Just got the 51st review of TPOD Season One and the 14th review of Season Two!
Now I’ll now type something that you see in print sometimes but you never hear it in person: “Huzzah!” (Well, maybe Mr. Burns, once.)
One of the fun things in happy reviews is the number of readers anxious to find out what happens in Season Three. Me, too! However, today was a low energy day. I get these sometimes. Too much gluten, not enough sleep, mood swings and headaches and the rising urge to strangle people with sheep guts.
We all have those murder by haggis days, right? I slept. I puttered. I met She Who Must Be Obeyed for lunch to review our strategies for taking down the Establishment. Then…
I wrote the broad strokes of the end of Season 3 today!
808 words, so far. It’s the final scene. I had general ideas about what it would look like. I knew what would happen to Shiva, Adam Wiggins AKA Misericordia, Jaimie Spencer and his family. I’m about 35,000 words into the beginning and this scene gives me a place to navigate toward.
No spoilers, but I’ll say this: The climax is heroic and unexpected and operatic. Questions are answered and answers are questioned. It leaves on a note that’s equal parts hope and despair, victory and defeat. At the last word, the reader will be called upon to make a decision for themselves.
I’m very happy with who survives. I’m less happy about who does not. I tell lies to tell the truth, but I promise, I’ll stick to the honesty in the subtext. I’m tracking the story and I’ll follow where it leads and I will not allow anyone to finish this book with a dry eye. You may even be inspired.
That’s a lot of smack I’m talking for a zombie book, so I better write a book worthy of Jaimie, which also lives up to my aspirations.
Since there’s lots of daylight left, maybe I can salvage this day and make it more productive. I have to attend to a suicide in Queens. A young man named Romeo Basilon is in big, Shakespearian trouble. But don’t worry about him too much. He’s in another book I’m working on right now.
I should also mention that if you’re into dark, prose poetry with a cynical flair, you could try this short read. It’s 99 cents. It’s weird, but there’s some fun to be had in there.
Leave a comment | tags: Adam Wiggins AKA Misericordia, amazon, book, book reviews, dystopian, ebook, horror, Jaimie Spencer, post-apocayptic, reading, robert chazz chute, Romeo Basilon, serial, supernatural, This Plague of Days, vampires, zombies | posted in the book, the serial, This Plague of Days
Wow. That was timely.
Somebody asked when they can get a print copy of This Plague of Days
and someone else asked how I manage my schedule.
The short answer is, I hope to have Season One and Season Two ready by mid-November. It might take longer after what I went through tonight.
The long answer
I was just whining on Facebook that it took me four hours to reformat Season One for a 6 x 9″ paperback. (At 300+ pages, it’ll be thick.) I say reformat because I farmed out the job to someone and it looks like they didn’t look at it twice after they ran it through whatever ringer they put it through. (Disappointing because they did a great job on another book they formatted for me.)
There are other variables with the print delivery, like finding a local printer for selling straight to readers. Amazon’s Createspace can be slow to get books to me (though this week they delivered faster than ever.) I also have to fit into my good friend Kit’s schedule. Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com does my covers and I’ll need to get a new (back) cover for the print editions.
Getting interior book design right in paper can be surprisingly tough, even with awesome tech. Tonight I stripped out the deep indents and extra tabs and deleted blank pages between chapters. Then I had to redo all the numbers in the Table of Contents. I would rather have used those four hours to work on two new books I’ve got planned.
Time management is a constant challenge.
To master my use of time, I track time and word counts with my calendar and I even use the stopwatch on my computer. I drink smoothies because it’s healthier, but also faster, with less clean up. When I exercise, I go for fast and intense so I’m not losing time in the gym that could be productive otherwise.
I’m ruthless and committed so I get the time to do all the things I need to do to get stuff done. Some people like socializing and the great outdoors. I can sit at my desk for many hours without ever getting bored and I’m afraid to go outside. I frequently skip sleep so I can pound my head against the brick wall to get everything done. I did have a nap this afternoon, but I dreamt lucidly and came up with three battle scenes for Season Three. That’s good because skipped sleep isn’t a good idea. However, when the demon ideas bombard me as I suffer insomnia, it’s not really a choice but I may as well go with it and get something out of it.
This month I have to:
Launch another website and information materials for a new business; prep for that launch while writing and revising two books; revamp another book and plan promotions. I must move into a new office, buy a printer, office furniture, supplies, surveillance cameras, new finance hardware, new software and put together a new mailing campaign for the new biz.
Sadly, I probably need to learn how to format the print books myself or find someone else to do it.
One of the big keys to turn the lock on getting stuff done is to do first what needs to be done most. Therefore, I try to get into writing as early in the day as possible. Also, choose to do things that have a solid ship date. I have a huge writing project and a much smaller, easier writing project. I’ll get the smaller one off the table first.
This strategy not only maintains my will to live, it makes me look more productive because more stuff is flying out the the door faster. When I choose my project, I focus on the one I can complete within the shorter time frame first. Otherwise, I’d be juggling several projects but never bringing anything in for a landing.
Tonight’s unexpected reformatting fiasco sure didn’t fit with the plan I had for today. Sometimes, the time management thing just doesn’t work. Man plans. God giggles.
2 Comments | tags: amazon, Amazon.com, author, book, business, dystopian, ebook, fiction, horror, horror serial, post-apocalyptic, reading, robert chazz chute, Table of Contents, This Plague of Days, Time, Time management, vampires, zombie, zombies | posted in the book, the serial, This Plague of Days
The first This Plague of Days t-shirt! Creepy, huh?
I’m feeling a bit bad for my beta readers. They slog through my typos and make their suggestions, but it feels like it’s the final polish where things really come together. Unless they go through the book again, they’ll miss some of the little surprises and tweaks that enter at very late stages in the process. I’ve received some nice feedback from advanced reading copies and I’m grateful to the team at Ex Parte Press. The truth is, if I didn’t set a deadline to get the new book out there (October 1!) I’d fiddle with it forever. Past a certain point, polishing becomes procrastination.
Still the lure of playing with scenes and rhymes and words is strong.
Like Jaimie, I fall into dictionaries and share his fascination with collective nouns. Who decided on a murder of crows? A tower of giraffes? A bubble of goldfish? There are three collective nouns for wasps alone! Jaimie’s word addiction is woven into the story, so of course I had to include all three for wasps (i.e. nest, pail, pladge.) You can look up that last one on the web, but Google will insist you’re asking about the word “pledge”.
Yesterday, I became so entranced with the word “pandemonium” I wrote a new paragraph for Jaimie’s analysis. I posted it on Facebook so I could get that instant approval I crave so much. That need is rather pathetic and possibly pathological, but it’s one of the main reasons I do what I do. (Be my friend of Facebook here and you’ll see it in the timeline on September 20.)
More good news
I rarely have good news. Sunny optimism is not me. However, today I engaged two strangers in conversation and told them to have a beautiful day, despite the thunderstorms and local flooding.
This Plague of Days, Season One roared up three Top 100 lists (Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic on kindle and higher in Dystopian books.) I don’t even understand that last one because it’s not available in paperback yet.
Even better, TPOD hit #9 across all of Amazon yesterday.
This was a huge milestone for me. I’d hit #1 on free sub-lists before, but this was my catapult moment, even if it spiked to #9 for only an hour. I couldn’t believe it. I got misty. I’ve dreamed of this many people reading my books as long as I can remember! The giveaway was a great success! Extra thank yous to the three new reviewers who ate up Season One as soon as they got it. As my British friends would say, “I’m chuffed!”
Thank you so much to everyone who helped, clicked, read and reviewed.
Special thanks to She Who Must Be Obeyed and my awesome cover designer, Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com. Plus, horror author of Dying Days and cool guy Armand Rosamilia provided a new cover blurb for Season 2!
And now, I should get back to the polish.
Have a beautiful day! This is my best day in years.
FYI: That T-shirt design will undoubtedly make the cut for giveaways, promotions and sales. Just focussing on giving Season 2 at the moment. Lots more TPOD action coming your way soon.
6 Comments | tags: amazon, beta readers, Collective noun, collective nouns, dystopian, ebook, Facebook, Google, horror, murder of crows, Plague of Days, post-apocalyptic, publishing, readers, reading, reading copies, robert chazz chute, serial, writer, writing | posted in the book, the serial, This Plague of Days
Season Two hits in two weeks. Click the cover to go grab Season One.
Cover by Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com.
Leave a comment | tags: book launch, cover art, dystopian, ebook, Kit Foster, KitFosterDesign.com, post-apocalyptic, suspense, This Plague of Days, zombie, zombie apocalypse, zombies | posted in the book, the serial, This Plague of Days
When I consulted one of my survival experts about the end of the world as we know it, he shocked me a bit. We were at my dining room table with a map spread out in front of us. We were tracking the Spencer family’s escape from the Midwest east in my serial, This Plague of Days. John Badger (survival guy, geography and hiking expert) put his palm on the map, covering a good swath of the west coast of the United States.
“And, of course, under the circumstances, all these people are dead,” John said.
“No water. When you wipe away the infrastructure, there’s no water there. Vegas? Gone. L.A.? Dead.”
“Yeah, it’s very vulnerable and, with the conditions you describe, they’re toast or trying to migrate out of trouble in a pretty short time.”
As the Spencers head for a farm in Maine they hope will be safe, they hear a lot of rumours about what’s happening across the world. First came the Sutr-X world flu pandemic. Then Sutr-Z laid waste to Europe and Asia. In Season 2 of This Plague of Days, the crap hits the ceiling fan in America and Canada.
I just wanted you to know, we put some serious thought into it. Some rumors you can believe. Others will conflict and first reports are always wrong. I hope you join the adventure while it’s still a vicarious thrill instead of a handbook to the apocalypse.
Have a nice day.
4 Comments | tags: apocalypse, book, dystopian, ebook, horror, Horror fiction, plague, Plague of Days, post-apocalypse, robert chazz chute, This Plague of Days | posted in apocalyptic fiction, flu pandemic, the book, the serial, This Plague of Days
As of 2:30 pm, here’s the Amazon ranking #23 in Dystopian and #29 Post-Apocalyptic!
3:30 PM: #1 in Post-Apocalyptic and #2 in Dystopian!
Push it higher on Amazon’s main list with a happy click and get Episode One free now. You’re going to love it!
is free on Amazon until midnight tomorrow night.
Do you enjoy reading:
- a book that allows you to see the world in a new way?
- apocalyptic scenaria where the fate of God and humankind are debated?
- Latin phrases and wordplay?
- international thrillers with weird and scary terrorists?
- zombies unlike what you’ve come to expect?
- tension that crawls up your spine and into your brain?
- about a sweet, innocent autistic boy who rarely speaks but has hidden talents that might save the world?
If any of that appeals to you as a horror reader, click the cover below and get on board the braingasm train.
Still not sure you want that first crunchy, salty potato chip? Then get more details here.
The Zombie Apocalypse serial is here. Get 5 episodes at 99 cents each or the whole Season for $3.99. Season Two hits the world at the end of September.
~ Robert Chazz Chute is a novelist, podcaster and former newspaper and magazine journalist. This Plague of Days is his ninth book. See all his books here.
1 Comment | tags: 28 Days Later, amazon, Amazon ranking, Autism spectrum, beach read, book, dystopian, ebook, free days, free ebook, free ebook giveaway, giveaway, horror, List of Latin phrases, Plague of Days, robert chazz chute, summer reading, World War Z, zombie, zombie apocalypse, zombies | posted in apocalyptic fiction, the book, the serial, This Plague of Days, world flu pandemic
This Plague of Days, Season 1 by Robert Chazz Chute
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I wrote it so, yeah, five stars from me. It’s like two books in one where two groups of interesting characters are on a collision course. The stakes? Human extinction and the lives of people we care about. But since I wrote it, I wouldn’t believe me, either. I guess if apocalyptic fiction with more Latin phrases than Harry Potter has spells intrigues you, you’ll have to read it to see for yourself. I hope you enjoy it.
View all my reviews
3 Comments | tags: 28 Days Later, apocalypse, apocalyptic fiction, Autism spectrum, book, books, ebook, horror serial, human extinction, latin phrases, List of Latin phrases, literature, mind virus, Plague of Days, review, robert chazz chute, The Stand, writing, zombie apocalypse | posted in the book, the serial, This Plague of Days
Reports of autism cases per 1,000 children grew dramatically in the US from 1996 to 2007. It is unknown how much, if any, growth came from changes in autism’s prevalence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you’ve never read a book as a serial, think of it like a television season broken into episodes. Just like TV, I throw hooks and leave characters hanging off cliffs until next week.
There are five episodes in Season One. You can purchase the weekly episodes at 99 cents each, or look under the couch cushions and find out what happens next immediately by buying TPOD Season One for just $3.99.
Gosh. Um. Getting the discount is the recommended course. Not in the couch? Try your winter coat pockets or the change in the car’s ashtray. Thanks!
Strap in, buckle up and say, “Pickle!” (You’ll find out.)
And watch out for the zombies. They’re coming for you after a long voyage and they are starving.
~ Robert Chazz Chute
7 Comments | tags: apocalypse, asperger, Asperger syndrome, autism, Autism spectrum, book, ebook, horror, post-apocalypse, post-apocalyptic fiction, sneak peek, This Plague of Days, zombies | posted in apocalyptic fiction, the book, the serial
This is not a poem…exactly. It’s the table of contents to a coming episode of This Plague of Days from Season One.
Here we sit in Death’s Cafe
We are the zombie’s reluctant buffet
The deepest wounds are those unseen
Between what we were and where we’ve been
Be killed or kill in days like these
Pray for God’s mercy or the Red Queen’s disease
Say farewell to your comfortable home
Goodbye to tea, clotted cream and scones
The fruit of war, the wages of sin
You don’t yet know what it will take to win
Or even half of the trouble we’re in
Save your strength for the fight
Use your rage. Defy the night.
(Getting close to finalizing the cover art, hearing back from the last beta team members and getting this bird off the ground.)
Leave a comment | tags: aombie fiction, apocalypse, apocalypstic fiction, book, cover art, ebook, fiction, horror, robert chazz chute, serial, This Plague of Days, World War Z, zombies | posted in apocalyptic fiction, the book, the serial, This Plague of Days
Family matriarch Jacqueline Spencer on the existential abyss that is the plague:
How deep would Sutr reach down into the fabric of what had been and tear with unforgiving teeth? How resilient was that fabric? Was civilization just a thin sheen of varnish over shiny, black claws of primal aggression? She knew Theo thought so, but she hoped her husband was wrong.
On a scavenging trip to the mall, a little band of explorers from the Spencer family encounters a wall with notes and graffiti:
A little further on stood several memorials. “Olivia, you were a good wife,” read one. That was in white and, unlike the others, writ large to fill the height of the wall for several concrete panels. The tribute had been painted with a wide brush by a tall man.
Another simply read: Andrea. Why?
Here and there, fading pictures of missing loved ones dotted the wall and fluttered in the breeze. A phone number was listed below a picture of a stunning redheaded woman wearing cat’s eye sunglasses. Heather Pritch, 29, separated at hospital. Came back for you. Will wait at train station. Tara.
The flyer, fixed to the wall with a scrap of twisted duct tape, looked like it would lose its tentative hold with the next breath of wind.
There were also a few with directions and warnings:
Todd, Meet Us At Deb’s, Love Beth.
Go around Chicago!
Detroit’s Burnt DOWN!
Army’s taken over Tahoe. They shoot all who approach.
Another read: Michigan has militia! but it wasn’t clear if that was a warning or a hopeful sign that somewhere there was order.
A more informative message read: Refugee Camps at NIAGRA FALLS has gone X. Many dead. Stay home and indoors. God bless.
Just before a gap in the wall ahead, a green winking ghoul admonished them with a pointing finger. ‘We want you!’ was scrawled over its grotesque head. Below a smeared wagging finger were the words: Not to Litter! Burn Your Evil Dead! It was signed, The Ungrateful Living.
At another spot, a column of numbers from one to 24 stood, each number exed out. The next number in the series jumped to 26. Beside the column were the words: Tally of Looters shot.
2 Comments | tags: apocalypse, book, ebook, horror, plague, robert chazz chute, serial, tasters, teasers, This Plague of Days, world flu pandemic, zombies | posted in apocalyptic fiction, the book, the serial, This Plague of Days