1. What led you to write YA paranormal and corpses becoming reanimated?
Explaining my warped creative process is challenging because the stories I tend to create all begin with “What if?” That simple question can take me down a rabbit hole of possibilities and I never worry about whether an idea is plausible. In my mind, the boundary for reality is permeable.
The Undead started as a “what if” after a personal experience. The story then began to unfold in my mind, but it never ventured near The Walking Dead, which is a series I was addicted to once. I wanted the return to be less problematic and gory than the zombies in the apocalyptic stories.
2. Are the characters in The Undead based on real people?
Every character I create comes from bits and pieces of people that I’ve encountered, but no one person translates into a full character in one of my stories. At least not yet.
3. Does Eric play the guitar because you play the guitar?
No, Eric plays the guitar because he’s a gifted musician and because I think the guitar is one of the coolest instruments a guy can play. I took piano lessons for several years as a child, but I would not impress anyone with the skills that have remained after all those years.
4. Is The Undead a series?
I wrote The Undead as a stand alone, although the door was left slightly ajar at the end. While Lyla, Eric and Ben’s tale could go on, it will be up to the reader to determine what happens next.
5. What’s your favorite genre to read?
I like so many different types of fiction. I have specific favorite books and favorite authors that span romance, action, drama, suspense, and memoir (and for adult, NA, and YA audiences).
Writing blogs often suggest letting your manuscript rest between edits. That time allows the story to become fresh again and offers you distance from your work.
The Undead began as a tale told only from Lyla’s vantage point. Her troubles at school were chronicled in detail, along with the tension at home, and oh yeah, the awakening of her ability to resurrect the dead. Eric was a character, but not a main character because we never understood his motivations.
When my editor read my ms for the first time, she had many questions about Eric and suggested I offer more information about him. He was too mysterious, in an incomplete and frustrating way. His motivations were not understood. What did he want? What did he need? I thought long and hard about how to show more of him. But the trouble with showing more about another character written in first person is the fear of info-dumping or labored conversations to include the pertinent past information.
To develop Eric's character more and make his motivations central to the story, I gave him a voice of his own. And boy did he take off. I could barely keep up with everything he wanted to do and say. His depth of emotion ran deeper than I expected.
Without someone suggesting I offer more and allowing my work to rest, I wouldn’t have thought to push that way.
Having a CP, beta reader, and/or an editor read your work and offer feedback are critical steps for your story. Sometimes a suggestion or question is enough to turn your tale into something deeper and stronger. Especially if you’ve given it enough time.
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: September 3rd 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Especially once Lyla’s new talent of resurrecting the dead draws the attention of Eric, a Grim Reaper with a guitar and a chip on his shoulder.
While Lyla navigates the gossip-ridden halls, Eric works to gain her trust and discover why Death’s clients aren’t staying down. If she passes on her gift, his death-messenger destiny might be altered. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are way easier to deal with than the living.
Gossip explodes, the Grimm family implodes, and desperation sets in. Death wants the gift and a soul. Lyla and Eric face hard choices with hidden consequences. Sometimes life’s choices aren’t really choices at all.
- 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup condensed French onion soup with ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and black pepper. Shape into 6 oval patties.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Pour off excess fat.
- In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining soup until smooth. Mix in ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder. Pour over meat in skillet. Cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.