Since putting out Rise of the Dead, I’ve had a bunch of people asking me if there will be a sequel. There will be! But… there’s a catch. The second book may not be what you expect from a sequel.
I am already at work on book two and there’s a number of surprises. There is a new narrator for starters. A new ass-kicking female protagonist takes over as the storyteller for book two. Writing from a female perspective is kind of a new thing for me, but it really fit in with what book two is all about. So far this character is probably my favorite personality I’ve developed in my writing. I also didn’t want to get stuck in one voice, not that I don’t love and relate to Blake in a lot of ways. As a writer I wanted to keep it interesting and relatable to different readers, so even if they couldn’t connect with Blake, they might enjoy book two.
The book also takes place in a different location. In book one, I really wanted to recreate the area where I’m from in the story. You can actually trace the route of the characters to many of the real locations where the story takes place. Setting plays more of a character role in book two, where we find ourselves in the Ozarks, a place that many believe to be one of the safest in the world. Some real people that have believed the end of the world was coming a long time ago have wanted to set up communities in the Ozarks to survive the apocalypse. Maybe we will even come across some in the sequel, hint hint.
Time. Some time has elapsed between the first and second books. This book happens about a month after the total collapse of civilization. The number of survivors has dwindled and those that remain have formed into small groups or bands to try to stay alive. Getting supplies or finding sanctuary has become more dangerous than ever before, and those that have won’t hesitate to kill to protect it.
So, how is this even a sequel?
This story takes place in the same world as book one, with a number of the same characters. It gives me a lot more opportunity to develop some of those characters from the first book in more depth that just wasn’t in the time of financial budget for book one. They will also play an important role in the narrative of the second book. I won’t say which characters are showing up, but you will know them right away when you read about them.
The goal is to create a sequel that can work as a standalone novel as well. Hopefully, readers will be able to pick these books up and read them in any order without feeling as though they are missing pieces to the puzzle. It might even be more fun to read them in reverse order. Each novel tells parts of a larger story, develops characters further, and… adds to the total body count.
If you liked the main characters that survived the first story they are still alive and well in my imagination. They will be making a return, just not yet for some of them. Yes… that means there is a book three that is already planned. I take breaks from book two to work on the third book sometimes. It is fun to go back and forth incorporating bits and pieces of the whole story into each novel.
Book two should be available for preorder early this summer. I’m already working on the cover. You can follow the progress on both books on the tracker on my About page. Will keep you all posted!