I have been slowly putting my first novel, A Long Walk, on this site, chapter by chapter. There are a few left. I think three, and they are short.
The sequel is coming out soon. I’m about halfway through editing it, maybe a little more, and it’s good. I like the hero more than I like Jasper (the hero from a long). Is that weird since Jasper is a very definite self-insert character? Chad, despite being military, is more innocent, younger, less jaded.
I do think that Clyde, my villain, is less compelling than Robert in some ways, but in others, he’s more. He’s definitely more clearly evil from the start. A very different kind of villain. He’s nasty, vile, cruel, but his motivations aren’t moustache twirling. He does what he does for reasons that make sense to him and to those who follow him.
I don’t think there’s any question you would not want to spend a day hanging out with either of them… well, maybe Robert at the start. Not at the end though, not once he’s fully and completely gone mad. Clyde on the other hand, never.
It’s an interesting contrast. There’s a love story in the new novel, the only love in the first novel is friendship or parental… the closest to a romance subplot in novel 1 is beyond abusive. Love plays a reasonably large role in novel two, we get to see two people grow close together over the course of time.
One interesting thing I did in novel two is with race. The main society in novel two is genuinely post-racial. There are two categories for them, human and zombie. If you are human then who cares what colour your skin is? Sexism is, however, more of an issue and I do explore it a bit. Of course, humans have a second category, which is long-term cannibals. Those are treated as closer to zombies than to humans.
It’s a darkish world, and as I explore it there will be much more darkness. I’ve only really touched the surface. The reclamation project, which is where novel two is focused, is based on hope. It’s trying to take back the world from the zombies, trying to allow humanity to spread out again. There will be other stories. The Tales from the World of the Dead are bleaker, they concern the daily lives of average people in this world. Some will be in New Hope, the last human city, and some will be in other places where bands of humans exist. Then there will be Stories of New Hope. That series is essentially noir in a city surrounded by zombies with a shrinking set of resources. It is about the lowlives, criminals, the underground. What kind of things are people doing on the fringes of this tenuous society? After all, it’s not like crime suddenly goes away.
So far I have the primary cast for the reclamation series fleshed out. I know who they are and how they act. I have the outline of what the Stories of New Hope looks like, I know some of the major players (and they are introduced or alluded to in Resource Economies, the second book).
So, this is the future of the World of the Dead. There will also be a website soon. I haven’t built it yet because I’m trying to decide how I’m going to do that. Will it be a quick and dirty WordPress or will I do something good?