A zombie slaying Diva has cruised by today to share her zombie apocalypse series with us. Let's give Jessica Meigs a big ginormous diva welcome!
Would you please start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Jessica Meigs. I’m currently twenty-six years old, and I live in a small town in Alabama. I’ve been writing stories as long as I can remember (the typical statement from a typical writer!), but it’s only within the past year that things have taken a turn for the serious (and I definitely mean that in a good way!). I have a day job as an EMT working on an ambulance in a very large, rural county. Needless to say, it’s provided great source material for my books, especially for my novella The Becoming: Brothers in Arms, part of which takes place on an ambulance!
What was your most challenging book to bring to life?
So far, I think I’d put it as a tie between The Becoming: Ground Zero (book two) and The Becoming: Revelations (book three) of the series. Those books dealt with more difficult subject matter and more heartbreaking events than the first book did, and there were times where I found myself just sitting there going, “God, I don’t want to write this scene,” but I just knew it had to get done. Unfortunately, I can’t elaborate on this because it’d spoil a good chunk of the books for readers, but when people get their hands on the books, they’ll probably be able to figure out very quickly which scenes I’m referring to!
What was your favorite scene or chapter in The Becoming?
I think my absolute favorite isn’t necessarily a specific scene as a series of scenes, so to speak, mainly involving the interactions between Cade and Brandt both in the RV and in the office building toward the end of the book. I had a scenario where I put two very much alpha characters in a bad situation and got to see how they interacted and how everything played out between them, and it was an absolute delight watching it all unfold. I learned so much about those two characters alone in those particular scenes that it really influenced the development of books two and three.
How many books do you have planned for The Becoming series?
Loosely, I have five. The fourth one (which, at the moment, I’m calling The Becoming: Awakening) is in the very rough, bare-bones sketch of the entire book, while the fifth (whose working title is The Becoming: Evolve) is just an outline at this point. The storyline for those two books is semi-separate from the first three; it’s the same characters but a new story arc springing from hints and events I dropped in books one through three on the off-chance I’d have the inspiration to write a fourth. I’m also considering taking that same universe and following a totally new group of characters within it, characters that I believe readers will love just as much as they do Cade, Brandt, Ethan, et al. There’s two characters in particular, Sadie and Jude, that I’m really anxious to write about, as I’ve sketched a few short stories and scenes involving them and just love their characterizations.
I saw on your blog you just purchased your very own zombie apocalypse vehicle. (click here to see!) What supplies do you cart around in it or recommend for people to cart around in theirs?
This is the part where I have to admit I’m a bad zombie prepper: I don’t have any supplies (outside of a Swiffer duster) in my car at the moment. I would definitely recommend people get roadside repair kits and first aid kits. I think a first aid kit is especially important! (But I may be speaking from the frame of mind of an EMT there!)
If you could trade places for a day with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I like this question; I don’t think I’ve ever been asked it before. I’m pretty sure at this point, people are expecting me to say Cade, but if I had to choose one, it’d be Remy Angellette. She’s smart, she’s resourceful, and she’s tough, she can hold her own against the infected, and while she’s got some personality hang-ups, out of all the characters, she’s the most loyal, both to her friends and to whatever cause she’s fighting for.
If you were trapped in the apocalyptic world that you created what are five things that you would want to have with you?
This one’s easy: food, water, ammunition, weapons, and friends/family. The last one, imo, is the most important of all of those. A lot of people like to say they’d hole up on their own and basically live a reclusive, hermity life, but that’s not healthy on a psychological standpoint. I think in a situation like that, your friends and family are your most important assets, because they’d keep you sane, grounded, and healthy, and unlike total strangers, they’d be more likely to fight to the death to protect you and you them.
What is one thing about you that your readers would find surprising or never guess about you?
I know a lot of readers tend to find it surprising that I am a voracious reader…of regency romance novels. This seems to throw quite a few people for a loop when they find this out; but I tend to read anything I can get my hands on, and one genre I tend to enjoy is the regency romance genre. I also read a ton of non-fiction history books too, which surprises some people also. I’ll read on a wide variety of topics, but I tend to specialize on the societal and political aspects of the World War II Axis powers. (Yeah, I’m a nerd. That shouldn’t surprise anyone.)
How do you spend your down time between edits, deadlines, writing and creating new and fascinating books? Do you have a favorite pastime or hobby to fill your spare time with?
Well, as I said before, I read a lot. I also love going to the movies and shopping around in one of my absolute favorite cities in the world, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Atlanta, Georgia is the other one). I also work at my day job too, but I’m not sure I’d consider that downtime per se. Really, I live a pretty laid-back kind of life. I’m not one of those people who go out skydiving and rock climbing, but I have fun in my own ways.
Who is your favorite author that you enjoy reading?
I always answer this question with the same answers, because it never seems to change: Jonathan Maberry, Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire, and Peter Clines. I really can’t get tired of their books. I read them over and over and over. Right now, for instance, I’m re-reading Deadline by Mira Grant in anticipation of reading Blackout, which just hit my Nook yesterday morning. I can’t wait to get to it and dig in!
Jessica Meigs is the author of The Becoming, a post-apocalyptic thriller series that follows a group of people trying to survive a massive viral outbreak in the southeastern United States. After gaining notoriety for having written the series on a variety of BlackBerry devices, she self-published two novellas that now make up the first book of the series. In April 2011, she accepted a three-book deal with Permuted Press to publish a trilogy of novels. The first of the trilogy, entitled The Becoming, was released in November 2011 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible in paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats. It was also named one of Barnes & Noble’s Best Zombie Fiction Releases of 2011 and Best Apocalyptic Fiction Releases of 2011. In March 2012, she released a related novella entitled The Becoming: Brothers in Arms. The second novel in the series, The Becoming: Ground Zero, is coming in July 2012 from Permuted Press, with a third novel, The Becoming: Revelations, to follow. A fourth and fifth book are currently in the process of being written.
Jessica lives in semi-obscurity in Demopolis, Alabama. When she’s not writing, she works full time as an EMT. She enjoys listening to music and spends way too much time building playlists for everything she writes. When she’s not rocking out at concerts or writing or working, she can be found on Twitter @JessicaMeigs, on Facebook at facebook.com/JessicaMeigs, and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/jessicameigs. You can also visit her website at www.jessicameigs.com.
The Michaluk Virus is loose.
In the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, the Michaluk Virus has escaped the CDC, and its effects are widespread and devastating. Most of the population of the southeastern United States has become homicidal cannibals. As society rapidly crumbles under the hordes of infected, three people—Ethan Bennett, a Memphis police officer; Cade Alton, his best friend and former IDF sharpshooter; and Brandt Evans, a lieutenant in the US Marines—band together against the oncoming crush of death and terror sweeping across the world.
As Cade, Brandt, and Ethan hole up in a safe house in Tupelo, others begin to join them in their bid for survival. When the infected attack and they’re forced to flee, one departs to Memphis in search of answers while the others escape south to Biloxi, where they encounter more danger than they bargained for. And in Memphis, the answers that one man finds are the last answers he wanted, answers that herald a horrific possibility that there may be more to this virus than first suspected.
Jessica in all of her awesomeness is giving away 2 eBooks of The Becoming! Comment with email address and tell us what your favorite zombie movie is. You can also comment on the review to be entered in the giveaway as well.
Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this tour!
- Alison Groen, Rosie Discovers 05/27/2012 Review
- Reena Jacobs, Ramblings of an Amateur Author 05/29/2012 Bio/Excerpt
- Rea, Rea's Reading and Reviews 05/30/2012 Bio/Excerpt
- Vanessa Romano, The Jeep Diva 05/31/2012 Interview
- Teressa Morris, Window on the World 06/01/2012 Review
- Jessica Mason, Wickedly Bookish 06/02/2012 Review
- Gwen Perkins, A Few Words 06/03/2012 Guest Blog
- Kriss Morton, Cabin Goddess 06/05/2012 Guest Blog
- Suzie, Books Reviewed by Bunny 06/06/2012 Interview
- Susan Peck, My Cozie Corner 06/08/2012 Review
- Kimberley, Turning The Pages 06/09/2012