Thursday, October 22, 2009

Interview with Marlene Perez

I recently interviewed the fabulous Marlene Perez, author of the super awesome Dead Is series. I'm super excited about this, it's my first author interview. ^_^

Dahlia: I know this is probably impossible to answer, but I’m going to ask anyway: What is your favorite book?

Marlene Perez: This IS impossible. It depends on the time of day, my mood, and if I've had my coffee. But I loved A WRINKLE IN TIME when I was a kid, as well as I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, LORD OF THE RINGS, THE HOBBIT, and any Judy Blume book.

D: Which of your characters is most like you?
MP: Maybe Megan in UNEXPECTED DEVELOPMENT or Daisy Giordano in the DEAD IS series.
D: What was the first thing you ever wrote?

MP: A journal when I was in second grade. I credit my second grade teacher with starting me on the path to being a writer.
D: What’s your writing process?

MP: I start with a glimmer of an idea (or honestly, maybe several ideas) and if it keeps calling to me, then I know that's the book to write. I'm definitely an organic writer. I think the things I've learned about structure and plot are there, but it's on a subconscious level and it comes from reading so much. I don't have as much time to read as I used to, but I think reading a book a day when I was a child really helped me. I'm the youngest of twelve children and the oldest kids controlled the tv remote, so I watched very little television growing up. Instead, I read.
D: I've hated almost everything I’ve ever written, so I’m wondering, have you ever wanted to throw one of your books out a window or into a fire?

MP: Of course! Self-doubt is just part of the process, especially when writers face so much rejection before they get to a yes. I think we forget about the pain when we get that yes.
D: What was your favorite book to write?

MP: So far, I really loved writing the DEAD IS series. I have to say that if you plan to write a series, make sure you REALLY like your main character. But this question is like asking someone to pick their favorite child. So all of my books are my favorite.
D: In case of a zombie apocalypse, you would…?

MP: Go all Woody Harrelson on them (in Zombieland.) That's what I say, but in reality, I'd probably cower under the bed. Unless a zombie was after one of my children. Then it would be ON.
D: If you could time travel, which way would you go and why?

MP: I used to love to read Regencies, so I'd probably like to travel back to that time period. Although it probably SOUNDS more romantic than it really was. And the realities of life for women back then isn't really something I'd like to experience.
D: What was your inspiration for the Dead Is… series?

MP: The DEAD IS series started with my love of the paranormal and the idea that I wanted to write a vampire novel. I wanted to write one for years, but the vampire canon is immense and I needed to find something different to say. And then the title DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK popped into my head, as well as the first line that is still in the book. Sometimes, a character just starts talking and sometimes I might be inspired by an image or a conversation
D: I love the covers for the Dead Is… books; did you have any say in the cover design?

MP: Thank you! I love them, too. I was fortunate that my publisher did ask for my input. I didn't have any SAY, as in final approval or anything, but I was very pleased that they did take my comments into consideration.
D: I heard there are going to be two more books in the Dead Is… series, could you tell us a little about them?

MP: I'm revising DEAD IS JUST A RUMOR right now. It takes place in the fall of Daisy's senior year and (I hope) will answer some of unanswered questions from DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR. And the final book in the series will be DEAD IS NOT AN OPTION, which will culminate with Daisy Giordano graduating from Nightshade High.
D: If you could put yourself in any book, what would it be?
MP: Hmm. I've always had a huge crush on Aragorn from LORD OF THE RINGS, so maybe the LOTR books. Only if he looked like Viggo Mortenson. And only if I get to pick which character I am. I don't want to end up as Gollum, muttering on about "my precious."
D: If you could only write one more book, what would it be about?

MP: Oh, I hate to talk about my ideas. Because then I feel like I've already done all the work. But I have a partially completed novel that I'm very excited about and I think I'll have time to work on that in 2010.
D: What are your thoughts on censorship?
MP: I'm a member of AS IF (AuthorsSupporting Intellectual Freedom) and in a nutshell, I believe that censorship is wrong. Librarians are rock stars, as far as I'm concerned. They fight to keep books in our libraries, despite numerous challenges and pressures. So read a banned book! Better yet, buy one!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Marlene! ^_^

Check out my reviews of the first two Dead Is books here and here. :)

Eclectically yours,



Zombie Girrrl said...

Fab interview! I totally agree with Marlene; librarians ROCK!!! XD

Orchid said...

Awesome interview! Marlene sounds pretty cool. Cannot wait to read the rest of the Dead Is series. :)