Library of the Living Dead Press. I say this is new, but to me, the characters and the world they inhabit have become old friends, and I certainly hope they'll soon become friends of yours, too.Well, Constant Reader, I've been talking about this one for a long time and now it's finally here. Through long delays in publishing and editing, my new novel, "Area 187; Almost Hell" is finally in print from Doc Pus and all the good folks over at
So, what's it all about, you ask? Well.....
In the year 2007 an accident at a clandestine U.S. government facility in rural West Virginia releases several test subjects infected with a necrotic virus. Within weeks the U.S. military and the Department of Homeland Security are forced to declare the bulk of the state under quarantine. Defensive lines are fortified and nothing is allowed in or out, damning those missed in the short period of evacuations to a living hell and locking away the real truth of the virus’ creation.
The government transfers the responsibility of maintaining the quarantine from the military to the Department of Homeland Security, which christens it “Area 187”. Suits and claims are dismissed under anti-terror legislation as the rest of government scrambles to cover their involvement in the original project, distancing themselves and their reelections.
Seven years pass.
Homeland Security enforces a total news blackout on all things Area 187, and as with other disasters before it the bulk of America is more than willing to move on. Conspiracies continue to thrive outside the now-immense defensive wall and fortifications, and mercenaries known as “grave robbers” regularly slip in and out of the Area, stealing valuables and taking contracts to bring back specific items for well-paying customers. Our story follows Josephine Terrell, a television reporter and John Heath, once an Air Force search-and-rescue team leader that escaped the Area after five years of fruitless searching for his wife, as they risk their lives from both the dead and the living inside Area 187 to rescue a group of survivors.
Josephine is looking for the story of the century, one that will prove living, breathing Americans still await rescue inside the Area and that Homeland has been covering up their existence. Heath joins her mission after he sees what may be his wife, Eileen, in a video message from the survivors. Personal rivalries, government conspiracies and a simple man’s simple promise weave together with death incarnate to follow their every step as they make their way through a blasted, nightmarish landscape full of the hungering dead. But the peril offered by the mindless corpses behind the wall becomes second to the danger presented by the living beyond it…
Unlike most zombie stories that show you either the beginning of the death of the world or throw you into a world already dead, "Area 187; Almost Hell" shows you what could happen if the apocalypse was contained before destroying all as we know it. What lengths would government and the military-industrial complex go to absolve themselves of blame and responsibility in the aftermath? How would those outside the territory now given over to the dead go on and how would their old world adapt to the presence of this new one? How do those left behind to be ruled by the dead survive, and how do they affect their loved ones forced to leave them behind? It's one thing to be a survivor in a whole world gone mad, to accept that everyone you've ever known and loved is either dead or worse. It's quite another to live among the dead knowing there's another world just beyond the quarantine wall, a world filled with your family and friends, a world you can never again inhabit due to factors and politics beyond your control. The biggest difference between my story and many others is that in most zombie tales, no one can ever go home again. In this one, you can't go home again.
The book is available now at Amazon.com and through the Ingram catalog for those that still like to buy their books from the brick and mortar stores, and the Kindle version should be live shortly after this post goes up. You can also "look inside" the book and get a preview of the world of Area 187 there as well. Now, I know the $25.00 cover price is a bit high. However, at that price it automatically qualifies for free shipping (no more searching for another cheap item you don't want so you can get free shipping on the $24.99 item you do want). You're also getting 620 pages in a 6x9 print format. That's just about 230,000 words of fiction, and if I do say so myself, it's some pretty damn high-quality fiction.
Keep watching here for more about the book as well as my upcoming projects. I'll soon be releasing a zombie-themed anthology through Smashwords tentatively titled "The Dead Tell Tales" (my first foray into the self-publishing world) and will have an audio anthology free for the download coming out near the end of summer as well. In the meantime, please take a minute to check out "Area 187; Almost Hell" at Amazon. It makes a great gift, and at 620 pages it also makes a great doorstop. You can also hear me most every week on The Witch's Hat podcast and read genre movie reviews on the blog of the same name. In fact, you never know just where I may pop up, perhaps even under your bed. Who knows?
So until next time, Constant Reader, I'll simply say; just write, damn it.