Genre: Horror, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fiction
Publisher: Eternal Press
Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique
Jenna should be having the time of her life at college. Instead, her only desire is survival. She lives in a world gone insane after a virus kills most of the population. Being alive after the apocalypse is bad, but when the undead return, hungry for humans, times turn darker. For Jenna and a small group of survivors, the goal is to reach the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna develops feelings for Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human. Will this new utopia last?
Interview with Lisa Acerbo
- When did you first begin writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
- I majored in English during college, thinking that I wanted to become a journalist, but instead became an English teacher at the high school level. While a full time teacher now, I have also continued to write and publish. Before turning to fiction, my articles appeared in the Connecticut Post, Trumbull Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter. Writing a novel was on my bucket list, so now that I have completed the goal, I am changing my bucket list entry to writing a series of books.
- I am a huge fan of Shakespeare. Reading Macbeth in high school is the reason I decided to major in English and literature in college. Lady Macbeth is so misunderstood and pure evil! I also love Stephen King and recently completed two of his new books – Joyland and Doctor Sleep. These stories remind me why I enjoy teaching others about literature and practicing the craft myself. Even though I could never come close to King’s level of mastery, reading great stories makes me want to become a better writer.
- Jenna, the main character, lives in this crazy, deadly post-apocalyptic world overrun with stalkers, another name for zombies. I love Jenna, the hero of the story. She is tough, smart and sassy and has this innate ability to stay alive in the craziest situations. What more could you want? I’m not sure if she is all that likable; a zombie apocalypse can cause some people to be on edge and grumpy, but she is fiercely loyal to her friends, and that counts for a whole lot when you fight the evil undead.
- I have been reading The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, and he provides many great tips. Since I can ride a horse, I’d use one for faster transportation once gas became scarce. I can’t aim well. Instead of a gun, I think an axe would work to hold off the scavenging zombies, at least for a while. I hate that they have to get close, but I could do some serious damage with an axe. Of course, the assumption is that I don’t trip over my own two feet and end up a quick meal for the undead.
- Can my daughter fit in the bag? Other than the family members I would attempt to save, I would have a “go-bag” with basic medical supplies, water bottles, and food such as rice and granola bars. Some granola bars last for a year (I cannot imagine what is in the product, but if they keep me alive, I’ll eat them). Tools would include a Swiss Army knife, flashlight, matches, and a small, easily concealed weapon to use on zombies or evil humans who come my way.
- I love zombie movies and vampire books such as the Chicagoland vampire series. Reading some of the recent book releases in the genre and watching movies like Shaun of the Dead and World War Z sparked the desire to try my hand at writing my own zombie novel. I kept wondering what would happen if vampires had to fight zombies? The answer is in Apocalipstick.
- I want to make sure to scare the audience and keep readers in suspense. That is hard to do and I find it challenging when writing fight scenes. The scene should not only be about zombie gore, but needs to make the reader worry about the main characters and what will happen to them next.
- At first, Jenna lives only survive a life full of zombies, death, and chaos, but after she helps a small group of survivors reach the safe haven of the High Point Inn, she gets the chance to relax. At the inn, Jenna develops feelings for two men: Quentin, who reminds her of the past and Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human.
Quentin is the boy you can be friends with and fall in love with. He is cute and has been able to retain a sense of humor even with all the chaos and death that surrounds the group. Caleb, on the other hand is his polar opposite. Caleb is brooding and dark, but with a good soul deep down. Jenna has to decide on if Caleb is worth the effort or not.
- Apocalipstick was my first book, but book two in the series is coming together. Jenna and Caleb undergo a challenging quest. They leave the safety of the inn and their travels resemble the traditional journey of the mythological heroes brought to light by Joseph Campbell. There are also many unexpected twists for the characters and someone rises from the dead, but not as a zombie. I was working on my first book and already planning the next book in my head, thinking about the changes and developments that would happen to Jenna and Caleb, the main characters.
- Thanks to all my readers for their support and opinions. I love having a chance to meet and talk with people about Apocalipstick and books in general. I appreciate any and all comments. Without readers and writers, the world would be a boring place.
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and two horses. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education–she’s working towards an EdD.