Welcome to my weekly update, if all goes well I’ll be posting every week with updates on my current works in progress along with comments about the books I’m reading and any movies I may have watched in the past.
The biggest project I’m currently working on carries the title This Way to Heaven which will likely change once the book is finished. It was a story I started working on for Kindle Vella at the end of last year. I pulled it from the platform after Amazon wrongly accused me of having multiple accounts and closed my account. I managed to get my account reopened but the fact they could so easily close it without cause made me reconsider remaining exclusive with them.
The story is tied to my series This Lawless Land that I will take up again this year. I started book 5 at the beginning of the pandemic, and as the story unfolded I came to understand where the series was headed. I realized I needed to take a step back to explore this new route in detail, which I have been doing. Stay tuned for more details.
In This Way to Heaven, eleven-year-old Jimmy and his three friends bear witness to the dawn of the zombie apocalypse. The story follows the survivors who live in the Willowbrook apartments in Richmond, Virginia. Willowbrook is a stately old place constructed by the rich for the rich before the start of the civil war. Rebuilt afterwards it became a playground for those with means who had some rather unsavory appetites. There are many dark secrets hidden in the bowels of the building. Now in a state of disrepair and undergoing a conversion to offices, the few remaining tenants will struggle to survive in the dawn of this new age as the ghosts of the past emerge.
The apartment building was featured in the first book of my post-apocalyptic series, All Roads Lead to Terror. Meat, the main character from all roads, and his friends are captured by a feral cult of children who inhabit the building and worship an ancient creature that lives in the basement.
Word count update
Completed this week: 3,337
New total: 64,575
Tommy lay on the floor, whimpering as blood seeped from around the hand he’d clamped over his shoulder. Ronnie was on his knees beside him trying to see how bad the damage was, but every time he tried to move Tommy’s hand, the boy cried out in agony.
“How is he? Randy said, standing above Ronnie the pipe still in his hands.
“How do you think he is. One of them bastards bit him. If you had stayed where you were it wouldn’t have happened. But no, you gotta be Mr. smart ass.”
“Are you done?” Randy said, unmoved by Ronnie’s rage.
“You asshole, you don’t give a shit about anyone but yourself.” Ronnie was pushing himself up to his feet when Randy brought around the iron pipe and struck him across the back of his neck. Ronnie dropped with a grunt, sprawling across his brother. He struggled to pull his hand under him, to push himself up when Randy brought the pipe down and shattered his skull.
“Whadidja do that for?” Tommy said, watching him with the glassy eyes of someone going into shock. Faint black lines were spreading up the flesh of his neck, growing from his injured shoulder.
“Because I’m gonna have to kill you Tommy, you’re gonna become one of them, and I didn’t want your brother trying to stop me from what I’ve got to do.”
“You son of a bitch,” Tommy said as he tried to push himself up.
“I’m sorry,” Randy said before he jammed the end of the pipe into Tommy’s left eye, driving it down through the boy’s brain, killing him instantly.
I love reading short stories but have always found it difficult to write them, yet I persist.
One of the best I’ve read recently is Christopher Golden’s God Bag. It appears in the anthology Beyond the Veil edited by Mark Morris, go look it up, it’s chock full of some good shorts.
Comments from early readers of my 8500-word short story, Nobody’s, is promising. A first-person account that follows a character who was late to work and witnessed the fall of the twin towers. He then starts running into people from his office who should have perished that day.
Moving forward with Laundromat People after some very illuminating comments from early readers. When he was six William uncovered a secret in the local laundromat. As an adult he will come face to face with that secret again and will never be the same after.
Beulah by Christi Nogle
Do not Weep For Me by Tony Tremblay
Come With Me by Ronald Malfi 5 stars. I’m a big fan of his work.
Summer of Night by Dan Simmons 5 stars.
Haven’t watched a movie in some time, not since I saw The Quiet Place for an assignment, but I am looking forward to the next season of Love Death & Robots on Netflix, which should drop today if I didn’t mess up the scheduling of this post.
That’s all I have for this week. If you like what you’ve read and want updates when I post I’d appreciate it if you hit the like and follow button for this post and my blog. I’ll soon be giving a free short story away every month for everyone who signs up for my newsletter. I’ll share more details when they’re available.
What book or short story have you recently read that really stuck with you? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for stopping by.