Thanks go out to Stuck In Books for hosting this Blog Hop!
For this giveaway, I'm excited to be giving away The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life and The Time Zombies Became the Least of My Worries by Jen Naumann! Check out my interview with Jen and enter for your chance to win a Kindle or Nook version of her zombie books!
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Interview with Jen Naumann
Did you always want to be an author?
Pretty much, yes. I remember in 3rd grade writing a story about My Little Ponies and declaring I would grow up to be a writer. I stuck to my guns and wrote dozens of novels up until college, when I felt overwhelmed in declaring a major. Then I started a family and the writing thing got lost until recently when someone in my family had a major medical issue, and I realized life was too short not to go after what I love. So I was in my 30s before it finally became a reality!
Tell us a bit about your zombie series
This is definitely not a typical zombie story! Emma, the main character, is a senior in high school when the apocalypse hits, and more worried about what to do with the crush she has on her childhood friend than how she’s going to survive. She’s full of wit and doesn’t have the basic of fighting skills, so at times her adventure is pretty humorous. And the virus isn’t caused by your run-of-the-mill human virus, either.
How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland were already my favorite movies before I became a die-hard fan of The Walking Dead from the first time it aired. After the first season was over, I went into a kind of denial. I wanted more zombies! I started to wonder how I would react if there was a zombie apocalypse since I’m really not very coordinated or brave, and wrote the first 10,000 words in one day. Emma is sort of a younger version of myself, although I'm not quite that snarky. I had to be careful at times to make sure she isn't flat-out bullying the other characters, because I'm a heavy supporter of anti-bullying campaigns!
What drew you to the YA genre?
Growing up in the 80s I was obsessed with John Hughes and Stephen Spielberg films, and wrote a ton of fan fiction based on their movies (I just realized a few years ago what I was doing was actually called “fan fiction”). I tried to write an “adult” book after high school, but realized I was still mesmerized by the magical feeling of the teen movies I loved growing up. Preparing to go off on your own into adulthood is such an exciting time! I often think being an adult is boring, and miss the energy of being young, awaiting new challenges with bright eyes. Then again, maybe I’m just one of those people who will never grow up!
Are there any books and stories that have influenced or stuck with you from your childhood or young-adulthood?
I don’t think my parents were aware at the time, but I started reading Stephen King in 5th grade and was pretty much obsessed with his work by high school. I’ve always liked the idea of being scared, and using my imagination to explore what would happen if monsters were real. While I don’t feel I’ve actually dove into the horror genre quite yet, it’s still something I hope to do one day. I'm just not sure I could do it justice.
Do you have any other works published and how do they compare genre/style wise with your current work?
I’ve just completed my 7th book for publication. While all of my books deal with some sort of paranormal element, What I’ve Done and Shymers (a dystopian story) are both told by girls who are a bit more gentle, and naive to the world around them. Cheating Death is about a popular girl who makes bad decisions, and deals with some pretty dark subjects. The heroine in Mind Static is confident with a little attitude, giving the story a fun and lighter feel. My favorite so far is my new release Paranormal Keepers in which the girl is smart, good humored, and brave.
Do you have any current writing projects? Can you tell us a bit about them?
Although there are at least five other projects I’d rather be working on, I just started the sequel to my most popular book, Shymers. Since I left readers with a big cliffhanger, I’ve felt a tremendous amount of pressure with the second book and kept putting it off. I finally decided I owe it to my fans to finish Olive and Harrison’s story. As with my zombie series, it will most likely become nothing more than a two-part series, although I’ll never rule out more books in the future if I feel like adding to it. It’s just that my ADD won’t allow me to focus on one project for very long.