Series: As the World Dies, #3
by Rhiannon Frater
Publication date: April 30th 2013
by Tor Books
Genre: Adult Horror
Siege is the conclusion to Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy, which should appeal to fans of The Walking Dead. Both The First Days and Fighting to Survive won the Dead Letter Award from Mail Order Zombie. The First Days was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book Examiner.
The zombie illness has shattered civilization. The survivors who have found tenuous safety in Texas defend their fort against the walking dead and living bandits.
Katie has made peace with the death of her wife and is pregnant and married to Travis, who has been elected Mayor. Jenni, her stepson, Jason; and Juan—Travis’s righthand man—are a happy family, though Jenni suffers from PTSD. Both women are deadly zombie killers. In Siege, the people of Ashley Oaks are stunned to discover that the vice president of the United States is alive and commanding the remnants of the US military. What’s left of the US government has plans for this group of determined survivors
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Book 1: The First Days
Book 2: Fighting to Survive
When I wrote the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy (THE FIRST DAYS, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, SIEGE), it was as an online serial. It took me nearly two years to complete the epic story and during that time I had scores of fan feedback. As the readership of the story grew over time, I slowly became aware of the fact that it was being read not only by people in my own country, but countries across the world.
AS THE WORLD DIES was later self-published, grew an even bigger following, won awards, was optioned by Hollywood, and ended up being bought by one of the premiere publishing houses in genre, Tor. THE FIRST DAYS has also sold to several international markets: Poland, Denmark, and Italy.
What I have found amusing and annoying at the same time, is that the book hasn’t sold to other international markets. I am well aware of the fact I have fans scattered across the globe. I hear from them on a regular basis. I’m asked often why the books are not available in certain languages or in particular markets. I always have to tell them the same thing. The publishers in their country or region don’t believe that a story that takes place in Texas will appeal to readers in that area.
“But I like it!” the fan usually responds. “My friends would like it! I don’t understand.”
Originally, I thought the fact that two strong female protagonist, Jenni and Katie, are the main characters in the book would be a stumbling block for some publishers. The perception of males being the main zombie fans has slowly started to dissolve in past years despite being told by a few people that men wouldn’t like my books because of Jenni and Katie. I have found this to be wrong over and over again when I receive fan emails from both men and women.
But to discover that Texas may be a major stumbling block for some publishers really surprises me. I guess it is because I am Texan and love where I live. The state is beautiful, the people are friendly, our history is exciting, and there is a wonderful diversity not only in the geography, but people. In many ways AS THE WORLD DIES is my love story to Texas.
And besides, if the zombies do rise, Texas is one place where there will be many survivors. Not only do we have plenty of room to hide and fortify, a ton of natural resources, and an independent spirit that will spur us on to save ourselves (and not wait for the government to step in), we also own a whole lot of guns. In fact, the major reason the zombies in AS THE WORLD DIES had to start out fast in the beginning (though they do slow down over time) is because most Texas households do own at least two guns. And we know how to use them. I had to figure out how to have Texas fall and fast to set the stage for the series.
I honestly believe that it’s the Texas independent spirit that is so prevalent in the series that appeals to its international audience. The idea that you can survive, you can persevere and you can rebuild is very appealing. I think it’s also universal. People all over the world like the idea of ordinary people overcoming terrible circumstances, or at least attempting to do so.
In Italy, IL Primo Giorno has been doing quite well. I’ve been inundated with emails from Italian fans who loved the story of Jenni and Katie and the small “fort” in the Texas Hill Country that struggles to survive against incredible odds. My Polish fans have also been very enthusiastic and have even sent me photos of their books. Hopefully, other international publishers will take note.
I’m incredibly thankful to all my international fans. I have heard stories about fans paying a lot of money in shipping just to get copies of the books. I have had many send me stamped self-addressed envelopes so they could get signed bookplates for their novels. In one case, I had two female fans send me a picture of them posing as Jenni and Katie.
It definitely proves that zombies in Texas has world-wide appeal.
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.