Saturday, December 22, 2012
Indie Author Interview: Julianne Snow
Tell us about Days with the Undead: Book One?
Days with the Undead: Book One is a story of survival. An unknown agent has started the Zombie Apocalypse, and a group of friends who have been quietly preparing for an event such as this, embark upon a journey to find a safe haven. They meet unexpected people and encounter unexpected horrors, all in the name of survival. It’s heart wrenching at times, heart pounding in others, and throughout it all, you feel the collapse of society through the eyes of the main character Julie.
What sets your most recent release, Days with the Undead: Book One, apart from other books of the same genre?
The way it’s told. It’s present tense and from the first person perspective. It digs deep into the psyche of a world in chaos and transcends the layers of gore and horror, making it more than just another book about a Zombie Apocalypse. The characters are varied and flawed in many ways, but they still come together to cope in the best way they know how – to fight tooth and nail for survival.
How is the book doing so far?
Days with the Undead: Book One is doing very well. I really cannot complain about the reception it has received. I was lucky enough to have started the series as a webserial which later got picked up by my publisher Sirens Call Publications. The first book is a small segment of what can be read on the web, but I have added more material to the book version; things that I didn’t have time to include on my hectic online publishing schedule, things I thought about including afterwards, and anything that solidified what happens later in the series. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to connect with more readers. Each reader is an absolute gem to me and I love to receive emails from them telling me what they loved and what they wish hadn’t happened. It’s great to be able to evoke emotion with the written word.
Any future releases readers should be aware of?
Absolutely, Days with the Undead: Book Two will be out the beginning of next year. Anyone who has read the webserial will know the general plot of the book, but there is lots of added material for new and old readers alike. It’s the same way with the first book – if you read it online, you’ll have the gist of the story, but there is so much more between the covers of the book!
Are you reading anything right now, or have you read anything recently that is worth mentioning?
At the moment, I am reading Bloodlines by James Rollins. I’m such a huge fan of his and I love the way that he incorporates history and cutting edge science in such a seemingly effortless way. The last book I read was something I edited so I cannot talk about it in too much depth. I will say this however - when that book hits the shelves, people are going to want to read it! It’s freaking fantastic!
Does music inspire or motivate you to write? If so, what kind of music?
Music can certainly inspire and motivate me but I don’t normally get inspired by music, if that makes sense. I love the way that music can mellow me out, or work me up. I strive for those highs and lows in what I write so if I’m going to write a particular type of theme, I will listen to something that will help to put me in the right frame of mind.
When I’m writing, I find it hard to work in complete silence so I either have the television or iTunes on as background noise. More often than not, it’s iTunes as I can control what that background noise ends up being.
As a rule, I love the sounds of heavy guitar and a great vocal. The 1990s and early 2000s were a great time in music for me as many of my favourites were popular during that time. As I’ve grown older, my tastes haven’t changed so much as they have grown to enjoy the sultry sounds of poetic songstresses and an almost bluesy, folk sound. That’s the beauty of music; there is much to enjoy.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite novels?
Are you sure you’re ready for this? My favourite authors have all written favourites of mine.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz & the rest of the series – Frank L. Baum
The Mistress of the Art of Death – Ariana Franklin
The Forest House – Marion Zimmer Bradley
Monster Island – David Wellington
Wicked – Gregoire Maguire
The Pine Deep Trilogy – Jonathan Mayberry
The Tell-Tale Heart – Edgar Allen Poe
Subterranean & The Last Oracle – James Rollins
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward & Herbert West – ReAnimator – HP Lovecraft
Seeing – Jose Saramago
And that’s just to name a few…
Are you one of those people who don’t own a TV? Do you have any favorite TV Shows? Favorite movies?
I own a television – trust me, when I need to relax, it’s sometimes the best way. As for favourite television shows, I am a Survivor fan and have been since the beginning, so I watch that. I watch The Walking Dead, True Blood, The Big Bang Theory, and I started to watch Revolution this year but it failed to keep my interest. In the past, I have enjoyed shows like Six Feet Under, LOST, Dead Like Me, Red Dwarf, and Fraggle Rock. I also have a few shows that I watch exclusively on DVD when the season comes out as I like to watch it all at once; those are Dexter and Fringe. There is too much on television to watch it all…
As for movies, I love them! My favourites include Night of the Living Dead (1968), Identity, Peacock, Drowning Mona, The Goonies, Adventures in Babysitting, The Princess Bride, Empire Records, and April Fool’s Day. If we’re just going to consider horror movies, these are my favourites! Aliens, Halloween, Carrie, The Mist, 1408, Saw, Devil, The Sixth Sense, Silence of the Lambs, and Resident Evil.
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I knew it all along but there have been times when I didn’t write. I grew up writing everything down from silly story ideas to the things that were happening in my day to day life. I wrote short stories and poems; some horror, some not. I lost my way for a while as I pursued other endeavours but writing found me again as a way to process a difficult time in my life. Since that day, I have never looked back.
Tell us about your writing process.
I don’t know that I have a process; sometimes I’m a panster and in others, I’m a planner. All I know is that when I sit down to write, I need the ability to focus, some peppermint tea or mint hot chocolate, and my laptop. Once all of those things are in place, the muses get to take the wheel and I am just the vessel through which they write.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
Absolutely! Some have asked why I named my main character Julie, which is technically my own name. As I mentioned previously, I was going through a dark time in my life when I turned back to writing and much of the struggle in Days with the Undead: Book One is symbolic of what I was going through. It seemed wrong to call her anything else.
My other characters all have names that fit them – at least in my estimation. Even in the short stories that I write, my characters names have to fit them in some regard. How can I expect them to leap off the pages otherwise?
How do you define success as a writer? Have you been successful?
I define success by my own standards. I am doing something that I love to do, that makes me successful in my own eyes. Money and fame would be great, but as long as I’m happy doing what I love, I simply cannot and will not complain.
Do you have words of wisdom about writing that you want to pass on to novelists and writers out there who are starting out?
Write something. Then read it. Then set it down for a few weeks and work on something else. That break from your own words allows you to see some of the things that probably wouldn’t have seen in the moments after finishing it. After you’ve done that, send it to an editor. They really are your friends – especially if you find a good one.
I would also implore you to read everything you can get your hands on. Read what’s in your genre, read what’s not. Just learn from other authors, both seasoned and those just starting out. There will never be a time when you know it all, so you can save yourself the heartache now.
Just one last thing. Never, ever let anyone tell you that you work is subpar. Just because they didn’t enjoy it, doesn’t mean the rest of the world won’t. You need to continually believe in what you are doing.
What should readers walk away from your books knowing? How should they feel?
This is a hard question to answer… Ideally, I’d like for them to know that hard decisions always need to be made and that waiting on something can ultimately lead to your demise. Proactive steps are always better than reactive ones. As for how they should feel, I want them ravenous for the next installment!
What is your End of the World Playlist?
Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
Your Winter – Sister Hazel
Born to Die – Lana DelRay
Dog Days are Over – Florence the Machine
Mad World – REM (their version)
Kyrie – Mr. Mister
The Cave – Mumford & Sons
Your Mistake – Sister Hazel
Comedown – Bush
Temple of Love – Sisters of Mercy
Three Pistols – The Tragically Hip
One Last Time – Veruca Salt
Not Afraid – Eminem
Somebody That I Used to Know – Goyte
Unforgiven – Metallica
Never There – Cake
Sorry – Buckcherry
Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone – Marvin Gaye
That’s just 20 songs to get it started.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Bio: It was while watching Romero's Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of 6 that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead. As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own.
Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name. You can find Julianne’s The Living Dead of Penderghast Manor in the anthology Women of the Living Dead and stories in Sirens Call Publications anthologies Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed along with Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity. She has also published some of her short fiction in the online literary magazine The Sirens Call.
Facebook: Julianne Snow
Google+: Julianne Snow
Facebook Fan Page: Days with the Undead