That Novel Affair

Sometimes I still have to stop and blink my eyes a few times to realize that I have put novels out. When I first started writing I didn’t have an interest in writing novels. My ideas were to write short stories that were like punches to the face or stomach. Something that made an impact and HOPEFULLY left you breathless in one way or another. I am not sure if that ever happens or not but I just never thought I’d write a novel.

The first, A SHADOW OVER EVER didn’t start as a novel, something I got into when I released it, but it ended up that way. Like the Meep books, I just couldn’t leave a story hanging on a cliff. That’s a crummy thing to do. Sure, you can write a story in a way that leaves things with more to say, with unanswered questions, but there should be an ending. A proper ending. Even if there is more after a story ends, like life, you should answer your questions and leave the reader satisfied.

SHADOW wasn’t going to be more than one story but I kept leaving him in spots where there was something unfinished and then POW, a novel.

CEMETERY EARTH always had the potential to be something larger and darker. It’s a novel of short stories but there’s a throughpoint, a connector, and that’s Hunter, the lead character, who is joined by a second lead. Writing it story by story it was easy to look at it that way and not as one larger piece. It didn’t become that larger, interconnected piece until I started editing it and filling in holes in the narrative and the timeline.

That book, my zombie novel, sat abandoned for a good many years as I waited for the zombie craze to pass. I knew I wasn’t going to get the book done before the fad was over so I sat on it. The last thing you want to do is be the last one at the party and I didn’t want to be putting out a zombie book when people had moved on to the next thing. Imagine my surprise when THE WALKING DEAD changed that and pushed the craze further than I had imagined. I finally reached a time when I had to finish the book.

I had to get it out.

With SHADOW I had the novel done but couldn’t figure out how to pitch it correctly when I had the opportunity and after that I couldn’t find anyone that’d put it out. I loved the book but if no one else did, what was I going to do.

Self pub.

That was what.

It’s a fun, and weird story. It’s the story of an angry hillbilly who ends up embroiled in a war for Heaven and Mankind. A story that starts small but becomes something larger than any one character in it. It is about everything and nothing as seen through the eyes of the man whose hate wouldn’t let him die. It’s silly, it’s mean, and it’s strange.

 

With CEMETERY it was a matter of waiting out a fad that never quite ended.

That book began in 2000. SHADOW began in 1994 with a short story. Both books took over a decade to reach the end of their journeys and completion. It was never so much doubt in the story as it was doubt in me.

But I love Hunter. I love the world of the undead. I love that I twisted things and made my own lore, my own reason they came back and my own reason they remain. I had fun with the book and wrote ghost stories, and stories about fanaticism, and I tried to make this world different than any people had read about before. There is hope in that book but it’s bloody hope and it’s a damnable thing because hope can be jagged, like broken glass, and it can hurt you to have it.

Neither book has gone on to do much.

Neither has sold very strongly, but they have sold.

People have read them.

I love those books dearly.

I love all of my books dearly but those two took a long time to put together. A long time living with them and bringing them to life. I can’t say that either will do much of anything. They are awfully big and they are not inexpensive. They are an investment.

They are investments that I think are worth the time and money an effort though.

There is light in that darkness.

Pete, while a monster, is one with a heart. Even if he hates that he has it.

With my zombies I tried to do things that were at least a little different.

As I endeavor to put together another novel, another old story that sat abandoned long enough, I remember my novels. My lost babies that found their way home.

…c…

(Both books are available through links in my bookstore or through Amazon.com).

FIRST FROST – 2014 Holiday Story

Every year I try, try, try to write a story that fits the holidays. I try to write a Halloween story and try to write a Christmas story. The follow is the 2014 Holiday Story. It’s set in the world of CEMETERY EARTH but it works on it’s own. It’s very brief but I like it. It fills in gaps that were in my mind. Here it is, rough as heck and still pipin’ fresh…like entrails.

The First Frost

It was the first winter after the dead had returned and it seemed as if Christmas had come early. With the colder temperatures the dead slowed, slowed, and stopped. Not all, but most. The freshest of them still prowled and hunted but many of the things went into a sort of hibernation that allowed the human race a slight reprieve. A chance to re-group, dig in, re-supply, and for some, to turn their dark intentions towards one another. As the first snowflakes fell the flies that feasted on the dead, crawling all over them, burrowing into them, and make them mobile feeding grounds began to die off themselves, leaving behind colonies of children that would hatch into maggots come the first thaw. The dead were gathered in fields, in neighborhoods, in cities, one by one their engines stopping and their bodies ceasing activity as they all went into their own sort of hibernation, the cold too much to fight as it took hold of the earth. Even Mother cannot fight her own nature.

Winter descended on the Americas and as it ran rampant humanity first began to realize that this was a war it may not win. The industries it had relied on were halted, the government was gone, and even the last vestiges of electricity began to finally dim. The winter storms were the worst seen in generations and without a plan on how to survive many were lost that first year. It would take time for Man to adapt to the Dead Age.

As for the dead themselves Mother left them and turned her attentions to the rest of the world, where the war was in full swing and humanity was valiantly making a stand against an enemy it could not even hope to understand. Mother was angry. The dead of the winter regions though waited until Mother was ready for them once more. Waiting for spring. Waited for thaw. Deep within them though, deep, deep in the darkest parts of what they once were they remembered. they remembered what they once had been. They remembered who they once had been.

They remembered and tried to fight it, tried to stop it, and tried to scream against the things they now were but nothing happened. It seemed that Santa truly was dead because the age of miracles was over. This was now an age for the dead.

And down fell the snow.

Like what you read?

Try the whole book – CEMETERY EARTH

CEMETERY EARTH – a novel of the living dead

 

cemetery-earth-chris-ringler-paperback-cover-art 

There are a glut of zombie books out there. Zombies are the new vampires – everyone is doing them and everyone’s version is the best most original thing ever.

So why zombies?

I began this book in the early 2000s with the idea of writing a book about zombies. I have talked about what lead to this book before and don’t like boring people with repetition but it’s worth mentioning in passing. I began the book with a story that didn’t make the book and decided I wanted to explore the world of the dead but via short stories. In the course of this Hunter was born, my young hero. I didn’t get but a few stories in though and realized that by the time I would ever finish the book the world would be dead and sick of zombies and the last thing you want to be is the person putting work out about a subject people are sick of seeing. As soon as I found a way to get my books out I started thinking about my zombie book. My Cemetery Earth. I wasn’t sure I was ready to tackle it but I wanted to get back to it. When I decided it was time to finish up some projects I had begun and to wind down my publishing I realized it was time to finish the book.

This is a book about the end. An end that Man set in forth. An end that brings about a new age on the earth, the Dead Age. A world where two young people cling to one another and the hope that there is something left of the world they once new, the world of the living, and willing to kill to find that world once more.

https://www.createspace.com/4336448

CEMETERY EARTH – a novel by Chris Ringler

CEMETERY EARTH - a novel by Chris Ringler

The Age of Man is coming to an end.
After a long and steady decline into shadows the world has fallen into darkness and the last days of Mankind have come.
It is the Dead Age.
The Dead have returned to reclaim the world. Driven by an unseen master the dead rise from their graves to feast upon the living and to send the human race into extinction.
As the twilight begins though there rises a resistance and with it the dimmest glimmer of hope.
Hope.
Fight.
Live.
Die.
Survive.
This is the Dead Age.
This is Cemetery Earth

Bites From A Cemetery Earth

I don’t think they eat us out of hunger, I think they eat us out of hatred. I have been watching them for weeks now, for weeks upon weeks, and I don’t think they eat us out of hunger. They are withering, these things, these monsters, withering like unfed flowers, no matter how much they eat. I think we sustain them, that eating us holds off the rot and decay but that they are dying just the same. I have watched them tear at us, rip at us, and consume us but there is no satisfaction in their faces, no ease in the pain that is death, no, there is only something I know well and that is the animal instinct to kill, to destroy, and to devour prey. But just as they are dying so are we. I have watched families slaughtered, watched children plucked up and torn apart, and have seen soldiers and officers collapse before the horde.

Those things may be dying but I don’t know that we can outlast them. I don’t know if we can stop fighting ourselves long enough to survive. I don’t even know if we want to survive any longer. We have become more monstrous than they in our actions, in our deeds, but I hope, I hope that somehow, somehow we can find a way to stop them and maybe, god it’s so stupid, maybe we can change.

I was in jail when everything happened. The police in a podunk town catching me pissing next to someone’s house at four in the morning. I was drunk. Blind drunk. I wouldn’t even know what I did if they hadn’t told me. Things in the town went bad before they could find out who I am, or what I have done. If they had they never would have let me out.

Never.

Not even in this new Hell.

But they let me go and here I am, locked in the basement of a church and waiting, waiting to see who wins, us or them. Them or us.

I sit here waiting, waiting and wondering and wondering how long it will be until I finally let my own monsters free once more.

The dead have risen.

There is no hope.

There is is only survival.

This is…

CEMETERY EARTH

Available for Kindle and in Paperback.

https://www.createspace.com/4336448

What The Living Forget…The Dead Will Remember

 

The things crawl and caper and drag themselves from their Mother and emerge into the world and thus begins the Dead Age. The world sleeps as they rise but as dawn breaks screams chase the sun into the clouds as blood paints the streets. A man falls into wakefulness at the sound of something scratching at one of the doors. He rises from dark dreams and glances to the place his wife should be and his shoulders slump. Day one hundred and forty three. One more day in Hell. The scratching comes again and he turns his attention to the noise and heads towards the kitchen and the back door. As he passes through the kitchen he glances towards the wall clock and sees it is only six in the morning. He had been out of work for a while now and the last thing he wanted was to be waken up by some idiot with the wrong house. Paper boy. It had to be the paper boy. The man reaches the door and looks down at himself and sees that he is hanging free of his boxers so he tucks himself back in, straightens his undershirt, and unlocks and opens the door.

It’s Greg.

Jesus Christ it’s Greg.

His face is sunken, his eyes gone, and he is covered in dirt but it’s him. Oh god in Heaven it’s his little boy.

The man stumbles forward, tears streaming down his eyes. First it was the job, then Maggie left, and then his boy, his boy, his beautiful little boy had died. The man shook his head, he blinked his eyes but there, there was his boy. His boy was back. He’d come back to him. The man started to bawl and reached his arms out to Greg.

The boy wavered a moment, took one tentative step forward, then another, then third and he opened his mouth to speak and put out his own arms. The man smiles down at his son. The thing that had once been Greg pulled its arms back and then plunged its skeletal fingers deep into the man that had been and the man screamed as blood and gore spilled out across the thin arms of his boy. The man tried to pull away but was losing too much blood and he fell onto his knees and looked into his boy’s eyes and saw nothing. The man tried to scream but the thing’s teeth sank deep into his throat and blood washed across the boy and in another moment the man was gone and all that was left of him was meat for the thing and its friends as they made their way to the feast. 

CEMETERY EARTH

A Book Of The Living Dead

Red Re-Do 2 Red Re-Do 8 Red Re-Do 13 Red Re-Do 14

What You Bury

IMG_2163

What You Bury Will Return

In front of him was row after row of benches that lead all the way to the front of the barn and on the benches were people huddled together and bent forward as if in prayer. How they could see, let alone stand the stench, Hunter hadn’t a clue but they were all silent and all focused on what they were doing and had yet to notice him. At the head of the rows there was a podium and behind it yet another cross, this one at least ten feet tall and beside it painted sheets with the same insignia of the lion with the lamb in its mouth and beside the podium was a chair and in it was someone slumped forward. Hunter took the spear in both hands and held it as tight as he could and made his way to the far left side of the rows and began walking forward slowly, his eyes on the parishioners as he moved. Now that he’d been inside a few minutes he was finally able to see more clearly and saw that there was blood everywhere and in the pews humans sat side by side with the things, their hands clasped and all of them roped in place so they’d stay and be still. And there would be no problem with being good little children in church because the tell tale holes were all there in every body he saw and he had been right, this was a dead place, but what it had been, and what had been going on he did his best not to imagine. – excerpted from Cemetery Earth

CEMETERY EARTH

https://www.createspace.com/4336448