by Armand Rosamilia
I think I touched on this during the Summer of Zombie tour but it bears repeating.
It’s going to be weird to not write these characters and another Dying Days book.
Darlene Bobich started out as a quick flash fiction character. Nothing more. I even asked on Facebook for a name I could sue because I didn’t want to ‘waste’ all the names I was going to use for my novel characters I planned to write in the future.
Yes, there really is a Darlene Bobich. The series has gone so long she’s been married with a new last name for awhile.
Come to think of it, Tosha Shorb is no longer a Shorb since getting married.
Yes, this series has been in my head and written by me for a long time.
January 2010 saw that first Darlene Bobich story in print. “Anything But Luck” was in an anthology of flash fiction. If you’re keeping track at home, “Higher Ground” was another flash fiction story I had in it which starred Randy, who stars in Highway To Hell, which was written before I started Dying Days itself.
I swear I didn’t try to make all of this confusing on purpose.
Sometime in 2009 I started writing what would become Dying Days. The actual first book as well as the kernel of an idea for the series and its many offshoots.
While I always point to Miami Spy Games as the book that launched my career as a full-time author and helped me to never look back, it was writing (and selling) the Dying Days zombie series which shaped my career thus far.
Writing about Darlene and the other survivors really gave me a solid base as a writer. It allowed me to always go back to that world, especially when I was struggling in other worlds I’d created for other books. I’ve had over 150 releases in my career so far, whether shorts, novellas, novels, etc. and the bulk of them aren’t tied to Dying Days, yet… they all seem to be in my mind.
Because Dying Days is where it really started for me as a writer.
This was the first series I knew was special. Feedback from readers was encouraging, even in the beginning when only a few people were actually reading the books.
Did I know it would define me then? Of course not.
Am I happy it has to this point? Hell yeah.
I’m damn proud of the series. It’s so much more than a zombie story to so many readers, and to me. It helped me open doors in the horror community. It led me to become friends with some truly gifted fellow authors who write zombie stories, too.
It helped shape a career.
As writers we’re all looking for that elusive career-defining book. The seminal story associated with you forever. Some might argue, when you reach this zenith, it’s all downhill from there.
I’m still trying to reach it, like everyone else.
Is Dying Days going to be my zenith?
I sure hope not, but if it is… I’m still damn proud I wrote it.
I’m even prouder I was able to garner a sizeable fan-base of rabid readers who looked forward to every book in the series and couldn’t wait to get their hands on the next one.
This next one is the last one.
Am I said? Of course.
I’m also damn proud.
I knew, once the series started to gain momentum and a good following, I was going to write this story until it had a natural ending. I didn’t want to write 47 books or keep it going until people stopped reading it.
Dying Days went out on its own terms, and with an ending I was heartbroken to write but ecstatic it got to nine books.
Fear not, though… while the series might be over, there’s still the Dying Days YA novella I’m working on at my Patreon page as well as Dying Days Compendium for 2018 collecting all of the loose stories, articles, interviews, posts and ideas you’ve never seen before.
I haven’t walked away from the Winter or Summer of Zombie tours just yet.