Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview with zombie guru Jesse Petersen

First of all I want to thank Jesse for coming on my wee little blog and sharing some of her writing experience with the rest of us who are still working on the journey!

1. Jesse, how long have you been writing?

I started writing full-time in 1999, though I'd always wanted to be a writer. Luckily I had a supportive spouse with a good job who wanted me to follow that dream. I sold books under a different name in a very different genre for years, but then I got the idea for the "Living With the Dead" series and was very excited that readers have been very enthusiastic!

2. Has it always been zombies for you or is there another monster(s) you'd like to write about?

I really love zombies. I suppose if I had an idea for some other monster I would write it. It's all about a story that interests me and works.

3. Have you ever done like Stephen King and scare yourself so badly with your writing you couldn't sleep at night?

I write with a funny, sarcastic, snarky tone. So I don't scare myself very often.

4. What's the best thing you've ever done for yourself as an author to help you with your writing and selling of your books?

Really, authors have very little control over what happens to a book once it goes out. I just try to write the best books I can and see what happens. I'm now independently publishing some work, too and I do like that I can instantly see my sales and try to tailor my promotions based on what I'm seeing as sales go up or level off.

5. How long did it take you to find your agent and sell your Married with Zombies to a publisher?

I already had an agent when I wrote MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES. Actually she encouraged me to finish it as she thought it was sellable. It was about 2-3 weeks from when it went out to when it sold. There was an auction, it was very exciting.

6. Would you ever consider doing as so many traditionally published authors are and going to an e-book format and self publish?

That's exactly what I'm doing now. EAT SLAY LOVE comes out from Orbit, which is awesome and I love them. Then in August, I'm releasing IN THE DEAD: Volume 1, a collection of short stories set in the same world as the Living With the Dead series, but not following the same couple (Sarah and David). I'm also independently publishing under my other name. I am just in love with publishing this way. I think there are huge advantages to it (and of course there are many advantages to traditionally publishing, too.

7. What do you think the next big trend will be in the urban fantasy/horror genre?

I don't really worry about trends. I write what interests me and what excites me. Especially now that I'm self-publishing, I just don't have to think about "the next big thing" as much.

8. What's the best piece of advice you could give to up coming authors?

Write a lot, edit a lot, learn a lot and don't jump the gun when it comes to submitting to traditional publishers or deciding to publishing themselves. A good, strong book is your best advocate as a writer, both to editors/ agents and readers.

For more about Jesse and her Zombies, be sure to check out her website,

1 comment:

LM Preston said...

Love the take on zombies here. Thanks for dropping in Jesse!