Daily Archives: February 18, 2014
Author: Lisa Acerbo
Published: August 1st, 2013
Publisher: Eternal Press
Word Count: 67,000
Genre: Horror Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Contains non-graphic zombie gore
Recommended Age: 15+
Synopsis: 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?
Excerpt from Apocaliptick by Lisa Acerbo:
“By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes…” ran through Jenna’s mind, another remnant of her former life. Now the graveyard was the safest place. Evil openly roamed the streets and it was coming for her.
Jenna blinked the sweat out of her eyes and took a deep breath. She swayed with exhaustion. Angels, symbols of all things God and good, adornments of the dead, swam in and out of Jenna’s clouded vision. She placed a scarred hand on the peaceful, cold stone markers, embellished with the names of forgotten loved ones. Nowadays, loved ones wanted to come back from the grave and claw your face off, devour your insides.
Jenna wanted to lie down and give up. She was tired and had lost everyone she knew. Hair lank and greasy, mud splattered clothing, old and mismatched. Instead of admitting defeat, she forced herself to stay alert, pushing matted, raven hair out of her eyes with a dirty hand. Jenna could not remember a time in her recent history where she felt clean or had a moment in which she was not fighting to stay alive. Looking around the darkened landscape, she wanted to live. She shoved to her feet once again.
1) When did you first realize you wanted to be an Author?
I majored in English during college, thinking that I wanted to become a journalist, but instead became an English teacher at the high school level. While a full time teacher now, I have also continued to write and publish. Before turning to fiction, my articles appeared in the Connecticut Post, Trumbull Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter. Writing a novel was on my bucket list, so now that I have completed the goal, I am changing my bucket list entry to writing a series of books.
2) What would you say is your interesting quirk that only happens when you are writing?
When I want to write, I cannot sleep. I tend to get up at 4 am or 5 am to start the writing process because it is quiet in the house. In addition, I consume so much coffee when I write. After many cups of coffee, some coherent thoughts enter my mind and I attempt to jot something down. During the summer, I’m home alone with our three cats and I can write for as long as I want any time the mood strikes me.
3) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your books?
It is hard work. Really hard work.
4) Where did you get ideas for your books?
I love zombie movies and vampire books such as the Chicagoland vampire series. Reading some of the recent book releases in the genre such as World War Z and watching movies like Shaun of the Dead sparked the desire to try my hand at writing a zombie novel. I kept wondering what would happen if vampires had to fight zombies? The answer is in Apocalipstick.
5) Out of all the books you have written which is your favorite and why?
Apocalipstick is my first book, so it has to be my favourite, 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.
I was working on my first book and already planning the next book in my head, thinking about the changes and developments that would happen to Jenna and Caleb, the main characters.
6) What do you think makes a good story?
I grew up reading novels by Judy Blume, Johanna Lindsey, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King, among others. While entirely different genres, these authors inspired me to want to read more and write fiction. Authors who can construct vivid conflicts and life-like characters in relationships, romantic or otherwise create great stories. These days, as a teacher, I am inspired by the books my high school students read like Twilight, the Chicagoland Vampire Series, and The Hunger Games. I enjoy reading romances with action and adventure, and I hoped to create a book with those elements.
7) Who are some of your favorite Authors?
I adore Stephen King and have read On Writing by King many times. During the summer, I completed Joyland, and Doctor Sleep. King is such an amazing storyteller and his characters are well written even if flawed. I hope if I continue to practice, one day I will possess a modicum of his talent.
8) If you could pick one actor to play a character in your book in the movie version, who would it be?
Jenna would be played by Chloe Grace Moretz who is Hit Girl in the movie Kick Ass. Nicholas Hoult from Warm Bodies gets to play Caleb.
9) Who are some of the people that influenced your love of writing?
Reading great stories makes me want to become a better writer. When my classes read Lord of the Flies or Catcher in the Rye, the stories remind me why I enjoy not only teaching others about literature and writing but also practicing the craft myself. There are so many great authors, and I learn something from each of them.
10) What kind of TV shows do you like and do you find that as a Paranormal Writer that you gravitate toward True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Lost Girl and others that center around Preternatural or Supernatural Creatures?
True Blood, Vampire Diaries, and Grimm are some of my favorite shows. As an author, you need to be passionate about your subject matter. It is not only fun to watch these shows and read authors such as Kelley Armstrong, but they also help me recognize my passion for the genre and creativity.
11) How are your Supernaturals different from the traditional mythology?
My vampires, “The Others,” are genetic mutations. They are more a product of science and the bleak times than anything else. They can also be extremely sweet and good natured. Not all the time, but enough to be endearing.
12) What is your view on the Paranormal “Craze” that’s going on, do you feel that it is a fad that people will look back on and laugh or a lasting interest that will birth classics to come?
I think that when people worry about the world around them they look for answers in literature. They also use it as escapism, and, perhaps, that is why both the superhero genre and the paranormal genre are so huge right now. 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.”
13) What other genres do you write?
I have published nonfiction, journalist writing in Hollywood Scriptwriter and The Patch, a community online newspaper. My poetry also won first prize at a local contest, which spurred me on to continue to write. I did everything but fiction. Finally, I decided to try fiction. It was not easy and writing Apocalipstick took me three years. I am so happy it is now in print!
I also recently finished my EdD. Call me Doc! Scholarly research writing is not only a different genre but a different world. Academic writing feels like you are writing a novel without any interesting characters, plot, or dialogue. I did enjoy the research aspect and would love to continue to write non-fiction in some manner.
14) If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author what would it be?
Keep going. It took me a long time to write something coherent. Many bad books ended up in the recycle bin before I produced Apocalipstick. I’m still learning from everything I write and from my reviews and fans. The goal is to continue to improve and one day, hopefully, write something many people would like to read.
15) What would you like to say to friends and family of Authors (not just your own)?
The world needs authors. Please support them. My daughter and step-daughter have read and re-read the book, and my daughter was instrumental in telling me what was really and truly awful when I first started writing Apocalipstick. My family is supportive and loves that I write as long as I promise not to make them repeatedly proofread and edit the first drafts. Support your struggling authors. Buy an indie author’s book.
16) Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?
Thank you. The people I met because of writing Apocalipstick have changed my life. I’ve learned so much and appreciate all the support from Eternal Press, other authors, and the people at conventions. There has been so much kindness from those around me. It’s been incredibly rewarding.
About the Author: Born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, Lisa Acerbo has lived in Trumbull, Connecticut since 2001. After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English Education and receiving a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Southern Connecticut State University, she worked in a variety of educational positions. Presently, Lisa works as a high school teacher and adjunct faculty for the University of Phoenix.
Lisa always loved to write and worked as an intern for the Connecticut Post when completing her degree at Southern Connecticut State University. In addition to the Connecticut Post, her articles appeared in the Trumbull Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter. She occasionally dabbles in poetry and her poetry won first place in the Trumbull Arts Festival Literary Competition.
Lisa lives with her husband, Frank, two daughters, Dominique and Jessica, plus three cats and two horses.
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- 2 – eBook copy of Apocalipstick with a $20 Amazon gift card