Author: Maggie LaCroix
Release Date: August 28 , 2014
Genre: Fantasy/Urban, Romance/Paranormal
ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-324-9
BLURB supplied by The Writers Coffee Shop
Monsters generally know their place: vampires get to be sexy while zombies just decompose. But Maggie La Croix’s Zombified conjures up an entirely different kind of undead raised by good old-fashioned Voodoo. These gorgeous walking corpses don’t eat brain, they don’t stagger, and their bodies are spared the indignities of putrefaction.
Take Henri Jolicoeur. More than one hundred years after his death he is still a bewitching Adonis. But zombification does have its downsides. Henri has a master, a powerful Voodoo priest whose spells keep Henri, his teenage zombie sister, and five other poor souls in perpetual servitude.
That is, until a hurricane devastates their New Orleans home and the zombies are evacuated to the Texas border town of El Paso. The curse is broken. They are free and intend to stay that way. But how can they pass for human when they don’t eat or sleep and they’re reeling from black magic withdrawal? If that isn’t enough, they have a traitor in their midst, their master is hot on their trail, and a mysterious stranger in black is watching.
Enter Josie Cortez, a cowboy boots-wearing reporter at the local newspaper who desperately needs a good story to save her moribund career and get her editor off her back. One look at Henri and his weird little family and she knows she’s struck journalism gold. But strange things keep happening around Henri, things that remind Josie of her own tragic family history with black magic, a history that cost her her beloved mother and led Josie straight to the bottom of a bottle. Josie would rather forget all about that. Forgetting Henri, however, is easier said than done, even if falling for a man without a heartbeat could get her more than a broken heart. It could get her zombified.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
& AUTHOR INTERVIEW
When she first embarked in fiction writing, Maggie thought, Piece of cake. After all, she’d been a newspaper reporter for ten years; writing was her daily bread. But Zombified, her first novel about a band of sexy zombies, was anything but easy. The story wasn’t conveniently laid out for her at a press conference; it had to be coaxed out of her own imagination. Plot points resisted solving, descriptions meandered, and characters misbehaved. But just when things seemed bleakest, it happened. Maggie fell in love with it all: the zombies, the love story, and even the rituals of writing.
Maggie likes her leading women flawed and her science fiction sexy. She went to school for journalism and political science. She lives in the United States.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
First, it took a long time to write, way longer than I thought. An average of one chapter per month. Then I found an agent in the most wonderful way possible. Agencies sometimes put their unwanted requests in a folder in their conference room. A slush pile. And sometimes, an agent looking for a project will go through the slush pile. That’s what happened to Zombified! Then my wonderful agent found an equally wonderful publisher, the Writers’ Coffee shop. Still, all said an done, the process took more than three years.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I definitely never quit my day job! I would write whenever life gave me a break, after hours, early in the morning, on vacation, etc… It’s difficult but it does motivate you to do the best with what little time you have and commit some words to the page.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I think my sexy zombies have one or two more books to give, if the readers agree. Frankly, I got attached to that motley band and I would hate to see them go so fast. There are so many dynamics between them and I barely scratched the surface! There is one in particular, Verner, the German bad boy, who clearly deserves a sex scene! Plot-wise, there’s also a lot more to do. If I write more Zombified books, I’m going to blow up that town!
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I love my female lead, Josie Cortez, a small-town journalist with a drinking problem. I know she is difficult and lost -weren’t we all at some point?- but I love those characters. Don’t we love these anti-heroes when they are men? I’m glad that we are starting to love the female versions too!
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
The title wasn’t always Zombified. The working title was, believe it or not, Sexy Zombies. In fact, I still have a big fat Manilla folder titled “Sexy Zombies.” But people thought it was too literal. The cover, which is so gorgeous, is the work of Thaigher Lillie, an amazingly talented artist who really captured the steaminess of sexy zombies.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Picking your characters’ names is like picking names for a child. Seriously, I looked through lists of names from baby books and such! But the main characters’ names, Henri and Josie, are the names of a friend’s dogs. It’s weird but those names just felt so right!
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Characters are the muscles of the story. The plot may be the bones, the structure that makes it all stand together. But the characters are the muscles, propelling the book forward. They need to behave consistently, otherwise it all falls apart. Once you decide who they are, it’s fun to put them in harm’s way and find out how they’d react. How do you decide who they are? I picked people I wanted to put through a lot of harm!
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I definitely mapped out the story with index cards, lots of them, and taped them to a wall to rearrange as needed. But that plan changed drastically as my writing took shape. You have to go where characters take you.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the “block"?
There are definitely some plot point that resist solving. What I do when I’m getting frustrated is stop writing. Do something else. Go get iced coffee, talk to a friend, take a shower. Your brain keeps working in the background and then, all of a sudden, you find yourself in the shower, going, “Ah-ha!”
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..”)
I was always fascinated with the subject of freedom and what it means in our everyday lives. My sexy zombies were kept in slavery, sexual slavery, by the power of Voodoo magic for a hundred years. They had an awareness of their situation but no power to change it. Imagine how that must feel. And suddenly, they are free when a Louisiana hurricane separates them from the Voodoo priest who is their master. Imagine that. Being free, after so long. How would you handle it? That’s something I think about a lot. How precious and difficult freedom is.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
I am not sentimental about paper books at all. I am definitely a lover of ebooks. I always read a lot but I read a ton since I’ve gotten my ebook reader in 2009. I love the idea that I have access to so much knowledge and entertainment without cluttering my life. At the end of the day, I carry those books in my mind, not on my shelves.
Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
I love Stacia Kane and her Chess Putnam series. She is a genius at inventing dialect and using her characters’ language as a window to their souls. I mean, after reading Unholy Ghosts, I started talking like Terrible! She is also really funny and handy with sex scenes in dark alleys (Oh, that Terrible!).
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Just start writing. Don’t worry about finding an agent and a publisher. We live in a wonderful time of blogs and social media and self-publishing. Your words will find a way out. So just start writing.