To claim the free book, readers go to a secret YouTube link at the back of the book, answer a simple question and send me an email address. I haven’t asked anyone to sign up for a newsletter or anything. Readers get the new book delivered to them immediately via Amazon. Easy-peasy.
But you know what the best part of the giveaway is?
Hearing directly from happy readers! I need reviews of my books, of course, but it’s also been truly wonderful and educational. It’s wonderful to hear how readers engaged with a mystery that is sifted through the story. I’ve got so much feedback now that I can say with confidence that the plot worked effectively the way I hoped it would. It’s also educational in that, with a little pull and a push, I’ve hearing from a lot of readers who wouldn’t ordinarily leave a review. (Again, I need those happy reviews and encourage them but the comments I’m getting are fun, too.)
I hope new readers will dig what I’m doing with my books and, heads up, if you liked This Plague of Days, you’re going to love my next book.
The truth is, I had a time travel book in the editorial pipeline, but, to be honest, it’s not ready for primetime yet. The time travel novel is a very complicated story and I can’t let anything come farther down the editorial pipe until I’m satisfied with it. It’s on hold for now until I can rework it. So let me tell you something about my next book, The Haunting Lessons.
A publisher approached me about contributing to an anthology. I was interested, but I wasn’t sure about the subject matter. It had a supernatural theme that I did not groove on. Still, it kept me awake nights in much the same way This Plague of Days did. How could I take the familiar and give it a nipple twist to make it work? I never want to do the expected. When I figured it out, I couldn’t wait to get the first draft down.
This one is a lot of fun. It has a strong female protagonist with a quirky sense of humor. Here’s the deal:
The Haunting Lessons is about a girl from Iowa named Tamara Smythe. After a shocking and tragic accident, she discovers she has acquired supernatural powers. She reveals the truth which, of course, lands her in a mental hospital. Not for long. Soon she moves to New York to begin a new, better life and to forget the past. Instead, she runs straight into a supernatural war.
The hook is ghosts. The twist is demons. The Haunting Lessons is a heartfelt and funny training manual for any who would join the fight to save the future for humanity. Forget winter. Armageddon is coming and it’s Hell hot.
This one is shorter and has a faster pace than This Plague of Days. I love TPOD, of course. Remember, I don’t let anything out of the bunker unless I love it. But the jokes and action in The Haunting Lessons come faster and are packed tighter. This Plague of Days was, in part, an homage to Stephen King’s The Stand. I don’t know what to compare The Haunting Lessons to, though there is a tiny influence of Harry Potter and not a little Hunger Games in there, I suppose. But with more jokes. And swords. Lots of swords! This is apocalyptic fiction with a paranormal twist that takes the story in a fun and funny direction (with just enough tragedy to make it matter.)
You’re really going to like Tamara Smythe. I’m hoping to have it ready in time for Christmas.
In the meantime, be sure to finish the Omnibus before New Year’s Eve when the offer of the gift of Intense Violence, Bizarre Themes runs its course. (Sorry, can’t give a novel away free forever!)
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?
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.
5. Which of the TPOD Seasons is your favorite?
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:
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.
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…
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 TPODOmnibus 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.
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.