Saturday 15 March 2014

Restarting on Rise of the Governor

This might surprise some of you (sadden, even...? :-) ) but I've aborted my first attempt at the Tube Riders prequel, The Rise of the Governor, and start more or less over.

Why?, I hear you screaming in your millions ....

Basically, while I was writing the story I wanted to write, I wasn't writing it in the way I wanted to write it. I had decided to get all arty, with a weird title, strange flashbacks, and a gradual build up of emotional turmoil, but I had an epiphany a couple of days ago and realised I wasn't writing a Tube Riders book.

And since the whole point of writing a Tube Riders prequel is to write a Tube Riders book, then I need to ditch the art project and write that instead.

Yes, so most of the characters will be different, but this is the entire history of why Mega Britain is Mega Britain and because only Tube Riders fans care about that I have to write a book for them - for YOU - not for me.

Of course, there will be some crossover, haha. I don't think I could do anything else. But all the elements that made Tube Riders awesome will be in there, in place of all the internal dialogues and emotional turmoil that was starting to take over the manuscript.

It's not all bad news. No words are every wasted and while many of the 30,000 I've written so far won't make it into the final book, I feel like I've been hanging out with the characters a while and I know them a lot better. It's always easier to write a book when you know your setting. And there's lots of kick ass stuff that will move over to the new version - crashed spaceships and gulags and mutant killer hounds and crazy Russian superhumans - I'll just be setting it out in a slightly different way.

Onwards and upwards. I'll keep you posted on progress.

Chris Ward
March 16th 2014

Monday 10 March 2014

Tube Riders perma-free update and other news

Tube Riders has been perma-free in the US since January 30th and the UK since February 5th. The results so far have been really quite wonderful.

In the US, downloads stand at roughly 17,000. Thanks to a promotion on the mighty Bookbub on March 5th, Tube Riders peaked at #9 in the whole free store, as well as #1 in numerous subcategories, including Teen & Young Adult (yeah, I was a little surprised too...), Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian and Genetic Engineering.

In the UK, it's success has been more organic, and even now, almost five weeks on, it is still #1 in the Dystopian category. It has slipped to #4 in Science Fiction, although it was #1 for most of February. Total total downloads stand at just over 7000. In fact, I had more in February (6181) than I had in total in the UK in 2012 and 2013 combined, across all my books. Quite a surprise, that.

Sequels sales have been decent if unspectacular, but in general sell-through rates from frees to sequels are usually in the single digit percentages. I'm not going to blag about how much money I've made because I haven't made all that much. I have, however, beat the $15.61 I made in October 2013. So that was nice! :-)

I'd like to thank everyone who has supported Tube Riders on its high speed journey so far. At one point in my life I never thought I'd have a single reader, so to have people downloading it (and hopefully reading it!) in their thousands has exceeded my wildest expectations. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You guys rock.

In other news, I've recently had some sad personal news which I won't share right now, and also some bad news concerning a friend of mine, Brandon Hale. A very fine author (I've read his Day Soldiers book, and it made me both laugh and cry), he has sadly been diagnosed with cancer. He's a great guy and a real fighter, so I have no doubt that he'll win his battle, however, as anyone who knows anything about the screwed up American heathcare system will understand, it's going to near-ruin him to pay for treatment. Therefore some of his friends have set up a charity fund so if anyone is feeling generous please go and donate here. This is a terrible thing to happen to Brandon, just as his career was beginning to take off. And if you have time, please check out Day Soldiers. It's free on Amazon and its a great read.

Back to the writing, progress on the new book is slow and steady. I've passed 26,000 words, which is a good start, but as often happens in my first drafts, I'm struggling to get over a hump, so words aren't flowing as I'd like. However, hills are there to be climbed, and I like climbing hills. I'm sure the pace will pick up soon. I've had to do my share of procrastinating, though, and my way of procrastinating is to write short stories. So far I have two new ones for March. More details on releases when I know them.

Anyway, better get back to the book.

Thanks as always for your support,

Chris Ward
March 10th 2014

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Who wants more dystopian?

Probably a few people who've got totally addicted to Tube Riders ;-) have now finished up the series and are looking for some more stuff to read while they want for my considerable release schedule to roll around again. I've hunted out a few awesome books for you and listed them below. Get stuck in!


Selected by Digital Book Today as one of the Best Kindle Books of 2013...
Book 1 of the Day Soldiers series (Books 2, 3, and 4 are also available. Book 5 is coming soon).

A legion of vampires and werewolves has declared war on the human race.

For ten years now, humanity has been at war with the creatures of darkness. The war has changed the world. The day now belongs to humanity and the night belongs to things once thought to exist only in myths and legends... but there is hope. This new enemy has united humanity and an army has stepped forward to protect the light from the darkness. An army of heroes.

The Day Soldiers.

Eighteen year old Lily Baxter always knew the Day Soldiers would be a major part of her life. She had been preparing for it since she was eight. She was ready to go to war. The one thing she wasn't prepared for was the day the war came to her.

Part horror, part comedy, part adventure, Day Soldiers will take you on an exciting ride through a world where monsters are monsters and the only thing they fall in love with is the taste of human blood.
Life for Riley ends when her young children die in her arms…victims of a global viral outbreak that claims the lives of everyone she’s ever known. Left to fend for herself with only a dog as her companion, she sets out on a journey to find others, leaving notes everywhere she goes…hoping that one day someone will come looking for her. When Riley meets the handsome yet mysterious Connor on the streets of Downtown San Diego, they form a bond unlike either has experienced before. When the things that go bump in the night turn out to be more than nightmares, the trio sets off for the mountains in search of an isolated resort where they can hunker down, away from the ominous shadows of the dead city streets. The peace and tranquility of the woods isn’t enough to keep the darkness away for long though and soon Riley and Connor are forced to accept that the World and the few people left alive in it will never be the same. The shadows of their past may haunt them forever…threatening to destroy what little dreams they have left of a future unless they fight to stay in the light and never lose their hope.

Family and Friends: The dog and I have left to find my Mom. Most of you know where her place is, the corner of 9th and F. I’ll leave a note there before I move on. Everyone here is…gone. I can’t stay. I’m not sure when or if I will come back here but leave a message anyway.
I hope you find me. – Riley

A Review from Steph Aguirre - "Trish Marie Dawson has done an amazing job of capturing the reader's attention from the very first sentence. The story line does not disappoint: action, adventure, romance, thriller - it fits into all these categories and more! A must have for any avid reader :-)"
After the virus decimates 99.9% of the world's population, and all traces of humanity along with it, Rhiannon and Will are forced to move beyond their past fame, fortune, and personal demons to rescue a mute girl from the clutches of two warring cults.
"Waking up was never a good idea, and this morning she had momentarily thought she was...before, before them, before this life. If this was what it was to survive the virus, she didn't much like it, but the alternative, killing herself, seemed cheap and easy.
--Rhiannon, Chapter One, AFTER THE VIRUS
WARNING: this post-apocalyptic love story contains mature situations, violence, and language.
 And if that's not enough for you, here's the grandaddy...

A Taste of Tomorrow - The Dystopian Boxed set includes 11 books from some of the biggest names in dystopian literature in a single collection. Each story contains a brand new foreword by its author.

Note to readers: Some stories of the collection are the first book in a series, and others are standalone novels. Page count numbers are listed next to each book for reference.


Sand: Part 1 - The Belt of the Buried Gods by Hugh Howey (40 Pages)

Yesterday’s Gone: Season One by Sean Platt and David Wright (503 pages)

Apocalypse Drift by Joe Nobody (314 pages)

Contamination Zero by T.W. Piperbrook (95 pages)

Artificial Evil by Colin F. Barnes (272 pages)

The Tube Riders by Chris Ward (449 pages)

Halfskin by Tony Bertauski (260 pages)

After the Cure by Deirdre Gould (415 pages)

Black Hull by Joseph Turkot (317 pages)

The Man Who Ended the World by Jason Gurley (270 pages)

Gameland: Book 1 - Deep Into the Game by Saul Tanpepper (130 pages)