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Monday, 27 February 2012

Charmaine Clancy ~ Author Interview

News Flash ~ You've got just two more days before the international release of Charmaine Clancy's  newest book  My Zombie Dog.

Zombie Dog promises gore, humour and insanity on a canine level and is aimed at our sometimes gory, often silly and verging on insane, tween market. But before sales go crazy on the 1st of March, I managed to pull Charmaine aside to a quite corner of the cemetery and find out a bit more about this exciting new Queensland kids author. Here's what I discovered:

10 Things you didn't know about Charmaine Clancy and Zombies

1. This is your debut release. How long have you been writing for?
Tried and failed to write novels many times in my youth. What I didn't know then is imagination is not enough, I needed to LEARN the right skills. About 4 years ago, at Uni, I came across a classmates blog; Amy from Ink-Fever. Amy was making her writing a priority. This motivated me to get stuck in and see a novel through to the end.

 2. Why did you decide to self publish in the eBook format for your first title?
I have a marketing background, and was really curious about the process. My motto has always been 'How hard can it be?' I would now say...pretty hard, but definitely rewarding. I'm as proud of the formatting and cover design I produced as I am of writing the novel. The publishing world fascinates me. If you've patience and are keen, then you can do it.

3. Have you always had a fetish for Zombies and dogs?
Dogs yes. ALWAYS. I'd pour over books of dog breeds as a kid. Every novel I've written has a dog in it. But, Zombies? No way. Confession: They were the only horror monster that frightened me. As a kid my parents went to the drive-in to watch a zombie flick with me in the back asleep, but I awoke just in time to see the flesh-eating Zombies give me the jeebies.

4. What inspired you to write My Zombie Dog?
My zombie dog. No, really. We had a little dog that was totally psycho. We tried training, medication, natural therapies. The dog would get into all and out brawls with bigger dogs and several times would fall down 'dead' during an attack. A couple of times I was sure it was, and even covered it once with a towel. Five minutes later it hopped up and was fine. Zombie dog is based on that dog, even the wheezing...and it's name? Fossil, just like Zombie Dog. Fossil now lives with my mum and enjoys terrorising her neighbours.
5. Do you know any real life Zombies?
Well, I once worked in the public service...

 6. What is your favourite breed of cat?
Devon Rex. We have one and she's a funny little thing, and weird enough looking to fit right in with our family.

7. As a child, where did you spend the most time reading?
In scary woods, castles, haunted houses, and elegant steam-trains. Of course all this was while staying on my Hollie-hobby covered bed.

8. How do you think Zombies rate against Vampires?
I'm much more frightened of Zombies. I figure the worst a vampire can do is turn me into some hot chick who parties all night, but zombies are all pus and scabs - I'm just scared they'll TOUCH me.

9. What did your mother put into your school lunch box that used to make you cringe?
Her food. I'd hide left-overs (there was a good reason they were left) in my locker and after a while, create zombie meals.

10. If you had to choose between Zombie gloopy green and sunflower yellow, which colour would you choose and why?
Gloopy green. Yellow's just too darn chirpy for my liking.

 Thanks Charmaine. It's pleasing to know that you have found solutions for at least two of your past problems: your Mum's food and your crazy canine. Hope neither of them read this post and turn me into a zombie.

To purchase Charmaine's new book and be part of the My Zombie Dog and Kindle give away Competition visit her blog.

Escars got to GO

I may not be the most tolerant of people at times. But I do try to be charitable. I turn a blind eye when one of the chooks demolishes a chili plant. I don't mind the fruit bats gorging themselves silly on my guavas and mangoes night after night. I allow the wretched wasps to build their mud condos all over my house because they do such a good job rounding up the spiders and caterpillars for their babies.

But the thing which sets my blood boiling is the nightly, ritualistic, denuding of my veggie patch by those slimy, stealth like, slug faced molluscs that call themselves, Snails.
Don't be fooled by their cute whiskery apperance here either. Midnight torch raids have revealed a revelry of ruminating renegades. Marigolds droop, caught in a slick skin of slime like something out of Ghostbusters. Whole rows of seedlings are eradicated in less time than it takes to say What's Up Doc?

Honestly, I have enough in my back yard to start my own French bistro.

Apart from actually eating them, I've tried everything organically, humanely, ethically, possible to encourage their retreat. They have refused and in doing so have thrown down the gauntlet, or at least they would if they had hands instead of just one great oozy foot. 

And so I make this last plea before going into head on to eye stalk battle; can anybody help me?

- Is there a full proof, non toxic, safe to man and beast but not slug, way to annihilate these little nuisances and leave my veggies alone?

- Can one safely feed snails steeped overnight in vinegar and Duff beer to ones chooks?

- Do snails understand the stratagem of warfare?

- Is there such as thing as snail sized barbed wire available at Bunnings?

And what does this post have to do with writing? Well, if I spent less time hunched over in the pouring rain night after night, scouting for and consigning said snails to a beer bath, I'd have a darn sight more time to write, wouldn't I?

Rightie oh, time for patrol...