Thursday, January 9, 2014

Interview with Apocalipstick Author Lisa Acerbo

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

Apocalipstick is my first book.  Published through Eternal Press, it was released on August 1st 2013.  Jenna, the main character, lives in a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies and a new race called the “others.” Jenna must not only survive this bleak landscape full of death and chaos, but she must also help a small group of survivors reach the safe haven of the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna can finally relax and develops feelings for two men: Quentin, who reminds her of the past and Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human.

Are you a mom ?

Yes, but my daughter and step-daughter are in college at the University of Connecticut and Boston University. Unfortunately, writing has yet to be profitable enough to pay their tuition, but having them in college leaves me with time on my hands.  I usually write in the morning for an hour because it is quiet.  I tend to get up at 4 AM or 5 AM to start the process.  I am a high school teacher so I have to be in school by 7:15 in the morning, but during the summer, I can relax a little and sleep in later. My daughters are also home in the summer so we are on the go all day if they are not working. 

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

I hope the message conveyed through Apocalipstick is similar to what made some of the classic zombie movies so interesting to watch. Dawn of the Dead (1978) used the zombie genre to make a comment of society. For example, it is important that we live every day to the fullest.   

When I began the novel, I wanted my audience, on some level, to relate to the characters in Apocalipstick and the struggles they face in the story.  Every day, people fight small battles, whether it is with school, jobs, illnesses, or family problems.  At times, people also lose hope or feel detached, similar to the characters called the “others.” 

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

I ride horses, but I am awful at it.  My daughter has been riding since she was four years old and I wanted to stay involved.  We ended up buying one horse when she was a teen and then rescuing another, a thoroughbred and former racehorse with arthritis.  I love trail riding and take lessons, but cannot improve.  I have a mental block.

Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written? 

Johanna Lindsay is my favorite romance author and I’ve enjoyed the Mallory series of books. Lindsay just released her 50th novel as well.  I had such a hard time completing one!  I wish I could emulate her style and have her long and well-received career as a romance writer. 

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

Does academic writing count?  I completed my EdD in Educational Leadership and the writing is academic, entirely different from anything I have done before. It was like starting all over again. My dissertation ended up being book length, more than 150 pages.  Academic writing feels like you are writing a novel without any interesting characters, plot, or dialogue.  You do get to repeat your research findings numerous times. I liked the research aspect of it and could see working on more non-fiction articles.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

Jenna, the main character, lives in this crazy, deadly post-apocalyptic world overrun with stalkers, another name for zombies. I love Jenna, the hero of the story.  She is tough, smart and sassy and has this innate ability to stay alive in the craziest situations. What more could you want?  I’m not sure if she is all that likable; a zombie apocalypse can cause some people to be on edge and grumpy, but she is fiercely loyal to her friends, and that counts for a whole lot when you fight the evil undead.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

Apocalipstick was my first book, but book two in the series is coming together.  Jenna and Caleb undergo a challenging quest.  They leave the safety of the inn and their travels resemble the traditional journey of the mythological heroes brought to light by Joseph Campbell.  There are also many unexpected twists for the characters and someone rises from the dead, but not as a zombie.

What book are you reading now?

One of my students asked me if I read in my spare time.  I told him how I recently completed two excellent Stephen King books – Joyland and Doctor Sleep.  These stories reminded me why I enjoy not only teaching others about literature and writing but also practicing the craft myself.  Even though I know I could never come close to King’s level of mastery, reading great stories makes me want to become a better writer.  

Lisa Acerbo

Genre: Horror, paranormal romance, Urban fiction

Publisher:  Eternal Press

ISBN: 978-1-62929-017-1
ISBN: 978-1-62929-018-8

Print Length: 206 pages
Word Count: 67,444

Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique

Book Description:

Jenna should be having the time of her life at college. Instead, her only desire is survival. She lives in a world gone insane after a virus kills most of the population. Being alive after the apocalypse is bad, but when the undead return, hungry for humans, times turn darker. For Jenna and a small group of survivors, the goal is to reach the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna develops feelings for Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human. Will this new utopia last?

About the Author:

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and two horses. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education--she's working towards an EdD.

Twitter: @apocalipstick_

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1 comment:

Lisa Acerbo said...

Thanks for being part of my book tour.

I'm reading Margaret Atwood. What are other people reading now?