“A post-apocalyptic tale of aliens, conspiracy theories and wild action. Packed with devious twists, dynamic characters and an ending you won’t see coming.” — Jonathan Maberry on Jeremy Robinson’s The Distance
By Carl Slaughter: With almost 70 novels under his belt, including several series with as many as 10 novels per series, Jeremy Robinson has built a reputation for thriller and horror stories. With The Distance, he keeps the roller coaster ride and scariness of his previous stories, but adds something important: character development. He turned down offers from two of the Big Five publishers to ensure the story was written correctly. He doesn’t take credit for this improvement. He gives credit to his new collaborator — his wife Hilaree. Early Amazon reviews, especially by longtime followers of Robinson’s career, have been almost entirely 5 star.
I’ve written a lot of novels, most on my own and a good number with co-authors, but none quite so unique in terms of its story, its characters and how the manuscript was written. While The Distance was written with a co-author, there are a few things about the arrangement that set it apart. The first is that my co-author for this novel is my wife, Hilaree.
During the first fifteen years of my writing career (thirteen years of toiling without pay) Hilaree was essentially my writing coach. While I had no experience or schooling when it came to writing fiction, Hilaree was an English major before she dropped out to marry me. She’d spent most of her life writing, and reading novels, while I was focused more on comic books and movies. They’re perfectly good creative outlets, but they’re not novel writing. Without Stephen King’s On Writing, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style and Hilaree’s honest critiques, I would not be an author.
So writing a novel with Hilaree was very exciting, but also a little intimidating (for both of us). Hilaree has a high standard for literature, so I was afraid I wouldn’t measure up to her more beautiful prose and deeper characters. At the same time, Hilaree was unpublished and writing with her husband, who had now written more than fifty books and was in a position to teach her a thing or two.
Despite our mutual fears,the combination of our voices, transformed into the voices of August and Poe, and we turned this book into one of the best books I’ve ever written. Hilaree’s involvement elevated my writing and character development, while she benefitted from my plot development and penchant for action. I have rarely been so proud of how well a book came out, and I’m equally proud of Hilaree, for facing and overcoming her fears about writing a novel while being a full-time homeschooling mom of three kids. That alone is impressive, but the end result of our combined hard work is something special. Like our children, The Distance is something we created together, and I’m excited to see what it becomes when we set it loose on the world.
by Jeremy and Hilaree Robinson
The human race has turned to dust. August Morrison faces it after rising from the depths of a dark matter research facility in Arizona. His co-workers. His daughter. All of them: dust. Friends and colleagues around the world don’t answer their phones. The city of Phoenix burns. He is alone. As a world without mankind starts to crumble, August fights not just for survival, but for his very sanity.
On the other side of the country, Poe McDowell watches her parents crumble into dust just moments after being shoved inside a coffin-like device that spares her from the same fate. She emerges to find not just her mother and father, but also her neighbors–her entire town’s human population–reduced to grit. Unlike August, she’s not entirely alone, but the life growing in her belly isn’t much company.
Then, hope. A drunken and desperate August broadcasts over the ham radio network and connects with his fellow survivor, Poe, alone and pregnant in a snow-blanketed New Hampshire. Determined to reach her, August sets out on a cross country trek. But the world is not as empty as it seems. Lights in the sky reveal that they are not alone. The human race’s demise was not natural — and the architects are searching for survivors.