This is a red-letter day. Or bright-yellow-banner-proclaiming-general-awesomeness day. Well, it’s Saturday, and most Saturdays are like that, but this one is MORESO. Because we have a special guest at the blog - Adam Selzer, author of I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It (insert clashing cymbals here)!
Adam is the author of eight books in addition to Zombie, including Smart Aleck's Guide to American History and How To Get Suspended and Influence People. He’s also kind of hilarious and very kind (see part where he is visiting my blog). You can learn more about Adam at www.ikissedazombie.com or his website. And if you need background on I Kissed a Zombie and how much I liked it, check out my review. Now…on to the questions!
Honestly, it was my publisher's idea. I had written a song about finding out that a significant other was dead, not just a goth, years before, but never thought to make it into a book. A person dumb enough to mistake a zombie for a goth is okay in a song, but how do you make it last a whole book? I had to do a lot of figuring to make that plausible. The closest I have to hands-on experiences was the zombie pub crawls I used to run in Chicago - we'd get a bus full of people dressed as zombie and drive around crashing New Year's parties. It was more fun a couple of years ago than it is now; people just aren't as surprised to see zombies show up at their party or in a bar as they used to be.
Ever meet someone whom you thought (secretly, of course) could be a zombie? Maybe a reclusive neighbor? A distant relative? An old fourth-grade teacher?
There was a rather cadaverous looking guy that roamed around at my high school - I have no idea what he taught, though. There's also some guy in overalls and a trucker hat who's been hanging around outside of a detective agency on Grand Avenue near my apartment here in Chicago - I don't know if he's a zombie, but he's definitely up to something.
I know that most people browsing around a bookstore are drawn to the title or the cover artwork. In the case of your book, which one is most effective?
Gonna skip ahead here; the next question kind of answers this one.
I had your book lying on the dining room table at my apartment. I had no less than four different people tell me it was ‘gross.’ Of course, I thought it was hilarious and ridiculous. I even read them passages from it to prove my point. What would you say to those doubters?
I think that any other year, people would know right away that it was a satire, but people don't seem to be picking up on that - they just think it's some mindless Twilight wannabe. It pisses me off when Zombie people post the cover on a forum and talk about how it's the most awful thing they ever saw and ought to be burned at once. I try to assure the doubters that it's a satire. But, then again, it's not JUST a joke book; I wanted the love story in it to be about as credible and realistic as I could make it and address the kind of issues that you have to deal with in every relationship (and which rarely turn up in books). So, at risk of annoying the Twi-hard, I'd like people to know that it's the perfect book for people who hate Twilight.
How hard is it to write funny books? Imbuing your words with the meaning you want them to have isn't easy, so how do you manage to make people laugh out loud? (Or, how long does it take you to come up with jokes?)
If I'm in the right mood, it's pretty easy. If I'm not, it's just about impossible. So, on a good day, the jokes practically write themselves, and it doesn't take much time at all. On others, they just never come.
Do you read YA books on a regular basis? Any favorites you’d recommend?
I read a fair share of it, but not as much these days, since I have no real interest in Twilight knock-offs, which make up about 2/3rds of the shelves this year (though i do like Claudia Gray - her books are cool). There's another zombie book out right now called FEED by Mira Grant that's pretty awesome, too.
How hard is it to get in the head of a teenage girl?
It's always hard to make up enough about a character to feel like you know what makes them tick and how to make them realistic, but making up a girl isn't much harder than making up a guy. It's easier, if anything, because I'm less concerned that people will assume that the main character is just a thinly-veiled version of myself.
If you had to own a cow (in a naturally-occurring cow color), what color cow would you own?
That light brown color that you see on cows sometimes.
I’ve been hearing about a Zombies vs. Unicorns war that is brewing in the YA sphere. Who do you pick for the win?
There's a unicorn in the Zombie follow-up that I'm finishing now. In my particular world, your average unicorn could probably beat up your average zombie, but they might be outnumbered in the long run. And humans would probably join in on the zombie side.
What is going to cause the Apocalypse?
Probably either a meteor of a supervolcano. But even that might not happen until we get a few colonies going off-planet. So I suppose the apocalypse will just come whenever the Flying Spaghetti Monster decides that enough is enough.
Thank you for joining us, Adam!
Now, for all of you who haven’t gotten your hands on I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It yet, I’m giving it away. Plus an ARC of Zombies vs. Unicorns that I picked up at ALA (signed by Holly Black!). AND some sweet Team Zombie flair. So, to be clear: one winner gets I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It, an ARC of Zombies vs. Unicorns, and zombie buttons. Entry information below!
Leave a comment on this post answering the question, "Who are the best kissers: vampires, werewolves or zombies?" You can get one extra entry if you comment on my review.
Please include your email address or another method of contact. Giveaway is open internationally. Comments will close on August 7 at 11:59pm EST, and I will notify the randomly selected winners via email.