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Book of Shorts Volume One

The Book of Shorts is my first foray into the world of the short story, only you can’t really call ’em short stories as they’re too bloody long. I like ‘Novellas’. It sounds all grown up and proper innit.

Most of you know I can’t publish any of The Undead Series right now because we (the agent lady) is working to get a traditional book deal, which means I can’t release the next instalment as otherwise it’ll cock up the packages that have been submitted to the lovely publishing people. Have I ever mentioned how much I love publishers? Great people. Really nice. And they smell nice and look nice and are always so…well just nice (too much?) Publishers are the bestest people in the whole wide world ever (too much now?) and they have great taste in zombie fiction (never too much!).

So, just because I can’t release the next instalment of The Undead doesn’t mean I can’t write. So I did do some writing. With words. On a page. That made sentences and some of ’em even clubbed together and made rogue paragraphs. Bastards. And I got told off by the agent lady for not using verbs properly. I snort in derision at this because we all know that word is made up. There are no such things as verbs or the nuns or the semi-collective regular possessive feminine pluralisation stinglebat.

I mean seriously! Verbs? What’s a verb? What does it do? It just sits about being all important with an air of superiority saying shit like, “yeah you can’t go anywhere without me”. ***Note to potential publishers – don’t read that last bit about verbs as of course I know what verbs do and I love them all…and I’m great with verbs, and nuns, and possessive stinglebats.

Sooooo, The Book of Shorts Volume One. Hmmm, that needs a bit more pizazz….

!!!The Book of Shorts Volume One!!!

Yeah that’s better. I’ve had strong coffee this morning. Does it show? Can you tell? Are we there yet? How about now?

Five stories.

Sham and Cuthbert go to sleep The Second Reality but not so gritty and harsh. A light-hearted romp that allows me to explore this new world and play with some new characters. I loved writing Sham and Cuthbert. The Mike Humber novella is dark and very brutal. The subject matter is gruesome too so I needed something to balance that. Dark and light. Comedy and tragedy. Without sadness there can be no laughter. So whenever the journey into Humber’s world was getting too much I slipped into The Second Reality as a form of escapism.

George and Marion A tale of The Undead. A retired couple go on holiday but is George all he seems? The first chapter of this story was posted on this site under the “free short stories” section and a lot of readers contacted me asking for the rest. So here it is.

Mike Humber. Recruited. A dark brutal journey that brings Humber back. He is bitter, twisted and consumed with self-loathing but a chance to right the wrongs of the past is too good to turn down.

The Undead Stand Alone Howie and the team are within the Home Counties countryside being chased by a horde. They seek refuge but the safety they find may pose more of a threat than the beasts outside.

The Ship’s Crew This was previously published at the end of Day Nine but was later removed. A tale of The Undead as a security team on board an oil tanker are forced to dock in the steaming city of Dar Es Salaam teetering on the edge of collapse as the outbreak grips the world.

Hope you enjoy it and as ever, do let me know what you think.

Take care

RR Haywood


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