LOWMAN NY – Local author Chris Sherwood is set to release his newest book, titled In Times Of Trouble: Aftermath, his second novel. The book is a continuation of his first book, In Times Of Trouble, which was published in June 2020.
The series is a post-apocalyptic story set in a fictional rural town in Chemung County. It follows the people of Hammond’s Corners, and their continuing struggle to survive in a world without electricity, cars, or any modern technology.
“The idea for the story came from me being such a fan of the post-apoc genre,” Sherwood said. “While walking our dog I’d wonder, ‘What if that happened here?’ A very loose idea for the story began to take shape and some friends encouraged me to flesh it out. I finished the story in 2018 but never really did anything with it until COVID came along and I had a lot more time on my hands.”
Chris says that he considered working with one of a couple independent publishing companies, but ultimately decided to publish the books himself.
“One start up company passed on it,” he said. “Which was a blessing, really, because the company wasn’t around for long. A couple of my favorite authors in the genre started out self-publishing, then got signed on to a major publishing house. But then they went back to doing it themselves as soon as their contract was up. There had to have been a good reason for that.”
Seeing those authors succeed on their own, as well as the success of The Martian, initially self-published by author Andy Weir, was an inspiration to give it a go as well.
“Admittedly, what happened to Andy Weir is a long shot,” he admits. “But one minute he’s writing for the love of it and the next he’s got Matt Damon playing his lead character. So you never know.”
There’s many options that make it possible for authors to publish their own material, he said. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easier.
“Self-publishing has its advantages, but it’s a lot of work. Writing is the easy part compared to the rest. Typesetting, cover design, etcetera, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Unless of course you hire someone to do that for you. Then once your book is online, the real work begins. You have to work to promote it, to get that book into peoples’ hands.”
“But it’s worth it. Every new reader you gain, every time someone tells you how much they enjoyed the story… It’s so worth it.”
So what’s the next writing project Sherwood has planned?
“Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve got some ideas jotted down for a third, and final, book in this series. But I think it needs to percolate a while longer. In the meantime I have a bunch of essays and short stories I’ve written over the past twenty years or so. I may compile those and publish them.”
“My God, a textbook vanity project if ever there was one,” he added with a laugh.
Note: In the interest of full disclosure, Chris is also the owner of this website.