Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The other common question I am asked is to recommend other zombie books that I like. Since I've been working on my zombie novels for almost 7 years on and off, I haven't read as many zombie books as people might assume. I tend not to read in the genre in which I am writing at the moment. I usually cram my zombie reading into time periods when I'm writing about other kinds of monsters. But I have read a few books in the genre that I'd like to recommend.
IF YOU LIKE A DASH OF HUMOR
BREATHERS from S.G. Brown was not only funny, but a story with a great plot, sympathetic characters, and a nice dose of social commentary. It was so clever and well-written, I could completely understand why Hollywood snapped it up so quickly.
I had the pleasure of meeting S.G. Browne at a convention we were both appearing at. He is a very nice guy and it was a pleasure meeting him. I was very excited when I got an autographed copy of his novel.
Timothy Long does a great job making the obscene, macabre, and profane incredibly funny.
IF YOU LIKE NONSTOP ACTION
I met Joe McKinney a few years ago at a local convention in Austin, TX. It was a great pleasure to meet him and chat about the zombie genre. He was very encouraging to talk to and he gave me some of the best advice on my writing career I have ever received.
Robert Best and I have a playfully adversarial relationship in real life. I mock his enormous head and he loves to proudly proclaim how much I suck. But I have to give him kudos for this book. I stayed up a good chunk of the night reading this book in one fell swoop while attending a convention where he was also appearing. I could not put it down.
IF YOU LIKE DYSTOPIAN FUTURISTIC NOVELS
The author, Carrie Ryan, is one of the first women to write in the genre and she's amazing.
Both of these books are Young Adult, but its definitely fare adults can enjoy.
IF YOU LIKE SUPERNATURAL ELEMENTS
I'm not going to lie. David Dunwoody is one of my absolute favorite authors. He's amazing. Every time I read his work, I wish I had written it. He's just so good.
IF YOU LIKE STEAMPUNK
Cherie Priest does a killer job with this novel and I loved the entire premise. I'm not a big steampunk person, but she really sold me on this world.
IF YOU LIKE NON-TRADITIONAL ZOMBIES
If you don't mind your zombie fare with a twist of something different, this one is for you.
IF YOU LIKE SHORT STORIES
I have a ton of zombie novels still sitting in a huge stack in my bed room waiting to be read when I'm finally down with the AS THE WORLD DIES series. I plan to read Jonathan Maberry's DUST AND DECAY very soon.
What are your favorite zombie novels?
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
This is a one day workshop and it does have a fee.
Here is the class information as it is posted on the Writers League of Texas Website:
|Saturday, October 1, 2011|
10 AM - 4 PM
Updated Workshop Description
Every day the writing world takes notice of a new self-publishing success story. Today’s writer is empowered by the new media and has many options they can utilize to get their book into the hands of readers. This class will help writers create their own success with a comprehensive look on how self-publishing works from the very first step of honing a novel for publication to how to distribute the finished book to the masses. The class will not only provide an overview of the self-publishing process, but will concentrate on creating a publishing plan for each student.
This one day class will help you:
Rhiannon Frater originally self-published her zombie trilogyAs The World Dies in 2008 and was offered a three-book deal with Tor in 2010. Rhiannon’s career has given her a unique perspective on self-publishing versus traditional publishing. The first book in the series, The First Days, is now in bookstores everywhere. The First Days also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. All her novels (self-published and traditionally published) have been optioned for TV and film. Rhiannon has a writing blog at and awebsite.
Please note: This class was originally a three-part workshop, but it has been rescheduled as a full-day workshop.
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning self-published author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days,Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novelThe Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she self-published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called 'one of the best zombie books of the decade.' She has recently been picked up by a major publisher.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
When you consider that the original word count was around 160,000 and it is now....drum roll please....
I think you can understand how much work I put into this final book.
The biggest challenge, as I had stated before, was making an online serial into an actual novel. Translating what had been basically a daily writing exercise done for fun into a streamlined and coherent story was a huge challenge.
After reading my revision letter from my editor, at first I felt very worried about how the original ATWD fans would respond. I mostly felt guilt because I was loathe to cut out stuff the original fans of the story had enjoyed. I also had to guiltily admit I had modified some of the online story to match fan expectation. There were a few occasions where I abandoned original concepts to satisfy fan demand. My editor pointed out that she could "see" where I had tried to make my fans happy, but the challenge before me was to take all those elements and wrestle it into a good book.
That comment completely liberated me. I realized I owed it not only to myself, but to all my fans to make SIEGE the absolute best it could be.
I have to say that I actually gleefully slashed a swath of destruction through the book, eliminating parts that were entries I wrote on particular days because I HAD to write something, excising portions that were written just to make fans happy (like "first day" accounts--which I can turn into Untold Tales), and plot points/sections that did not match my original concept. At one point, I was so happily cutting sections, I saw the word count dropping fast.
Happily, once I was done slashing, I was able to weave the remaining threads into a tighter, stronger, more coherent story that returned its primary focus to Jenni and Katie. I was even able to write NEW scenes and draw out certain plot points that enhanced the story.
By the time I finished this morning, I was literally beaming.
Siege is leaner, meaner, and closer to my original vision than ever before.
I now anxiously await my editor's response. Hopefully, she'll like it, but even if she tosses a few more suggestions at me, I know they'll be good ones. Seriously, my editor at Tor is amazing.
I'm so proud of my work on SIEGE right now, I could bust!
Now, I'm going to go pass out.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
It's not a starred review, but it is a very good one. I really loved the last line.
Fighting to Survive:
Friday, August 12, 2011
And the new back cover.
They say you can't judge a book by its cover, yet many people do. Hopefully, this new cover will encourage people to not pass up the story inside.
In the midst of our fun, I received an email from my publicist at Tor about a review from Dread Central for the new version of THE FIRST DAYS. She cut and pasted snippets from the review and gave me a link to the actual website.
You can read the entire review here.
Here are the parts my publicist liked:
I read the email aloud to my husband over lunch and he liked it, but warned me to "not get a big head."
I think it's rather impossible to get a big head in this business. Most writers are neurotic and bundles of anxiety for a reason. I've had my share of ups and downs as a writer. Though I'm on the upswing right now, I remember far too well how hard it was to get to this point. Though I loved the review (and it made me grin), the little writer voice inside my head whispered, "What if you never write anything good again?"
Hopefully, I can one day shut that little voice up for good, but for now I will continue to write the best books I possibly can.
P.S. Inspiration hit in Vegas and I have a whole new novel to write!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
So here is a quickie update on what is going on.
I'm being rather heartless with the revision. When Tor bought the AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy, I knew right away that SIEGE was going to have to be chopped down. When the editor's letter said 60,000 must go, I was like, "Well, here we go."
I've had to step back from the story and look at it critically. Originally, it was written as an online serial. I was posting on a fairly regular basis for a long time, but then had a rough patch in my life where it was sometimes very hard to get up the urge to write. On those days, I would post a scene that wasn't going to be very taxing on me emotionally (it was a time of great loss in my life), so these scenes were usually sidesteps out of the main story. I'm now looking at those scenes with my red pen poised as I wrestle the online serial into an actual novel. I have already slashed about four of these type of scenes and the story has not lost anything at all.
One scene I slashed in half, because I realized the back story that is told in the scene would make a killer short story. So slice out half a scene, gain a full short story.
Another scene met the red pen of death because it was very similar to another scene. Same two characters, same topic of conversation. Slash, gone.
Another scene was kind of fun for world building, but I realized a sentence or two somewhere else would give the reader the exact same information. Slash, gone.
I'm making good headway, but it's slow going. I have rewritten a few sections and sometimes I linger over sections as I decide what should stay and what should go.
Meanwhile, SIEGE has made its appearance in the TOR catalog for Winter 2012. It features the original cover of the book that was later dropped for the new cover with Jenni and Katie.
|Final concept for Siege Cover|
|Original concept for SIEGE cover|
I am very happy that my editor and I both agreed that the cover had lost some power by not having Jenni and Katie. The original cover was a good zombie cover, but it did not feel like an AS THE WORLD DIES cover. I really love the final version.
You can now pre-order SIEGE at Amazon.com.
AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES VOLUME 1 Release
I am so pleased that this book is finally out! I had planned to release it two years ago, but the series was purchased by Tor. It took a bit of time to finally get the okay to release the short stories I had written to promote the original trilogy.
One of the stories, Vacation of the Undead (Eric's Story), is a work I wrote right before the release of the self published version of THE FIRST DAYS and posted it on Scribd. It had a very positive response and many fans asked me to release it in paperback. Though Vacation of the Undead is a long story, it is novella length at around 40,000 words, I felt it was too short to put out as a novel. To give the fans of the series more bang for their buck, I decided to add two more short stories to round out the book.
I'm so pleased that it is finally out and selling well.
You can order it for most ebook formats here.
You can order the Kindle version here.
You can order the paperback version at my online store (where I get a better royalty). I has yet to be listed at other online retailers, but should be within two weeks. Disregard the estimated shipping dates. Those are greatly exaggerated.
New Cover for THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE
|Original artwork by Detra|
The first cover of the TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE was created by Detra. I had loved the work he had done on the original AS THE WORLD DIES books and since he's Goth like me, I thought he'd do a great job with the cover of my gothic vampire novel.
When I first saw the artwork, I loved its rich colors and gothic atmosphere. It also had Detra's fabulous touch and I just loved it.
But I have learned since publication is that a cover that does not appeal to your potential readership may end up being your bane.
Tonight, these are the numbers for the book on Amazon.com on Kindle.
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,909 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #57 in Books > Romance > Vampires
- #70 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror
- #91 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror
Not shabby at all, but I've been getting these sorts of comments in the reviews.
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy cover art, BUT awesome book!,
When I first saw this book I thought that's a really lamo cover so I didn't buy it
I couldn't ignore that. If people judge a book by its cover and they don't like the cover, they're not going to buy it. I realized I had to put away my own feelings about the cover and commission new artwork.
Philip Rogers has been doing an amazing job with the new artwork. He has taken the elements of the old cover and created a beautiful new scene. Check out the "rough" of the new artwork.
|Work in progress-new cover by Philip Rogers|
THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE Nears Release Date
The sequel to THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE is with the editor and Philip Rogers will soon be working on the cover artwork. I have already heard from a few of the test readers and I'm very excited to get their feedback. I believe we are on schedule for a release in late August or early September. I will keep you posted.
In closing, I'm hard at work and hope to bring you new stories in the very near future.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Grab yours today!
To purchase, click here.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES VOLUME 1 is now for sale at Smashwords in multiple ebook formats.
Here is the description of the book:
THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES introduced Jenni and Katie and their harrowing journey to the makeshift fort in the Texas Hill Country.
But theirs is not the only tale to be told.
In the first volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.
Deep in the Texas Hill Country, a man and his little dog takes refuge in a bed and breakfast located in the hills above a doomed town where an infested rescue center might unleash the hungry undead…
On a deserted highway slicing through the desolation of West Texas, a woman struggles to survive as she faces the horrifying aftermath of the rise of the zombies…
And finally, discover what happens on the first day to Katie’s beloved wife, Lydia, as the world dies…
The paperback will be available hopefully by the end of the week. Enjoy!
Update: The Kindle version is now available at Amazon.com.