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Changes…

As always, change is unavoidable.

One of the truisms perpetuated by the despised traditional publishing industry is that once you’re “branded”—i.e., once you’re known for a certain product lines—breaking out into other products is difficult, in not outright impossible. I’d always thought that was a load of crap, but after several years of plugging away and finding that some of my richer fare doesn’t sell very well…hmm, maybe those “taste makers” in the traditional industry might be onto something.

Yeah, just one thing, so let’s not all get excited. Apparently, every dog really does have his day and a broken clock is right every twelve hours.

This observation isn’t particularly new to me. I have some great product out there under the name Stephen Knight that doesn’t sell at all, like White Tiger and Charges. Both generally have good reviews, but after three or four people buy them, that’s it. I’ve been trying to breathe new life into Charges with a fully immersive audio book, and while that seems to be coming along nicely, it’s also a brand-new release—I need more time to evaluate how successful this very expensive addition to the product line will pan out.

And Stephen Knight is known primarily as a zombie apocalypse guy. It was never meant to be that way, of course—The Gathering Dead was done on a lark. It was just going to be a one-shot deal, done for fun, without a great deal of deliberation behind it. Instead, it spawned a franchise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. There are worse things a guy can do than provide some high-octane zompoc adventure every now and then. And Earthfall was the single best standalone work I’ve released, so that’s a bright ray of sunshine all by itself. If I released one of those every year, I’d buy the Playboy empire and restore it to its former glory.

Unfortunately for Knight? I’m bored shitless writing about zombies.

After The Last Town and even These Dead Lands: Immolation, I feel that I’m really just writing the same thing over and over and over again. While I do my best to people the stories with different characters, the story line is almost identical: zombies, fear, build, defend, collapse, retreat. Purists complain when you introduce new elements, even though what they complain about is the province of motion picture zombies, not literary. Thank God I have Earthfall 2 on the rack, because otherwise I’d be spending more time browsing vintage collectible tequilas online than I would be writing.

And it comes down to this: I want to write other stuff.

Enter Stephen Moore and Stephen Garrett.

Moore is my real surname; Knight is the professional alias I boosted from my father, as astute followers might have divined by now. Garrett is a family name from my mother’s side of the ancestral tree. For the longest time, I eschewed using my real name, as I a) don’t have an ego that needs to be fed with that kind of exposure, and b) I’m not sure I want to surrender my usual real-life anonymity in meatspace. (And also, Moore just isn’t as cool a moniker as Knight.) But Moore will be the guy who writes the police procedurals and techno-thrillers, and the odd dramatic work that parallels those worlds but doesn’t cross over into them, such as the still-nascent Hackett series. Moore’s first foray, aside from rebranding White Tiger with a new cover to kick things off, will be a police procedural about NYPD Detective Nick Avvento. Been wanting to do this one for years, and I have some great characters and a blood-chilling story line to go with it. There’s also some potential to release an upcoming work, Tribes, under this name; it’s a techno-thriller adventure story that was originally slotted for Knight, but I might change it up.

Garrett will be the hard, clanking science fiction guy. This is my native territory, writing stories about exploration, faraway places, bug-eyed aliens, and the thrill of adventure splashed across a canvas as wide as the universe itself. I’ve touched on it in past works under Knight, but only just barely. I’m itching to get into this. I have a huge series planned here, called The Reaches. Also some more free-booting military SF stuff which I have done, though it’s a bit dated and will need to be refreshed. Most of these are in my Continuum of Conflict story line which I’ve not revealed previously, and will be more “consumer-friendly” than The Reaches. Consider CoC will be more like the works of Robert Heinlein, while TR will be more like those by David Brin.

But it’s far from curtains for Knight. I—he?—still has to finish the next edition of The Retreat, and of course These Dead Lands will need to be completed. Then there’s the final installments of The Gathering Dead series, with the prequel Whispers of the Dead and the finale, Echoes of the Dead. And Earthfall 2, of course, along with the continuation of the Charges trilogy. So that’s like eight books, right there.

Does this sound confusing? It probably does, but it’s out of necessity, not preference. I’ve spent a lot of time getting Stephen Knight established; spinning off into new names doesn’t exactly thrill me.

Hopefully some of you will come along for the ride. I’ll keep you updated here as things begin to manifest themselves, but for the short term, don’t be alarmed.

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  1. Alex
    April 25, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Well short on funds but do lov your work

    As for the retreat I have a idea on a sorta immunes using the anti social and depression or bi polar are immune as the infection is like a evolution like gets them in the regular while some find regular pain shocks these immunes are few but lucky. Its a low population but could form the base of a resistance. While unable to cure at least serves as scouts and spies behind their lives as one minute a crazy drags you away the next behind lock doors I’m here to get you out.

    While these Dead Lands are just the opening as moving from theater to as in phase first fall back, next regroup and counter attack.

    While me hoping to see the Navy, Air Force and Army in Europe deal with the Siege as they box in together working with German, French, and United Kingdom in saving as many as they can.

    Still can’t wait as always carry on the good work.

  2. Pete lentini
    April 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    You do what you need to.
    I’ll support all of your personalities
    P

    • April 25, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      But what it I accidentally skip my Ritalin? 😀

  3. May 4, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Just bought White Tiger after reading this. Unfortunately, I have a giant pile of books to read before it. Between you and Tim Long you guys are burying me. And yesterday I realized I haven’t read Surviving the Dead yet…………

  4. Alex
    May 12, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Hey Knight wondering on these Dead Lands I was thinking of Alaska as the last Bastion on mainland America of the United States as population isolated so no infected and funnel routes that the State and National Guard can bottleneck plus oil plant and refinery can supply fuel to a much smaller population now while the Colorado Haven be our main base in Central United States but the population of Canada could begin heading South or North the isolated settlements cut off be on their own but likely besides NORAD as the last of the NAC and NORTHCOM and Global Operations.

    I was thinking we could fortify the Alaskan Canadian border establish fortress cites and line mine mountains plus some B-2s and B-1s and Air Force still in strike range from there.

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