Siege is the conclusion to Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy, which should appeal to fans of The Walking Dead. Both The First Days and Fighting to Survive won the Dead Letter Award from Mail Order Zombie.The First Days was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book Examiner.
The zombie illness has shattered civilization. The survivors who have found tenuous safety in Texas defend their fort against the walking dead and living bandits.
Katie has made peace with the death of her wife and is pregnant and married to Travis, who has been elected Mayor. Jenni, her stepson, Jason; and Juan—Travis’s righthand man—are a happy family, though Jenni suffers from PTSD. Both women are deadly zombie killers. In Siege, the people of Ashley Oaks are stunned to discover that the vice president of the United States is alive and commanding the remnants of the US military. What’s left of the US government has plans for this group of determined survivors
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Please enjoy this interview with the author, Rhiannon Frater:
· What was your inspiration for Nerit’s character and do you know anyone with similar military background?
I was inspired by three women I met at various points in my life. One was a young Israeli woman that inspired Nerit’s name, the other two were older Israeli women who were beautiful, intelligent, kind, and former Israeli snipers. While speaking to one, she explained that women made better snipers than the men because they are better shots and she shrugged off her talent as if it was nothing really unusual. She alluded to having taken lives, but didn’t seem particularly ruffled by this fact because she was doing her job. I marveled that someone so normal could have done something so extraordinary.
Nerit was born in a split second when I was writing the book and saw her standing on top of the old hunting store. I instantly understood the character and what she was all about. I think she is such a popular and fascinating character because she is the person who does what no one else can do. She is the master of doing the monstrous and terrible, yet retains her dignity. I love the fact that she’s 62, a woman, and yet a complete bad ass.
· Did you do any research on psychopathology to write about the after effects on your character’s psyche?
A ton of research. Both by reading and speaking to people who have gone through terrible calamities. I was able to talk to survivors of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and it gave me enormous insight into the mind of someone going through a life-altering experience like a national disaster.
Also, I read up on historical events that adversely affected humanity and how we survived. I remember one article that really struck me was how humans survive through community. That was just a profound realization. Most of the time zombie fans are in love with the lone survivor, or the groups of people fighting and destroying each other, but the reality of our history is that in the end we survive because of community.
As for the personal struggles, I did a lot of research on battered women for Jenni. The real challenge was Calhoun. Since Calhoun is schizophrenic, I had to understand how the illness affects his perceptions. I watched several videos where they depicted how someone who has schizophrenia and is unmedicated sees the world. It was extremely eye opening.
I’m a firm believer in creating realistic characters.
· You could have chosen any place in the world for your characters to hole up in during the end of days, yet you chose to keep your setting close to home. What were the perks & drawbacks to writing about a setting familiar to you, as opposed to choosing one you must research or create?
Actually, the characters are in a setting that is not familiar to me. I live in a big city. I’ve not experienced the small town community that exists in the book. I observed how these small towns operate during my former job and was exposed to the reality of a small town. I remember marveling at how a city secretary knew the name of every person in her town and where they lived. I was amazed. During my travels, I absorbed the whole energy of these small towns and the people who lived in them and transferred that into Ashley Oaks. It was a great experience.
I think the only book I have written so far where I didn’t have to do research on the location was PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES because it takes place mostly in Austin, Texas where I live. That made writing a whole lot simpler!
· If you were stranded on a desert island (with electricity?) what 3 things could you not live without?
My computer, my husband, my pets.
· What book would you absolutely have to have with you, and why?
My novel THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE. It is the one book I definitely wrote just because I wanted to read it.
· What 5 words would you use to describe yourself?
Texan, author, Goth, goofy, boring.
And now for the GIVEAWAY:
Please follow the link below to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. You will go into the draw to win the entire series in paperback format! How awesome is that?! Unfortunately it is only for US and Canadian residents only.
About the Author:
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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