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.