By now you have probably figured out what this blog is about seeing as the title pretty much explained it. But in case you missed it, I’ll lay it out for you. This is a blog post about the sequel to Outbreak, Battleborn (The Brother’s Creed Book 2)! Yes it’s okay to scream now! If you haven’t been picking up on all the hints I’ve been leaving, this book is no longer slated for 2018 but instead for JULY of this year! Crazy, right? Now why would there be the drastic change in release dates? That’s simple, I did it for YOU! Because of the success of Outbreak (which was originally a side project) and how many readers wanted book two, I decided to set aside a couple other projects to focus on this one!
Now, you might be asking, “what is going to happen in book two?” I mean there is only so much you can do with zombies. That’s true, just look at The Walking Dead. I’ve heard from various people that it just repeats itself: survivors find utopia, utopia falls, and repeat. While that may be true, we don’t watch these shows for the zombies. It may be what draws us in at first but what keeps us watching is the characters and the challenges they face—and who will die next. So with Battleborn I didn’t look at it so much as what was the continuation of the story as what situations can I put the Andderson brothers in? What challenges can I make them face that they have to overcome? And what can I do to break these brothers that seem to have it all together? (And one of them may be very well be breaking by the end! Oops… spoiler ;) The answers to these questions were shocking, even to me.
I’ll be honest there are parts where I cried writing this, parts where I got so angry I wanted to throttle the characters, and parts that sickened me to write. Because I look at writing the same way as Stephen King, I’m not so much creating these stories as much as I am uncovering them. They’re already there, and at times I have no idea what I’m going to write next until I am writing it. Which means, I’m not only the author, but the first one reading it and there are parts that surprise even me. I also took a slightly different approach to this one; I didn’t plan the story out at all. Sure, I had some ideas but it turned out so much different. What I did with this one was to do my best to stand aside while God wrote. That may seem like a weird statement, but for me (and if you don’t already know I have a strong faith, spoiler alert: I’m a Jesus Freak!) I know a lot of my inspiration for ideas and such comes from God and the ideas he put in me. So what I did with this book was to try and let God write it and stay true to the story I uncovered, which means, this book is going to be even more raw and real. There are parts of intense inspiration and spiritual aspects, more cursing, more soul searching of the characters and some brutal horror-esc scenes. But I’ll stop talking about the writing process and tell you a little about what to expect. Here is a very rough blurb I threw together for this.
SPOILER ALERT!!! If you haven’t read Outbreak yet you may not want to read this!
With their parents dead, the Andderson brothers continue their trek northward. Joined by Emmett and the girls, the small group makes their way through Wyoming to meet up with Tank, the brothers’ best friend from a time before the apocalypse. But they’re delayed when they stumble upon a school full of survivors—including kids. Making a daring rescue, James risks his life to save that of a child. While Connor disagrees with his brother’s choice to help over a hundred survivors, he follows his lead as a series of drastic events makes James the unspoken leader of the large group.
Meanwhile, they lose contact with Tank and begin to worry that something terrible has happened. Continuing north with two school buses full of survivors, the responsibility weighs heavily on James’s shoulders. But as they start to lose one survivor after another, will it be enough to break him? He's confronted with the horrible reality that in this new world, no matter how prepared you are, death is always right around the corner.
As of now I have finished the first draft and sent it to my awesome First Readers for them to look for plot holes and such. Then my wife and I will do a big edit, then it goes onto the full editor, then I have to polish it up. So there’s still a lot of work to be done, but in the next month and a half this is the main project I’ll be working on so I can get it done before I drop off the grid on July 25th! Be looking for more updates in the coming weeks, including a cover reveal! I may have to get another artist as I have not been able to get ahold of Biram, but the new guy is just as good, so hopefully I can get a BA cover for this one as well!
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and as always, stay awesome readers!
From my desk to yours,
Joshua C. Chadd