Monday, March 12, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

Days with the Undead: Book One blog tour

"Our hope is that we will be safe tonight and many more nights to come. Some of you out there - those untouched by the reality that we are living first hand - might think this is a joke, a prank or some sick and twisted hoax. I can certainly attest that it is not. What’s happening is real and this is our record of it. I do hope that my frantic typing isn’t garbled and that I don’t repeat myself too often. PLEASE forgive me if I do. My intent is only to give the world a glimpse into our survival until the very last possible moment.

I hope this communication finds you in a safe place where the Undead have yet to proliferate. Pray for Us. Pray for life. Just pray… Please."

If you're anything like me, that excerpt just quickened your heartbeat.  Lucky for you, and me, there's more where that came from.

Days with the Undead: Book One has a wonderfully eerie premise:
It’s a journal of survival.
Five people set out to escape the Undead who have risen too close to home. Join the emotional and physical struggle as they began on the third day after the awakening of Brooks VanReit, as they are recorded from the point of view of Julie, a former pathologist and part-time survivalist.
Each entry is geared toward helping those who want to help themselves and maybe give a few that don’t a swift kick in the ass. Join our group of survivors on their journey through these Days with the Undead.

I tend toward the "scaredy cat" side of the playground, so I couldn't help wondering, as my heart tripped over itself, how does an author write a horror novel?  Is it, dare I say, easy?  Please grab a glass of lemonade, or sprinkle some holy water around you if need be (though I'm not sure if that works for zombies), and join me as I am honored to have Days with the Undead author, Julianne Snow, address this question.  Take it away, Julianne.

I want to thank Angela for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself to her readers. My name is Julianne Snow and I am a science fiction and horror writer who is trying to get the word out about my book Days with the Undead: Book One. One of the most difficult things about writing in the genres that I do is this:

How Easy Is It To Write Unease?

To write? Or not to write? That really isn’t a question for me. I have to write. It’s a feeling that consumes me. There are times when I should be sleeping or catching up with friends… Where can you find me instead? Either furiously typing on my computer or at my desk, scribing out a story longhand.

There have been some stories that end up being tedious to get out. You start off with a great idea, only to have it disintegrate as you lay the words down.

Others come together so beautifully that you sit back and wonder where a particular phrase came from. Sometimes you are just able to hit the emotions and imagery on the head and it reads exactly how you saw it happening in your head.

There is an interesting facet of writing that deserves some consideration - how does an author write stellar horror without scaring themselves? How do they evoke the reactions of fear and unease without falling victim to their own words?

I’d bet there are authors out there writing in the genre that would maintain they are immune to their own words. I can’t help but wonder if that is a good thing - how can you hope to scare, to evoke feeling, if you cannot even scare yourself?

It’s a benchmark that I strive to attain each and every time that I craft a story. I know that I’ve hit the mark when I can sit back and let the shudder course through my body. Emotion is a universal concept; we all feel. Injecting your writing with emotion is the best way, in my experience as both a writer and as a reader, to engage your audience.

As I was writing my first book, Days with the Undead: Book One, there were times when I genuinely had to sit back and take a break. The living dead are some of the most sinister monsters that anyone can imagine - if you look into their slack faces, what stares back at you?

A reflection of humanity in its afterlife.
Add to that the situations that are just as likely to arise in a rolling Apocalypse as in any other. In some cases, it’s the element of surprise that gets you; and in others, the gentle, sustained build of tension and fright that makes it hard to swallow.

If I were being honest, I want all of my readers to feel the same emotions that I do as I write. I want the tense moments to quicken your desire to devour my words. I want each page turned to make you pause for that moment, if only just to catch your breath before the next scene. When you are finished reading a scene in its entirety, I want it to stick with you for long moments after; to take up residence in your psyche and for you to mention it at the oddest moment in unrelated conversation. I want to take the things that you think are unimaginable in the horror realm and creep you out to the utmost level. Those are the emotions that I want you to feel, but I don’t want to simply do it in the most graphic way. Simplicity and subtlety are the tools that I prefer to use. That, and just a little touch of poignant creepiness. When you read my words, I want you to feel uneasy, the same way that I did while writing it.
***
I just had a shudder run through me reading that last line.  Talk about emotional engagement!  Thank you so very much.

Now, where can you get your copy of Days with the Undead: Book One?

Days with the Undead

It is available in print format at CreateSpace and Amazon.
Or digital format: Amazon US

Here's a bit more about the Author - Julianne Snow
It was while watching Romero's Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of 6 that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead.
As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own. The horror and forensic/crime thriller genres top her list of favourites, but she can never turn down a good science fiction, fantasy or mystery read.
Julianne appears in the anthology Women of the Living Dead with a story entitled The Living Dead at Penderghast Manor. Look for her short stories in future anthologies. Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name.
***

Feel free to use the comments to say "Hello", 'Howdy" or "Fracking A that scared the dirt out of me."  Okay, so maybe I'm the one who'd say that last one :-)

44 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

It's nice to meet you, Julianne!

I have to admit, I'm with Angela on the scaredy cat side of the playground, but I love the emotion and the immediacy of the excerpt. Made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

PS Love the cover too. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Ladies! I, too, tend to play on the scaredy cat side of the playground. :)

Julianne, I like what you said about some stories being tedious to get out and others that come together beautifully. The tedious, challenging stories are perhaps the ones that "grow us up" as writers.

Angela Brown said...

When I first saw the cover, I got all goosepimply. It is a great cover.

Angela Brown said...

That's very true, Linda. With each story you're learning to push yourself further, push you're writing further and grow in the writing craft.

Nick Wilford said...

Nice interview. I hadn't thought about the point about horror writers scaring themselves. I would say it's maybe because they know what's coming, but then if it was too preplanned it might not be as shocking to the reader. I loved the excerpt!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cool cover! Pouring emotions into our work can be difficult but it's necessary. Good luck, Julianne!

Julianne Snow said...

Thank you Maria! I'm glad that you enjoyed the excerpt and that you got that physical reaction - it's the effect that I have striven for :)

The cover really makes me proud - it represents the story that I wrote in such a powerful way. I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Julianne Snow said...

That's a very good point Linda - every time I finish one of those tedious stories, I get a unique sense of accomplishment. They are the hardest to finish and the ones that need to most work as your writing them. And just sometimes, they're the ones that you're the most proud of :)

Julianne Snow said...

I think scaring yourself is requisite Nick. I'm a pantser while writing so I mainly just have an idea and then I let the story flow out through my fingers. I find that be engaging my subconscious in that manner, puts me in the position to scare myself. When I start to feel that unease, I know I'm getting somewhere.

I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

Julianne Snow said...

Thank you Alex! Emotions are important - it's how we connect with each other on a deeper level :)

Julianne Snow said...

Thank you Angela for hosting me. I had such a good experience writing the guest post as it was something that I had never really thought of before. You've done such a wonderful job showcasing my work and I cannot thank you enough! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

~Julie

Angela Brown said...

Julianne, this has been a pleasure for me. Honestly, because I'm such a wuss when it comes to horror, I've never really had a chance to understand how horror writers do it, produce such bone chilling tales that make me think the shadows are after me, yet go through daily life seemingly unaffected. You've done me a huge favor by addressing this and giving me an insight into things I hadn't considered. Thank you for such a wonderful post and much success with your novel.

David P. King said...

This sounds right up my alley. Thanks for introducing Julianne Snow and her addition to the zombie lore! :)

Emily R. King said...

I get scared easily. I'm such a pansy. I can't imagine writing a book like this day after day. I don't think I'd ever sleep!

Nice meeting you, Julianne.

Thanks for having her, Angela. I'm wide awake now!

Tara Tyler said...

just the cover scared me! ah!

and consider yourself awarded!

Julianne Snow said...

I'm glad that it's right up your alley David! If you do purchase it, I hope that you enjoy it :)

Julianne Snow said...

Getting scared doesn't make you a pansy - it actually makes you a great candidate for enjoying the horror genre. Part of what makes the genre so appealing is that people enjoy that feeling of being scared for the moments they are immersed in the work. But I do understand completely, there are some things that not even I can handle! LOL

Julianne Snow said...

Angela, I'm glad that you enjoyed it :) Being a 'wuss' is not a bad thing - trust me! I have my wussy moments! LOL

Julianne Snow said...

Thank you :P I'm sorry that the cover scared you! To be honest, it's tame in comparison to some I've seen but I think that makes it so much more fitting! Sometimes you don't need the big display of gore to evoke the intended feelings.

M Pax said...

Congrats to Julianne. That's an intense sounding story. Waving at Angela.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I love that first excerpt! Congratulations Julianne! This sounds like a fascinating (and horrifying)read!

i'm erin. said...

Nice to meet Julianne! I'm such a scaredy cat. I hope I can get through that book. It sounds like a great tense read. Thanks Angela for posting!

Alleged Author said...

That is one seriously gruesome cover! This sounds great. Adding to my wishlist. :)

Angela Brown said...

Waving back at you :-) It sounds intense. Very intense indeed.

Angela Brown said...

The excerpt and the concept both gave me the willies *shudders*

Angela Brown said...

You're welcome. It was pleasure. I'm quite glad I had a chance to be a part of this book launch.

Angela Brown said...

The cover is done so well and the design screams, "Something wicked this way comes".

Olga said...

Thank you very much. In your blog, you give writers the opportunity to reveal their creative method and explain how they would like to be presented in front of the readers.

Angela Brown said...

Well, thank you, Olga. I do have appreciation for what it takes to be an artist of any kind. I'm honored to have my blog serve as a platform for others reaching for their dreams.

Julianne Snow said...

It is an intense story and it certainly was an intense experience to write it. Thank you!

Julianne Snow said...

Thank you Dianne! Your comments are very much appreciated!

Julianne Snow said...

Thank you Erin! The funny thing is that I'm a scaredy cat as well - I swear. I just love been scared and feeling that jolt of adrenaline :)

Julianne Snow said...

Thanks AA! I appreciate all of the support!

Julianne Snow said...

I agree Olga - guesting on Angela's blog has been such a treat for me. I realize that what I write isn't her cup of tea but her willingness to open up her blog and her readers to me is priceless. Thank you again Angela!

Angela Brown said...

Awww, shucks, Julianne. It's been my pleasure.

Brooke R. Busse said...

I'm actually one of those people who rarely feels emotions when reading books or when writing. I think it stems from the fact that I'm not good at visualizing. When I read books, the movie doesn't play in my head.

However, last November, during NaNoWriMo, I actually creeped myself out! I was so excited. XD

Angela Brown said...

My imagination is way to hyper. Sometimes, I think my imagination got a hold of an energy drink and just forgot to let the rest of me know. So yeah, tired, supposed to be focused, and I'm just a daydreaming away lol!!! So something scary, oh yeah, I can just see the adrenaline rushing through me, heart pumping while reading. Actually, sounds kind of exciting.

Shelley Munro said...

Wow, what a great excerpt. I definitely shuddered. I'm another of the scaredy cats, but I can admire the way you evoke emotions. Congrats!

Candy Lynn Fite said...

Nice to meet you, Julianne! It sounds amazing!! I recall writing a flash fiction piece about zombies for Rach Harrie's 3rd Campaigner Challenge. Wow, what a rush, and so much fun!!! If I recall correctly, that piece won something in the end of the challenge. I love being scared, and writing it is so much fun.

I look forward to seeing more!

Thanks, Angela!

Angela Brown said...

I agree Shelley.

Angela Brown said...

I think I remember reading that flash fictoin piece and having my nerves a bit skittish after reading it.

Julianne Snow said...

Congrats on creeping yourself out Brooke!

Julianne Snow said...

Thank you Shelley! I appreciate the compliment :)

Julianne Snow said...

Thank you Candy Lynn! Congrats on challenge win as well!

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