I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Now let's rock into December, starting with an interview with an awesome author. And I've met him in person, so I can tell you that legitimately! Let's welcome Scott Craven, who's here to talk about his hysterical MG zombie novel, DEAD JED. Be sure to check out the trailer at the end of the post, and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win the giveaway!
Welcome to We Do Write, Scott! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi Dorothy. I’m a journalist who for 35 years (or so) has been telling other people’s stories. I was born in California, moved to Arizona, and now can’t get Steve Martin’s “King Tut” out of my head. Wait. OK, there it goes. I’m a featured reporter for The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, and a single father to 18-year-old Bryson. Being a dad now is more about course correction than holding his hand and picking out his clothes. In fact, I wish he’d pick out my clothes. I’m also a big fan of zombie movies and have always believed the undead have gotten no respect. I bet they’d agree to stop eating brains if we stopped shooting them in the head.
How long have you been writing?
My first short story, as far as I know (thanks for saving it mom), involved Thanksgiving and its invention by the Pilgrims. The first-grade assignment was more about handwriting than writing, and I sucked at both. I’ve gotten way better at writing, and I still suck at handwriting. I immersed myself in writing during a journalism class in my sophomore year in high school. From then on I knew what I wanted to do. How lucky is that?
I can't wait to read DEAD JED. Can you tell readers what the story is about?
Jed Rivers is a pretty average 13-year-old, if you don’t count detachable limbs and an unbeating heart. Unfortunately, those who make a career of picking on others notice Jed isn’t what they would consider normal, not with his gray pallor and a talent for holding his breath for, well, ever. In a grade where kids are punished for being smart or overweight or wearing cheap clothes, Robbie (Pine Hollow’s Grade A bully) takes exception to someone who dares to be undead. But when Jed embraces his zombieness, he finds a way to get back at his tormentor.
Now I'm even more excited! How did the idea of the story come to you?
There I was, enjoying a nice long shower (one of life’s great pleasures), and my mind wandered to zombies. And what a bad rap they got. What if a nice guy just happened to be a zombie? How would he be treated? And how tough would it be to fit in when you are of an age when fitting in is all that matters? I knew right then I could write a book on it, in part thanks to the two very miserable years I spent in middle school.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pantser, absolutely. Plotting is way too much work, and I am inherently lazy. I admire those who sit down and figure everything out, using outlines and graphs and pie charts. When I finished a chapter, my goal was to leave off sorta knowing where I might go next. I wasn’t always successful. At those times, I’d put my head down and write just to get something on the computer. It worked, even if it involved way more rewriting than I like.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
My dog Sandy on the couch, a diet soda to my right, and iTunes playing a mix of 1970s and 80s R&B. Let’s do this.
I can totally dig that! What are you reading right now?
Richard Russo’s memoir “Elsewhere,” recommended by a friend (one of life’s many treasures are friends with similar literary tastes). I’m enjoying it immensely, especially when the author and his mother move to Arizona and are overcome by Phoenix’s bleak, car-dependent sprawl (that was more than 40 years ago, and it’s still true).
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
A super power that could grant me any super power. Is that cheating? Too bad.
OMG Why have I never thought of that? That's perfect! I want that too! What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
I just googled that question and got some great weird-google ideas, most involving mature themes. People, please, get your minds out of the gutter.
LOL. You're asking the impossible. ;) Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
… thinking of ways to put off writing. Hey, look at all these weird things people google. What’s this one? No idea, but let’s find out where it leads …
Ahahaha! *follows you* And finally, where can people find you and your books online?
You may find “Dead Jed: Adventures of a Middle School Zombie” at all of the finest retail sites, including Amazon.com. bn.com and Walmart.com. You’ll also find it if you google my name and zombie, but you’ll also find some other strange stuff. Wait, where are you going? Don’t say I didn’t warn you …
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18158040-dead-jed Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | KOBO | Indiebound
a Rafflecopter giveaway