By Chris Post
For many authors of zombie fiction the inspiration for their novels grows from hours spent watching every zombie film they can find. In the case of Byna Whitlock, it was a dream that inspired her to put words to paper.
“I was a high school teacher at the time, and I had a dream one night that there was a zombie attack at my school,” she said.
The dream was so vivid that she excitedly shared the details with her husband. He encouraged her to write them down and over the course of the next several years a novel began to take shape.
“I finally finished the draft for Unbound in June 2014,” Whitlock said. “My husband then suggested that I create a blog and post short stories that would build up the apocalyptic world. The ideas continued to balloon from there.”
The final result of those ballooning ideas is a novella titled Unbound: Origins, which Whitlock is currently promoting. This compilation of short stories ties into the full-length novel.
“These stories take place within a two year time jump that occurs between the first and second chapter of the novel,” Whitlock explained.
Next, she plans to release a connecting novella titled Unbound: Into the Dark. Finally, the full novel Unbound will be published in late October or early November. The novellas serve to introduce readers to the world of Unbound and the people who populate it without actually delving into the main plot of the novel.
“Many of the characters in these short stories are referenced to in the novel or make minor appearances,” Whitlock said. “There is one specific character who will be the protagonist of the full-length novel, but the audience doesn’t know her identity at this point.”
When readers finally get see the novel, they’ll notice a few differences from the initial offerings.
“The novel Unbound is an apocalyptic romance that focuses on two characters, so the pacing and structure will be very different than it is for Unbound: Origins and Unbound: Into the Dark,” Whitlock said.
The addition of two novellas is the extent of the project’s growth, however. Whitlock said as she was completing the Origins novella, her friend Jake McGhee of HG Studios in Destin, Fla, came on board to create a book trailer.
“As we journeyed together, we thought – ‘It would be really cool if we could make a series of short films based on the stories!’ We managed to film the trailer on a micro budget, but we knew expenses would pile up if we embarked on this endeavor,” Whitlock said. “Thus, we created our Kickstarter campaign. Our hope is to build an interactive community – one that has a voice in this project. If successful, we plan to shoot some excursion films, in which the users get to vote and help create a storyline/characters as long as it follows the basic world we’ve created.”