teen

Author Interview with RESTLESS IN PEACEVILLE'S Pippa Jay! by Ryan Hill

 

I recently spoke with Pippa Jay, author of the new novel Restless in Peaceville, about zombies, Pixar, and '80s music. How did she do? Could she handle my hard-hitting expose? Read on to find out...


Restless in Peaceville has a very unique premise for a zombie novel, reminiscent of Warm Bodies and Breathers: A Zombie's Lament. What inspired you to write a zombie novel in this style?

Thank you (and off to look up Breathers now). Well, I have to blame Warm Bodies, Dead By Sunrise, Karen Y. Bynum, Terry Pratchett, Danielle Fine, and YOU (ed. note: AWWWE). And being too curious about the whole zombie mythology after watching Warm Bodies. I wanted to know where the brain-eating came from, because I'd read stories with zombies that weren't like that at all, so it got me thinking, "What is a zombie really like?" The mindless Hollywood, flesh-eating monstrosity or the rather tragic figures I'd read in other books? And then one of my friends mentioned Louisiana voodoo. After I started researching, muse just got hooked on the whole idea and forced me to write it. 


Is Restless in Peaceville told in first person? How do you narrate from a zombie POV? Is it kind of like Hodor, only with brains?

Yep, Restless is my first book in first person, lol. I found caffeine and sleep deprivation produce quite a zombie-like state, so I'd just get up really, really stupidly early and write without coffee. And occasionally stumble around the house in that condition so I knew what it felt like. In the book I compare it to having your whole body go to sleep and never wake up again, but unfortunately you can still think, which Luke would rather not do. People with insomnia might have some familiarity with that feeling.


Since you wrote a zombie novel, I'm going to assume you're a big fan of zombie novels. That said, what are some of your favorite novels that involve either: love stories, werewolves, or vampires that don't shine? Also, what's your favorite Pixar movie?

If we're talking vampires, I was a big fan of the Anne Rice novels, especially Pandora and The Body Thief, or Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett (vampires, witches, and a lot of dark humour). Pixar - Wall-E. He's so cute!


You're having a dream involving zombies. You're trapped, about to be bitten/dismembered/eaten up by moldy teeth. Some sexpot shows up to rescue you. Is it Norman Reedus, Brad Pitt, or Simon Pegg? Why?

I've had those kind of dreams frequently, but NOBODY EVER SHOWS UP TO RESCUE ME!! Um, you think Norman Reedus and Simon Pegg classify as sexpots?! *pats Ryan on the head* There, there. If I'm forced to chose one, it would be Brad Pitt. Because the other two are...not so attractive? Yeah, I'm that shallow. (ed. note: Just trying to think outside of the box with names :-D)


What's up with pop music these days? It sounds like over-produced '80s gunk...amirite?

They had music in the '80s? *blinks* Must have missed that. ;)


How do your zombies move? Fast? Slow? Thriller style?

They each have their own style of moving. Luke, my main character, tends to stumble around, because he's always been a bit kind of slow and clumsy, and being a zombie just emphasizes that. He complains how Annabelle moves like a dancer, all graceful like, and he resents that a lot! But when he needs to he can move surprisingly fast. There's a third zombie in the story, which again moves quickly, but there's not much of him left so he's no weight to carry around.


What did you think of the World War Z movie? Did you read the book? What about Peter Jackson's Dead Alive? Isn't it the grossest movie ever made?

Not seen, not read, and not seen. Sorry, I haven't watched the classic zombies much! Do I lose my zombie club membership for that confession? I've seen Warm Bodies, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland and Deadheads, and read zombies in Terry Pratchett and Piers Anthony books. Other than that I'm a bit of a novice in the zombie department.

 

Zombies have survived all of sorts of things recently. Sparkling vampires, shitty George Romero movies, even The Forest of Hands and Teeth (don't even get me started on that one). Why do you think zombies are still appealing? What about them appeals to you?

I think they have a wider appeal than some supernaturals because people like to be scared, because zombies are possibly more credible than vampires and werewolves when it comes to the types of undead that could actually exist, and perhaps because people are afraid and yet also fascinated by what might happen to us after death. I guess it's morbid curiosity. After all, a zombie is just a dead version of a person rather than a glamorized blood sucker or shapeshifter. I also think that a lot of people just like to see zombies getting their heads blown off. In my case, I was fascinated by the way Isaac Marion had taken something with a pretty grim reputation--a monster--and yet I empathized with the character and wanted him to get his Happily Ever After in Warm Bodies. Terry Pratchett had done the same with his zombies in Reaperman, Witches Abroad, and the Nightwatch books. Going back to the original Haitian folklore, I learned that zombies are dead souls summoned back and forced to serve the bokor (sorcerer) who raised them. They're quite tragic figures. I wanted to explore that and the idea that zombies aren't just ravening monsters--that they're still the person they were before, and just maybe it's the desperation and horror of their condition that drives them to do the things that give them such a bad reputation.

 

In haiku format, tell us why people should red/buy Restless in Peaceville.

Two lost undead souls,

seeking a place in your heart

to rest forever.

 

Purchase links for Restless in Peaceville:

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Drew Hayes by Ryan Hill

 

Drew Hayes was kind enough to answer a few questions from yours truly to talk about his latest supernatural comedy novel, THE UTTERLY UNINTERESTING AND UNADVENTUROUS TALES OF FRED, THE VAMPIRE ACCOUNTANT, which is available on Amazon.

Transient


What inspired you to write The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant?

I think the concept of Fred grew out of frustration with so many fantasy books I read following the same formula: person is normal and awkward and bad at life, person becomes supernatural, person resists change initially, person embraces change and becomes baddest mofo in history. I think people are more set in their ways than that, and changing one aspect of what you are doesn’t inherently alter who you are. Fred was my attempt to embrace that concept, showing a man who stayed who he was, normal and boring, despite being made into something inherently extraordinary.


You seem to focus on humorous, paranormal stories. Do you have any influences in that genre? What are some of your favorites within the genre?

I’d say for humor and the paranormal my favorites are Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchett. They both do a great job of mixing the fantastical with the mundane, which is what makes a great humor fantasy, in my opinion. Having touchstones in reality tend to make the characters more relatable, because we find them reacting to the sudden and fantastical much as we imagine we would.


Tell us a little about Fred. How does one become a vampire accountant? Is he like an accountant for vampires, like an accountant to the stars, but different?

Ha! That would have been a really cool premise, and now I’m a little sad I didn’t think of it. Nope, Fred is vampire accountant in the same way someone with dark hair is a brunette accountant. He’s a guy who has always been better with numbers than people, isn’t terribly good at being socially outgoing, and tends to feel shy in large groups. He’s a nice person, but an awkward introvert. Also he just happens to be a vampire.


Fred is a vampire accountant, which sounds utterly interesting, as well as adventurous. Would you agree?

Fred himself is not the adventurous sort, though he does often end up in adventurous situations. Really, his perfect night would be playing Scrabble with his few friends and drinking a nice red wine, maybe paired with a solid cheese plate. Sadly for Fred (but luckily for the readers) life doesn’t always go along with what he wants, and despite his utterly uninteresting nature he does find himself embroiled in more antics than any self-respecting accountant should have to deal with.


Do you have any future plans for Fred? Will he continue on in other books?

Not only will he, but I just finished up the second story in the sequel before answering these questions. As a rule, I usually don’t work on sequels until I see how the first book in a potential series sells, but with Fred I had to make an exception. I’m just too fond of him, and his menagerie of fellow oddballs, to leave it with a single volume. Fred is one of those characters that, even if no one else buys or likes him, I’ll probably still keep writing stories about for years to come.


Some people like serious and drab books, like Dickens. Why do you think people like to suffer through their reading, instead of read something fun, like Fred?

Ultimately it comes down to what you want out of your literature. Some people like serious literary contemplations on the state of society and the human condition. Personally, I like superheroes playing beer pong and vampire accountants, which why I write what I write and read what I read. Those people who like the high-minded stuff are probably smarter than me, though I might put down some decent money that my preferences leave me demonstrably happier than them.


Tell us, in haiku format, why someone should read The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant

Haiku? Yowza, I am nooooot good at poetry in any form. But, I’ll do my best!

Fred’s An Odd Undead
Bad Vampire, Great Accountant
Prefers Forms To Fangs