Hello friends. I have these books to sell you:

739 hardcovers of THE LIVING  — $25

664 hardcovers of THE BURNING WORLD — $7

And that’s it. End of production. I’m going to keep promoting these until they’re all gone, and then that will be the end of my time in the world of Warm Bodies. I will put away my megaphone and recede into the forest to begin the next era. And yes, I MIGHT find a way to offer a crappy print-on-demand paperback for THE LIVING in a year or so…or it might spend its afterlife as an ebook ghost. But if you want to make sure you get a chance to hold the end of R’s story in your hands, now is the time to make your move.


Return of THE LIVING

Hello friends. I’ve been quiet for a while, for two major reasons:

  1. My house got flooded and I’ve been drifting from hotel to hotel in a daze, unable to work or think as I try to catch the falling pieces of my collapsing life

  2. THE LIVING was out of stock

ONE of those problems has now been solved: the second printing of THE LIVING has arrived.

For those of you who already ordered it, your books shipped out yesterday. But there’s a small catch. In the midst of all my personal chaos, I was not able to make a trip to New York to sign the new stock…so these editions are going out unsigned.

I realize this is not fair since you bought this book advertised as a signed copy, so I’m doing my best to fix it. Everyone who ordered before today will be getting a letter from me with a PERSONALIZED signature on a bookplate—basically an archival quality “sticker” that you stick inside the book. I know this isn’t the same as a true signed copy, but hopefully the personalization will make up for it, since that wouldn’t have been possible if we were shipping from boxes of signed stock. (If you bought it as a gift, please contact me and let me know what name I should put on the bookplate.)

I now have roughly 1000 copies of THE LIVING that I paid for out of my own pocket. To be honest, this was a big gamble. Even with an eager fandom frothing from years of anticipation, it took a while to sell the first printing of 1500 copies. I have no books in stores, no books on Amazon, and no marketing whatsoever. It’s just me, out here plugging away on the internet. So it’s going be a big challenge to get rid of these last 1000 copies. And I NEED to sell them, before I sink even deeper into this money hole. (It’s too dark in here to write!)

So…if there’s anything you can do to help spread the word about the conclusion of a series that A LOT of people still don’t know is a series…now would be a great time!

Thank you for your continued support and presence through all these books and years. Stay Living.



A few days ago was World Poetry Day, and I wrote some thoughts about it.

If I'm a poet, I'm what they'd call an "outsider artist." Unfamiliar with canon, ignorant of technique, uneducated and unsocialized in the world of verse. But apparently I've been writing poems for years, thinking they were just really short stories. Readers have pointed this out to me many times but I brushed it off. I've always liked writing in a style that you could call poetic (The Seattle Times did!) but I always thought of myself as a story guy. Even the songs I wrote usually had clear narratives.

As an awkward, alienated 20-something, I wrote to connect and communicate. I wanted to be seen and understood by the world, so my writing had to be clear and...well, obvious. I resisted abstraction. Editors warned me to avoid prose that was "writerly" or God forbid, "purple" and I tried to obey.

Occasionally I would slip. In moments of intense feeling, I would hammer out little vignettes that lacked much plot but evoked much mood, that hinted at stories without telling them, letting the language itself plant emotions in the reader's mind without a lot of narrative context.

Being ignorant of and frightened by the rarefied realm of Poetry, I called these things short stories. Some of them I dumped online. Others I tried to publish as a collection. Publishers said they were unstructured, ambiguous, lacking satisfying conclusions. Like poetry.

So I locked away that delicate impulse and plunged back into hard narrative for three more books to finish the Warm Bodies series. I had to follow the relatively grounded style I'd established in the first book, but I found myself pulling hard against those chains. I found an escape from R's limiting first person POV and flew off with a cosmic omniscient narrator that was free to get poetic. I kept it in check because this was still a grounded, realistic story (yes, fight me) but I started to recognize and embrace the power of abstraction.

I started reading some poetry, relying on trusted friends to guide me around the mountains of bullshit that have accumulated over the centuries. Some I found impenetrable, so fully abstracted it only registered as white noise. Some I found so inward-aimed that I felt ignored by the writer, uninvited and unwelcome in their private conversation. But some struck a balance between holding close and reaching out. Some pulled me into a churning storm of feelings and images and crackling linguistic lightning—all without the support of a plot.

I became aware of a hidden dimension to language, how well chosen words can evoke the sense of a story that isn't actually there, like an optical illusion, a phantom narrative that you can only see when you let your eyes blur a little.

There are optical illusions that let you see new primary colors and perceive impossible shapes. Poetry can do the same with language. It can bypass your rational brain and inject stories directly into your subconscious—stories that can't be told through narrative, because they're too subtle, too fragile, too pan-dimensionally strange to be held in the grubby ham fist of the rational mind.

So anyway, I'm like, writing poetry now. I’m weaving it into my photography and putting it on Instagram Follow me there if you’d like to check out this new branch of my writing. Thanks!



All orders of THE LIVING have now shipped. This book is now officially released and the Warm Bodies series is complete.


People have questioned the wisdom of sharing my struggles to get THE LIVING published. They say no one wants to hear about pain and failure, they want to hear about money and parties and bestseller lists. They want their artists to be STARS, and stars don’t bleed.

I can understand this. It does seem weird to begin all my announcements with tales of delays and mishaps and letdowns. But for some reason, it feels right for me. My whole creative life has been a struggle, always rowing against the current. People offer me tricks and formulas to make everything easier, and I just…can’t…follow them. With the success of WARM BODIES I enjoyed a brief moment in the tropical waters of the mainstream…then promptly dived back into the icy black torrent of the weirdstream. Doing things wrong is my whole brand, so it seems only right to share the tales of mayhem.

You all know the comedy of errors that pushed THE LIVING from a polished fall release into a haphazard scramble to ship before Christmas. Let me tell you how that scramble went.

I arrived in New York City ready for action. Our printer had promised the books would arrive by the 19th, which was the latest we could ship and still be sure to reach everyone by Christmas. Zola Books (my pseudo-publisher) had all the packages labeled and primed for launch. All systems go.

Then the printer’s binding machine broke. Prose so dense, themes so heavy, massive industrial equipment SHATTERS against them!

The books arrived at 5:00 pm the next day. I had about 30 seconds to enjoy holding my book in my hands and perusing its soft, smooth pages.


Then we sprang into action. It was a desperate race against the clock to get them signed, packaged, and shipped before the post office closed at 10. There were four of us. There were 1200 orders. It was mayhem.

We made it through half the stock and decided we had to go. We loaded half a ton of books into a U-Haul van and rushed them to the biggest post office in New York. Then we discovered that the back entrance was closed, so we had to carry them box by box up these stairs in the rain while illegally parked on 8th Avenue.  


Take a moment to imagine us staggering up and down this Greek edifice over and over again with our burden of books. As Zola Joe pointed out, what a perfect visual metaphor for a Sisyphean task.

With the first run finished, we hurried back to the office and back into the fray. We signed and stuffed till 4:30 in the morning. Zola Joe and I crashed on the office couches and slept a hearty 2 hours, then began the final push as the sun came up to greet a torrential downpour.

Picture me if you will, driving a cargo van into the construction-clogged bowels of the Penn Station post office looking for the mythical back entrance ramp while construction crews and security guards screamed at me to get out and postal workers demanded I wait for an unseen supervisor to appear and take the packages. If Kafka were an indie author, he would’ve had plenty of inspiration.

Finally someone came and took the domestic orders from us, so we were almost free. Just the small matter of 200 international orders, which had to be mailed by hand, one at a time, at the main post office window, at a rate of about 5 minutes per book. I released the Zola crew to go home, and took this final stretch alone.

Picture me now in the vast hall of Penn Station, having commandeered half of their windows with my insane project, feeding books to them hour after hour as I sank into delirium on my 2 hours of sleep. Picture me sitting in this marble prison from 10 am to 8 pm. I can now add “laid out some cardboard and slept on the floor of a train station” to my author resume.


But you know what happened next? It ended. The postmaster told me, “Thank you for your business! Please never come back.” And I went home and slept 14 hours.

THE LIVING is now released. I know some of you have already read it digitally, but for me it’s not real until it’s real. And now it’s real. I have held it my hands, turned its pages, smelled the fresh glue on the spine. It’s a beautiful book. It’s in the mail right now on its way to your home. Very soon, it will be in your hands too, and we’ll be connected by an invisible thread.


I hope you don’t keep this to yourself. I hope you share your experience so that others can have it too. I hope you post pictures of your books and talk about the story. Can you believe this story is over? Four books. NINE YEARS. What an epic journey this has been. Thank you for taking it with me.

Stay Living.


P.S For those of you who ordered a copy as a Christmas gift, if you’re in the US you will hopefully receive it on Christmas Eve. If you haven’t by end of day, let me know at and I will send a personal IOU to the recipient that you can use as a placeholder.

P.S.S A few of the series bundles shipped out without the thank you cards. I will be mailing those to you separately when I get home in a few days.

Delays and Delights

When I first decided to self-publish THE LIVING, I had a fit of excitement and made this silly gif. 

Animated GIF-downsized_large.gif

I was feeling sassy. I was going to control every aspect of the production and make sure everything happened exactly how it was supposed to. And then inch by inch, the belt sander of reality ground down my bravado. Distribution deals fell apart. Promises were delayed and dissolved. My release date refused to hold still.

The last date I gave you was December 10, and that one seemed solid. My publishing partner at Zola Books had a printer lined up. Everything was ready.

Then the printer changed their story.

“Holiday rush, very busy, is it cool if we deliver the books mid-January?”


Even though this printer was 1/3 the cost of the next closest bid, I couldn’t do it. After all this buildup and stringing you readers along, I was NOT pushing this into the new year. It had to happen now.

So we found a new printer. And they are printing. As you read this, those final 433 pages of R and Julie’s story are rolling off the presses on thick, creamy paper. In the next few days, they’ll be bound in beautiful linen hardcovers, wrapped in a textured matte jacket, and sent to New York where I’ll be signing every copy and shipping them out to you. However…

BAD NEWS: this last-minute shakeup has pushed us back a few days. We won’t be able to ship on the 10th—but very soon after! We’re still reasonably confident that everyone in the U.S will have their books BEFORE CHRISTMAS. (International orders will take a little longer…I’m really sorry!)

MORE BAD NEWS: because this printer is expensive and preorders have been slow, I have to cut the first run down from the planned 3000 copies to just 1200…of which only 150 currently remain. (I will print more after these sell out, but there may be some delay in between and they won’t be as deluxe as the first edition.)

GOOD NEWS: This first edition is going to be really nice, with the kind of cool custom flourishes you can only get from a handcrafted small-batch production. And I don’t just mean thick paper…there will be additional art and actual narrative elements layered into the construction. (Sorry, ebookers!)

MORE GOOD NEWS: Every book will come with signed and numbered printings of two unpublished short stories: “M’s Journal” and “Boarded Window,” (the Warm Bodies Holiday Special!) about R’s first winter among the Dead. (Revised and expanded from its original appearance in CityArts magazine.)

(Sorry again, ebookers! The hardcover is the premium experience and I want to give people what they paid for.)

Again, I’m reasonably confident that everyone in America will have their books before Christmas. But wherever you are, if you do buy one as a gift and it doesn’t arrive in time, contact me with some info about the recipient and I’ll get really fucked up on cold brew concentrate and write them a rambling personalized I.O.U that you can give them as a placeholder.

So here we go…the final stretch. It’s been a long and brutal journey, and I’ve gone from this…

Animated GIF-downsized_large.gif

…to this…


  …but we’re going to get there together!


In summary:







Stay Living.



THE LIVING isn’t quite here…(but you can still read it!)

I have good news and bad news.

GOOD NEWS: today is the release day for THE LIVING, the final book of the Warm Bodies series. 10 years after I wrote WARM BODIES, I finally get to share the conclusion of this story. What a moment! The end of an era, the culmination of a decade of work! There should be fanfare, a launch party, we should—

BAD NEWS: the books aren’t printed yet.

I know, I told you I was publishing this myself, but it turns out the only way to TRULY do it yourself is to print the books on your own inkjet, bind them with duct tape, and sell them out of the back your sketchy van. Anything more ambitious and you’re dealing with other people. It takes far more people than you would imagine to publish a book well. There are shortcuts if you dump it into a faceless print-on-demand machine, but if you want a book that looks and feels substantial and refined—a book that you can autograph and slip special gifts into—you have to involve other people. I did everything in my power to deliver the book today, but I’m just the first cog in a long sequence of gears, and those big ones at the end are still turning.


I know. It’s maddening. You’ve been waiting YEARS for the end of this damn story. Am I really going to make you wait 26 more days??

Well…not necessarily.

If you bought the ebook, you will still get it today. So it’s KIND OF release day. (Yay!) But I’m not about to let those digital techlords flaunt early access over the true book lovers who wanted the rich experience of the hardcover. So...


If you preordered the hardcover, you will be getting an email today that contains an ebook download link. Anyone who orders the hardcover from now on will also get the ebook. You don’t need a tablet—you can read it on ANY device, including a desktop or laptop. If you feel that reading digitally will taint your experience of the story, I urge you to wait for that smooth, warm paper. But if digital doesn't bother you, or if you were just so hyped for this day that another wait might break you…the ebook is here if you want it.

I’m so thrilled to finally be sharing this with you. I hope once you start reading it—in whatever format you choose—all these annoyances will melt away. I hope you’ll join me in wishing R and Julie a fond farewell and get lost in their strange world one last time.

Thank you.



The Living is Live

Yesterday I shared some big news.

THE LIVING is coming November 13.

It looks like this:

The Living cover RGB.jpg

You can preorder now.

Ok, now let me tell you a little about what I’m doing here.

I wrote the last sentence of this story in July, 2015. After breaking that massive Pangaea of a book into two smaller continents and exploring them for two more years, I released the first half—THE BURNING WORLD— in early 2017, expecting the conclusion to come out later that year. I had no idea everything was about to fall apart.

For reasons I’ve debated elsewhere, 99% of WARM BODIES fans didn’t come back for THE BURNING WORLD. My publisher dropped me. My financial forecast turned bleak. I sold my house to pay off my debts and found myself literally out on the street, living in my van, a bearded maniac shouting about industry conspiracies and waving THE LIVING at passersby. "YOU MUST READ THE BOOK! THE END IS NEAR!”

I spent a year searching for a publisher with a vision for this story, then gave up on that rusty old machine and started looking for a viable path to independence.

I found that most of the popular self-publishing routes didn’t fit me. They demanded obscene displays of obeisance to Emperor Bezos and other corporate despots—Amazon exclusivity, exploitative profit cuts, and degrading stunts to win the acceptance of algorithms. It felt crass and slimy, like I was sending my beautiful brilliant child to work in a novelty souvenir factory, and after all that humiliation, the paycheck would be so small I might as well not bother.

It might make sense for new authors trying to get started, but I already have readers. I have YOU, the survivors of whatever plague wiped out 99% of my original readership. You're hardy and true and you deserve the best book I can give you. So despite this brave new world of modern indie options…I’m going back to my roots.

I’m printing 3,000 high quality hardcovers at an actual print shop in New York.

I’m signing every copy.

I’m selling them exclusively on my website, where I can include bonus materials—and actually keep some of the money you’re giving me instead of dumping it all into the corporate retail system.

I know some of you hate hardcovers because they're expensive and bulky, but listen. This book is the culmination of 10 years of my life. I bled and sweat and cried over this story. THE LIVING is its finale, and this might be its only edition. I’m not going to end this era with a shoddy Print on Demand paperback that will fall apart in a year. I’m not going to feed it into a machine that will eat up all your money and leave me without the means to keep writing. I want this final moment to be real, tactile, personal, and lasting.

So, a few notes:

You can order the hardcover in almost any country, but shipping outside the US will be tragically expensive.

A paperback with worldwide distribution MIGHT happen someday…but I can’t promise anything, and it wouldn’t be until next spring at the earliest. (And it won’t be signed.)

If money is tight, the ebook is cheap and available everywhere, including Amazon. (But I do make more if you buy it on my site.)

I wish I could make this easier and cheaper for everyone, but this is the only way I can do this book right and still make enough to stay afloat as a writer. In this era of devalued art, many creators are using Patreon or Ko-Fi to keep the work coming. I decided I’d rather take donations in the form of book sales. So...thank you for your support! You are literally keeping me alive. And even more importantly, thank you for coming with me on this crazy 10-year journey. I’m so excited to tell you how it all ends.






Hey Seattle, um…I’m leaving!

This is so big and weird for me I’m not sure how to share the news. For most of you a simple “Bye!” would probably suffice, but this means a lot to me and I feel a need to write about it.

I’ve lived in Seattle almost 13 years. I’ve explored a lot of other cities, and while they all have their own character, I haven’t found anything so different that it seemed worth uprooting my life and leaving all my people. Despite the worrying path Seattle is on with its runaway growth and aggressive homogenization, this is still my city.  But what I’ve been realizing is…I don’t want to live in a city anymore. Any city.

I’m still a believer in the city concept, the promise of concentrated culture and large scale civic endeavor. I think it’s important to be challenged and have new and diverse experiences on the bleeding edge of life. But when you’ve been chasing that same energy for 13 years, is that still new and diverse? What about the other frequencies of experience? What about silence and stillness, solitude and reflection, the solemn beauty of forests and water? What about the inner world? What about dreams and fantasies and long, deep thoughts, those paths you have to walk slowly to explore?

I find these subtle frequencies hard to hear in the city. I find my time and attention spread too thin as I bounce between dozens of tiny social pods scattered across a sprawling, traffic-clogged obstacle course. I’m overstimulated and overwhelmed by the endless buffet of activity. Options become obligations. Fun becomes a job and therefore self-canceling. My brain is so overcharged with input that I can’t concentrate or contemplate, I can only skim. I’d love to sit and get lost in this book but what if and should I and this and that and them!!!!

I don’t believe in walling myself off from society, but I feel like I’ve absorbed enough of its energy to last a while. I need to withdraw into a simple space where I can let it trickle out into art. I want to write all these stories floating around my head. I want to make music again. These are the things that give me a reason to wake up, and I’ve been running away from them. My energies have been siphoned off by the reflexive pursuit of entertainment, indulgence, and social compulsions. I’ve been spending so little of my time on the things that matter the most to me, and I’m mad as hell about it. 

So…I’m moving to Orcas Island! I just bought a secluded cabin on a hillside overlooking the Salish Sea. It’s a quick drive to Doe Bay Resort, where I’ll drop in once a week for a meal and some human warmth, but this will be a different kind of life: smaller, slower, solitary and focused, 120 miles removed from that roaring vortex of appetite and anxiety.

I don’t hate the city. These 13 years have had plenty of beauty in them. I’ve shared some amazing times with some amazing people and I’m grateful for all of them. I just need a change.


I may become a mystic hermit but I will occasionally remove the birds from my beard. At least once a month I’ll come back to the city and spend a few days reconnecting with the outside world. And I hope to lure some of you out to the island now and then for a visit. I think it’s the most beautiful place in Washington and I still can’t believe I get to live there. I’ve moved over 30 times in my life and never felt so hopeful about a new chapter.

So goodbye for now, city friends! I wish you best of luck in the urban adventure. I’m trying something new…but we’ll share stories soon.





Many of you are bigger fans of my cat than you are of my writing, and that’s understandable and right and good. You’ve loved him from afar via my incessant cat pics, and you’ve understood how much he means to me—my only pet, my muse, and usually the only living thing occupying my sorry bachelor pad.

As many of you know from social media, Watson is missing. I moved him to my grandparents’ house during a moving transition, and before he could get used to the place, he escaped. I’ve tried every trick in the book to recover him, so PLEASE do not bombard me with cat-finding techniques. Believe me, I’ve done them all. I’ve been camping out in my grandparents’ back alley for 20 days, walking the streets every night, and even got a team together to leave flyers on every single doorstep in the neighborhood. Nothing.

I’ve decided it’s time to go home. There’s nothing more I can do out here, and I have to stop torturing myself. Most likely Watson has been taken in by some kind family or he’s enjoying a wild new life among the strays. I still hold out hope that he’ll come wandering back someday—I know it happens all the time, so please spare me the flood of anecdotes—or someone will recognize him from the poster and give me a call. If it happens, I’ll be overjoyed. But for now, all I can do is wish him well and say goodbye.

I know this has nothing to do with books, and some of you probably don’t care, but I figured those of you who do care deserved some closure. And because I need people to stop asking me if I’ve found Watson yet. Believe me, oh believe me, if I find him you will hear about it. Until then, with tears…on with life.

IMG_7688 2.jpg


I wrote the last two books in the Warm Bodies Series back-to-back, and I intended to publish them the same way. THE BURNING WORLD came out February 2017, and I imagined THE LIVING would come later that year. A chance for the readers to catch their breath and for me to do a little further polishing, and then the story would be complete.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

THE BURNING WORLD was released into one of the most chaotic moments in modern American history, a perfect storm of political mayhem, social upheaval, and mass distraction that consumed all cultural bandwidth and sank dozens of books that were “supposed to be big.” Despite glowing reviews, THE BURNING WORLD went largely unnoticed by media and fans alike, reaching only 1% of the first book’s readership.

So my publisher dropped the series. And just like that, four years after nearly topping the NYT bestseller list and seeing my name on movie screens around the world, I was out on the streets.

I spent a year looking for a way back into the system. I approached several smaller houses and heard the same thing over and over: “We love the book but we don’t know how to publish it.” And I get it. The creaking gears of traditional publishing won't mesh easily with a book like this: the orphaned fourth entry in a hard-to-package series that's evolved from a simple, crowd-pleasing riff on the zombie genre to a post-apocalyptic fantasy epic that challenges society, explores the nature of reality, and takes a shot at the meaning of life.

It’s a lot to ask of a struggling industry that can’t afford to take risks. But this story needs its ending. You've waited long enough. So to quote a large purple man who dominated pop culture this year…fine. I’ll do it myself.

I am publishing THE LIVING independently.

If all goes as planned, it will be available from all major online retailers and hopefully some stores.

It will be released simultaneously worldwide.

And most importantly, it will be released soon.

This year.

FALL, 2018.


That’s all I can say for now. More details will be coming soon, so if you want that news to actually reach you instead of being shoved aside by social media algorithms to make room for more ads, JOIN MY EMAIL LIST.

Thank you for staying with me and following this story to its end.