I’m am over the moon to have Madeleine Roux on the blog today! Madeleine is the author of Allison Hewitt is Trapped, and the upcoming Sadie Walker is Stranded (2 of my fave zombie books, by the way), and was kind enough to take the time and answer a few of my questions. Also, St. Martins Press has kindly offered 2 copies of Sadie Walker is Stranded to 2 lucky winners, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!
Please welcome Madeleine to the blog!
Madeleine, Allison Hewitt is Trapped started out as a blog publication and was wildly popular. Did you ever imagine it would be picked up by a major publisher? How did you celebrate when you got the news? Did you happy dance, ‘cause I might have happy danced…?
I think everyone starts a new project hoping it will be a success. Instinct told me I had something special with Allison Hewitt, but I never imagined it would actually get published. And yes, I celebrated – it was not particularly dignified. I remember an embarrassing amount of flailing and dancing, calling all of my family, and the words “We need champagne. Immediately.”
I loved Allison Hewitt and your newest novel, Sadie Walker is Stranded, is just as good! What made you decide to write zombie novels?
I’ve always been a fan of the genre, but the initial inspiration came from my job at the time. I was, like Allison, working at a bookstore. It could get slow from time to time, and if I didn’t have anything to do I’d day dream about what might happen if zombies turned up and invaded the store. It was hilarious and absurd, but something felt real about it – I think everyone fancies they’re a secret hero, a secret bad ass. Those Every Man characters tend to be male, with women relegated to the girlfriend or damsel roles, so I wanted to try a horror/survival story from a woman’s perspective.
The interest in zombies in not only books, but media, has exploded in the past few years. Why do you think they’re so popular all of a sudden?
Things are rough at the moment for most people. There’s unemployment, and fear, and some serious questions about the future of our country and the way things are headed. That kind of turmoil breeds an interest in horror, I think, or maybe more specifically an interest in survival. Zombie stories are satisfying in that way – you’re seeing people at their worst and watching them overcome because of their spirit and determination. It’s a good genre for instilling hope.
What are some of your favorite zombie novels?
World War Z by Max Brooks, obviously, because it’s such a unique approach to the genre and tackles an interesting global perspective. And this is a graphic novel, but The Walking Dead. I don’t think you can rightly call yourself a zombie fan if you haven’t read Kirkman’s work.
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
I’d do some unethical, almost certainly illegal things to sit down and pick Neil Gaiman’s brain for an afternoon. I just love the way he develops characters and sets a mood. Ian McEwan is another favorite, not just for his storytelling but his amazing command of language. George R R Martin makes me want to write fantasy. Lois McMaster Bujold is also very inspiring, and a woman I look up to and admire.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I have a beastly gaming computer, and it’s just unbelievably distracting. It’s too full of tempting things. If I want to get work done I have to tear myself away from it, and that usually means taking my headphones and laptop and sitting somewhere quite for a while.
Are there any plans for more books in the Allison Hewitt/Sadie Walker universe?
Not at the moment, but that could change. The nice thing about the books is that they’re individual, they relate to each other but they can also stand on their own. That leaves me freedom to return to the universe with a new character, new timeline and location if the inspiration strikes.
When you’re not busy writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
I’m an enthusiastic gamer – Skyrim and Star Wars: The Old Republic have been responsible for more than a few late nights recently. I also like to exercise, read and cook. I do a bit of costuming and crafting from time to time, too.
What’s the first thing you’d do to prepare for the zombie apocalypse?
Drink? Kidding… But not really. I’d try to find a reliable weapon – Allison has her ax, and that’s a good choice, although I’d find the necessary proximity a bit daunting. I went shooting, which went all right, but I’d need a lot of practice to become a crack shot. Hoarding food would be an initial step, and trying to check in on loved ones to make sure we’re all safe and ready.
Is there any other news of upcoming projects or events that you’d like to share with us?
A few projects are in the works, but nothing solid enough to give any hints. Sorry!
Keep up with Madeleine: Website
1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!)
2. Giveaway is for 2 copies of Sadie Walker is Stranded: A Zombie Novel to 2 winners.
3. Giveaway is open to US/Canadian addresses only
4. Must include a valid email address
5. You must enter on or before 2/6/12
6. Please see my Giveaway Policy.
7. Books kindly provided by St. Martins Press.