June 5, 2024

Woody and June versus the Apocalypse, Volume 3

Let me tell you a story, about a series of stories that wasn’t meant to be more than a single story. (I’m a writer writing about writing, it’s bound to get a get a bit meta.)

When I wrote a little story called Woody and June versus the Wannabe Warlord, I was doing two things: having fun; and training for a what I called my “short story marathon.”

Going quick is often useful as a writer. Thinking too much about the story you are telling will often give the time for the doubts to creep in and they’ll stop you cold.

And having fun is the only way to go or otherwise, why bother?

So back in 2017 while having fun and writing fast, this popped out:

“Maybe you’re smarter than I am. Maybe you get up in the morning with a clear direction for your day. Knowing what you want to do, having a clear list of things to get done, and checking them off one at a time. Like this:

1) Kill a few zombies for exercise; the apocalypse doesn’t mean you can stop doing cardio.

2) Outwit a psychotic, petty, wannabe warlord freeing your little group from his or her (the apocalypse is equal opportunity) cruel grasp.

3) Find enough food, water, and medicine to get through the day.

4) Lead your hearty band to shelter where you can sleep and not worry about zombies or psychotic, petty, wannabe warlords.

Yeah, you probably are smarter than I am.”

I had been watching The Walking Dead and really enjoying the themes the post-apocalyptic setting can bring, but the violence and the gore, and the… Well, it was a bit too much for me, so the above popped out and it had a great voice and I realized that my creative brain wanted to play in that world but wanted it to be different.

Because of the “training” I was doing, I wrote that first story very quickly.

As always, I read it to my wife, but with lots of warning about how it had zombies and probably wasn’t her cuppa. But it was. She LOVED Woody and June and pretty much insisted that I write more.

The release today makes this a strange moment for me. Today’s release of Woody and June versus the Apocalypse, Volume 3, marks the end of a very long road I have been on with Woody and June and their adventures. Not just writing, but producing the books, revisiting the beautiful Northern Arizona locations these stories take place in, taking pictures for the covers, running Kickstarters, and publishing the books.

From this one-off, “having fun” story that my wife loved so much and kept encouraging me to write more of them came seventeen episodes in three novel-length volumes that total over 250,000 words of action, adventure, and romance.

This has been a labor of love. Love of these characters. Love of my Northern Arizona home that these books pay tribute to. And love of my wife and my need to delight her with this lighter, more fun and more hopeful take on post-apocalyptic stories.

Will there be more Woody and June? Maybe, but not for a while. I have some ideas, but it’s time to work on some other series.

Big thanks to everyone that supported this series either through beta reading for me, backing the Kickstarter, spreading the word, or just reading.

The blurb and newsletter offer are below, but I’m going to end this with something I also wrote at the end of Volume 3:

Until there is more Woody and June to read, remember that your life is an adventure and no matter what current “apocalypse” is befalling you, love hard, be kind, and take it all in stride.

If you are new to Woody and June, just sign up for my newsletter and you can read the first episode for free, Woody and June versus the Wannabe Warlord (plus a bunch of other stories, some exclusive to my newsletter subscribers).

You can find more about the stories and the release schedule over at WoodyAndJune.com.

Here’s the blurb for Volume 3.

Love and the Apocalypse

Woody Beckman and June Medina defied the odds and found each other in post-zombie-apocalypse Arizona and made the friend of a lifetime in the free-spirited Dallas. No longer go-it-alone survivors, they now face the future together with something to lose. Each other.

After barely surviving the twisted “game” of the worst petty, psychotic, wannabe warlord of them all, Talia, they decide to go back to the Grand Canyon to stand with the survivors down at Phantom Ranch for a climactic showdown with Talia. But the zombies have started acting strangely, forming “pods,” and showing shocking signs of intelligence.

With everything at stake, can Woody and June beat the odds and survive Talia and the Zs, save Phantom Ranch, and allow their love to flourish all while keeping their humanity intact?

A story of adventure and love and taking things (even the apocalypse) in stride.

Ready for an amazing adventure? Get your copy today!

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Robert J. McCarter

Robert J. McCarter is the author of more than ten novels and over a hundred short stories...... learn more

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