Contributed by R.G. Westerman
First I want to say that I am super excited to be able to guest post once more with A.M. It is an honor. I want to share a little bit about my current project, the Ash Rising Saga (find it on Amazon). This is a serial so it is ongoing for five episodes. Readers should be aware of that going in. I like to think of it as something along the lines of those old radio serials which always ended with some drastic cliffhanger, ensuring that everyone would tune in the following week, like the Shadow or the Batman TV series.
Personally, I think of self-publishing as sort of the garage band of the publishing world. There are so many examples of writers who developed and honed their online presence to such an extent that the publishing houses have taken notice. People don't realize that this is how E.L. James was able to publish the Fifty Shades series. She already had thousands of readers before she was ever offered a publishing contract. Amanda Hawking is another author who has done this. Publishing online opens that door and completely changes the market and expectations. It removes the gatekeeper system and allows the readers to decide. I think that is pretty exciting!
I had the idea for Ash after watching a whole lot of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. I have always had this thing about the zombie apocalypse as a genre device. I was thinking about it one day and realized a couple of things. One, that most of the stories involve characters who experience the onset of the zombie apocalypse at the beginning. I wanted to see a world from the eyes of someone who had grown up in this reality. I guess my elevator pitch would be “Teenage girl that grew up in the zombie apocalypse”.
But it is also more than that. This is a very character driven series, and I really hope readers can get to know Ash in a way that keeps bringing them back. I think if she lived in this world she would be very active, maybe star of her sports team or head cheerleader. But she has this dark side too. She has to be very adaptable living in the world that she does. She has no memory of anything before the onset of the apocalypse, but she also has some traits that she does not understand. Not only is she trying to survive but she is trying to figure out her past as well.
I started writing for fun when I was in the fourth grade, I think. The first thing I ever wrote was the beginning of a retelling of Cinderella. I fancied it the Next Great American Novel, as one does with anything in the fourth grade. My creative past is in Theatre which is what explains my character driven method, I suppose. There are a ton of back-burner projects that I would love to just magically produce into reality, but that might be every other writer too, right?
I am also starting a Patreon project. When I first started being more serious about writing I attended a bi-weekly group. Eventually I got to where I was producing one completely finished short story each month. I would love to get back to that rate of production. Ironically I can't devote too much to the Patreon project because I'm still freelancing. I have big dreams though.
Pre-sales for Ash are available now, and the book goes live on June 7th. Pre-sales for the following episode will be available at that time, along with a cover reveal for the second book. I can't wait!
I can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The absolute best way to follow along is to sign up for my newsletter. I send this out bi-weekly and it includes easy links, upcoming release dates, and more fun things. Come find me!
About R.G. Westerman
Author R.G. Westerman can be found on Twitter (@rgwesterman), Facebook, and Instagram (@rgw0628). To get updates on what is new with her, visit her website and sign up for her newsletter at http://rgw0628.wix.com/author. You can follow her Patreon campaign at https://www.patreon.com/rgwesterman?ty=h.
To pre-order Ash Rising on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ash-Book-One-Rising-Saga-ebook/dp/B01F4JXACG.