I watched a zombie movie back in early May of 2004. I cannot for the life of me remember which one it was. All I can remember now was that I was annoyed because some of the characters, despite living in this world where zombies had been around for years, kept doing really stupid things that got them killed. Why was it that they hadn't adapted to the new way of the world? I came to the conclusion that it was lazy writers who just wanted a gory bodycount.

Two days later I started a story on my computer. It had no title, just an opening paragraph or five. I decided to go with a journal approach, telling the tale from the point of view of a nameless survivor who recorded the days events after they had happened. I decided that the characters would learn from experience, not be very good with firearms at first, and be reasonably smart. After three days I decided to post the little bits that I had online on my Angelfire webpage, and then decided I needed a title for it. I ran through a couple of ideas, and because I had decided it was going to be a road trip story I almost called it The Road. Ahem. Yeah, I changed that to Rise, having decided it was a better feel for what I was going for.

Each day after I got home from work I would look at the last entry and decide what to write for the current day. Sometimes I skipped a day, but most days I wrote something. Once I hit 10,000 words I realised that I had a novella, and decided to just keep going to see where it all led. I was checking the weather in locations my characters were at to see if it was raining or sunny, and since the action was happening to them on the same day that I wrote it, the weather had to be accurate.

This all went on for a year. That is how long it took me to write Rise, and even though I originally wrote the ending differently than what will appear in the Permuted Press version, it was at that point that I stopped and called it done. Somewhere in this time I started getting emails from people who were reading the book and wanting to see what happened next. If I took more than 1 day off writing I got a few emails asking me what was wrong. I also got comments and criticisms, which I really appreciatted. They helped a lot with some aspects of the story.

After I was done Rise I had a lot of time on my hands. I started editing it myself (this was before such things as professional editors had entered the picture), rewriting parts to make them make more sense, and generally polishing it. After I felt I had done that I thought about other story ideas. One day I started writing again.

Age of the Dead came about from another idea I had read about, the idea of the multiverse, a physics theory that says that there are many possible universes all occuring at the same time, each slightly different from the next. I began the book somewhere around Halloween of 2005, but this one took much longer to write than Rise had. I wrote until I hit a point where I had no idea how to continue, a sad state called Writers Block, which persisted with Age of the Dead for two full years. I did write some things during this time, but ultimately threw them out as unwowrthy. It wasn't until November of 2009 that things changed. I was sitting at work pondering the book, and suddenly had the whole idea for the ending of the book in my head. I grabbed a notepad and started jotting notes, and finally got back to writing the ending for the book. It took until February of 2011 to finish (I wrote sporadically), but it was better than I had hoped for.

Dolmen Editorial in Spain emailed me in very early 2010 asking for permission to translate and publish Rise in Spanish. The line editor for their Z-line had read it in English and brought it to his boss. After hammering out details with them I agreed. A Spanish language version called "El Despertar de los Muertos" is available from them. It has some really great cover art, and is selling well in Spain.

About the middle of February of 2011 my wife and I were on a weekend trip to Vancouver BC. I got an email on my phone from Permuted Press as I was walking through downtown Vancouver, and stopped in the middle of the sidewalk when I read the first few lines. My wife dragged me off to the side and asked me what was going on, so I showed her the email. It was asking whether I had ever considered publishing Rise in English. The end result of the email discussion I had with Permuted Press was a deal to publish both Rise and Age of the Dead in English.

Age of the Dead was a little short, but I thought it was a better book for being more focused. In the end I have added 15,000+ words to it, and now it is even better. It's the book with the ending nobody has read yet, because I took it down off the Angelfire page after agreeing to the publishing deal. So, many who read it online have no idea how it ends, or that I fleshed out huge sections of the story.

I am the luckiest man in the world. Something I started years ago for my own amusement has now been picked up to publish by two different companies. I had to do nothing but write them (and edit and correct and rewrite and fix and add 15,000 words). I really never intended these books to be for anything but my own amusement. The fact that others enjoy reading them is wonderful! I really hope people enjoy them once they are released.

17 July, 2011

Gareth Wood

Garething 14:51, July 17, 2011 (UTC)