What is Fatal about?
Fatal, at its heart, is a story about learning to love yourself. A story about accepting others despite their differences. A story about what it truly means to be human. If you think that sounds heavy, it’s not. Expect bad jokes, sarcasm, an interesting encounter in the men’s bathroom *wink, wink* and everything you ever thought about zombies being turned inside out.
What was your inspiration for this book?
Well, I love the TV show, The Walking Dead. I like how it addresses the tougher issues of a zombie invasion, how it questions the character’s humanity. And at the time, there weren’t any zombie books out there that were DIFFERENT. You know, something other than slavering, rotting, reanimated corpses. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just thought it would be totally cool to have a new take on the typical zombie. That’s how Fatal was born.
We know this is a story about zombies but are any of the characters or parts of the story based on real people or events?
Sadly, no. Fatal hales from so far into my imagination that even the town the story takes place in is fictional. That being said, it is the type of story where everything seems kind of real. No high fantasy or anything like that. Even the paranormal parts (the zombies) are sort of real. Or at least more real than you might expect them to be!
Who was your favorite character to develop?
Definitely Peg. She’s so spunky and different and sure of herself. She’s the complete opposite of the book’s heroine, Cori, and I really enjoyed the juxtaposition. I loved Peg because I could personally relate to her so well. She likes color. I like color. She’s busy. I’m busy! You get the picture.
When did you become interested in writing?
It’s always been a dream of mine to write stories. Like from the age of… birth? I made up stories in my head when I was very little. Complete with characters, plot arcs, and sappy endings (apparently I was always going to be a romance fan, even at six years old). But it wasn’t until I was twenty six (four years ago—eek! Now you know how old I am) that I actually put any of my stories on paper. Prior to that they were just part of my congested mind.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Only one. I reeeeally need music to keep me on track. It’s my ultimate writing block breaker. Those times when I can’t seem to wrap my mind around what a certain character is thinking or how they might react to a situation, I reach for my sound files and suddenly I’m right there with them. It’s magic, really. For FATAL there was a song by Skillet (Never Surrender) that put me into Grayson’s perspective.
What word do you always have trouble spelling?
Oh geez, this one’s easy. For the life of me, I can’t seem to spell ‘necessarily’. Sometimes (like right now) I mess it up so badly that my spell checker doesn’t even recognize it. Also, while writing FATAL I misspelled Aiken’s name EVERY time. Like my fingers had memorized the wrong way to type it or something. I would spell it Akien instead.
What author inspired you to write?
Dude, there are so many. I find it hard to name just one. Early on, I was a huge fan of Francine Pascal and her Sweet Valley series. In high school I fell in love with the classics. Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Victor Hugo, and Jane Austen were some of my favorites. Later on, I became fascinated with the paranormal. Stephenie Meyer, Claudia Grey, and Gena Showalter. Oh my gosh, and Suzanne Collins. There are too MANY!!!
Which authors inspire you today?
I know this will sound icky but… every author bold enough to let others read their work is an inspiration to me. Now that I know how terrifyingly traumatic it really is to open your book to perfect strangers, I look at authors in a completely different light. My stories are my creations. Almost like I’ve given birth to a paper child (now I’m picturing my book cut into the shape of a baby… but whatever). I think it must be similar to letting your child go off to college. Once your story is out there, you can’t protect it anymore. You have to let it have its life.
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to be an author?
The only advice I have to offer is the same thing I tell myself over and over: 1) write a lot. Even when you don’t feel like it. 2) Write what you want/like. Don’t think about what others will like. Write for you. 3) Make it fun. If you’re having fun writing, it will show in your work. AND you won’t ever get bored!
What are you working on now?
My priority right now is finishing up Lethal, the sequel to FATAL. This story follows Peg and Aiken (spelled it wrong AGAIN) and also answers some BIG questions about Grayson and Cori’s future. Buuuuut since I’m a bit of a spaz writer and can’t seem to stay focused on one project, I’m also working on a twisty turny choose-your-own-adventure style book!!!
If you could have one superpower which one would it be and why?
Would the ability to make a baby sleep through the night count? Is that a superpower? If not, it should be. Can you imagine all the moms and dads around the world I could help out? They could call me Sleepywoman. But if I had to choose a REAL superpower I guess it would be flying. Because in the words of Eleanor (from Eleanor and Park), “I know it’s not very useful but… It’s FLYING.”
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