Author: Soren Summers
Series: Vertex, Book #2
Page/Word Count: 263 pages, 69K words
Categories: Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi, Gay Romance, Horror & Thriller, Mystery & Suspense, Dystopian
Release Date: March 15, 2017
It’s been one hundred and forty-five days since the world ended. Paragon has swept through the city of Pleasance like a reaper’s scythe. Now the dead walk the earth, seeking the flesh of the living. Still Jarod Samuels refuses to die.
As a hunter, Jarod safeguards the Hive, the ruined mall he calls home. He exterminates zombies to protect the city’s last few survivors, and to keep Gabriel Anderson unharmed, their lives intertwined now more than ever.
But in a city ravaged by Vertex’s corruption, there’s no telling what dangers each day will bring, whether the threats within the Hive’s walls might be deadlier than those without – or whether monsters from the past still lurk and linger in the city’s shadows.
And why is it that Tyler can’t keep his damn fingers to himself? The engineers have plugged up the breach, and Magpie and the others are sweeping the atrium, so the hunters, at least the ones Tyler likes, they’re converging in the center of the floor, patting each other on the back and puffing their chests out.
It’s not that Jarod’s resentful of this little powwow, this peacocking session that he never seems to be invited to, oh no. He wouldn’t want to be near them, anyway, because he wouldn’t trust himself not to punch Tyler’s teeth in. Tyler shouldn’t be allowed to put his hand on the small of Gabriel’s back like that. He shouldn’t be allowed to drape his arm over Gabriel’s shoulder, pressing his sweat against his skin, marking him with his musk. Jarod wrinkles his nose.
Something growls at him from the ground. Without looking Jarod takes his broken plank in two hands and rams it into the wriggler’s skull, driving it down like he would a sword. There’s a squelch, then a thud. He eyes Tyler as he pushes against bone and brain matter. Somehow that lends him a little extra strength. He drives the stake further down, and the thing he’s killing croaks and rattles as it dies its second death. The smell of rot wafts up his nostrils.
Tyler ruffles Gabriel’s hair. The two of them are grinning. Jarod watches resentfully as Gabriel ducks away, laughs, then opens his mouth to say three familiar words.
“You’re the best.”
This really stinks.
About Soren Summers:
Hi, Soren here. I’ve moved around a lot, but I’m now based in California, where I am currently growing both my written body of work and my hair. After 15 years in lifestyle journalism and public relations I decided it was time to stop selling other people’s stories and start telling my own. I’ve also been told that I’m kind of charming. No, really.
5 Questions with Soren Summers:
- As an author myself, I know inspiration is everywhere and can strike at the most inopportune moments (like in the shower, when you don’t have anything to write with!). So, what was the inspiration behind Parasite? Household chores. Seriously. The first book in the series came to me while throwing out some garbage, and the second, Parasite, was the result of sorting groceries from the supermarket. It helped define how the survivors in the Hive were organizing themselves, the kind of hierarchy they’ve created in this loose facsimile of society.
- What is your writing process? (i.e. plotter or panster, explain) Plotter, a hundred percent. I write quickly, and running out of things to write, or worse, not knowing what comes next is the biggest hurdle for me. I prefer to invest time in an ironclad outline and make small changes along the way. It really smooths out the process for me.
- What is the hardest part of that process for you? Waiting for beta readers to finish. I tend to worry about both how long it takes and what the feedback is going to be like. I love my betas to pieces and have them to thank for ripping out the illogical, unrealistic parts of my stories, which explains the dread. Every time a beta sends me an email, I know that a ton of work is coming my way!
- There’s a big leap a writer takes from putting words down on paper for the love of it and actually publishing those words for public scrutiny. What was that journey like for you? I was a journalist before going into independent publishing, so putting my work out there wasn’t necessarily a foreign concept. Monster was my first serious foray into fiction, however, so that came with a certain amount of fear. I worried about whether people would hate it, whether I was going to be slammed with one-star reviews. Nowadays I hit publish and go for a nap or a snack. Your confidence in your ability to write, and the confidence to release more work, it all improves along the way.
- What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writing considering that leap for themselves? Do it. Write that damn novel. Doesn’t matter how much or how little time you have to write, the words will add up as you go, but they won’t appear on their own. You need to strap in and get to work. Stop telling your friends about it, stop daydreaming about it, stop making excuses not to write it. Do it.
- What do you think makes a good story? Everything should have its purpose, even if it’s for misdirection. Everything should resonate, whether in a later chapter, or a later book. Everything word should earns its place to belong, and the first page should be like the top of a slide: you read the first word and the momentum drives you so strongly that you cannot stop until you hit the very last.
- Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals? Continuous loops of music. I write in 30-minute bursts and have a playlist of favorite songs that have been looped to play repeatedly for exactly 30 minutes. I feel like it’s the kind of thing that could drive people insane, but I find it helpful for drowning out everything and keeping me in the right headspace for the exact period of time I can sustain productivity. I can usually bang out about 1,500 words with every session, so I repeat this a few times a day until I either hit my target or pass out.
- What can readers expect from you next? The third book in the Vertex series. Monster is the first, followed by Parasite. I’m working on closing the trilogy some time this year. The book will feature the same main couple and many of the same characters, and possibly a few that readers have been waiting to reappear.
5 Fun Quickies
- Favorite curse word: Damn.
- Favorite dance move (video?!?): Whatever is happening with his hips at the 0:50 mark
- Over or under (toilet paper, of course): Why not both?
- Weapon of choice: A baseball bat with nails in it.
- Evil mastermind, easily convinced partner in crime, or innocent bystander: Evil mastermind!
Where to find Soren Summers: