I have good news for those who finished the first book and are cursing me for dropping that horrendous cliffhanger.
I’m in the middle of the last heavy content edit and should be done the first week of January. After that No Mere Zombie is off to beta readers. The goal is an April release, and I believe I can make that happen.
If you haven’t read No Such Thing As Werewolves I’d stop here, because spoilers lie ahead.
The ending was messed up, right? Of all the things that could have happened to Trevor. Jesus. So what happens to the poor guy? I’ve decided to give you a sneak peak at his fate. He plays a large role in Werewolves Versus Zombies. In fact, he’ll be on the cover.
Below you’ll find his first PoV chapter. Completely unedited. I hope you enjoy it.
Chapter 2- Nameless
The shambling corpse had lost his name. It hovered just out of reach, as distant as the stars. It bothered him, this lack of a name. Bothered him a great deal. Almost as much as his imprisonment, an unwilling passenger in a body that had its own agenda. His body shambled forward, weaving through the deserted street. He passed unfamiliar houses, odd structures set atop two-foot stilts. They were different than the houses the nameless corpse knew, with thinner walls and thatched roofs. It would have been interesting to inspect them more closely, but his body shambled forward with no regard for his wishes.
He staggered, tripping over a shape in the darkness. His body looked down at the obstruction. A corpse, or what remained of one. The flesh had been meticulously stripped clean. The bones cracked, already drained of marrow. The tide of hunger rose, threatening to overwhelm him as it had so many times over the last week. It never abated unless he was feeding, resuming the very instant he stopped chewing.
His body turned its gaze back to the town, studying the line of houses. The flickering light of a candle came from a window four houses down on the left. The darkness obscured any differences, making the house identical to its neighbors. His body shambled towards it, slow and awkward. That frustrated him too, though he didn’t know any other way of walking. It felt…wrong.
His leg shook violently as he raised a foot, but he avoided toppling as his body set it on the first step. It creaked loudly under his weight, but it held. He attempted the second. Then the third. A fourth step carried him to the door, faintly illuminated by the glow in the living room window. A gasp came from inside. The light winked out.
He listened. Breathing came from behind the door. There were heartbeats. Two of them. Both rapid. Should he be able to hear heartbeats? No, he was positive that was wrong. Different. New.
He raised a trembling hand to the door handle, wrapping a weak grip around it. It turned with a click, the door creaking open with a little urging. Shouldn’t they have locked the door? Or at least blocked it with a dresser or bed? Clearly these people had never seen a zombie movie.
His body staggered inside, gaze sweeping the room. It was gathered in darkness, except for the patch of bamboo planks in the pool of moonlight. The heartbeats were more frantic now, thundering from the corner of the room. He could just barely make out a pair of shapes huddled against the wall. One taller, sheltering the smaller one. A woman and child. Horror bloomed, giving way to panic. Every fiber of his being yearned to warn them, to scream that they should run. All that emerged was a low wail, the first time he’d been able to force his body to do anything.
It shambled across the room, moving towards the doomed family. Why didn’t they run? They could probably make it past him. He was slow, ungainly. Yet they cowered there, praying he wouldn’t notice them. His body crossed the gap in three awkward steps, then lunged at the larger figure. She flinched, but made no attempt to run. Instead she shoved the smaller figure forward. “Antonio, ejecuta!”
The little boy shot to his feet, bolting across the bamboo floor like a deer as he burst from the room into the night. His head turned to watch the boy’s flight, then turned back to his prey. He seized the woman’s arm, biting savagely into her shoulder. His weight bore her to the wooden floor with a hollow thump as he began to feed. At first she screamed and thrashed, but that grew weaker as he tore loose mouthful after mouthful. The hunger faded for the first time in days. In its place came clarity. He remembered.
There had been a pyramid, surrounded by bright lights. Men with guns. Werewolves. That couldn’t be right, could it? There was no such thing as werewolves.
Noooooooooooo…… Dang it . Ok then…
Poor Trevor. In my defense it’s not MY fault he put his hand in Sheila’s mouth =p
Ironic that the survivalist gets taken out first, while the geeks get the fur and fangs. Can’t wait to see what a trained soldier does with werewolf abilities, lethal and prepared.
I think you might find it interesting to see what a survivalist can do with the abilities of a deathless. You’ll also get to see what a trained soldier can do as a werewolf. Very curious to hear what you think.
Hello – I accidentally stumbled on your books after accidentally looking at kboards’s Writer’s Cafe and clicking on the book cover links in your signature. (first the First Ark book, now I am about 10% into the No Such Things one). (and no, I am not a writer.)
You write well (and I intend to finish the book), but if I could make a suggestion: if you are writing a book that involves military hardware and weapons, show the book to a beta reader who is knowledgeable about those things, before final release. Just in the first few pages, I noticed a few bloopers:
AH-64 Apache is a gunship with a crew of two that did not exist during the Vietnam War. It went into production in the early 1980s. I doubt that there are many old Apaches that would be scrapped by the Army, to be picked up by some corporation as a ferry aircraft. The AH-64 is quite expensive, requires a lot of maintenance, and would not be used to fly around Peruvian mountains in the manner described in the book. You probably meant UH-1 (made by Bell) for the role.
The M4 rifle is not smoothbore. “Rifle” means that it cannot be smoothbore, obviously – the inside of the barrel is rifled – meaning, it has grooves. Very few firearms today are smoothbore, aside from shotguns and handguns. Some tanks (such as the Soviet T-64 and the Leopard 2, and, if memory serves, some variants of the M-1 that use the 120 mm Rheinmetall gun) have smoothbore main guns, to increase range (at the expense of accuracy). But to call a rifle “smoothbore” is … wrong.
The notion of “converting” a 5.56 mm M4 rifle to .30 caliber is rather silly, when there ARE .30 caliber automatic rifles – the M14 was one, the Belgian FAL was another. So if what you really need is a .30 caliber automatic rifle, they already exist.
There IS a rifle called XM8 (which was never adopted by the US Army), but it fires the same 5.56 mm rounds as the M4. If you want something higher caliber but more high-tech, the Barrett REC7 6.8 mm might be an option.
Hope this helps for the future – and keep up the writing work 🙂
Sorry it took so long to get back to you, but I was away on vacation. This kind of feedback is invaluable! I did my research as best I could, but clearly made some mistakes on the hardware. Fortunately, I can fix some of this in the ebook and print book, though audio will remain as is unfortunately. Thank you so much for the help. I greatly appreciate it!
no problem. 🙂 i finished the book a couple of days ago, actually. it’s pretty good, especially for a first time writer, and the premise is certainly interesting. if you plan to make corrections, here are a few more bloopers that I can recall:
– Barrett rifle is mis-spelled “Barrette” the first time it is mentioned.
– Barrett rifles do not weigh 40 lbs. The original M82 was about 30 lbs, depending on exact configuration. Without a heavy-duty optical system (like BORS), modern variants are in the high 20’s lbs, something like 27 lbs. (I am doing this from memory, so if the exact weight is important, you’d need to confirm this.) 40 lbs is beyond most humans’ tolerance when it comes to carrying a rifle and aiming it effectively, except from a fixed shooting position (and, if i recall the scene correctly when Trevor was shooting at the bad guys at his house, they were on the move).
There are multiple mentions of a .50 caliber round “coring” a tank. This is, to put it mildly, unrealistic. During WWII, there were some 14.5 mm anti-tank rifles (like the Soviet PTRS) that were intended as anti-tank weapons. (PTRS stands for Protivo-Tankovoye Ruzhyo Simonova – Anti-Tank Rifle by Simonov.) Now, 14.5 mm is a big-ass round, just between you and me. Despite that, they weren’t particularly effective, since the ballistics are too weak to defeat the frontal armor of any tank in use even early in the war. A shooter – if he were close enough, like 100 meters or less – might be able to penetrate side armor of a tank (in some spots), but it took good aim and very steady nerves. Any tank today has several inches of laminated ceramic/metal or layered hard/soft steel armor on its sides, and often 1000+ mm of armor on the front. And that’s not counting reactive armor hanging all around the tank. A .50 cal round would barely make a scratch on a tank.
The whole subject of tanks and the endless struggle between armor protection and weapons that defeat it is probably far outside the scope of what’s needed for a werewolf book. The point is – i’d find some other way to demonstrate the awesomeness of whatever weaponry is in that exoskeleton suit.
I am also a bit skeptical that werewolf claws (which are presumably organic, however supernatural they are) can do much to scratch the armor of the exoskeleton suits. If such armor (which is presumably made of some sort of layered ceramics) can’t withstand claws of an animal… then what can it withstand? But, of course, I am no expert on werewolf claws 🙂
One other thing – the distance from San Diego to Peru is about 4000 miles. I don’t recall if the book mentions the type of aircraft they used to fly there, but whatever it is, it was small. So can it really fly 4000 miles without refueling? WWII-era DC-3 had a range of something like 1500-2000 miles, depending on load. Food for thought there…
Anyway, that’s all the issues i can think of at the moment. I’ll be looking forward to book 2. 🙂
Thanks again, man. Going forward I’ll be showing manuscripts to people like you so this sort of inaccuracy doesn’t creep in. Much appreciated and glad you otherwise enjoyed the book!
I LOVED NO SUCH THING AS WEREWOLVES. LOOKING FORWARD TO BOOK 2 .Please send me a release alert @Kalana8189@gmail.com. thanks Michael Knight
Thanks, Michael! I’ll add you to the mailing list. Book 2 should be available in late April. If you have an extra minute to throw up a review on Amazon or Audible that would be amazing. Those are like gold to indie authors. Most advertising sites require a certain number to even consider us.
there’s no such thing as werewolves. Ha! Honestly, I wish that you hadn’t listened to the editors and continued onwards.now I must wait until you choose to continue and publish the next part. In the meantime, I curse your editors to be among the undead!
I know, right? The good news is that I’ll be done with my content edit next week, and then book 2 is off to beta readers. Do you want me to add you to the mailing list?
sure, And if you’re talking about the beta readers list I’d be tickled pink!
I just finished No Such Thing and loved It. Can’t wait for book 2! But man I am really bummed that Trevor turned into a zombie. Sounds like you have plans to make him a little something more though so I won’t cry foul yet ?
Yes, so much more than a zombie. Trevor will become Deathless 😉
If you want to beta read I can add you to the mailing list! I’m just about done with my last big content edit and should be sending it out in the next week or two.
Oh Hell YeaH!! I would love to Beta read!!
I started watching werewolf, zombie,Frankenstein, & Dracula movies when I was 9 years old. I also loved watching B-rated sci-fi flicks of the 50’s & 60’s growing up. My hero is Ellen Ripley. I mention this because I know my monster stuff.
I’ve always wondered why and how the vampire & werewolf myths came into being. (History can be so revisionist at times.) But, while your story was fiction, it provided such a wonderful way to explain them.
Did you base your decision to make the werewolves the protectors of mankind on pre-Christian mythology traced back to Proto-Indo-European mythology-7500-5500 BC , where lycanthropy is reconstructed as an aspect of the world’s initiation of the warrior class? I know a mouthful from Wikipedia but just seeing the similarity of your book and just wondering…
Your book was absolutely excellent! Finally, a story where monsters (werewolves) are given a sacred purpose and it does not include a curse or a sad old gypsy woman.
I loved your characters and enjoyed your dialog so much! It was so real, I wanted to be right there getting into the fight! I also loved how you weaved in archaeology, science, mythology the military, and a broken heart! I felt sorry the way Jordan died, I liked him, he had honor. I was hoping up to the very last he would realize what was at stake and change sides, but I also applauded his work ethic. He would have made one amazing werewolf leader!
Finally another female Superhero, we really only have Wonder Woman. Unfortunately,the Mother’s resurrection strategy did have one colossal misstep. My hope is that she also has a Plan B prepared in your next book to redeem herself. I’m still though mulling over the fact that the great Mother Goddess Isis unintentionally created zombies. Hmm. (In certain misogynistic circles we women are blamed for everything.) But you also weaved in the myth of Isis & Osiris’ death/rebirth and zombies. That was just brilliant and so creatively synchronistic! I’m obviously conflicted. LOL
I have high hopes for Trevor, and while I laughed out loud at the last lines of your book, I felt his anger and the injustice of it. Yet, I still smile over his lines.
Two last questions: 1) Since Shelia turned into a zombie when the sun changed, did I miss it in the audio book where it said that she had HIV or was bitten?
2) Is it too late for me to get your BETA copy and review it for you??
I love reading apocalyptic books, not for the horror and devastation, but I love the way in which mankind tries to survive and slowly comes back from the brink. I look forward in finding out how mankind fares in you next book.
You know Chris, this is the very first time I have even taken the time to share my thoughts on a book review. I found your book was that good, and I want to support you as a wonderful writer of fiction????
Paula, you are exactly the type of reader I’ve been hoping to reach and your comment absolutely made my day.
I indirectly based my werewolves on proto-indo mythology. A roleplaying game called Werewolf the Apocalypse came out when I was in high school, and portrays werewolves as the warriors created to protect Gaia. They clearly drew on mythology, and since I drew on their game for inspiration you could say I did the same.
Thank you for the praise regarding the characters and dialogue! Most people seem to like them, though I’ve received some scathing reviews that claimed they were two dimensional. It being my first novel it’s hard for me to know, really.
Regarding Jordan, let’s just say you may not have seen the last of him 😉
About the Mother creating the zombie virus I’d recommend picking up The First Ark (a short deathless prequel). It starts with the chapter where the Mother first discovered the Ark, but instead of Blair observing her memories it’s from her point of view. It explains how and why she created the virus.
I really waffled with that, because as I’m sure you’re painfully aware women get blamed for everything from the mythical apple to Pandora’s Box. In the end I decided to stay true to Egyptian mythology, which explicitly states that it was Isis who used her magic to raise Osiris from the dead.
So glad people get the references I’m using to craft the story! I’m a huge Egyptology buff and had no idea if anyone would catch or even care about all that.
Isis plays a pivotal role in No Mere Zombie (final title for the next book). She’s one of my favorite characters for a lot of reasons.
Trevor is another favorite, and quite a few fans are outraged over his fate. I’m not sure if you saw the cover for the next book, but that sheds at least a little light on his fate. I’m debating throwing up another chapter to reveal a bit more.
Your two last questions:
1- HIV Is mentioned twice in the audiobook. First when Sheila and Bridget are entering the Ark together. Then again when Bridget reads the note from Sheila.
2- It’s not too late to get a beta copy. If you sign up for the mailing list I’ll be sending out the announcement this evening. The book will be sent out by Wednesday. It’s taken a little longer to do the final proof than I wanted, but I’m almost finished.
Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words. Reaching people like you is exactly why I do this. You asked about supporting writers like me. The best ways are reviews (Amazon, Audible or Goodreads) and of course letting friends know about the book.
I have a lot to learn, but my initial experience in the indie market shows that reviews are everything. There are thresholds we have to hit in order to be accepted by larger advertising sites, so we’re always out there with hat in hand trying to get them =p
I can’t wait to hear what you think of No Mere Zombie. You’ll get a whole bunch of answers, and of course will have a new set of questions. I’m looking forward to fans like you having a chance to help shape the plot!
Thank you for your quick response, I was very pleased. (Also great strategy towards you goal of living in the Redwoods.) Although Sausalito is a great place to watch the fireworks at Chrissie Field!
I did read the prequel last night and also gave you a great review on Amazon. Unfortunately for me, no one in my Family or circle of friends reads werewolf or zombies stories, but I will share the book when I can because it is so diverse! I will also write reviews for you in Audible & Goodreads.
BTW- A few years ago, The CDC in Atlanta promoted on their website. “What to do in case of a Zombie Attack.” When I found out about it, I thought the reasoning behind that promotion was to try to get people prepared for a catastrophic disaster since the preparation for either event would be about the same. I looked at the site. The CDC did not include weapons which would definitely be needed against Zombies. But they couldn’t promote weapons now could they.
I loved how the CDC thought outside box to get people to go to their site & learn about disaster preparedness. I always wondered if there was an increase of visitors to the site or not. Maybe you might be able to use this idea somehow in one of your future stories, since you are so good at weaving in information. I mean you did prepare Trevor. After all, we are all here to use our gifts to help each other out. Your gift could easily reach millions!
I signed up to review the beta book. Not sure if I completed the sign-up because I had no desire to join Word Press. Do I have to join Word Press?
I find the bit about the CDC fascinating, both as a great marketing tactic and because it could so easily be harnessed for fiction. If I work it in I’m totally using your name for the character that does it =p
You’re all signed up for the beta book (I checked the list). That should go out tomorrow. I wanted to get it out Sunday, but I’m house hunting and didn’t quite finish my last proof read.
Thank you again for the support. It really means the world to me. My work’s entire success is because of people like you =D
Oh my God, the thought of my name being used as a possible character in one of your books makes me so delighted, excited and thrilled!!!!! (No pressure there.) When I shared the CDC info with one of my sisters’, she seriously looked at me and said ,”You know Paula that zombies don’t exist.” I responded, “Factor in cloning, genetic manipulation, disease mutation, Man’s inherently unnatural desire to be God & create human life, and throw in a crazy military general. It’s a perfect recipe.” She just shook her head at me and I just smiled back.
Speaking of the Military, check out the The Passage, by Justin Cronin. I bought the audio because the author was running with his twelve year-old daughter and she asked him to write a book where a little girl saves the world.
Our Military turns 12 prison lifers into human vampire bats from actual “special” bats found in South America so they can become unbeatable front line warriors. They escape of course and the world as we know it ends in 36-48 hours. Loved the book, but it also had me walking around for days unnerved about our fragility and wondering about our Military Complex!
I speed-read the entire Prequel last night because I have to write a chapter in a women’s entrepreneurial book and the deadline is coming towards me like a speeding train out of control. Really. I have to take my time and read it slowly because I didn’t quite understand the genetics part and I think its crucial, I loved the first courting gift from Osirus, practical and romantic.
I forgot to mention that I really enjoyed how you weaved in the great harm we have actually done to the species of wolf. We are still so primitive.
I think the Mother will find Trevor and turn him into a hybrid. I just hope he still keeps his character and functioning brain.
Sorry for my long replies, but there is no one else I can talk to about monster stories or Sci-Fi, or time travel. It is a brand mew experience for me to engage in conversations with someone who also loves the monster book genre. I am enjoying this immensely! Maybe I should check out some online group. I did sign up to your Spider Web reviewer because her review of your book was spot on!
Please, no need to reply, really. I hope you find your perfect new home soon! Talk to you in a couple of weeks.
I have never written a review before, but I thought your book required one. I found the book No such things as WW to be a very realistic in light of the fact that it is a fantasy thriller. The characters are believable (as humans can be) and well defined. The way you intergraded global warming, disease, military (although I’m no expert), mythology, astronomy, archeology were fascinating.
The way the werewolves changed was a bit humdrum but hey I guess when all your bones are breaking and reconfiguring and your face is growing and hair is sprouting out of every pore available there’s no different way to explain the metamorphosis.
I’ve just downloaded The Ark. I’m guessing this book will explain further where and why Isis came into her power, and why the male WW’s are the weaker of species ?.
Looking forward to book twos release in April. Can I please be added to your list for preordering. Can’t (but I guess I have too) wait to see what happens to Trevor, Liz, Sheila, Blair and the rest of the characters.
P.S. Not sure if this review was helpful but I hope it was. Is Elmira or Cythera going to challenge Isis? That would be interesting!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this! If you’d be willing to post it (or any part of it) on Amazon I would be eternally grateful =D
I love hearing from people who appreciate the mix of science, history and current social issues. It took a ton of research to set all that up, but it was a lot of fun and something I’m very passionate about.
You’re the first person to point out something I was nervous about. My transformations have been done in dozens of werewolf books and movies, and I agree they’re rather blah. I just couldn’t come up with a way to differentiate them that felt real. At one point I had this big burst of light when they changed, but it came across as really weird when I wrote it.
I’m curious to hear what you think of The First Ark. You will learn how the Deathless were created, and how Isis came into the first part of her power. The creation of the first werewolf will come in another novella though, probably after book 2. That one will explain why males are the weaker sex, something I loved writing by the way 😉
I will add you to the mailing list so you’ll know when the pre-order is out. Do you want to beta read the next book? It’s called No Mere Zombie and I just sent it out to beta readers yesterday.
P.S. Unfortunately Elmira didn’t survive, but Cyntia is smart enough not to challenge Isis. Isis has thousands of years of raw power, and also possesses the abilities of both sexes. She’s kind of a badass. If you read book 2 you’ll find out she’s not the only one to have come from the previous age though. There are other Arks 😉
Thank you for adding me to the pre order list and the opportunity to be a beta reader for No mere Zombie. I will definitely leave a review on Amazon.
P.S. A transformation with blinding light could work with splitting of skin, skeletal growth and plenty of gore??. (Just a thought)