Class Four then huh, what’s the gig? Well, first off, I often get asked what the Dickens is a Class Four, or a Three? And where the hell is Class One or Two? I use the Max Brooks scale of apocalypse as my marker, because a, it’s a simple numerical sliding scale from meh to FUBAR and b, Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z are my religious texts. The classification is;
Class One – Low-level outbreak, usually Third world or rural First world, numbers of infected range from one to fifty, time of infection before ‘correction’ is between 24 and 48 hours
Class Two – Urban or densely populated area infection, numbers between twenty and one hundred. Casualties could reach around seven hundred. Time elapsed can be about the same as a Class One, just more of them first off means it gets nasty quick before the authorities deal with it.
Class Three – Zombies measure in the thousands and infection could last several months if not dealt with immediately.
Class Four – This stage is where the undead now rule the world. Society and civilisation has collapsed, humans are scattered to the wind and the zombies have won.
It was only recently when I was going through some zombie films, a friend of mine said he was off to see Night of the Comet, and it reminded me where I got the idea from for the outbreak. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t subscribe to the biting to infect thing, I wanted a situation where everyone was infected at the same time and that death triggers the change into being a zombie.
Onto my trilogy…as I’m waffling again. Initially, Class Three was going to be a one and done story, I’ve always said that if I was going to write a book, it would be zombie related. I felt I had told a half decent story and thought my need to do any more on the subject would be sated. Not. A. Jot.
I kept thinking about what the characters would do next. Would Phil, Jim and the gang reach Rhayader? Would Phil get his survival guide out there? Would Justin and Dan carry out their nefarious plan? What would the Children of Ishtar do next?
So at the end of 2014, I decided to do a trilogy which would explain all of these things, and more. Now I’m not saying by any stretch of the imagination that once they’re done, I will never write another zombie book again, that would be churlish. But the stories of the characters from Class Three ends in these three books.
One way or the other.
I heartily subscribe to the approach of The Walking Dead comic. When you read it, you can never EVER be sure that any of the characters, big or small, will not be offed at any moment in time. I want the same from my books. Just because they are a ‘main’ character, does not exclude them from being snuffed out. Life does not work that way, no one is exempt from death. This is the apocalypse after all eh?
So, the three books are;
Book One – Those Who Survive. Released 13 July 2015
This picks up straight from the Class Three epilogue. Francis and Nathan bump into an old friend who suggests a place they might be able to hold out, and Nathan might get to read his comics. To get there though, they have to survive the zombified freak menagerie in Trevor Norman’s Penny Gaff, and if they get out of there alive, there are some unhinged yokels keen for a meal.
Elsewhere, the survivors within a derelict biscuit factory eke out an existence. The de facto ruler, The Gaffer, asks Doctor Steve to run therapy sessions for the most affected inhabitants. They share their stories of survival, and hope to come to terms with their losses.
However, the Children of Ishtar are still hellbent on bolstering Her army and a clandestine operative lays the groundwork for an assault, the likes of which, none of the survivors have witnessed or could hope to prepare for.
These are the stories of those who survive…
Book Two – TBC – 2016
Book Three – TBC – 2017
Click on the relevant sub menus to read more about each particular book and flick through the pictures of the writing and production process.
13 July 2015