Sometimes life is like sitting at a bus stop, isn't it? Nothing forever and then three buses come along at once. My writing week has been exactly that, with so much happening I don't know which way to turn. First up, INTO THE SOUNDS, the long-awaited sequel to my award-winning military thriller INTO THE MIST landed on Friday. This time, Taine McKenna and Jules are in New Zealand's isolated Fiordland sounds with a Department of Conservation deer culling expedition. Unfortunately, they're not the only hunters in the area, and when the tables turn unexpectedly, they become the prey. It's been a long time coming, but I'm exited to see this book out in the world. I absolutely love this cover design by Severed Press, which matches perfectly with the theme of the gorgeous Dean Samed cover of INTO THE MIST:
The first reviews are already up with World Horror Master, Michael Collings leading the charge. Michael read the book in two sittings and had this to say:
"Taine McKenna's latest foray leads him again into the forests of New Zealand, this time accompanying a small group of conservationists evaluating the status of endangered species. But what they find goes far beyond any of their expectations and leads them to violent conflicts and a blood-thirsty band of plunderers set to exploit the new find. And something else. Something huge and voracious and virtually unbeatable. Murray does a beautiful job in combining New Zealand landscapes with strong characters, both native and otherwise. Her writing is, as always, clear and direct, especially in her handling of Maori terms readers might not be familiar with. I highly recommend this book to those interested in action, military adventure, conservation and its inherent dangers, and, perhaps most of all, tales of cryptozoology."
For more reviews and information about the new book, including blog posts and articles, check out the INTO THE SOUNDS page on this site (under AUTHOR). I'm hard at work on the next book in the Taine McKenna series, INTO THE ASHES, and hope to deliver the manuscript at the end of September. With a bit of luck, the wait for the third book in the McKenna series won't be as long as the second. Thank you all for your patience.
That second bus to come along this week was a book deal for my middle grade zombie adventure DAWN OF THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, which I'm delighted to say will be published by my long-time friends at IFWG Publishing Australia. IFWG / SQ Mag have previously published my short fiction for adults in publications such as SQ Mag, Starquake 3, Cthuhlu Deep Down Under II, with a further story forthcoming in Cthuhlu Land of the Long White Cloud. However, this will be the first time they will publish my work for children. Given the quality of IFWG productions and the number of talented colleagues I have who are already published by the house, I'm confident the story is in good hands. DAWN OF THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE will be released in mid-2019 with further adventures to follow.
In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at the story premise:
Chaos’ latest game is positively epic. Just look at the trailer: the hero Bastion Axestone striding through the city streets, fire balls exploding around him and zombies staggering in his wake. Seb can’t wait to play it. He downloads the works. Explosive effects, 3D upgrade, heavy metal soundtrack and a subliminal quotient—whatever that is.
But the next day, Seb and his friends wake up to an apocalypse. Their teachers are missing in action, coach doesn’t come to practice, and Seb’s dad spends all day in his pyjamas. Even worse, not only has Mum not been in to work, she hasn’t bothered to brush her teeth. It’s beginning to look as if every grown-up in Bridgetown—possibly the entire world—has been zombified. They’re obsessed with their personal electronic devices and it’s all Seb’s fault because he’s the one who downloaded game in the first place. Now, he has to fix it. But how? It’s not as if he can un-download the game.
Along with his best mate, Darren, and Talia, The Prettiest Girl in School, Seb has to figure out how to reverse the effect of the computer virus. But in the meantime, the zombies need feeding, Seb’s little sister, Ava, needs minding, and someone has to walk the dog...
IFWG's announcement is HERE
And the third bus? I was able to deliver a SUPER SECRET anthology project to the publisher this week. My ninth anthology as editor, it's the first time I've curated an project without the support and advice of my trusty co-editors - Dan Rabarts, Grace Bridges, Piper Mejia, and Aaron Compton - and although it's been a big task, it's been a phenomenal experience, made easier by the calibre and professionalism of the writers who were kind enough to trust me with their work. Comprising 116,000 words of high action, heart-pumping horror, the project showcases work from eleven of my favourite dark fiction authors from around the globe: New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States. I hope to be able to make an announcement soon, and perhaps even a cover reveal. Concepts are underway. Releasing in early 2019 from Adrenaline Press (Gryphonwood), I can't wait to share it with you.
Okay, looks like this is my stop. Time to bring myself down to earth and back to some writing. Thanks for checking in! Thanks for sharing the ride.