Baltimore Zombies the Novel: An Update

I am more than halfway through writing my first novel. It’s become rather complex, full of conspiracies, betrayals, and other twists, including sex scenes and murder (gasp). I’m being so careful with the story right now, trying not to leave stones unturned for the reader and keep the pace moving. My writing progress is slow. Winter sparks hibernation, I am the least creative during this time, and writing new chapters has been a challenge. To keep the process moving along I have started to let people read the beginning chapters for feedback, and I’ve done some editing. Some of the many changes that will probably need to be made.

Next month NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) kicks off Camp, where you set your goals and pair up with other campers in a virtual cabin to help keep you focused and motivated. If you are a writer and consider joining, it is free, look me up Melisa55. The goal I have set is to write 30,000 words in one month, or really, to finish the novel. I’ve written about 54k words at the moment. There’s so much to do still. It kind of makes my heart double beat when I think of this book coming together.

Recently, I went to my first writer’s group meeting with Women Authors of Maryland. The women were so encouraging and let me ask 1,000 questions. Giving a presentation was Ariele Sieling who talked to us about creating a platform and launching a book. She has a book launching in a couple of weeks and was kind enough to pass around a sample. The cover was amazing, and when I flipped to the first page I saw her name and a copywrite date, for some reason it pricked an emotional response from somewhere deep inside. I was holding a book that someone wrote, one day I’m going to be that someone. The feeling was so much more real than in the past and I felt a firm kick in the butt to stop moping around and get back to creating.

A little about the book. In the first third of the book, we quickly learn a virus has taken over Baltimore City, causing many of its occupants to exhibit zombie-like behavior. Yes, they try to eat you, so you better run! The government has successfully built a wall around the city to contain the virus. Our main character is Shelby, who finds herself separated from family and friends. She stumbles onto a group of well put together survivors, who are interested in helping Shelby find her veterinarian, skilled sister because medical help is greatly needed. It’s a fast pace introduction, that introduces most of the active characters. My goal in this section is for readers to get a sense of Shelby’s character and what lengths she’ll go to in order to be reunited with her sister. Other strong characters include Jason, Angela, and Geronimo, all of which work for the Rec Pier, a citizen formed group attempting to keep order to their segment of the city.

It’s a unique apocalyptic situation, in that the outside world moves on as normal, but inside the walls of Baltimore chaos continues to unfold.

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