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Wednesday
May112016

An interview with A. Giacomi, author of Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl

I like to read. A lot. And I also love meeting new authors and asking them about their books. Luckily for me, as the managing editor of Apex Publications and Apex Magazine, I have the opportunity to meet tons of writers and, most of the time, they are happy to answer my questions. Because of this and an all too real knowledge of how hard it is for authors to reach new potential readers, I’ve decided to start running some short interviews here on my blog.

First up, the lovely A. Giacomi, the author of Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl and Eve Brenner: Zombie Agent, with more books following Eve’s adventures to come. I’m a sucker for all things zombies, so of course, when I virtually met Giacomi via email, I was interested in finding out more. Giacomi was happy to sit down and talk about her series.

Lesley Conner: Tell us a little bit about Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl. What was the inspiration – the spark – that kicked off the story in the beginning? Now that the book is completed, do you feel that inspiration still comes through?

A Giacomi: The story came about as a dream I had way back in high school. I remember doing sketches of Eve, this zombie superhero, who I just thought was a kick ass protagonist. I would make mini comics about her and I really didn’t even think about making it into a story until over a decade later. I thought it a cool concept that was just fun to draw at the time. She was heavily inspired by comic books and anime art. Now that the book is complete there’s still a lot of comic book and geek culture references, that couldn’t be helped, it’s ingrained in this author I’m afraid.

LC: Book covers are incredibly important to a book. Can you tell us a little bit about the cover of Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl and how it came about?

AG: I completely agree. The covers were a huge deal! What I asked the publisher for in the first cover was a close up of Eve. I wanted her to appear slightly infected but mainly human. Eve needed to look innocent, slightly terrified, and vulnerable. I wanted the audience to see that zombies didn’t start off as mindless creatures, this was a young 19 year old girl scared out of her mind about what was happening to her. In a way I wanted the cover to seem very Dorian Gray, capturing the youth and innocence that would soon depart. As Eve evolves so do the covers. In the sequel, Zombie Agent, we see a more confident Eve, she has accepted her fate in a way and tries to work with it, hoping that some good can come from her illness, that perhaps she can save others. The third installment will come out in September, and a very different Eve will appear once more. So you see as the covers evolve so does the character.

LC: Do you have any special rituals when you write? A special location? Music? A funny hat you wear?

AG: This is going to sound silly and I’m okay with a laugh here … sometimes I will put on lipstick just to write. I love make-up, it’s playful and the colours can really dictate your mood. I call it “making a date with my writing.” It’s a commitment to my writing and makes me feel confident.

LC: In my experience, it can be very difficult to balance editing, writing, and family. At times it feels impossible. Have you had a similar experience? Are there any stories you can share when you felt things were out of control and how you handled it? Or, in contrast, a time when you really had a handle on your schedule and things were ticking along like clockwork?

AG: Oh god yes! I just blogged about this last week! I’m a mom of two small kiddos and they need constant attention, which I’m glad to give … but when does that leave me time to write you ask? At night! So it’s an exhausting game of let’s stay awake and how much coffee can I drink? But I believe if you love something enough then you’ll make time for it. Writing is part of who I am and if I only get an hour a day to do it, you better believe I will!

LC: What are 5 books that you would recommend everyone read? Why?

AG: They will vary in genre, but I found them to be life changing reads for me, they sort of shaped who I am as a writer.

The first would be Interview with a Vampire, it taught me that monsters are more complex, which is why I refused to make Eve a villain, she’s flawed for sure, but she used to be human, and that should reflect somewhere.

The second I would recommend is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this is the epitome of wild imagination. The characters taught me that breaking the rules for “normal” characters is not only freeing but fun.

Third is Pride and Prejudice. I’m a gigantic Austen fan, so you can imagine how amused I was when they combined Austen and Zombies, two of my favourite things. The unconventional romance is what draws me to read it again and again. It has spawned so many other romantic leads in books and film. It’s the feeling that there is a very fine line between love and hate that I found most interesting.

Fourth, La Divina Comedia. I’ve only read it in Italian, and it sounds so beautiful I could die! It feels like reading a canvas. Something is very magical about it! It’s also really inspired my views on heaven and hell. You’ll see a bit of that in my writing as well. I get very excited when I see other authors referencing it, like briefly in Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski.

Fifth is The Time Traveler’s Wife. It was masterfully done and it brought me to tears. I think this book will stay with me forever, haunt me even. Being a Doctor Who fan I thought time travel would be fun or at least an adventure, but after this read I wouldn’t wish this curse on my worst enemy! This story taught me that even if you have all the time in the world, it’s really only the short moments you barely notice that are most important. I spend more time memorizing the shape of my loved one’s faces because of this book, I don’t want to miss a single moment, smile, or even tear. It’s all important. I just want to be present, now. 

LC: If I were to walk into your home to check out your books (because, let’s face it, if I’m at your house the first thing I’m looking at are your books) what would I find? Do you have a neat, orderly library, shelves and stacks stuffed in every possible nook and cranny, or a clean eReader on the end table?

AG: Neat and orderly! I need to know where my books are at all times. I have shelves upstairs that are organized by oldies but goodies, new reads, to read, and reference books/coffee table books. My eReader is on my main floor at all times for quick reads when kiddos nap and downstairs I have a separate set of shelves for kid’s books, I pick the children’s literature that I enjoy and can’t wait to see what my own kids will pick once they can read!

LC: There seems to be a lot of book to film adaptations being made lately. As a reader, what do you think of these? Is there a movie out there that you think really got it right? What about one that got it wrong?

AG: Dangerous territory with fandoms now! Someone may squawk at me but I’m going to call out Twilight. I really liked the books, the films not so much, I think mainly because I didn’t buy the love interests, they didn’t have the chemistry that the characters had in my head when I read the books, but I suppose that’s more to do with casting and less to do with directing and acting. As for who got it spot on … I gotta give it to the Harry Potter franchise full on! I believed all those characters to be who they said they were; I was transported just like in the books. Honorable mention to American Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs, those characters really came to life in those films, creepily, but undeniably perfect.

LC: What are you working on now and where can people find out more about you?                                                             

AG: Editing for book 3 and 4 of The Zombie Girl Saga will begin shortly. I’ve been plotting out a new YA series and even a couple of children’s books. I’ve also been working on some short stories. One of which will be out July 9th as part of a charity anthology And the World Will Burn. My story is entitled “Hell on Earth,” a fun twist on the dystopian theme of the anthology. You can pre-order it here.

If you want to know more about me, you can find me all over social media, the links are on my blog www.poeticzombie.com. I’ve recently redone the site and try to have a new post up every Friday. Other than that you can find me on Facebook and Twitter most frequently.

LC: Thank you, A. Giacomi, for stopping by my site and talking about reading and writing with me today. I can’t wait to check out Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl!

 

About the author:

A Giacomi is an educator, writer, and artist from Toronto, Canada. She is a zombie enthusiast, a wife, and mother to two small human childen. Giacomi is currently working on the next two installments of her Zombie Girl Saga, as well as whatever else pops into her head at any given moment. When she’s not working she enjoys reading, spending time with family and fangirling about all sorts of geekery.

About Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl:

Eve, a second year Anthropology major sets off with her friends for the experience of a lifetime. She has volunteered at a dig site in Egypt, but gets more than she bargained for when something bites her in one of the dark tombs. She soon acquires some amazing abilities, but her growing need for flesh terrifies her. Eve tries to hide her condition from her friends and family, but she soon finds that she can’t control her hunger as well as she hoped and chaos ensues on campus and back in her home-town. Can Eve save herself? Her friends? or the entire world from the Azrael Virus?

Want a copy of your very own? You can pick up a copy here.

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