Remnants 2 complete

I just hit the “submit” button on Amazon and all the other distributors (B&N, Apple, all the chintzy minor platforms that never, ever sell anything and I don’t know why I bother).

Book 2, “Dead in her Tracks” is complete, and as soon as the cybernetic gatekeepers approve it, it’ll go live and I’ll link it here.

Oh, I made a better cover than the one I shared previously. The old one was actually an edited screenshot from Fallout 4.

Here’s the story behind the cover: I was in New York a month ago and my wife and I stumbled into the Museum of Native Americans, which is just up the street from Battery Park. I saw this thing hanging on a wall and really liked it. It’s a Crow warrior’s shield. A big part of the book takes place on a Crow rez, and the creepy guy on the front is kind of how I imagine a primitive man might draw a zombie. It was owned by a chief by the name of Sore Belly who lived in the early half of the 19th-century.

Speaking of covers, I don’t know how any of you people can buy most other zombie books that I see on Amazon. They almost always have hunky/beautiful people staring raptly back at you through enchanting green eyes with a shotgun slung over their shoulder and a devil-may-care haircut. Whoa, ho! Young Brad Pitt over here is sure gonna kick ass and take names! He definitely is the sort of guy who can field strip a rifle and knows how to knife fight! When I see those covers I’m embarrassed for the author because it looks like they accidentally uploaded his/her private jerk-off fantasy.

BUT I DIGRESS.

Part 2 is a lot more involved than the first. I don’t really expect it to be as well-received because it’s not as purely action-driven as the first, and that’s partly why it took me a lot longer to finish. Also, it isn’t free. But it’s an interesting story, and I hope you like it.

I promise Part 3 (“Dead of Night”) won’t take so long.

 

Also, I mostly hate social media but I decided I should have a twitter account again: @face_jonathan

He’d never finish it, they said…

Boom.

 

I *think* that’s the cover I’m going to go with, but I’m still not really happy with it. It’ll be on amazon in about a month.

It’s a bit of a departure from Part 1. Instead we’re following a parallel story taking place on the other side of Montana from Four Corners and the good ole’ Walker Farm, but it wraps together in the end.

I’ve not been slacking, by the way – I’ve been preoccupied with short stories. I’ve probably finished 50,000 words worth of them in the last 6 months. Some of them are pretty good, some of them fall into the category of “eh, not bad.” I may share some of the latter here, since I think they’re all right, but probably not good enough for any magazine to consider paying me.

I’m going to turn off the “account required” feature of wordpress for awhile, so feel free to let me know what you think. What that also means is you’ll probably see lots of comments like “EXCELLENT POST ABOUT $SUBJECT_MATTER, JONATHANFACE! HERE IS A LINK ABOUT HOW2BUY CHEAP CIALIS”

In other news, Remnants Part 1 is coming to Audible. It’s being read by a very talented voice actor and recurring character actor from some of my favorite 60s, 70s, & 80s television shows, Steve Carlson.

(You may also remember him as the guy who crashed the NBC jet in fictional Latham, Massachusetts)

 

 

Need more time.

I know I said August 2017 for part 2, and I meant it at the time. I’m mostly done, but now I’m in edit-mode. For me that’s like winning 85% of a battle.

And also I need to make a cover. I don’t know – three, four weeks? Stay tuned.

Preview of “Dead in her Tracks”

The woman walked west across the great prairie, following a desolate highway which neither rose nor fell nor turned for three hundred miles; a straight line of pavement bisecting a vast, frozen grassland. From an airplane it would’ve looked like a single dark stitch running over an enormous white cloak; but of course, no one flew anymore.

It took her most of winter to cross.

Snow squalls blundered in, draped the land in white and turned the stunted scrub trees into sparkling ice sculptures. It robbed the world of color, and at times this made her woozy, and black spots danced on the edge of her vision. On clear days, when the sun was at zenith, its glittering, reflected radiance would sometimes render her snowblind.

She took a pair of sunglasses from the glovebox of a wrecked Altima. They helped, a little.

When it didn’t snow, the sky was vast and blue and empty. When it did snow it was hard and gray and all-knowing.

Nobody plowed the highway that year, and when the drifts piled up past her thighs, she would go down on all fours and drag herself over the worst of it until the snot froze on her nose and her hands bled and her malnourished arms trembled from the exertion. But she never gave a thought to stopping, or turning back; she always kept moving forward. There was nothing else to do except move forward.

Her fair skin was red and ruined now, and her legs in a state of perpetual, wailing revolt. She sensed that her body had grown to hate her, and was maybe rooting for her to fall down and die in the snow. But she didn’t do that, she wouldn’t – not until she’d finished her walk.

She had never been a lovely woman, and now she knew she must look a fright – skin and bones and dirty hair and raw skin. But she no longer cared about that sort of thing. All she wanted to do was keep walking, and so keep walking was all she did. First one step, then the next. That was her world now. That was all there was.

She ate snow when she was thirsty, and when the hunger got bad enough to make waves of nausea ripple up her sternum, she would drift off the highway and rummage through deserted podunk towns of looted convenience stores and cowboy bars and rusty trailer homes on cinder block feet. When she needed to sleep, she did it inside empty cattle shacks, or on the back seats of abandoned cars along the shoulder of I-70.

Once, hunger jabbing daggers in her gut sharp enough to bring faint tears to her eyes, she ate from a cow carcass – a snow-covered lump she’d found sprawled behind a barbed wire fence. She tore strips from its flank and ate them raw and was sick for days after, but managed to keep most of it down.

She barely saw anyone, and that was okay, too. She didn’t want company, wasn’t sure she even remembered how to speak. She’d been a guest lecturer at the university one fall—perhaps a thousand years ago—and she’d bored entire army divisions of undergraduates on such enthralling subjects as The Biology of Neoplasia and Molecular Medicine and, most notoriously, Introductory Biostatistics. Language had come easily enough, then, but now the very thought of it made her anxious.

What would she say? What was there left to say?

Silence was her refuge; her weapon.

If you’re here ’cause of Remnants and it’s only 60 pages…

You probably want the updated version, which is about 3x as long and includes the next 2 sequels. Amazon has told me they have notified purchasers that an update is available, but if you haven’t received it, you need to enable automatic book updates on your kindle.

  1. Login here: https://www.amazon.com/mn/dcw/myx.html
  2. Click the “settings” tab
  3. Scroll down until you see “automatic book updates”
  4. Toggle it on.

You should then automatically get the latest version of the book when your Kindle is next online.

*this helpful tutorial brought to you by the blank stone wall which is Amazon’s support portal.

Some changes

I’ve decided that The Remnants series doesn’t work so well in monthly, 10k-word installments. So I’ve removed Books 2 & 3 from stores, and instead I am going to bundle 1, 2, & 3 together in Dead Loss. It’s now about 100 pages, which feels like a better value to me. Also, at $1 a pop, sales of the sequels don’t even earn me bus fare. At low price points, Amazon only grants me a 35% royalty, so if you are some sort of math wizard you can calculate however much that gets me from a $1 sale.

I’m uploading a new release as I speak. As soon as it’s approved by Amazon, I’ll request that they push updates to everyone who’s previously downloaded the first edition, and it will still be free.

If you bought the second book (Dead to Rights), you might want to request a refund from Amazon, as its contents are now included in Dead Loss.

The 2nd book is going to be called Dead in Her Tracks, and it’ll be longer too. I expect to have it out by August.

Sorry for the confusion. I’m making this up as I go.

Hello_World.PHP

I am launching this thing because I’ve been putting out all these writing projects lately and it occurred to me that I don’t really have an appropriate pretentious author website yet. So if you google me you would probably only find me yelling at household products on twitter: WORST FLOOR WAX EVER!!! @JohnsonWax

Also, WordPress seems like something I should probably know about.

Going to try to write something every few days, because everyone says that’s something you should do. My natural instinct is to be as snarky as possible but that also becomes tedious, so I’m just gonna blurt out whatever I’m doing that day, whether it’s writing-related or something else.

Expect long, dry articles about how to install SSL certificates on Amazon EC2, I guess. Booooo!