Jessica Meigs

Latest News and More!

The awesome Heather Lindskold over at Between the Covers… has posted a very nice review of The Becoming: Outbreak over on her book blog. You can click here to read the review in full, but here’s a quick excerpt to whet your appetite:

For a first-time self-published author I really think Jessica did a great job with this book. It has all the elements of a good horror story, as well as a good suspense/thriller. It kept me on edge and wanting to read more, and her writing was such that I could really picture what was going on in great detail. I would definitely recommend this book to people who love a good zombie story or horror/suspense in general, but take it from me — it just might keep you up at night…

As a special bonus, Heather even did a short email interview with me asking questions about me and the book series in general. You can see that complete interview here, where you can get a little bit of a sneak peek into the inner workings of my head.

Sales are going excitingly well for The Becoming: Outbreak too! It’s currently the 7th of the month, and as I’m sitting here, I’ve sold 83 books on Amazon’s US Kindle Store alone. This is an incredible upsurge in sales, because that means I’m averaging roughly twelve books sold a day. At this rate, if I can continue selling that same average a day for every day this month, I will be making more in royalties than I make on my EMS paychecks every month!

If you’re planning on buying The Becoming: Outbreak and have not yet done so, you might want to soon; its sequel, The Becoming: Safe House is dropping on March 1st, and you don’t want to be behind in the story, do you?

I wrote up a purchase page with all the details for The Becoming: Outbreak on it. You can click here to see it, or you can just click “Purchase The Becoming: Outbreak” at the top of the page.

If you need a link to pimp out my book (which would be amazingly appreciated; you have no idea), you can use this one:

http://wp.me/Ppx22-6c

That’s a shortlink to the purchase page on this site.

Zombie Book Review of the Week

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Summary: (from Amazon) It’s been 14 years since First Night, when the dead came back to life. Six billion people have died (and reanimated) since then, and America has collapsed into isolated communities living within the great “Rot and Ruin.” Benny is 15, which means it’s time to get a job or face cut rations, but his general laziness leaves him with only one employment option: join his stuffy, sword-swinging, Japanese half-brother, Tom, as an apprentice bounty hunter. This means heading beyond the gates to slice and dice “zoms,” but Benny quickly begins to see the undead in a new light — as well as realizing that Tom is much more than he ever let on. The plot is driven by an evil bounty-hunter rival and the cruel games he plays, but Maberry has more than gore on his mind. The chief emotion here is sadness, and the book plays out like an extended elegy for a lost world. Tom’s a bit too perfect and his pontification too extended, but this is nevertheless an impressive mix of meaning and mayhem.

My Thoughts: Rot & Ruin has become one of the books that I recommend right after World War Z and Feed as must-read books in the zombie subgenre. The characters are remarkably fleshed out and feel real, including the very realistic teenager-attitude of Benny. All of the characters have their reasons for acting the way they do and their motivations that influence said actions. They have histories and pasts that work perfectly in sync with their attitudes in the actual narrative. And the world building was fantastic. The absolute desolation that’s forced groups of people to establish small villages and towns to isolate themselves from the zombie contagion is realistic, especially the small systems of government they’ve built.

But by far my favorite thing about Rot & Ruin is, oddly enough, the absolute humanization that Maberry gives to the zombies. The zombies used to be human, used to be the mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and lovers of people who are still alive. I think a lot of zombie writers — myself included — tend to forget that these zombies used to be just as real and human as the other characters, and as such they become borderline cannon fodder for action scenes without rhyme or reason.

My Rating: ****1/2 (out of 5)

Where to Buy: Amazon (DTB) | Amazon Kindle Edition | B&N (DTB) | B&N NOOKbook

(Please note: If you choose to buy the book from Amazon, please use the affiliate links in the “Where to Buy” paragraph above to support your resident author! It costs you nothing extra and gives me a little spare change to work on the site’s appearance!)

What I’m Currently Reading: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Ready to buy The Becoming: Outbreak?

You can purchase it in ebook format from the following places:

From the Amazon Kindle Store

From the Barnes & Noble NOOKbook Store

Directly from the Author (via Paypal, for those unable to purchase from Amazon or B&N)

Need shortlinks to share with your friends? Use the ones below!

To direct them to my purchase page (with information, quotes from reviews, links to excerpts, where to buy, etc): http://wp.me/Ppx22-6c

Final reminder: The Becoming: Safe House is being released on March 1st!

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January Recap and The Becoming: Safe House Update

The month of January was, to put it simply, fantastic when it comes to book sales and publicity for The Becoming: Outbreak. The biggest thing to happen over the month was CrackBerry.com’s favorable review of the novella. Why was this the biggest thing? Because in the day and a half after Kevin featured it on the CB blogs, my sales literally doubled, which only served to make me ridiculously happy. Feedback from people who have bought the book has generally been pretty positive, though I’m currently only sitting at three reviews on Amazon and seven on B&N. If you’d like to hit the product pages and give the book a rating (at minimum, but only of course if you’ve read it), then you can do so at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. More ratings means more eyes possibly being attracted to it, which means more sales! (Which, in turn, means this starving author won’t starve lol.)

There have been a few other reviews and articles besides CrackBerry’s, which I recap here on my post “Reviews Recap.” Since that post, there’s been a few additional tidbits. Outbreak got a mention on MobileWhack.com; the article, “The Becoming: Outbreak is a novel written on the BlackBerry,” is available here for those interested in reading it. There was also a short article on it written in Spanish at Lo mas movil, which you can translate/read here. As far as I can tell, it’s a generally positive article. 🙂

That said, quick sales stats for the month of January, because I like to keep my readers informed:

Amazon US Store: 212
Amazon UK Store: 20
B&N NOOKbook Store: 22
Paypal Direct Sales: 9
Total Sales: 263

This is definitely a great increase over December’s 46 sales (granted, that was from December 20th to December 31st, but still). It’s an average of roughly eight books sold per day. Not shabby for a self-published author!

February too is off to a great start, especially considering it’s only February 2nd. Total sales across all platforms are currently sitting at 27. That definitely isn’t bad for two days!

As a status update on the work going on on the second novella, The Becoming: Safe House, I’m currently sitting at 40,145 words and am at a pivotal moment in the novel (with several more chapters to go). As I said in a previous post, Safe House is noticeably longer than Outbreak (the first of which was geared more towards introducing the characters and scenario). There will, of course, be more characters introduced by the end of Safe House, and some happenings that I’m hoping with make readers’ jaws drop. As I like to say, we shall see!

Tentative release date for The Becoming: Safe House: March 1, 2011.

That is all.

Reviews Recap! :)

First, our semi-weekly dose of zombie humor, this time courtesy of Cyanide and Happiness:

Now that that’s over with…

It has definitely been an exciting few days over here in my little writing world. After my last post covering CrackBerry.com’s awesome post on The Becoming: Outbreak, my sales virtually doubled, which makes this little writer very happy indeed. 🙂

The novella’s also been getting some feedback and reviews on assorted sites — mostly zombie and gadget related ones, probably because it’s a zombie book written on a BlackBerry lol — so I figure I’ll drop a quick recap of those:

BuyZombie.com gave The Becoming: Outbreak a a quick review on their site. It says, in part:

A novel that’s written on a Blackberry, wait, what? That’s right this is a novel written entirely by someone on a Blackberry. Jessica Meigs, the author, has spent the last 2 years getting a novel put together and has drafted it on primarily blackberries. Specifically it was written on the BlackBerry Bold 9000, the BlackBerry Curve 8900, the BlackBerry Bold 9700, and the BlackBerry Torch 9800. A large variety of Blackberry phones were used to create a viral outbreak of the undead in novel form and now it’s out for everyone to read!

A gadget site called Gadgetell has also covered the release of The Becoming: Outbreak in an article titled “Let’s read The Becoming: Outbreak, a zombie horror novel written by a BlackBerry addict [Weekend Fun]”:

While everyone’s definition of fun will likely vary, I am still going to take a chance on this one and go with a book–yes, a book as in reading. The reason is simple, for me, reading actually is fun. But otherwise, the book that I am recommending today is coming from a fellow geek, actually a self-described “BlackBerry extraordinary” and what better way to support a fellow geek than by supporting their efforts. Plus, as if it could get any more interesting, this novel was actually written on a BlackBerry. I will admit, that last one was the part that hooked me in, but that aside I started the book yesterday evening and had a hard time telling myself it was actually time for bed. Seriously, the book starts out awesome and I cannot wait to spend some more time reading today.

Best Buy Mobile also reposted the article from CrackBerry.com on their Best Buy Mobile Magazine site. I don’t think it really needs to be requoted here. 🙂

And lastly, a website called Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse included The Becoming: Outbreak in their Deadline: News Roundup for 01/28/11:

The Becoming: Outbreak by Jessica Meigs would just be another novel in the mountain of zombie fiction, but there’s a catch. She wrote the entire thing over the course of two years, on nothing but Blackberry mobile phones.

Also, thank all of you for your kind words so far! It’s definitely a confidence booster for sure, and the responses I’ve been getting have been making me smile all week. 🙂

The Becoming: Safe House Latest:

The Becoming: Safe House is going swimmingly, thank God. (For those of you new here, that’s part two of The Becoming Pentalogy.) Edits are chugging along at a pretty steady pace. Once I hit the end of it, I should be sending Safe House to my beta reader to go over and make suggestions on, and after those suggestions are taken into consideration, I’ll be prepping for a release. At this point, it’s looking like late February, possibly early March (but I’m aiming to have the edits done by February 10th at the latest). Hopefully I’ll have a more specific date for you soon!

Zombie Book Review of the Week

Sadly, no zombie book review this post. I’ve been absolutely sucked into Cherie Priest’s Bloodshot and have Jon F. Merz’ The Kensei lined up to go after it, so between those two books and my writing, I haven’t had time to look back at any zombie books this week. But I’ll definitely have one for next time!

What I’m Currently Reading: Bloodshot (DTB) | Bloodshot (Kindle Edition) by Cherie Priest

Ready to buy The Becoming: Outbreak?

You can purchase it in eBook format from the following places:

From the Amazon Kindle Store

From the Barnes & Noble NOOKbook Store

Directly from the Author (via Paypal, for those unable to purchase from Amazon or B&N)

Need shortlinks to share with your friends? Use the ones below!

Amazon US Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/ghhHFz

Amazon UK Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/eR4WCO

B&N NOOKbook Store: http://bit.ly/eDI6Jd

Directly from the Author (via Paypal): http://bit.ly/eAOPy1

The Becoming: Outbreak Gets Reviewed on CrackBerry.com!

Well this is an exciting bit of news! What I think qualifies as the first non-Amazon/non-Barnes & Noble review of The Becoming: Outbreak has been posted online!

The ever awesome Kevin Michaluk at CrackBery.com has dropped a quick review / promotion of the novella on the front pages of the blog. If you want to read what he thinks about it, head on over to CrackBerry.com! You can go straight to the blog post here, but you can also read below to see a snippet of his opinion on the novella.

The novel features a group of friends as they fight to survive the outbreak of a virus that turns its victims into homicidal cannibals (aka zombies). And the name of the virus? The Michaluk virus!! Yep, Jessica gave me the honor of being the first victim to bite the dust so the virus got named after me (in case you don’t know how to pronounce it, it’s Mitch-A-Luck). I read the novel on my flight out to Bali was thoroughly entertained by it — I can’t wait for part 2 to be released — so do yourself a favor and pick it up. At 99 cents and written by a CrackBerry member on a BlackBerry, it’s definitely an entertaining must read.

You heard the man! If you haven’t bought it yet, go do it! Now! 😀

A more thorough post will be hitting the blogs later this evening. I’m still trying to decide what zombie novel to review and recommend for this evening, but I know which one I’m leaning towards, so hopefully it’ll be up soon.

I Need Wittier Blog Post Titles

Sadly, I’ve been ill, so I haven’t had the chance to really pimp my own book out or post over here.

I have always believed that if the zombie apocalypse ever happened in the South, we’d be able to beat the zombies back down pretty quickly, since there’s guns everywhere. That said, for the rest of you…

Sales for The Becoming: Outbreak are still going more strongly than I’d hoped for. Here’s the current stats:

Amazon US Store: 84 copies for January
Amazon UK Store: 15 copies for January
Barnes & Noble: NO FREAKIN’ IDEA (FIX YOUR SHEET, B&N!)

No new reviews, but that should change soon. 🙂 I’ll get into more specifics on that when it actually happens. In the meantime, hit the sales pages for the book on Amazon and B&N and rate, rate, rate! 😀

As for The Becoming: Safe House, I’m at 31,294 words. I’d be further along, but as I mentioned before, I’ve been ill, so I haven’t had any motivation whatsoever to sit up and stare at a computer screen for the minimum hour-a-day. However, last time I wrote on it (which was on Wednesday), I got over 4,000 words written, which is pretty danged good, if I do say so myself.

Moving on…

Zombie Book Review of the Week

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Summary: (from Amazon) “The Crisis” nearly wiped out humanity. Brooks (son of Mel Brooks and author of The Zombie Survival Guide, 2003) has taken it upon himself to document the “first hand” experiences and testimonies of those lucky to survive ten years after the fictitious zombie war. Like a horror fan’s version of Studs Terkel’s The Good War (1984), the “historical account” format gives Brooks room to explore the zombie plague from numerous different views and characters. In a deadpan voice, Brooks exhaustively details zombie incidents from isolated attacks to full-scale military combat: “what if the enemy can’t be shocked and aweed? Not jus twon’t, but biologically can’t!” With the exception of a weak BAT-21 story in the second act, the “interviews” and personal accounts capture the universal fear of the collapse of society — a living nightmare in which anyone can become a mindless, insatiable predator at a moment’s notice. Alas, Brad Pitt’s production company has purchased the film rights to the book — while it does have a chronological element, it’s more similar to a collection of short stories: it would make for an excellent 24-style TV series or an animated serial. Regardless, horror fans won’t be disappointed: Like George Romero’s Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos.

My Thoughts: To call World War Z a mere milestone in post-apocalyptic zombie literature is ridiculous. This is THE book that almost every zombie-writer I’ve talked to has aspired to write to the level to. This is the book that I can only dream of being able to even slightly emulate. When I first read this book, I was totally enraptured with the tales Brooks presents in it; all the survivors’ stories and the actions of governmental bodies across the globe are so horribly realistic that at times I forgot that what I was reading wasn’t real. It’s definitely one of the top zombie books I recommend whenever someone asks me for suggestions.

My Rating: ***** (out of 5)

Where to Buy: Amazon (DTB) | Amazon Kindle Edition | B&N DTB | B&N NOOKbook

(Please note: If you choose to buy the book from Amazon, please use the affiliate links in the “Where to Buy” paragraph above to support your resident author! It costs you nothing extra and gives me a little spare change to work on the site’s appearance!)

What I’m Currently Reading: Rot & Ruin (DTB) | Rot & Ruin (Kindle Edition) by Jonathan Maberry (a reread, because I plan to review it next week!)

Ready to buy The Becoming: Outbreak?

You can purchase it in ebook format from the followinng places:

From the Amazon Kindle Store

From the Barnes & Noble NOOKbook Store

Directly from the Author (via Paypal, for those unable to purchase from Amazon or B&N

Need shortlinks to share with your friends? Use the ones below!

Amazon US Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/ghhHFz

Amazon UK Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/eR4WCO

B&N NOOKbook Store: http://bit.ly/eDI6Jd

Directly from the Author (via Paypal): http://bit.ly/eAOPy1

Latest News

So it’s January 16th, and I figure it’s about time to do some updates over here on the site to let everyone know how things are going with The Becoming: Outbreak and its upcoming sequel. 🙂

Sales for The Becoming: Outbreak are still much better than I initially expected. As I said in my last post, I wasn’t expecting the novella to do quite as well as it has been. As of today, January 16th, my stats are running as follows:

Amazon US Store: 64 copies (!!!)
Amazon UK Store: 10 copies
Barnes & Noble: 2 copies (but I’m wholly convinced their system sucks, as I’ve said before, so this may not be the most updated number)

Still no new reviews, sadly, so if you guys read this and read the book and don’t mind hopping over to the respective pages (linked below) to leave a review or at least rate it with the pretty little yellow stars, that would be amazing. 🙂

I figure it’s a good time to drop a little news on The Becoming: Safe House, which is going to be the second novella in the five-parter I’m releasing. At this point, the revision is sitting at 28,252, but I’m nowhere near done with it. It will definitely be running longer than Outbreak, for those of you who had some issues with how short it was, but I think it will still fall squarely at the high end of novella and the low end of novel at approximately 50,000 words. The feedback I’m getting from my beta reader is excellent and definitely has me excited for all of you to read it!

Ready to Buy The Becoming: Outbreak?

You can purchase from the following places:

From the Amazon US Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/fUCOim

From the Amazon UK Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/eR4WCO

From the Barnes & Noble NOOKbook Store: http://bit.ly/eDI6Jd

Directly from Me (via Paypal): http://bit.ly/eAOPy1

More The Becoming: Outbreak News

So I’ve obviously decided to try to post here more often, because well, I’m paying for the .com and there are people who actually read this. (And I’m an author who likes to be interactive, I suppose you can say.) Since this website is for my zombie-style horror novel The Becoming, you can predictably say that most of the posts will be related to zombies or my books in some way, shape, or form.

…are we going to say that that’s a bad thing?

So quick news on the novel itself. Sales are going smoothly. Since January 1, 2011, The Becoming: Outbreak has ben purchased on Amazon’s US Kindle Store twelve times and one time on Amazon’s UK Kindle Store. I have no idea about how many have been sold on Barnes & Noble’s NOOKboks store, because their reporting system sucks like you wouldn’t believe (perfect example: they’re still updating and posting sales from last month on my monthly reports; at least I’m happy to report that from December 20-31st, 2010, I sold at least ten copies of the book on B&N).

Reviews are coming in on a slow, barely there trickle on Amazon and B&N. As of this point, on Amazon, there are two reviews and the novella is carrying a four-star rating, which is definitely better than I expected. No reviews on Amazon UK, sadly. But on Barnes & Noble, there’s been five ratings, and I’m averaging four stars. So I suppose this means I’ve written a four-star novella?

I will ask that everyone who’s purchased and read the book leave some form of rating on Amazon and/or B&N. Even if it’s just rating it via the star-system without leaving a written review, that’s fine with me. You can hit the B&N page with my novel on it here and the Amazon page here. Much love for those of you who take the time to review it, and even more love for everyone who has bought it so far! (And even more love for those of you who are helping me pimp it out to your friends, online and off!)

Zombie Book Recommendation of the Week:
Feed (The Newsflesh Trilogy, Book One) by Mira Grant

Summary: (from Amazon) Urban fantasist Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue) picks up a new pen name for this gripping, thrilling, and brutal depiction of a postapocalyptic 2039. Twin bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason and their colleague Buffy are thrilled when Sen. Peter Ryman, the first presidential candidate to come of age since social media saved the world from a virus that reanimates the dead, invites them to cover his campaign. Then an event is attacked by zombies, and Ryman’s daughter is killed. As the bloggers wield the newfound power of new media, they tangle with the CDC, a scheming vice presidential candidate, and mysterious conspirators who want more than the Oval Office. Shunning mysogynistic horror tropes in favor of genuine drama and pure creepiness, McGuire has crafted a masterpiece of suspense with engaging, appealing characters who conduct a soul-shredding examination of what’s true and what’s reported.

My Thoughts: I love, love, love this book! I’m not going to say too much on it, because it would totally spoil the major twists and turns in the plot, but this is seriously one of the most thoroughly detailed post-zombie worlds I have ever read. The characters are realistic and extremely likable (or hateable in some cases!), and I have rarely read a book that so easily sucked me in and made me not want to put it down. Highly recommended for everyone who is a fan of the zombie genre!

My Rating: ***** (out of 5)

Where to Buy: Amazon (available in both DTB and Kindle editions) | Barnes & Noble (also available as both DTB and NOOKbook formats)

What I’m Currently Reading: Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Saga by Z.A. Recht

Ready to Buy The Becoming: Outbreak?

You can purchase from the following places:

From the Amazon US Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/fUCOim

From the Amazon UK Kindle Store: http://amzn.to/eR4WCO

From the Barnes & Noble NOOKbook Store: http://bit.ly/eDI6Jd

Directly from Me (via PayPal): http://bit.ly/eAOPy1

The Becoming News

Just thought I’d drop a note and let everyone know how sales are going.

2011 seems to have started off on a good note. The Becoming: Outbreak was officially digitally released on December 20, 2010, and in the eleven days from the release to the end of the year, I sold 33 copies through Amazon’s US and UK Kindle Stores and an additional five copies through Barnes and Noble’s NOOKbooks store. These sales figures are definitely not bad, and they don’t inlcude the handful I sold directly via Paypal either. On average, I sold 3.4 eBooks per day for the eleven days remaining in December after release. This is three times better than I had personally hoped for, because I would have been pleased if I’d been averaging ONE book sold a day.

Now, in the two days that have passed in 2011 so far, I’ve sold seven books through the Amazon US/UK Kindle stores. I don’t know about Barnes and Noble, because frankly, their sales reporting tools suck more than words can express.

I hope everyone is encouraging their friends and family and Twitter and blog followers to buy my book! The links you can purchase it at (if you don’t already have them) are below. Hopefully, the second part of The Becoming, which is currently titled Safe House (though that may change between now and release) will be out by the end of January, early February at worst.

To purchase The Becoming: Outbreak:

From Amazon: http://amzn.to/hKAUs1
From Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/hZi8qA
Directly from the author (on a pay-what-you-want-but-you-must-pay-something basis): http://j.mp/ff1dXy

Thank you for your support!

Have a Very Merry….

I just couldn’t resist this as a perfect way to wish everyone here a very Merry Christmas!

Kindle and Nook Stores Release Coming Soon!

The Becoming: Outbreak has been officially submitted for purchase to Amazon’s Kindle store and Barnes & Noble’s nookBooks store. According to Barnes & Noble, it should be up within the next twenty-four hours, and Amazon says the same. I’ll keep everyone posted so you can buy the book from those stores if you prefer.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book now, please hit the entry just below this one or click on the link to your left under the “The Becoming” menu. 🙂 That page includes the first chapter of the novel plus payment options for the book itself.