Thursday 23 May 2013

Interview with Dana Fredsti, author of Plague Town and Plague Nation

Hi guys! Today, we have an interview with Dana Fredsti, who wrote zombie novels Plague Town and Plague Nation.
Apologies for the lateness.

Plague Nation
The undead have been defeated in Redwood Grove, CA, but reports of similar outbreaks are coming in. What seemed to be an isolated event is turning into a pandemic. The last thing Ashley Parker wanted when she went to college was to join the military, but she is one of a select few who are immune to the virus. Gifted with enhanced speed, strength, and senses, she’s recruited by a shadowy international organization that’s existed for centuries, its sole purpose to combat the zombie threat.
Dark secrets begin to emerge, and when an unknown enemy strikes, Ashley and the other zombie hunters—known as “wild cards”—embark on a desperate mission to reach San Francisco. If they fail, the plague will sweep the nation unchecked. And the person she cares for most may die. Or worse.

What makes your zombie story different?
I like to think that every writer brings his/her own unique style and vision to the zombocalypse, whether it be their specific take on the zombie mythos (that sounds really pretentious, so please forgive me for that), or characters they introduce. I tend to use a lot more humor in my novels than the majority of authors who write about zombies, and I've been accused of Pop Cultural Tourette's (a fair cop) and I think both of those elements serve to separate my books from the pack a bit.  And to my knowledge, no one has introduced anything like the wild cards to date.  For those who haven't read the books, a wild card is part of a very tiny percentage of the population immune to the virus. They're not immune to the sickness that develops after being infected (the mother of all nasty flu bugs), but if they survive that stage, they do not turn into a zombie and they can't be infected again.  They also have somewhat enhanced physical skills and senses - faster, better, stronger and all that.  Not like a super hero, but enough to make them very effective at zombie killing at close courters.   

What's your favourite zombie story/film?
Favorite film will always be the original Dawn of the Dead as it really kickstarted my love of zombies … and was also my very first movie date, with a guy paying my way and buying me popcorn and candy.  
Who's your favourite character in this series?
After Ashley?  Definitely Nathan.  Although JT, who was just introduced in Plague Nation, is also really fun to write. 

How have your characters developed between Plague Town and Plague Nation?
Ashley has definitely matured between the two books.  She started out as a 29 year old trying to fit into a college environment with most of her peers a decade younger, but by the end of the book and into Plague Nation, she's grown up emotionally quite a bit.  The relationship dynamics between various characters are shifting and either deepening or cracking. Lil definitely goes through a lot of emotional hell and not even Ashley can fix things.  And that's all I'm gonna say right now because what I don't think of as a spoiler invariably turns into a spoiler. 

What external sources (books,tv, films, family) influenced this series?
THe first three zombie films by George Romero, Buffy, and pretty much everything I've ever seen/read as far as pop cultural references.  Things just pop up in my memory at random.  Also, so many friends and family have been so enthusiastic and supportive and some of them have given me some fantastic ideas (the deja vu darts, for instance) and helped me out when I was stuck on a plot point.  Real people inspired a lot of the characters (Lil, Tony, JT, G. Funk, just to name a few).  And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Steve Saffel, my Dark Editorial Overlord (he had DEO added on his business cards after I called him that), who has invested a lot of time and energy working on these books with me. 

What is your favourite thing about the zombie genre?
Despite what a lot of people say about zombies being a lazy writer's horror trope, I find them a very creepy monster, creepier than vampires.  Being eaten alive is about as nasty a death as I can think of, and being eaten alive by things that used to be us?  Mega nasty!  I like being creeped out and I also love  apocalypse stories.  Zombies combine both.  And as long as writers and filmmakers continue to come up with compelling stories and unique characters, I don't see why zombies shouldn't last as long as vampires, lycanthropes and over-sexed faes.  

If you were in Ashley's place at the beginning of Plague Town, what would you do?
Pretty much the same thing.  I like to think I've seen enough zombies movies and read enough books that I wouldn't be one of those people who just can't believe what's happening and therefore dies stupidly.  WHen I wrote the picnic scene, I admit I was channeling a bit of myself in there. 

What are you reading right now?
Dog Days by John Levitt, Cat's Claw by Amber Benson, and Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore.  Actually I just finished Dead Things this morning and can't say enough good things about it.  I'm at the vey beginning of Dog Days and mid-way through Cat's Claw.  I tend to have two books going at once - one for the house and one when I'm out and about on walks.  

What's your favourite thing about writing?
Two things:  1. The times when the writing just flows and it's fun and I remember why I used to write all the time as kid in all of my spare time, and 2. meeting other writers and readers because of my work.  The writers community is amazingly supportive and fun to hang out with, and I can't tell you how much every fan letter I've gotten (okay, fan email) means to me.  

Any hints as to what will happen in book 3?
The plague goes global.  :-)   Beyond that, I'm not at liberty to say other than things get worse for our heroes, and I'm still not sure who will or won't make it to the end.  My outline is for suggestion purposes only.  Shhh… don't tell my editor! 

Anything else you want to share with us?
Nothing springs to mind other than thank you so much for having me as your guest, and I really do love hearing from readers!  

Plague Town: Goodreads | Amazon
Plague Nation: Goodreads | Amazon
Dana Fredsti: Website\Twitter

1 comment:

  1. The books sound brilliant - a perfect addition to my holiday reading list, or is that just me?!


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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