What is it about Zombies that appeal to you?
I don’t know if I’d use the word “appeal” to describe my feelings toward them. I’m incredibly afraid of zombies, and I write about what I fear, so it’s a natural fit.
What do you think that the hardest creature to write a novel about?
I’ve only written a short story about werewolves, but I suspect they would be the most challenging. They’ve undergone such a metamorphosis in pop culture into hot young men. I’d be inclined to go back to the cursed, tragic version. But how to make that fresh? New? Exciting? I don’t have an answer to that.
The Urban Fantasy / Paranormal genres appear to be the genre that everyone is writing in these days (even authors that are well established in other genres) what do you think the draw to these genre is? How do you believe your novels stand out from the rest of the crowd?
Honestly, I think books with supernatural elements have been very popular due to the fact they have no resemblance to our real lives. The characters have abilities we don’t have, they don’t stress over the mundane daily things we do, and they’re usually incredibly attractive and live very dynamic lives. A reader can completely lose themselves in the fantastical elements.
That being said, I think the reason why my books appeal to readers is because my characters still come across as real people even though they’re dealing with extreme circumstances and are possibly not even human (if they ever were). A lot of my fans tell me that they feel they know my characters like friends by the time they finish a book. That’s a huge compliment.
Zombies have become the new Vampire or werewolf (everywhere you look there is a new Zombie novel/TV show/movie out) in the horror, paranormal and urban fantasy genres, why do you think that zombies have become so popular?
No other monster actually resets society and the world like zombies do. They are the ultimate game changer. They alter everything about the human existence. That’s highly appealing to people dealing with a lot of real life stress. Also, most people want to believe that somehow they would be a survivor, though the reality is that most would end up dead very quickly.
Within your Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunter novels, you decided to write for a YA audience. Did you have any additional challenges changing from writing for an adult audience to a youth one?
The big challenge was, of course, how far I could go with the violence. It’s a mid-grade book with children characters from the age of six to fourteen. Though I wrote it for kids, I knew adults would be reading it, too. So it was a bit of a struggle at times. Happily, parents told me I hit the sweet spot with the gore/violence, so that’s a huge relief.
What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Personally, I only write in the genres I enjoy. I won’t write a book in a genre just because I think it will sell well, or it’s the big hot thing. Every book has a different set of challenges to be dealt with and every book has that one spot that just kills you on all levels. I fall in and out of love with every book I write. Some days I think it’s the best thing I’ve written, other days I’m convinced its dreck. I guess the hardest genre to write would be one you didn’t enjoy. But I’m not one to try to do that.
Within your As the World Dies series, why did you decide to have bisexual female protagonist?
Katie’s bisexuality was just a part of who she was. My characters pretty much pop into my head fully formed. It’s always fun discovering who they are and presenting them in a dynamic way to the audience. When I started writing the story, I knew Katie was married to a woman, but her revelation about her bisexuality left me in the odd position of having to figure out what that meant exactly. I had lesbian and gay friends, but at the time I didn’t know someone who was out as bisexual. I had to do a lot of research to make sure I depicted her accurately.
Do you find that most people respond positively to having a bisexual lead protagonist?
Honestly, I don’t think most people even care. They just love her for who she is and are invested in her as a character. The very rare negative feedback I receive, I ignore. Those people often assume I’m bisexual or a lesbian pushing some sort of an agenda. Sometimes I do hear from bisexual fans, and it’s usually to thank me for an accurate portrayal.
Overall, people just don’t say much about her bisexuality (if at all) when they tell me how much they adore her.
Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
Pretty When She Destroys, the third book in the Pretty When She Dies trilogy, comes out at the end of August. I’m currently writing a modern Gothic horror serial called In Darkness We Must Abide. I have a slew of other things lined up, but I have to see how my contractual obligations pan out first before I know exactly what I’m writing next. As for events, I’m attending the South Dakota Book Festival in Deadwood in September.
What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
Nomad by J.L. Bryan. It’s sitting on my Kindle waiting for me to find the time to read it. I can’t wait! He’s a brilliant writer. Jenny Pox is probably my favorite novel of all-time.
I just want to say thank you once again to Rhiannon for being part of my blogoversary. I would recommend her books to anyone who is a fan of Zombies. Rhiannon has very nicely supplied two giveaway (INT & US), which you can enter with rafflecopter below. Good Luck :)
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