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.
Worldwide distribution of plague infected animals 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I began writing This Plague of Days, it wasn’t about zombies and, in a way, it still isn’t. It’s about people in desperate circumstances trying to survive extinction. Also, the infected are not the walking dead. It’s more of a 28 Days Later, humans with rabies sort of situation. Things happen that may be paranormal or they may have a rational explanation. (I won’t spoil it.)
I will say that my horror serial begins with one plague that spirals society down as the virus mutates. The Sutr-X virus evolves, things get worse and, of course, the world will never be the same. There are great human losses to both strains of the virus. Jaimie and his family face illness, death, danger and betrayal. Worse? The pandemic wasn’t an accident of Nature. There’s an awesome villain and a group spreading the virus for purposes they consider noble, right and true. As the book unfolds, terrorism and the plague’s evolving horrors stretch across the world. A new strain of Sutr-X rising in Britain puts vast forces on a collision course with the little family from America’s midwest.
The serial evolved into a big book that started with a character study. TPOD started in 2009/2010 with a small seed of an idea, my fascination with the world flu pandemic and a daily visit to Starbucks to write. I was so passionate about the project, I lost a job over a key health and survival issue that pitted me against the bureaucrats that employed me. I told them they were endangering healthcare workers and their families. They didn’t appreciate my input. (I take a chapter in TPOD to show those same bureaucrats how wrong they were, but that job loss and the issues around it are for another blog post on another day. I’ll get into that background when I publish that episode, no doubt.)
I began the book exploring the mind of the main character. It is an ensemble cast, but everyone loves sixteen-year-old Jaimie Spencer:
Autism spectrum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. He’s on the autistic spectrum.
2. He is a very shy, selective mute who must hold his father’s hand when they go out in pubic.
3. He sees auras.
4. His special interest is Latin phrases and English dictionaries.
5. He’s in his own world.
6. Jaimie is a boy who sees significance in every detail and every word. He often gets lost in those details and so seems oblivious to danger.
When the Sutr plague strikes, stress and circumstance bring Jaimie closer to our world in surprising ways. When worlds touch, they ignite sparks that let his family and the reader glimpse his mind and true abilities.
But why pit this strange boy against a world filled with nasty survivalists and infected, rage-filled cannibals?
I could tell you that high stakes and steep odds matched against a charming underdog in a tough conflict makes for a compelling story. But you already know that. The simpler answer is, I’m a bit strange, too. I do not have Aspergers Syndrome. I do, however, see the world askew and you’re going to love the odd word excursions almost as much as the zombie attacks, evil villain and my strange plague apocalypse.
This Plague of Days launches soon. I love surprising readers. I will.
Until the Sutr Virus hits here, click to read other books by Robert Chazz Chute. Just sayin’.
This horror serial is about an autistic boy trapped in The Stand and trying to survive 28 Days Later. I’ll have a cover blurb from horror author Armand Rosamilia.
In a future that could begin any day now, a virus of mysterious origin begins its lethal outbreak. The first wave kills millions. The second wave is a weaponized mutation that ups the stakes by turning ordinary survivors into cannibals. This is the zombie apocalypse you can believe in.
The brain of the story is a villain like you’ve never encountered: the visibly pregnant British woman in a red dress. She is an eco-terrorist who calls herself Shiva. She’s out to make history and a new future by a massive cull of Earth’s worst infection. You’re the infection: Your car, your technology and your conspicuous consumption. Don’t take it personally. To defend the Earth, genocide is Shiva’s answer to global warming. Killing Queen Elizabeth and her Corgis is just the delightful start.
The heart of the story is Jaimie Spencer, a sixteen-year-old American boy on the autism spectrum. He’s a selective mute with an obsession for English dictionaries. His special interest is Latin phrases, but it’s Jaimie’s hidden gifts that become the surprising key to his family’s survival. To live, they must face the ravages of the Sutr virus, looters, plague profiteers and cults. Worse? This Plague of Days zombies are fast.
Who is This Plague of Days for?
Horror fans and anyone with a pulse who wants theirs to beat faster. Young men and women embracing existential angst will get hit between the eyes. The autistic community and their families will love it.
From the beta read team, the women love Jaimie and the relationships of the family under siege. The men can’t get enough of Shiva since she’s deliciously wicked in her ruthlessness with men’s hearts and minds.
This book also has a lot of fun with language. There are more Latin phrases than Harry Potter had spells, so this one is also for the word nerds.
It’s time we hit the world with an oddly cerebral zombie apocalypse.
I want to be especially generous with Season 1 to get every horror fan on my crazy train.
Season 1/Book 1: The Siege 105,000 words, 5 episodes
Season 2/Book 1: The Journey 75,000 words, 5 episodes