Oscar Mike 1/3 Complete!

zombies-city-and-the-crowdMore good zombie-related news everybody! With 22 chapters, 116 pages, and over 40,000 words (the length of a conventional novel), Oscar Mike is now one-third complete and on its way towards being finished! Granted, this is just an estimate based on the rough outline I have for the novel, but it’s a pretty good estimate.

And let’s be honest. Given the choice, I would rather not write a book that exceeds 66 chapters, 348 pages, or 120,000 words. I’m not Tolstoy, dammit. I don’t DO epics with more than 500 characters! Anyway, at the risk of previewing things a little, I decided I wanted to offer a brief synopsis of what can be expected in book III:

  1. Zombie Attack: For starters, it picks up shortly after where Papa Zulu left off. During the final chapters of that book, the Rattlesnakes had managed to drive the Eastern Faction (which is what the military units from the east are known as in book III), out of their hometown. However, the violent noise of this attack awoke countless zombies that had been living and hiding in the nearby hills. Now, the Rattlesnakes must deal with the aftermath of this latest assault by the zombie hordes.
  2. Change in Leadership: Major-General Michael Thur (aka. The Mage), was severely injured in Papa Zulu and fell into a coma. In Oscar Mike, his immediate subordinate, Colonel Haynes, has risen to take command of the Rattlesnakes. He is known for being a hard liner and a ruthless man, and his assumption of command will have dire consequences for some.
  3. Braun is MIA: After the events in Papa Zulu, Lieutenant Braun was stripped of his rank and command and sent to Santa Fe to live out his life as a civilian. Naturally, the people of 1st Platoon, Bravo Company are not too pleased with this. But for Braun, it means adapting to a new life, one where he is being compelled to make a difference in the lives of ordinary citizens.
  4. Danger Approaching: In the aftermath of the assault by the Eastern Faction, a small band of survivors is found. They carry with them a message, and some dangerous knowledge which could alter the course of the war. (Hint: Second Wave!)
  5. Zombie Revelations: For some time, it has been apparent to the people fighting the war against the Whiskey Delta that they are not all that they appear to be. For one, they continue to demonstrate that are capable of more than mere instinctive behavior, even a modicum of intelligence. And soon, a new weakness will be revealed. In addition to learning of a new threat, the Rattlesnakes will realize that they just might possess a weapon that could bring the Whiskeys down!

And that is what’s coming in the third installment of the Whiskey Delta series. Some time ago, I hoped to make it the final installment, but found that I had way too much to say to fit it all in one volume. But I am committed to ending it in five. I’m not George RR Martin either, dammit! Someone tell that guy to get back to work and finish the series!

More to follow on this and other writing ventures. In the meantime, always remember…

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Oscar Mike – Third Time’s the Charm!

zombies-city-and-the-crowdFor months now, I have been struggling to get the ball rolling on the third book in my Whiskey Delta series, otherwise known as Oscar Mike. Alas, it seems like every time I managed to get a handful of chapters written, I decided they weren’t good enough or were moving the story in the wrong direction and then throw them out. It was incredibly frustrating, but it taught me a valuable lesson.

That lesson is that writing sequels is not easy! And that’s something that I truly failed to appreciate up until now. With just about everything I’ve ever written, the work was standalone or part of something ongoing that had already mapped itself out in my head. But this time, I was just working with what I had written so far, trying to create the next act in a story that had two already set in stone.

Oscar MikeLuckily, I finally created a draft I feel I can be proud of. Incorporating a new group of characters that friends of mine created, material from the two previous drafts, and the reworked idea I now have for it, Oscar Mike is finally coming together. So over the next few weeks and months, expect to see regular updates and installments – I have 18 chapters finished to date and no intention of slowing down!

Some of them you may have seen already, others may have been changed drastically. My apologies in advance for this. And to those who read and enjoyed the first two, my apologies for all the starts and stops! Hope you like what I have I’ve done with the third installment…

Another Five Star Review for Papa Zulu!

papa_zuluYesterday evening, an additional review came in for Papa Zulu – another five star one! And I was not really surprised, as the review came from a friend/fan of mine who has been following my zombie writing for a while now. But that hardly diminished what her review meant to me. And I swear without reservation that her review was in no way biased because of our friendship. In truth, we are friends through a mutual friend and barely knew each other before she started reading my work.

Anyhoo, this is what she had to say:

Without reservation, I heartily recommend Papa Zula and its predecessor.,

A true page-turner full of gripping martial action, starring realistic and well-developed characters, Papa Zulu is a great follow-up to Whiskey Delta.

Set in the zombie apocalypse, the story focuses on a conflict between two surviving militant factions – one that is working towards stopping the spread of the virus by creating a vaccine, and the other towards getting their hands on this vaccine – through whatever means possible – for mysterious and dark ends.

Throughout the story zombies pose an ever-present threat. Williams puts a fresh and terrifying spin on our flesh-eating foes, who display an eerie intelligence, making them much more than mindless. Think ambushes. Strategy. Zombie hoards with tactical sense.

All in all a riveting tale of intrigue and battle, Papa Zulu will leave you eager for the next in the series!

It’s no nice when people like what you have to offer. Makes the whole enterprise worthwhile! And after some of the mixed reviews I received for the first book, three consistently good ones is a really nice change of pace! Stay tuned, hopefully more book-related news is on the way!

Papa Zulu Promotion Begins Today!

papa_zuluThis morning, at exactly 8:00 am Pacific Standard Time, the Kindle Countdown Deal for Papa Zulu – the second novel in the Whiskey Delta zombie series – officially kicked off! Copies are available from now until Tuesday for just $0.99, at which point they will be on sale for $1.99 until the promotion ends (on Thursday). Get em while they’re cheap! As per the rules of a Kindle Countdown Deal, these promotions don’t last long, and are only allowed so often…

Click on this link to get your copy, or on the image located in the right hand column to go to the book’s Amazon page. And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out this video trailer I made for Papa Zulu‘s release (and don’t forget to comment and subscribe):

Last Day of Whiskey Delta Promotion!

zombies-city-and-the-crowdTomorrow, Whiskey Delta‘s promotional sale (available now for the marked-down price of $1.99) officially ends! This promotion – known as a Kindle Countdown Deal – has been running since March 28th, when the book started at the low low price of $0.99. And overall, I think it’s fair to say it’s been a pretty good run, with the book selling an additional 19 copies since it began. Naturally, more people bought it when it was just shy of a dollar, but I’m not complaining.

Whiskey_Delta2But the good news is, I don’t plan on stopping there. The whole point of initiating this promotion was to get people primed and ready to read the second book in the series – Papa Zulu – which was released a little over a month ago. Naturally, I needed for prospective readers to be caught up on everything in the first book before I could interest them in the second. And now that I’ve managed to get a few people in on that, I thought a second promotion might be in order.

As such, Papa Zulu‘s Countdown Deal is scheduled to start as soon as Whiskey Delta‘s ends. It will begins on Saturday, April 5th atΒ  8:00 am and will run until 8:00 am Friday, April 11th. In accordance with the rules of a Countdown Deal, the book will be on sale for $0.99 for the first few days (Saturday April 5th to Tuesday April 8th), then $1.99 until April 11th. That’s 144 hours exactly (don’t ask me why they do things this way, they’re kind of weird that way!) and a savings of $2.50 and $1.50 respectively,

papa_zulu_cropYou might think this is all about selling more books, but in truth, my full motives are have to do with getting people to read these books in sequence. As everyone is no doubt aware, you can’t start a series partway through anymore than you could start scaling a building somewhere in the middle. You got to get in on the ground floor and see where everything goes as you slowly make your way to the top.

And I hope to get as many people as possible in on the ground floor of this franchise and then carry them along as I release the third book (Oscar Mike), hopefully sometime in early 2015, followed shortly thereafter by the other planned volumes (see The Whiskey Delta Series page for more info on that). Good luck to you all you indies out there, and always remember…

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New Promotional Deal for Whiskey Delta!

shutterstock_107588285Hey all! In honor of Papa Zulu‘s recent publication, and the fact that there are still many people who haven’t read the first book in the series (I know, it’s crazy right?), I have started a special promotion. It began just yesterday, with the price for Whiskey Delta being marked down to $0.99. This will continue until March 31st, at which point the price will go up to a (still discounted) $1.99. The promotion ends on April 4th, at which time it will go back to its full price of $2.99.

So if you haven’t read the book, get it while you can! But of course, the real goal here is to get more people prepped and ready to buy Papa Zulu, which I intend to launch a special promotion for as soon as this one ends. As always, it’s all about getting people interested in the series, which they simply can’t do of they don’t start from the beginning! If interested, follow the link below to WD‘s Amazon page and select it for Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Whiskey-Delta

And don’t forget to review! πŸ™‚

Papa Zulu’s 2nd Five Star Review!

papa_zuluWell folks, Papa Zulu has now been available through Amazon.com for just over a month. And thus far, two reviews have come in, and both are both highly favorable! I tell ya, it pays off to hold back on publication so you can make sure that everything is nicely polished and edited. And while I’m still waiting on a few more people to chime in on what they thought about the book, I am pretty happy with what people had to say so far.

Here are the reviews, with some minor omissions to make sure no spoilers were included:

(5.0 stars) So Good
By Rosie Reader

Lots of action and excitement once again; a great follow-up to Whiskey Delta! I hope there is another one in the series because I want more.

(5.0 stars) Excellent Sequel!
By S.O. “SO” (NY)

What can I say about this….except it’s an incredible follow up to Whiskey Delta! I almost wish I’d given WD a lower rating, just so I could rate this a higher one LOL. It picks up pretty much where book 1 left off, but it is written in such a way that if you didn’t read WD you wouldn’t be too lost. It’s not so much about the zombies this time, but the aftermath of that and the internal conflicts both within the Army and within each person.

(Spoiler, spoiler, spoiler)…

There are a few loose ends where the end of the book is concerned and to quote Braun “this can’t be the end…there has to be more…” His relationship with Saunders is brought to attention, there’s a traitor (or 2) in their midst, and his platoon might have a new leader.

You can check the full reviews by going to the books Amazon page, but I warn you, they do contain spoilers! And it might just be a coincidence, but I did notice a slight uptick in sales since the second review came in. So far, Papa Zulu has sold some 13 copies since publication, and Whiskey Delta and the unrelated Data Miners have even made some added sales. So, for obvious reasons, I am pretty happy right now.

And to my fellow indies, keep hammering those keys and pushing those books! Every copy we sell is a small victory and every favorable review is a big one. After all, that’s why we got into this business, isn’t it? To share what we love, think, and what inspires us, in the hopes that other people draw from it the same things we do.

Happy Anniversary!

fireworks1Today, I got an all=important notification from WordPress.com. It tells me that today is the third anniversary of this here blog, also known as storiesbywilliams.com. Yes, it was on this day, three years ago to the day, that I started this little enterprise in order to publicize my work, share what inspires me, and connect with other writers and bloggers out there.

And as with all anniversaries on this site, I’d like to commemorate this by sharing a few facts and figures, just to put it all in context context. Three years on this site has resulted in the following numbers:

  • 3 years
  • 1095 days
  • 8760 hours
  • 1576800 minutes

Or, to put it in terms of what I’ve actually done with that time, which seems much more relevant:

  • 410,057 views
  • 6,417 comments
  • 2,039 followers
  • 1,541 posts

And as usual, I would like to thank all those who helped make this possible. Since starting this blog, I’ve managed to publish all my works from 2004 onward. These include Source, the Legacies: Preludes collection, Data Miners, Whiskey Delta, and most recently, Papa Zulu. And in the coming months, I plan to release Flash Forward, and finish work on the long-awaited Yuva Anthology.

And, just as importantly, I feel I’ve learned a great deal, thanks to the personal and professional connections I’ve made. And wherever possible, I’ve tried to pass that experience and knowledge onward; and shall continue to do so whenever possible. This site is, was, and always will be about inspiration, and that belongs to no one and everyone.

So expect to hear plenty more from me, and be sure to make yourself heard as well – as often and as much as possible. Here’s to three years more, and to forever looking onward!

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WordPress Tag!

wordpress_cloudMy thanks to Rami for tagging me in the latest round of WordPress Tag! This means I have to answer the following questions and then send some tags out of my own. So lets get this party started…

What are you currently working on?
Having finished with my second zombie book (Papa Zulu), I’m now working full-tilt to finish my anthology of science fiction short stories. It’s called Flash Forward, and contains short pieces of fiction that deal with subjects ranging from climate change, militarized borders, drone warfare, neural downloads, cybernetic augmentation, space travel, and cosmic evolution.

How does your work differ from other authors in the genre?
These days, most authors I know are writing in the dystopian sci-fi genre. Somehow, with the growth of the YA market and the popularity of books like The Hunger Games and Divergent, the whole dark future theme seems to be making a big comeback. But I want to deal with future scenarios that are in keeping with current trends, addressing the impending Technological Singularity, Climate Change, and how the interaction of these two forces will shape the coming decades and centuries.

Why do you write what you do?
Because I have this obsession with recreating the kind of things that inspire me. The books that have done the best job of that in the past were always works that captured the zeitgeist of the age, making predictions about the future in order to tell a story about the here and now. It’s been my hope for almost two decades now that I could create something that would do the same thing for others.

How does your writing process work?
My mind is constantly dreaming of things that inspire me and looking for new ideas. I try to feed it as best I can with research and the latest in science, tech, history and geopolitics, until such time as a breakthrough comes and I begin to plot it all out. Then, once I have a framework in place, I start field testing it out by writing the first few chapters and seeing if it has traction. Once that’s done, the story begins to evolve and take on a life of its own. Some don’t make it to fruition, but others do.

And now I tag three writers:
I nominate the following three people for the next round:

Goran Zidar

Emily Guido

Deirdra Alexander

Good luck!

Papa Zulu – Ready and Available, Finally!

papa_zuluWell, after about a week of tinkering, complaining, and demanding that Amazon, Kindle and Createspace get their act together, Papa Zulu is now available in all formats, and all in one place! This was a bit of a bugger last week, when I was finally finished with the tedious editing and submission process, only to find that it wasn’t even showing up in the right places.

To recap, Papa Zulu was made available through Amazon.com as of last Monday, but it did not appear with the rest of my books. So for the untrained consumer (i.e. anyone who doesn’t know me already), the book’s relation to Whiskey Delta would have been unclear. In addition, the Kindle edition and the paperback didn’t even appear together, with one only available at Amazon.com and the other at Amazon.ca.

But after a few days, that was all resolved. As of now, all formats of Papa Zulu can be ordered from one place (Amazon.com) and I’ve made sure the links to it have been updated to reflect that. And on top of that, it now appears alongside all my other titles on my Amazon author page. So now it will be easy to find, and people who said they wanted a sequel will actually be able to find it.

Yay for small victories and the work that makes them happen! Woe for the speed bumps and delays that make the extra work necessary! And feel free to check out the book’s listing and my author page, now that they are are in working order:

Papa Zulu:
http://www.amazon.com/Papa-Zulu-Matthew-S-Williams

Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Matthew-S-Williams