With the Kindle edition of For Those In Peril On The Sea currently on the edge of the top ten best-selling books in the horror genre on Amazon.com, I figured now might be good time to give my readers an idea of what’s coming next. Well, at the moment, I’m planning on writing a total of three books in the For Those In Peril series, with the possibility of a fourth book lurking in the back of my mind.
I’m currently about two-thirds of the way through the first draft of the second book, with the rest of the plot sketched out on paper. This book will be set in the same world as For Those In Peril On The Sea, and will start with an outbreak of the same disease in my home town of Glasgow in Scotland. It will feature a new cast of characters and will be about people struggling to survive in the initial days and weeks after the virus breaks out of the Americas and reaches Europe. As with the first book, much of the action will take place on and around boats, with the waters of the west coast of Scotland, and its many remote islands and mountains, providing a perfect backdrop for the scramble to survive. This will also create a marked contrast with the balmy sub-tropical setting in the first book.
The third book in the series is still very much in the planning stage but will see the characters from the first two books meet up. Rather than focussing on the immediate aftermath of the collapse of civilisation, it will deal more with the challenges of long-term survival face by a small group of survivors in a world where the infected rule the land. The fourth book, if it happens (and, at the moment, I’m still not too sure if it definitely will) will go right back to the beginning and will focus on the events within the biotech company that led to the creation of the vaccine which sparked chain of events leading to the first three books. In many ways, this will be a book for the geeks who really want to get into the nitty-gritty of the real science behind the world in which these books take place.
At the moment, the second book, which has the working title of On The Edge Of The World, is scheduled for release in June 2014 (to coincide with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games), and the third book for sometime in 2015. However, before either of these comes out, there’s going to be an anthology of short post-apocalyptic and zombie stories called Zombies Can’t Swim And Other Tales Of The Undead. These stories will be familiar to those who read this blog as all but one will have been posted here before. However, the aim is to bring them all together, give them a bit more of a polish and issue them as a print and Kindle ebook at a nominal price for those who prefer reading short stories in a more traditional format. There will also be one completely new story that’s never been available elsewhere. I completed the last of the 22 stories which will go into this anthology yesterday and now all that’s left is the fiddling around needed to get it into a publishable format. At some point, there will also be a curious volume called The Little Book Of Zombie Mathematics: Fifty Zombie Based Maths Problems. As the title suggests, this will consist of 50 zombie-based maths problems from my Maths With Zombies blog.
In amongst all this zombie stuff, there are also a couple of other books which I wish to write. The first of these is called West End Rats, which would be very loosely based on my student days in Glasgow spent listing to rock music, riding around on motorcycles and doing lots of things that mean I’m very glad neither Facebook nor mobile phones with cameras existed back then. This is a book I’ve had sitting on the back burner for more than a decade, and I’m really not too sure whether it will ever see the light of day. In fact, this is the book I moved back to Glasgow to write in 2010 only to get side-tracked by zombies and writing For Those In Peril On The Sea.
The second of these non-zombie projects has a working title of Jongleurs (an old French term for itinerant minstrels) and while there are autobiographic elements in much of my writing, this will be the one which draws the most from my actual life. It’s the story of two street performers trying to make into the big time as jugglers, and the woman who comes between them. For much of the period between 1994 and 2000, while building my fledgling career as a marine biologist, I earned my living working first as a juggler and then as a magician, in a similar double-act both on the streets of Glasgow, and at official events and festivals. While we were good enough to have made it quite big, I found the amount of practice needed to keep my skills at a sufficiently high level was too all-consuming, and that while it was fun, I was only really doing it to help pay the bills as I worked my way up the academic ladder. However, I look back on those days, and the people I met and worked with, with a certain level of fondness and sometimes I still wonder just how big we could have got if I’d made different decisions about which career path to pursue. In many ways, writing Jongleurs would allow me to explore this alternate reality.
So this gives you a rough idea of where I see my writing going in the future. Not all these projects will happen, and some might not happen for many years. In particular, my main focus at the moment is completing the Zombies Can’t Swim anthology and then the next two books in the For Those In Peril series. This will easily fill the next few years, and after that, who knows exactly where life will take me…
From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.
To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.