Author interview swap with Kendra L Saunders

13754143_10154305819116411_1492845484166471802_nTell us about your publishing journey…
It’s been a long one! I started in 2011 by self publishing my dark magic realism novel Inanimate Objects. From there I was contracted to write a book for a small press, and soon after I wrote two more books: Dating an Alien Pop Star, and The Unlove Spell. In 2015 I signed a contract for the Alien Pop Star series, and by the end of 2016 I should have three new releases in one year. It takes a long time to happen, but once the ball starts rolling, it usually moves quickly. Engaged to an Alien Pop Star (second book in the Alien Pop Star series) will be out this November, and The Unlove Spell will be out in December.
What do you love about being an author?
Escaping to amazing worlds where things end up making sense. Making people laugh. Hearing from strangers that something I wrote had an emotional impact on them. Spending time with aliens (in books!) Traveling for my “job”… hey, come on, it’s research!
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Oh man. Probably I’d choose Henry DeTamble from the Time Traveler’s Wife, and I’d want to have something delicious and easy to eat so we could just talk about music and time travel the whole time!
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
That’s a tough choice! I’m usually very inspired by musicians and models rather than actors. I think if I had to choose actual actors, though, Daisy Ridley would be a fun Daisy (and her name is perfect!) and Christian Bale would be great for Griffin’s dad, though they’d need to age him up a bit. Not sure about actors for Griffin and Dev.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Sexy leads, always! I’m such a chicken about horror, and vampires scare me way too much when they’re monsters.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?Ebook- Date an Alien
I would probably waste my use of a time machine on something stupid, like going to see Muse live at Glastonbury in 2004. But if I could go to any time period for a few days, safely, I would absolutely go to the 1920s in Paris. The romanticism of that time and place is so widespread that Woody Allen made that movie, Midnight in Paris, about it. I would love to wear some flapper styles and just soak in the crazy time of change. But then I’d want to come right back to modern times, where women have rights, we have modern medicine, and the internet!
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Don’t try to make mean people happy. Don’t take so many other people’s pain onto yourself. Don’t hate your body so much. Don’t starve yourself, and cut back on the coffee!
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Oooh, that’s another tough one. I’d probably want to be something that had a long life, but I couldn’t be a vampire, because I’m too easily grossed out. So probably a fairy or something, because they get to be fun colors and wear sparkly things, or nothing at all, if they want!
Where do you write best?
My favorite place to write is a comfortable, slightly noisy coffee shop of some type. I can’t help it! I know it’s such an author stereotype, but I really love it. I actually work for the country’s biggest coffee shop chain now– think green aprons!– and I still love writing at coffee shops. My second favorite spot is the comfort of my own bed, at about midnight, to about 3am. I’m a night owl by nature, and I love writing at night when it’s quiet and dark.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I’ve been reading the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m in the third book now, and have really loved the characters, the descriptions, the dynamics of “found families”, and the unique take on magic and legend. I definitely liked the first book best so far, but I’m enjoying the whole series quite a lot!
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
Because I write books with comedic, romantic, and fantastical elements, I’m not sure what would be left! I love good comedy, I love magic, and I love handsome boys, so I think I’d have to find a way back to one of those genres no matter what!
Thank you so much for having me, Nicky!
Where can fans find you online?
Twitter @kendrybird
Instagram @kendralsaunders
Facebook, under my name, Kendra L. Saunders
I also have a website http://www.kendralsaunders.com/ that has loads of helpful tips, articles and links for writers, as well as some fun free short stories.
I blog about well-being + fashion & interviews designers from Project Runway at http://kendrybird.blogspot.com/

Book Review: Zomburbia by Adam J. Gallardo

19083252Synopsis:

“Scary, freaky, and original. Get this book!” -Nancy Holder Lifeless. Slow-moving. Brain-dead.
“Welcome To Zomburbia.”

My name is Courtney Hart, and I’m here to tell you about things that suck. Being born in a podunk town like Salem, Oregon, for one. Living in a world infested with zombies? That, too. And the meat heads I go to school with? I think I’d actually take the undead over them most days. But I have a plan to get out of here and move to New York. I just have to keep selling Vitamin Z along with your fries at The Bully Burger. The secret ingredient? Zombie brains.

I’ve noticed things are getting even worse lately, if that’s even possible. The zombies seem to be getting smarter and faster. If I can avoid being arrested, eaten by shufflers, or catching the eye of some stupid boy, I should be able to make it through finals week still breathing. . .

“Gallardo’s world-building is innovative and fascinating, sick and twisted and unexpectedly touching. You’ll want to check that your zombie apocalypse closet is well stocked.” -Molly Harper White

“Readers are guaranteed plenty of mayhem and romance, laughter and heartbreak.” -James Patrick Kelly

My Review:

Looking at the front cover, this looks like an amazing zombie book.  However, instead of it being the full on horror it promises, its more of a teen angst set against an undead back-drop.  If you like those types of books, you’ll love this – it lends itself very much to a teen readership, but as an adult I really expected more, so I was kind of disappointment.

From a writer’s perspective, it was written very well and was well thought-out, but (here’s that big ‘but’ again!) the very start of the book is kind of boring and introduces our protagonist as a whiny teenager, drama-cising her way through the shuffling zombie outbreak. I would have much rather had a Katniss style character that you can get behind that kicks butt and take things seriously – one you actually want to survive.

Also, there’s not much promotion from the author online. I usually include a bio and photo from Goodreads on my reviews, but alas the author is currently an absent blank on there.  that really needs to change. Authors live and die by social media these days and, as the book is available for review now, he should really include his details on Goodreads and Amazon – at the very least.

The front cover is amazing, so two undead thumbs up to whoever put it together – it’ll no doubt get some attention on the virtual book shelf.

Overall, I’d give Zomburbia 2 out 5 stars for adult readers, 3.5 out of 5 for teens – it’s kind of ‘Clueless’ with zombies.