Home > Writing > Books, Movies, Comics: A General Update

Books, Movies, Comics: A General Update

I hope everyone’s doing well, and are healthy and happy!

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, but it’s not because I’ve lost interest, have been abducted by aliens, or wound up as Scarlett Johansson’s newest boy toy. (Though she apparently does like dalliances with older guys, so I might still have a chance at that.) While I needed some downtime after moving heaven and earth to knock off The Rising Horde books, I’ve also been busy at work on other related projects that I’ll briefly detail here.

BOOKS

Sales for The Rising Horde: Volume 1 and The Rising Horde: Volume 2 are moving right along, especially on Amazon. Even better, their release caused some renewed interest in The Gathering Dead and, to a substantially lesser extent, Left with the Dead. I’m very, very happy with the pace of the sales of all the titles, but I see the spillover hasn’t touched any of the non-zombie books. I’m a bit concerned about this, because it makes me wonder if I’m going to wind up as a one-note writer: those guys who can only sell one specific type of property. I have a widely divergent list of interests and skills, and I’d hoped to be able to tap into that for fun and profit in the years ahead. But when I see some pretty rich fare such as City of the Damned and White Tiger essentially withering on the vine, it does make me take pause. This is a business for me, after all, not a hobby. So I need to be mindful of what I can and can’t do.

Which leads me to wonder if I should release Tribes, a decidedly non-zombified science fiction adventure novel set in the Antarctic, under the Stephen Knight monicker or if I should consider breaking out with another name. There’s a lot to be said for this approach, and there is some data that indicates folks only buy specific books from specific authors. While I like writing about zombies, their retinue is fairly limited, and I’ve already encountered resistance even to my mild attempts to spice up the genre by inserting some feral intelligence into some of the stenches. I get the desire on the part of the reader to want to enjoy similar good experiences, but as a writer, it does leave one feeling a bit boxed in. This is stuff I’ll have to contemplate strongly over the next couple of months as I finish Tribes and send it into the editorial stage.

After that, I have several other projects waiting for my tender ministrations. I haven’t decided which one I’ll do next, though I do have a lot of folks clamoring for more Gathering Dead-like fare. Will I, or won’t I? I’m afraid I don’t know myself, just yet.

Oh! And if you’ve read any of my stuff, please do leave a review wherever you purchased it. That’s always a thrill!

MOVIES

Yeah okay, the Indiegogo crowdfunding stuff is kind of sucking wind. But that’s all right, because at the end of the day, I wasn’t expecting a groundswell of support from that venue. The Gathering Dead is a very specialized product in that it deals with the military response to the zombie apocalypse, then specializes it even further by focusing on Army Special Forces. A lot of folks know about SEAL Team 6 (which hasn’t been called that in years, by the way), but the last time the Green Berets were on anyone’s mind was during the Vietnam War and because John Wayne played one who miraculously took in a glorious sunset where the sun somehow set in the South China Sea. But to that end, look for an Indiegogo Version 2.0 campaign sometime in the summer. By then, I’ll have my multi-thousand dollar trailer locked and loaded, and I’ll be able to better show people what I’m looking to do.

And about the trailer? Work is coming along nicely. Very nicely, but it’s not stuff that I can easily show. This is going to have to cook for another couple of months, and to reveal anything that’s not fully formed is going to hurt the initiative more than help it. I haven’t even shared it with my partners yet, because I know seeing partially-formed footage is going to be something of a downer at this point in time. They want something they can use to raise funds, and gray scale polygons and non-rigged animatics ain’t gonna do the trick. So I need to wait, and let the effects team do what they need to do.

But, there are other things happening on this front as well. I can’t speak about them directly just yet, but people are beginning to take notice of my little zombie picture and are inspecting it here and there. Some of these people are quite famous people as well, people the casual reader of this blog would know and say, “Really? XYZ is interested in The Gathering Dead? Wow!”

But interest is a fleeting thing, and balances are all very delicate. So for now, the less I say on that, the better. But things are continuing to progress in this area, albeit in more stealth mode than I would normally like.

COMICS

I’m still following up on converting The Gathering Dead into a 100+ page graphic novel. Since I’m a bit of a control freak, I need to ensure that I fully vet the possible printers out there and understand their requirements fully. The folks who print my current books, Lightning Source, aren’t really adept at this kind of product, so I need to determine just who the final contenders will be and move from there.

In addition, I’ll need to assemble the following team:

Artist

Letterer

Inker

Colorist

Production engineer

Overall, it looks like the project will have an out-of-pocket pricetag of around $7,500-$15,000, which is enough to make me take it slowly and ensure that I take the right steps in the right order. Because hey, I really don’t want to have to spend twice as much as I need in order to get this done.

And for all three projects, it’s pretty much the same set of circumstances. I’m committed to doing as much by myself, for myself as I possibly can. Why? Because it’s my property, and while I recognize I’m going to need the participation of others–especially for the film!–I’m not going to cede any control unless it’s absolutely necessary. Because at the end of the day, everyone else gets to walk away from these projects with money in hand. I’m the one who has to shoulder the mistakes and failures, while everyone gets to share in the glory.

And my aim is ensure there’s more of the latter than the former. Approaching it in any other way is just looney, and I’m sure you guys would agree!

Anyway, more to come. Stay tuned, folks.

  1. robert bryant
    May 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I read city of the damned- would love to see a sequel in paperback!!!
    any tthoughts of white tiger making it in paperback???? ill buy it when and if that should happen and i will be one of the first one’s to pre-order rising horde’s volumes when they
    arrive in printed format
    chow
    robert

    • May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Given White Tiger’s rather desultory sales, a paperback version would take about 25 years to earn back its expenses! Glad you liked City of the Damned…leave a review, maybe other people will read it and buy!

  2. David W Southall
    May 31, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Don’t worry about being perceived as a one note writer – its a great note! I echo Roberts comments, can’t wait for Rising Horde to appear in Paperback

  3. robert bryant
    May 31, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    i sorta figured it would take 20 + years to recoup cost- but i thought i would ask!!!!
    Are we still on target for paperback releases the next couple of weeks- David wants to know also and being a one trick pony is no bad thing–look at maberry,koontz,etc
    regards,
    robert

    • June 1, 2012 at 9:06 am

      The first book is still in lay-up with the printer, and I have to receive a proof to affirm or deny. I’m hopeful that 6/15 will be the release date, but it’s not really up to me.

  4. June 5, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Stephen,

    It’s funny, but I never had any desire to be a writer. I have always, from a very young age, loved to read as much as I could get my hands on. At this point in my life, I believe I have a good handle on who is and isn’t a good writer and of course what I like myself.

    You are a good writer Stephen. Regardless of what you choose to write, you without question are a good writer. You have a great grasp of character building, plot, smoothness of the story flow and all the rest of the package. Unfortunately, you have written several books in the zombie genre that are absolutely fantastic and have built a fan base on these novels.

    At this point, you have fans foaming at the mouth to get ahold of these sequels in book form, including myself, and have put yourself in a position as the go to guy for a slam bang zombie novel. I have always believed that talent wins out in the end, especially in writing, and I really believe that you will be able to build such a fan base that they will begin to accept novels from you that are not in and of the zombie genre but are still well written books in and of themselves, and I truly believe that you will be successful in whatever genre you choose to write in because of your talent.

    I myself have not read “White Tiger” yet because I have such a desire to have a book in my hands, but I will be downloading this novel because of your aforementioned talent in writing and I look forward to reading this. Again, I believe you will win out in the end because of your writing skills and have to say to you, don’t give up because I look forward to whatever your imagination comes up with!

    Fred

  5. June 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Why, thank you, Fred! Now I know who to come to when I need some good PR!

  6. joseph larosa
    June 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    hi steve hope all is well with you. i was just wondering about your sci-fi book what is it about and when it will be out.

    • June 13, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Hiya, Joe! The SF book is scheduled to go into editorial on/about July 23. I’ve been having a lot of my work cycles consumed by the movie stuff, as well as getting The Rising Horde into print, but I haven’t been neglecting it.

      It’s basically about a team of researchers in the Antarctic that discover something unusual, something that can change the way Mankind lives. And the discovery launches a race between nations that might result in a military showdown.

      And no, they didn’t find a UFO!

  7. June 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I’ve actually wondered the same thing about you, Stephen. I really like your non-zombie stuff, but I was worried you were setting yourself up for trouble. I want thinking specifically about the zombie genre, but about the horror/military thing. Like I said, I love your work and want to keep you around for as long as I can! I know nothing about the effects of publishing under another name, but if that’s the way to go, you do what you need to do. Whatever direction you go, good luck! I would think using a different name would have its own downsides.

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