Today I got to chat with Alison Kemper, YA author of DONNA OF THE DEAD, a fun, nerdy romance set during a zombie apocalypse. Does that sound awesome to you? It sounds awesome to me. And it’ll be out from Entangled in 2014!
Alison Kemper grew up the only girl on a street with eleven boys. She spent her childhood going on adventures and talking about monsters. Now that she’s grown up, she writes books about adventures and monsters—and sometimes boys (especially the cute ones).
Can you tell us a little about the inspiration for your debut book?
A few years back, I started having crazy zombie dreams. I woke up from one and thought, “Hmmm, that might make a good novel.” I’d never done any creative writing before, but I started that first manuscript and never looked back. Funny thing is—other people tell me they’ve had crazy zombie dreams after reading Donna of the Dead. We’ll have to see if that trend continues!
How did you come up with your title? Were there any you considered first?
Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite zombie movies—I love the mix of horror and campy humor. I wanted something similar, but with a girl’s name.
What was the hardest part of writing this particular book?
Lay and lie are the bane of my existence. I never know which one to use.
Is there anything that helps you get into the writing zone – music, for example?
Music helps. And coffee. But really, if I want to write fast, a deadline is my best motivator. I think my agent has figured this out—haha!
What is it about young adult fiction that draws you in as a writer?
The intensity of experiencing everything for the first time—first love, first adventure, first zombie battle.
Do you have any advice for writers trying to get published?
Find a good crit partner. Not your mom, not your best friend—someone who isn’t trying to protect your feelings, but isn’t a total jerkwad either.
Can you say anything about your next project/s?
I’ve signed a three book deal with Entangled (yay!), so my next project is… MORE zombies! And MORE romance! But no zombie romance because, you know… bleh.
Yay! Thanks Alison!