Sunday, 6 April 2014

Interview: Living Dead Girl by Nessie Strange


Living Dead Girl
by Nessie Strange
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Etopia Press

Number of pages:294

Jen MacLellan has hit a dead end…

Jen knows tattooed, blue-haired Jack Norris is trouble the minute he opens his front door. And being a mortician in the avante garde East Side of Providence, Jen has seen a lot. Jack has recruited Jen’s teenage brother Drew to play drums for his less-than-respectable punk band, and Jen has no choice but to follow their gigs to keep her little brother out of trouble. But when Drew goes missing, she finds herself in the awkward position of asking for Jack’s help. Shocked that he agrees, Jen decides she may have misjudged him. Worse, she might even like him.

But when Jen is brutally attacked, she awakens in the hospital where a Sid Vicious look-alike greets her with the news: she’s dead, and he’s the reaper assigned to take her away. Yeah, not so much. Refusing to leave, Jen’s spirit watches helplessly as her loved ones suffer, powerless to ease her family’s grief or prevent the police from accusing Jack of her murder. Desperate to help them, Jen convinces the reaper to bring her back. But reanimating corpses isn’t as easy as it looks, and neither is finding a killer before it’s too late…

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Shut Up & Read would like to welcome Nessie Strange to our blog today!  Thanks for being here!

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.

Jen MacLellan is a somewhat uptight (but very big-hearted) 21-year-old who has this overwhelming fear of losing control. She tries so hard to be good, and to do the right thing. She’s taken on this tremendous task of looking out for her younger brother and father, and often puts them above herself. When she meets Jack, much of what she believed is turned completely upside down. She realizes she wasn’t truly living to her potential, rather hiding behind her fears and insecurities. Jack is so free spirited, and a true ‘live in the moment’ kind of guy. As they two get to know each other Jen really grows as a person and opens herself up to the happiness that she deserves.

Q:  What was your favorite scene to write?

Probably the scene where Jen’s soul is put back into her body. I tried to imagine what it would be like to put a conscious spirit into a corpse and all the potential issues that might arise. Would she have complete control? She wasn’t really coming back to life, there was no brain function controlling the body’s movements and all those little things we do without thinking about them.

Q:  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Since I have a full-time day job and a family, I have to fit in writing when I can, so it really comes in spurts. A couple hours here, a couple hours there. It’s kind of frustrating, because it means I can’t get as much accomplished as I like.

Q:  How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?

I’m not sure if it’s my environment/upbringing or not, but I’ve always been an open-minded person with a very active imagination. I’ve always enjoyed playing ‘what-if’ with different scenarios. With fiction, possibilities are endless, and I find myself thinking…well, why couldn’t that happen? And what would happen if it did? I also come from a family that’s always watched and read a lot of horror, sci-fi and fantasy, so I’m drawn to that type of story.

Q:  If you could be any character from your book, who would you be and why?

Probably Sam, the reaper. He’s got this crazy job and supernatural powers. Not to mention the rebellious attitude and mischievous sense of humor…

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?

It really depends on my mood. I like to read, of course, and I’m also a big anime fan and watch a fair amount. When the weather’s decent, I try to get out and take walks. There are a lot of hiking trails nearby—just being in the woods with the quiet and the fresh air, that makes me happy.

Q:  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Wow, that’s a tough one. I’d love to visit parts of Europe. I’m really into genealogy and family history, and have ancestors that came from parts of Germany, England and Scotland. I’d love to see those places.

Q:  What book are you reading now?

I just finished a historical romance called ‘Moonstone Obsession’ by Elizabeth Carter. It’s not my usual fare, but I liked it.

Nessie is a Massachusetts native and mother of two who has dabbled in everything from abstract painting to freelance sports reporting. She also loves a good story, whether it’s reading or writing one. Active membership in a writer’s critique group has helped erase the memory of two horribly written practice novels. LIVING DEAD GIRL is her first real novel.


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