Last year I took part in (i.e. did the early-pages heavy lifting) for the shared-world volume ‘Zombie Apocalypse’. My role was to create a believable backstory for the plague that causes the world to turn zombie. Editor Steve Jones had come up with the idea, and was able to create a unique book comprising diary entries, radio broadcasts, notes, emails and ephemera – the sort of stuff left behind on a dead world – with each section designed differently.
The result was a stunning-looking volume that went on to be a big success. The Hollywood rights were optioned (uniquely, to be shared between all of us) and a sequel was planned. Amazon readers complained that the ending was weak – but it had always intended to provide a jokey moment before a continuation, something they didn’t know.
Also, creator Steve Jones had recently criticised in print a US horror festival, and I think he caught the backlash here. Either way, I thought the book was a great success.
Now the second volume, ‘Zombie Apocalypse: Fightback’ is due out on October 4th, and promises to tie up what went before. The quality of writing is much higher than you’d expect for the subject matter, and a great deal of intelligent thought has gone into the series. I imagine there’ll be a third next year. BTW, the covers are unique to each country they appear in, with monuments and streets changing.