Genres: Horror, Zombie
Source: Provided as part of book tour
THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES introduced Jenni and Katie and their harrowing journey to the makeshift fort in the Texas Hill Country. But theirs is not the only tale to be told. In the first volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.
Deep in the Texas Hill Country, a man and his little dog takes refuge in a bed and breakfast located in the hills above a doomed town where an infested rescue center might unleash the hungry undead…
On a deserted highway slicing through the desolation of West Texas, a woman struggles to survive as she faces the horrifying aftermath of the rise of the zombies…
And finally, discover what happens on the first day to Katie’s beloved wife, Lydia, as the world dies…
In the second volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.
In a nearby town Ken and Lenore have started their regular routine at Ken’s Beauty Salon. A terrible accident brings the undead plague to their front door and soon the best friends are scrambling to escape their overrun town…
Katarina is just finishing her shift at a roadside café when a badly injured man stumbles through the front door. She quickly realizes that to survive she must learn to kill…
And finally, a trapped family must face the fearsome truth that sometimes zombies are not the worst monster they have to fear as the world dies…
Synopsis Volume 3:
Returning to Texas after celebrating his divorce in Vegas, Rune, a biker cursed with the ability to see ghosts, discovers that the world is being taken over by the hungry undead. Soon he realizes he will have to depend on all his abilities to survive not only the ravenous zombies, but the dangerous men lurking on the back roads of Texas.
Senator Paige Brightman abandoned the Madison Mall and its inhabitants to the hungry hordes, but her journey did not end there. Her attempt to reach the president’s safe haven called Central has far reaching ramifications for her and the people she abandoned.
The final in the three stories reveals the aftermath of the great battle in SIEGE as one woman faces the ultimate decision whether to live or die in a world of the undead.
Purchase links: Amazon | B&N
I’ve only read the first full book in the As The World Dies trilogy, so not all the characters in the Untold Tales were familiar to me. However, I still enjoyed the side stories. It was very cool to get a better perspective into some of these characters’ back stories, and it helps understand them better. I enjoyed the two shorter tales in each of the first two volumes but sometimes felt the one long novella was a bit much for an untold tale. I was expecting shorter tales so those longer ones demanded a little more attention than I was expecting. I probably would have enjoyed them more if I had read the remaining books in the trilogy, which I plan to do someday soon I hope! I really enjoyed The First Days and always recommend this series when someone wants to know of a good zombie read.
Dealing With Difficult Characters
This is the type of post that makes me sound crazy as they come, but it’s also the type of post that readers find the most fascinating. I’m about to take you into the dark regions of my very twisted mind and tell you all about the complicated relationship I sometimes I have with my characters.
Does that sound crazy enough for you?
Let me explain…
I am an organic writer. That means that stories are born out of a tiny seed of inspiration and bloom in my mind. I let the seed grow into what it’s meant to be and don’t interfere with its growth. When it’s finished, I then prune the story to make sure it’s tidy and coherent.
I don’t meticulously lay out plots. I don’t make extensive character sheets. I just have to flip the switch in my mind and watch the action unfold on the movie screen in my head.
Sometimes I have a clear idea of the beginning and ending of a story, but have no idea of what the journey in between will be like. Unexpected events pop up along the way and sometimes the plot surprises me.
Characters are the same way. They show up in my head (usually in a dream) fully formed and anxious to tell their story. Just like meeting a person in the real world, I’m attracted to certain personality traits of a character and make basic assumptions about them. And just like real life, sometimes I assume incorrectly.
A well-developed character has a mind of their own. When placed in a scenario, they should react true to the established parameters of their personality.
Let me show you what I mean by using a few characters from the As The World Dies Untold Tales.
A character is trapped without a weapon in the back office of a rural grocery store and a zombie is beating on the door.
1) Eric from Untold Tales Volume 1 immediately shushes his Jack Russell Terrier, Pepe, and looks for a way out of the room. Seeing a window high above a bookcase, he quickly ascertains he can fit through the narrow opening. He tucks Pepe into his jacket, scales the shelves, breaks the window panes with the paperweight he snatched off the desk below, and crawls out to safety just as the door gives way and the zombie enters the office.
2) Lenore from Untold Tales Volume 2 quickly looks around the room, sees the window, and realizes she can’t crawl through it due to her girth. Ken, her best friend, is in near hysterics and she shushes him while she looks for a weapon. She spots the paperweight and picks it up. It’s a big quartz piece and very heavy. Grabbing the office chair, she tells Ken he’s going to have to open the door for her. He’s terrified, but trusts her. When Ken whips open the door and ducks out of the way, Lenore rushes the zombie and rams it with the office chair, knocking it to the floor. Using the paperweight, she bashes in its head before escaping with Ken.
Same scenario, but two different outcomes.
Because of that reality sometimes I’m surprised when characters do unexpected things, yet it completely fits their personality. Sometimes this alters the path I thought we were traveling toward the endgame of a novel.
Recently, I was convinced a character would die and anticipated the novel taking a decidedly dark turn. Instead, the character didn’t do what I expected him to do and was much more clever than I had thought he would be. Yet, it completely fit his personality and established behavior pattern. Because he didn’t die, four other characters didn’t die either.
If I try to kill a character just for shock value, it never really works in the story. I have to have their death actually make sense. If a character has no impulse controls, their death is much more likely and believable than a character that is very cautious. I’ve tried to keep characters alive beyond their expiration date only for them to be shallow representations of themselves.
I have always said being a writer is a form of insanity, but I rather enjoy it. Yes, I have entire worlds in my head and characters that argue with me sometimes, but in the end, when a reader tells me how much they loved the story and the characters I’m glad I’m a little crazy.
About the Author:
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) , as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog),and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dying her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.
You can find her online at:
Website: rhiannonfrater.com & astheworlddies.com
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