Friday 13 May 2011

Guest Interview: Madeleine Roux

Today, I'm very excited to have a guest interview with Madeleine Roux, the author of Allison Hewitt Is Trapped. I loved this book so much, I just had to know more about her. ;)

Hi Madeleine, and thanks so much for taking the time out to answer some of my questions.

1). I'm a huge zombie fan, so I was very excited about reading your book. What inspired you to start the blog that turned into this excellent book?

Initially it was an experiment. I'm also a huge fan of zombies, and I wanted to see if I could delve into the genre and put my own spin on it, using the blog format to give it a present, modern and urgent feeling. I also love where you can have your cake and eat it, too – there's action and adventure but you don't have to check your brain at the door. So my inspiration came from a few places – one to experiment with the blog/interactive format and another to give readers an adventure that didn't insult their intelligence.

2). What are some of your favourite zombie books and movies in this genre?

World War Z is a classic. I absolutely love the oral history approach that Brooks took. It really fit the genre in an unexpected way. Shaun of the Dead is another favorite. Anything that mixes horror and comedy that fluidly is bound to be genius. The Walking Dead, the graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, is another major influence. I love that he's brutal to his characters. He created a bleak, unforgiving world with characters that you really want to see survive.

3). Allison is a very strong character who was willing to do whatever she had to in order to survive, is that how you always envisioned her? Or did she evolve into the strong person she became while you were writing the book?

I think writing a strong character can be touchy, because everyone has a totally different perception of what that means. It was important to create a well-rounded heroine, a character that has flaws and moments where they stumble, but who has the grit and intelligence to rise above those mistakes and carry on. She definitely grew as I wrote the book and changed in ways I didn't expect. For example, I initially thought the romance subplot would take a much larger role, then I realized that she wouldn't put a budding relationship ahead of finding her mother, so the romance had to take a backseat to that priority. I think too often we see female characters do stupid, downright reckless things for romance, things that no rational person would consider. Allison cares more about her mother than her new boyfriend (however lovely he is). It's basic, but that's the sort of simple choice that makes you sympathize and understand her. It might be more titillating for her to give up the search to stay and cuddle with Collin, but then you wouldn't like her as much.

4). I enjoyed Allison Hewitt's story so much, please tell me there will be more stories set in this world, because I can't wait! Will there be more stories set in this zombie-infested world?

The sequel, Sadie Walker Is Stranded, is set in the same world, just a few months later after humanity has started rebuilding and fighting back. You'll get to discover a new band of survivors and experience a different era of the infestation.

5). Also, will we ever find out what happened to her mother?

We won't, no, that's up to the reader's imagination. We will get a bit of a follow-up on Collin and Allison, as seen through a new character's eyes.

6). Did you always want to be a writer?

Absolutely! I come from a creative family, and I always knew I'd end up in an artistic field. There's nothing more satisfying than creating a new world or a new character and having someone become invested in that journey.

7). Where can we find you online?

I've got a website at www.madeleine-roux.com, where you can get connected to my Twitter and Facebook fan pages.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. I also look forward to reading more of your books.

Thanks! It's been a real pleasure answering your questions!

Madeleine Roux works in a college bookstore in Beloit, Wisconsin. Allison Hewitt is Trapped is her first novel. She received her BA in Creative Writing and Acting from Beloit College in 2008. In the spring of 2009, Madeleine completed an Honours Term at Beloit College.

Shortly after, she began the experimental fiction blog Allison Hewitt Is Trapped, which quickly spread throughout the blogosphere, bringing a unique serial fiction experience to readers. Born in Minnesota, she now lives and works in Wisconsin where she enjoys the local beer and preparing for the eventual and inevitable zombie apocalypse.

You can read my review of Allison Hewitt Is Trapped here. It's a truly amazing book. Also, if you're a zombie fan like me, you can't miss it!

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