Please welcome Alison Kemper, author of Donna of the Dead to the PJV.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in an economically-depressed factory town at the foot of a massive mountain. I see cows out my window, but I’m also close enough to hear loudspeakers in a prison exercise yard. Last year, a paint factory exploded and we all had to stay indoors because of the fumes. A few weeks back, we couldn’t drink our water because of some kind of contaminant. It’s not cookie-cutter suburbia. You need a sense of humor (and a sense of adventure) to live here—but the people are the best I’ve ever met.
In your own words, tell us a little bit about your book?
Donna of the Dead is a funny, nerdy comedy set during a zombie apocalypse. It’s a romance, but while I was writing it, I asked a few guys to read the draft—they want me to pass along that it’s a good read for boys too. I hope it is.
Can you tell us about the characters in your book? Who is your favorite?
That’s easy. Deke. Everyone loves Deke. I love Deke. I had a real Deke when I was in high school and sometimes I kick myself for not recognizing his loyalty and great sense of humor back in the day.
What makes your book different from other books out there in the same genre?
It’s a lighthearted zombie novel—almost slapstick at times—but there’s a serious undercurrent, and the main character is complex. I got a little sick of YA novels where the heroine is an insta-badass. I mean, seriously, a teen girl taking on ten powerful zombies at once? Please. Not everyone can be a YA version of Michonne from Walking Dead. I figured, in a real zombie apocalypse, a teen girl would need some time to adjust. That she’d be scared and snarky and a total wimp at first—that she might struggle to find her courage and her place in this new world.
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?
I have two amazing crit partners (Brigid Kemmerer and Sarah Henson) and I basically run a ton of ideas by them. I don’t know what I’d do without their input!
I’m a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater, Justin Cronin and Stephanie Perkins. I got to meet Stephanie Perkins last year and I spent the entire reading in a state of *fangirl squeeee* She was very nice. And very tall. We took a picture together.
What are you reading now?
I just finished Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Tucholke (creeeeepy setting), Knight Assassin by Rima Jean (non-fluffy, amazing historical) and I’m currently reading Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (OMG, will Perry and Aria EVER get to be alone?).
What advice can you give to struggling writers?
Keep struggling. And really, it is a struggle. I won’t lie about that. But there are also moments of sheer joy when you FINALLY finish a troublesome passage, or a friend tells you they cried/laughed at just the right place. Focus on those moments. Don’t let the rest bring you down.
Donna of the Dead by Alison KemperPublished by Macmillan on 2014-03-04
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Zombie
Source: Tour Host
Also by this author: Donna of the Dead
Donna Pierce might hear voices, but that doesn’t mean she’s crazy. Probably.The voices do serve their purpose, though—whenever Donna hears them, she knows she’s in danger. So when they start yelling at the top of their proverbial lungs, it’s no surprise she and her best friend, Deke, end up narrowly escaping a zombie horde. Alone without their families, they take refuge at their high school with the super-helpful nerds, the bossy head cheerleader, and—best of all?—Liam, hottie extraordinaire and Donna’s long-time crush. When Liam is around, it’s easy to forget about the moaning zombies, her dad’s plight to reach them, and how weird Deke is suddenly acting toward her.But as the teens’ numbers dwindle and their escape plans fall apart, Donna has to listen to the secrets those voices in her head have been hiding. It seems not all the zombies are shuffling idiots, and the half-undead aren’t really down with kids like Donna…
15 Zombie Swag Bags that include $5 Amazon card, Donna of the Dead mints (don’t get caught with zombie breath) and exploding eye gumballs (they squirt red goo when you bite into them, but are surprisingly delicious)!