In your own words, describe your book….
Jenna, the main character, lives in a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies and a new race called the “others.” Jenna must not only survive this bleak landscape full of death and chaos, but she must also help a small group of survivors reach the safe haven of the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna can finally relax and develops feelings for two men: Quentin, who reminds her of the past and Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human.
What is the genre?
I initially wrote the book as horror for a new adult audience, but it overlaps with paranormal romance and urban fiction. I teach high school and some of my students who have read it have enjoyed it as well so it could also fall into the young adult genre. What inspired you to write this book?
I grew up reading novels by Judy Blume, Johanna Lindsey, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King, among others. While entirely different genres, these authors inspired me to want to read more and write fiction. Is it odd that I love both horror and romance genres? I love authors who can create vivid conflicts and life-like characters in relationships, romantic or otherwise. These days, as a teacher, I am inspired by the books my high school students read like Twilight, the Chicagoland Vampire Series, and The Hunger Games. I enjoy reading romances with action and adventure, and I hoped to create a book with those elements.
Will this book be a standalone or part of the series?
Apocalipstick was my first book, but book two in the series is coming together. Jenna and Caleb undergo a challenging quest. They leave the safety of the inn and their travels resemble the traditional journey of the mythological heroes brought to light by Joseph Campbell. There are also many unexpected twists for the characters and someone rises from the dead, but not as a zombie.
What message would you like to convey with this book?
I hope the messages conveyed through Apocalipstick is similar to what made some of the classic zombie movies so interesting to watch. Dawn of the Dead (1978) used the zombie genre to make a comment of society and consumerism. When I began the novel, I wanted my audience, on some level, to relate to the characters in Apocalipstick and the struggles they face in the story. Every day, people fight small battles, whether it is with school, jobs, illnesses, or family problems. At times, people also lose hope or feel detached, similar to the characters called the “others.”
What books are similar to this one?
There are many books available in the zombie genre. World War Z and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are two I have enjoyed. In addition, there are books focused on female protagonists in a dystopian society such as Hunger Games and Divergent. Where can readers find your book?
Can you tell us some about the writer behind the book?
I was working on my master’s degree many, many years ago and interned at a local newspaper, The Connecticut Post. It was an incredible feeling to see my first article in print and my byline. I was hooked on writing but did not make it a career. Since then I have gone on to be published in Hollywood Scriptwriter and The Patch, a community online newspaper. My poetry also won first prize at a local contest, which spurred me on to continue to write more creatively. I did everything but fiction. Finally, I decided to try fiction. It was not easy and writing Apocalipstick took me three years. I am so happy it is now in print!
Tell us one thing about you we wouldn’t know?
I ride horses, but I am really awful at it. My daughter has been riding since she was four years old and I wanted to stay involved. We ended up buying one horse when she was a teen and then rescuing another, a thoroughbred and former racehorse with arthritis. I love trail riding and take lessons, but cannot improve. I have a mental block.
How can readers connect with you?
I would love to interact more with my readers. They can reach me through email and social media.
What are you working on now?
I was working on my first book and already planning the next book in my head, thinking about the changes and developments that would happen to Jenna and Caleb, the main characters and bringing some of the minor characters into the spotlight. As a writer, you have the chance to develop characters on a deeper level, so I love the idea of a second book. The unanswered questions about the characters in the first book are clarified or put to rest. The characters also age and mature in the next book, and it is interesting to follow those changes. Do you have any other books released? What is your next release?
I hope to release the second book, which I still have not found a good title for, next summer.