When I sat down to write this blog entry earlier this week, I was looking forward to detailing some insights into what prompted my new Steampunk, short story Bitter Pill that was released last week. Then something equally cool happened that forced me to change plans a bit: another short story of mine was released earlier this week.For those of you who enjoyed my teenage vampire hunter Gidion Keep in my debut novel Gidion’s Hunt, you can get your Gidion fix in a new short story entitled Zombie Walk. Every October, people in Richmond dress as zombies and descend on Carytown for their annual shuffle up and down Cary Street. When a pair of vampires learn the walk will be taking place at night for the first time, they decide to get into costume for a chance to feed in public without anyone being any the wiser. One of Gidion’s friends is also taking part in the walk, and unless he can figure out which of the hundreds of zombies are really vampires, his friend might go from playing the “walking dead” to just plain dead. Zombie Walk takes place about a month after the events in Gidion’s Hunt, but you won’t have to read the novel to enjoy the short story.
My publisher Fable Press is including Zombie Walk in an anthology with stories written by other members of the publishing house. When we decided on the common theme of carnivals and festivals, I immediately thought of the annual Zombie Walk and had a blast testing Gidion’s limits as a hunter. The anthology Fable’s Carnival came out this week as an ebook, and best of all, you can get it for free.The other short story, Bitter Pill, was released last week. This Steampunk-inspired tale offers readers something just as dark but different in so many wonderful ways. Yu Sharpe makes her living in late 19th Century London as a killer for hire, but when the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences learns a man who holds the secret to eternal life is in her former home of Hong Kong, she’s dispatched to capture him. What she finds will thrust her into a terrifying journey into her past and future.
You can enjoy Bitter Pill in one of two forms. If you prefer to read this short story as an ebook, you can buy it for a mere 99 cents. You can also enjoy it for free as a podcast. My wife provides her vocal talents to tell Yu’s story with me offering an assist for the male voices. Next week, I’ll blog about the adventure of recording that story with my wife. I was thrilled to get the chance to have Bitter Pill included as a Tale from the Archives, which is set in the same universe as the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series written by another husband-and-wife creative team, Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris.
During the next few weeks, I’ll be sure to blog about some of the interesting “behind-the scenes” tidbits regarding these two stories. Among those details, you’ll learn which characters from one of my older short stories make a cameo appearance in Zombie Walk. I’ll be curious to see if anyone spots them. In the meantime, read (or listen) and enjoy! While you do, I’ll get back to work on the sequel to Gidion’s Hunt.