Finding the soul in a flesh eating zombie

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that NaNoWriMo 2012 threw up an interesting development for my writing. I didn’t know what to write or where to start, but then on Nov 4th or 5th, a zombie story crept into my mind. What if the apocalypse was over? What if scientists had found a drug that whilst not curing ‘zombification’, managed to pacify these flesh eating little buggers? I quickly hammered out a first rough chapter and have continued to write between completing other works, so I’m hoping this novella will be complete in the next week or so.

Meat_Grinder_zombie_(7265759848)One of the biggest problems/intricacies that I’ve found is in bringing the soul back into creatures who’s traditional goal in life is to consume as much living flesh as possible. It is a zombie novel after all, so there needs to be a certain amount of gore. Yet, in this story the zombies have been pacified through drug use, and the drug has an unexpected side effect in some creatures that results in a shadow of their former humanity beginning to shine through. It’s a difficult line – killing machine one minute, friendly soul the next?

I wouldn’t say that any of the zombies in my novel are ‘friendly’. And how much soul and compassion can you really find for someone who’s had their head half torn off, who’s skin has become leathery and dessicated, who you know that as soon as the drugs wear off they’ll be chowing down on your face? That’s the tricky line. Plus, my main protagonist finds himself strangely drawn to one particular zombie. A creature with dark eyes, an attractive figure, a fierce and intense aura about himself. He should be repulsed by the cold flesh, but attracted, so finding the medium between allowing lust to grow whilst not appearing too socially depraved has been interesting….and fun! So far the new novella has been a blast to write about, and a topic I never thought I’d ever cover! I can’t wait to finish and see what happens!

**This post is part of a blog hop! To hop along to the next zombie read, visit Precious Monsters.**

How to create promotional postcards for books

Christmas is coming up and I’m, well, rather under-prepared. It seems like an age ago since I read that interview with Amanda Hocking about self publishing books on Amazon, even though it was only back in February. Since then, life has changed considerably. But this is my first Christmas, and I’ve no idea what sort of promotion I should be doing.

Other than writing the article about creating Christmas book hampers, the only other idea I had was to create some actual physical promotional tools. I went to a family christening back in July, and lots of people asked about the books. I told them, chatted about Inside Evil, said ‘oh, you can find them on Amazon,’ but I had nothing to give. This Christmas I decided to go one step further and create some postcards that I could hand out.

photo (17)If you haven’t got much time for promotion, or have little money for buying adverts, then these postcards are perfect. I’ve created them with a view to giving them to friends, family and acquaintances rather than leaving them in stacks at book fairs, but they could be used in that circumstance too. I created and ordered them from Vista Print very easily and, more importantly, they were very affordable – just £30 for 50 postcards. That price also included an online proof that I won’t have to pay next time I order. Plus, I went for two weeks shipping to get them in time for Christmas, and hey presto, they were here within 10 days.

Why did I go for postcards?

There are a vast variety of options to choose from in customisable merchandise, and I nearly got sucked into creating mouse-mats, pens and even keyrings with the Inside Evil cover on. BEWARE, they do try and lure you into spending – you can’t really blame them.

My main reasoning behind postcards rather than bookmarks is that the Inside Evil is largely in an ebook form. Yes, you can buy paperbacks, but I’m promoting the ebooks more than anything. Someone who uses a bookmark on a regular occurrence may well be more likely to read traditional books than fire up their kindle. And, if they do fire up their Kindle, my bookmark isn’t going to be anywhere in sight to remind them to buy.

Secondly, I like that you can fit more onto a postcard. Rather than reaching out to strangers, I’m reaching out to people I already know are interested in my books. Therefore, I want to provide them with a few more details and incentives to buy.

I’m very happy with the overall look of the cards, and the price. I’ll be giving them out this Christmas, so I’ll let you know whether they help remind people of my work and bump up sales as a result.

Get to know the author – Juli D. Revezzo

I loved getting to know movie lover, fantasy enthusiast and zombie writer Sara Shrieves last week. This week I’m very happy to be interviewing Juli D. Revezzo, a high fantasy lover who hides away in her writing cave using mythology to help craft her novels.

*****


JuliDRevezzobTell us about yourself? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job?

Well, I can’t say I write necessarily for a living, but it does take up my whole day sometimes. I don’t really work outside the house these days.

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please.

Favorite food would be Italian food–spaghetti and sauce, lasagna, pizza. Color: Purple. Writing zone…well, my little office in the back room. Or writing cave as it’s affectionately known.

You write in the fantasy/supernatural genre….who’s been your inspiration?

I like most traditional high fantasy I’ve read: Tolkien, Melanie Rawn, J.V. Jones. I have to say my all around favorite is Michael Moorcock. After them come the classics, LeFanu and Poe other such authors.

Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

For books, The Elric Series, is always my top choice, also Moorcock’s Von Bek books, then there are authors like Patty G. Henderson and S.G. Rogers, and, and, and (gosh where do I cut off the list?). For movies, I’m a fan of the Aliens films; Excalibur is also longtime favorite. Also the Lord of the Rings films, the Narnia films, the Underworld series, I could go on and on…

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

I have to say Elric, then King Arthur.

The Artist's InheritanceWho’s your favourite character in your own work?

The heroine of The Artist’s Inheritance, Caitlin and after her, Beryl, the witch.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

Weather manipulation would be nice. Why? It’d be nice to be able to keep hurricanes away from land. I also wouldn’t mind teleportation. Wouldn’t that just make travel easier?

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours? Is there one particular moment that stands out?

A lot of the time I find it in reading mythology. For instance The Artist’s Inheritance was influenced by the fact that at the time I started writing it I’d just finished the Welsh mythological tome The Mabinogion and a handful of Irish mythological texts. We tend to think of the gods as helpful and loving but they could be meddling when they wanted to be or if a lesson was necessary. So I played on that theme in my novel. How would a wife deal with it if the gods came and smacked her husband upside the head for something?

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

I definitely tend jump back and forth. I can write a whole section at a good clip. But then the steam will peter out and I’ll jump forward to keep going until I can fill in that hole.

House of CardsWhat’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

I think if people go into them thinking the ghosts are the bad dudes, they’re in for a shock. My ghosts tend to help out the living more than I think in most ghost stories you might encounter. And when the gods are brought into most novels they’re not treated fairly. I tried to treat them a wee bit better in my own, (though with what they put my heroine, Caitlin, through she’s got a right to be bitter). Also, I try to stay away from the “idyllic retirement home” or beachcomber feel that so many books set here tend to. I try to write it as “at home” as I’ve always felt.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a follow up to The Artist’s Inheritance and *sheepishgrin* will soon be getting started on some revisions on a paranormal romance novel I just sold. It’s a wee bit different than The Artist’s Inheritance, I must admit!

How can readers connect with you?

You can find my books at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Smashwords. Feel free to visit my homepage, Facebook, Twitter or other social networking links to say hi.

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782712.Juli_D_Revezzo

On G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111476709039805267272/posts

On Librarything: http://www.librarything.com/profile/julidrevezzo

On Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/JuliDRevezzo/

On Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a1002694572/Juli-D-Revezzo/