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What inspires you to write?
My curiosity with the question “What if…?” in everyday life. I get ideas from everywhere and for EPIDEMIC the idea came from an article I read last fall about scientists who had unearthed graves of the victims of the Black Plague. They were going to try to reawaken the bacteria Yersenia pestis, which causes Plague. And I thought, “well now, there’s a stupid thing to do, what if the infection escapes the lab?” …and BOOM!! There was my idea. I get inspiration from everywhere!
I love when ideas like that pop up and just take off, having a mind of their own. For me, I end up being the "secretary" for my characters and just let them tell their story. Is that the same for you, or do you plot out every detail before you write?
I get an idea, and I think “what happens?” and as long as I have a scene or two in my head I write. I have the general idea in my head of where it’s going, and I do write a general outline to help me along. I guess you could say I write as if I’m going on a month long road trip. I have a map with the general route laid out, but if something takes my fancy, I will not hesitate to take a detour to investigate “What happens next?” It makes everything very interesting!
Do your stories tend to be character driven or plot driven?
I get the idea for the plot and the characters are roughly outlines in my head, and then I begin writing and they speak to me. They tell me what they’re like, what they are going to do in this scenario I’ve dropped them into, and then they grab my hand and run into the woods, pulling me along.
Do you listen to music while writing?
Sometimes, but I mostly write in silence. Although while writing EPIDEMIC I listened to Adam Lambert’s “Mad World” recording over and over. That is where I got the series title.
Tell us about the different types of characters you like to write about? Why are these types so appealing to you?
I generally like to write about brave females, because I am brave. I am the bravest person I know. So I am my lead character. I also like to write about ordinary people in extraordinary situations.
In what ways are your characters like you?
Each of my characters has a little of me in them. I write in first person in EPIDEMIC and the lead character is mostly me, brave, and she doesn’t hesitate when something unpleasant has to be done. But she has a heart, too. She is all of us, at our best.
What are the recurring core issues in your stories?
EPIDEMIC is my first novel and the reoccurring theme in it is Survival in the encroaching Zombie Apocalypse. It’s just starting. How would you cope? What would you do? Alyssa and her friends are going through this. They are everyteen.
What are your favorite fiction genres to read from?
I like odd stories. Fantasy, YA, Paranormal, Dystopian, anything Odd.
I don’t really read nonfiction. LOL!
Who are some of your favorite authors and why do you think they appeal so much to you?
Neil Gaiman is my favorite author. He writes Odd stories. I’ve learned a lot from reading his books. Susan Cooper, Madeleine L’Engle, Stephen King. King, now there’s a master of every day individuals in extraordinary circumstances.
Stephen King is by far one of my most favorite authors because as you said, he can take normal John or Jane Doe, put them in the most extraordinary circumstances and still manage to leave you begging for more. His characters are memorable and stick with you years after you've read their stories. What kinds of stories are your comfort reads when you are sick or feeling low?
The oldies but goodies. “The Dark Is Rising” series. Pure comfort!
Who is your favorite all time heroine?
Ripley from “Alien”
Because she’s a survivor, and brave as heck.
Who is your favorite all time hero?
Will Stanton from “The Dark Is Rising”
Why do they resonate so well with you?
Because at eleven years old he is trust in a life or death battle and he rises to the occasion. He is also very brave, and wise.
Besides reading and writing, what activities do you enjoy in your leisure time?
I like to read, for hours a day. And I like to garden.
My day job is writing and I love it! Why? Because I am going for my dreams….finally!! LOL!!
In one or two sentences, give the core premise behind your story.
What would you do if your whole world was turned upside down? If your family was missing, and there was a terrible threat and you and your friends had to survive at any cost?
When and where does your book take place?
My book takes place in present day California.
How does the time and setting weave into the plot and persona of the characters?
They are high school students and they have to survive. They are your average high school students, and they have to survive in their own town, but a town gone mad.
Alyssa Gonzalez. At first she is determined to find her family. Later, when thrust into life or death situations with her friends, the will to survive drives her as well.
What is she running away from (literally or figuratively)?
What obstacles will she encounter in this story?
What draws her to the hero in this story?
She’s always liked Jacob. Now he has noticed her.
Who is the hero?
What drives him?
The will to return home and survive, the need to protect his friends.
Alyssa has always liked Jacob, but besides having to help each other get away from the zombies, what attracts him to her now?
What makes Jacob as your hero hot and lovable? What will draw the reader in and make them sympathetic to him?
His quiet strength and the help he gives his friends throughout this ordeal.
I see that this is the first book in a series. What is the overall theme of the Mad World series?
The theme is survival throughout the beginning of the zombie takeover of the world.
This story is the first installment. I have two more planned.
Will these characters show up in the next installments and what is the title of the next one?
Yes, these characters do show up again in the series and the next one I'm currently working on is part two Mad World: Sanctuary.
I've just purchased my own copy of your book for my Kindle and can't wait to dive into it. Thank you for joining us today, Samaire. I hope you visit with us again when Sanctuary is finished but until then, we'll look for you on August 30th for Thursday Thirteen.
Where to find Samaire Provost