May is pretty much dedicated to the first draft of PANDEMIC, which is the third and final book in the INFECTED trilogy. I’m 40,000 words in, and it feels like it will be about 160,000 words total. By comparison, ANCESTOR was 150,000 words, and NOCTURNAL was 195,000.
I won’t give spoilers here for INFECTED and CONTAGIOUS, but if you’ve read those you know I have quite a challenge in establishing the protagonists for PANDEMIC. So far so good, I think, although y’all will be the real test for that.
The first quarter of the book has been slow because of research and working with my consultants to make sure we get as much of the science and military action as correct as possible. I won’t lie, the science here is wacky. I’m trying to build on the shiz you saw in the first two books and also add another level of “holy shit.” As for the military side of things, I’ll get an early thanks out to Lt. Commander Joe Root, US Navy. Joe has helped with THE CRYPT, but this is my first novel to have extensive naval action and I am emailing the living hell out of Joe. Another newcomer to the consultant stable is Chris Otto, a friend of mine since I was in high school. Chris was a commercial diver who worked the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, and his experiences are hopefully going to make this book come alive.
Overall it’s so far, so good, but I’m entering a tricky phase of transitioning from the local level to a larger scope. The shift in focus depends heavily on timelines, who is where and when they are there, the needs of the plot and trying at all times to make the story work with characters behaving like you and I would (were we cast into the midst of a global catyclysm, of course). I’m very excited to finish up this draft and get it to Tha Shiv at Crown, so the real work can begin. He did such a kick-ass job editing NOCTURNAL I can’t wait to see his suggestions for PANDEMIC.
PANDEMIC is due out Spring of 2013.