Up From the Depths: the future

 

For those few of you who have read the series up to this point, you’re aware that there are a plethora of characters involved and literally scattered all over CONUS. Those characters, and in some cases, the groups they’re part of, each have their own story to tell.

Following the events of Book 6, I know, not a lot of you have had a chance to read 6 at this point, but there have been a few of you who were exposed to some paragraphs and chapter excerpts. So, following the events that take place in #6, here’s the issue:

 

Option One: the books continue like they are, lots of characters in different locations dealing with whatever is happening to them.

 

OR
Option Two: the follow on books after 6 only tell the adventures of a single character/group. An example of this would be something like this: #7 tells the story of the events in and around Cascade. #8 tells the story of the events in and around the Safeguard group. #9 tells of something or someone else. #10, etc, etc. Then around book 12, all the stories merge again into a larger novel.

 

While Option Two would address the issues that some have with the massive amount of characters within this saga, it wouldn’t tell the story of the other characters/groups and their adventures that are happening concurrently.

If Option Two were to be exercised, then that means that books 7-11 could possibly be interpreted as stand alone stories that take place within the Up From the Depths Universe. That would be a very broad interpretation but some might see it in that manner.

 

Here’s what I need from you, the readers:

Decide what Option you’d like to read. Explain in as much detail why you feel the option you chose would be the best going forward with the series. Don’t provide a short sentence. Those entries will be tossed and deleted. I’m looking for detailed, articulate responses as to what and why the option you chose would be the best in your opinion for the series. Those responses can be sent to me via my Blog or if you’re a member of Zombiefiend, use the ‘Reply’ feature and post your response.

Changes happening within the next few weeks/months

Within the last few weeks, there have been updates to books 1-5 due to them being sent to an editor. Those of you who have pointed out the grammatical issues should appreciate this.

In the months leading up to the release of Book #6, there will be some minor cosmetic changes to the covers of book 1-5. The most noticeable will be the rewording of each title. What that means is the former subtitle will now be shown as the main title and the main series title will now become the subtitle with the book # incorporated within that.

Here’s an example:

cover-for-book6-adjusted-format

These are just a few of the changes happening within the series. Stay tuned for information as it becomes available.

By the way, don’t get too attached this particular cover as its only a concept cover for #6.

Update on Book 6 in the series

cover for book6

As some of you know, the scheduled release for #6 was to be in the fall right around October 31st. That was the plan anyway. But, as we all know, plans don’t always hold up. The new release, tentatively, will be later in the fall/winter and quite possibly, Spring of 2017.

To the 3-4 readers who have read the series, this is a disappointment. The delay or push back with this book is due to a lot of issues regarding whether this will be the last book in the series or not. At this point in time, that option is wide open. If you’ll bear with me and wait a little longer, you’ll get your next fix in the Up From the Depths series.

Book 2 Cover Image

 

It has been brought to my attention that the image used for Book #2 in the series is a copyrighted image. It belongs to a gentleman named Landon Steel who has formed, and works with many Veteran’s Suicide Awareness Groups.

 

I had located said image after doing a search for free images. Had I known at that time that the image belonged to Mr. Steele, I would have contacted him and requested permission to use it. The image has since been changed for Book #2.

 

I had no intention of ‘stealing’ said image. Had I known that the image was connected and copyrighted by Mr. Steele, accreditation would have been made as well as permission requested.

 

I have sent an apology to Mr. Steele for using the image and changed the image as I’m sure he does not want his visage connected to a fictional zombie apocalypse series.

 

Mr. Steele does an outstanding job bringing awareness to the general public about Veteran Suicide and I in no way intended to denigrate his work by using his image for my book.

Book 6 of the Up From the Depths series

cover for book6

 

There has been some speculation that Book 5, Defilade, ends the series. This is not true. There is a 6th and potentially final book that closes out the series. I say potentially as there is a possibility, note I state possibility, that a 7th book or maybe a few more are still out there waiting in the wings.

 

For those of you who want a little sneak peek at some scenes from #6, here you are:

 

“We do have an exit strategy, right?” Lance Corporal Anders asked as he fired his rifle at the approaching mass of infected.

“We do. Hold on while I think of something really spectacular,” Staff Sergeant Reginald Oakland replied as he dropped out the spent magazine and reloaded his M27. If there was a high value target in this area, they’re Zed food by now.

“Goins! Get Lighthorse on the horn! Tell them we are Sierra Oscar Lima and in need of immediate extract!” Oakland yelled out as he serviced the targets in his zone of responsibility.

Marine Force Recon Team Able had been inserted into Lake Erie hours earlier after receiving their mission objective, the recovery and extraction of a high profile person or information on the whereabouts of said HVP. In the weeks following the tactical nuclear strike, entering a large city, any former major population center was risky. The radiation count was still high enough to cause health issues if there was prolonged exposure. And there were the infected that for some reason, still roamed the areas, apparently unaffected by the detonation of nuclear weapons and residual radiation.

Team Able had made landfall without contact and began moving inland. A firestorm had ravaged most of the waterfront leaving nothing but black, charred, skeletal remains of what were once structures and vehicles. The streets were clogged with abandoned vehicles and hastily made barricades. Travel through this maze was slow. Slower still while wearing full MOPP-4. It wasn’t until they had reached the two mile mark that they were truly fucked. These infected seemed to have evolved if that was even possible. They had waited until the recon team was deep into the metal maze before pouring out of the buildings and encircling them. Half of their team had been swallowed up including their sniper and OIC before the rest had fought their way to the roof of a small, semi-collapsed self- storage complex.

“Sergeant! I got Lighthorse!” Goins called out.

“Outstanding,” Oakland commented as he reloaded then keyed his radio.

“Lighthorse, Lighthorse, this is Ripper. We’re in a world of shit and need immediate extract. How copy?”

“Ripper, Lighthorse, what’s your pos?”

“Lighthorse, Ripper, we’re three klicks south, southwest of the waterfront. Marking with strobes.”

“Copy that, Ripper. We’re on the way. Mark your area with smoke.”

“Negative Lighthorse, we’re marking with strobes. Be advised this is a hot LZ.” Dusk was fast approaching; no way could an aircraft see smoke at night. There was a long pause on the radio before the MH22 pilot came back.

“Copy that, Ripper. How will I know where you’re at?”

“Jesus Christ,” Oakland muttered before keying the radio. “Lighthorse, Ripper, just look for all the fucking tracers going downrange and that’s us.” This is going to suck.

“Copy that, Ripper, ETA five mikes.”

Oakland glanced at what was left of his team then down at the massed infected. They might be able to stay alive for the next five minutes.

“Hold your mud, Marines! Extract is five mikes out!”

 

Wait, are those new characters you’ve just read about? They are. I’m sure some readers will be happy about this and some will not. Shit happens. To keep a storyline alive, you have to infuse new blood once in a while.

With that in mind, we’ll return to some of the known characters, the SEALs of Shark Platoon:

 

“Move! Move! Move!” Willis yelled out over the weapons fire.

Rogers and Smith ran to the corner of the building and took up covering positions.

“On me! On Me!” Rogers yelled.

“Coming to you!” Hannaberry yelled, firing a short burst from his MK48 into the infected that had moved into his sector before he ran to where Rogers was.

“Tempest, Tempest, this is Saber. Where’s our fucking extract?!” Willis yelled into his radio, dropping out a spent magazine and inserting a full one. He pressed a finger to his ear trying to hear over all the weapons fire but was unable to decipher what was being said. “Fuck!”

“Ell-tee! Move!” Webb yelled as he brought his weapon around to point at his OIC. Willis dropped flat as Webb fired into the space he had just occupied blowing apart the head of one of the infected.

“Go! Go! Go!” Willis yelled as he scrambled to his feet and grabbed hold of Webb’s tactical vest. Willis dragged/pulled him towards the rest of the team.

The SEAL detachment used the abandoned cars for cover as they bounded down the road, laying down suppressive fire and disengaging from the cannibalistic horde that was descending on them.

“Loading!” Rogers called out as he dropped out the empty mag and slapped a full one in place.

“Move! Move! Move!” Willis yelled as he fired into the mass of infected that grew larger by the second.

“On me! On me!” Hannaberry called out as he stopped, turned and fired a burst from the MK48 to cover the team as they moved.

“Coming up on the left!”Johnson called out as he moved.

“Loading!” Smith called out as he dropped an empty mag and inserted a fresh one.

“On me! On me!” Willis yelled as he moved behind a car.

“How many of these fucker do you think we can take?” Rogers asked as he reloaded.

“More than you,” Hannaberry answered as he slapped a loaded drum into his MK48, stood and fired into the infected.

“Fuck you,” Rogers replied as he leaned over the roof of the car and fired into the horde.

 

Not to forget the group of survivors at Firebase Cascade:

 

Martin and Smiley checked their gear. They both knew that it was only a matter of time before the infected massed outside the walls would not be able to get in. What concerned them were the increasing cases of sickness being reported within the walls.

“This is a bad one, J,” Smiley said as he stuffed his tactical vest with loaded magazines.

“It was a matter of time,” Martin said as he checked the action of his rifle before he seated a full magazine. “You about ready?”

“I just need to pre-tourniquet against any wounds,” Smiley said as he began wrapping strips of cloths around his legs. “Did you know that the Moro tribesman used to bind their testicles? They thought that self-inflicted pain immunized them from anything their enemies might inflict.”

“Uh, yeah. I didn’t know that,” Martin said, somewhat at a loss of words. “I’ll pass.” He watched Smiley for a few more seconds as the other man moved up to wrap his arms before he walked out of the building. Outside, leaning against the wall and sweating profusely, Mike Ackley waited for him.

“What are you doing here, Gunny? Doc had you on bed rest,” Martin said.

“Fuck that. I’ll get all the rest I need when I’m dead.” Ackley nodded his head towards the door that Martin had just exited. “Smiley doing his pre-tourniquet thing again?”

“Yeah.”

“You ever get the impression that his elevator just doesn’t reach the top floor?” Ackley asked.

 

So there you have it, a sure sign that there will be a 6th book. The projected release date is sometime in the fall of 2016. As the book moves to completion, there will be a solid date posted.

Understanding the world of Up From the Depths

cover for ebook 2

If you’ve read any of the excerpts posted on my blog about this series or read any of the books, then you know that there is no main character. What does that mean? In most books, there is one single character that the author/story focuses on. In the Up From the Depths series, there are main groups of characters that are focused on not just one single character and their adventures.

That’s one of the differences.

There are other differences as well. Within the series there are groups that are part of the overall storyline but will never meet due to their geographical differences. Not all characters/groups of characters will have a meet-up within the series. That might turn away a few readers.

Then there’s the abbreviations and terms.

Throughout the series, the story focuses on several military units within the United States. There is what I like to call ‘Mil-Speak’ used. Anyone who has spent time in the military knows that there are terms that become second nature to service personnel and are not usually known in the outside or civilian world. Terminology is used in all walks of life but more so in the military. Some readers might have an issue with this and some might not. There’s an attached Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations at the end of each book. Just in case you’re wondering, the glossary is only 1% of the overall books not 10% as a reader mentioned. Do the math please. Within the books themselves, an effort has been made to explain the terminology but in most cases, the explanation would take more than a few sentences to explain.

cover for book 2

I’m sure readers will take issue with not having a main character and most likely the amount of terms and abbreviations used within the series. It happens. If this is an issue, then please take advantage of the free preview offered at Amazon and read a little of each book before you purchase it. One could even go a step further and request the ebook or paperback through their local library. Most libraries offer Overdrive for ebook check outs. That way, you’re not spending money at all and you can probably read the entire series that way.

cover for book3E

 

Up From the Depths, as I’ve been told by several people, is not your average end of the world, zombie apocalypse series. Sure, there’s zombies, sure there’s weapons firing, zombies being slaughtered wholesale and survivors trying to deal with their changed reality while large quantities of raspberry meatloaf is being distributed to the immediate environment. But, that’s where the similarity stops.

A few authors I know have said that the books and overall storyline are more cerebral than other books/series out there. Maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t. I will admit, the series is not your typical cardboard cutout characters saying clichéd dialogue in stereotypical scenes. An effort, a very strong effort, was made to prevent that and I can only hope that it actually occurred.

cover for book 4

If you’ve read any of my blog posts, you know that the series started out as one big ass book. When the decision was made to release the book, the size was an issue. No one really wants a book that is equal in size to War and Peace for an ebook. That meant cutting the one book into many pieces. That created 6 books with a potential for a few more. I say potential because there may be another book or two within the series.

That’s a big maybe so no one hold their breath on that.

With luck, readers and potential readers, will see this post and understand what they’re getting into.

 

cover for book5D blackborder

Book release schedule for 2016

As some of you know, the next 2 books in the series are scheduled for release in February and March of 2016.

 

Book 3 released January 4, 2016.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019SIH8IG?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

 

Book 4, Movement to Contact, is scheduled for release February 1, 2016.

cover for book 4

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AKSU3IA

 

Book 5, Defilade, is scheduled for release March 7, 2016.

cover for book5

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AKTPQGS

Book 4 and 5 should be available soon for pre-order.

 

Book 6, Secondary Objectives, is still a work in progress at the time of this post and has no set release date. As more information becomes available, it will be updated. This book will not be released until it is a quality addition to the series. I will not rush it to publication.

cover for book 6E no grayscale

 

Here’s a little teaser from Book 4, Movement to Contact:

 

Mecceloni turned the corner and slowed to a stop. The street ahead was full of infected. He quickly looked around for an alternative route, mentally cursing himself for not having a street map of the area. He dropped the transmission into low gear and revved the engine.

“What are you doing?” Durst asked from the back seat before he looked out the front window.

“You’re fucking insane!”

“No. Not insane. Mentally unrestricted,” Mecceloni said, shifting into neutral, dropping the transmission into 4 wheel drive then shifted into drive, planting his foot to the floor.

Durst was pushed back as the Tahoe leapt forward with a surge of acceleration. The heavy duty suspension and grill guard plowed into the front of the infected horde, tossing aside and knocking over the first ranks before moving into the densely packed mass.

The Tahoe bounced like it was on an undead, gore splattered Baja off-road course as it ran over the infected that it knocked down. Mecceloni kept his foot down and steered for the smallest concentrations, plowing through and spraying blood, body parts and rotted flesh all over the truck, street and buildings. Paint the town red was a thought that came to his mind. He heard weapons fire over the scream of the engine and thud of bodies impacting. The Tahoe broke free of the swarm, dragging dismembered portions of the infected from its undercarriage and grill.

He turned on the wipers to clear the blood and gore from the windows but all that did was smear it in forcing him to slow down. Through the smeared windshield, he caught a glimpse of a tan vehicle.

The CUCV.

Someone was leaning out the passenger side window firing a shotgun into the infected before ducking back inside. The military surplus SUV skidded over a couple of infected, jostling the occupants before executing a wild, tire smoking bootlegger turn and leading the Tahoe out of the city.

 

 

Here’s a little teaser from Book 5, Defilade:

 

“Captain, you do realize we crashed?” the Air Force senior officer asked sarcastically. “We are in no condition to complete anything.” he said. O’Toole turned to face the officer.

“Hey, air scout, I’m grateful you got us down more or less in one piece. We’re on the ground and you’re in my house now,” he said. “Once we landed, this became my operation and you now fall under my command,” O’Toole said.

“We’re not combat soldiers,” the pilot said.

“You have my sympathies,” O’Toole said. “Until we get these sleds loaded with mission critical gear, you’ve been drafted into the Army. You will follow orders and help us load equipment then you can fuck off to that Inuit village with the wounded.”