I was tagged by Kat Cantrell before the holidays and things kind of got away with me so I’m doing it now. Better late than never, right? In Kat’s The Next Big Thing post, she wrote about her current WIP MARRIAGE WITH BENEFITS. You can read it here.
If you don’t know about the Next Big Thing, it’s a blog hop where authors are asked 10 questions about their current WIP. They can then tag four more people who will post about their WIPs.
What is the title of your book? (I’m going to do the WIP I was working on at the time)
Not Quite Dead
Where did the idea come from for the book?
A friend of mine, Tamara Morgan, and I were talking about zombies and she suggested I write a book with some. I decided to give it a go, even though I didn’t expect to ever write about zombies. I’m a bit of a purest when it comes to zombies (to a point) and knew I wanted the mindless flesh eating kind, so I worked with how the world would be in 20 years after a zombie apocalypse and what would happen in the seedy underbelly of the criminal black market.
What genre does your look fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
Honestly I have no idea. I kind of see Jason like Nathan from Haven…almost.
What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s been 20 years since zombies took over Toronto and zombies aren’t the only monsters roaming the destroyed city.
Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
To be determined at this point.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft took me about two months… but the rewrite took much longer.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.
I’m not sure to be honest. I mean, I’ve been reading zombie books, but none have resonated with me enough to compare it to.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
If it wasn’t for Tamara, I probably wouldn’t have written it. Then I started watching the Walking Dead so…I got hooked on that.
What else about your book might interest the reader?
It involves a heroine responsible for the zombie apocalypse, a beta hero with fear of the dark (and close spaces), and a weird, crazy, very sexually open black market runner side-kick (I think this word would be the most appropriate).
Sera knew the rules. She’d created them for very good reasons and she’d broken one of the most important ones—never go out after dusk. It was a zombie eat human world and she was the Big Mac on their favorite menu.
Not only was she not indoors where it was safe, she was in an alleyway(another rule broken—stay away from cramped, narrow spaces). She was beyond careless at this point and was headed firmly in the downright stupid category.
Never leave the protection of your shelter at night. It was too dangerous.
A guttural, wet moan echoed somewhere off in the distance—a sound of hunger, of mindless bloodthirsty predators hunting their prey down.
She wasn’t sticking around to find out who they were after. Not when the mob was so close they could probably already smell the sweat on her skin. It was an abnormally warm summer night, but despite the heat that glued her hoodie to her skin, she knew better than to go walking around without the protection of an extra layer of clothing. If she was ambushed she’d be screwed. She was already being stupid by being outdoors and the added weight of her backpack wouldn’t help matters if she had to run.
If she had any other way of getting the merchandise from Trip, she wouldn’t be here, but she was in desperate need of restocking her supplies. She could go maybe a week…two if she pushed the limits, but it wasn’t something she was willing to risk. She’d be too visible if she missed a treatment.
And being visible was equated to death.
All she had to do was go through this alleyway and she could slip into the worn, half-rotted dilapidated building that had once been a family owned restaurant, and then use the fire escape to climb onto the roof if possible. She could cross from there in safety to the “meet” as long as the roof hadn’t caved in. At least that was the plan. That was another rule—always know your way ahead of time. She’d done her research, but that didn’t mean circumstances hadn’t changed.
First, she had to get there.
Part of the reason for the late meet was the fact that there would be no uninfected around. If they were smart, they’d be hiding. The moment night descended the infected had all the advantages. Not that the infected—aka zombies—were affected by the daylight. They weren’t vampires after all, burning to ash at the slightest ray of the sun. No, fate had decided to screw mankind instead with monsters with the taste for human flesh who weren’t controlled by circadian rhythms or solar weaknesses. They moved about during the day as affectively as at night. It was just that at night, they could see perfectly fine, their eyesight and other senses unhindered.
And that made them dangerous to those who couldn’t see in the dark.
As she reached a bend in the alleyway, a shadow about a hundred feet away from her moved, knocking a pile of garbage to the chipped, weed overgrown pavement. She jerked her body back, flattening herself against the wall and slid down in slow increments.
On hands and knees, she backed up. The infected man had turned his back on her, body bent over what looked to be a small animal. A rat maybe. She didn’t really care what kind of meal the man had found. Truthfully, she’d rather not think about it at all. She didn’t need to have the image of what had probably been someone’s poor pet stuck in her mind.
Not that there were many animals around anymore. When the uninfected population dwindled, fresh human meat became sorely lacking. The infected turned to the animals as meal sources. Cats, dogs…livestock. It didn’t make much difference.
While the man was busy tearing into the carcass, Sera backed away as fast as she dared go. A second and third infected—a woman and another man—had joined the first and were making their way down the alleyway.
They weren’t newly infected. She could tell by their pronounced stiffness as they shuffled forward. After seven years of being turned, and without a constant supply of fresh meat, the infected lost flexibility as their joints wore and muscles atrophied. That didn’t mean they were harmless. If anything, it made them more dangerous.
Sera quickened her pace, heart tripling in her chest. The woman had found something—a doll—and was playing with its hair. Leprosy-like sores had eaten away at her face, leaving a large hole in her cheek and a sunken nose. What wasn’t destroyed, Sera saw the all too familiar black veins that scattered over the woman’s skin. The sight of the woman—who probably should have been no more than twenty-five—playing with the doll left her feeling sickened at such an innocent, ordinary act.
In a different turn of events, that could have been her. The woman wasn’t much younger than her. The only difference was that Sera was a freak. The woman out there had been someone’s daughter once. She’d been loved. Had a home and a family…and probably a dog.
It was an entirely different world. One she’d never known.
With a sigh, Sera scrubbed a hand over her face. She knew better than to think like this. It didn’t do her any good wondering about what she could have had if she’d been anyone else. Reality was, if she had been anyone else, she probably would have ended up like that woman…and probably have eaten said family and dog.
Reaching for the straps on her backpack, she adjusted the weight on her shoulders and retreated. Gravel and broken scattered glass tore at the palms of her hands, a shard piercing the meat of her thumb.
She jerked back sharply and stared at the bright red that oozed from the cut, then froze and held her breath as the woman’s head jerked up.
All three infected twisted around, grey eyes locked on hers. A low scream vibrated in the woman’s throat, a sound that chilled Sera to the bones. The others reciprocated and from the mouth of the alleyway, the mob responded.
Fuck stealth. The time for being careful was over.