Bewitching Book Tours: The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak

The Harvesting Banner 450 x 169


TheHarvestingThe Harvesting
The Harvesting Series, Book 1
Melanie Karsak

Genre: Horror/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Steampunk Press
ISBN-10: 1479327247
ISBN-13: 978-1479327249
Number of pages: 394

Cover Artist: Michael Hall Photography

Book Description:

When mankind finally consumes itself, can any spark of humanity survive? Layla fights to keep those she loves alive when the zombie apocalypse unfolds, but she soon learns that zombies are not the only problem. With mankind silenced, those beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power. Layla must learn who to trust, fast, if she hopes to save what is left of our kind.

Interview with Melanie Karsak

  1. When did you first begin writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
    • I actually started plotting the book in 2011 but didn’t really set pen to paper (well, finger to keyboard) until 2012. It took me about six weeks to write the first draft. I do a lot of writing in my head, so when I sit down to write, I almost always know what my characters will do and say. I got inspired to write as a side-effect of being an English professor. My academic mind was waxing poetic over why zombies were starting to get so popular. I had some theories about what zombies symbolize and that slowly morphed into a creative project. I have always written but nothing so dark. One day, I suddenly got the idea for the character of Layla, and after that, everything just fell into place.
  2. What books and authors have most influenced your life?
    • I am primarily a fantasy reader, but I love horror movies. I was practically weaned on 50s science fiction movies. As far as my book list, I read a lot of the classics. Some of the early Gothic writers are very good at being very scary. There is one fantasy novel I truly love and encourage everyone to read: “The Mists of Avalon” by the late Marion Zimmer Bradley. I read that book as an angstful teenager and it resonated on many levels. After reading Mists, I was determined to follow in Bradley’s footsteps and become a writer. The novel tells the King Arthur tale from the perspective of the women in the legends. It is a fantastic read.
  3. Tell us a little about your main character. Your blurb talks about keeping those she loves alive. Who is she fighting for?
    • My protagonist is Layla Petrovich. Layla grew up in the small town of Hamletville raised by her psychic grandmother. Grandma Petrovich calls Layla home before z-day unfolds. She soon finds herself thrust into the role of leader and protector. While fighting the undead, Layla also has to deal with her past, including her first love who ditched her and a town full of people who always thought Grandma was a bit nutty. After all, just because the world dies doesn’t mean our past dies with it. Layla feels responsible for protecting the people of her town. This sense of responsibility comes from both inside her—she’s just good like that—and from outside forces who suggest to her that it is her job to “help them.”
  4. Faced with a world infested with flesh-eating biters, what would be your go-to method of defense and why?
    • Hiding! Getting away from as much of humanity as much as possible feels like it would be the safest thing to do. I am no sword toting gun-slinger. I would have to rely on craftiness over muscle.
  5. In this ever-changing world, it behooves us to be prepared for disaster to happen at any moment. The Zombie Survival Crew members have a “go-bag” filled with items essential for their survival should disaster strike and they must flee to survive. What are the most essential items for your go-bag and why?
    • I am the mom of two little people so all the things they need comes first to mind. Since we live in Florida, we are weather-disaster ready, so we have all the standard items on hand: bottled water, hordes of batteries, extra medication, canned goods, etc. What we still need are MREs and ammo, lots and lots of ammo 🙂
  6. How did you come up with the premise for The Harvesting? And what do you feel makes your book stand out in the zombie lit world?
    • The Harvesting is not your standard zombie novel. While labeled a horror novel, it’s really more dark fantasy. People looking for a standard zombie slaughter fest may not like my book. There are a lot of other supernatural elements in the story. I don’t want to give too much away, but in the world of The Harvesting there are a lot of other fantastical creatures (not aliens) running around. As I thought about the premise of the book, I realized that what I was envisioning was a battle for modern Middle Earth.
  7. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing for a horror audience?
    • This goes back to question six. If someone if looking for hack and slash zombie goodness, of which I am also a fan, then this book is not necessarily what they bargained for. Some people might walk away frustrated. There is gore, and I evoke terror, but there are other things going on as well.
  8. Tell us a little bit about the other creatures we might meet between the pages of The Harvesting.
    • Imagine if many of the creatures from folklore existed and have lived in secret, in hiding, as mankind’s power rose? What if mankind began to die? Would they emerge from the shadows? Would they try to seek power? Would they sit back and watch us die? Would they help us? Whose side would they be on?
  9. What are you working on now? Can you tell us your latest news?
    • I am tying up the ends of The Shadow Aspect, which is the follow-up novel to The Harvesting, and am also plotting the third novel in this series. In the interim, I have also completed the first two novels in a Steampunk series, a steam/clockpunk adventure-romance, which I hope to have to readers very soon. If you loved Layla, you will love the protagonist of these works. I have a production list a mile long. I need there to be more of me!
  10. Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
    • First, thank you for taking the time to read this interview! If they like dark fantasy and with a heavy twist of horror, please feel free to check out The Harvesting. In addition to the tour giveaway, there is also my last Goodreads giveaway for this book through June 16th!

      If readers are steampunk fans, they may wish to follow my blog or facebook page for updates on that series!

      Also, a big thank you to my host for the interview! It’s been loads of fun!

About the Author:

Melanie Karsak, steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Visit the author at her blog,, to learn more about upcoming projects.

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Giveaway Pack

10 swag packs (pictured above) which includes a t-shirt, an autographed hard copy of the novel, a bumper sticker, and postcards (US Shipping Only)

10 ecopies of the novel (open internationally)

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