Interview at Books With Marshmallows


      1)  What inspired you to write Dead Tropics?
I love zombie stories but I am often frustrated with them, too.  All too often the people in zombie books don’t reflect the everyday person.  They are soldiers, armed to the teeth, unhampered by family and friends.  I wanted to read about the mums, dads, kids!  I wanted to know how they would cope with a wide-scale disaster like zombies (or any natural disasters, for that matter)?  As a mum of three, I kept asking myself the question: would I be able to protect my family or would I be one of those people who lie down and die without a fight?
Dead Tropics came about out of my desire to answer that question.

2) What is it that made you write about zombies?
I have been a long time fan of zombie books.  Actually, I think I fell in love with them back when I was twelve years old and read The Day of the Triffids!  Different species but very similar in essence! 
I love the implacable, unstoppable quality of zombies.  To me, zombies are a force of nature, like tsunamis, plagues and earthquakes.
In addition, disasters bring out the best and worst in people.  They allow everyday people an opportunity to emerge as heroes.  I love that element of self discovery!  Writing about zombies allowed me to place an ordinary mum in an extraordinary situation and explore the effect that has on her character – and that of other people.  Some people become stronger under severe stress; others fall apart.
And, of course, the ridiculous nature of a zombie attack in itself lends itself to moments of high humor.  How could I bypass that?
3) Do you think you will survive the zombie apocalypse? Any tips you’d like to share with us?
Isn’t that why people enjoy disaster and apocalyptic books?  We always imagine that we will have that special quality that sets us apart and allows us to survive! 
In reality (and yes, I am aware of the irony in combining that word and zombies in the same sentence), I think I would put up a damn good fight.  Like Lori, the heroine of my book, I have a family and I believe that I would fight like the proverbial tigress to keep them safe.  Plus, I’ve read heaps of zombie books – and written one!  That’s gotta give me some kind of advantage over the masses!
My tips:
       A) Run.
      B) Carry a sharp stick
      C) If someone with a big hole in their gut comes at you, stake them first and ask questions later
      D) When all else fails, see A

4) When you first started writing this book, did you have a clear idea of how it was going to go or did you just string ideas as you go?
Actually when I sat down to write this book, all I knew was that I was writing the story of a mum in a zombie apocalypse, and how it was going to end.  The rest just evolved.  One scene would logically flow into the next scene.  I would flesh out the scenes each morning when I took the dogs for their walk, and then come home and write them.  Nothing like fresh air and tropical surroundings to inspire the creative juices.
5) What kind of research did you do for this book?
A fair bit, surprisingly.  My heroine is a nurse, for one thing  – which I am not – so I had to do a bit of research to flesh out that aspect of the character.  But there were a lot of other subjects covered in the book that I needed to research, from what supplies are carried in an ambulance to amputations, army vehicles and even nuclear warfare.  I started to wonder if some government agency was red-flagging me because of the subjects I was researching!

6) Hahah. This might be the most appropriate questions for this interview. So if you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Alive?  It would have to be the cast of True Blood.  What can I say, I love that show, especially the gorgeous men on it.  Dinner would be infinitely more interesting with all of them sitting around the table!
Dead?  I would have to pick Elizabeth 1.  There was a woman who was intelligent, resourceful and ruthless when needed but still yearned for love and romance.

7) Which one is more fearful zombies or aliens?
Zombies, of course!  Unless you’re talking about THE Alien.  Brrr.  It took me three goes to actually watch that movie all the way through.


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