If I had to read a book with the #halloween tag, this would be it. It feels so much fun, and the cover is so deliciously disgusting! And please, oh please, read the extract. I’ve never managed to chuckle while making the biggest EWWWW face. It’s also a new twist on the entire zombie stuff, which is good and refreshing.
The story is Alive? by Melissa Woods (The Alive? Series, #1), out today in the Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction,Young Adult, Zombies genre.
Everyone knows the first rule of the zombie apocalypse: Don’t. Get. Bitten.
Too bad Violet has never been great at following the rules. Walking home after a night of partying, she manages to let one of the Dead take a chunk out of her only hours after they’ve begun walking again. Fortunately for Violet, she doesn’t die. Unfortunately for Violet—she’s not exactly alive, either.
Violet’s body is undergoing changes, and suddenly the taste of human flesh is not as revolting as it once sounded. Controlling her new urges will be hard. Living with survivors who have no idea will be even harder. And the real zombies? They still want to eat her, too…
Surviving the zompocalypse is tricky when you play for both teams.
New from author Melissa Woods, Alive? is a heart-pounding adventure with suspenseful plot twists, complex characters, and a dash of dark humor. Gritty and raw, Alive? is sure to keep you guessing, and will delight zombie apocalypse fans everywhere.
Violet Winter was dead.
To be honest, she wasn’t quite clear about it yet. All she knew was that ever since being bitten by the zombie, things had started to get weird.
As she stood there with warm blood drying on her fingers and bits of someone’s face in her teeth, she decided that making the choice to take the shortcut through the woods might not have been the best one.
A Chat with the Author
Writer, primary school teacher, zompocalyptic obsessive, Melissa Woods is the author of ‘Alive?’, a young adult zombie adventure story. When she’s not writing or teaching, Melissa can usually be found walking her three dogs, playing video games, or, occasionally, spending time with her husband.
Hi Melissa, and thank you for being here.
Can you describe your book in one sentence?
It’s the story of a seventeen year old called Violet, who makes the unfortunate mistake of getting bitten by a zombie, and discovers that while she’s lucky enough not to die, she now has a couple of interesting quirks, making her an unwanted guest at most dinner parties!
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Averages are hard, because I wrote the first draft of Alive? when I was sixteen years old, which would suggest it takes me twelve years to go from first draft to publication! But if I look at when I went back to the book and made the major changes, and how long it’s taken me to draft the sequel, I’d say it’s about nine months to a year to go from a blank page, to something I’m ready to send to the editor for fresh eyes.
What is the first book that made you cry?
I think it was probably Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. You probably already know the part, but spoiler alert; Cedric Diggory dies! It was the first time I’d felt actually angry and upset about the death of a character; not angry at JK for writing it, of course, but angry with Pettigrew for killing him. I was angry at one fictional character for killing another, which is ridiculous really, but just shows how touched you can be by the written word.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Absolutely. There have been times where I’ve picked up and put down six books in a row, because my mood changes. One minute I want to read a thriller, then I want sci-fi, then I get a craving for young adult diary-style humour. It drives my husband crazy, because he’s someone who picks up a book and doesn’t read anything else until it’s finished. I suppose that’s part of the reason that Alive? has a bit of horror, a bit of suspense, and a bit of humor, because I’m trying to keep myself happy as well as anything else!
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
It crossed my mind, because I’m a teacher, and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about parents of the children I teach reading the book, hating it, and then having to make awkward eye-contact on the playground where they look at me and think “She’s in charge of educating my child, and her book is the worst thing I’ve ever read in my life!” But I realised that it’s just my own anxiety, and that even if they didn’t like the book, the parents of children I have taught would hopefully be unlikely to make judgements about my teaching based on my writing about the zombie apocalypse!
If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
Just keep writing. Try to focus on one project at a time, but it’s okay need to move onto something else, because sometimes that’s exactly what helps you realise what’s missing from your work in progress. Don’t worry about having six half-finished projects, it’s better than staring at a blank chapter for weeks on end because you don’t know where it’s going next.
How do you think you’d fare in a zombie apocalypse?
It totally depends on the type of zombies. If we’re going George Romero’s slow shufflers, then I think I’d do okay! I’ve read a lot of zombie books, and watched a lot of movies, and think I’d avoid some of the typical ways to be killed off early on. But if the zombies were fast, like in Alive? or movies like 28 days later, then I’m pretty sure I’d be dead within about half an hour. I’m not someone who runs, which is something I decided to grace Violet with, just to make her life a little harder!
- Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (Intl winner would get eBook prizes)