200 days, in hell. Then everything will get back to okay and someday we’ll bore our grandchildren with stories about the big, bad flu. Someday, all this will feel as remote as the trials and horrors of pioneer days. I swear.”
Brad told Kelly that he’d thrown the looter’s corpse in the street as a warning to anyone else who would threaten his family. His voice was steady and calm and so matter-of-fact, he scared her a little. Later, she heard him crying in the night as he rocked the baby.
It was the first time she’d ever heard Brad cry. When he did that, she was filled with confidence that the plague hadn’t driven him mad. Despite throwing a corpse into Nostrand Avenue, her husband was still one of the good guys. Kelly was so sure then that they’d make it through the Sutr pandemic.
Then the baby began coughing. The Sutr Flu took tiny Susan Dickson on a Thursday night as a rainstorm poured and pounded.
Brad withdrew and stayed in the nursery with the baby. He wouldn’t come out and Kelly couldn’t force herself to come in. The smell of baby powder, the softness of Susan’s flannel sheets and the small, too-quiet room set off more crying jags. Kelly stayed in her bed.
Kelly knew she could stop counting the days now. The calendar would never matter again. There would be no first steps or first day at school or someday grandchildren. With the baby dead and gone (gone where?), no matter how soft and warm the weather, every day would feel like the rainy Thursday night Susan died.
Kelly slept and hoped it was all really nightmare born of maternal fears compounded by a failing world. Her baby’s cry did not wake her. A full day had passed. When she went to the door, she could hear the rocker’s creak on the old hardwood floor. Brad still held Susan, rocking gently and muttering to the child, but the baby would never awake.
“There are flowers called baby’s breath,” Kelly told Brad from the nursery door. “Until now, I never thought how morbid that sounds. Something that dies right after you get it shouldn’t be called baby’s breath.”
“It’s time,” he said. “We can’t keep her here any longer.”
That was all Brad said. When Susan died, it was as if the baby had taken part of Brad with her, leaving Kelly and her guide dog alone with the ghost of what might have been.
* * *
Kelly and Brad made their way to the nearest church to bury Susan.
Even as he dug their daughter’s tiny grave, between Kelly’s sobs and moans, Brad began a gravelly cough that would not ease. With the exertion of digging, his hacking coughs came thicker and faster. “Kell…I’m sorry. I think I’m gonna have to dig a bigger hole.”
“You are leaving me alone.”
“Just…” Brad broke into another coughing fit. “I thought I could fight it, Kell. I really did. I’ve had the fever for a few days. I didn’t want to tell you.”
“You’ve been hiding it from me.”
“I’m afraid…when I went out to find food…I’m afraid I brought it back with me. Sutr got me, but I killed Susan.” He wept, then spit something out. Then Kelly listened as Brad threw up and wretched.
“Give me the shovel,” she said. “I can dig.”
“I’ll hold her,” Brad said. “When it’s bedtime, could you please tuck us in together? I’ll keep her safe. Susan and I will hide under the covers.”
Batman whined, snuffled and nuzzled Kelly’s hand, looking for reassurance. Maybe the guide dog somehow sensed the horrors still on the way. Kelly had no reassurance to offer. She wept as she dug.
Brad coughed a long time, each breath wheezing into the next, shorter and shallower as the day cooled to night.
Heedless of nightfall, Kelly knew darkness. She kept digging, making comfortable room for two.
Brad struggled to breathe and spat thick liquid obstructions into the growing pile of dirt beside him. His fever spiked into hallucinations and Brad began to talk to his dead baby about fields bathed in sunshine.
“Do you see that, Susie?” Brad asked, his thoughts floating in at a languid pace. “Elysium fields…white circles in the sky…bullshit harps and wings of false promises…the end of trying. Susie, I don’t wanna try no more…I’m tired, baby. I’m really…really…bone tired.”
And Brad stopped trying. His arms went slack and he almost dropped the baby. He lay down and covered Susan in loose dirt until only her cherubic face was exposed to the world.
Later, Brad stopped breathing.
Kelly was angry when she’d found what he’d done with the baby. She wept and wailed as she pushed him into the open grave.
When she was ready to say goodbye to them both, she placed the baby carefully in her husband’s arms for the last time. She picked up the shovel and tucked Brad and Susan in for their longest night.
~ The finale to the Plague of Days trilogy launches on Father’s Day. On June 15, This Plague of Days, The Complete Three Seasons by Robert Chazz Chute will also be released. The future is sweet and terrible and thought-provoking and filled with the infected (of several varieties.)
CLICK THE PICTURE FOR MY LITTLE SLIDESHOW OF DOOM.
Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app
Someone asked, “Do you really believe we’re headed for an apocalypse?”
Dude! The apocalypse is already here!
Sci-fi writer William Gibson said the future arrives at different speeds. Same is true of the end that could throw us backward a hundred years.
I look around and I see the power of antibiotics fading as the bugs come back stronger. There’s an excellent chance we won’t be able to have the surgeries we have now because our antibiotics will no longer work. Do you want to go back to pre-1928 medicine? Of course, not. Nobody wants to die of a sore throat, a bladder infection or appendicitis. But that is our present course.
I see fracking causing earthquakes and flammable water in kitchen sinks.
I see perma-war.
Most disturbing, I see an unwillingness to change, anti-science and anti-intellectualism.
Worst? I see a lack of compassion.
Citizens are in big trouble on Spaceship Earth and a lot of people, speaking from fear and ignorance, seem determined to be dicks about it.
One reviewer of This Plague of Days asked, “Why does everyone have to act like assholes in the apocalypse?”
I answer that reviewer directly in Season Three, but look around. The answer is obvious. People don’t think we’re in an apocalypse now (if they aren’t from Detroit or along the Mexican border or in Uganda.) But there already assholes everywhere. Panic and pressure brings out the nastiness stronger. It’s a scary world and people can be monsters. I didn’t invent it. I reflect it. You need look no further than the instincts of your average Internet troll.
But pressure makes diamonds, too.
Heroes can emerge. Will they? I don’t know. Are you willing to be a hero? An apocalypse — to nature, to people and to human dignity — is everywhere.
If you’re waiting for the siren call to action, it’s already howling. If we wait for the actual civil defense sirens to crank up?
~ I am Robert Chazz Chute. I write suspense fiction. The scariest stuff I write doesn’t feel like fiction. (But you can hang out for the jokes, too.) If you’re looking for thought provocation along with action amid monstrous destruction and desolation, have a look at This Plague of Days, Season One. The whole first season is on sale for only a buck on Amazon.
To get the This Plague of Days trilogy all at once for an awesome binge-read this summer, read This Plague of Days Omnibus Edition and find the secret video link to get another free thriller.
Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on the interim cover for This Plague of Days, The Complete Series. I considered everyone’s opinion. Most people liked #4 so I went with that. Then I considered what everyone had to say again and went through with my tweaks to the cover.
Here’s what that looks like:
About the TPOD Season 1, 2, 3 paperbacks…
The paperbacks are getting reformatted now and Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com is doing new covers for the second editions of the books. I had some production problems with the ebook and paperback text. Typos that snuck in because of a file management issue have been corrected in the ebooks. The paperbacks are not available until they’re formatted and Kit has new covers. Everybody loves all Kit’s covers already, of course, but the man is an artist and a perfectionist. The new covers will have a matte finish and beyond that, all I know is Kit says they will be “sexier.” How different will that be? I don’t know. I let Kit do his thing! Don’t stand in the way of genius.
About the possibility of the Omnibus in hardcover or print…
Hey, if you’re into it, cool, but don’t get too excited about having the Omnibus Edition in print yet. At well over 1,000 pages, it would be very expensive to produce and would only be for collectors and the diehards, really. I’ve considered doing a Kickstarter for that project, but that’s off in the future, possibly after the movie deal is finalized.
The ebook of the Omnibus will be very affordable by comparison. Times are pretty tough to be charging people what a huge book would cost.
It sure does look great picturing it as a book in 3D, though, doesn’t it? It’s three TPOD Seasons put together, of course, so the real thing would be a King-sized brick, about the size of The Stand. (Hope you enjoy the Stephen King homage and the joke about The Stand cult in Season 3, too.)
Here’s a closer look:
I’ve asked Kit to do what will be the final, long-term cover. (So, hey, if you hate the cover, you shall be appeased.)
Also, I’ll have news for everyone subscribed to ThisPlagueOfDays.com soon about TPOD Season 3. Membership has its privileges.
And finally, the winner picked at random has a connection to the book! Her first name was the inspiration for Dr. Keres AKA Shiva! Congratulations and the TPOD Omnibus Edition go to author and former guest on the Cool People Podcast, Ava Easterby!
Thanks again and meet you soon in the Mindfield, everybody! Much love!
In the last of the old days, while the virus still incubated small and soft, we went about our lives. We went to work. We bought and sold and ate and slept. Distracted by the little things, we somehow forgot big dreams.
We wished we lived where we vacationed, but we did not move. We acted like our time was not finite. We fell in and out of love, heedless of the larger dramas at the edges of vision.
Before the pandemic wound around the Earth and began to squeeze, we did not connect cause and consequence. We were actors on the stage of our imaginations, improvising our lines, unaware the theater was on fire.
Those who did not believe in higher powers? They still believed in the illusion of tomorrow. We all thought the future would somehow be better, or at least no worse. We were blind to Entropy’s rising storm.
Nature’s hammer blows were theoretical for most of us then. We did not believe in death until the hurricane made landfall. Until that nice receptionist from the doctor’s office called about a surprise, and very urgent, follow-up appointment, the threats were not personal. Danger was for other people.
We didn’t know complacency was slavery. We were fairly happy in our blindness, but we didn’t even appreciate that.
The Sutr plagues made us honest. We began to talk about suffering and loss and what we believed. Disease taught us compassion. Fear reminded us we were still animals, part of the food chain. We learned we are all, without exception, Time’s target.
These are the lessons of the pandemic. This is your plague of days.
~ This Plague of Days 3 launches on Father’s Day, as does This Plague of Days, The Complete Series.
In case you’ve been wondering, no, I haven’t forgotten about you.
As I write this, Kid #1′s sleepover party is wrapping up. Kid #2 is sleeping off an all-night relay for a charity against cancer. (Isn’t it strange that when you ask what the charity is for, often people say they’re running “for cancer”? Call me crazy, but I support charities against cancer.) Oh yeah, and This Plague of Days 3 (the grand finale) and TPOD The Complete Series is coming out in about a week. I’ve spent years with these characters, so it’s something of a big deal. Everybody loves Jaimie, but my personal favorite is Desi Walsh. I hear his Irish lilt in my head when I write him.
I’m finishing up some tweaks to TPOD2. Some typos snuck in with a production problem so we’re reformatting the paperbacks and reloading everything. In the coming week I’m going through the last of the beta suggestions for final tweaks. The only thing that might be a snag is my graphic designer has been sick so we don’t have a finalized cover yet. I’ll talk to him tomorrow and let you know if there will be any delays. However, I’m optimistic we’ll go on time. Kit, of KitFosterDesign.com, is the best, but alas, he’s human and I wish my great friend a quick recovery (from illness, not from being human.)
It’s been a lot of long days and sleepless nights and I’m not complaining. I’ll be very interested to see how readers respond to the finale. The beta readers who got a sneak peek are happy.
The secret I’ve frequently alluded to will soon be revealed.
In your reviews, please no spoilers for those who don’t read as fast as you do. Thanks! The story started off a little slow in Season One but builds and builds to a fast pace through Season 2. And things get weird. Very weird.
What’s next for Ex Parte Press?
TPOD took years to write through its various stages. The next book is an odd thriller and it could release as early as the end of July or early August. Why? Because publishing each book is stressful and I suffer a touch of postpartum depression with each book. I wrote a fast-paced thriller in about four weeks, just to clear out the cobwebs. If you’re a fan of my crime novel Bigger Than Jesus, you’ll love the next one. More on that later this month. For now, all the focus is on This Plague of Days.
In TPOD3, sorry about what I did in Wilmington, Vermont. Apologies about killing off the characters you loved. And all the tricks and smoke and mirrors?
Nope. I don’t apologize for that at all. See you in a week with the grand announcement. Barring sickness and the unforeseen, we’re still aiming for the launch to proceed on Father’s Day, June 15, as I add to my list of children.