It’s ZOMBIE time again! I got the chance to ask Dana Fredsti, author of Plague Town and the sequel, Plague Nation, a few questions about her writing process, her own “zombocalypse” plan, and even got a hint about the third book of the series, Plague World, which she’s currently writing. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my review of Plague Nation, you really should! And then you should definitely read the book, because it’s pretty fan-freakin-tastic. (And no, they’re not paying me to say that! It’s a good book!)
Also, if you’d like to try your hand at winning a copy of Plague Nation, make sure to check out the very end of this article!
Z: Did you draw on yourself as inspiration for any of the characters? Why or why not?
DF: My sense of humor (appropriate or not) definitely comes out in my books, especially in first person narratives. I try not to overdo imbuing characters with my personality/politics/tastes unless it serves the story. Even when I agree with someone’s politics, I hate reading things that make me feel like I’m being beaten over the head with an author’s personal agenda. That being said, there will never be a cat hurt in one of my books. And yes, I would totally go back for the cats.
Z: Why do you think the idea of zombies has gained such steam in recent years?
DF: A combination of really good movies and books coming out that caught the public’s attention, including those of us who’ve been waiting for more zombie related materials, and all of the very real scary disasters/apocalypses that could happen. There are people who are actively preparing for the zombocalypse who ignored the possibility of earthquakes or other natural disasters. We all read about things like the tsunami of 2004, Hurricane Katrina, the huge earthquake in Haiti, and just assume it will always happen to someone else. Maybe it’s easier for some people to prepare for something that will never happen and therefore isn’t scary, so preparing for it doesn’t open up the possibility of having to live through the aftermath of an actual disaster. I really don’t know, though. This is just my speculation.
Z: What will you do if the “zombocalypse” actually happens?
DF: Well, we have an earthquake kit, lots of bottled water, toilet paper, pet supplies, and wine, so we will hunker down here as “bugging out” with multiple felines and a dog is not gonna happen. I will not leave my pets. We have weapons, know how to use them, and I will have no trouble putting down neighbors or loved ones if they’ve gone zombie.
Z: What particular habits help you with your writing?
DF: Heh. At first I read that as “peculiar habits” and I immediately started making things up in my head since most of my habits are fairly normal. I think. I like to write while in my flannel pajamas, be it on the weekends or in the evenings after my day job, and I like to have either background music or an innocuous (or much viewed) movie that I can ignore while still having “white noise” on. It’s fun to look up now and again and have something to watch as well. it helps my brain disconnect from the real world and get into a creative space for writing. I do need to make sure I’ve exercised (walking the dog on the beach first thing works nicely) and gotten the daily pet-related chaos cleaned up before I start. I need relatively neat surroundings or I get distracted by the mess and can’t focus. Back when I had a fireplace, I used to pop in a firelog and light it up. Nowadays since I don’t have a fireplace, I’ll light some candles. Little things like that to let my brain know it’s time to check out of reality and get into the creative zone.
Z: Can you give us any details about the next book? I’m dying to know what happens!
DF: Well, as the title Plague World implies, the zombie plague will have spread beyond the United States. I’ve already picked out places to include in my interludes (Botswana, Norway, India, just to name a few). Meanwhile, Ashley and the remaining wild cards need to (can’t specify because of possible spoilers for those who have not read Plague Nation) and this will involved going to San Diego to accomplish this unspecified mission. I am working on the book now, actually, and because I am a pantser as opposed to a plotter, there are still things that will happen that I won’t know about until I actually write them. I have a general outline with the basic story arc and broad plot points planned out, but that’s it. Please don’t die, though. I promise I’ll finish soon!!!
This article was posted as part of the Plague Nation blog tour, celebrating the release of Dana Fredsti’s new novel. For the opportunity to win a copy of the book, simply tweet:
“I would like a copy of Plague Nation @TitanBooks @danafredsti #plaguenation”.
Find out more about the book and the tour at: www.titanbooks.com/plaguenation