Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.You should read my book because everyone should have a plan for the upcoming zombie apocalypse, and it’s written based on the plan that my boyfriend and I came up with when we were still dating.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?Abandon is actually the first book in a three book series. So my in the near future projects are the second books, Savior and Revolution. In the far future I have a couple ideas that I’m playing with in my head – like the idea that superheroes and zombies exist in the same universe.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?I don’t think there was anything that really inspired me to become a writer. It’s just something I’ve always done as long as I can remember. On a blog when I released Abandon I did a history of my writing – and when I was in 2ndgrade I wrote my first story about my baby teeth falling out. I called it “My Baby Tooth and my New Tooth: A New Beginning”. I think it’s just always been in my blood.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.I think just publishing my own book was a rewarding experience – to be able to say that I actually did it (finally). The most exciting moment was when I got my first review from someone that I didn’t know at all though, I looked at it for a while, and then just jumped out of my chair and started dancing around. It’s awesome to have people you don’t know love your stuff.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?I think the biggest mistake I made was not getting a professional editor. I couldn’t really afford it so I had a ton of my friends and people I knew in the industry look it over. I think the majority of the major mistakes were caught, but a professional editor, if you can afford one, is the best way to go. Definitely.
How did you know you should become an author?I think I’ve known since high school – I just didn’t really apply myself until now. I think one of the hardest things about being an author is finding the time to sit down and write. There’s always some distraction or something pulling your attention away, so I’m glad that I got the incentive and motivation to finally do this.
Who are your favorite authors of all time?Steven King, Mira Grant, Stephanie Laurens, Max Brooks, the list goes on and on. My favorite current author hasn’t actually been published yet, but I got a sneak peak of his book over the summer. It’s probably one of the most complete character studies I’ve ever seen and I really hope he finishes it.
Can you see yourself in any of your characters?I think to a degree, all the characters in my novel have a little something of me in them – but Annalise is definitely the closest to who I am as a person. She’s a lot cooler than I am though, she’s the version of me that I would want to be if I could get over my anger issues.
What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?I have had so many crazy ideas that I really need to start writing them down. I think the craziest that ended up working out was my blog though. I started it back in 1999 and everyone told me I was insane for it. My parents and I fought over it all the time and my mom would say that everyone was too busy reading about their own life to want to read about someone else’s. I honestly never thought that anything would ever come of it, but considering how popular blogs are now, I guess it wasn’t that crazy after all.
What was your favorite children’s book?I don’t think I had a favorite children’s book because my parents started me off with things like The Secret Garden and Heidi. I know that my little brother’s favorite book was PJ, The Very Bad Bunny… so I suppose if I had to have one, that would be it just because it’s the only one I remember.
How do you react to a bad review?I think that the editing process really prepares you for a bad review – mostly because you are asking someone to point out your flaws. It’s pretty painful, and it toughens you up. Luckily, I haven’t gotten someone who actually wrote out why they hated my book, but I have gotten a couple 1 star reviews. I just kind of shrug those off – the zombie apocalypse isn’t for everyone.
If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?The Great Gatsby. I think it is the single most perfect example of an American novel and having a signed version of that in my collection would be amazing. I don’t even know if there are copies… but now you’ve inspired me to check out eBay… maybe give myself an awesome Christmas present.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?So funny story, the inspiration I actually needed to write Abandon was my break up with my boyfriend at the time. He was always talking about how he wanted to be an author, and he has this amazing novel which he hasn’t completed. I was so upset with the break up that I decided to go ahead and beat him to the punch. Spite is a pretty impressive motivator in my book. Luckily, we’re still really good friends and he’s still pretty much my inspiration to finish the series.
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?I didn’t! The whole thing went by with pretty much no fanfare from me. I just kept doing the things that I was doing. It’s still a surreal experience to me… actually being a published author. I suppose if I hit any of the markers like in the top 100 for ebooks or something I’ll celebrate, but to me, it’s just kind of like, “Hey, I actually did this. Awesome.”
Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is….World War Z by Max Brooks. I had practically already written it in my head and when I read it I just kept thinking… “Those were my ideas! I could have done this!”