Welcome to the blog, J. L.! Could you tell us a little bit about Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption?
Thank you for the opportunity.
Why do you think zombies are so scary?
Anything unknown is scary. It takes you out of the realm of what is normal and comfortable. The fact that they are cannibals goes against what a lot of what society deems is proper. While the living dead is nothing new, vampires and Frankenstein’s monster has been around for centuries. Zombies are relative newcomers to the scene circa 1960’s. It is the thing which makes you sleep with a light on, check under your bed before and closet before turning in for the night, and all those creepy, crawling things which make your skin crawl.
What sets your zombie novel apart from other books featuring the same monster?
While this is a man against zombie survival story line, it’s the addition of a couple of zombie point of views which makes this novel stand out. It takes the reader from first infection, death, and beyond, and into the lives of those battling the epidemic. The reason why zombies eat brains is divulged. <Wicked evil laughter>
Do you have any favorite authors we should be reading? Who are your influences?
I have several favorites, but who stands out most in my mind having the ability to twist common everyday circumstances into the horrific has to be Stephen King. I think every horror reader has read or seen a movie/novel by this author. Max Brooks stands at the forefront with his “World War Z” and “Zombie Survival Guide.” You would be hard pressed to find one zombie aficionado who hasn’t read him.
How do you create a mood of horror?
Taking a reader to the edge of belief and leaving reasonable doubt is an art form. You tease. You manipulate reality. You add, in the reader’s mind, the element of wait a minute, this could really happen. Readers relating to the characters, the scene set up, the expectation and anticipation. I almost never take the reader where they want to go all play a part in writing suspense and horror. The gold medal is in the details and the shock value.
Think of your favorite horror movie, there’s that music in the background, in writing you play it up with the words you choose. Even though you might predict this or that person is going to die, it’s how they die or do not die which creates the sense of horror.
What is your best advice on writing?
My best advice in writing is practice the art. Yes, writing is an art form which creates pictures in the reader’s mind. Like any art form writing is no different. It’s a skill and creative talent married together for the enjoyment of the reader. I guarantee that no artist ever got it all perfect the first time. You never know it all.
Don’t copy another author’s style. I can give twenty students in a creative writing class a writing prompt. It’s what they do with that prompt is the exciting part of teaching a class like this. You hear a lot about unique voice when writing novels. Your ability of writing a story which is uniquely yours is the challenge. If this is what you are destined to accomplish in your lifetime, don’t let anyone dissuade you.
Thanks so much for stopping by, J. L.!
Thank you for the invite. It is truly my honor.
I write under several pen names: J. L. Murphey/Jolee Morriss/GrandmaJAM, depending on what I am writing. I live in Georgia, USA with my husband and two cats. I am the mother of four and grandmother to eight. I have been a nonfiction author/freelance journalist for over thirty years. I have been acknowledged in more novels than I can count and believe in helping other authors to the best of my ability.
I am an indie author of fiction by choice and not from the lack of offers of representation or publishers. My writing is a way of exorcizing demons from my closet, and let me tell you, it was full of them.
J. L. Murphey can be found on http://jomurphey.blogspot.com, Facebook, and GoodReads. You can follow her on Twitter, too!
Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption is available at Smashwords, CreateSpace, and Amazon.