VIRO – An Explanation. Or, What is it really like to be a Zombie?

No one ever asks to be infected.

The moment that you are, that moment before you turn, must be full of a lifetime remembered and about to be forgotten. That pain is brief but final. A forever pain.

There is anger. Despair. Hunger, of course. But also a notknowingness. Suddenly all thought is replaced by only instinct. Yet at the very heart of the creature there must still be the very slight and occasional reminder of a life before the virus. The twitch of an eye. A stare into space. The splinter of a fragment of a stab of a broken memory.

This is not a solitary life. Creatures gather together, swelling and swarming, driven by a collective urge to hunt and bite and rip and tear, boosting the ever-growing ranks. Swarmlike in their tendencies, they move like clouds of angry insects, their numbers forever swelling as they congregate and consume and then congregate once more. The habits of the infected are one and the same, restless and repeating, spreading, never-ending, only onwards towards the only goal, infection.

The viros look like anybody and everybody. They look like you and me. They are fully clothed. They are naked. They are ripped and ragged. Clean. Dirty. Filthy. Smeared with blood, especially around the mouth. The virus causes multiple physical reactions in its victims and this creates a wide range of possibilities for their portrayal. Aside from the blood smears, there are some common characteristics; twitches and other facial tics; a vocal range from roars to whispers to sighs and screams, all of which combine to create the chorus of some kind of horrific choir.

VIRO – Proposal for TV Series – Introduction


And so the task begins, as I start to turn the highly successful VIRO book series into a proposal for a TV series. Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing insights and updates as to how this process is going.  So let’s begin at the beginning.

VIRO – The TV Series Proposal

GENRE: Horror/Science Fiction – Post-Apocalypse

TAG LINE: Four Kids, One Apocalypse

LOG LINE: As a viral pandemic turns the world into bloodthirsty creatures, a boy with special needs looks for his missing mum.

VIRO tells the story of Jake, a boy born with special needs who wakes one morning to find that the world has been catastrophically overrun by a deadly virus and his mum has not come home after work. Determined but unused to being out on his own, Jake sets off to find her.

The book series is set in the south east of England and Season One takes place in Burton-on-Sea, a fictional seaside town modelled on Hastings. The time is somewhere in the 1970s. 

There is no knowing exactly where the virus came from and the point of the series is that no-one will ever know. There is a lot of speculation but no definitive explanation. This makes VIRO darker and bleaker as we soon come to realise that the world will not be saved. 

The story is not a race to find a cure but about finding a way to simply survive. Science, like God, and society, is broken now. It makes no difference, especially to a group of teenage friends who don’t really have time to try and make sense of what has happened.  They just want to stay alive.

VIRO – ‘a new take on the zombie genre’

‘I absolutely loved this book. Powerful and poignant, VIRO packs a punch. Sad and haunting, VIRO is a new take on the zombie genre.The characters are dynamic and interesting, finding strength despite their horrifying circumstances. Jake is a character that will stick with you long after the final page. The action sequences are thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat!’

Get Your FREE copy of Book One HERE

VIRO – the Book Series – NEWS FLASH

As a viral outbreak turns the world into bloodthirsty creatures, a boy with special needs looks for his missing mum.

‘The writing style is beautifully compelling, and after the first couple of pages I couldn’t put it down. The author very skilfully creates a world and characters through deceptively simple prose that draws the reader right in. It is a fascinating blend of one-after-the-other edge-of-the seat scares, alongside a haunting narrative about what it is to be human.’

‘Capturing the voice of a young character with special needs (I spent 25 years as a special education teacher/administrator), Taylor’s story of a group of young people coping with a world disintegrating in front of them; with the loss of structure and trust, and with betrayal by the adults who should be protecting them is both uplifting and horrifying. Do not be fooled by the simple language of the narrator: there are hard questions asked and realistic, unsentimental consequences to the apocalypse confronting the children, and an ending that you are unlikely to forget easily.’

‘I absolutely loved this book. Powerful and poignant, VIRO packs a punch. Sad and haunting, VIRO is a new take on the zombie genre. The characters are dynamic and interesting, finding strength despite their horrifying circumstances. Jake is a character that will stick with you long after the final page. The action sequences are thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat!’

Get your copy today – Book One FREE for download HERE

Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 25 ‘something more normal’

After supper Mac, Gilly, and Iseult sat talking by candlelight. Washed and trimmed, Mac was back to something like his old self and whilst his friends were thrilled to see his return, they both still felt that something was not quite right.

‘We need to make a bed for Inteachán somewhere,’ Mac continued. ‘I want her to feel really welcome when she gets here.’

Mac sighed.

‘She has been away for a good while now and I don’t want anything to make her regret her returning.’

‘Other than the messianic pressure that keeps being piled upon her?’ asked Iseult.

‘She is only twelve, you know. Doesn’t she deserve something more normal for a girl her age?’ said Gilly.

‘Normal?’ replied Mac. ‘When was that ever a consideration?’

Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 20 ‘a sunny dappled playful meadow’

The clouds now part and the Crowley-Baird Inc. logo appears as if the sky was a giant screen. Behind the logo is a sunny dappled playful meadow and as the sunshine in the picture slowly fades the logo is replaced by the words ‘Terminal Transit.’ An automated voice begins to speak.

‘On behalf of everyone at Crowley-Baird Inc. we would like to welcome you all to Terminal Transit.’

The film playing now fades in to a beautiful sandy beach with slowly lapping waves and a hammock gently moving between two palm trees.

‘Congratulations to you and your planet for having been selected.’

Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 13 ‘the ultimate reality television show’

The city continued to be pulled apart and as it was so the significance of records and metrics came once more to the fore.

It wouldn’t be a genocide without the concomitant cataloguing and noting and so the task fell to an army of hastily-appointed trustees with a civil service background to collect the last will and testament of every citizen.

Like the ultimate reality television show, everybody began to be forced at gunpoint to leave a record on video of who they once were.

Once their message was recorded, they were herded back to whichever landmark they had been assigned to destroy and the process continued.

Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 8 ‘a simply broken soul’

Gilly was also worrying about Mac who, by this stage, was little more than a simply broken soul. Mac refused to leave his post by the canal and no amount of pleading from his friends could make him change his mind. All anyone could now do was to try and make sure Mac ate something every now and again and was as comfortable as possible.

With every passing day Mac’s vigil seemed more and more hopeless.

‘If Inteachán was coming back,’ Gilly said to Iseult, ‘then surely she would be back by now.’

Iseult smiled sadly.

‘I fear you are right, Gilly,’ she said. ‘I also fear that this will be the death of Mac.’

Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 3 ‘with hammers and chisels’

As the queues formed so people were appointed to civic landmarks and other cultural sites in the city and charged with their demolition. This phase of Terminal Transit required the population to destroy historic buildings with hand tools so as to make the destruction last longer and feel more significant to those forced to take part.

Under the watchful eye of the Defence Force whole families started dismantling  their appointed landmarks brick by brick, forced to work in return for the smallest of rations.

At night, these same families slept pitifully on the streets beneath ripped tarpaulins and other paltry shelters, huddled together in their absolute misery.

Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror Novel


A brilliant research student discovers a plot fulminated by demons from another dimension and kills himself in the process. The fate of the world is left in the hands of an elderly academic and a mysterious orphan.

Using the facts surrounding Ireland’s economic collapse in 2008 as its starting point, Terminal Transit is an apocalyptic adventure dealing with death and destruction in a Dublin slowly devastated by demonic intervention.

Can the end of the world be avoided?

Or is this planet simply scheduled for Terminal Transit?

Terminal Transit,

Chapter II ‘A New Signal’

Verse 2

The audience never came home from the homecoming concert. Not one single member. For a country well versed in statues bleeding, springs springing forth at the roadside, and many other modern-day miracles and mysteries, the disappearance of the audience left everyone totally baffled. A thorough forensic sweep of the stadium didn’t reveal a single, solitary clue. The newspaper headlines took up the story.















And has always happened at the site of any disaster, friends, families, relatives and complete strangers marked the tragedy with candlelit vigils and public masses. And then the posters started; handwritten, typed, taped, photocopied, cheaply printed – the faces of the missing were stuck to fences and lampposts and anywhere else that a poster could be placed. Handbills as well, flyers, holy cards, medals, banners, balloons, photographs, portraits, paintings and bouquet. Like countless doom-weighed blossoms falling from the most hopeless of trees, the streets around Croke Park very quickly filled with these petals of despair. Though he knew it was helpless, Mac carefully pinned his card with the rest of them.

Loss always hits hard and holds firm and deep and long and even after a lifetime of solitude Mac now found he was unable to deal with a brand-new loneliness. There simply is no substitute for presence. Not ever. Mac had first met desolation the morning he lost Sibeal. The choking crushing numbness of her death broke him into a million desperate pieces and forced him so deep into his grief-shaped heart that he thought he was sure to drown in the throbbing, choking pain. It took him years to fish himself at least partially free, one lonely saddened sodden piece at a time. And each piece he rescued became a new word in a new sentence and then a new sentence in a new paragraph and then a new paragraph on a new page and then slowly these new pages grew to be new chapters. And so the Miscellanea became eventually Mac’s carapace, his shell, and like an elderly tortoise discovered on some far-flung archipelago, Mac carried the weight of his barely-repaired life heavy on his bent back. It was a price to pay and an obviously obvious weight to bear but it was something. In fact, it was everything. Now, Inteachán gone and his integument ruptured, Mac feared for the pieces of his frangible heart once more.

‘I’m a selfish cowardly fool,’ he told himself. ‘That a man should send a child to right the breaking world.’ The urge to punch his face with a bony fist was almost impossible to resist. Or pull the last of his straggled hair free from his temples.

‘I had no right, no right at all.’

Mac’s eyes filled with tears.

‘And now she is gone like all the rest.’

As he walked across Front Square the morning after the concert Mac felt that the world was now only different in every imaginable way. He knew the First of the TheFive was here. The disturbance was unignorable and as if his original burdens were not enough, Mac now carried the fact of Butler’s fears coming true like a sodden overcoat clinging stupidly to his sorry shoulders. This fact was a distant bell that tolled everywhere he listened. It was a newly damaged nerve that caused his eye to always gently twitch. It was a trouser cuff that kept getting caught on the heel of his shoe.

The tread of each step on the stairs as he returned to his flat weighed heavier now, only slightly but enough to feel the difference each day. In the same way, lifting a cup to his lips, a fork to his mouth, or the sheet at night to cover his shoulder, each and every ordinary movement that accounted for the passing seconds of every day, seemed to have acquired a new and denser gravity than before.


That night Mac dreamed he was alone in an empty black desert. Five bright black moons hung low in the endless sky and glimmered like the deadliest of precious metals as they sped through the darkness like the bearings of some infernal gear. Ahead of him loomed seven vast dunes. The temperature was way below zero but even though he was only wearing his pyjamas Mac didn’t feel the cold. The sand gathered between his toes and started to swirl around him as a sudden wind appeared from nowhere and picked up speed.

‘wE R heer,’ said the wind as it licked Mac’s face. ‘wE AV wated 4 This MOMENt for orl tiMe.’

Mac turned his head to one side to stop the sand blowing straight into his eyes.

‘fliNcH nOt,’ said the wind. ‘BeHOLd ouR MAjeSTi!’

The wind gripped the sand and drew it up into the air like a swarm of angry bees. The sand around Mac’s feet eddied and whirled as it formed a column around him and then Mac found himself being lifted off the ground. The wind forced the column higher and higher until Mac found himself floating in the black mouth of space.

‘AlL tHIngs b4FOR uS FaLL,’ screamed the wind. ‘VaST GALAXiES AnD SINGEL trEES. ALL R aS NUFFiN 2 OuR SPLENda. Wee thrUGH a tINy PEBBel acrOSS thE VASt and broKE thE DINOsorS.’

A comet issued from the column and streaked out into the black. Mac followed it with his eyes until he couldn’t see it any more. The wind laughed softly, delighted by its own artistry.

‘ThaTz tHe COMet THAt 3 FOOlish pEEPING Men wiTh teESCOPes WIll FOLLOw TO a FIND a BASTArd BAbY.’

Mac’s mind whirled. He found himself saying things that were not his thoughts.

‘But surely the principles of the galaxy are such that you should be keen to seek balance and not redress? For who has caused you such grievous harm as to render all discourse irrelevant.’

‘NoT wont NO DIScouRse. Not Us. Not ALL. ONLy WONT iLL AnD deSTRUCtion.’

‘That may be so,’ ‘said’ Mac, ‘but ultimately such intent merely signals only malice. Can such energy ever result in maintaining the equilibrium?’

‘Is SUcH. TRUe SEd! MALicE onLEE ORLL. NoT ELLSe heeR. We NO ONlee wUN THINg wICh is HArM.’