To start off this series, we start with the question I am asked nearly every day via facebook, twitter, and emails.
Will there be anymore books in the AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy?
|The trade paperback covers|
The answer is simply no. A trilogy is three books, not more, not less. All three books have now been released in trade paperback and are also being issued in mass market paperback with all new covers. My publisher, genre giant Tor, bought the trilogy in its entirety after its successful run as a self-published work.
|The mass market paperback covers|
When I finished SIEGE, I felt an immense sense of completion. The trilogy fully tells the story I wanted to tell. It starts with Jenni and Katie fleeing a city in Texas for the Texas Hill Country at the end of the world. The trilogy ends when things come full circle for the characters. I totally and completely feel that I finished the trilogy on just the right note and it felt perfect.
But I want more to read in the AS THE WORLD DIES universe...
|Untold Tales Volumes 1 & 2|
But you could write a next generation book...
I have never been a fan of next generation books. It's inevitable that I end up missing the characters from the previous generation and original books. Finding out what happened to them in retrospect and not actually experiencing those moments always feels a little lukewarm to me. I just don't care much for them.
If I were to ever write in the AS THE WORLD DIES universe again, I would most likely start a new trilogy where the other one left off. I have no desire to skip ahead, or write about a group of survivors elsewhere. I'm just not interested in doing that.
Spoiler Alert (Highlight text to read): For those of you who still think Jason is the fort's John Conner, remember that it's Calhoun, the schizophrenic, who makes this declaration. Rune's prediction that Jason was important to the fort was prophetic about Jason fixing the fire line in time to deflect the zombie horde. Jason doesn't have some epic legendary status to acquire in the future. He's just a kid with great ideas living in the zombocalypse.
But shouldn't I write more if the fans want it....
I totally understand that the fans want more. I'm glad they do. That means I wrote a story that they love and feel connected to in a dynamic way. Yet, I feel the story I wanted to tell is complete. Though I know in general what comes next in that world and what the future looks like even 150 years down the road, I don't have an actual story. It's like looking at a textbook and reading the history about a town. That's all the information I have with no more details. It doesn't feel like a complete story to tell. I'll be honest--the only way I'd be interested in revisiting that world is if I had a full, complete, very exciting 2nd trilogy to tell, and I don't have that. I just have enough information to maybe write a short story.
But what if Tor wants more books...
Tor, my publisher, would have to have a good solid reason to want me to continue writing in the AS THE WORLD DIES universe. In other words, it would have to make financial sense. Sales would have to indicate that it would be worth the monetary investment. Even if I had a killer idea for another trilogy, if Tor looked at the numbers and felt it wouldn't be financially feasible, they would pass on the idea.
If you want Tor to know you want more in the series, buy the books for yourself, for gifts, and for your local libraries. Though I have new fans of my work because of libraries, only the initial sale of the book to the library counts in the eyes of the publisher. A lot of times readers have no idea how powerful the simple act of buying a book (not second hand) actually is in the life of a writer. Buying a book is your way of voting for your favorite writer and your favorite series. It's a tangible indicator to the publisher that you are willing to invest in the writer and their vision.
Right now Tor is interested in growing me as a horror writer, not necessarily a zombie writer. My next book for Tor, DEAD SPOTS, is straight up horror and not a zombie novel. The only way they'd probably grow interested in any sort of book related to AS THE WORLD DIES is if the numbers reached levels that indicate the zombie craze in publishing is not quite over yet.
But don't you want to keep writing AS THE WORLD DIES...
Actually, no. I'm truly burned out on the world that I spent a ton of time in for nearly seven years of my life. I wrote the story as an online serial for two years then spent five more years refining it. The three books have been rewritten, revised, and overhauled for two different publications (self-pubbed and Tor). When I finished SIEGE, I felt a complete and total sense of relief. I had written the story I wanted to tell and was ready to move on. I have so many more novels to write with all new characters and new worlds and to remain in the one that ate up my life and creativity for seven years doesn't appeal to me. I still have to deal with the first pass and copyedits for the mass market paperback version of SIEGE, so I'm still basically dealing with the trilogy.
I love all the characters, I love the story, and I'm so proud of the book, but I'm burned out on it. Imagine if you could only watch the same three TV episodes of your favorite show over and over again for seven years. Yeah,that's pretty much how I feel.
I'm thrilled that the story and the characters are so beloved. I'm excited that fans love it so much they want more. It means that I wrote something powerful that touched people and what more could a writer want?
Maybe one day I'll have enough distance from the trilogy to have fresh new ideas take root in that world and blossom into something great. Maybe one day sales will be so great Tor will come knocking and ask for more. Maybe...maybe...
But the AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy is done. It's complete. If I ever venture into that world again it will be a new story arc with a different feel and whole new dynamic, but I don't see that happening in the near future.
If you're dying to read about zombies Rhiannon Frater-style, remember I do have other zombie novels. THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING was named the #1 zombie book release of 2012 by Explorations, and THE LIVING DEAD BOY AND THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS is my little known zombie story that all ages can enjoy.
P.S. I honestly don't want to keep writing AS THE WORLD DIES until all the characters I love have died. :(