Friday, April 17, 2009

Exhaustion Be Thy Name!!

As the World Dies: Siege is rough going right now. The world is bleaker, harder and more heart-wrenching than the other two books. The zombie action is ratcheted up and fierce. Nothing feels safe anymore for the characters and their world is bleak and gray.

It makes for a killer zombie novel, but I'm emotionally exhausted!

There will be new sections in the book. Not quite as numerous as book 2, but more than book 1. Again, it is missing scenes that I thought were there, but alas, were not.

Siege is a very hard book for me to write. The first draft was written after the brutal death of a family member a few years ago and it was one of the most difficult times of my life. Though I knew what came next in the story, I had yet to write what has become the third part in the trilogy. I almost gave up on writing the story altogether because I was so devastated by the death in my family. It was the emails from fans that spurred me to keep going.

It was hard at that time to write about death, especially when four months later another family member died. The death count in Siege is very high and the deaths of my characters was something that was not easy to write. But I felt I owed it to the fans of the story to finish the story they were so dedicated to.

Now I as I work on this draft of Siege I find myself haunted by that time period. I could not immediately figure out why I was feeling so depressed whenever I opened the novel, but then it came to me in a flash that I was being reminded of a very hard time in my life. Just realizing that has made working on the novel easier.

A few people have complained over the years that my characters don't give into despair but keep living their lives despite the terrible world around them. They say it is not realistic. But it is. I have done that very thing myself. I have lost people I loved (friends and family) and still kept living my life. The world feels a little emptier and a lot scarier, but to give up my life when they have lost theirs feels like blasphemy.

I think that is why so many people love ATWD so much. It doesn't focus wholly on the horrible aspects of the zombie outbreak, but shows humanity struggling to make a good life for the few who have survived.

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