February 26, 2013


I'm in the middle of writing the third book in The Burn series, The Reaping. Writing these books, I've had an outline every time, and it's nice to have a sense of where the book is headed. But I create loose outlines. I know basic plot points, but I don't always know how Terra is going to get from point A to point B. Case in point:

Today I've been working on (get ready for it...here comes a teaser!) Terra trying to sneak into a hospital. I've known this event would happen the whole time I've been working on this book. But what I didn't know is that she would find a secret door. And I didn't know what she would find behind that door. But I do now, and let me tell you, the government-run Burn is not a happy place.

How's that for some suspense? :)

February 13, 2013

Creating a Post-apocalyptic World by Mari Mancusi and a Giveaway!

Welcome to talented YA author, Mari Mancusi! In her novel Tomorrow Land, the world has been decimated by a plague that turns the population into zombies. Good luck, survivors! I asked Mari if she'd talk about creating a post-apocalyptic world. Here is her response:

With my Blood Coven vampire series—anything goes. And those who have read the series know—I mean anything. Vampires, werewolves, fairies…In Soul Bound, which was just released in March, there’s even an army of chupacabras and a whole cast of characters from Greek mythology. It’s wild, campy, funny, and doesn’t even try to be realistic. In fact, the more over the top—the better. And yes, I try to outdo myself in every book.

So you’d think when I sat down to write my post-apocalyptic zombie story, Tomorrow Land (formerly published as Razor Girl), I’d go all out as well. A Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland kind of farce. But instead I decided to go darker…and keep things true to life.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. The zombie apocalypse is not exactly realistic. But think of it more of a game of “what if.” What if the world was decimated by a killer plague? What if some of those who caught the virus didn’t die—but were transformed into brainless creatures with a hunger for human flesh? What would the few survivors of the apocalypse do? How would they survive in a dead world filled with monsters? Would we still live like human beings with human decency—banding together and forming new societies, enacting new laws, keeping the peace? Or would we become monsters ourselves? Out only for our own survival—fellow humans be damned. Would we find a new family? Would we succumb to drug addiction or alcoholism to block out the pain? Would we be able to protect ourselves—and the ones we love?

And I think that’s something at the heart of every good zombie tale. The monsters provide a lot of external conflict—and who doesn’t love a good zombie fight scene? But it’s the human element that keeps us coming back for more. The question these books and films and TV shows all raise: how would we continue to live and love and exist as a species in a world decimated by plague and populated by monsters?

So while there’s plenty of zombie action in Tomorrow Land, at its core I see it as a story of human survival. Of first love and second chances. A coming of age adventure in a world gone mad. A romance that defies all odds. In short, I want people to read this book and think, “Wow, this could really happen. And what would I do if I were there?”

Because really, you never know. The zombie apocalypse could be right around the corner. Might as well be prepared! 
Sounds exciting, right? If you'd like to purchase Tomorrow Land, here are the details:

Buy Tomorrow Land on Amazon
Buy Tomorrow Land on B&N  

Mari has also generously offered to give away an ebook of Tomorrow Land. Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. If you'd like to know more about her post-apocalyptic tale, here's the synopsis:
Can true love survive the end of the world? 

Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice--between her family and Chris Parker, the boy she'd given her heart. And now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he's the only thing on her mind. 

All Chris "Chase" Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed--breaking his heart without ever telling him why.

Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones of a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk...and feed. As they begin their pilgrimage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost--all the while attempting to save what's left of the human race?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And after you've entered to win Tomorrow Land, click on over to Mari's blog and enter to win a copy of The Burn and Infraction