I had so much fun with my tour stop today. What would Layla, Jaime, and Ian choose as signature drinks?
After giving it some thought, and with some help to my college friends in trying to remember how to make Capital Punch (there is a very, very specific reason I can't remember how we made it . . . I think I still have a headache), we have Characters and Cocktails, "The Harvesting" edition at Simply Infatuated . . .
Today I have the great pleasure of stopping by the Speculative Salon where I write about zombies and faeries--yes, zombies and faeries. The great dichotomy! Please stop by the Speculative Salon to check out the full essay. Here is just a taste:
Crossing Genres; Why Faeries and Zombies Belong Together By Melanie Karsak
**Before I begin the post, I want to let readers know that I will be talking about some of the “other” paranormal creatures in my series, “The Harvesting.” I will do my best not to give away any big surprises, but you will discover one minor spoiler here.
My book jacket mentions that in “The Harvesting,” we have the story of Layla’s struggles during the zombie apocalypse. I also allude to the fact that zombies are not her only problem. Other creatures have been lurking about in our world waiting for mankind’s fall from power. In the world of “The Harvesting,” there are several supernatural creatures creeping about. One of the first “otherworld” players Layla encounters are “forest spirits.” Now, why in the world would a book about zombies include forest spirits or faeries? Some die-hard zombie readers hit the fantastical wall in “The Harvesting” then turn the novel aside in confusion. But one must consider what zombies and faeries communicate about us and the duality of their metaphor.
I have the great fortune of guest blogging at Mama Knows Books today. Today I am waxing poetic about what you should do if, sadly, you do go zombie. Here is just a taste . . .
You were bit by a zombie. That sucks. No, wait, that would be vampires . . . instead, that bites. You were lucky enough not to be eaten alive but not lucky enough to avoid being bitten. Bad luck, friend. Now you have nasty zombie-goo pumping through your veins, and you are about to turn you into a reanimated corpse. What’s a girl to do? In this guide, I offer some suggestion on how to handle your metamorphosis from living to undead both pre-and post-mortem.
In the short few hours before you turn into a zombie. What should you be doing? Here are a few suggestions:
Pass off all your ammo to your group or leave it where it can be easily found if you are a solitary. Give someone a chance even if you are doomed.
Finding love is hard. Finding love during the zombie apocalypse is even more difficult. Then, if you do find someone, how do you manage such a relationship? If you want to learn my top 10 tips, please stop by "Share my Destiny," home of author Noelle Blake for my tour stop today. Here is a taste of the post . . .
Finding Love During the Apocalypse, A Writer’s Guide
By Melanie Karsak
The fire snaps. It’s a warm night. You’re sitting side by
side, neither of you sleeping. You’ve been getting cozy with one another for
weeks. You have so much in common. You feel intense longing for her. Should you
go for it? Does she feel it too? You stare into her eyes then fall into one
another, drinking deeply of each other’s lips.
The Zombie Version:
The campfire fire snaps. It’s a warm night. You’re living in
a tent in the woods because you are on the run from reanimated corpses. Neither
of you are sleeping. Both of you are on guard duty. You and your group have
been running and hiding from the undead for weeks now. You both love the new
machine guns you lifted out of an abandoned bunker. You feel intense longing
for her because you haven’t had sex since the world ended. Should you go for
it? Does she feel it too? You stare into her eyes. What’s that crusty stuff on
her face? You know you smell like B.O. So does she. You fall into one another anyway,
your mouths tasting like the can of dog food you both just ate. Moments later,
just as you’re getting naked, you hear the groan of a zombie. Ahh, apocalypse
Finding love during a zombie apocalypse can be tricky, but
with the right guidance, even you find a way to make your heart soar. Glenn and
Maggie from “The Walking Dead” have perfected the art. We can learn a lot from
them. There are several things to consider. Let’s take a look:
10 Tips on Finding
Love during the Zombie Apocalypse
10) Assume that “Warm Bodies” was a one-shot deal. Avoid
coming on to the undead.
I just thought I would share a status update on my projects underway. I know some of you are waiting for the "The Shadow Aspect," so I thought to let all my patient readers know when to expect something new!
Very, thank you very much
"The Shadow Aspect" is underway and a hefty portion is done. I set the book aside for a moment when I made a couple of changes to my original plan for the setting--good, needed changes--, and I wanted to think about and process those before I continued. I do most of my writing in my head so thinking is a major part of writing for me. I didn't want to go ahead with something just be to finished fast then end up rewriting half the book or publishing something not up to quality. I want to make sure the book is what it needs to be. Additionally, I wanted to consider the parallel perspectives in the book. Some readers have not really understood or liked what was going on with "The Parallel" in "The Harvesting." This has given me pause and inspiration. In the end, I need to be true to my story, but I want my readers to be happy readers. So, I have a master plan . . . but like all such plans, it's top secret (but awesome).
I also completed two novels in a Steampunk series, adventure/romance with fantasy elements, featuring a protagonist I know you will adore. More about that soon. I just need there to be more of me. Thanks to the readers of "The Harvesting" series for your patience waiting for "The Shadow Aspect." More updates and some pre-views will be posting soon!
I had the honor of guest blogging at"My Book Addiction" today. For my guest blog, I discuss many of the symbols embedded in "The Harvesting."
I really love works that are rich in symbolism. In fact, symbol analysis has become a sickness. I can't watch a movie or read a book without waxing philosophical about every color, name, and number in a work. I agonize over the names of my characters and what color they should wear. Sometimes I will sit for fifteen minutes just to decide on a color. It's annoying, really. From the title of the book to the character names to the town name, everything in "The Harvesting" has deeper meaning. Here is just a sample of my post today. Check out Toni's great blog . . . lots of great giveaways going on!
The Curtains are Never Just Blue; Symbols in “The Harvesting” By Melanie Karsak
I like symbols. When I read a book, I noticed what numbers, colors, months, and objects a writer includes. As a writer, I pay attention to symbolic detail. Sometimes my symbols are silly pop culture references, sometimes they clue a reader into the deeper thematic meaning of the series, sometimes they hold special spiritual significance, and occasionally they are personal. No matter what I write, the “things” in my novel are there for a reason.
For my guest blog today, I wanted to talk to you about a few symbols embedded in “The Harvesting.” If you have not yet read the novel, “The Harvesting” is a horror/dark fantasy novel that begins with z-day (the zombie apocalypse). But that’s just the catalyst of this work. Layla Petrovich, my protagonist, soon finds herself in the midst of a battle for our modern middle earth while she also dealing with the human elements of life: love, death, and budding psychic powers? Throw in some supernatural elements, and you have “The Harvesting.”
Even Prince Became a Symbol: Naming Layla Petrovich
Layla was almost named Simone. The name Simone means “to hear or listen.” Layla’s real hang-up is her ability to “see" . . . go toMy Book Addiction to read more!
When did you first begin writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
I actually started plotting the book in 2011 but didn’t really set pen to paper (well, finger to keyboard) until 2012. It took me about six weeks to write the first draft. I do a lot of writing in my head, so when I sit down to write, I almost always know what my characters will do and say. I got inspired to write as a side-effect of being an English professor. My academic mind was waxing poetic over why zombies were starting to get so popular. I had some theories about what zombies symbolize and that slowly morphed into a creative project. I have always written but nothing so dark. One day, I suddenly got the idea for the character of Layla, and after that, everything just fell into place.
Continuing on with my book tour via Bewitching Books, today I am stopping at "So much to write, so little time." Roxanne, my lovely hostess, was kind enough to give me a guest spot on her blog today. Check out the "Living or Undead; The Hamletville Checklist." Here is just a taste . . .
The undead are troublesome. Unless their guts are hanging out of their stomach, it’s not always easy to determine if someone if undead or if they just really need a cup of coffee. After all, the undead need not be flesh eating zombies. There are many kinds of undead: vampires—sparkly or not–, windigo, ghouls, ghosts, etc. The good folks of Hamletville, the resident survivors of the “zompire” apocalypse in “The Harvesting,” have put together a checklist for you to determine that all important question: living or undead?
1) The individual is groaning and shuffling. Living or undead?
This can be difficult to determine. Anyone intoxicated, studying for finals, or the parents of small children exhibit these features . . . For more, head here: "Living or Undead; The Hamletville Checklist."
hate in when people in movies act like they have never seen a movie. Everyone
knows you should head out the front door rather than going up the stairs.
Everyone knows to check the back seat of their car. Everyone knows you should
shoot a zombie in the brain. Am I right? Why do characters in movies always act
like there is no precedence for the apocalypse? In particular, I hated the
scene in Zombieland when the two sisters went to the amusement park. Even if
the park was “zombie free,” common sense dictates that zombies will notice
lights and sounds blaring in a world otherwise devoid of lights and sounds.
Drawing attention to yourself during the zombie apocalypse is just plain
stupid, but there are some fun ways to amuse yourself and stay safe at the same
time. The residents of Hamletville, the survivors of z-day in my novel “The
Harvesting,” have a few suggestions if and when you ever need to know . . .
what can I do for fun during the zombie apocalypse?
Commandeer a police cruiser! First, you wire separator will protect you from
anything lurking in the backseat. Second, there is probably a loaded weapon
inside. Bonus. Third, it can haul ass if needed. Lastly, haven’t you always
wanted to do that? Just don’t fall into a movie trap: don’t turn on the sirens.
Steal stuff and things! When I say stuff and things, I mean guns and food. Keep
your focus on the bare necessities, but staying alive during the apocalypse is
really fun! Steal away, survivor. Your life depends on it!
Set things on fire! You might not have any pyromaniac inclinations, but when
you encounter a building full of zombies, strike a match! I know the movies
would probably have you trying to sneak into the building for some desperately-needed
supply, but try to resist. After all, whatever it is, you can probably
still find it at Walmart.
Pick up a new hobby! Haven’t you always wanted to wield a machete? Didn’t you
ever wonder what it would be like to shoot a machine gun? Now is your chance!
Not the physical type? Try learning herb-lore or how to hot-wire vehicles.
There’s nothing like the apocalypse to force you to try out some new skills!
Try to figure out your “role” in the group. This will help you determine how
long you’re going to live. Are you the hero? Are you the side-kick? Are you the
romantic love interest? Are you the one who is going to turn to the dark side?
Are you wearing a red shirt? If so, I suggest you change it immediately. Once
you know your role, you can plan accordingly!
Borrowing one from the 2004 Dawn of the Dead, here is a fun game: Pick a
perch on a rooftop. Identify zombie movie star look-alikes and fire away! Make
it a challenge. Who can take out zombie Howard Stern? Zombie Rosie O’Donnell?
It’s fun, safe, and you can shoot a Justin Bieber look-alike from 100 feet away!
Borrowing one from The Walking Dead . . . zombie gladiator fighting!
Before everything went to hell in Woodbury, the Saturday night entertainment
included coliseum-esque battles. But who needs lions when you have zombies!!
Borrowing one form Night of the Comet . . . go shopping! You’re probably
going to die soon, so why night take a moment to indulge that last inclination
toward materialism. Go to your death wearing 10-carat diamonds!
Live like you’re going to die! (Because you probably are.) She/he might be a
hot mess, and they probably haven’t seen a toothbrush or a stick of deodorant
in a month, but you’ll both be dead soon. Put your “zombie goggles” on and go
out on a high note.
When you see you ex walking around all zombified, just walk away.