Doing the zombie shuffle – Zombies in YA literature

img_0443_v2I find zombies scary – there I admit it. I always have done. And I can tell you why; we are just one mad scientist away from zombies becoming real. Zombies worry me, and movies aside, they are certainly not new to literature.

I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at school. It’s only when you get into the nitty gritty of this book you realise it was one of the first ever zombie novels. The creature, albeit more sentient than your average ‘braaaains’ screeching shuffler, is a re-animated corpse. Considered a ‘flawed creation’ by Dr Frankenstein, the creature has to contend with some serious abandonment issues, loneliness (after all zombies are pack creatures) and some rather vengeful thoughts. All in all, the zombie in question doesn’t act much like the zombies we’re use to today.

Moving quickly through the years to Carrie Ryan’s Forrest of Hands & Teeth we find Mary, the protagonist, struggling to free herself from a predictable YA love triangle while avoiding the ‘Unconsercrated’. The name of the zombies in itself echoes the book’s theme of religion; but apart from that, they seem to lumber around the forest being said hands and teeth. The zombies provide only one author objective: they are the threat that seeks to harm the main characters. The only zombie character that comes to ‘life’ is the fast and slightly vengeful, Gabrielle – who seems to retain some of her former personality and is hell-bent on killing Mary for allowing her to die.

Darren Shan’s Zom B uses zombies to unite its characters. One of the themes of this book is racism and yob-like behaviour. Although by its title, it’s a zombie book, the shambling flesh-munching creatures serve as danger and a catalyst for character development. They unite the survivors – regardless of their misguided beliefs.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion did something extraordinary with zombies – he made them the romantic lead. The book is written the first person from R’s point of view. It was a bold move that paid off and put zombies in a different light altogether. After that, Lisa Habel’s Dearly Departed also took zombies firmly into the romance genre.

Now it would seem that zombies are not just evolving but contorting into a new type of ‘monster’. Maybe it would be more accurate to say they are going back to their gothic character-driven roots. Who’s to say that if Dr Frankenstein had given his monster a bride that it would have gone very differently for him, and his loved ones.

As a YA urban fantasy writer, I love zombies, and am, to a degree, guilty myself of simply inserting them into my story as a wall of rotting flesh that relentlessly rolls towards my heroes – I did, though, introduce a new dynamic in my series, Battle of the Undead. It’s vampires VS zombies. So what happens when a vampire becomes infected? A Vambie or a Zompire? Find out now with the first in the series, Bad Blood:

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Halloween advice – surviving the zombies!

dsc00127We have a fascination with zombies, in my opinion, they are the most realistic monster lurking in the horror aisles of your local book shop. They are us. They could happen. Vampires, werewolves – well, as Disney put it ‘It’s a small world after all’ so we’d know about them already. In a time when people post what they had for breakfast on FaceBook, these creatures couldn’t hide for long. But zombies …there are more dead bodies crammed into the earth than live ones walking on it.
So how could it happen? Mostly in zombie stories the survivors rarely find out how they ended up nose to nose with re-animated flesh-munching corpses; they’re far too busy trying to stay alive than to discover the undead root of the problem. To me, the most believable way of this happening is a scientifically created disease, perhaps something similar to rabies.

Okay, so it’s happening, the dead are rising. In theory, this wouldn’t be an instant issue; it would probably take 2 or 3 days for the undead crap to hit the fan. In that time you’d see more violent news reports than usual. There would be odd hashtag threads on twitter about attacks and infection. They’d be YouTube videos popping up with alarming regularity featuring police show-downs with crazed, bullet proof psychos. It would be a slow but steady stream of bloody violence.
Now, if hunky British survivalist Bear Grylls has taught us anything, it’s that to survive in a harsh environment, we need to ensure we have three things: food, water and shelter. You need to be fed and rested to be able to keep one step ahead of the zombie hordes so, to survive, your priority would be to find a safe place to hole up, preferably which contains food and water too. We’ve all seen the potential trolley of problems with picking a shopping centre for this – it’s too big, you can’t defend it. So somewhere, perhaps like a small supermarket that’s doors could be barricaded, would work well.
The next question you have to answer is: do you buddy up, or go it alone? There are dangers with either, but I tend to think the buddy system was practicality designed for zombie attacks, so buddy up! Just be cautious and ensure your buddy is someone you can trust. You don’t want to test the theory ‘to survive – you only need to run faster than your friend, than a zombie horde in pursuit!’
So, you have a group of people you can trust; you’re holed up in a defend-able, solid building stuffed with food and drink – now what? Well, to be honest, you wait it out. When comparing a zombie outbreak to a disease of similar ilk, it would all be over after 21 days. After that time, those who were infected will have eaten their whole available food source, they’ll start to starve and, even zombies need food to keep going. After hearing the last animated corpse scratch and moan at your door, you give it another day before emerging. Then with other sensible survivors start to rebuild, and I guess figure out how it all went horribly wrong in the first place.
Just, remember the rules that horror movies have taught us over the years: Don’t open the door for anything/ anyone. Slug anyone who looks like they’re going to panic and rip out through your barricade. Ration the amount of sugary items you consume (Although I actually believe that you can never eat enough chocolate). Always carry a weapon. Check your buddies for infection. And always, always… hang on there’s a new #infection tag infesting Twitter…Right, I’m off down the local supermarket; you can join me if you like, but make sure you get there before I barricade the door!

If you like your zombie uprising with a dash of vampires, then check out Bad Blood today for your Halloween read:

Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Halloween – Embracing Fear

7BLKIxiN0G0When I was a little girl, I relished gory movies, horror books and ghost stories. Something in me would just come alive – I couldn’t explain it, although it hasn’t been till now that I wanted to.

So what makes us like to be frightened? Why are horror movies and books so popular? I believe it’s down to safe scares; after all a book can’t hurt you (unless someone clocks you with one!) and horror movies show us bloody scenes that, thankfully, most of us will never experience in our real lives. This is taken further by supernatural horrors – the more fantastical the threat, the less likely it is actually to happen. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, mutant ninja turtles (come on, they had weapons, they’re scary!) the odds of any of these creatures being real are slim to none. Serial killers, on the other hand, are very real – personally, I find movies and books like The Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of 100 Corpses, Exquisite Corpse – so much scarier. In fact in a study back in 1998, it was found the ‘seven deadliest movies’ were: The Shining, Scream, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, and Poltergeist. 5 out of 7 had serial killers/ mass murderers in!

Part of the appeal of horror is that you also get the relief when it’s over – it’s the sense of ‘I made it’ which can spur you on to put yourself through such blood-curdling ordeals in the first place. When you first start dating someone new a horror movie is a popular venue choice as it also creates a bond with the person you’re with; a kind of shared semi-traumatic event which links you together.

From a biological perspective, the fight or flight response will kick in if you feel fear, but if your brain decides that there’s no physical danger then all you’re left with is an adrenaline rush – no wonder pop up Halloween attractions do so much business!

Also, I think that the era you’re in affects the notion of scariest. Here we are in the 21st century and hasn’t everything been done? Aren’t we just re-hashing and re-developing old movies and book ideas that have gone before? From the list of the 7 deadliest movies 3 of them have already been re-made, 2 have countless sequels and all of them have been spoofed in some way. When you think back to when The Exorcist came out, they were carting out faint-hearted movie-goers from the theatre straight to hospital – could you see that happening nowadays?

Part of my research for my YA urban fantasy, Bad Blood, was on people’s reactions to fear, and something bad and unexpected happening. In a world where zombies are being hacked apart by vampires, I at least wanted part of my book to be based in fact; to have human reactions in a very in-human situation. If you feel like have a safe yet horrifying adventure with a group of human survivors, led by a couple of bickering vampires all hip deep in a zombie apocalypse, then pick up a copy of Bad Blood today and feel free to drop and tell me how you would react if put in this situation; let’s survive it together.

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Interview with Melvin Rivers

havenTell us about your publishing journey…

My publishing journey began eight years ago when I decided to write a collection of short horror stories. My goal was to start a new career and to entertain readers. Day after day I sat behind my keyboard and typed away, hoping the words would someday make it into print. Finally, the book was finished. I went over the pages for spelling errors and typos. Since I didn’t have a big budget, I went the cheap route and found a stock image for the cover. I self-published the book and hoped for the best. Needless to say, the book was slammed by reviewers. Feeling frustrated, I unpublished the book. I decided not to make the same mistakes on the next book. I took a fiction writing course, paid for editors and proofreaders, ran a book cover contest. Once the book was finished, I sought beta readers. Needless to say, my current book is doing much better with reviewers.

What inspired you to write this book? 

Being an avid fan of movies such as the Shinning, the Exorcist, and the Amityville Horror is what inspired me to write “Haven of Evil.” The book has elements of all three movies.

What do you love about writing?

Being able to create a world solely from my imagination.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go to and why?

Rome cira 100 BC – 400 AD. The Roman Empire was one of the greatest civilizations in the world. The government, economic and educational system, was far ahead of its time. I would love to have compared The Roman Empire to current empires.

What question do you want to be asked in an interview, then please include your answer.

Question: What do you want readers to get from your book?

Answer: I want readers to be entertained. I’m not trying to save the world or make social statements (I’ll leave that to politicians and activists). I want them to escape to the world I created and come away satisfied.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

George Milton, a character from John Steinbeck’s “OF Mice and Men. The dinner would be roast beef and potatoes around a camp fire under a star-filled sky.

If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A vampire. Imagine never aging, living forever, and having superhuman abilities.

In a fire, what 3 things would you rescue?

My dog, cat, and computer.

Who would be your dream cast for your book?

Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Halle Berry.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a collection of short stories. Since my first collection of shorts didn’t come off as plan, I’m giving it another shot. Hopefully this time, it will be a bit more successful.

Where can fans find you online?



Rule Britannia – examining the main character of Bad Blood

britBad Blood is a vampires VS zombies horror set in England. Told first person from a vampire’s point of view, I knew as the writer; I needed a certain type of character who could tell the story, engage with the reader and survive the zombie hordes as they drag their rotten asses through the burning streets of London.

Britannia is over 4 hundred years old and was born Brianna. Daughter of a wealthy merchant she lived like a princess and was set to marry the love of her life… when Nicholas the vampire saw her. He kidnapped her, made her a vampire against her will, murdered her fiancé then kept her captive for 20 years in a crazy attempt to woe her. When she was finally free, she swore a vendetta on Nicholas and evolved from spoilt little Brianna to the blood-guzzling, ass-kicking, England protecting, Britannia.

Her lost love was a soldier in his majesty’s service so Britannia declared herself a secret protector of the realm, fighting in every war and falling ever deeper in love with the memory of her dead soldier. That love is reinforced on an almost nightly basis with her daydreams. She might be lying in wait on the roof of a West End Theatre to kill Nicholas’ newest vampire, but be imagining herself inside with her fiancé, enjoying a show. The mirror of a violent vampire dreaming she’s a bored housewife is held up throughout the book and is both an endearing and dangerous quality for a character to have.

She’s spent centuries learning to fight, to use her strengths and weakness as assets. Her favourite book is the Art of War, and she prides herself on winning every battle. She’s competitive, stubborn and amazingly loyal – but all that comes with a price. She still needs to drink human blood to survive, and when she does, she considers it the natural order – she certainly isn’t the guilty type. The vampires in Bad Blood have no glamour abilities. They cannot read people’s minds, and they certainly cannot make a bite in the neck painless. Usually when they feed they kill, but now zombies are fighting with them to be top of the food chain, they’re on a more ‘little and often’ diet and have to change their behaviour to survive.

Bad Blood is fast paced, and both humans and vampires get a lot of horrific problems thrown at them – I had to make sure Britannia was equipped to deal with these problems, to cut them up with her trusty scythes, and shoot them right back to where they came from.

So why not order a copy of Bad Blood today and let Britannia take you by the hand and give you a tour of the zombie-ridden streets of London and beyond. Don’t worry about the undead clawing to touch your pretty flesh; she’ll protect you. There’s only one thing that she asks in return…your blood.

Want a Halloween read? Pick up Bad Blood today: Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Author Interview Swap with Andrew Buckley

bio-pic-squareTell us about your publishing journey…

I wrote my first novel ‘Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish’ over the course of 6 years. I then spent two years querying agents to no avail. One agent recommended I build an online platform so I reluctantly began my social media journey and, through Twitter, I met my first publisher ‘Curiosity Quills Press.’ I signed 2 novels with CQ before securing an agent, the fantastic Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group in New York. Since then, thanks to Mark and Trident, I’ve published two more books, one with CQ and my latest novel ‘Hair in All the Wrong Places’ with Month9Books.
What do you love about being an author?
I love everything about it. I love that it’s hard work, I love building stories, creating characters, exploring new worlds, and hearing people’s thoughts about my work (good and bad). I’m also keenly drawn to a career where you can work with or without pants.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
It’s probably a terrible choice because he’d likely kill me at the end of the meal but I’d like to chat with Lestat, Anne Rice’s Vampire Prince. I’ve read a lot of Rice’s books over the years and the Lestat character is steeped with so much emotion and experiential layers that he’d be a very interesting person to chat with. And being as it’s my final meal, I’d like Fish and Chips.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Using my latest novel ‘Hair in All the Wrong Places’ as an example, I’m not sure who I’d cast as the leads as they’d be young middle school aged but I’d want to cast Kurt Russell as the older werewolf, Silas Baxter, Kevin Spacey as Mr Winter, and Betty White as Colin’s Grandmother.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Why can’t they be both?
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?hair-in-all-the-wrong-places
Medieval times! I think the dark ages would be a ton of fun as long I didn’t get run through with a sword or catch dysentery or anything to that effect. I always thought siege warfare was very interesting. People trying to break into castles, the feudal system, all those swords! Although I’m not really partial to horses . . . I may have to reconsider.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
I’ve been pretty fortunate to have some great advice over my short time on this earth. It would have been good if someone had told me to travel more when I was younger. Once you have kids (I have 3), travelling becomes a whole Oceans 11 bank heist planning experience.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Werewolf, obviously a werewolf. Heightened senses and the ability to turn into a giant wolf creature. It would also justify all this hair I have.
Where do you write best? 
In bed, at night, when the household has gone to sleep. I don’t know if that’s the best time but it’s the time I get to write the most. I’m pretty sure any time of day would work if I had the opportunity.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I’m currently reading the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown and it’s AMAZING. Book #1 had a few pacing issues I thought but I couldn’t put book #2 down, and now I’m launching into the third and final book. It’s a great series if you’re looking for a ski-fi with a bit more of an edge to it.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I actually write in fantasy, urban fantasy, spy thriller, satire, and paranormal horror already. My foray into writing a spy thriller was my big departure from my usual genre and writing style. I had this concept for a female James Bond character that I wanted to develop. You can find the adventures of Eliana Havelock in the novel ‘Havelock’ by Jane D Everly (I promise it’s really me).
Where can fans find you online?
I’m active on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter, links to which you can find on my author website at

Author interview swap with Cynthia A Morgan

morgan-3Tell us about your publishing journey…

I started out publishing my book, Dark Fey The Reviled, through Kindle Direct Publishing.  It was the easiest and fastest avenue to get my work ‘out there’, but I quickly realized that patience merits a far better publishing experience.  Though I subsequently released my second book, Dark Fey Standing In Shadows, via KDP as well, I shortly thereafter withdrew both of them when I signed with a publisher, Creativia.   I have found their SEO marketing expertise far superior to anything I could have accomplished on my own, but maintain my Indie Author freedom, which appeals to be greatly.  I have the best of both worlds!

What do you love about being an author?

I love words, love painting pictures with lyrical expressions and detailed descriptions that transport readers wherever I wish to take them; so for me, being an Author is my calling.  I have found the poetry I write touches people in ways I could never plan or anticipate and that is an immense blessing for a writer.  I also love the freedom to do what it is that I enjoy, while earning a few pennies from it.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

 It would more than likely be one of my own, I have to admit; as I do find them endlessly fascinating, but if I didn’t, my readers would not either.  So I would have to say Gairynzvl or perhaps Evondair, or both…and we would enjoy a vegetarian meal of some sort beneath the eaves of the forest.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I will confess, this is something I’ve actually thought about, because I have been told by more than a couple of readers that they can see Dark Fey as a movie.  I tend to envision actors I am familiar with, like Tom Hiddleston as Gairynzvl, Scarlet Johansson as Ayla, and perhaps Chris Hemsworth as Mardan; however my characters are young, early to mid 20’s, so better suited might be Jennifer Lawrence as Ayla, Liam Hemsworth or even Jack O’ Connell as Gairynzvl and Freddie Stroma as Mardan or perhaps even better as Evondair.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?  reviled-awards

The nice thing about vampires is you can have it both ways, really :)

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

My interests have always centered around Regency Period England (the early 1800’s).  I am actually working on a historical romance set in this period, so I would love to visit to gain a better understanding of the constraints of the day, which were many, and the culture, which was quite different from ours today.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner? 

We Create our own Reality through what we Say and what we Believe.  The Power of Positive Thought truly does Move Mountains.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why? 

That’s easy, I’d be a Fey, of course, because I would love to live in Jyndari, even in its darkest moments, and have the gifts, not only of Flight, but the ability to read another’s thoughts, wield magic or bend light.  It would be amazing.

Where do you write best?  

Always at my laptop, in my writing room, often with music playing that is ethereal and mystical, rhythmic and very frequently tribal. Delerium gets played repeatedly, especially when I’m working on Dark Fey, or Brunuhville.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I recently read The Eternals by Richard M. Ankers, a vampire tale set in the distance future with a dystopian flavor and steampunk twists that really captured my imagination and left me anxious for book two of the trilogy, which is being released this autumn. His strong lead character was irresistible! (who just happens to be both sexy and a blood-thirsty vampire)

standing-in-shadows-w-5starIf you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

 I love writing, it doesn’t really matter what genre it is.  I have a work in progress that is Historical Fiction/Romance; I have written YA Romance/Fiction; Dystopian/Sci-Fi and even Children’s stories.  Of course, I also write poetry.  If it involves words, I will (most likely) write it.

Where can fans find you online?

All Things Dark Fey Website 

Blog / website:




Amazon Author Page:

Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon/Kindle:
Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon UK:

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:

Dark Fey Standing In Shadows on Amazon US –

Amazon UK –

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:


Links to:

 Delerium –

Brunuhville –

The Eternals by Richard M Ankers

Author interview swap with Kirstin Smith

Kristin Smith pic(1)Tell us about your publishing journey

In March of 2016, my debut novel CATALYST was picked up by Clean Teen Publishing. It will release in November, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m currently working on the sequel with plans to release it Spring 2017. Obviously, my publishing journey hasn’t been all rainbows and roses, because publishing, in general, is tough. It’s a road riddled with rejection but lined with perseverance. I’ll spare you all those boring details!

What do you love about being an author?

Gah, I love it all! I love “going to work” in my pajamas. I love connecting with other authors, who are total rock stars, by the way! I love being able to tell the stories that are swimming around in my head. And I LOVE seeing my work in print. There’s nothing better!

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Hmm, I’d have to say Trey from CATALYST. He’s a bit of a bad boy, and I totally have a crush on him! We’d eat mashed potatoes because Trey loves them. :)

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Emma Stone as Sienna, Brant Daugherty as Trey, and Alex Pettyfor as Zane. Sounds like a stellar cast, right?

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?Catalyst Cover

Sexy leads, definitely! Especially if they look like Damon from Vampire Diaries. Love him! :)

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I would love to visit the Roaring Twenties. It would be so cool to experience the Art Deco period for myself. Plus, I love the style back then—the flapper dresses, cute hats, and hairdos.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

“Don’t date that boy in high school. He’ll only break your heart.”

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A wizard, of course! It would be great to have my own wand and cast spells on those who don’t do what I say. Mwahahahaha!

Where do you write best?

Either on my bed or at my desk. Usually, the bed wins out. It’s just too comfy!

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I recently finished THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater and really liked it! It was the first book I’ve read of hers, but I’d heard so much about her writing that I had to see for myself. I wasn’t disappointed! She knows how to pull you so far into a world that you’re practically able to taste the saltiness of the air and feel the sea spray on your face. She’s a masterful storyteller!

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Adult contemporary romance. I’m a sucker for romance in my books, and I really do enjoy writing the kissing scenes. I’ve written a couple romances so far but haven’t tried to publish them yet. Maybe someday…

Where can fans find you online?

Please do visit me at any of the links below! :)








Author interview swap with Kai Strand

Kai Strand - Copy (124x150)Tell us about your publishing journey…
I sought publication for six years, receiving rejection after rejection – some encouraging, most form letters. I seriously considered that I just wasn’t good enough and maybe I should give up. Then I saw an upcoming event at our local Barnes and Nobles. Multiple children’s authors and illustrators would be reading and signing from their books. That got my attention because I’m in a small community in the middle of nowhere and we didn’t have any other children’s authors besides me – but MULTIPLE? I knew someone had to be local, so I researched the list of people appearing and discovered that one of the illustrators lived in the area. I contacted her and offered to help with the event, and she kindly declined saying she had plenty of support, but invited me to a barbecue at her house. It was lovely to finally meet so many people involved in the business I’d been struggling with on my own for so many years. Plus, I met their publisher, who impressed me with her forward thinking. It was a lovely evening and I took my kids to the signing a couple days later. It was maybe a month or two later when it struck me that one of my manuscripts would be a good fit for that publishing house. I submitted, she accepted, and the rest is history. My Weaver Tales series is up to three books now.

What do you love about being an author?
So many things! Working in my pajamas. Creating people and worlds that no one else would think of. Fan mail. But mostly engaging with readers – at signings, classroom visits, workshops – I love talking to readers.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
I’d love to dine with the Pevensie siblings (well, maybe not Edmund.) Lucy has such a pure, sweet spirit, and Susan and Peter are very brave. I think hearing about their experiences in Narnia and even wartime London would make for great dinner conversation. I’d probably whip up a batch of homemade macaroni and cheese. I recently made some with sautéed onions, crumbled bacon, and loads of mozzarella and pepper jack cheese.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?both covers
I’d love to cast Zayn Malik as my lead, Jeff, in King of Bad. He’s got the right look – can he even act? I’m not sure I care. But I can totally imagine him as the conflicted villain, developing his super powers of fire and ice. And I’d put Brenton Thwaites as his nemesis, Set. I LOVE Set. He wields his super powers over the weather and boy is he electric! However, both guys would have to fake an Idaho accent.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Ooo, honestly I’ve enjoyed them in both roles. It depends on the story and the hero/heroine. It’s funny. I always say, “I don’t like vampire stories.” And then I read one and enjoy it. But seriously, Buffy! Interview with a Vampire! The Lost Boys! And of course Dracula! Yeah, okay, vampires rock.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
I’m pretty happy here in the twenty-first century. But if I had to travel, I guess I’d go to the Victorian era as long as I can guarantee I’d be someone in high society. It might be fun to play dress up for a short time and shock all the prim and proper folks with my outspoken personality. I’m really shy at first, which would lure them in, but then I’d open my mouth and say something completely scandalous, like my opinion! It would be fun to watch.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
I wish I’d been told that being cool is so NOT important. I wasted so much time and energy in school and in my early adult life worrying about if I fit in, how I looked, drawing attention without actually standing out. Gawd! If I could go back to high school and do the things I enjoyed even though the people who did them were labeled as nerds or geeks or whatever, I’d have so much more fun.

FindingThor_1-FINALIf you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
An Amazon. I’ve always loved Wonder Woman – her strength, intelligence, kindness – so if I could be more like her than this human condition currently allows, then I’d jump at the chance.

Where do you write best? 
On a laptop. Probably not what you meant by the question, but the laptop allows me freedom to write wherever I’m most inspired. I usually sit in the me-sized crater I’ve carved in my couch, but I also like to go to coffee shops, libraries, or the park from time to time. It depends on what kind of atmosphere I need to get my creative juices flowing.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I can’t just talk about one book. The Olympics are on, so I’m multi-tasking by plowing through as many graphic novels as I can while enjoying the competition. Before the Olympics I was thoroughly enjoying making my way through the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve put off reading it forever and now I can’t get through it fast enough. I’ll pick up the fourth book, Queen of Shadows, after the Olympics are over. I’m always listening to an audiobook, too, while I exercise or cook dinner or vacuum. And recently I was all fired up after listening to All American Boys by Jason Reynolds. We have so much stupid, needless prejudice in my country and that book really showed off the nuances of how and why it happens, but best of all demonstrated how and why it’s important to DO THE RIGHT THING!!!

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I write in whatever genre I’m inspired to write in. I have a young adult speculative fiction series called Super Villain Academy. Maybe by the series name you can figure out it’s about angsty teens wielding super powers. So much fun to write. But I also have a YA Contemporary romance series that explores the relationship between a barista and a homeless boy and a standalone YA romantic suspense with car chases and torture with kitchen implements. So, yeah, I jump around. I’ve also published contemporary fiction and fantasy for middle grade readers. I even have a New Adult ghost story under the pseudonym LA Dragoni. I plan to explore time travel under that pseudonym, so that’ll be interesting. I look forward to many-a-mind melt getting through that one.
SVA series

Where can fans find you online?

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,
Book Links:
Super Villain Academy:
King of Bad (be sure to get the 2nd edition for the bonus scenes!) –Amazon| Barnes & Noble| Whiskey Creek Press Add it to Goodreads
Polar Opposites – Amazon| Barnes & Noble| Whiskey Creek Press| Add on Goodreads 
Worth the Effort:
Ella’s Story – Amazon| Barnes & Noble| iTunes| Kobo| Goodreads
Ayden’s Story – Amazon| Barnes & Noble| iTunes| Kobo| Goodreads

Interview with Ashlyn Chase

indexTell us about your publishing journey…

I took a screenwriting course first, thinking I’d like to write movies. Hollywood passed on my romantic comedies but I still wanted to write. I joined RWA and learned a lot from generous romance novelists who were successful. I adapted one of my screenplays into a novel. (I know. It’s usually the other way around.) But that became my first published book. Meanwhile I was working on something new, and that was a great learning experience. I joined a critique group, and because everyone in the group was writing suspense, I did too—for a while. When I finally found my own voice it was humorous! I was funny! Who knew?

What inspired you to write this book?

A contract. There’s something about being paid in advance, and knowing you’ll have to give back the money if you don’t perform, to give any writer a kick in the pants. LOL. Actually, it’s a series spin-off of the last series. Book 2 in the Flirting with Fangs series was How to Date a Dragon. I hadn’t thought of writing more dragons until my publisher asked me to. I aim to please.

What question do you want to be asked in an interview, then please include your answer.

What punishment do you think Internet Prates should face?

IF they survive walking the plank in shark infested waters (which should happen just to drive home the point that they are pirates) then they should have to forfeit their paychecks until every artist, author, actor, and musician has been paid what they stole from them. They think it’s a piddly amount that won’t be missed, so it doesn’t count. Guess what asshole? You just took a loaf of bread out of my pantry. Pirates ought to eat Ramen Noodles until their victims are fully compensated.

What do you love about writing?

Waking up when I’m good and ready. Working in my bathrobe… Nah. The ability to indulge my creativity is paramount. I was a nurse for 20 years. Creativity is greatly discouraged by doctors who want you to carry out their orders to the letter.

I love the freedom to invent unique characters and the world they live in. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being able to make a paycheck that way.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go to and why?9781492610090-PR(1)

I’m not one to long for a nostalgic past. I think every time period has its problems. I might like a peek at the future to see if we’ve solved some of those dilemmas. Batteries that last forever? No more computer glitches? I doubt we’ll have world peace. Unless human beings have found a magic chill pill that can go into everyone’s water supply.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Well, the character would be Jaime Fraser, obviously. I could introduce him to Ramen Noodles and he could introduce me to Haggas. I’m sure it would be hilarious. Then maybe we could get a decent meal at a local establishment after that.

If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Everything has its drawbacks. Werewolves go through a painful transition every month. Vampires have to drink blood and avoid the sun. Maybe I’d be a phoenix. I’d have pretty tail feathers, be able to shift and fly, and if the worst happened, I could crash-land into a bonfire and reincarnate.

In a fire, what 3 things would you rescue?

My cat, my husband, and myself. Everything else is just stuff.

Who would be your dream cast for your book?

My Wild Irish Dragon? Let’s see. The heroine Chloe is an athletic blonde with freckles. Maybe Kate from the old TV show Lost would be willing to dye her hair. And Ryan is our hero. Pick a tall, dark, and handsome actor with a smart-alec smirk. Maybe James Franco.

What are you working on now?

First book in a whole new series. The Phoenix Brothers. Book 1’s main characters are Gabe Fierro and Misty… I haven’t come up with a last name for her yet.

Where can fans find you online?

Where there’s fire, there’s Ash

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