Big news has been in the works, and I’m so excited to be able to share it with you at last!
As you know, The Zombie Bible #6 will be By a Slender Thread, a doorstopper-length epic novel of one woman leading thousands of refugees from a burning, zombie-infested ancient Rome. Currently, the plan is to release that novel early next fall. Now, I can share with you the plan for The Zombie Bible #7, tentatively scheduled to be released around the end of next year.
The Zombie Bible #7 (probably about 500 pages) will take us somewhere new.
Somewhere you haven’t been before.
And even if you’ve been there in some other novel, you’ve never been there like this before.
We’re going to Aztec Mesoamerica together — to the fall of Tenochtitlan and the invasion by Cortes and the conquistadors. This episode of The Zombie Bible will be told through the perspective of Tecuichpotzin, Moctezuma’s daughter.
For this project, I’ll be working closely with co-author TL Morganfield. Growing up, I read (and adored) novels like The Mote in God’s Eye by Niven and Pournelle, and Dragons of Autumn Twilight and the rest of that series by Weis and Hickman. I saw the power that author duos can have, and I have always wanted to attempt a collaboration with an author I admire and respect. I’ve hungered for it. (As you know — by being here! — for me storytelling is a communal act; I thrive on the sharing of ideas.) I’m now talking with several authors about expanding The Zombie Bible universe. As some of you know, I have over a dozen drafts and sketches for novellas and novels in this series, and more ideas pouring through my head all the time. I don’t have time for all of them; I need help. So I want to partner with a few novelists I’ve known for a long time and have always wanted to work with — authors who also have historical expertise in areas where my own knowledge is lacking — and create amazing things together, taking The Zombie Bible to new places, and taking it further than I can take it solo.
I am so excited about this.
TL Morganfield is amazing. She writes Aztec Westerns. She also has written a trilogy beginning with The Bone Flower Throne that I love, placed in tenth-century Central America, a fantasy trilogy about a priestess standing against an invading god and trying to stop the rise of human sacrifice. She writes intelligently about history, religion, and culture, and writes passionately and from the heart. I think she will bring so much to this novel of the Aztecs.
While I am working on the final few hundred pages of By a Slender Thread, TL Morganfield will be doing the early work, drafting the as-yet-untitled volume #7. Then, throughout next spring and summer, she and I will be collaborating closely on subsequent drafts of #7, making it awesome and weaving it deeply into the series. We’ve gone over outlines and ideas extensively, and we have a story that we think will move you deeply. I’m especially thrilled to be telling this story, as it speaks so deeply to the core themes of The Zombie Bible: hunger, the yearning for justice (and truth), the concern with how we remember the restless past, how we remember and bury (or unbury) our dead…
Looking distantly ahead at the future for this series, in 2017 I plan to solo-author two volumes based on Ezekiel and on the lives of Abraham and Sarah, and I am in early talks with two authors I respect deeply to help me take The Zombie Bible to a vigorous retelling of several stories from the era of the Crusades.
I once joked that I wanted to do 47 novels in this series. I have no idea if that will happen, but I am exhilarated to be partnering with some of my favorite novelists to expand this universe a little faster. And I can’t wait to share excerpts with you, later, as we bring the project together!
TL Morganfield and I signed the contract today, and serious work will begin on the project immediately. This is the official announcement: The Zombie Bible #6 takes us back to Rome, and #7 will take us to the Aztecs. (This is going to be EPIC.)
Beyond that: who knows? History is deep and dark, and together we will explore as much of it as we can.