What do you get when you mix zombie mayhem and comedy? You get the Living with the Dead series, and the author of that excellent horror-comedy mashup, Jesse Petersen, has stopped by talk about the popular adventures of Dave and Sarah, along with a brand new title coming out that centers around monsters just trying to live their lives quietly in the big city.
1. We absolutely love the Living with the Dead series, and there are no words to describe how excited we were to read that you’ll be writing a 4th Dave and Sarah book. Can you give us any details on it yet?
Well, when we last left off, Dave and Sarah had managed to get their cure across the Wall and into the uninfected part of the country but weren’t able to get across themselves so they decided to head to Montana. When we pick up, they’ve made it there and are just trying to have a normal life when people from their past start showing up and they’re asked to help save the world… just one more time because of Dave’s special zombie powers (without the zombie side-effects). But will they, won’t they and who will try to stop them this time is all up for grabs. It will be out in early January under THE ZOMBIE WHISPERER in all eBook formats.
2. It’s very cool that you’re keeping the zombie action going by posting short stories that take place in the Living with the Dead world on your blog (15th of every month for those that are interested). Do you know how many more zombie shorts we can expect?
Right now there are ten I have planned, written or scheduled on the blog already. But there is always the possibility of more. I love the Living in the Dead world and as long as readers still want it, I imagine I’ll keep coming back to it one way or another.
3. Your next book, Club Monstrosity, leaves zombies behind to take us on a trip to New York City, where a few interesting characters live. What can you tell us about the book?
Yes, the new book is about the real monsters in the world. Their stories have been co-opted by authors and directors for hundreds of years and now they’re just trying to stay low and keep quiet. Every week they have a meeting in a church basement (like A.A.) just to figure out how to keep looking “human”. And then someone starts killing them the same way they’ve died in their stories. What will they do? Where will they go? Will they become the monsters they’re meant to be or just disappear?
4. Will Club Monstrosity have the same type of horror that can be found in the Dave and Sarah books or is it lighter in tone?
The book definitely has the same dark, sarcastic humor as the Living With the Dead books. Natalie, a Frankenstein’s monster and Alec, a wolf man are the two main characters are both have very dark humor. So fans of the zombie books will find a familiar voice with Natalie, especially.
5. Monsters attending a monster support group sounds like a great idea? Where did you get the inspiration for that?
Honestly, it just popped into my head. I’m sure it came from something I saw or read or heard and it processed around until I was AA, but for monsters! Boom, done.
6. With a new Living with the Dead book and two Club Monstrosity books headed our way, it sounds like you have a pretty full schedule. Are there any other ideas that might be coming soon or will you just be focusing on those titles right now?
It will really depend on a lot of things out of my control, honestly. I intend to tie up everything with Dave and Sarah in the 4th Living With the Dead book, but you never know. I may want to revisit them at some point. And I hope that Pocket, which is my publisher for Club Monstrosity, will want more books from me. So I urge readers to vote with their pocketbooks and just buy the books. Sales dictate so much in our industry. I have more ideas, for sure!
7. Is there a possibility of Club Monstrosity short stories popping up on your blog the way The Living with Dead stories are?
The Living With the Dead series really lends itself to stories in that universe. The zombie apocalypse has lots of stories and lots of different characters I can tap into. But the Monster universe I’m creating doesn’t lend itself as much, I don’t think, so at this point I don’t plan it, but you never know. If a story struck my fancy, I might.
8. You do a great job of blending humor and horror? Could you offer any advice to aspiring writers on how to achieve balance between those two genres?
Thanks, I do try. I’m not sure I purposefully work at balancing them, I just think about how I might react in a situation. I tend to use sarcasm and self-deprecating humor when things are tense in real life, so getting that on page isn’t as difficult. I, of course, amp it up a little. I’m not sure I’d yell about the toilet seat being up immediately after killing my neighbor. But who knows, it depends on which neighbor, I guess…
1. Favorite childhood, or adulthood, Halloween costume?
My mother made me a cat costume with a pose-able tail one year that I still love. It had ears too and she painted the tip of my nose black and I think I had cool whiskers, too. I found some pictures with me as Chewbacca that make me laugh, too.
2. Would you stay in a house that has a reputation of being haunted?
It would really depend on the kind of haunting. If it was a Paranormal Activity evil spirit trying to kill my dog or something, I would have trouble with that. But just a moving stuff around ghost would be cool. My house is super new, though, so unless we’re on a burial ground or something, I’ll just have to read about ghosts. I wrote a ghost story in the collection “No Rest for the Wicked”, which came out earlier this year if anyone wants to see my take on it.
3. Could you survive if a zombie apocalypse really happened?
I hope so. I’m a good shot and I’m a pretty wary person, so I would have a chance. But I think it would depend on how much infrastructure was left. I’m not a super couponer or big storage person, so I might have issues with that.
4. Favorite Halloween candy?
Oh gosh, don’t get me started. I’m hungry while I’m writing this. Anything chocolate, paydays, I like Starburst/Skiddles. Man I really want some candy. Must stay strong…
5. Tricks or Treats? Which do you prefer?
Treats always. I’m not really big on tricks and I am a fan of chocolate. Honestly, I’m a fan of sweets in general.
About the Author
A Facebook application once told Jesse Petersen that she’d only survive a day in a zombie outbreak, but she doesn’t believe that. For one, she’s a good shot and two, she has an aversion to bodily fluids, so she’d never go digging around in zombie goo. Until the zombie apocalypse, she lives in the Midwest with her husband and two cats.