It’s a time of change for me right now, and so it’s also a time to take stock and plan for the future. So where to next?
After much thought, I have decided to relocate from the Kent coast to London. Much as I love being by the sea, and have lived there for the last 16 years, I also miss living in a vibrant city. An excellent job came up in London, and I’ll be starting it just after Easter.
As a full-time teacher, I struggle to find much time to write. This will be even more challenging as I’ll be running a department again. However, having spent the last few months working in a school department alongside the prolific Elsye Harwood, I’m sure I’ll somehow find the time. Many a morning was spent comparing our experiences of writing. Almost without fail, she would have written substantially more than me the evening before.
So, to the future? The first series of the Royal Zombie Corps was completed with the release of Tigers at Cambrai at the start of March. I’ve got several ideas of where to take this story, and next would obviously be the conclusion of the Great War. However, much scope exists to address the chaos of the earlier Weimar Republic, and the Russian and Irish Civil Wars. There are also the small actions and conflicts that occurred across the British Empire, any of which could be an interesting setting for the Zombie stories. However, I must confess I’d also like to address the issue of a general zombie outbreak.
The next book I’m working on is the sequel to The Butcher’s Funeral. This was the first published story I wrote. This was initially serialised so that I would maintain the motivation as I battled through the chapters, uncertain if I would ever succeed in completing it. The next story will be longer and released as a single book. At the time of writing this blog, I can confirm that I have a whole story outline, with the first chapter already fully drafted. However, work on this has been put on hold for the whole of March as I prepared for my move to London.
Over the next few weeks I’m also intending to play with some short stories. This is so I can get back into the habit of writing, while setting up my new working patterns. I’ve always wanted to have a go at some sci-fi writing, something I’ve never previously attempted, so this is likely to feature over the next month. Of course, all this is subject to the workload in my new position, and as I’ll probably also be marking high school examinations, time will be tight.
Due to the half-term holiday, I’ve been able to quickly finish editing Tigers at Cambrai. It is available for pre-order on Amazon as of today. Tigers at Cambrai can be downloaded from 3rd March 2017. This is the fourth book in the Royal Zombie Corps series and the final one in the initial sequence covering 1916-1917.
Their greatest challenge, so far, awaits the men of the Royal Zombie Corps at Cambrai. After a successful demonstration, the British plan to use the zombie tactics formulated by Alfie Marsh, alongside the other advances of the war. However, the enemy is determined to fight off this new horror of trench warfare, in an increasingly industrialised war.
Book 4 of the Royal Zombie Corps continues the story of Alfie Marsh, and his friends, as they face the might of the Triple Alliance in the trenches of Western Europe. Following a zombie outbreak in 1916, the British have been developing the zombie as an offensive weapon to break the deadlock of the trenches. Following the accidental discovery that zombies can be controlled by a select group of individuals, the men of the Royal Zombie Corps have been developing the tactics that they hope will bring the war to a successful conclusion in 1917.
This story is written in British English and is approximately 23,000 words long.
At last ‘Gas! Gas! Gas!’, the third instalment of the Royal Zombie Corps has been uploaded to Amazon and is available now.
I’ve been sitting on this book for quite a while as it was finished in July, but I’ve only just got around to completing the editing. The great news for anyone following the series is that the fourth book is in the final editing stage. Also the covers for the fourth book have already been created.
I had quite a bit of fun with this book as the events are closely linked to the developing expertise in the British Army, during this stage of the war. This was especially interesting due to the ongoing debate about whether the Tommies were ‘lions lead by donkeys‘. This is a concept that has become shorthand for mainstream British remembrance of the subject. With the centenaries in recent years, many historians have been challenging this consensus. It was therefore an engaging academic exercise to investigate these arguments and then assign different characters to represent some of the more obvious points. By 1918, the British Army was almost unrecognisable. The failures and experiences of 1915-1917 had created an effective force that married new technology to hard-won experience in a way demonstrated by no other country at the time.
Following the failure to break through the German lines at Arras, the British look for new ways to turn their fearsome Tigers into a weapon that can turn the tide of the war in the trenches.
Book 3 of the Royal Zombie Corps continues the story of Alfie Marsh, and his friends, as they face the might of the Triple Alliance in the trenches of Western Europe. Along with the horror of zombies, Marsh has to content with the terrors of trench warfare and the ineptitude of some on his own side.
This story is written in British English and is approximately 23,500 words long.
I’ve finally had the artwork made for ‘Tigers on the Western Front’. Actually I’ve been sitting on the finished product for a week as the release date for the book has slipped. Over the last few weeks I’ve been tied up by a rather strung-out, and convoluted, house move. At the start of the month I also started at a new, and challenging, coastal school, so the day job is keeping me rather busy.
Back to the book then. The final edits just need to be completed, the artwork needs uploading, and then the book will be live on Amazon for the whole world to read. I’ve just got to fit that around marking 150 pupil’s exercise books this weekend.
I like this cover, by the same artist as who did the cover for Blood, Mud and Corpses. This cover has a far more pulpy feel, which fits well with this type of story. I’m looking forward getting the artwork done for the third book, ‘Gas! Gas! Gas!’ and also the, as yet unnamed, final book in this first sequence. I’ve not yet come up with a name that I’m happy with for the final book, although I do have a couple of ideas. Moving further afield, I’ve already got the second and third sequence of books roughly planned, probably a further eight stories of 25,000 words each.
So over the next few days, hoping to get the final edits finalised. Stay tuned to this blog for the latest information.
Tigers on the Western Front, as the second book in the series and picks up from the end of book one. Marsh and his friends are getting to grips with the new weapon they stumbled upon. The British have a new war winning weapon to break the deadlock of the trenches. The zombie knows no pain and inflicts terror on the enemy. The Allies pin their hopes on a great victory at Arras.