Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Surviving the Evacuation Update (and a recommendation)

Hello :) nz;dr Book 11 will be out next, with Strike a Match 3 soon after.

For Detectives Mitchell and Deering’s next case, I made a miscalculation with a dose of poison (by a factor of ten thousand). It turns out that, for it to be lethal, the victim would have to eat it by the shovel-full. D’oh! There were a few other issues, and it’s just a matter of writing up the final draft, but I’m going to concentrate on Surviving the Evacuation for the rest of June.

Book 11, tentatively titled ‘An Empty Country’, should be out in July or August. I’m leaving myself a bit of wiggle room as I’ve had to change most of the locations from what was originally planned.
The main part of this story is what happened to Eamonn Finnegan after he left London, and what Greta and Chester discover when they search for him. That being said, it does continue on from Book 10; the crisis described in the epilogue is a shadow that looms large over the story.

I saw this book as an opportunity to fill in a few gaps. There’s a soldier, Bran, who crops up from time to time (Jay and Tuck met him in Book 5, he helped George and Mary escape to Anglesey), and he was always meant to be a major character, but there’s never been a good opportunity to give him the page-time he deserved. Here, I thought, was a chance to tell his outbreak story, and so how he came to be in a position to help George and Mary. Unfortunately, it took up far too many words. As I say, the key part of this book is about Eamonn, Greta, and Chester. Though Bran pays an important role, large chunks of his outbreak story are interesting, but not critical to the crisis now facing humanity. Because of that, I wrote a new flashback. Rather than being when he first met George and Mary, it’s now when he was setting up safe houses with Chester, before Chester met Nilda. And as this takes place near Deeside and Wrexham rather than Somerset, I had to start from scratch.
There were other similar geographical shifts, and that’s what might cause a slight delay in release (though I’m still hopeful of getting it finished this June so out in July.)

Audiobooks - Book 8 is being recorded (there were a few changes to some of the accents), but should be sent to Audible in about a week.

And now a recommendation (actually two) but not for books. It’s a recommendation for tea!
As you might have gathered, I rather like tea, and I have a new favourite. Suki Tea, which is based in Belfast. You can find them on Amazon, or being sold in Patisserie Valerie if you’re in the UK. If you’re not in the UK, Patisserie Valerie is a chain of cream cake shops, and it’s where I first came across this particular brand of tea. It was a remarkably good brew, so good that I honestly feel like remarking on it, but that’s not why it’s now my number one tea company in the world. No, that’s because they’re trying to grow tea in Belfast!

Had I known this a year or two ago, I would have changed the Ireland storyline utterly. Forget Lisa Kempton, the entire book would have been about a noble band of horticulturalists, valiantly fighting hordes of the undead as they protected those precious green leaves. Ah, what might have been...
Anyway, I thought that a company growing tea in Belfast deserved a mention. As a matter of due diligence, I should also mention Tregothnan in Cornwall, the only other tea plantation (I know of) in the United Kingdom, and one that’s far more established. However, Cornwall was sadly destroyed during Prometheus (sorry Cornwall).

The other recommendation is for an audiobook - or rather, a BBC radio comedy/drama: John Finnemore’s Double Acts. I missed this when it was on the radio, but downloaded it on Friday when I was searching for a distraction from the election kerfuffle.
John Finnemore is one of my favourite writers, and his sitcom Cabin Pressure, one of my favourite shows. Double Acts is a series of comedic monologues, but the reason that I mention it now is that they’ve got a few episodes available for free on the BBC iPlayer:

If you’re not in the UK, you can get it from Audible - though if you’re unfamiliar with his work, I’d recommend starting with Cabin Pressure, a sitcom about a budget airline co-staring (among others) Benedict Cumberbatch.

I’ll be getting back to Book 11 now - Chester is approaching the Grand Union Canal. Will he have time to stop for a cuppa? Probably not. Poor old Chester.
Have a great week, Frank :)

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Here We Stand 1 & 2 - Out now in Audiobook

Here We Stand 1 & 2 are out now in Audiobook on Audible, Amazon, & iTunes (also available in ebook and paperback)

Within hours of the outbreak in Manhattan, the quarantine was sabotaged. As the United States collapses, Sholto escapes New York to search for those responsible, hoping he can stop the undead.


Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2qDUbx2
Amazon .com: http://amzn.to/2q5Ndgs
Audible UK: http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Here-We-Stand-Audiobook/B071LH7GN8/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1495229122&sr=1-1
Audible .com: https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Here-We-Stand-Audiobook/B071S8959Z?ref_=a_search_c4_1_1_srImg&qid=1495263400&sr=1-1
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/here-we-stand-infected-volume-1-unabridged/id1238938367
(They should be available on Amazon Australia and other Amazon sites later this weekend)
Tom Clemens has been living in the shadows for years, searching for those responsible for the death of his family. Framed for murder, he is on the run when the first outbreak occurs. With thousands of others, he fights his way out of New York, and joins the exodus searching for a safe refuge in America. On that journey he learns the identity of those responsible for the betrayal of the species, and of a scientist who might be able to stop the living dead. So begins his quest to save humanity. 
Here We Stand 1: Infected and Here We Stand 2: Divided are part of the post-apocalyptic series Surviving the Evacuation. This story of patient zero and Sholto's attempts to halt the collapse of America can be heard/read before or after Surviving the Evacuation Books 1-7.

Coming soon: Surviving the Evacuation 11 - Chester's back! (so are Nilda, Tuck & Jay, but the story is mostly about Chester, the soldier, Bran (who helped Mary & George get to Anglesey, worked with Chester setting up safe houses across England and Wales, and who met Tuck & Jay in Book 5), and a few other characters whose identity will remain secret as their appearance is the twist. This book will continue on from Book 10 (and Book 7) and deal with the events described in Book 10's epilogue.

Also coming soon: Strike a Match 3 - This is my fifth attempt at this book, Writing a crime novel (or this kind of crime novel) turned out to be a tad more difficult than I was expecting, but it's finally almost finished (I'm halfway through the final draft). I think it'll be out this summer.

Coming soon to audio: Surviving the Evacuation 8: Anglesey is being recorded at the moment. It should be out in June. 9 & 10 will be recorded in July/August so should be out later this summer. Strike a Match 1-3 have been booked in for August/September so will be out late summer/early autumn. 

Happy listening, and have a great weekend.
Frank :)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Surviving The Evacuation 10: The Last Candidate - Out Now

Whoever wins the election, humanity will lose.

Nine months after the outbreak, ten thousand survivors from across the globe have found a refuge on the Welsh island of Anglesey. Hordes of the undead ravage the wastelands of Britain and Ireland. Satellite images show that the rest of the world is no better. Food, fuel, and ammunition are running low and there are no more old-world supplies with which to replace them.

Intended as an alternative to a slide into despotism, an election is called. It is hoped the contest will bring forth solutions to the myriad crises facing this last bastion of humanity. After the favoured candidate is hospitalised, suspicion falls on the new frontrunner, a publican who purchased his support with an impossible promise of a return to the pre-apocalyptic world. With no viable candidate, and no way of calling off the election, those who still have access to a ship plan their departure; others plan to rig the contest; a few give up on all plans for a future beyond tomorrow. Anglesey is on the verge of collapse, and humanity is on the brink of extinction.

Set in Belfast, the Isle of Man, and Wales during the run-up to the election on Anglesey, this is the sixth volume of Bill Wright’s journals.

Amazon .com: http://amzn.to/2q730gd

The book should be available on Nook & Google Play in the next few days.

Paperbacks should be available on Friday from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, and to order from any independent bookshop.

Audiobooks: Here We Stand 1 & 2 should be out in the next week or so on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. Production will begin on Surviving the Evacuation Book 8 on 16th May (with Books 9 & 10 following later this summer). Strike a Match 1, 2 & 3 will be recorded in August (assuming I finish Book 3 by then :) )

Coming soon: Um... well... I'm not sure. My original plan for this series had the election taking place in Book 12, bringing it forward works rather well (in my opinion) but it does bring forward a story that I wasn't planning to write quite so soon (this will make more sense when you get to the end of Book 10). I'm going to sit down today with a blank sheet of paper and a very large mug of tea (naturally) and see whether there are any subplots that can be merged together or discarded. Either way, and wherever the next book takes us, expect it out in about three months time.

I hope you enjoy Book 10.

Happy reading,

Frank :)

Monday, 3 April 2017

Surviving the Evacuation, Book 10: Coming Soon

nz;dr: Surviving the Evacuation: Book 10 should be out in April, as should the audiobooks for Here We Stand 1&2

Surviving the Evacuation, Book 10 is nearing completion. Called 'The Last Candidate' (unless this title is too large for iTunes), the story is set in Belfast, the Isle of Man, and North Wales during the run up to the election on Anglesey.

Originally, Book 10 was meant to return the narrative to Nilda et al in London, but as I was writing Book 9 I saw an opportunity to write a political thriller, but with zombies! It was too good a chance to pass up.

This first election on Anglesey was meant to be a pro-forma event, a somewhat comical battle between Bill and Sholto, told as a light-hearted fireside conversation to Chester & Nilda. As this conversation developed into a novel, it took a turn for the dark (and the better). The problem I found, as I often do, is that though Bill and Sholto each have their own plans, there are other forces at play. Some good (Dr Umbert & Lorraine), some bad (Markus & Bishop) and some intent on doing the best for her crew regardless of the cost (the admiral).

Unfortunately, I missed my slot with my usual cover designer (I hadn't planned to write Book 10 immediately after Book 9) so I'm getting Jeff Brown to draw a scene - He's the artist who drew the covers for the Strike a Match books. This should be ready later this week.

I'm tidying the book up at the moment, and I'm about halfway through (they've just arrived at the Isle of Man), so all being well, it should be out this month. Also unfortunately, I've been unable to include the Tower of Refuge into the story. I desperately wanted to because it's one of the coolest places I've discovered while writing this series: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary%27s_Isle#The_Tower_of_Refuge
Built in 1832, it's a small castle built onto a reef, there as a refuge for any sailors whose ships founder. Perhaps it'll make it into a different book.

Audiobooks - Here We Stand 1 & 2 are being recorded at the moment, and should both be ready this April.


Saturday, 28 January 2017

Surviving The Evacuation 9: Ireland, out now

They said there was no outbreak in Ireland. They lied.

There was no evacuation of Northern Ireland, and no quarantine in the Republic. A Royal Naval blockade prevented ships from docking, but they didn’t prevent those who could reach the coast from fleeing by sea. There weren’t enough boats for everyone. Those who were left behind took refuge in castles, police stations, churches, military bases, and any other buildings with strong walls. The walls weren’t strong enough.

Eight months later, there are only a few dozen survivors left on the entire island of Ireland. They are certain that there is no safe refuge anywhere on the planet.

Set on the island of Ireland, eight months after the outbreak, this is the next volume of Bill Wright’s journals.

Available in ebook and paperback from:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2jFsnlQ

Amazon. Com: http://amzn.to/2kBLsW0

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01MTDJEJW/

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MTDJEJW/

Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01MTDJEJW/

France https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B01MTDJEJW/

Italy https://www.amazon.it/dp/B01MTDJEJW/

The Netherlands https://www.amazon.nl/dp/B01MTDJEJW/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/surviving-evacuation-book/id1199946138?ls=1&mt=11

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Frank_Tayell_Surviving_The_Evacuation_Book_9_Irela?id=e3MBDgAAQBAJ&hl=en_GB

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/surviving-the-evacuation-book-9-ireland

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/699617

Paperbacks are now available on Amazon, and can be ordered from any independent bookshop (and any of the better chain-stores) :)

Originally, this novel was going to be called 'Belfast', the name was changed to better reflect the locations in the story. As to why the locations changed, that was mostly due to how desperately difficult it is to travel the roads of a post-apocalyptic island of Ireland. (Some of the original Belfast storyline will now appear in Book 10)

This part of the story will conclude in Book 10, though the series will continue, returning to London and then travelling far, far beyond...

Happy reading,

Frank. :)

Monday, 19 December 2016

Q. What do angry mice sing at Christmas?

Good news first: Book 7: Home Audiobook should be out in the next few days. The final version was uploaded to Audible on the 8th, so should be available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes in the next few days.

Now for the bad news. Apologies, Book 9 isn’t finished. It’s the ending; I keep having to rewrite it. I’ve certain things I need to include, and having the events occur in the right order with the right outcome has proven a little trickier than I anticipated. As it’s the ending (literally the last twenty thousand words or so) that have proven so recalcitrant, it’s hard to be specific without giving away the plot (and that’s a deliberately guarded secret!).
I have solved the problem (or I think I have) by moving a couple of scenes to a different location, and putting them in the first half of the book. The downside is that I’ll have to cut the chapters in The Giant’s Causeway, at St Anne’s Cathedral, and at a soup kitchen on the Donegal Road. Because I’ve cut a large swathe through the sections of the book that take place in Belfast, I may rename Book 9 as ‘Ireland’ or ‘Help’. I do intend for the narrative to return to Northern Ireland, however, so there’s a very good chance that those chapters will see the light of day (or the ink of day? ink of print?), and I’d rather keep the ‘Belfast’ title for a book where I can do the city justice.

I expect to finish at some point next week, so it’ll be out early January. Apologies again.

Q. What do angry mice sing at Christmas?

A. Cross-mouse Carols.

That’s my favourite joke of the year!

Thanks very much for your support and encouragement during 2016. I hope you have a restful holiday, and wish you all the best for 2017.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,

Frank. :)

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Coming Soon - Book 9: Belfast

Hello, I hope you're well. Apologies that I don't have the news you were hoping for. Book 9 isn't ready yet (it'll be out around the end of December or beginning of January).

It's getting there, but I keep finding I need to make major changes to the plot. The biggest of these... well, I won't tell you what I was going to do as I may use that for a later book. What I will say is that this story is almost entirely set on the island of Ireland. Actually, strictly speaking, that's not true. It's almost entirely set on the island of Ireland, or around the southwestern coastline. I originally thought that by giving our heroes access to a small ship, they'd be able to travel quickly and easily to Belfast. Turns out that fate (or my imagination) had other plans. It would have been far safer had they walked.

If I had to pick a date for the release I'd say around the 25th December, and that might prove a problem. Some of the retailers close their sites to new books over the Christmas period, and, of course, my proofreaders can't be expected to work over the holidays. This adds a bit of uncertainty to the release date.

Audiobooks - Book 7 is being recorded at the moment, and should be out before Christmas. (I'm hoping for early December). After Book 7, I think the next set of audiobooks will be for Strike a Match - I'll be making a decision about this in the next week or two.

Speaking of Strike a Match, I've been working away at the third book in the series over the last six months. It's gone through a lot of rewrites (and hundreds of different crimes.) I think I've cracked it, and will be focusing on this after Book 9, with the intention of getting it out early in 2017 in print, ebook and audio.

The future... I swing back and forth on whether I'm ending Surviving the Evacuation or not. I've got an ending, you see, and it's now baked into this story. At some point, I'm going to reach it and... well, that'll be it. It'll be the end. The good news is that this ending isn't in Book 9. Nor will it be in Books 10 & 11. These two books will be told in the third person, though I've not decided which person this is. I will say that these two combine the London and Anglesey characters. Most of the story doesn't take place in either location. (Birmingham is one option, though so is Blackpool, or Leeds).

I've also got to return to the U.S. for Here We Stand 3. While this primarily features Jonas, Martha, & Kaitlin, it also features one other character mentioned in the first two books. My initial plan was that this should be Nate, the student filming the documentary in the White House. As his adventure begins in Washington, this would be a great way of maintaining the political storyline without being too political. I'm having second thoughts about this. In the first Here We Stand book, there's a detective whom Sholto meets during his escape from Manhattan. This detective only features for a brief paragraph, but I can't help wonder what happened to him.

But Book 9 must be finished first, and so I should get back to it.

All the best, and thanks for your patience, Frank. :)