These days they would be called novellas but back in the day they were most certainly novels …and you know what, I miss them!
What am I talking about? Well the genre paperbacks that used to line
shelves in bookshops everywhere. Most of these books were around 125
– 175 pages and offered quick but satisfying reads, works from authors
such as Guy N. Smith, James Herbert, Gary Brander and others of that
ilk. Now these days these slim volumes would be categorized as novellas
but even although the page count was low, the stories were most
certainly big. The plots were perfectly contained with no wasted words,
and no skippages padding. I know a lot of novels that could do
with that treatment – in my opinion the novella is the perfect form for
a horror story and far too many otherwise good books have been padded
out to the point of skippages in order to confirm to an industry need for 500 page plus tomes.
I’ve got news for you folks – these days Stephen King’s
Carrie would be considered a novella, as would James Herbert’s Rats and I
could go on and on and…
It’s not only me who misses the golden days of paperback fiction –
there’s even a magazine devoted to the subject that I would recommend to
anyone. Paperback Fanatic is an excellent publication that features intelligently, well researched articles on the subject of genre paperbacks.
But I’m going off the point here.
And this brings us to my trilogy of novels that go under the
collective title of, The Dead Walked – as soon as I had the idea for the
series I knew the novella was the perfect format even if the story
itself is huge in scope – over the three books we will travel from the
everyday to Necropolis itself. The first volume was originally due this
October but the first volume had to be called back
at the eleventh hour for a major re-write since it contradicted events
when the third book in the trilogy went off in a different direction
than I had initially envisioned. Characters can be rowdy and stubborn and sometimes the author has no choice but to let them go their own way.
The manuscript is going through the editing process now and I should have a firm publication date very soon – better delay than error I say.
And of course there is the point that after three bestselling
traditionally published westerns and a historical crime novel, I wanted
my self published debut to be up to standards – there’s a lot of swill
out there in self publishing land, and I don’t want my readers to wade
through any from my pen. Kitchensinkpublications is the name of the
company I have set up to publish my Vincent Stark books and if they are a
success then I plan to publish other authors and built up a vibrant
list of titles.
So I hope you’ll all come along for the ride when volume one –
Outbreak is published later this month. If you do I know you’ll enjoy it
enough to be waiting eagerly for the second and third volumes. It’s the
story of a zombie apocalypse like no other, for when the necromancer sings the dead shall walk. I’ve not skimped on the covers either and have hired legendary artist, Tony Masero to
provide the artwork for each volume. You can see the stunning painting
for volume one and I’ve already seen a rough sketch of the artwork for
the second volume and it’s one sexy mother. I hope the storytelling
within do justice to the stunning cover art – HOPE…scrub that, I know it will.
So get ready for an announcement soon – the eBook will be available
in all formats and on sale everywhere and although I don’t have the
confirmed price yet, I can say that it will be comparable to the
paperbacks of years gone by.
Not for her was the spectacle of high summer, nor the
morose beauty of mid winter. Of course they both had their fineries but
these paled next to the season when the leaves glittered with reflected
sunlight. It was the autumn, with September being the highlight of that
season, which she loved – a time when nature put on its finest display
as the lush summer growth was magically transformed as if by a sepia
wand spewing gold dust into the air.
The sky itself seemed to glow at this time of year.
September was a time of promise.
A time of rebirth.
Not this September, though.
This September, Missy would remember as, the time the dead walked.