Sunday, September 19, 2010

Guest post and contest with Jesse Petersen

As you know, Bite Club is expanding to include zombies and I am thrilled to have author Jesse Petersen here today to talk about her new book, Married With Zombies. Jesse will be stopping by throughout the day to answer any and all zombie related questions, and don't forget to read the end of the post for contest details. And's Jesse!

Love is a Battlefield

Jesse Petersen

First off I want to say thanks so much to BiteClub for featuring me and MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES on the blog! What a big honor to be the first zombie book covered here. I happen be a little biased toward zombie fiction, so I think it’s awesome that the blog is expanding its horizons! And I’d also like to add that I shall lurk about on comments today, so if you have questions/comments on the zombie genre or MWZ, do shout them out and I’ll try to be a good advocate for the zombie-fied and brain-hungry.

A lot of people ask me how in the world I wrote a fantasy/urban fantasy zombie comedy, especially since this is not the background I come from as a writer (I actually write historical romance under another name and it’s all serious and dark and sexy). The answer is pretty much Sarah, my main character from MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES.

You see, I was minding my own business, writing my other stories and then one night I went to see “Zombieland” with my husband and some friends. This 2009 horror comedy featured zombies (sweet!) and Woody Harrelson (AWESOME) and how could anyone resist that potent and hilarious combination? Not me. I loved the movie and within twenty-four hours this scene started bothering me. Poking me. Whispering at me. Very distracting, I can tell you.

The scene is the opening one of MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES where Sarah and David, married couple of the brink of divorce, find that their marriage counselor has been turned into a zombie and is eating the couple on her schedule before them. And the scene was gory and funny. And the reactions of Dave and Sarah were funny (at least in my head). And somehow I decided that I HAD to write it down, even if it was only entertain myself.

But since I am a writer by trade, I could just write that scene and be happy. I really had to see where it went from there. And that meant I had to figure out what was up with Dave and Sarah. Why were they in counseling? Why were they so mad at each other? Could their marriage be saved by a zombie apocalypse? As I started to answer those questions, both in my head and on paper as I wrote, I started to have even more fun. These were modern people with a sense of humor and sensibility about the world that was pretty similar to my own (probably I’m a combination of Dave and Sarah, to be honest). So I got to throw all my sarcasm and swearing onto the page and just PLAY.

So who is Sarah? A harried woman married very young who had thoughts about what her life would be like and the ones she’s living is NOT it. She’s frustrated by her husband’s lack of ambition and her own dead-end job and life and little by little that has torn away at the foundations of why they liked each other to begin with. And that doesn’t sound very funny, but to me it was very real. These are real things that break up real couples every day. So if I was going to throw in zombies, I wanted the problems at the core of their marriage to be real and relatable.

And then there was David. Since Sarah narrates the story, I couldn’t get as deeply into his head, but through his actions I think it’s pretty clear that he’s not particularly happy about the direction of his life, either. He feels guilty that his choices have put them in a bad situation, but the more Sarah gets pissed, the more he retreats to a world of video games and tv. Luckily, he plays a lot of zombie killing games. That will come in handy when the zombies hit the fan.

So then I took these two people and threw them into a situation where they had to forget how irritated they were at each other and start working together. Will they remember why they got married in the first place? Will they escape Seattle with Brrrrraaaains intact? Will they even survive? Well, I guess you
have to read to find out.

To learn more about Jesse and her books, visit her new website!

Want a look at Married With Zombies? Click here.

My thanks to Jesse Petersen for stopping by at Bite Club! Jesse and her publishers have generously given me 3 copies of Married With Zombies to giveaway to 3 lucky Bite Club readers. If you want a chance to win, leave a question for Jesse or leave a comment answering the question: Why read zombies?

Official contest rules:

*You must leave a comment/ask a question to have a chance to win.
*Contest will run until September 29th and the winner will be announced on September 30th.
*Please leave your contact info if an email isn't listed in your profile.


mariska said...

What's your favorite scene(s) on this book ?

i've never ever read books about zombies before. really intrigued by your book :)

uniquas at ymail dot com

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

Not sure if it's okay to enter the contest because I live in Australia, but I just wanted to say Hi! I can't wait to read your book.

I've love reading, writing, and watching movies about zombies for a long time now. Just love 'em. There are so many different angles and possibilities with zombies.

By the way, how many books have you got planned in this series. :)

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

PS. Just in case, my email addy is yolanda (at) yolandasfetsos (dot) com Thanks! :)

Zita said...

I've read lots of zombie stories, from Hamilton's Anita Blake to Z.A. Recht (so sad about him) and I love them all. I especially enjoy stories will a little humour mixed in the pathos, so I am really looking forward to reading yours. Because, really, if you can't laugh at a counselor eating her patients, who can you laugh at? Welcome to the Club!

SandyG265 said...

How did you ever come up with such a great title for teh book?

sgiden AT

debbie said...

Why read zombies? I think in part, because unlike vampires and werewolves, no matter what, they are still human. They may not think or act like it, but at least they once were. I have just read a couple of books with zombies as main characters. It is really interesting. I would love to read this book.

Jen D. said...

Thanks for stopping by Jesse. It's always interesting to read about how an author comes up with an idea for a book.

Adding on to SandyG's question...Is Married with Zombies a play on Married with Children?

Jesse Petersen said...

Hi everyone!

So glad to be here today! Thanks for having me!! Okay, onto questions:

mariska asked what my favorites scenes are: I love the scene where Dave and Sarah realize their marriage counselor is a zombie and also the toilet seat scene.

Yolanda wanted to know how many books in the series: Three unless it does amazingly well and then I guess there might be more. LOL

Sandy and Jen were wondering about the title: Orbit actually came up with it and yes, it is a play on MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES. The second title is FLIP THIS ZOMBIE and the third is EAT SLAY LOVE.

To everyone else, hello! Hope you love the book if you do pick it up!!

Joan Myers said...

Loved the how you incorporated everyday married stuff. LOL..Just wanted to know if there will be babies in the future books and what would Sarah do if her child was bitten? Can't wait for the next one.

joan myers

Teril said...

Why read zombies? Because some times there are points in life where you don't want to think anymore and you just want some brains.
No, really I enojoy reading zombie books. What is interesting a lot ot times is when families turn zombies and the author writes about those brain hungry family members coming to eat you and then you have to kill them, then I think of an ex of mine and man that would be some good zombie hunting therapy.

LSUReader said...

Jesse--I have a question about the setting. It seems that a lot of vampire and shifter stories feature Southern locales. What led you to choose coffee-saturated Seattle for the zombies? And what's next for Sarah and David? (The family who slays together stays together?)

Jesse Petersen said...

Thanks so much, Joan! Both you and LSUReader mentioned babies/families. I did consider it, but ended up not going that way. In FLIP THIS ZOMBIE (January 2011) Dave and Sarah start their own business. And in the third (EAT SLAY LOVE, June 2011) they're trying to get something very important to the maybe mythical "Midwest Wall" and working to "find themselves" on the way. Lots of fun! I'm actually editing the third right now before I turn it in.

Teril, yes a zombie apocalypse is one of the few times murder is totally acceptable. You would start hoping people you didn't like turned out to be zombie-fied...

Jesse Petersen said...

oh and LSUREader, you asked about setting. I set it in Seattle because I lived there for many years and felt very comfortable writing that place. Also, I wanted a big, modern city with a lot of problems to face once the zombies started taking over.

Barbara E. said...

Hi Jenna,
I have to admit, I haven't read much about zombies before. When I hear about zombies as main characters, that doesn't really appeal to me. Your book, however, since it's about fighting zombies, sounds absolutely delightful and I'd love to check it out.

Rhianna said...

Kudos to Bite Club for adding some zombie love into the mix!

MWZ has been one of my most anticipated reads this year but I am totally bogged down (hehe or should I say blogged down :P) with review reading. I figured if there was any book both my husband and I would love it was this one.

My ? for Jesse: Even though MWB is romance and told from Sarah's perspective have you had a lot of positive response from male readers?

van_pham said...

I too haven't read many books with zombies, esp. as the central/main characters, this book sounds really fun, and different from all the angel, vampire, shifters books that are currently in the market.

thanks for the contest!


Btw, i love the cover names!

Rain Maiden said...

It is good to expand the horizon! My question is would there be a zombie cure? I have only read two books with zombies...there needs to be more. I am throwing Jesse's Married with Zombies on my wish list.

Jesse Petersen said...

Hi Barbara! Thanks for considering reading it! I hope you'll like it if you do win it or pick it up!

Rhianna -- Actually MWZ is not considered a romance, it's shelved in fantasy/horror (depending on the store). There is a romantic element, but it's a zombie comedy first and foremost. Have had lots of guys on my Facebook fan page and lots of emails and interest, which is pretty cool!

Van, well hopefully you'll like this one since the zombies are the bad guys! :)

Rain -- Actually zombie cure does come up in FLIP THIS ZOMBIE and EAT SLAY LOVE! Let's just say "Mad Scientist".

Anna (Bite Club) said...

My thanks to Jesse for stopping by and chatting at Bite Club. This book was a blast to read and I am looking forward to FTZ.

Jesse Petersen said...

Thanks so much for having me!! And I hope you all enjoy the book whether you win it or head out and buy it!


Sara M said...

I like to read about zombies because they can be so many things: scary, midunderstood, funny. They don't seem to get as repetitive as vampires and shapeshifters.

Sara M
sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com

JenM said...

I don't actually read zombie books very often - they are usually too bloody for me. But this sounds like it has the same attitude as Shawn of the Dead, which I loved, so I would break my usual no zombie rule in this case and read it.

jen at delux dot com

Julie said...

This sounds really good. I've never read a zombie novel before, but I think it would be interesting.


k_sunshine1977 said...

i'll admit, zombies were pretty low on my favorite paranormal reads list for a while, but so many great authors have been breathing new, um, life into the genre, so i am team zombie now (though i still have my team vamp card!) this sounds like a wonderful read - i'll be looking in the store for it!

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

So why do I read zombies? To be honest, I havent read much zombie fiction but after reading much about vampires and werewolves. I need a new different paranormal entity.


Andrea I said...

I'm just starting to read zombies. I read other about other paranormal creatures, so why not?

Breanne said...

I've had my eye on this book! I had a sudden urge to read my first zombie book. I think it stemmed from playing too much Left 4 Dead. But I'd rather not read a scary book. So this one looks perfect :)
Thanks for the giveaway!

bmweida at yahoo dot com