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. :)

Monday, 26 September 2016

Surviving The Evacuation 8: Anglesey - Out Now

Bill's back. He's trapped. He's alone. He's unconcerned.

Paperbacks (should be available to order from Amazon on Wednesday, and from your local bookshop on Friday)

(It will also be available on Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Smashwords & Tolino)

Eight months after the outbreak, Bill Wright is trapped during a survey mission of Ireland. Surrounded by the undead, low on food and lower on water, he’s been in this situation before. Unlike before, help is only a rifle shot away. While waiting for the rescue he’s sure will come, he records the turbulent events since his last entry.

The Welsh island of Anglesey has become a sanctuary for survivors from across the zombie-infested world. It has electricity, wheat, and not much else. Medicines and equipment, plants and fertiliser, books and batteries, and so much more are needed if this last bastion of civilisation is to survive. Scavenging expeditions depart for Svalbard, Liverpool, and the southern Atlantic, but a discovery is made far nearer, one which will change the fate of all those who’ve come to call Anglesey home.

Set on Anglesey, in Bangor and Caernarfon, and in the Republic of Ireland, Bill’s journals continue, as do the adventures of Kim, Annette, Sholto, George, Mary, and a few other familiar characters (not all of whom are to be trusted...)

I'd recommended that you read the spin-off stories, Here We Stand 1: Infected & 2: Divided, before this novel.

The series will continue in Book 9: Belfast, out this winter


Happy reading,

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Surviving the Evacuation, 8: Anglesey - Out Next Week

After a lot of rewriting, Surviving the Evacuation Book 8 is finally (almost) about to be published. It's due back from the final proofing tomorrow.  I've a few changes to make to the ending, but it'll be out next week. If you want to make sure you're among the first to know when it's out, you can join the mailing list here: (I'll also post here as soon as it's out)

Set on Anglesey, and in Bangor and Caernarfon, and in the Republic of Ireland, this is another journal, picking up, more or less where Book 3 finished. It continues the story of Bill Wright, Kim, George and Mary, and a few other characters you may remember. Though this is a self-contained story, the survivors account will continue in Book 9: Belfast, due out this winter.

I've worked out a rather fun ending to the series, though I'm not sure whether this will be in Book 11 or later. Before we get there, there's a return to the United States in Here We Stand 3, due out next year.

Speaking of which, I would strongly recommend you read Here We Stand 1: Infected & 2: Divided before Book 8: Anglesey. It will provide a bit of background to the heroes and long-dead villains, and to a few locations important to the story.

Here We Stand 1:

I say that Book 8 more or less continues from the end of Book 3, the more in that statement is because the account begins in late September, when Bill... you know what, rather than trying to explain, I can just include the first few paragraphs here:

Prologue - Elysium, the Republic of Ireland
10:00, 20th September, Day 192

Trapped. There’s no other word to describe it.
I’m trapped in a small room with zombies beating against the walls outside. I have a litre of water, a handful of high-calorie ration bars that only the most desperate of submariners would call food, and I’m alone. Unlike when I was trapped in my flat in London, I’m not worried.
Just over a month ago, when I wrote my last entry, I really did intend it to be the end of my journals and a conclusion to that part of my life. I’d thought we’d found a refuge on Anglesey, a place where we could be safe. I wasn’t completely wrong, but that’s another way of saying I wasn’t entirely correct. I promised Annette that I’d write an account of the last tumultuous month and, as she insists on describing it, how she saved civilisation. As I currently have pen, paper, and little else to do until Kim rescues me, I might as well record it now, and there’s no better place to start than with where I am.
I’m a mile south of Kenmare Bay in County Kerry on the southwestern coast of the Republic of Ireland. More specifically, I’m in the garage of a walled, fifty-acre farm called Elysium. At least, that’s the name that’s carved into the plaque by the main gate. According to the address at the top of an unpaid parking ticket I found in the desk drawer, it’s called Ifreann. My Irish Gaelic is almost non-existent. The little I know comes from a dismal childhood holiday at Caulfield Hall, the Masterton’s family estate. It rained nonstop, and I was beyond bored as Jen spent most of that summer visiting family friends in Monaco. I found little with which to entertain myself other than a few books on Celtic legends. They were in English, but with a few words of Gaelic peppered in. At the back was a vocabulary list. Ifreann was used often, and I always understood it to mean Hell, not some Elysian paradise.
The garage is large enough for four partially dismantled cars parked abreast though there’s only three in there right now. I am in the stiflingly hot office at the side. It’s about twelve feet by ten, with a door to the outside, a door to the garage, and a hatch leading to the roof. I’ve barricaded the exterior door with a filing cabinet. If I listen carefully, I can hear the zombies that chased me in here. They’re pawing and clawing at the door, but it’s sturdy and secure. I’m safe. The reason I need to listen carefully is that two dozen more are beating and hammering at the metal shutters that cover the entire north face of the garage. Inside, there’s a set of sliding, transparent doors that can be opened so the cars can be driven out. With the shutters down, there’s no light in the garage, and no light in this office except that which comes from the hatch immediately above my head.
Beyond the zombies immediately outside, there are forty or so gathered in the driveway near the fountain. There are at least that many, and probably more, near the tennis courts and pushing their way through the trees that screen the fifty-acres of farmland from view. North of the garage is a three-storey mansion. I didn’t get too good a view of the building before the zombies appeared through that screen of trees. It’s a mystery where they came from. They. It is they, not They. I’ve only just noticed that I’ve been writing it in the lower case.
Kim said that my use of the capitalisation was a way of disassociating myself from the impossible horror surrounding us. I won’t lie and say I don’t fear them, particularly when I can hear their desiccated fingers dragging down the brickwork outside. It’s simply that they are no longer my greatest fear. The nuclear power plant on Anglesey could melt down. The water treatment plant could break. The old world food stores may run out before we have productive farmland. And, of course, there’re the threats that only come with people. I don’t mean disease, though it is an increasingly present danger. I mean violence and murder, and the fear and disunity those bring. That is why the undead are they not They, not anymore. Whatever I call them, and whatever my fears for the future, right now the zombies are my most immediate problem.


Book 8: Anglesey - Out Soon in ebook and paperback. :)

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 Canada - Amazon France - Amazon Germany

Itunes - Kobo - Google

Paperback from Amazon UK - Paperback from


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.