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Writing, anxiety-wrangling, tea.

20 Years Later – A post-apocalyptic novel for young adults

20 Years Later

20 Years Later

LONDON, 2012: It arrives and with that the world is changed into an unending graveyard littered with the bones, wreckage, and memories of a dead past, gone forever.

LONDON, 2032: Twenty years later, out of the ashes, a new world begins to rise, a place ruled by both loyalty and fear, and where the quest to be the first to regain lost knowledge is an ongoing battle for power. A place where laws are made and enforced by roving gangs—the Bloomsbury Boys, the Gardners, the Red Lady’s Gang—who rule the streets and will do anything to protect their own.

THE FOUR: Zane, Titus, Erin, Eve. Living in this new world, they discover that they have abilities never before seen. And little do they know that as they search post-apocalyptic London for Titus’ kidnapped sister that they’ll uncover the secret of It, and bring about a reckoning with the forces that almost destroyed all of humanity.

You can download and read the first five chapters by clicking here.

Before I had a publishing deal for 20 Years Later, I decided to podcast the novel a chapter at a time.

Why? Well, I had no idea if it was any good for a start (rejection letters do that to you), and didn’t want to post the text online. After hearing about another writer’s positive experience with podcasting, I thought I’d give it a go.

About three quarters through the book (I was posting one chapter a week), I got the publishing deal I’d been striving for. I negotiated with the publisher who kindly allowed me to keep posting as by then several people were following the novel, and I didn’t want to let them down.

Incidentally, the publisher is Dystopia Press and they very kindly set up a Facebook page for 20 Years Later, so pop over and click on that juicy “like” button to be kept up-to-date.

Here is an archive of those original podcasts. Please, please remember three things: 1) This was the first voice work I ever did – months and months before I became a professional voice artist. 2) I recorded it using my Skype headset, and so the quality is nowhere near my pro recorded work and 3) This is a recording of the penultimate draft – it went through another round of editing with the publisher. Not much changed, but I felt it important to say. Because, you know, this is my baby and I’m a perfectionist…

I am currently recording a professional version with my gorgeous Shure Legendary microphone and snazzy recording booth. If you’d like me to let you know when it’ll be available, just drop me a line.

Em x

P.S. And for nostalgia’s sake, here is my attempt at a blurb. The publisher’s blurb is much, much better :)

Gangs, blood oaths and loyalty test three teenagers searching for a kidnapped sister in post-apocalyptic London, unaware that as they unravel the mystery of her whereabouts, they are uncovering London’s darkest secret.

Zane, Titus and Erin discover the connection between a wheezing giant sighted in an abandoned hospital and the secretive gang holding Titus’ sister captive. When they learn the reason she was kidnapped is related to the disease that almost destroyed humanity, the rescue of one girl becomes the struggle to save many.

Listen to the chapters below.

Chapter One – The Giant
Chapter Two – The New Boy
Chapter Three – Dev’s Token
Chapter Four – Failure
Chapter Five- Jay’s Challenge
Chapter Six – An Unwanted Invitation
Chapter Seven – The Red Lady
Chapter Eight – The Fragile Balance
Chapter Nine – Trespassers
Chapter Ten – Titus
Chapter Eleven – An Unexpected Daughter
Chapter Twelve – The First Hunt of the Season
Chapter Thirteen – Pictures From the Past
Chapter Fourteen – An Ugly Threat
Chapter Fifteen – Erin’s Secret
Chapter Sixteen – A Remarkable Dream
Chapter Seventeen – Reparations
Chapter Eighteen – Callum’s Transformation
Chapter Nineteen – One Deal Leads to Another
Chapter Twenty – An Oath and a Lie
Chapter Twenty One – Uncomfortable Truths
Chapter Twenty Two – Titus Makes a Connection
Chapter Twenty Three – Of  Unknown Origin
Chapter Twenty Four – Bigger Than Gangs
Chapter Twenty Five – Loyalties Tested
Chapter Twenty Six – Consequences
Chapter Twenty Seven – Hard Bargaining
Chapter Twenty Eight – Death of a Hero
Chapter Twenty Nine -Eve
Chapter Thirty – Redemption
Chapter Thirty One – Plans Are Made
Chapter Thirty Two – The Experiment
Chapter Thirty Three – Inheritance
Chapter Thirty Four – Hidden Guests
Chapter Thirty Five – Reunion

Creative Commons License
Twenty Years Later by Emma Newman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

{ 7 comments... read them below, or add one }

  1. Taylor says:

    I hope to see a sequel to ’20 years later’, if there already is im getting it as soon as i can, ’20 years later’ is by far one of the best books i’ve read in my life

  2. Matt Sievers says:

    Hey Em!
    I loved 20yrs Later! You did a great job!
    I was however curious on your opinion of post-apocalyptic zombie novel? Any tips or ideas that can make me push that boundary on your typical zombie novel?


    P.S Apologies, I am coffee drinker now.

  3. Rika says:

    Really enjoyed it!

    Will there be more? *When* will there be more?
    I’d love to find out more about the 4 youngsters, as well as the adult characters introduced in the story. “Where do they go from here?” is a question I’d love you to answer/explore further! :)

  4. […] Years Later was available as a podcast before being picked up for publication.  This enabled me to get feedback on the book from a wider […]

  5. […] Newman is the author of the soon-to-be-published Twenty Years Later, her debut young adult fiction novel set in a post-apocalyptic future, which she has been […]

  6. […] to see that Collective Inkwell Short Story winner Emma Newman is posting a podcast up of her post-apocalyptic novel for young adults on her site. Emma is a great writer. And I (Dave) can listen to an English person […]

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