Earlier this year, I interviewed Alison Kemper about her book DONNA OF THE DEAD. I was excited to learn that her new book, DEAD OVER HEELS, debuts September 29th. Check it out:
Glenview, North Carolina. Also known―at least to sixteen-year-old Ava Pegg―as the Land of Incredibly Boring Vacations. What exactly were her parents thinking when they bought a summer home here? Then the cute-but-really-annoying boy next door shows up at her place in a panic…hollering something about flesh-eating zombies attacking the town.
At first, Ava’s certain that Cole spent a little too much time with his head in the moonshine barrel. But when someone―or something―rotted and terrifying emerges from behind the woodpile, Ava realizes this is no hooch hallucination. The undead are walking in Glenview, and they are hungry. Panicked, Ava and Cole flee into the national forest. No supplies, no weapons. Just two teenagers who don’t even like each other fighting for their lives. But that’s the funny thing about the Zombpocalypse. You never know when you’ll meet your undead end. Or when you’ll fall dead over heels for a boy…
And here are Alison’s answers to some updated questions!
DEAD OVER HEELS expands on the universe you created in DONNA OF THE DEAD, but with a different character. Did Ava come fully fleshed, or did you develop her as you went along?
I keep joking that the tagline for DEAD OVER HEELS should be “Not a sequel!” You don’t have to read DONNA OF THE DEAD to understand my new novel. The main characters couldn’t be more different. Donna is snarky and matures a lot over the course of the story; Ava is a smart city girl who has to survive in the woods during a plague. Ava has many of the misconceptions about rural people that I had when I first moved to North Carolina. That part of her character was definitely “fully fleshed”–and easiest to write!
It’s great to know each book can stand on its own. How else is DEAD OVER HEELS different from its predecessor, and what do you want readers to take away when they’re finished?
When I was working on the first novel, I had an agent, but no publisher. This time, I knew I was writing for Entangled Teen, and that readers would be fine (even thrilled) if I dialed up the romance. So I let the love story drive the plot of DEAD OVER HEELS. Plus it’s a bit, um, steamier than the first novel! 😉
Awesome! As well as “steaminess,” you intertwine humor and horror really well. What advice, if any, do you have for people writing horror (or humor)?
Thank you for saying that! So many people in this business give discouraging advice–horror won’t sell, humor won’t sell, zombies won’t sell, blah blah blah. I’ve had a great time creating this series. My advice: write what you like and the sales will follow.
Very well said! DEAD OVER HEELS releases just in time for Halloween–what marketing tactics do you plan to use, and do you have advice for writers seeking to promote their work?
I love Halloween! I BEGGED for a Halloween release date. Readers can expect posts about horror movies and spooky reads–and lots of candy in every giveaway pack! For authors, I think promo works much better when it’s not really promo–when you’re genuinely having a good time and enjoy interacting with readers.
I’ll have to tack that to my wall. Thanks, Alison, for another great interview!
To snatch up a copy of DEAD OVER HEELS for yourself, click the link below: