With Zombies for Breakfast, we start the presentation of our non-Avalon releases with a big bang - it could hardly be more different from the usual Avalon agenda. So, tell me, Rebecca - why a romance with Zombies? I've often heard that romances with Zombies are difficult to stomach because it's a bit off-turning if the partner in a romance loses a limb every now and then. Did that trouble you?
Ah, the question of the hour. I knew from page one I was going to take some serious liberties with zombie lore. The heroes may be undead, but these zombies aren’t your typical brainless, flesh-eating corpses. The premise is based on a myth that has to do with the allusive Aqua Vitae, the “water” or “elixir of life”, a substance some alchemists say has both chemical and spiritual properties. I simply extended those properties to work on those recently dead to return them to life with most of their existing memories, personality and characteristics—and then some. There’s no fear of losing limbs in any nooks and crannies in this story, just a somewhat tongue-in-cheek spin on undead characters to give paranormal readers a break from the vampire/werewolf routine.
Please tell us more about the plot. What's the hook?
The conflict stems from the recently undead hero, Sean—drop dead gorgeous but psychologically scarred to find himself shredding the inside of his coffin and with a lifetime membership to the Arizona Zombie Organization. He quickly learns he must spend eight of every twenty-four hours in the confines of a dark tomb-like atmosphere in order to continue to regenerate, but he’s acutely claustrophobic. Panicked, he breaks into the nearest pharmacy for a supply of prescription-strength sleeping pills, which he hopes will get him through the daily regeneration. In the process, he meets our heroine, Payson Daley, reluctant pharmacist, and he thwarts another, more dangerous, thief. Payson is grateful for the intervention, and sets out to help him, despite the fact she’s mortified to find herself attracted to a thief (she doesn’t yet know he’s undead). When Sean turns up bound and gagged in her basement along with a real dead corpse, she makes a series of decisions that soon have her buried in trouble with an undead, underground villain and the local police.
Wow - this sounds like an exciting mix! Give us a snippet of your favorite scene.
I’d say my favorite scene is when Sean passes out from a naturopathic concoction Payson whipped up for him, and her interfering, undead roommate has built him a hiding place for him to regenerate—in his birthday suit—underneath Payson’s trundle bed just as she’s trying to resist him the most. It makes for some interesting dynamics.
How do you compare this novel to your two Avalon releases?
You’d think they would be as different as day and night, but the truth is, the writing voice is similar. I try to infuse a bit of humor throughout each of them, and the romantic elements are ratcheted up with mutual attraction and tension without being graphic or steamy. The subject matter for Zombies for Breakfast is definitely a bit more mature, of course, with dead bodies piling up all over the place.
Is this a book for people who like experimental reading or is it something you can give to your teenage daughter as well?
This book isn’t targeted for a young adult audience, and because of the slightly more mature subject matter, I’d say ‘know your teenager’ before I would have them read it. I might give it to an older teen, but probably not a younger one. As for other readers, I don’t think they’d need to be necessarily experimental to enjoy it. I would hope anyone who enjoys paranormal elements, or contemporary romance with a bit of a twist could enjoy this book.
From my personal experience, I can only endorse this - I would never have chosen a Zombie-novel by myself, but I started to read it for Rebecca - and then, contrary to my expectation, I was hooked and ended up loving it! In what direction do you plan to take your writing next, Rebecca? What's in the works?
The last few novels I’ve been working on are all young adult novels. I intend to focus the next few years of my career writing those—both paranormal and contemporary. I have an edgy little ghost story shopping around at some publishers, and a dystopian that still needs a bit of work. My next novel will probably have a paranormal element, but no undead in sight.
That's an impessive range . . . I'll watch out for your next releases! Now please tell us what's a sure thing that will make you stop reading a book?
I will stop reading a book if I get an ‘icky’ feeling. That’s scientific for you, no? Seriously, though, this is why it’s important for me to help people understand my zombie romance doesn’t have that ick-factor. I’ve read quite a few books over the years that just don’t sit well with me, and I’ll generally leave them off wherever that feeling hits me. For me, reading is a pleasant escape, and I want to keep the experience pleasant.
What would you say is your particular strength as an author? Why do people come back and want to read more? (I've read several books by Rebecca and have my own answer to this, but I'll let her answer first!)
I like to think it’s because they appreciate my sense of humor and creativity in story telling. I try to write a compelling story that doles out the twists and turns in a way that keeps the pages turning quickly. A lot of people have told me they read my books in one sitting because once they picked it up they wanted to keep reading through. I take that as an extreme compliment.
Absolutely! The cliff-hangers created by Rebecca have often caused me severe sleep-deprivation . . . Where can people buy Zombies for Breakfast?
Zombies for Breakfast is an ebook (approximately 250 pages) available for $2.99 on Amazon for Kindle or Apple products, and on Barnes & Noble for the nook. It can also be purchased for Apple directly through the iBookstore.
Thank you for your time, Rebecca, and good luck with this release!