Archive for 2011

Review at Good Choice Reading

Check out the review at Good Choice Reading!

“Does anything get better than a mother trying to save her children from killer zombies in a tropical rainforest? I mean, it’s like the perfect equation for gore and suspense!

Dead Tropics actually surprised me with how fast the story jumped into the action. But even though it moved quickly, I still had enough time to actually care about all of the characters – which is pretty rare.”

Night Owl Interview

Check out my interview at Night Owl books

“Kids, check. Snack, check. Bornean headhunter’s hatchet, check.”

Check out this great review of Dead Tropics at A Will To Act

Author Sue Edge recently shared a copy of her novel Dead Tropics with me, which, to my immense pleasure, proved to be a rather fantastic contribution to zombie literature. Delivered in a wonderfully natural voice, the story explores the trials and challenges of a determined mother in the midst of an undead outbreak…

Signed with Permuted Press

I am thrilled to have recently signed a contract for two books with Permuted Press.  When it comes to zombies and apocalyptic novels, I don’t think there is a better publisher!  Unfortunately, it means I will have to take Dead Tropics off sale for the moment.  Keep an eye out for its release under Permuted Press!

Now ranked 5000th on Amazon!

With an overall ranking in the 5000s this week, my book is ranked 36 in its horror-occult genre.  It is nice to see that it is getting noticed by readers.

Review of my novel at Peace, Love and Reviews

  • peace, love and reviews

Nice review of my book by book reviewer, Pat at Peace, Love and Reviews: “I believe this is also the first time I’ve read a zombie apocalypse from a female perspective. I was impressed…”

Average Amazon ranking

Sales of my book has pretty much doubled every month.  Very encouraging!  Its ranking is currently hovering around the 10,000 mark.  Reviews have been (mostly) positive.

Guest Blog at Fang-tastic Books

I am often asked why I picked a zombie apocalypse as the background for my novel, Dead Tropics.  I can understand their confusion: I hate gore and I tend to write humorous stories, so zombies do seem an odd fit for me.

I have always loved zombies because a zombie apocalypse allows ordinary people to become heroes, to discover strengths they never dreamed they had, to evolve into leaders of men.  What has always annoyed me, though, was that the heroes in the books were always men , bristling with weaponry.  Where were the mothers?  Where were the families?  What about the people who weren’t fortunate enough to have a cupboard full of guns and flamethrowers?

It seemed to me that if anyone was likely to survive a azombie apocalypse, it would be the mothers of the world!  Sure, men have more practice being aggressive but mothers have the protective instincts of a tigress when it comes to their kids.  They would let nothing harm their kids, not even zombies.

Indeed, the idea for this novel first occurred to me after my own ‘tigress’  moment.  I was waiting outside the movies with my small children when a drug addict started harassing my little boy.  Instantly, I morphed from a amiable woman who had never said ‘boo’ to anyone in her life to a a Ellen Ripley ‘get away from her, you bitch’ type of woman.  The drug addict backed away so fast, he nearly tripped over his own feet.  My kids stared at me with open mouths.  They had never seen me act like that and I was the topic of conversation at home for the rest of the week.  It got me thinking, because I did not have a clue that I had it in me to react like that.

protective mother

 

The heroine of Dead Tropics, Lori Nelson, is also an ordinary mum living in a small tropical town in Australia.   She works, she loves her kids, she struggles to manage her busy schedule.  Pretty typical mum stuff.  But when a virus devastates her sleepy town, creating chaos and death on every corner, she discovers what she is truly capable of.

 

Lori battles zombies in hand to hand combat, scales buildings, rescues her children, plans an escape and still has time to find love!  She evolves from stressed out mum into a kickass, gutsy heroine we can all identify with and cheer for.  In the course of a couple of frantic, fast-paced days, Lori learns how to fight, she discovers how to lead others, how to make quick – and sometimes, painfully hard – decisions, how to conquer fear and, yes, how to appreciate the love of a good man when she finds it.

Hopefully, my readers will be able to enjoy the ride as Lori takes them on one breathless adventure after another in the battle to save her family.  Enjoy!

Choosing a book title

As I start my first urban fantasy novel, I am struggling with finding the perfect title.  So many books have been written on werewolves that a) not only do I have to find a unique angle but b) every title I think of has a similar – or exact – one out there!

And that got me thinking about what makes a great book title.  Here are my thoughts:

1.  It needs to encapsulate the book’s concept so that readers know exactly what they are in for.  If my book had been a romance, for example, naming it ‘Dead Tropics’ would not have been a good idea.  For a zombie book, however, its pretty cool!

2.  Check the internet to make sure it is a unique title.  You don’t want to confuse readers by lumping your book in with several other books that have the same or very similar titles.

3.  Brainstorm possible titles.  Let your creative juices flow.  Put it all down on paper and then look at them individually.  Are they unique?  Do they do your book justice?

3.  And lastly, choose a title that thrills you, as the author.  You know your book best and if you love it, really really love it, then go with it.

As for my precious book…hmm, I’m tentatively leaning towards The Moon Unbound.  A young heroine struggling with her new life as a werewolf and mother, werewolf clan wars, rough-hewn hero …its working for me right now.

 

How to get a write-up of your book

As a new author, I felt rather daunted by the task of getting my book noticed but as I was rather successful, I thought I would share my success story.

Last year, I wrote a parenting book which was written up in all the national newspapers.  I was even invited onto a national current affairs tv show!

I did this by:

1) keeping an eye out for news items that related to my book.

2) writing a press release that I hoped would catch the eye of a journalist.  I did this by:

  • using a controversial/sensationalised headline,
  • writing in the style of newspaper articles,  and
  • scouring the internet for journalists who had written on my subject matter.

I sent a press release to these journalists.  One journalist responded the next day, asking for a copy of my book.  She then wrote a four page story that was copied by every other major paper and discussed widely on radio and tv.

When it comes to the actual press release, here are some tips:

a) provide a large newsworthy heading just like you see in the newspapers

b) pretend you are fishing: put out something that will make the media bite – topics that are hot or controversial.  Don’t be afraid to have an opinion that goes against the norm – just have facts to support your case.

c) keep it short

d) sum up the press release in your first paragraph -who, what, when, why, where and how.

e) use the rest of the press release to expand on the info in the first paragraph.

e) provide all the details they might need such as company name, contact person and contact numbers.

Since then, I have converted that media coverage into a deal with a book distributor.  To keep interest alive, I do radio chat shows and write articles for magazine that subtly plug my book.  I have discovered what many writers discover – writing the book was the easy part.  Promotion, however, is never-ending.