Gerry Gainford | Author

After the Fall

Category: Uncategorized

Title, title, title.

So the title of my novel is After the Fall. It’s post apocalyptic and the Fall in this case is the Fall of the planet. Catchy huh?
Or maybe not catchy enough. Other titles I’m considering

It’s only the end of the world.
The Engineer Versus the Apocalypse.
Haley Davidson and the Marley Girl (ok, there may be some copyright issues here).
No tea at the end of the world.

Which is catchier? The catch the attention of an agent catchier? The spot it on a bookshelf and think ‘oh, that sounds interesting’. Let me know.

To Prologue or not Prologue, that is the question

The jury is out on this one and it does seem like I won’t be using this prologue in my novel, After The Fall. However, I am quite proud of it, so here it is in all it’s prologuey glory.

AFTER THE FALL

No one expected Armageddon to be so shit. Such a damn, damp squib. We expected hell; fire and brimstone. We expected the nukes, a flash of light and then nothing ever again. Inter Fucking Continental Ballistic Missiles all crossing paths as everyone fired them, all at once, wiping out every major city in the world, sending clouds of shit into the atmosphere to kill anything that was left in a nuclear winter.
We expected that the earth would get over it, and the cockroaches would rule, creating a benevolent cockroach society, an insect utopia of art and music, with no people to scream and hit them with a shoe.
We thought that God would reach his hand down, taking the righteous in a glorious rapture, leaving us sinners to repent under darkened skies. Maybe that’s what happened. Maybe God did take the righteous. The truth was, none of us really knew.
We knew that there were bombs. The missiles crossed paths in the upper atmosphere and crashed to earth, but only a few worked, and most of those missed. All of those huge nuclear arsenals? It turned out that they were about as reliable as my ’89 Fiesta.
Seattle was hit, dead on; destroyed. I was there to watch it happen. A six-week trip to the USA and I was there for day one of Armageddon. Just my luck. The nuke destined for Los Angeles missed completely, a hundred miles out in the desert, acres of sand were turned to glass in an instant.
Vancouver was a direct hit, but the bomb didn’t explode. All over the world, from what little we know, most of them didn’t go off. Still, clouds of dust went up into the skies, filling them with shit, darkening them, settling months later into not so much a nuclear winter, but more of a nuclear Irish summer. Cloudy and grey and raining. A miserable damp old Armageddon.
It was everything else that went wrong afterwards. That’s what killed the billions, wiping most of the population from the face of the earth. We think. The TVs stopped working right off, the radios not long after. In the years that followed, we pieced together the rumours and stories. They were hard to believe, but then so were our own tales of the disaster. Nuclear plants melted down and left the whole east coast a nightmare of glowing rocks and radiation. Stories of horrific cancers, mutant babies with thankfully short lives, a disease-ridden, rotting heap of corpses.
The tsunamis hit. Fun fact: If you detonate a nuclear bomb big enough in the middle of the ocean it can cause a big wave. That was our best guess. How could we know? We just saw the aftermath. I heard that half of Los Angeles got washed away just as everyone was congratulating themselves on escaping a nuke. Then, all that were left were a few ultra-rich in the hills who hadn’t evacuated yet. They were outnumbered by their gardeners and maids. A bloodbath of epic proportions followed. I heard descriptions of a movie exec who was shredded with a lawnmower. The story may even be true. I’ve seen worse.
Then the storms came. Another fun fact: Even a half-assed nuclear war can contribute more to climate change than four hundred years of burning coal. We got droughts, we got heat, we got rain and when the storms came, no one was ready. Winds stronger than anyone had ever seen. Gales that destroyed everything in their path. That’s a problem in America, they build so much out of wood. Nothing’s built to last. Though I think they expected it to last longer than this.
Lastly, there were the plagues. The cities were destroyed and suddenly all these people who had never done anything in their lives were fleeing, and they couldn’t find food, clean water, shelter. I say this like an expert, but back then I couldn’t do much either. I just ran. No food, no water, no shelter. Bodies everywhere. Disease spread quickly. The stores were looted in the first few hours, leaving only empty aisles. Most were destroyed though, the fires, the waves, the bombs. Gunfights over bottled water, kids dying for want of an aspirin.
All the cities destroyed, refugees spilling to the countryside, looting and fighting over the little that was left, the storms destroying anything not built to last centuries.
There was no God, not now, if this was Revelations, then we were left behind and now I was on my own.

4 years later

Sign up for my spam, sorry, email list

So I need an email list. I don’t have any emails to send you, but if I did have emails I am sure they would be thrilling reads, the must read email of the day, a New York times best-sender.

You can sign up for my email list here and when my book(s) are ready to be published I will let you know. I’m way too lazy to send you weekly updates on my cats.

Submission tracking

So I’ve been submitting and so far it looks like.

Submitted to 10 agents and 1 publisher. I got 3 responses, all rejections. Average time to rejection? 5.67 days.

8 no replies.

Submitted 7 tweets to 2 Twitter pitch contest, 1 like, rejected in 3 days.

It’s not easy out there. I submitted to another agent this morning….

 

Nano is over

Nano is over, I finished the first draft of book 3 of my trilogy at 53,000 words. It will need a whole lot of work. Like tons of work. Like burning and starting from scratch. But still, it’s done, it’s got a layout and some ideas and some form of a plot, so there’s that.

Now that Nano is over there’s still writing to be done. The Writers of Sherman Oaks meets twice a week throughout the year. On Thursdays we have a critique group at Panera in Studio City and on Saturday mornings we meet at Panera in Encino to write. You can see the calendar on MeetUp here.

Nanowrimo and writing around Sherman Oaks.

In Los Angeles and doing nano? Come join us tonight at Panera in Encino from 6:30 to 9:00. I’ll be hosting, there’ll be word wars, chocolate and coffee. The Writers of Sherman Oaks have five write-ins every week of November to push you past the 50k mark.

Here is our calendar of nano events in and around the SF Valley.

We also have weekly write-ins on Saturdays and a critique group on Thursdays the rest of the year. Thursdays at 6:30 in Panera in Studio City and Saturdays 9:30 – noon at Panera in Encino.

First rejection

My winning streak is over. I got my first (quite nice) rejection email this morning. Ouch.

Oh well, as Bond said about the second one being much easier…

Submitting

Yes, this is my fourth novel, well the fourth I’ve completed, but I’m very new to submitting. So far I’ve been slowly trying to find an agent and submit. I’ve managed a full seven of them so far. On the plus side I’ve had zero rejections. Yes, Zero. In your face Ms Rowling.

A new blog

So I’ve done some blogging before but thought that this could use it’s own site. I’ve written a novel. Well, I’ve written four of them, but this one is the one I’m going to get published. The novel is After the Fall and it’s set four years after the world ends.