Lisa Acerbo is the author of the novel Apocalipstick. I am currently reading her book and want to call in sick to work and neglect all of my responsibilities just to read all day long. At the same time, I do not want the story to end. As an avid reader, I am often disappointed with horror novels because they fail to scare me. This book has me biting my nails. If there is one book you should add to your “to read” list, it’s this one.
Welcome to the author spotlight Lisa. What can you tell us about your main characters?
Jenna, the main character, lives in a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies and a new race called the “others.” Jenna must not only survive this bleak landscape full of death, but she must also help a small group of survivors reach the safe haven of the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna can finally relax and develops feelings for two men: Quentin, who reminds her of the past and Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is not quite human.
I love Jenna, the heroine of the story. She is tough, smart and sassy and has this innate ability to stay alive in the craziest situations. What more could you want? I’m not sure if she is all that likable; a zombie apocalypse can cause some people to be on edge and grumpy, but she is fiercely loyal to her friends, and that counts for a whole lot when you fight the evil undead.
How did you begin your writing career?
I was working on my master’s degree many, many years ago and interned at a local newspaper, The Connecticut Post. It was an incredible feeling to see my first article in print and my byline. Since then I have gone on to be published in Hollywood Scriptwriter and The Patch, a community online newspaper. My poetry also won first prize at a local contest, which spurred me on to continue to write. I did everything but fiction. Finally, I decided to try fiction. It was not easy and writing Apocalipstick took me three years. I am so happy it is now in print!
Who is your book published through?
My book is published through Eternal Press. You can find it on their website at Eternalpress.biz or at Amazon or Barnes and Noble online.
What else are you working on?
Apocalipstick was my first book, but book two in the series is coming together. Jenna and Caleb undergo a challenging quest. They leave the safety of the inn and their travels resemble the traditional journey of the mythological heroes brought to light by Joseph Campbell. There are also many unexpected twists for the characters and someone rises from the dead, but not as a zombie. I was working on my first book and already planning the next book in my head, thinking about the changes and developments that would happen to Jenna and Caleb, the main characters. I also just finished my EdD. Call me Doc!
Who reads the drafts of your novels?
My daughter and step-daughter have read and re-read the book, and my daughter was instrumental in telling me what was really and truly awful when I first started writing Apocalipstick. She is also the one who helped me think of the title. My family is supportive and loves that I write as long as I promise not to make them repeatedly proofread and edit the first drafts.
What would you say is the most challenging part of writing a book?
The revision and editing part of the process is the hardest. It is easy to let your ideas romp free in the first draft, but revising the manuscript is complicated, stressful, and challenging. Each sentence needs to be clear and concise, and it is important characters are lifelike in description and dialogue. I also do not work in a linear process. I start editing and revising and get stuck.
I enjoy meeting the writer as much as discovering their books. I have a few fun questions for you to answer.
Please provide an interesting fact about your writing experience:
Coffee fuels my writing. After many cups of coffee, some coherent thoughts enter my mind and I attempt to jot something down. I usually write in the morning for an hour because it is quiet. I tend to get up at 4 am or 5 am to start the process. I am a high school teacher so in the summer I can relax and sleep in later. During the summer, I am home alone with our three cats and write for as long as I want any time the mood strikes me.
What are your favorite TV shows?
These days I am inspired by the TV shows and the books my high school students watch and read like The Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries. As for reading, it is Twilight, the Chicagoland Vampire Series, and The Hunger Games. I love writers (TV and print) who can create vivid conflicts and life-like characters in relationships, romantic or otherwise. I enjoy watching and reading romances with action and adventure, and I hoped to create a book with those elements.
I saved the most important question for last. Where can we find your book?
Thank you for joining me today. I cannot wait for your next book.