I promised my fans if my Muse ever whispered a new story in my ear in the As The World Dies universe, I’d consider writing it. I honestly didn’t think it would happen after all this time. It’s been ten years since I finished the original trilogy.
But…she showed up, and did just that!
AFTER SIEGE will be a direct sequel to the As The World Dies trilogy. It will be set at the Fort, and feature the cast (those who survived) of the original trilogy. There will not be a time jump. In fact, it starts right after SIEGE. The only major difference is that it won’t be Jenni & Katie’s story this time. It will be Emma’s.
Who is Emma?
Emma is from Emma’s Story “The Fearless Zombie Killer.” That story, the only untold tale set after the trilogy, appeared in the Untold Tales Volume 3 (and you can get the entire omnibus here ). She was in the original epilogue of the online version of As The World Dies, but I declared it non-cannon. It was pretty much fan service except for Emma’s role. I took the nuggets of her story and expanded them for an untold tale.
I’ve always loved Emma. I always felt bad that I couldn’t find a way to fit her into the original trilogy. When I wrote the untold tale, it was because I wanted my readers to love her, too.
So, these last few weeks I’ve been working on various projects and having long planning discussions with my husband. The big moment came when I was talking about The Last Bastion of the Living, and how the key to the sequels was switching protagonists.
“Honestly, I don’t want to write an As The World Dies story without the original cast. I don’t want to write about Katie without _______.”
“So don’t. Write about another group in the same world,” my husband suggested.
“But that’s not As The World Dies. That’s just another zombie story. And I already wrote The Living Dead Boy series. I can’t just stick Emma into _______’s spot. It wouldn’t be the same.”
And that’s about the time when the Muse popped up, and whispered in my ear.
My faulty thinking was in believing I had to fit Emma into someone else’s role instead of just following her story. Through her eyes, the Fort is new again. I get to write about all the same old characters, but they’ll be fresh to her. She’ll be creating new friendships and maybe making a few enemies. She’ll have to carve out her role in the Fort.
I tried to dismiss the idea, but I’ve been dreaming about Emma. Dreaming about her life. Her experiences. I’ve been dreaming AFTER SIEGE.
The only way I can write this book this year (2017) is buy funding it through Patreon. A full FAQ on why is further down in this email.
If you know others who loved As The World Dies, please spread the word!
Q: Why do you need patrons on Patreon?
A: After two years of illness, my finances took a hard hit. I’m trying to rebuild my career and need your help to get there. I’m increasing my output now that I’m well enough to do so, and hope to regain the ground that was lost when I was unable to write. Patrons play a vital role in my publishing life. Honestly, they keep me writing.
Q: If you don’t raise the monthly sum, won’t you just write the book anyway?
A: No, I’ll have to backburner it because I won’t be able to afford to write it. I’ll just continue with my current writing projects because they’re cheaper to produce, and add to my monthly income when published.
Q: What do you mean you won’t be able to afford it? You’re writing other books.
A: AFTER SIEGE will take much longer to write than my other novels. After ten years away from the world, I’ll have to reeducate myself on all the ins and outs of the books, take copious notes, reacquaint myself with the characters, and make sure I’m not repeating old storylines. Also, because of being so thoroughly burned out on the ATWD world after revising the trilogy for publication with Tor, I know it will not be an easy endeavor. It took nearly two months to write Emma’s Story for the Untold Tales. I love her, loved her story, but I still struggled to get the words out. So I anticipate a long writing period. And this will impact my monthly income because I won’t have other books coming out. So I’m asking for fans to support me while I write and also help me pay for the publication costs.
Q: Why would the publication costs be different from your other books?
A: I want hire my old editor to edit this book, and I can’t afford her at this time. I trust her knowledge of the world and her skill set. I also want to hire a publicist to help promote the book as wide as possible. I want to advertise the book in as many ways as possible. As The World Dies is my biggest trilogy and I feel a fourth book needs a wide push, especially because it won’t be in bookstores.
Q: What if you don’t raise your monthly goal?
A: I’ll keep writing the books on my schedule and continue to put out exclusive content to my Patrons such as my post-apocalyptic serial In the Shadow of a Dying World and the My Publishing Story video series. Maybe I’ll write the first chapter of AFTER SIEGE and let them see what I will eventually write when I can afford it. I’m going to leave the AFTER SIEGE goal on my Patreon until I hit it. Whether that takes days, weeks, months or longer, we’ll see.
Q: Why don’t you use Kickstarter or Indiegogo?
I prefer Patreon because I don’t have to live in fear of not reaching full funding. Also, I like how I can regularly post content to the various tiers. They’ve made some improvements on Patreon that I really enjoy, and it’s become much easier for me to communicate with my patrons. Also, I can adapt if there is a fluctuation in funding month to month. My goal for this project is to gain more patrons on the $1 and $5 tiers.