Please welcome a very special guest today, author M.F. Wahl.
DISEASE & The Serialized Novel
So… who am I? I am a writer, an author of novel, penner of screenplays, and jotter of notes. I’m also a wise-ass. Did you catch how I said “novel” and not “novels”, that’s because my novel DISEASE, that pesky serialized one, is my first, my debut, my baby.
But… in addition to both of those things I’m a spouse and a parent. I’m lucky enough to have the support and the opportunity in my life right now to be going after my dream, and I hope that one day the spawn I unleash upon this unwitting earth will do the same. I try to lead by example (unless we’re talking about eating potato chips… then it’s all “do as I say, not as I do”).
Oh! And don’t let me forget to mention that I’m also a proud dog parent of a rescue fur-baby that we affectionately call Bitey. Don’t worry, it’s an ironic name, her real name should be piggy.
Also, and this is a big one, I’m a horror fan. I’m a big fat horror nerd. My favorite books and flicks are the ones that delve into the darkness of the human soul. Not that I think a good slasher story doesn’t have its place, but what really scares me is what the neighbor can do. Humans are the scariest creatures on earth, and my writing reflects that.
Why zombies then? You may be asking yourself (well maybe you would be if you knew anything about my novel), so let’s rectify that situation too. In case you didn’t catch it my first novel, DISEASE, is coming out very soon. September 18th, 2014 soon, but that’s not all. It’s a zombie novel, and a good one I might add, with dark deeds, people you don’t’ want to meet in an alleyway, and of course, zombies. Oh yeah, and it happens that I’ve broken this novel down into six installments, each to be released within one week of each other. So… now the real questions you’re wondering is why the hell you need to buy my zombie novel in six separate installments. Why not just put it all in one damn book like a normal person?
Firstly, although it isn’t done often today, novel serialization is a time-honored tradition. Some of our favorite and most well known classics were originally released as serials. The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, even Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers were published in installments. In fact this abbreviated format became so popular that in the 19th century an author was considered a hack if they couldn’t land a serialization deal.
Now, imagine the latest television show you watched that you really enjoyed. You sat on the couch, cuddled with a loved one, or maybe you sat alone stretched out and relaxed with a big bowl of popcorn and an adult beverage. However you enjoyed it, when it ended you wanted more. You were hungry for it not to end and next week’s show time couldn’t come fast enough. It was a wonderful, delicious tease that made next week’s show all the more glorious.
I want to spark this same intimate relationship between author and reader once again. Novels were once a drawn out affair. Weekly installments read over the course of months, sometimes a year. Readers would yearn for more, and authors would often respond directly to their wants and desires. How wonderful would it be to stand around the water cooler, and instead of rehashing last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, or The Walking Dead, everyone was talking about what they read last night. Maybe they would even be talking about, oh I don’t know, a little serialized novel titled DISEASE.
I originally wanted to publish DISEASE in 25 different installments, one a week, taking just over six months to release it all. Of course I soon realized that due to the royalty breakdowns of the big online retailers many tiny serials wouldn’t be feasible. Also, I thought, better to shorten the release time-fame, that way if I fail miserably I always have time to start again.
I agonized over just how many serials I should break the novel into, and how long I should wait between releases. It’s hard enough to write a book, but then to have to ramp up for six separate book releases? I must be a glutton for punishment. Clive Barker would be proud of me. Finally I made the decision. Six. Six serials in six weeks, beginning September 18th, 2014.
So, there you have it. The reason I’ve undertaken this crazy experiment is because I want to titillate you, I want to excite you, I want to feel you at my fingertips begging for more. I want you to want me. So, do you?
As a child M.F. Wahl quickly ate through the local library’s entire sections on the paranormal, true crime, serial killers, magic, and hypnosis. By the age of 11 “IT” by Stephen King was the reading material of choice, hidden in a school desk (much to the dismay of one math teacher who wrote home that Wahl “read too much!”).
As an adult M.F. Wahl spends as much time writing as possible. Days are spent funneling creative energies into penning dark tales. Nights are spent watching horror movies and TV curled under a blanket with the family. At the end of the day when eyes finally close, other people’s nightmares are fuel for M.F. Wahl’s dreams.
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