I'm so excited to say that I've reached the 80% mark on Zombie Wife. Don't worry, that's just a working title. It's just over 31,000 words so it's looking to be just over 40,000 total. Maybe my Novella might graduate to an actual novel? I suppose it will if the SFFWA members were evaluating it's length.
It is a zombie story like the working title suggests, but it's playing out as more of a post-apocalyptic redemption story. I don't use the word zombie, but treat it as more of an infection. I suppose you could draw a similar line to the infection concept like 'I Am Legend', but that's where the similarity ends. Personally I think there is a dedicated market to zombie stories and this one could do well.
The main characters of the story are the remaining survivors of a broken family in impossible times. Society was shaken as the illness swept the world severing contact and killing half the world population. Some regions experience total annihilation others managed better, but hometown USA lost at least half. Similar to the impact of the Black Plague. Their community around them is making it. They have an additional police group who's whole responsibility is to protect the community from further outbreaks. They hunt down and destroy zombies in the community. Although this branch of the law it is heavily regulated by government authorities and elected officials, it is a vital service and one that requires little to extinguish an infected person. Greg the main character works as a member of this justice branch and spends his nights slaying the infected. His partner on 'Patrol' is a fun ex-surfer and near militia classic corvette loving Dayne. Gun, car and other manly talk ensues...
Greg is married to Heather who unbeknownst to him has been rather un-loyal. She 'visits' with a Phillip on a regular basis to meet her personal needs. Greg has been aloof since his only child was slaughtered with dozens of others after a post recovery (after the governments regained control of the initial outbreak and established order once again) outbreak swept over the school she was attending. He's never forgiven himself as he had promised her he'd always take care of her.
It's been years since, and he can't let go of the pain he was left with. Greg and Heather's poor choices come to a climax in their lives as they both are left with one final choice. The weight of their relationship and lives hang in the balance. One bad choice could end it all for them.
Zombie Wife will take you deep into the soul of a failing family and the human decisions people make when they seek redemption and forgiveness. It deals with the harsh measurement of an unforgiving disease and the price everyone must pay to regain the sweet peace of forgiveness and the love of their past.
I hope that the readers will enjoy the fun of the guns and cars. That they'll be committed to the characters because of their relateable human choices and emotional drama. The action and zombie slaying will be fun for certain. The tension is high and stakes are higher.
Undoubtedly this is my best plotted story and I plan to ensure it flows well through it's peaks and valleys of tension and recovery.
In rough I'm not certain what my timeline will be on this one. I do know I'll be done with the first draft in the next week or so. Just in time for me to make a tough decision. I didn't do NANOWRIMO last year and I want to this year. But Brittany just finished reading Speaker of the Winds and I would really like to get through and edit that thing into a submit ready manuscript. I figure I have to get something out there into the market if I'm ever going to get published. It's like the lottery in a way. (I don't gamble.) If you never play, you'll certainly never win. So I want to get my work out there and see what people say.
Assuming I go straight into edits on Speaker of the Winds I might not revise Zombie Wife until February or March and I'll probably not get it out to people for Beta reading until late spring 2013. Either way. I'm pumped for the story and I think you'll all enjoy it.