My guest today is one of my long-term homegirls, Chris Verstraete. She’s been and gone and done writ a zombie book, the mean thing. So I had to ask her about it.
Christine Verstraete is a big Halloween fan who enjoys a good scare or two. Her short fiction has appeared online and in anthologies including Timeshares and Steampunk’d from DAW Books. Her new YA book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie was released August 1. Stop by her website at http://cverstraete.com or blogs, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com and http://candidcanine.blogspot.com.
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Marian, thanks for hosting me and you get to be the primo stop for the Book Launch Blog Tour for Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, which was released August 1.
Synopsis for GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie:
Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes’ life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he’s becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.
The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for.
But time is running out… Becca needs the help of her friends and other cousin to fight off hungry zombies and find their missing mothers.
Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late…
Amazon: *Canada – China – France – Germany – India – Italy – Japan –Spain – US – UK
* Books-A-Million *Barnes & Noble *IndieBound * Powell’s
Q: In God’s name — WHY ZOMBIES?
A: Oh, Marian, you know that I have a dark side, right? heh-heh.
Funny thing, I’ve always liked Haunted Houses at Halloween and reading Stephen King. I wrote a weird little short story a year ago, “The Killer Valentine Ball,” never realizing that was the beginning.
Actually, I blame The Walking Dead. I began watching it and was mesmerized, yeah, disgusted, too, since they did such an icky, realistic job on the monsters, but something clicked. I wanted to write about zombies, but as more than creepy, flesh-eating monsters. Though, yes, you have to have them in there too, but as the “villains.”
Q: I know you, and I know your zombies are not like anybody else’s zombies. Tell me how they’re different.
A: Did you forget that old saying, ‘you never really know someone until you live with them’…? 😉
Well… I decided to have the virus mutate and have my main character, Becca, turn only part-Z, with all the problems that entails. And as I hinted in some of my other stories, I tried to put some humor (it being subjective, of course) and have some quirkiness. That’s what GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie is all about.
Q: Did anything from your Real Life wind up in this book?
A: You mean does my eye spin and twirl? No. Do I like eating raw food? Heck, no. And I prefer yellow over pink or purple or even black (though black is slimming, or so “they” say.)
Maybe I did write things in from my subconscious without knowing it – like the time my sister and I thought we were being chased when we were younger (turns out someone played a bad joke on us), so that fear of being out late and getting caught is there when Becca goes out alone to scout out what’s happening beyond just the vigilantes and distrustful neighbors peeking out windows…
Q: Do you plan any sequels?
A: Hopefully. I do have a few ideas. Of course, that’s while I finish a couple other projects in the works, too.
Q: Do you plan books putting the Chris V Special Spin on any other paranormal concepts?
A: Didn’t realize there was such a thing. ha! Oh, the odd ideas I get… Working on a couple strange short stories at the moment. I don’t know where this stuff comes from. Honest.
Q: If you could return to any time in the past and any place on Earth, when and where would it be and why?
A: I was a dinosaur lover as a kid, but I sure wouldn’t want to go back that far.
I think I’d pick the time of Cleopatra. Ancient Egypt was another passion. I’d thought of being an archaeologist growing up until I decided later to go to college for journalism. (Not sure that was necessarily a better career choice with newspapers dying now, but I’ve never regretted it.) But the legend of Cleopatra as the wise and beautiful ruler when men mostly ruled always fascinated me.
I don’t really know why. Maybe it was the hieroglyphics…. or gasp! Could it be that even then I was fascinated by “brains”? You do know how the ancient Egyptians prepared the bodies for mummification, right?
MA: I do, actually. YUCK!
* Be sure to comment for a chance to win assorted prizes. Leave an email, blog or website link to contact you.*
Here are SOME of the prizes!
*** Don’t forget to follow along the rest of the tour! ***
GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie Book Launch Blog Tour – August 5-15
Monday, 8/5 – Marian Allen,- http://marianallen.com
Tuesday, 8/6 – Armand Rosamilia, http://armandrosamilia.com/
Wednesday, 8/7 – GirlZombieAuthors, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com
Thursday, 8/8 – StraightFromHel, Helen Ginger, http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com/
Friday, 8/9 – Dana Wright, ZombieGirlShambling, http://zombiegirlshambling.blogspot.com/
Saturday, 8/10 – GirlZombieAuthors, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com
Monday, 8/12 – AR Von, Dreamz of Dragons, http://dreamzofdragons.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, 8/13 – B. Swangin Webster, Books, Shoes, Writing, http://booksshoeswriting.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, 8/14 – DB Corey, http://dbcorey.blogspot.com/
Thursday, 8/15 – Wrap-up – GirlZombieAuthors, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com
Friday, 8/16 – Austin Camacho, Another Writer’s Life, http://ascamacho.blogspot.com
Saturday, 8/17 – Winners announced after 12 noon Central – GirlZombieAuthors, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com
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Thanks for visiting and sharing, Chris! Best of luck with the rest of the blog book tour. Y’all, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter thing.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Come up with your own take on a “traditional” horror/mythological idea.
Chris VerstraeteAugust 5, 2013 at 7:23am
Thanks Marian, this was fun! Did I draw you over to the zombie side yet? 🙂
Marian AllenAugust 5, 2013 at 9:08am
No way! Give me a nice, clean skeleton every time! 😉
Ellen CraneAugust 5, 2013 at 9:37am
Waiting for my copy of the book to arrive, can’t wait to read it!!! Grats Christine!!
Jacqueline SeewaldAugust 5, 2013 at 9:43am
Hi, Chris and Marian,
Having worked as an educational media specialist/school librarian in a high school for a number of years, I can tell you that teens love paranormal horror. And zombies are sizzling hot right now–just ask Brad Pitt! Good luck and best wishes for your success, Chris.
Joline NovyAugust 5, 2013 at 9:47am
This was a fun interview to read! I just started Girl Z and I’m really enjoying it! Having read 38,252 zombie books, I can say, what I’ve read so far is very unique!Good luck with this book! I hope you sell a million copies!! -Joline
Chris VerstraeteAugust 5, 2013 at 10:50am
38,000…… Really???? Speed read? Jolie, I can’t wait to hear your comments on mine! A million would be great!!!!!
Camille MinichinoAugust 5, 2013 at 10:57am
Hi Chris — this is the first time I’ve been tempted to read a zombie book. You make it seem so . . . normal? Best of luck with the project!
Jen ChristophersonAugust 5, 2013 at 11:40am
Okay, I may have to read this particular zombie book, but, most likely, I will recommend it to my son. He’s an avid reader and likes zombies!
Marian AllenAugust 5, 2013 at 1:23pm
If he likes zombies, be sure to check out My Zombie Dog by Charmaine Clancy, too. 🙂
Gail FarrellyAugust 5, 2013 at 1:05pm
Great interview, Marian and Chris.
Sounds like a fun book, Chris. I have it on my Kindle. Hope you sell loads of copies. Seems like it’s a fun book to promote.
Chris VerstraeteAugust 5, 2013 at 6:34pm
Thanks Gail, I did have fun – and then I got to editing. haa!
Jen, hope you do read it and of course your son, too!
Thanks, Camille! But zombies are-aren’t real??? 🙂
Thanks Ellen. Can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts.
Jolie, made a confession on FB about her, uh, “reading count.” haa! But it’s still a lot….
Thanks all for commenting.
B. Swangin WebsterAugust 6, 2013 at 7:49am
This book will make you laugh, have you disgusted but at the same time; show you what it is like to be a teenage girl trying to adjust to being different. This is a GREAT book!
HuntressAugust 6, 2013 at 8:36am
This has definitely piqued my interest! Going to GoodReads. NOW!
Michelle HofackerAugust 7, 2013 at 12:35am
Your book sounds so great. I love zombies stories, esp. when they can be retold in a new way. Can’t wait to read it.
I don’t have a twitter account so can’t finish the rafflecopter, but thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
Good luck on the sales. Good Zombies (stories) never die, they get passed on forever!!!! 8)
DanaAugust 7, 2013 at 4:44pm
Christine, congrats on your book launch!!!
Tony AcreeAugust 7, 2013 at 11:19pm
I think I dated a girl like Becca once. Well, twice.