I am so excited. This is what I've been dreaming of for years. Even when I was a kid I wanted to be a writer. I also wanted to be an archaeologist, but that dream kind of faded away. Living in places where I could find ancient artifacts and fossils has helped ease that loss.
My mother encouraged me to write. When I was in third grade I wrote a book about two children, their babysitter, and something in their basement. It was a little too spooky for my teacher and her assistant that found it I ended up in the principal's office being lectured for 'bad thoughts'. My mom came to my rescue when she told the staff off - she used the words 'gifted', 'talented', and 'eccentric'. She and I had our differences, but she pushed me to follow through with my dreams, no matter how dark they were.
Today is an epic day for me. It's the culmination of everything I wanted as a child. It's fulfilling a promise to my mother. To my kids, especially my oldest daughter. I promised to dedicate my first novel to her and her siblings. That's done now - your guys are my own personal apocalypse. All anyone has to do is hang around you guys and their lives are changed.
My mom passed away in 2010, a month before my birthday (October 1, 2010 is the day). I was pregnant with my sixth child. I felt a sense of loss like no other...I didn't get to tell my mom that I forgave her when she was in a coma. That was my plan, but my aunt's cell phone died before I could. While many people believe that there is a hereafter and that people you love 'know' when they pass everything you meant to say, I don't. I am much like my book's main character Layne. I lost my faith long ago.
What means the most to me is that those promises were fulfilled. Even if not a single person enjoys Blood Burn - I did it. I made it. With the support of friends and editor, and publisher- I DID IT. People believed in me and I didn't let them down in this endeavor.
Mom, if you are somewhere out there in some spiritual form or another dimensional plane - thank you for always indulging me in my horror obsession. For the Stephen King books. For letting me read anything I wanted at any age.
There's some people I no longer talk to that were supportive during the process as well. While we had serious issues, know that you did help. Your input meant a lot and if you ever read this, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I'm not usually an emotional sort, so excuse me for being mushy. Thank you all.
post isn't about roasting marshmallows, Skippy.
you find some marshmallows during or after the Z.A., roasting the
stale suckers will make them taste better, though. I think we all
know how to to this one: poke stick into marshmallow, stick in fire,
wait until black, eat, and then drink enough water to cool the tongue
burn. Am I right?
thing I hate about Z.A. movies is that everyone runs out of food.
eating crap scrounged from stores - seriously, if we're pissed off as
a general rule about the crap in our food now, what's going to happen
after the Z.A.? We can't go bitching to any government about GM food
- because we won't be able to tell the crap apart. Pollen from GM
crops has been a problem discussed by scientists since 1999...when
the zombies eat all of the scientists the problem isn't going to go
the GM strains will die out, but if not, I think that it will be more
important to know the difference between grapes and nightshade then a
GM tomato and an heirloom.
point is, food is food.
all need to know how to identify what's good to eat and what isn't. I
love the Wildman Steve Brill and his website, while not the
prettiest, has a vast amount of information anyone can use. He has
several books that I strongly urge anyone that wants to eat well
after the Z.A. to buy. This link takes you to his Plant ID Page
NOT eat anything that you are not 100% sure of.
can't say this enough. Do not go sticking shit in your mouth if you
don't know what it is. It might not kill you outright, but a massive
case of the trots will make you wish you'd listened. Trust me. I'm an
checking out those pages, you have an idea of what you can and can't
eat. You're probably wondering, "Yeah, but how do I
cook it?" --over the fire you learned how to build last
lesson. Or beside it. Or even in it.
you have the room to carry it, a mess kit comes in really handy.
person in your group should have one. You can buy a mess kit or build
your own. Military mess kits are the best for their durability and
compact size. Don't spend too much - anything you have can be lost
during the Z.A. and if you have any sense, you won't go fighting
through a horde to grab the expensive mess kit you (or some idiot)
to be really self reliant?
your own mess kit from cans. A coffee can with a plastic lid can
carry your entire kit, boil water, cook stew, and more. When choosing
cans don't use any that have the white lining inside, this can burn
off or leech into your food. A plain metal clotheshanger can be bent
into a handle for your cans. Punch a hole near the top of each can so
you can hook the ends of the hanger in. With cans you can choose the
size of your kit. Cans are also readily available in most areas which
means that if you lose a kit, it's easy to replace on the fly.
a few wire hangers inside of your kit for flexibility while cooking.
hangers are good not only for cooking, but even without sharpening,
if a zombie shambles up while dinner is cooking, you can stab him in
the eye, pierce the brain, and kill the sucker. Use them to secure
knives to broomsticks or other long wooden sticks for makeshift
spears. Alternatively, hang several cans over the fire to cook more
than one thing at a time. Killing zombie bastards or makeshift
weapons- hangers rock.
are a few things every mess kit should have:
can/pot for boiling water
smaller cans (nested)
(a spork is perfect)
hanger (or several)
it. Everything you need for a basic kit. To be honest, you
can get by with one small can that doubles to cook, eat, or drink
from. I'd prefer at least two cans in the stripped down version - one
typical vegetable can with a smaller tomato sauce or paste can for
drinking, along with half a wire hanger and a fork.
we're visiting with Lori Parker, author of the upcoming novel, Feral.
Lori reviews books, has a fun sense of humor on Facebook, and is easy
to approach. If you haven't visited her review blog, ContagiousReads, try it!
Lori. Thanks for agreeing to tell me (and my readers) more about your
book, Feral. Let's get to the meat of the interview!
: Feral is New Adult Contemporary Romance, correct? Can you tell me
why you decided to go with New Adult?
Thanks for having me! I’m excited and nervous! I
read a lot of New Adult, and enjoy most of it. It seems like a great
place to examine issues in a mature way that can be read across the
board. There is a fine line between all of the age groups and an even
finer one between YA, NA and Adult. With my foul mouth and dirty mind
I could never write a YA novel and have it be authentic to my voice.
I also write about younger adults. So it’s just more fitting.
Your heroine has such a broken life. Is this any reflection on your
own life? We've all felt hopeless at one point, can you say you're
pulling the story from your own loss of someone? Lori:
I like broken characters because I can relate to them. I pull a lot
of my life and put it into Feral. I wasn't abandoned as a child,
but I certainly felt that way a lot when I was a teen. My parents had
their own lives and issues that they were dealing with. My sister had
moved out, so I was left on my own a lot. I wasn't a social person
in my teen years either so that didn't really help my feelings of
being alone. I also, like a lot of people, suffer from depression.
Throw in my anxiety issues and I was a mess for many years, before I
got diagnosed and treated. I
recently lost one of my good friends. She was one of my co-bloggers
as well. She was young. 28, and a mother to three very beautiful
kids. I have a lot of pain, and anger left from her death. Losing
someone that young no matter how they died is horrible. She had so
much life left. It actually stopped my world for a while. I couldn't read, or write. And to anyone that knows me books are the air I
breathe. Right now I can say that I am dealing with her loss, and a
lot of the feelings of hurt and anger are being put into Feral. But
there are some happy times in Feral too. The book is dedicated to my
daughter, my friend Kami who is the one who died this summer, and my
college roommates. I use a lot of my college experiences in the book.
I had a blast in college. I
can’t tell you if it has a Happily Ever After, I have two separate
endings written for the book, and both are completely possible. We’ll
see how the cards fall as I write.
Do you believe true love exists and if so, have you met anyone that
exemplified it? Lori:
This is actually a hard question for me to answer it. I have two
answers. Yes I think it exists, but I am doubtful that it exists for
me. My former college roommate and her husband, both friends, have
the most solid relationship I have ever seen. So they give me hope
that there is a such thing as a real life happily ever after.
I love the cover for Feral. Did you come up with the scene or did
your cover artist? Lori:
I would say thank you, but that is all Staci from Red Pen Kisses, and
the cover model Miranda Hedman aka Mirish. Staci was great to work
with. She asked me about ten questions, and then made me get more
specific, because I can be kind of wishy washy. Then she found
Mirish’s Black Cat series. I picked a pose, and she worked her
magic from my responses. I also gave her links to the Pinterest board
for the book. The
cover is beautiful. It’s been a real kick in the butt to finish the
book. I actually have another book that is closer to completion than
Feral, and Staci is doing the cover and edits for that one! My friend
and author Emily Goodwin is going to pose as my MC Blake. I’m
admit I am a woefully slow writer.
You review books on your blog, Contagious Reads. Did you want to be
an author before reviewing or did you become inspired after becoming
a reviewer? If after, who do you think inspired you the most? Lori:
After. I was very much content to live in other peoples’ books. I
never realized that my penchant for daydreaming could turn into
writing, until I started talking to my friend Lindsay Galloway about
this idea I had for a book (The Hand that Feeds) and she kept asking
me if I was writing it. Finally I sat down and wrote, and then she
read it. And told me I didn’t suck. I
said on my Facebook the other day that it takes a village to write a
book. And for me that is very true. I have some really great
supporters out there. Lindsay obviously, but also my friends Annie
Walls, Elyse Schramm, Ren Reidy, Emily Goodwin, Megan Gullickson,
Rhiannon Frater, Kody Boye, Staci Hart, Claudia McKinney, Tamara Rose
Blodgett, Amy Joy Mryc Lutchen, and Heaven Flores have all been
around for some serious hand holding. I
am always improving as a writer. As you can tell my natural
inclination is to write like I speak, which doesn't work in fiction
writing. It’s not grammatically correct. So I am learning as I go.
Who in your life would you say supported you the most during the
formation of Feral? Lori:
My family, both in real life and online! I have a group of girls most
of whom are listed who are really part of my family too. They are
there day and night.