This is a tough question because the answer is actually quite long. I guess to put it simply, I wrote an online serial that was hugely successful with its audience, so I self-published it as a trilogy. I was eventually picked up by my agent who turned around and sold the As The World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege) to Tor. It has now come out in both trade paperback and mass market paperback and has several foreign editions.
Though I’m now published by both Tor and Permuted Press, I do continue to self-publish. The Last Bastion of the Living has been my most successful indie work both monetarily and critically.
My next book from Tor will be Dead Spots and Permuted Press is currently reissuing my vampire/zombie trilogy Pretty When She Dies.
I love that I can somehow transfer these dynamic stories from my mind to the page so that other people can read and enjoy them. It feels like magic. I’m incredibly blessed that I can write full-time and continue to explore the strange worlds inside my imagination.
What part do you dislike about being an author?
Probably the physical pain that comes with writing so much. My hands and wrists ache every day and sitting for so long does aggravate my back (though standing for too long is much worse).
It also took some time getting used to not having a regular paycheck and figuring out how to create a budget that works with quarterly payments and fluctuating monthly royalties.
To never compromise on the story. In the end, I have to be happy with what I wrote. If I alter something to bow to the wishes of fans or an editor/publisher, I have to live with that. That’s a very sobering thought. I will tweak the little stuff to make the story more dynamic, but there are certain elements of a story I will not budge on.
If you could have dinner with a literary character – who would it be and what would you eat?
I would love to hang out with the cast of characters from the Pretty When She Dies trilogy because they’re Austin based and we could go to my favorite restaurant for chicken enchiladas and margaritas. I’d rather meet one of my own characters (since I know them well), than a character from someone else’s book.
What was the last book you read and what were your thoughts on it?
I read Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened. It was wickedly funny, but also very insightful. I have people in my life who deal with depression and/or bi-polar disorder, so there were a few parts that were an interesting portal into the mind suffering from a mental disorder. I also love anything she writes about her childhood and her dogs. I’m a huge fan of Allie Brosh’s blog, so her first book was an auto-buy.
You have a time machine, which era do you go back to and why?
I would most likely go back to the 1950’s so I could hang out with my mother when she was a young woman. I’d also like to meet my great grandparents during that time period. It would be very tempting to warn my mother about the future, but that probably wouldn’t be the best idea.
If you were to cast your book, who would play the leads?
I’m going to assume you mean The Last Bastion of the Living (since I have a bunch of books!), so I would have to go with Michelle Rodriguez as Maria and George Clooney as Dwayne Reichardt. Those are also the two top actors that fans pick. Of course, in my head the two characters didn’t look like movie stars, but just themselves. It’s always hard to add a new face to a character when it comes to dreamcasting a book.
What’s your favourite TV show, and why?
American Horror Story is my absolute favorite right now. I just love the anthology series and the weird places the writers take the viewers every season. I also love watching Archer with my husband because it’s so wrong, yet so hilarious.
My 12 inch Princess Leia doll who had real hair! That was a big coup for my mom back in the late Seventies. I loved that doll. I still have her in storage.
What’s the best part of Xmas for you?
The nieces and nephews running amok through the house and having fun. The day after Christmas we always have a zombie marathon and play video games. I always enjoy that because they are such rabid little zombie hunters.
Are you on Santa’s nice or naughty list this year?
If he reads my books, I’m probably on both!
Are there plans for another novel in the series?
The Last Bastion of the Living is a standalone novel. I don’t anticipate there being a sequel. It’s been five years since the idea first landed in my mind and it hasn’t spawned a second story, so chances are it won’t. Whenever fans ask me for a sequel they always suggest the same three plots, so that’s a big indicator of what not to write. I absolutely love that world, the tech, and the characters, but the story felt complete when I finished.
Do you have a New Year’s Resolution in mind for 2014?
Not really. I tend to have certain hopes for a year. I’ve learned that it can sometimes take years for a resolution to come to pass, so I generally work toward the same goal every year. Write more, publish more, and sell more.
If your characters could give your readers a Xmas message, what would it be?
I honestly have no idea. Their world is so far removed from our own I’m not even sure they celebrate holidays.
Where can fans find you online?
The portal for all things Rhiannon Frater is at rhiannonfrater.com It has a full list of all my books, my blog, and links to social media.