A little more than a year ago Armand Rosamilia and I were enjoying a banana-bread-beer (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it) with some friends at one of our favorite local pubs called Farley’s.
Farley’s is in a “plaza” called European Village, which consists of 3 buildings arranged in a triangular shape with an entrance at each point of the triangle. The first floor of each building is occupied by businesses – restaurants, pubs…even a cigar shop – and the upper 3 floors are condominiums.
The interior of the triangle is a large open courtyard with a gazebo in the center.
The architecture of the entire plaza is intended to resemble an old…you guessed it…European village. It even goes so far as to have spots where the stucco has (by design) fallen off.
So – anyway…as we’re sitting there enjoying the setting Armand mentioned that E.V. would be a cool setting for a zombie attack (believe it or not – that’s the way he thinks). It’s easy to picture it as an Alamo of sorts if – or when – the zombie apocalypse happens.
Somebody else in the group picked up on our conversation and suggested that Armand and I collaborate on a book about it. Before you could say Dawn of the Dead the excitement was building and the ideas were flowing.
Within 2 months, what began as a fun, hypothetical, beer-fueled discussion became a novella called Dying Days: The Siege of European Village.
We enjoyed working together on it and we even incorporated the names of many of our friends just to add to the fun. They all enjoyed reading to see if they survived.
We also incorporated 4 fictional characters; Darlene Bobich and John Murphy from Armand’s very successful Dying Days series and Ike and Brewski from my series of action/thrillers.
When the book was released we had a book signing at Farley’s and sold out of books (48 copies I believe) in less than 2 hours.
We each assumed the excitement was over and we could resume our normal (crazy) writing schedules…
Unfortunately – you know what happens when you assume…
People loved the book and almost immediately began asking about a sequel. At first we laughed it off, but as time went by, and the number of requests grew, we decided that perhaps we should get cracking on a sequel. (Although sequel isn’t really the right word – since the story is really another entry in Armand’s whole Dying Days series.)
Last month we sat down and began hashing out ideas, talking about characters and basically deciding which of our friends would survive or how gruesome their demise would be.
On 3 occasions (two in September and one in October) we sequestered ourselves and had weekend-long writing marathons.
Yesterday (October 13) we finished the first draft of Dying Days: The Siege of European Village II…or as Armand keeps calling it – Dying Days: The Siege of European Village – Electric Boogaloo.
Truth be told – we haven’t officially given it a title yet, but we sent the draft to the editor and the cover art is being created. We plan to have it finished and released before Thanksgiving.
Armand and I are both very excited about it, because even though the whole thing sprung from incredibly inane chit-chat, we have had a ton of fun writing both books and toying with the fates of our friends! I might be a little more excited than Armand, because he writes zombie/horror stuff all the time. These two books have been my only experience with it – so it’s very new and different for me!
Fans of Armand’s Dying Days series are bound to enjoy it and my readers, who are familiar with the way Ike and Brewski handle things, won’t be disappointed either.
I will keep you posted about the exact release date. In the meantime, if you haven’t read the original you might want to grab a copy and bring yourself up to speed!
As always – thank you for reading