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True: J.B. Beatty is not my real name. It's my great-great-grandfather's. He married, fathered a daughter, then disappeared off the face of the earth. The family never shared any stories about him, and countless hours of research has failed to turn up anything after his disappearance in the 1890s. Good chance he died a family disgrace. That is, I'm assuming he would have died by now, as he is otherwise 153 years old.

True: The nom de plume is a business necessity. In real life, I am a writer for a national sports magazine and have published award-winning books in that field. My passion, though, is for writing that is a bit more creative. And bloody. And thoroughly irresponsible.

True: Perhaps the genesis of The World Itself series was my realization several years ago that some of my ancestors--including the father of J.B. Beatty--are buried in the Evans City Cemetery in western Pennsylvania. Their tombstones are fleetingly visible in the opening scenes of George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" (1967).


Science Fiction

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The World Itself Departed

In the ultimate life-changing crisis, Arvy Baczkowski attempts to kill himself. He fails. But when he comes out of his bedroom finally, he finds it is the world itself that has died. A virus--which appears to be the flu at first--is sweeping across the world, transforming its victims into ravenous monsters. Children and the elderly become the hunted. And a select few young adults, Arvy among them, band together to survive--not knowing why they are immune to the virus.

They share laughs, they share heartbreak, as their quest for survival becomes a quest for answers, and a fight against an enemy of unimaginable strength.