Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Surviving the Evacuation 5: Reunion out now in audiobook


This is the story of two converging journeys through an apocalyptic wasteland. From Penrith to Hull, and far beyond, a mother searches for her son. Meanwhile, a deaf soldier and a teenager escape the last agents of a corrupt government, and find survivors among the rooftops of a dead city. Criminals and killers, soldiers and civilians, they all share one thing in common; they are seeking a refuge from the undead.

(currently the lowest price for UK listeners buying it out right)




Book 6: Harvest will be recorded this August. 

Book 8: Anglesey is being written at the moment - it’s taking a little longer than I’d like (all books do), but this one has required a lot more research than I’d expected, (and a lot more rewriting as it’s moved away from the day-to-day survival story I’d originally planned, and into one that's more about society and civilisation). I’m now devoting all my time to it, so it shouldn’t be too long before it’s released (but I’m not setting a release date as I want to keep focused). The story will continue in Book 9: Belfast, and will then re-cross the Atlantic to Maine and Canada for a continuation of Here We Stand. I'll give more of an update when I get to the end of this draft.

I hope you’re enjoying the summer.
Frank. :)

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Beat the heat, read Serious Crimes.

Serious Crimes is currently free on Amazon, Google, Kobo and iTunes (and all other retailers). The first book in the Strike a Match series, this is a post-apocalyptic detective story of life twenty years after a nuclear war.
Amazon UK - Amazon. com - Kobo - iTunes - Google
Two decades after the artificial intelligences fought their brief, terrible war, the southern coast of England has become the hub of civilisation, though Britain has been reduced to a population of two million, and technology has regressed to the age of steam. Europe and Africa are wastelands with only a few coastal communities holding out against barbarous savagery. The United States is divided. Three presidents claim the title, but there are too few survivors for the the country to be riven by civil war. Instead, diplomacy prevails. As Americans gear up for re-unification and a presidential campaign, Britain is looking forward to its own election and the question of whether the ageing prime minister will step down.
As the democracies struggle against the nightmare forces that would turn them into dystopias, old conspirators emerge. Power is once again a prize worth murdering for, and it is down to the understaffed Serious Crimes Unit to stop them.
This isn’t the story of how individuals survive the immediate horror of nuclear war, but of what happens next, of how they rebuild, and of those who would try to stop them.
When I first came up with the idea for Surviving the Evacuation, it was called The Zombie War Crimes Trial, and that title pretty much describes the plot. The journal was presented in evidence twenty years after the outbreak at a trial of the politician the survivors held responsible. Back then, the story was set on the Isle of Wight, but as the journal got longer, the plot changed. I’d always wanted to write a story about what happens next. Books about the apocalypse (and movies, for that matter) always stop when the hero wins (or dies) and the world is saved (or destroyed), but that always made me wonder, what next? Did Bill Mason ever find a way of stopping the triffids? Without the evil corporation, did democracy prevail? How did they distribute the food? How did they create an economy? Where does the electricity come from?
I wanted to know the answers. After writing Book 7: Home, it became clear that Surviving the Evacuation was never going to reach twenty years after the outbreak, so I created Strike a Match instead. There are no zombies, but it’s the thematic successor to The Evacuation (you might spot a few similar(isn) characters.)
Book 1 of the series is free at the moment (at least until the weekend, though it’ll be going back to £1.99 soon). Strike A Match 3: Economic Necessity will be out this autumn followed by one or two books a year up until 2020.
If you’ve already read it, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you haven’t grab a copy now.

Happy heatwave,
Frank :)

Monday, 11 July 2016

Book 5 Reunion (Audiobook) - Out soon & July update

I hate spoilers, but have a tendency to assume that everyone who reads this has read everything I've published. It's a daft assumption, and one I must rid myself of, so I'm going to try to give an update without any spoilers. Here goes:

1. Book 5: Reunion is back from the producers, and has been sent to Audible(Amazon). It should be available in the next two weeks. (The last audiobook took about ten days.)

2. I'm not sure whether Strike A Match 3 or Surviving the Evacuation Book 8 will be out next. When I get stuck on one, I switch to the other. Both will be out before the end of the year.

3. Strike A Match 3: Economic Necessity follows a number of cases, the first of which is called 'The Food-Bank Job'. The story takes place in Twynham, Leicestershire/Northamptonshire & Kent. I'd love to tell you more, but I best not, (this was a much longer paragraph, but on re-reading I realised it gave away the plot twist.)

4. Book 8: Anglesey will take place on the island, in Caernarfon, and Bangor, between August 15th and September 20th, the year of the outbreak. It will reference Lisa Kempton and General Carpenter from Here We Stand and... and I'm trying to work out how to say this circumspectly... a character that appeared first in Book 4.

Where Books 1-7 focus on whether individuals can survive, Books 8-10 focus on whether civilisation itself can be preserved. Of course, not all of it can, and what it becomes will look very different to what we know now, so the question is whether it is better, worse, or both. In addition to the systematic looting of undead-towns and cities, individual struggles for survival against both human and undead foes, these books will also contain descriptions of finger painting. You have been warned.

5. It will be followed by Book 9: Belfast (which may be changed to Book 9: Ireland, depending on how much takes place in the city, and how much the surrounding countryside, and whether the narrative crosses the border). Book 9 will take place in October.

6. Book 10 will begin in Anglesey, a few days before the date on which Book 7 ends, and carry on to Christmas, and perhaps beyond.

7. I've this great idea for Book 11 it's [redacted], and then [redacted], which of course [redacted] would never have guessed was [redacted]!

8. I'll probably write Here We Stand 3: Betrayed before Book 10, perhaps before Book 9. Can I tell you why? Um... I'm not sure. Here We Stand 1 & 2 introduce all the heroes and villains for the series, and it's one of those with whom Book 3 was going to begin. I realised a week ago that it's much better to skip that story, and just continue from the end of Book 2: Divided, with those people who appear a the end of the book. And I really can't say any more without spoiling too much.

9. I've plans for a lot more novels in Surviving the Evacuation, Here We Stand, and Strike a Match, but this should keep us going for a year.

10. The best thing about starting work at dawn is that, by this time of day, I've done about five hours of work, which means I don't feel bad about going to the park and having a morning ice-cream. On the whole, I think I prefer it to a morning coffee. (It's the little things...)

I'll keep writing away, and in a couple of weeks, it should be clear which book will be published next, and when it'll be out. Perhaps, by then, I might be able to give you some more concrete details.

Have a great week. :)

Friday, 24 June 2016

Here We Stand 2: Divided Out Now

Surviving the Evacuation continues in Here We Stand 2: Divided, out now.




Amazon UK - Amazon.com - Amazon Canada - Amazon France - Amazon Germany

Itunes - Kobo - Google

Paperback from Amazon UK - Paperback from Amazon.com



---



It is a week since the outbreak began in New York. The president has been betrayed. The vice-president is dead. The government has collapsed. The conspirators are close to victory.

Having narrowly escaped agents of the cabal, Tom Clemens heads to Washington hoping to get word of the conspiracy to the president. The highways become impassable, filled with millions fleeing from the cities. Towns are fortified, but it is too late. The infection has already spread throughout the country. Nowhere is safe from the undead.


As refugees storm the towns, and zombies fill the smoking ruins, survivors become more deadly a threat than the impossibly living dead. Still hopeful he can find the cause of the outbreak, and so end it, Tom fights his way through an undead America. As he searches for the cabal, he is unaware that they are searching for him.

The story will continue in Surviving the Evacuation Book 8: Anglesey (out soon). 


---

Before the books were Here We Stand, I'd planned them as a prequel (and as one book). As I wrote the story, the plans changed though a lot of the minor characters, events, timings, and locations had to stay the same so as to match what had been described in Books 1-3. I think the end result is pretty cool, and hope you'll find it an enjoyable read, but those changes have had a knock on effect for the rest of the series. There will be a few more Surviving the Evacuation books, and Book 8: Anglesey will be out soon, but I may have to change the plot and places for books after that. (This will all make more sense after you've read Here We Stand 2 & Book 8). The upshot is that the Midlands stories may now become a separate series about a new outbreak. I've got a plot for this, but one series at a time.
---
Surviving the Evacuation Book 5: Reunion is currently being recorded as an audiobook and should be out in July. I've worked out the motive, the method, the victims and villains for Strike a Match 3: Economic Necessity (the title may change), and hope to get that released soon.
---

I hope you enjoy this second part of Sholto's escape through an undead America. Have a great weekend.
Happy reading,
:)

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Here We Stand: Divided - Out Soon

Here We Stand: Divided by Frank Tayell



It is a week since the outbreak began in New York. The government has collapsed. The president has been betrayed. The vice-president is dead. The conspirators are close to victory.

Having narrowly escaped agents of the cabal, Tom Clemens heads to Washington, hoping to get word of the conspiracy to the president. The highways become impassable, filled with millions fleeing from the cities. Towns are fortified, but it is too late. The infection has already spread throughout the country. Nowhere is safe from the undead.

As refugees storm the towns, and zombies fill their smoking ruins, survivors become more deadly a threat than the impossibly living dead. Still hopeful he can find the cause of the outbreak, and so end it, Tom fights his way through an undead America. As he searches for the cabal, he is unaware that they are searching for him.

The story of Tom Clemens / Sholto continues in Surviving The Evacuation: Book 1: London. That of the survivors in North America will continue in Here We Stand 3: Betrayed.

---

All being well, this will be released at the end of this week (so available for purchase next weekend). Here We Stand 1 & 2 introduce the heroes and villains, survivors and victims of the North American saga. I won't say which is which, but clues as to their identity abound in Book 8: Anglesey (coming soon).

Audiobooks - Book 5 is currently being recorded. I should get it for proofing during the first week of July.

Strike a Match 3 - I'm working on this concurrently with Book 8 (writing one when I get stuck on the other.) I'm trying something slightly different with this book. Rather than investigating one massive crime, I'm taking a Casebook approach, writing about a series of non-connected crimes (the kind that a police officer might routinely come across). During the long stake-outs, and in interviews with the victims and suspects, we'll discover more about The Blackout, and those responsible. Set in the Midlands (Leicester, Sherwood Forest & Northallerton), Kent, and Twynham, I'm aiming to release this and Book 8 before the end of the year.

:)

Friday, 13 May 2016

Surviving the Evacuation has some new covers (Part 1)

As part of a rebrand, I've had some new covers designed:




I think they're great. (These have been designed by http://yocladesigns.com I'd thoroughly recommend this company).  I'll be uploading these to the various sites over the next few hours. Books 4-7 will also get a rebranding, but... um... I'm trying to work out how to explain this without revealing any spoilers. Okay, here goes. Book 8 will be a first person journal written for the survivors of a small community in... oh, well, since the book is called Anglesey I guess there's no point being coy about where the story is set. Because it's written as a journal, some events wouldn't be written down. These events are critical to the final final novel in this phase of the series, so I'll need a story told in the third person to include the discussion of these events. I'm not sure which characters will be in this story, but it will have an impact on whether Books 4-7 should have a slightly different cover to Books 1-3 & 8.
Is that too vague? Probably. I've got to write out a few different outlines before I make a final decision, but should have it all finished around the time Here We Stand Divided is released.

Have a great weekend. :)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Do you smile when you type : ) ?

nz;dr : Here We Stand 2 - out June(ish). Book 8: Anglesey out 12(ish) weeks after that. Strike a Match 3, after that.

SPOILER WARNING - the third paragraph from the end contains a spoiler if you've not read up to Book 4: Unsafe Haven.

I'm a novelist. Give me 70,000 words and twelve weeks, and I can do nuance. With a two-line reply to a message, I fail, utterly. As such, I like to add a smiley face when I reply thanking you for your kind words. Back in January, I decided to give Facebook advertising another try. I've experimented with these ads in the past, but didn't have much luck. This time around, the ads have worked, and I'm getting a lot of positive feedback from people who have liked the series. The result of this? I'm typing :) an awful lot. And the result of that? I've noticed something really weird.

Each time I type : ) I smile. It's a genuine, lip-curling, eye-crinkling, heart warming grin, not the wide-mouthed, teeth bared grimace I use when someone points a camera in my face. What I'm puzzling over now is whether I type : ) because I'm smiling, or I smile because I've just typed : )

Which comes first? How can I solve this mystery? My first thought was electrodes stuck to my brain, recording brainwave activity. Of course, a base line for a smile / happiness would need to be established, and that could be difficult. My second thought was a camera on the computer with some software that linked it to a keyboard-log. So, on signing out of Facebook, I could replay the footage, find the moment I smiled, then check the keyboard-log, and see if the smile came before I typed a colon, or after.

My third thought was that my time would be better spent writing the next book.

Here We Stand 2 is heading towards finished. I've a few things I want to change in this draft. I had a character in mind for this book, a woman Army medic who suffers from post-traumatic stress. I wrote her out of it in this draft because I thought she might be too similar to Tuck. That's just daft. She's a very interesting person, and because the third book in this series (which covers the events in the US concurrent to Books 1-3) can't feature Sholto, I need some interesting people in it. So I need to change that, then beef up the ending - I think it needs more depth, and my retired-detective character needs a few more lines. Otherwise, it's mostly there, and I should be finished by the end of the month.

SPOILER - if you've not read up to Book 4, please stop reading.

Next up will be Book 8: Anglesey. I know it was going to be the Midlands story, but I started making some notes for Book 8 and found it remarkably easy (and fun) to write. In part this is because (if you remember from Book 4) Annette has copied Bill's journal and distributed it around the island. And, because Book 8 is written in the first person, Bill gets to write it for the survivors on Anglesey. Or, to put it another way, I get to imagine these survivors are you, and so you're the people for whom Bill is writing. (Not that Bill was ever me, I hasten to add.) This makes this story wonderfully meta, and delightfully fun (but still occasionally very grim).

Of course, a couple of weeks ago, I said something similar about the Midlands story, so I might change my mind and go back to writing that. Either way, about 12 weeks after Divided comes out, there'll be another, utterly British zombie book. More on that when I've made the final decision as to which it'll be. Strike a Match 3 will follow this autumn, set partly in Leicester and Kent, I'd like to use this story as a comparison with Surviving The Evacuation, comparing how the places look after two very different apocalypses.

But one book at a time, and right now, it's a splendid day here in south London. I'm moving my chair outside, so I can write in the sunshine.

Have a great day (and a better week) :)
There! See! I'm smiling! I'm actually smiling!