Author’s Bio: Christine (C.A.) Verstraete enjoys writing fiction with a bit of a “scare.” Her short stories have been published in anthologies and publications including, Happy Homicides 3, Mystery Weekly, Baby Shoes: 100 Stories by 100 Authors and Young Adventurers: Explorers, Heroes and Swashbucklers.
She also is the author of a young adult novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie and books on dollhouse miniatures. Her latest is Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter. Learn more at her blog, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com and her website, http://cverstraete.com.
What inspired you to write your book?
The Walking Dead. I started watching it and was hooked. I wrote a teen zombie book and then I realized there was a reason why Lizzie Borden did it…zombies – and wrote an adult zombie story.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I, of course, loved reading Stephen King. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is also a longtime favorite that I try to re-read whenever I can.
I’ve also written a kid’s mystery and a couple how-to, dollhouse books. I’m not as fast as other writers, so I’ll just say it takes a while.
Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
I outline, but characters will do what they will. It’s not set in stone and other ideas often come along as I’m writing.
Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
I always have the radio on. How about a 1970s song, Run, Run, Run by Jo Jo Gunne. That seems to fit both books. Ha! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia0vOOjCCNo)
What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
Talk a lot. Book sites. Keep talking.
What advice would you give to new authors?
Don’t give up. It’s a long haul, not a sprint.
How about sharing an excerpt?
--From GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie:
A virus. A freaking virus.
I'd been sick before, you know, measles, mumps—kid stuff—but not really sick.
Never like this.
This . . . this couldn't be happening.
I tuned back in to the doctor's explanation—new diet, pills, blah-blah—and let his words fade again into the background.
Gone was the golden tan I'd nurtured over the summer with tanning cream and a few hours sitting in the sun by the pool with one of my cousins. Now my skin had a weird grayish tone, like I'd rubbed myself with fireplace ash.
I stared at my legs, mottled with strange gray blotches, and my pretty pink toenails peeking out from beneath the sheet.
The machine next to me made a frantic beep-beep.
I caught a reflection of myself in the metal frame of the bed. I moaned and rubbed a hand over my cheek, wondering at the scaly texture while at other times I felt almost nothing.
Large, deep brown eyes under ebony bangs. A decent nose.
I took in the pinkish spots and my uneven skin tone, which reminded me of those old battleships on that PBS show I'd watched with my aunt on TV.
For the first time in my sixteen-year-old life I was . . . ugly.
I lost it.
The machine's whir-click-whir turned into a wail—beep-beep-beeeeeeep.
A nurse in blue scrubs tried to reassure me even as she attempted to keep me immobile on this slab they called a bed.
"Relax, it'll be fine," she said.
"No, it won't," I yelled, "It won't!"
How could looking like freaking King Tut without his wrappings ever be fine?
--From Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:
Q. You saw his face covered with blood?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did you see his eyeball hanging out?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you see the gashes where his face was laid open?
A. No sir.
—Lizzie Borden at inquest, August 9-11, 1892, Fall River Courtroom
August 4, 1892
Lizzie Borden drained the rest of her tea, set down her cup, and listened to the sound of furniture moving upstairs. My, my, for only ten o’clock in the morning my stepmother is certainly energetic. Housecleaning, already?
For a moment, Lizzie forgot her plans to go shopping downtown. THUMP. There it went again. It sounded like her stepmother was rearranging the whole room. She paused at the bottom stair, her concern growing, when she heard another thump and then, the oddest of sounds—a moan. Uh-oh. What was that? Did she hurt herself?
“Mrs. Borden?” Lizzie called. “Are you all right?”
She wondered if her stepmother had taken ill, yet the shuffling, moving, and other unusual noises continued. Lizzie hurried up the stairs and paused outside the partially opened door. The strange moans coming from the room sent a shiver up her back.
Lizzie pushed the door open wider and stared. Mrs. Abby Durfee Borden stood in front of the bureau mirror, clawing at her reflected image. And what a horrid image it was. The sixty-seven-year-old woman’s hair looked like it had never been combed and stuck out like porcupine quills. Her usually spotless house dress appeared wrinkled and torn. Yet, that wasn’t the worst. Dark red spots—Blood, Lizzie’s mind whispered—dotted the floor and streaked the sides of the older woman’s dress and sleeves.
Lizzie gazed about the room in alarm. The tips of Father’s slippers peeking out from beneath the bed also glistened with the same viscous red liquid. All that blood! What happened here? What happened?
What’s next for you?
I’m working on a tie-in story for Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and hope to work on a sequel for that, too.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
· Website: http://cverstraete.com
· Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/C.A.-Verstraete/e/B003PAR12C/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christine.verstraete
· Twitter: caverstraete
· Book buy Links: https://www.amazon.com/Lizzie-Borden-Zombie-Hunter-Verstraete-ebook/dp/B01KISRS80?tag=geolinker-20
It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.
Thanks for letting me stop by!