Interview With Maia Sepp @MaiaSepp (An Etiquette Guide to the End Times: A Novella, Dystopian)

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In your own words, please describe your book.

It’s a near future non-zombie dystopian story: Olive O’Malley, is a shy urban microfarmer with a missing grandfather, an etiquette column, and a spunky sidekick. Unfortunately, there are also slightly evil government officials trying to keep everyone calm about climate change, eco-terrorists, and bad manners, and they want her on their side…

 
What genre/genres does your book fall under?

It’s a dystopian-humorous-Women’s fiction title. Say that five times fast

 
Is this book part of a series?

Yes, it’s the prequel for a series set in this world.

 
What was the inspiration behind your book?

I love zombie/Apocalypse stories (Shaun of the Dead is my absolute favourite, followed by The Walking Dead TV series. My fave books are the Until the end of the World series and the Deadland Saga). Over the past few years I’ve made it a habit to ask people what their zombie-preparedness plan is (http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm) and I love that most people have one! But Zombie/Apocalypse stories always have that *kablammo* moment where everything was normal, and then suddenly everyone (who doesn’t get their face gnawed off) has to exist in the aftermath of a complete societal breakdown.

But what if the Apocalypse sneaks up on us?

This was the story that I wanted to write. How will people behave when the lifestyle we’ve all worked so hard for starts to disappear? (Mega franchise Chipoltle recently caused a stir when they announced that global warming might impact their ability to supply guacamole. They’ve subsequently backtracked a little, but it’s still a slightly ominous indication that the food we eat will likely be one of the first areas hit). What will the government do to convince the population to get in line behind eco-friendly reforms (and how badly will they botch everything? I’m from Toronto, don’t get me started.) Will the rich keep getting richer? (Spoiler: Yes!) How will people just like you and me behave when the world as we know it is disappearing-but-not-quite-gone-yet?

 

What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?

I’ve always been a voracious reader, and as soon as I was really old enough to understand you could do this for a living, that’s what I wanted to do. I think I was six.

 
So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?

Hitting the top 100 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes all on the same day (for my debut novel, a contemporary-humorous-women’s fiction title). Yay!

 
Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?

I’m self-published: I love the control and freedom that comes with charting my own course.

 
What are you working on now?

Book one of the “End Times” series, which takes place immediately after “An Etiquette Guide to the End Times”. It’s a full-length novel.

 
What are some of your likes and dislikes?

I’m a little like Sally from “When Harry Met Sally” when it comes to food, although I try not to be quite that high maintenance.I like travel, good food, good wine, and good company.

 
How can readers connect with you?

I’m everywhere online: my website is at www.maiasepp.com and has all my contact info. Or you can just tweet me at @maiasepp. Would love to hear from you!

 
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?

I speak three languages: English, French, and Estonian. I’m Estonian on my father’s side. We’re first cousins to the Finns; still very blonde and sauna-loving, but with a few less vowels.

 
If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m so very blessed to be able to do this.

 

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