So I’m part of this thing called Apocalypse Weird. In fact, I just finished the first draft of my novel Reversal that is expected to become part of the Apocalypse Weird world. I know you’ve heard me mention Apocalypse Weird—but I'm sure you're wondering: what is it? And honestly sometimes I wonder too!
Apocalypse Weird represents a major collaboration among writers to build an elaborate, interconnected world to serve as a setting for our own stories, and as a setting for the stories of other writers in the future. The setting is of course, not surprisingly, given the name, apocalyptic… storms, zombies, magnetic reversal, viruses, voodoo and much more will all be at play in this world.
How does Apocalypse Weird work?
In the first round of Apocalypse Weird, fourteen writers are developing novel-length stories based on a set of rules given to us by the Wonderment Team, our leaders in this venture. We had to pick our location, and our novels have to incorporate certain plot events that will happen in all of the locations. We also have to get our characters to a certain point at the end of our novels. Other than that we are free to develop the characters and stories we want. But there is a master plan for it all and there will be umbrella arcs tying all the novels together under the Apocalypse Weird brand.
The kickoff novel for the whole collection The Red King by Nick Cole is already available. It is free (in the US and UK) and it is a super fun read that is already racking up great reviews. It also contains, I’ve heard, Easter Eggs for novels to come that have been incorporated after the ARC version that I got to read. There are many amazing writers participating in the first round of novels including Michael Bunker, E.E. Giorgi, Steven Savile, Matthew Mather, Kevin G. Summers, Eric Tozzi, Chris Pourteau, Tim Grahl, Weston Ochse, Lesley Smith, Kim Wells and Forbes West.
In the future, as invited by the Wonderment Team, other writers will take up the torch, or torches, and the first round of authors may write further in the worlds they’ve created. As Michael Bunker observed,
“It’s MARVEL meets graphic novels meets Lost meets Publishing meets Stephen King.”
I don't know about you, but I kind of liked Lost.
So what is new and exciting about this?
1) It is a bunch of authors working together
This is not only fun, but helps to foster creativity, a little healthy competitiveness, and collegiality amongst a bunch of people who usually work at home in their pajamas.
2) It is a bunch of traditionally published and indie published authors working together
It feels like we are building bridges and letting the world know that the important thing is the fact that we are all writers, and we write great books, not who our publisher is. How cool is that?
3) It's huge and at this point unlimited in scope
The fifteen initial novels are just the beginning. There will be sequels to The Red King. There will probably be sequels to the first fifteen novels. Other writers will be brought in to develop their own locations and story lines. Other writers will be able to write in the worlds already created by the first and second round of authors. It will be a very big world with a lot of potential for creative stories.
4) The Red King is great
It’s free. You have no excuse not to check it out. I mean zombies, apocalypse… what else is there? Seriously though, it has a very fresh take on zombies, which, believe me, is hard to do.
5) It could be a whole new approach to publishing
While some of the details are still being worked out, it could offer a whole new way for writers to publish, be associated with a brand, and still maintain control of their work.
6) Apocalypse Weird will have lots of opportunities for reader involvement
For example, it is possible that readers will be able to choose which heroes make it to the end game (Back to that healthy dose of competitiveness for the writers. Everyone wants to write a hero good enough to make it to the end game). But best of all, there will be an element of game playing to the reading experience, with the Easter Eggs and some other surprises the Wonderment Team has in store for you. There will also be a WIKI available to readers so they can follow the arcs and story lines and find out what is happening in the AW world.
7) Because, well, Apocalypse
Did I mention the zombies?
So what do you need to do to be part of Apocalypse Weird?
First, if you have not already, pick up The Red King while it is still free. Second, sign up for the Apocalypse Weird email list so you can be kept up to date on what is happening. It will be really fun to see where this goes and what is possible in this new age of digital publishing and marketing. Don't forget to also sign up for my email list if you want to stay up to date on my new releases.
Next up for me is the third installment in my Complicated Weight of Air series, which I might finally release on Amazon once that third installment is finished. The second installment, "Bifurcate", is already available on Kobo and iTunes and in all those good places. Reversal, my Apocalypse Weird novel set at the International Research Station on Ellesmere Island, should be released in February. Then I have another adult novel Confessions of a Failed Environmentalist coming in May and a new anthology announcement coming soon. Whew--it may be time to finally quit my day job in 2015, but more about that later. Sign up for my email list and you will be entitled to ARCs of any or all of these items.