How many of you have heard of David Wellington? Not many? Well, that’s kind of the whole point behind this week’s theme. We at The Blood Sprayer wanted to shine the spotlight on some of the lesser known faces of horror, and since I have an entire library of horror novels, I just jabbed a finger down and Wellington came up. I’m kidding, of course. In all seriousness, I picked Wellington because I love his work, and he deserves some attention. Wellington is a phenomenal author, and he has published eight novels over the past six years, which is quite prolific, and every time I see one of his books sitting on the new releases shelf at the store I grab it and read the entire thing that night.
Wellington started off by serializing a novel on a blog that belonged to a friend of his, posting about three chapters a week. The novel focused on the aftermath of a zombie holocaust, and was titled Monster Island. The attention that the novel grabbed online was so great that Wellington was offered a book deal to publish the story, and since then he has been writing at a furious pace, and keeping bookstore horror nerds like myself entertained along the way.
Monster Island was the first in a trilogy that contains Monster Nation and Monster Planet. This series got me addicted to Wellington’s fiction, and the main force behind the intense pull to his stories is that they are never boring, cliché or overdone. Sure, everyone has done the whole zombies and the apocalypse thing, but Wellington took it in a brand new direction. The novels cover the span of twelve years, and a score of characters, and it is an epic zombie tale that has elements that I have never before seen in zombie lore. I don’t want to spoil anything, but think psychic powers, and you’ll have an idea as to how Wellington changes things around.
After taking on zombies, Wellington moved onto vampires, and in a world where Twilight has brainwashed millions, reading Wellington was such a nice escape from the ridiculous emo teen vampire, and back into the realm of the vampire as a monster, a butcher, and a fiend. Not only does Wellington work to return the genre to its brutal roots, but he has a unique take on the mythology, with new rules, powers, weaknesses, and an entire new history of the vampire. This series spans four novels: 13 Bullets, 99 Coffins, Vampire Zero, and 23 Hours. The majority of the series concerns Laura Caxton, who is a rookie brought into the world of vampire hunting, and Jameson Arkeley, the grizzled veteran who trains her. Again, the basic plot outline is something familiar and often used, but Wellington does not simply follow the expectations of this type of story. The 13 Bullets series is my favorite out of all of Wellington’s work, and I hope that he returns to the characters someday.
Wellington’s most recent novel, Frostbite, is his own take on werewolves, and it was excellent. It was definitely a bit more action oriented than horror, but it still had enough terror and gore to rank up there with the best of the werewolf tales. It takes place up in the far North, with frozen wastelands, bounty hunters, and personal vendettas. I got this one and was up until 3 a.m. finishing it. The next title in this series, Overwinter, will be released on September 14, so expect a review when it drops.
Wellington does not limit himsel to just his print books either. On his site he has yet another serial going called Plague Zone, about which he has stated that there are no plans as of now to publish it as a book. Guess I’ll just have to stare at a screen until my eyes bleed. I am sure it will be worth it. Back in October, Wellington even wrote an issue of Marvel Zombies Return (Issue #2 to be exact) that involves Tony Stark blasting hordes of zombies, and that is available in stores as well. I mean, how do you not want to read that comic? It’s a zombie Iron Man riding an eagle! If there is something cooler than that, I sure haven’t seen it.
Not only is Wellington a talented author, but he gives his work away for free! If you head over to his site, you can read the entire serialized versions of the Monster trilogy, 13 Bullets, Frostbite, and Plague Zone. Not only that, but you can directly email him, and he will do his best to get back to you. He completed a national book signing tour earlier this year, and he has been featured in the NY Times, Rue Morgue, and Fangoria.
I highly recommend that you check out his work, you will not regret it. The man deserves the attention and respect of the horror community, and every little bit helps. What have you got to lose anyway? The books are free on his site! You can check them, and him, out here:
He also has his own forum site here: