Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Surviving The Evacuation, Book 2: Wasteland - Out Now

Billions were infected.

Nations fell.

The evacuation failed.

Bill Wright's journey has only one destination, the research facility that created the virus. As he meets other survivors in his struggle across the wasteland to reach it, he discovers that it is not just the undead who need to be feared.

This is the second volume of his journal. The series will conclude with Book 3: Family, due out in 2014.

Authors Note: I am very grateful to all of you who bought my first novel, Book 1: London. As a show of thanks, Book 2: Wasteland will be sold at a reduced price for the first few weeks of publication. Thank you again. Frank Tayell.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HHZRTG4
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HHZRTG4

Book 2: Wasteland - Out Today.

Book 2 is in review. It's been submitted to Amazon, their elves now need to check through it, and then it will be available. I'll post the links here, as soon as I've got them.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Wasteland - Out on Christmas Eve

This is a quick post to say that Book 2 will be released tomorrow in ebook form on Amazon.

A more detailed post will follow shortly, but I've got to finish off one last thing.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Book 2: Cover and Release Date





Book 2 will be released soon. I'm still aiming to get it out this month, and hopefully some point next week. 
Book 3, the final book in this series will be out in 2014.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Zombies vs The Living Dead - Free for 48 hours!

The stand alone short story Zombies vs The Living Dead is free on Amazon for the next 48 hours

The outbreak began in New York. Within days the world descended into chaos as the infection spread to every corner of the globe. Across Britain, millions of people are told to leave the less defensible villages, towns and cities for the safety of one of the enclaves being established around the coast.

For George Tull and the other residents of the Waverly-Price Retirement Home, evacuation is not an option. Finding the staff have left, George has to choose between trying to save those he loathes, or abandoning the woman he loves to an uncertain fate.

"Zombies vs The Living Dead" is the first in a series of short zombie stories recording the aftermath of the outbreak, and is a companion piece to the series “Surviving The Evacuation”, Book 1: London is out now, and on sale until after the holidays. Book 2: Wasteland is due out in the next few weeks.
 
I hope you enjoy it.
 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Book 1: London - Paperback On Sale.

For the next few weeks the paperback version of Book 1: London is on sale at £5.99 or $8.99. Check your local bookstore!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Book 1 - Print Version & Book 2 Update

Book 2: Wasteland is almost ready for launch, and will be available in the next couple of weeks.

I can't give a more exact date, because I've been caught up sorting out a distribution problem with the print version of Book 1: London. I've had to republish the paperback, so any copies of the paperback currently on sale are now part of a very very limited print run. The new version should be up within the next 48 hours, at a reduced pre-Christmas price.

Please note, that this wasn't because of errors etc in Book 1. I was playing around with different formats and layouts so that I could sell it at a lower price, at some point during this I accidentally pressed the wrong button. There's a lesson here, I'm sure...

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Book 2: Wasteland - Update

Book 2: Wasteland is due out in December.

When in December I'm not sure, but as the hours and days have been ticking past this week, my eyes have been increasingly drawn to my calender (and its rather fetching print of a cafe on the Seine), and I grow increasingly aware that December approaches (and how nice it would be to be in Paris right now) and the book is not quite ready.

I thought it was finished last weekend, but as I've been looking at my notes for book 4, set 10 years after the evacuation, I felt that something was... just not... it wasn't...well... It's hard to put my finger on it, but something didn't quite fit. I can't be more specific because it will ruin the plot of Book 2, 3 and 4 (and half a dozen short stories in between.) So you'll just have to take my word for it, that any delay is for the good of the narrative.

It will be out before Christmas, probably around the 10th December, unless I succumb and catch a train to France instead... the Eurostar isn't far from here, after all, not really much more than a short bus trip...

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Zombie Haiku (Part 2)

OK, this is a better Haiku:

Billions everywhere,
Bitten, infected, they died,
They came back: Zombies.

Now, I really will get back to editing Book 2: Wasteland.

Surviving The Evacuation - Book 1 Haiku

Book 2 is almost here (or there, depending on your point of view). In the meantime, and since my brain is currently fried, I thought I'd offer you my first attempt at my synopsis in Haiku form:

Containment failed,
The zombies spread, everywhere.
Can anyone survive?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Paperback - The Photo

My stack of books have arrived from the publishers. Before I wrap them and send them off as early Christmas presents to my friends and family who think that authors get free copies (we don't) and that therefore so should the authors nearest and dearest (well... I suppose that's fair enough, "tis the season" and all that), I thought I'd take a photo and share it.


Friday, 8 November 2013

PBS & Zombies In The Classroom

PBS, working with Prof. Steven Schlozman, author of The Zombie Autopsies, have put together a series of zombie themed lesson plans for the teaching of neuroscience. My favourite is "The Neuroanatomy of Zombies." I wish we'd had lessons like this when I was at school.

This quote comes from the PBS website
"The content of the following lesson plans compares the “normal” brain to a “zombie” brain.  While zombies are not real, of course, there are plenty of diseases that affect the brain."

Of course, what we don't know is whether that is the broadcasters real motivation, or whether they know something we don't... 

More details (and the lesson plans) here:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/2013/10/neuroscience-and-zombies/

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Facebook/Goodreads

You can now find me on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/TheEvacuation

and on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7336163.Frank_Tayell

I'm just learning how to use these sites (what on earth does "Add it to the timeline on your wall" mean?") For that matter I'm still learning how to use this blog, which is why, currently, the buttons to like/rate the book don't appear on the column to the right where they should. This will come, but for now I'm putting all my energies into getting Book 2 out in December.

If you want to contact me, then please email: Frank.Tayell@gmail.com, or PM me on Goodreads or do whatever it is that you do on facebook (I really am that new to social media...). If you liked the book reviews on Amazon or Goodreads are always welcome.



Sunday, 3 November 2013

Where To Run During The Zombie Apocalypse #1 Downe House

Where are you going to go when the dead walk? There are a lot of great places in the UK to head to, most of which didn't make it into the book because I didn't want Bill Wright to have an easy life (sorry Bill). I thought I'd share a few of them with you (they'd also make great places to visit if your in the area in the meantime, since it's always good to scout the locations of your possible post-zombie redoubts). First on the list (which is in no particular order, when you start seeing the undead on the news I'd really suggest you head to the nearest one) is Downe House in Kent. This was the home of Charles Darwin. It's a wonderfully rambling house lovingly maintained by English Heritage.

Points in its favour:
1. Its a museum, preserved to look as it would have done during Darwin's life. That means fire places, old utensils and pre-electric gadgets, as well as some of the weapons he took on his voyage for his personal protection.
2. The Library contains both popular fiction (of its day) and pretty much every scientific book of note. Everything you wanted to ever know about animals and plants all neatly gathered into one place.
3. The gardens are awesome. Seriously. They still grow food there. If you go for a visit you pay a pretty reasonable fee to get inside, but the real bonus is getting to buy the produce from the gardens. For a few pounds you can leave there with a marrow so large that it looks more like a prop from a film than something you'd see in a supermarket. (I'm thinking specifically of the Wallace and Grommit movie, but I assure you its real food). The gardens are extensive, well maintained with enough seed stock for even the most ambitious post-apocalyptic farmer.

So you have food, weapons and shelter in a house that doesn't require electricity. What are the cons?

It's in Kent. No, this isn't a dig at the Garden of England, it's just that Kent is one of the worst geographical locations in the country. Sandwiched between Europe and London there could well be millions of refugees coming at you from both directions. Depending on the specific nature of the Apocalypse you may wish to go elsewhere.

But in the meantime, particularly at this time of year, why not visit it and see for yourselves (and pick up some absurdly cheap fruit and veg at the same time.)

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/home-of-charles-darwin-down-house/#Left

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Paperback Looks Awesome!

OK, so I know I'm meant to say that, but that doesn't stop it from being true.

Its available from: Amazon UK and Amazon.com and directly from the publishers feedaread and you should find it in all other major online bookstores, and available to order from any good bookshop in both hemispheres.

I'll upload some photo's later to try and convince you that this is a seriously cool looking addition to any bookshelf, but we had a storm in London last night and before I do anything else I have to deal with a tree that was uprooted in the garden.*

*OK, it's only a three foot high bay tree, and really all the storm did was knock over the pot, but how often do you get to call people and say "The storm blew over one of our trees was blown over last night."?**

** Fine, so where you are you probably get proper weather, all full of cyclones and typhoons and volcanos, but all we usually get here is rain, sun and perhaps three days a year of snow, so there's no way I'm missing this oppurtunity. What? Didn't you know the Brit's like to talk about the weather?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Pre-Apocalypse London (Part 2)

Here's a few more photos taken from the viewing platform on the Shard. 



The first one is of South London. Against the horizon on the left hand side is the Crystal Palace transmitter at the top of Sydenham Hill. If you look about 2mm underneath the base of the transmitter, there's a cluster of houses visible above the tree cover, just in front and to the right of those houses, hidden by foliage, is Bill Wright's house.


This is the view across the river, showing the City of London, the Gherkin and the now infamous Walkie-Talkie*. Just looking at that picture again, I can't think of a worse, but at the same time more interesting, place to end up at The End of the World.

*in case you missed the story, the angle of the glass windows reflected the late-summer sunlight in such a way that it part-melted a car parked in the street below click here for the news story on the BBC

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Free eBook Day / World War Z tie-in


It's finally here. World War Z is released on DVD in the UK today! Woohoo! I've been waiting for this film for ages (I think I saw the first rumours about the film back in 2008) and today I will finally watch it. I've managed to avoid all the reviews, all the spoilers and synopsis. What little I know is:
1) Some of it was filmed in Glasgow (I'm hoping this is the Battle of Yonkers.)
2) Brad Pitt's in it as some UN guy (presumably the Max Brooks/Narrator character from the book
3) From the rumours I couldn't avoid see zombies can run, climb and fly (which I'm assuming is some kind of joke. I mean, flying zombies? Well, its an interesting idea, sure, but would completly change the survival tactics humans would need to employ)

I'm going to pick up a copy of the film later, and this evening, finally, finally, I will get to watch it...


In honour of that, for today the short story Zombies vs The Living Dead will be free on Amazon.

UK click here

US click here

edit (22/10/13):

Well, the promo is over and I hope everyone who downloaded the story enjoys it.

As for the movie... well... um... I think it would be fair to say that having waited so long to watch a film there was no way it could ever have met my expectations. After the initial shock wore off (and I went online to read a few reviews) I sat back and, after a while, actually enjoyed it.
As far as zombie films go it's actually good, isn't it, but as far as book adaptations go... Well I've found a comic that expresses it rather well, click here for World War Z comic from The Oatmeal.

Now I'm starting to worry about what the Hobbit will be like (I'm waiting until all three films are out before I watch them.)

 

The Paperback Is Out! (sort of)


 
The paperback version of Surviving The Evacuation is now available, published by Feed-a-Read and priced at £6.99 copies can be bought by clicking here

A brief note on the layout and format:
This is a 72,000 word novel, printed in a 6 x 9 inch format (think softback or airport novel if you don't have a ruler to hand). It's an odd size, perhaps, but after playing around with formats (and remember that with printing you've got to pay for each additional page printed) this was the best compromise between physical size and layout to keep the list price down. It is almost identical to the ebook version. The only differences were the addition or removal of a few spaces between paragraphs in order that the last word or sentence of a paragraph didn't appear on a seperate page.


It will be out soon* on Amazon and (hopefully) most other major stockists. 

*soon being the proverbial length of string, but I am assured it will be no longer than a couple of weeks...

Friday, 18 October 2013

Pre-Apocalypse London (part 1)

I try and write all my stories "on location"... which was the perfect excuse to take a trip up to the viewing platform on the Shard. I took a lot of photographs of the route that Bill Wright took in his journey from Sydenham to London Bridge to Greenwich, but, sadly, the torrential rain and my own inexperience with photography led to most being... well, artistic would be the charitable way of describing them. I'm going to play around with them, see if I can make them viewable, but for now here are the first few. (click on the images to view them in full screen)


This is the view to the east of the Shard,The wide black tared road at the bottom of the image is London Bridge. The narrow bridge second from the top, is The Millenium Bridge (formerly the wobbly bridge) above that is Blackfriars, a railway bridge that has been newly refurbished, with exits either side of the Thames. The odd black panelling on the roof is actually solar panelling.


The view from to the west of The Shard. With Tower Bridge in the forground. On the north bank, east of Tower Bridge, is The Tower of London. Worth considering as a refuge if you are trapped in London during a zombie apocalypse.







This is the view to the south. In the top, silhouetted against the horizon, you should be able to make out two radio/tv masts at Crystal Palace, which is situated ontop of Sydenham Hill. Bill Wrights house is a short way down the hill.

Paperback (Almost) Available

Surviving The Evacuation Book 1: London is almost available... Almost. I hadn't taken into account the time it takes to actually print the books. But within 1 to 6 weeks (and isn't that nicely vague), the novel will be available to buy from most (I hope) online stores, and available to stock in most (again, I've got my fingers crossed here) bricks and morter bookshops.

The list price will be £7.99, higher than I would like for a paperback, but I think it's competative (and about the lowest I can charge and still afford turkey at Christmas.) 

Rest assured that as soon as its available I'll be singing and dancing about it in the blog. For now, watch this space...*

* I've always wanted to say that!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Book 1: London Available Now

buy surviving the evacuation book 1: london from amazon

Surviving The Evacuation, Book One: London is now available in ebook form from Amazon. 

It will shortly be available from all other major (and some minor) ebook retailers, and in print form soon after that (by the end of October)
 
The outbreak started in New York. Within days the infection had spread to every corner of the world. Nowhere is safe from the undead...



Bill watched from his window as London was evacuated. His leg broken, he is unable to join the exodus. Turning to his friends in the government, he waits and hopes for rescue. As the days turn into weeks, realising inaction will lead only to starvation and death, his thoughts turn to escape.



Forced to leave the safety of his home he ventures out into the undead wasteland that once was England, where he will discover a horrific secret.



buy zombies vs the living dead from amazon
Zombies vs The Living Dead, a short story ebook set in an English retirement home during the evacuation is now available from Amazon (and from other retailers shortly)


The outbreak began in New York. Within days the world descended into chaos as the infection spread to every corner of the globe. Across Britain, millions of people are told to leave the less defensible villages, towns and cities for the safety of one of the enclaves being established around the coast.



For George Tull and the other residents of the Waverly-Price Retirement Home, evacuation is not an option. Finding the staff have left, George has to choose between trying to save those he loathes, or abandoning the woman he loves to an uncertain fate. 

Bill Wright's Journey

This is the route out of London (the black arrowed line). Click on the image to view it in full screen.


(edit - 23/10/13)
This is the twenty third version of the map... still not great, is it? I'll be upgrading the scanner before I try and upload the maps for book 2. As soon as I do I'll change the images. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Paperback Delayed by Federal Shutdown

One of the more esoteric victims of the US Federal Shutdown has been the launch of mine (and others, I have to assume) print versions of my novel. The book is ready to go, but I'm waiting on the IRS for a tax code.

I wait with baited breath, checking the news on a half hourly basis for an agreement to be reached, and as I click refresh, I imagine the behind-the-scenes, back-room meetings. The tense stand off, on one side the Republicans, on the other the Democrats, unwashed, unshaven, haggling without sleep for days, and then someone cries, "But we must reach an agreement, think of all those British authors, waiting to publish their zombie books! Please, won't somebody think of the zombie-authors?!"


But then the page loads, and I read that the stand off continues... 

Covers: Aren't they cool?

Well I think so. My covers were designed by: http://www.bookcoversale.com/ 

It's one of the three products or services* I feel confident in endorsing. The prices are ridiculously reasonable and they were both finished in under a fortnight. So if you are looking for covers for your book I couldn't recommend them enough.



*the other two are 1) Douwe Egberts Eastern Promise freeze dried coffee,two cups of which can make 4am seem like midday; and 2) Red Hots, the cinnamon candy made by Ferrara, These are absurdly hard to get hold of in the UK, even in the few specialist US sweetshops, which is a good thing otherwise I doubt I would anything else.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Evacuation Map


The Evacuation map of Britain showing the  proposed enclaves based around the islands, ports, oil refineries and nuclear power plants, and the zone to be abandoned to the undead. 

This map originally formed part of the evacuation plan submitted to Jennifer Masterton MP and the Emergency Coalition Cabinet, after it became apparent that the country would not be able to feed itself nor survive a major outbreak after the infection spread throughout the world.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Author's Note

Not wanting to pad out the book or confuse the "look inside"/"preview" features of the ebook stores, I didn't include an Authors Note in the ebook editions of the novel or short story. Instead I include them here. 

I am planning on releasing a series of four novels within the "Surviving The Evacuation" series. The first three are the first person diaries of Bartholomew "Bill" Wright and the survivors he meets as he wanders the wasteland that is Britain, searching for an explanation as to how the undead came to stalk the Earth. The fourth book, a third person narrative (and the book I wrote first) is set ten years later and is set in The United British Commonwealth, one of the few functioning societies left on the planet.


It has little in common with the Britain of today, but nor is it a vision of a grim dsytopian future (except in that the undead still plague most of the major landmasses of the world). It is a society where police patrol the streets after dark, not to suppress the populace, but because there are walking horrors stalking the night. Where everyone is armed, not because they distrust their neighbours, but because at all times they must be ready to protect them. Where everyone wears stout, reinforced leather, not out of some state mandated requirement for uniformity, but because that is the most readily available form of protective clothing. Where there is a curfew, enforced by armed police who will ask for the papers of anyone they do not recognise, not out of fear of the unknown stranger, but because of the strict quarantine in place to protect the future of humanity itself. A time where there is no crime, not because our petty jealousies no longer exist, but because each survivor knows there is a greater threat facing our species and only collectively can it be faced. Of a time when everyone has dark secrets in their past; where everyone is a survivor...

But I found that the more of that story I wrote, the more background I needed and the more I kept coming back to the Outbreak itself and those terrible, horrific first few months and years when everything collapsed. So I went back to the beginning. In this fourth book, this story set ten years after the outbreak, one of my characters found a journal detailing the immediate aftermath of the outbreak. The author of this journal was never named (that page had long been destroyed) nor was there any indication as to whether this diarist had survived. 

This became the series Surviving The Evacuation. Book 1, (available now) deals first with the events that caused the outbreak, then the horrors of the evacuation as the journals author escapes through Southern England.

With each novel I plan to release a short story featuring characters and events which didn't fit in the first person account of the novel. What happened in the US after the Presidents broadcast, what happened to the nuclear powered submarines, or the flotilla of refugees heading to Britain, the governments who sought exile in The Republic of Ireland, and what happened to Sam... Those questions (and many others) will be answered in the short stories, but first I wanted to explore what would happen in a Retirement Home when zombies walked the Earth. That is the story told in Zombies vs The Living Dead.

Zombies vs The Living Dead



The outbreak began in New York. Within days the world descended into chaos as the infection spread to every corner of the globe. Across Britain, millions of people are told to leave the less defensible villages, towns and cities for the safety of one of the enclaves being established around the coast.




For George Tull and the other residents of the Waverly-Price Retirement Home, evacuation is not an option. Finding the staff have left, George has to choose between trying to save those he loathes, or abandoning the woman he loves to an uncertain fate.









"Zombies vs The Living Dead" is the first in a series of short zombie stories recording the aftermath of the outbreak, and is a companion piece to the series “Surviving The Evacuation.” both are available now from Amazon.

Surviving The Evacuation, Book 1: London

The outbreak started in New York. Within days the infection had spread to every corner of the world. Nowhere is safe from the undead...



Bill watched from his window as London was evacuated. His leg broken, he is unable to join the exodus. Turning to his friends in the government, he waits and hopes for rescue. As the days turn into weeks, realising inaction will lead only to starvation and death, his thoughts turn to escape.



Forced to leave the safety of his home he ventures out into the undead wasteland that once was England, where he will discover a horrific secret.



Surviving The Evacuation, Book 1: London is the first volume in his journal and is available now from Amazon.