I’m a big fan of Crystal Lake Publishing’s short story anthologies, so I jumped at the chance to receive a launch copy of Twice Upon An Apocalypse. These are all the well known favourite fairytales tossed into a hellish world.
Fairytales in their essence are quite horrific, not all love and happy endings.
I loved the way each story was reworked into a unique tale, but still carried the same original story mingled with a unique flavour of Lovecraft. I find it hard to pick my favourites as they are so many good stories! But the twists on Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella were excellent with their strong female characters! I also loved the Bluebeard and the Little Mermaid stories. The Little Mermaid has always struck a chord with me, as does the evil tale of Bluebeard.
The joy of a short story collection like this is being able to dip in for a complete story in a short period of time.
Even though I never stopped at just one story, because I kept wanting to see which fairytale would come next! I’m already dying to read the next Crystal Lake anthology.
I was inspired by fellow blogger Ritu at Butismileanyway to do this Book Lover’s tag. Like Ritu, I love to read and I adore books! 📚 My friend and I even set up our own Facebook book club Books, Glorious Books, and we’re always open to new members.
Do you have a specific place for reading?
I can read anywhere but my favourite places are my local library in Hollyhill and my bed. I just love my bed and my bedside locker has a mountain of books on it!
Bookmarks or random pieces of paper?
I have a collection of lots of different Harry Potter bookmarks 🔖 but I am sometimes forced to turn down a page! Sorry, Mr/ Ms Librarian!
Can you just stop anywhere or must it be at the end of the chapter?
I try to stop at the end of a chapter, otherwise I’m making up my own chapter ending in my head!
Do you eat or drink while reading?
Yes, to the drink – I love a nice glass of red wine 🍷 with a juicy horror. No, to food. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the messiest eater going! My books would be destroyed!
Music or TV while reading?
I like to read while my husband watches soccer, the noise doesn’t bother me when I’m on book world.
One book at a time or several?
I usually have at least three books on the go – a Kindle book for on the go or late night weekend reading, a physical library book and an audio book for my drive home from work. I know, that’s a lot of books!! 😀
Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?
The library, at home, a cafe, the car – I’m happy anywhere with a book!
Read out loudly or silently?
Read out loud in my head!
Do you read ahead or skip pages?
Never!! But I do tend to speed read!
Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I’m not the most careful person, so generally the spine is broken. But my books were handled with clumsy loving hands.
Do you write in your books?
Nope! The only writing I like in my most special books are dedications from the author, like the wonderful dedication from Andrea Hayes in my Life Goals Journal.
I won’t nominate anyone specific, but I do urge you to have a go at the tag if you are a book lover too, just for the fun of it!
Embers, A collection of Dark Fiction is a dark and twisted selection of smouldering tales.
Best way to read Embers: Curled up by a dying fire, sipping a glass of red or tea!
Recently, I’ve become a big fan of short story collections, so I jumped at the chance to review this ARC from Crystal Lake Publishing. Horror collections work especially well. A short pacy story can pack just as heavy a punch as a longer, more developed one. Gutted : Beautiful Horror Stories (also published by Crystal Lake Publishing) re-awakened my love of horrific short stories.
Embers reminded me of shows from my childhood like Tales of the Dark Side and The Twilight Zone (why I was allowed to watch this as a child, I still don’t know!) Each story is connected by a little thread to the next one. Kenneth created a web of weird, sometimes gory, sometimes psychological and always scary threads.
My favourite story is The Chamber, it made me feel clammy and uncomfortable for all the right/ wrong reasons, was the first one. In The Chamber, an old war veteran visits an old war site with his family and encounters horrors from the past and present. The imagery and sense of dread is excellently portrayed.
Of Both Worlds and Breathing Cave, two slightly connected stories freaked me out! The environment and the character’s emotions are so vivid, the reader feels like they are part of the story. The stories based largely in caves, reminded me of The Descent (an excellent horror movie from 2005).
To conclude, this well written selection is perfect for dipping into. I love discovering new horror fiction authors and I will be reading more of Kenneth’s work. To find out more about the author click here.
The Final Reconciliation is a hard metal symphony of terror.
Written in an album format, The Final Reconciliation is a tale of the occult, a gypsy who is more than she seems and a hard metal band striving to hit the big time. When The Yellow Kings have the performance of their lives, there is only one survivor.
I was delighted to receive an ARC of The Final Reconciliation from Crystal Lake Publishing (link to the Crystal Lake website). This is the third book I’ve read from Crystal Lake Publishing, including Gutted Beautiful Horror Stories. Gutted was the most memorable, brutal and beautiful collection of stories from last year.
The pace and length of this novella were perfect for the tale, narrated 30 years after the tragic concert, by a journalist interviewing aging rock star Aidan Cross. The Yellow Kings are struggling to make their dreams come true when Camilla, a seductive gypsy character appears on the scene. Her introduction to them is the start of their nightmarish fate.
Friendship is key to the story, as were the changing dynamics of the group. The scenes where the band are pouring their souls into their final album are described in gory and grotesque detail.
There is dark beautiful imagery during the visions of Carcosa. The ending was both disturbing and mesmerising. The album reaches its’ crescendo with a horrifying climax.
The Final Reconciliation is a horrifying tale, which will appeal to lovers of heavy metal and horror alike.
Everyone goes through patches when our creative sides are hiding away, when our creative juices are just not flowing. At least, I hope it’s the same for everyone and not just me! January seems to be one of those times!
This January I’m doing three things to kick-start my creativity again, after being quite lazy in December!!
Editing my own book/ WIP
This activity is all at once, weirdly satisfying and frustrating! I gave myself a break of about six months between the first draft and the editing process. I sometimes can’t believe that all the words came from me! This is definitely sparking my creativity.
That being said, I’m finding editing a slow and time consuming process. I’m hoping with practice, editing my own work will get easier! I’ll keep you posted on that one!
Creating my very own character for Angela B. Chrysler’s Upcoming Book – Zombies from Space… And Vampires!!
I won a fantastic prize of some of Angela’s books, but also a once in a lifetime chance to be be a character in Angela’s upcoming book! To find out more about Angela and her books click here.My creative side perked up as soon as I heard I won this prize and I’m letting my imagination run wild with it! I get to be a vampire! Anyone who knows me will know this is something I’ve always dreamed of! Thanks to Maxine Groves (Booklover Catlady) for organising the competition and Angela for her wonderful prize!
A short story challenge with my Nano cabin mates
Last weekend, I took part in a 4 day short story challenge. This is the second challenge that I’ve done with my cabin mates from Camp NaNoWriMo last July. For anyone who doesn’t know, NaNoWriMo is an online novel writing project, the premise is to write a novel in a month.
I was very lucky to find a great bunch of people to share an online cabin with last July. We were all on European time, which was great for supporting each other. I honestly don’t think I would have reached my goal of 50 thousand words if it wasn’t for them (along with my husband, family and friends, online and offline)! The wonderful cabin creator suggested our first short story challenge for last September, the aim was to plan and create a full short story or piece of writing in four days. The rest of the group and I enjoyed the challenge so much that another one was organised for last week and we even have the next date arranged !
The challenge was a lovely break from editing and I completed a romantic short story (not something I’d usually write), despite not having a lot of time to give to it! It’s great to chat to the other writers and the group is really diverse and interesting, everyone’s ideas are totally different and it inspires me!
Do you find your creativity lagging at times? What do you do to kick-start your creativity?
To my shame as a horror fan, I’d never come across Johnny Daggers until our Twitter paths met! Johnny is an interesting creative character and I jumped at the chance to review an audio version of his book Neverlasting. I couldn’t wait to listen to my very first audio book!
About the Book
Choosing where you wed is just as important as who you wed. Ultimately, the wrong choice can lead to certain death. Sadly, this was the case for Nora and Ned, a young couple who wanted nothing more than to build a life together, but when they said their vows in the old Herring Grove, “’til death do us part,” took on an entirely new meaning.
As their vows of sanctity echoed through the hollow, they awoke a century old curse which vowed to never let love enter its hills again. Now forced to confront both their inner demons and ghosts from the past, Nora and Ned must fight to uproot the seeds of lost love and despair and bring new life to the plagued, barren land.
My Thoughts on the Book
Neverlasting was dark and hauntingly beautiful. This Corpse Bride found it mesmerizing from the first word! I’m sure that fans of Tim Burton and Edgar Allen Poe will also love this – dark curses, stricken haunted graveyards, creepy mansions and neverlasting love. The book starts with the sad tale of Barron Victor Von Herring and the untimely death of his one true love, his wife Eva LaMoure. Driven to madness by the loss of his love the Barron puts a terrible curse on the land.
When love’s young dream Ned and Nora decide to wed at Herring Grove, spooky dramatic scenes unfold. The early scenes with Nora and Ned were intimate and lovely despite their love for the spookier side of life. The entwining of their souls and the descriptions of their graveyard wedding was delightful. The macabre romance spoke to my own dreadfully romantic side. The later scenes are action packed and wonderfully grim.
The reading of the book was poetic and downright beautiful. The accompanying sounds and evocative reading played through my phone like a wonderful melody. I could see all the scenes so vividly in my head. The tale reached its climatic and slightly dreadful ending, surprising me and leaving me slightly melancholy.
I adored Neverlasting. The only downside for me was that it ended too soon. I can’t wait to re-listen to this!! It introduced me to the joys of the audio book which has changed car journeys to work for me for nevermore!
Johnny Daggers was born October 7th, 1974, to John P. Ellenberger and Georgeann Graff, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, a small rural town located approximately 40 miles east of Pittsburgh. He became obsessed with the macabre at a very early age. At the young age of 4, Johnny recalls his mother finding him alone, crying on the kitchen floor. When she asked “what is wrong?”, Johnny sullenly replied, “I only have 70 years of life left to live”. Yes, by the age of 4, Johnny had already begun questioning his own mortality. This fascination with death only continued to grow the older Johnny got. He frequently and openly discusses his personal experiences with ghosts. By the age of 12, Johnny began to log his encounters in notebooks, and it was around this time that he began to undertake writing as a passion. Much of his early writings still exist in these personal notebooks that somehow managed to survive the past thirty some years. Perhaps we will see a collection of past and present work as an official anthology in the future? You can find out more on Johnny by clicking here.
An interview with the one and only Darren Shan/ Dash!!! I was delighted to find out that we share a favourite Christmas film and an idol, Stephen King.
I just want to say thanks again for allowing me to review An Other Place and thank you for agreeing to do an interview with me. As I’m sure you could tell from my review (To read my review of An Other Place click here) I thoroughly enjoyed An Other Place. It was the most surprising and unique book I’ve ever read. So on to the digging! I’ve a mixture of questions for you, including some festive ones!
An Other Place differs greatly from your children’s books.It’s gritty and has scenes of drugs and sex. Is it nice to be able to write uncensored for an adult audience?
Yes — but the nicest part is being able to do it out of the sightlines of my younger readers. I’ve always been interested in both worlds — I love watching children’s movies and reading children’s books as much as I love movies and books which are for grown-ups. I’ve never had a problem moving between the two as a viewer/reader, and I like to take that same approach when I’m writing. It’s not a case of “dumbing down” for children or throwing in loads of sex and swear words for adults — that’s a mistake many authors make when they set out to create a book especially for a specific market. I simply go with what works best for any individual story. With Cirque Du Freak I did think about making the main character older and writing it for adults — the story could have gone in a much darker direction if I had — but I had a gut feeling that the story would work best if I kept the character young and wrote it for a young audience. I’m a big believer in going with your gut, in making calls in response to what a story demands, rather than imposing yourself on a story and making it work the way you want it to work. That can be difficult when you have an established audience, as I do on the YA front. An Other Place would never have worked as a YA book, and if I’d released it under the Darren Shan brand, I would have been conscious of just how disturbing it could have been for any children who picked it up by mistake, which might have led me to water it down. Having another name (or An Other name!) is very liberating, granting me the freedom to go as far as I wish with my imagination and not compromise at any stage.
It seems like Newman roamed as freely as he liked with his actions and was definitely not a standard “nice” character. Even in your books for younger readers you’re not afraid of writing horrible characters. Do you enjoy writing unsavoury characters?
It’s not so much a case of enjoyment as fascination. I find flawed characters more interesting to work with. Most books (especially in the children’s market) tend to feature bland, uncomplicated protagonists, and to be fair, I can see why, as they provide an easy access point for the readers. But I’m more drawn to the stories which explore the dark crevices of the human condition, which look at what scares and disturbs us. We miss so much about ourselves if we only focus on the superficial levels. For me, while the first purpose of story-telling is to entertain, it can also be a way to shine a light on ourselves and find out more about what makes us tick. I’m sure I could have written a very interesting book about the unnamed city with a nicer character than Newman, but I don’t think it would have been as interesting as the story I told with Newman at the centre. Very few of us are truly good or bad — we’re a mix of the two — and I like to make my books as realistic as possible, even when telling a surrealistic story like this one. Readers don’t always like it — maybe we don’t like seeing true reflections of our darker selves when we read, as it makes us ponder our inner twistedness — but it shouldn’t be a writer’s job to pander to his audience.
Were you worried about the reaction to the scene where Cheryl is violated by Newman? I felt it was very intrinsic to the story but it did shock me. I’m guessing that the independent publishing route allows you more freedom with your ideas and themes?
Yes, this was a tricky one to write. It was essential from a narrative point of view, in order to manoeuvre Newman into the place where the storyline was driving him, but he obviously lost a huge amount of audience sympathy by doing what he did. I spent a lot of time working on that scene, trying not to turn Newman into a complete monster, but rather show him as someone who, through a mixture of loneliness and frustration, does a monstrous thing. It was an uncomfortable scene to write, and it’s an uncomfortable scene to talk about, but this is a book that’s all about facing the uncomfortable factors that we can encounter in life, and to shy away from it would, I felt, have been to do the story an injustice.
For some reason An Other Place reminded me of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life – an unhappy man is transported to a reality like his, but different. This other place allows him to reflect upon himself and others. Would you agree?
Hmmm. My first thought was to say, “No, they’re nothing alike at all, are you crazy?!?” But having mulled on it some more, I tend to agree with you. An Other Place goes to much darker and more lurid lengths, of course, but at the same time there’s something genuinely disturbing at the heart of It’s A Wonderful Life — when Jimmy Stewart rears up on his family and makes his children cry, it’s truly terrifying and unsettling. So yes, maybe that was in among the mix on a subconscious level when I was pulling the pieces of the story together.
So while we’re on the Christmas theme – seeing as it’s the festive season, have you a favourite Christmas film and are you a Christmas fan or is it all about Halloween for you?
Oh, I love Christmas too! It’s A Wonderful Life is probably my favourite, though Life Of Brian would be up there too. What’s that, you say? Life Of Brian isn’t a Christmas movie? Heh. It is, in An Other Place!!
Is there any book you like to re-read at Christmas or look forward to reading this year?
No. I stopped re-reading books decades ago. I don’t get as much time to read as I once did, so I focus on new books now, that I haven’t read before.
If you could pick one character from your books to be for one day, who would it be and why?
Well, it would have to be Darren Shan, wouldn’t it?!?
Do you have an idol? If so, who is it and why?
Stephen King. I love the quality of his books, of course, but also the quantity. He has an incredible work ethic which is truly inspiring. He’s continued to push himself throughout his career, never resting on his laurels. The results haven’t always been spectacular, of course, but that’s what happens when you continue to be productive over a long period of time — some stories just work better than others. I always believe in putting your work out there, to ultimately let the readers decide, not least because you truly don’t know as an author. Sometimes, yes, but not always. For instance, I was sure that An Other Place was going to get a rock response from readers — it’s just so weird that I assumed it would turn off most people. Yet it’s been picking up great reviews and looks like it might become one of my most popular books for adults to date. Authors can have their own opinion of their work, and how their various books rank against one another, but we don’t always call it right, and I think it’s good to put all your work (well, at least that which you deem to have worked) out there for the public to pick through and make up their own minds about.
You’re going to have a dinner party and you can pick 5 people (living or dead)to attend, who would you pick?
Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, John Lennon, Vincent Van Gogh, Preston Sturges.
Do you have a favourite book of 2016?
My favourite book that I read in 2016 was either Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon or A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
Are us readers going to be lucky enough to get more Darren Shan and Darren Dash books? Can you give us any clues about what’s coming next?
Yes, hopefully there will be plenty more on both fronts. I’m working on a massive fantasy series on the Darren Shan front, though I’m not sure when exactly the first book will see print — hopefully in 2018 if all goes well. I might bring out my next Dash book in 2017, though I’ve been averaging a new one on that front every 15 to 18 months, so it’s more likely that it’ll be 2018 for that one too — not least because I haven’t yet decided which book to focus on next.
Could you write a little message to your readers for the New Year?
As bad as things might get, they’ll never be as bad as you can imagine they can get, so face the future with hope and positivity.
I’ll leave you with that powerful closing message! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Corpse Bride!
An Other Place, Darren’s latest novel for adults released under the name of Darren Dash, is on sale exclusively through Amazon stores worldwide, either as a paperback or ebook. To find out more, click on any of the links for Amazon below (the book is also available through every other Amazon store worldwide) or else visit the Darren Dash site: www.darrendashbooks.com
When the author offered me a copy of The Baby Auction to review I was I intrigued. What a title for a book!
Romance, revenge, revolution – and a forensic analysis of how market capitalism destroys human kindness. The author’s profits to Shelter – the housing and homelessness charity. Available through all e-book outlets and bookshops.
The Baby Auction is based around two couples in the Market World where The One Law resides over everyone to keep order and stop the world from falling back into despair.
Matt and Ed are a man and woman in the lower class in Market World and early in the book we find out about their hard life and upbringings. Despite that, they have high morals and strive for more for their lives. Anna and Dain are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Dain is Captain of the City Guard and Anna is a rising entrepreneur in Market World. They view Market World as a fair place and see the value of upholding The One Law.
Through various incidents, the lives of both couples end up intertwined. The incidents highlight further that something is not right in Market World. The treatment of the lower classes is described in scary detail.
The Baby Auction was too realistic at times for me. As a person in general, I like to escape from the harsh reality of life though books and films. This book didn’t allow me to do this (and perhaps this was exactly what the author wanted). The scenes were too harsh and too similar to our current state of world affairs for me. The horrible character Franklin in the Market World reminds me of a certain character in the limelight.
To conclude, though excellently written, this book just wasn’t for me. It was too realistic and too close to real life. The Baby Auction doesn’t allow the reader to dig their head in the sand. It strikes a powerful message but I prefer books where I can forget about the real world for a while. I’d like to thank Peter again for the opportunity to review this book. And the fact that the profits are going to help people does make this book pretty special.
Amazon: pbk £11.99, Kindle £2.99 To purchase on Amazon click here
Waterstones, W H Smiths, Blackwells and other bookshops £12.99
The author has some copies for £6.99 if people direct message him for details.
About the author
PETERTAYLOR-GOOBY is a leading sociologist who has advised Lloyd’s of London, the European Commission and the (previous) UK Prime Minister, and been awarded an OBE. He has written 33 academic books and two novels: ‘research may analyse our changing world, but it is our feelings that drive the way we live our lives. That is why I write novels.’
An Other Place is a brilliant twisted trip down Alice’s rabbit hole for adults. A trip like none other I’ve experienced!
Darren O’Shaughnessy is an idol of mine, under the name Darren Shan he’s one of the leading horror writers for young people. I first came across his Demonata series when my brother was reading the books in his early teens, I would steal the books as he finished them. The Demonata character Lord Loss is still a favourite of my brother’s and I was delighted to get a copy of it signed for him at the West Cork Literary Festival in Bantry in July. It was at the festival that I first heard of Darren’s books for adults under the name Darren Dash. He read an excerpt from his work in progress and it intrigued me. When I was offered the chance to review An Other Place, I was ecstatic and desperately hoping that it was the WIP he’d read so passionately from in Bantry. It was!!
About the Book
There is An Other Place… where time and space are fluid… where the moon changes colour and savage beasts run wild… where love is a perilous proposition and the dead are swiftly forgotten.. where sandmen offer sanctuary and the Alchemist rules over all.
When Newman Riplan’s flight into the unknown turns into a nightmarish slide between worlds, he must explore an unnamed city where unpredictable terrors are the norm. By the end of his first day adrift, his life has spun completely out of his control, but the most mind-twisting and soul-crushing revelations are only beginning. As he desperately searches for a way out, he starts to realise that the city isn’t in the habit of releasing its captives. And it seems to have a plan for him.
My Thoughts on the Book
An Other Place focuses around an unlikable character called Newman Riplan. He hates his life, his friends, women and even himself. The early scenes were dirty, gritty and realistic. I read some of the book while on an plane making the scenes on Newman’s own flight even more realistic and funny. From one moment to the next I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, which I loved. There is nothing worse for me than a book where I can predict every coming scene! Newman is stuck in another world, similar in ways to ours, but very strange and different in others. In this world people are unquestioning and accept everything. Humans in this “other place” enjoy and worry about only the present, surely that’s a lesson for us all?
I’m hesitant to go into too much detail as one of the main joys of this book was the constant surprises. Newman undergoes many quests and adventures, both physical and personal. Despite Newman not being the most likable character, I was invested in him throughout. His character reached his full potential by the spectacular and shocking ending. I had to sit there and digest it for quite a while after finishing. Various parts of the book seemed like a warning tale of what could happen to humans in the future. There were many brilliant and scarily accurate observations on mankind near the end of the book. One statement that stuck with me “ambition and inquisition are the whip-cracking, back-riding scourge of humanity.”
Weird and wonderful, this book was like nothing I could ever dream up in my head! An Other Place has cemented Darren for me as an accomplished writer for both adults and younger people.
I’d recommend this to anybody looking for something gritty, wacky and different to anything you’ve ever read. Fantastic and original, An Other Place gets a big thumbs-up from this Corpse Bride.
Darren Dash was born in England in 1972, but has spent most of his life in Ireland, where he lives with his wife and son. In his day job, under a different name, he has sold over 25 million books worldwide, mainly in the YA market. But he feels much more at home in the nights of his adult worlds…
I was very lucky to do a question and answer session with Alessia Giacomi, the author of the Eve Brenner zombie series. To read my review of book one in the series click here.
I hope you all enjoy the answers as much as Alessia and I did!
I’m so excited to have you as a guest on the blog! Thanks a million for agreeing to this!
I loved Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl, the first book in in the Eve Brenner Zombie series. I’ve never read a zombie book like it! A zombie book with bite and heart! To read my review of book one in the series click here.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
1. If you could pick 5 people for a dinner party (dead or alive), who would they be and why?
I feel like my answer to this changes all the time. It’s such a fun question and I would like to geek out with so many people! I think currently I would love to sit down with Tim Burton, Kevin Smith on the film side of things. I love how their minds work, they’re quirky, like me. In the literary world I would love to sit down with Anne Rice and Jane Austen, I feel like I could pick their brains for ages and learn a lot. And as for my final guest I would choose Elvira, she’s simply so fabulous and I’ve grown up watching her, she’s a big reason why I dig all things creepy cute.
2. Books or movies?
BOTH! I’m not sure I could choose. I simply love storytelling in any format. As long as imagination is involved I’m in!
3. You can be any mythical creature to be for a day, what would you be?
Hahaha, fun question. I think I would have to say a mermaid. Might be fun to have a different perspective for a day and underwater is about as different as it gets. It’s a whole other world I could be a part of. I’m just hoping singing is not required, not so great at that…might have some deaf fish by the end of my adventure.
4. You seem like a girl who likes to dress up, what was your favourite costume? Can we see photos?
Oh yes! I love costumes and I’m very much in love with Halloween. I typically dress up as something scary. I’ve been a zombie multiple times, a vampire, a witch, corpse bride, dead doll, ghost, and on the cutesy side I’ve been Snow White and summer pixie. I still think my favourite is zombie though, I think I could dress up as one every year and not be disappointed. I’ve included a photo for ya.
5. What’s your favourite beverage?
Depends if we are talking adult beverage or other, ha ha ha. I do love my coffee, I can’t go without it, it’s necessity! I also love a glass of red wine from time to time, I’m Italian so it’s a dinnertime staple. And then there is my weird obsession with Dr. Pepper, I don’t know many people that like it so I’m always so excited when I hear someone loves it! I might need to start a Dr. Pepper fan club just so I can know others who like to drink it ha ha.
6. Clearly you love zombies, what is your favourite zombie movie?
This is always a tough one. I love all zombie films, but if I had to choose one it would be Night of the Living Dead. It’s a classic and I’m a sucker for classics that stand the test of time.
7. Do you have an idol? If so, who is it and why?
Probably Tim Burton, he’s a creator of worlds like no other. I think he might even be part human, part magic, but I suppose I would have to meet him to find out. He has such vision and he’s not afraid to be different, and I love that! On a side note, I would most likely throw up if I met him, just far too big a fan hahaha.
9. You meet someone who has never read a book, what book would you recommend to them and why?
I would start with YIKES! WHAT? NEVER? And then I would tell them that they absolutely had to read The Divine Comedy by Dante. I recommend it
to everyone, it’s referenced in so many other texts, films and television show, so I see it as sort of a stepping stone to pop culture. I also find it very profound and poetic. Kinda my thang.
About your writing and your books
1. Where did your inspiration for the Zombie Girl saga came from?
It all came to me in a dream back in high school. I remember grabbing for my journal on my nightstand and jotting down ideas about an undead superhero named Eve. It grew from there.
2. The character development in your books is excellent – do you spend a lot of time observing people for your books or eavesdropping?
Firstly, thank you! And secondly I am a total eavesdropper/observer. I find people so fascinating and yes sometimes I add things I’ve heard a total stranger say into my work! So it benefits me to listen in ha ha! My favourite place in the world to watch people is at the airport. I love to watch people interact and talk about their travels. I especially love to see if I can guess what their story is and perhaps where they’re from. I’ve become pretty good at people reading that way.
3. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A little bit of both, but perhaps more so a pantser. Like I said earlier, sometimes the unplanned writing is the best writing. The words that just come naturally to you are always the ones that are closest to the truth and although I’m creating fiction, it should still breathe life.
4. What does a typical writing day in your life look like?
I usually start with some tunes to get me revved up to write. A little Metric is usually my go to band, but I mix it up depending on the scene I’m writing or the mood I’m in. Once I start writing though, it’s time to turn all the tunes off and get sucked into the writing. I let the writing just flow, some of it is planned in an outline but then sometimes the writing takes on a life of its own and I just go with it. Oddly enough it’s the stuff I didn’t plan on writing that I end up loving the most.
5. I’ve always felt sorry for Frankenstein’s monster and at many points in Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl I empathised with Eve. Is there any fictional character you identify with and why?
I’m right with you there. I have always been a fan of classic movie monsters, I know we’re supposed to fear them, but there is something unfortunate about them that I can’t help feel empathy for. Like Eve, these ‘monsters’ didn’t choose their path, but they are forced to live it anyway. It’s funny you mention Frankenstein because it’s who I thought of immediately. The story just celebrated its 200th anniversary and I think many generations will continue to feel torn between fearing him and wanting to hug him, because being different shouldn’t be a curse.
6. I think Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl would work really well as a TV series or film, is there anyone you could imagine playing the parts of Eve, Cam and Alex?
YES! I always cast my characters before I write, so I’ve had them in my mind for ages. I would cast Sophia Bush as Eve, firstly because all her characters seem strong and confident, and secondly because her voice, it’s raspy perfection for an action heroine. I would pick Brandon Routh to play Cam, he played Superman and speaks to my inner geek, but also because he’s this big buff guy who also seems so innocent. Cam is that enigma he looks like a bodyguard , but is too afraid to hurt a fly. As for Alex I would pick Jennifer Lawrence, Alex is this sort of unpredictable chameleon in the story and if we know Jenn, and the world does, she can play a versatile character like nobody’s business.
7. What’s next for you after the Zombie Girl series?
I’ve been working on multiple things, but have been so busy polishing up this series and marketing it that it hasn’t given me much time to fully finish anything else. I’m looking forward to starting new things, even though I’ll miss these characters. I currently have two short stories out in charity anthologies (And The World Will Burn, Man Behind the Mask) So be sure to check those out. I’m also working on a paranormal romance, but I don’t write typical romance, so it will be more on the scary side. It’s nearly done and was really fun to write. After that I want to dive into a new YA Series I’ve been dying to start, it deals with a certain classic monster and blends with ancient history and mythology, a jumble of all my favourite things!
Thanks so much for the interview! This was a blast!