A Decade of Zombies

A Decade of Zombies: A Retrospective of My Past Ten Years (Part Three: 2013-2014)

Welcome again to my ongoing blog post series for December 2019, in which I am posting a retrospective of my past decade and all of its ups and downs. This post is part three of the series. If you missed the past parts of the series, you can read part one HERE and part two HERE.

This is part three. And it was probably the hardest of parts to write. You have been forewarned.

In my last post, I left off at the end of 2012, when The Becoming and The Becoming: Ground Zero had gotten new covers and my sales and the general reception of the books had started to climb. Now we’ve entered into 2013, and this was the year that things really started to pick up.

May 2013 saw the release of the next book in The Becoming Series, The Becoming: Revelations, what was at the time planned to be the culmination of the series. This book was an absolute bear to write (though one that I’m really proud of). I was running up on my deadline very rapidly in 2012, and I ended up having to write the book in a month. And by “write,” I mean slam out a rough draft and then do revisions before it went to the editor. I ended up revising the book nine times over in the span of a month, which was absolutely hectic and not something I’d ever want to do again, truth be told.

Of course, when I told my brain, “Okay, you’re done with this series. Let’s move on to these other ideas you’ve been sitting on,” it…failed to cooperate. Because, of course, my brain just had to come up with more ideas to further the series. Granted, the way The Becoming: Revelations ends sort of opens the door for that, which is why two more books later came in the series.

When these ideas for what was intended to, at the time, be three more books struck my brain, I went to Permuted Press and discussed it with them. After some discussion, we decided on a contract for three more books, and the contract was signed sometime in summer of 2013.

Meanwhile, I started working on a novella in the series that would flesh out some of the revelations that were, well, revealed in The Becoming: Revelations (I wonder how many more times I can use a variant of “revelation” in a single sentence…) This novella would serve as the primary backstory for the character of Brandt Evans and how he ended up where he was all the way at the beginning of book one. I ended up titling it The Becoming: Origins and self-published it in 2013.

Meanwhile, I started writing The Becoming: Under Siege, which is the fourth book in the series. I’m oddly fond of this book. It gave me the opportunity to show some of these characters, who’d we had seen struggling and scrambling since book one to survive, in a more relaxed, almost domestic setting—at least until the shit hit the fan again, anyway. This book (and the one that followed it) were almost like a phase two to the first three books’ phase one—and later books will serve as, essentially, phase three. (Why yes, I am an MCU fan. How did you guess?) Under Siege ended up being the shortest of the books, mainly because I knew exactly where and how I wanted it to end, and the book ended up being a very rapidly paced book, especially once I introduced the new characters Sadie and Jude into the mix.

And now we come to 2014. The first half of 2014 was great. In January, after spending most of the fall of 2013 debating on it, I ended up deciding to go back to school to complete my Bachelors degree that I had started way back in 2003-2005 and never finished. So I re-enrolled at the university I had previously attended (taking only one class, just sort of easing myself into it) and ended up passing with an A, which was a great inspiration to continue on with the educational attempts that fall with more coursework. I initially planned to major in English with a minor in Creative Writing (this later changed to a double-major in English and History).

In the meantime, The Becoming: Under Siege was released by Permuted Press in April 2014. It got a good reception, but I think a lot of people were irritated with me with the rather traumatic cliffhanger at the end of it. Oops. I sometimes forget that a lot of people don’t enjoy a good cliffhanger as much as I do.

In July 2014, I turned 29. Also in July 2014, one of the absolute worst possible things that could have happened to me happened: my father passed away, very suddenly and unexpectedly. To say this was traumatizing to my entire family is pretty much an understatement. I don’t think it’s overselling it to say that my father was really the bedrock of our family, and the entire foundations of it got shaken up badly in 2014. I didn’t really show it at the time—though I recognize it now—but I was, understandably, dumped into a morass of depression right along with the rest of the family, and this affected me on a social level, on a work level, and on a writing level. It was just this terrible funk that I just couldn’t climb out of, which I feel is pretty understandable considering the circumstances.

Life had to move on, though, and I continued with writing as much as I could—I did, after all, have a deadline coming up for the fifth and sixth books in The Becoming Series, and deadlines wait for no woman—while also attending school part time in the hopes of finishing it one day.

And that…was my very great 2013 and my very terrible 2014.

In next week’s post, I’ll be surveying three years: 2015, 2016, and 2017. There will be book releases, book flops, schooling, career changes, and more. I know this post ended on a downer; nevertheless, sometimes life is just that way, and trust me, this tale will slowly get better over the following two posts!

Let Me Know Your Thoughts!