1. How does it feel to be releasing your second book?
If I can be honest, it's just as nerve wracking and nervous as it was to be releasing my first book! I'm sitting here feeling like, yes, I've done this already once before but at the same time I'm still sweating bullets and am really afraid that no one is gonna like it. Ha ha. It's like stepping out of your parent's house for the first time or something, the first day of a new school. You dunno if anyone is gonna like you or if you're gonna like anyone. It's exciting and scary all at the same time. I feel like it's the worst kind of stage fright; and I've been performing on stage for almost as long as I've been writing. It's a feeling that I would never EVER trade for anything.
2. Why zombies?
Why not zombies? I love zombies. Walking Dead is my favourite television show (second maybe only to Doctor Who, and Supernatural) and zombies are kind of a big deal right now. Everyone (well, almost everyone) loves zombies. It's one of those things where you can start a discussion with almost anyone about what they would do if the dead started to rise right now. It's a culture of inclusion, y'know? Everyone has a zombie apocalypse survival scenario, everyone has a zombie plan, and if they don't, usually you can get them to make one up.
3. Can you tell us a little bit more about the main character?
The main character in this book, Zero, is a girl who just wanted to help. She went about her life kind of rebelling against the general money-loving, consumerist way that she was raised by helping others, by not being greedy. It wasn't meant to be a statement on anything either. She's just a good person who ended up getting more then she was expecting.
4. Who inspired you to start writing?
That's a really tough question. I've always read books. It's always been my favourite hobby. In grade school, I used to write well above and beyond what the writing assignments were. I would come back with a duotang filled with 20+ handwritten pages of whatever story assignment we were given. It really just seemed like a natural step for me and I started writing with the intention of making it my career at age 13. If I had to narrow it down, I guess Joss Whedon was a major influence, along with almost every writer who has ever crossed my path in book form.
5. What type of music do you listen to while writing?
That really depends. Pathogen: Patient Zero was written mostly in silence. Blaze Tuesday was written to classic music, Irish Punk and heavy metal, along with long periods of silence. I've got a pile of movie soundtracks that I listen to as well. The novel I've been writing during Camp NaNo this year has mostly been written to the band Korpiklaani. It really depends on what kind of mood I'm in and if I can think of anything that will help set the tone.
6. Are your books more YA or Mature audiences?
Patient Zero can go both ways, since Zero is like 18 or 19 in the story. I typically don't write anything that I would consider YA, however. Blaze Tuesday is definitely not YA, and the novel I'm working on right now is a mature fantasy, although, "mature" might not be the right word to describe it. When I set out to write something, I don't usually consider what kind of audience I'm aiming for. I feel that the story will determine what the audience will be when it's finished.
7. Do you feel supported by your peers?
I have to say that I do! I have built up the best circle of friends that I have ever had through the power of social media. Through Twitter, I have met so many wonderful authors who are just so supportive and fun to chat with. (You guys included!) I've even spearheaded an open blog community called the Samurai Scribes (samuraiscribes.wordpress.com) and we all strive to support each other and offer insights and pep talks to other writers and authors working through various stages of publication. I'm always happy to meet other writers and talk with them and make new friends.
8. What year does this book take place?
Pathogen: Patient Zero doesn't take place in any specified year. I did it intentionally. I wanted it to feel like this could be happening yesterday, or six months from now, or five years from now. I wanted it to feel current without being too dated. I mean, in 20 years this'll obviously sound like it was written in 2012, but for now, I wanted it to sound like it could be happening anywhere, to anyone right now.
9. How many books are you hoping to publish in your lifetime?
Uh... I hadn't really thought about about that. Ha ha. Let's just say that I hope to publish all of the stories that are floating around in my brain before I die, and that there are a LOT of stories in my brain. Blaze Tuesday alone has at least 8 books, plus I'm working on television scripts for him. Pathogen has 3 books, the novel I'm writing currently is part one of a trilogy as well. "Lots" seems to be a vague enough answer!
10. Which story do you like writing more? This one (Pathogen: Patient Zero) or Blaze Tuesday (and the Case of the Knight Surgeon)?
That's a mighty loaded question! Both of these books are completely different. You can't really compare the two. Patient Zero was very hard to write. I cried, a lot. I broke my own heat and felt really guilty about torturing my characters the way I did. I love the concept and I love the seris that has been born from Zero's suffering, though. I'm very proud of it. Blaze Tuesday is a fun romp through a futuristic city and I get to torture my characters in completely different ways. If I had to choose, I wouldn't write Patient Zero over again, though. So I guess I enjoyed writing Blaze more?
Thank you again for having me here, it's been awesome to answer your questions. Leave a comment and I'll answer more questions and every comment will enter you guys in a chance to win a prize pack! Thanks again, I really hope that you all enjoy Patient Zero as much as I enjoyed getting it ready for you.