A zombie virus of guest articles, Q&As and excepts from new urban fantasy novel, Plague Town, will be infecting websites, blogs and social media accounts across the globe to offer readers the chance to win a signed copy of Plague Town and have a character named after them in the next novel in the series!
Starburst are the third stop on the ‘Plague Town Pandemic Tour’.
Collect the first word hidden in CAPS at the end of this article along with a sequence of eight others on blogs and websites outlined in the link below; tweet the sentence you’ve discovered to @TitanBooks and @zhadi1 with #PlagueTown before April 23rd.
Dana Fredsti on her inspirations
I still remember the day my sister Lisa gave me a copy of The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis. I was about seven years old, sitting in the rocking chair in our living room, when she walked up to me, plopped the book in my lap and said “Read this” in a tone that brooked no argument. Not that I’d argue with my older sister anyway. I was convinced she knew the answers to everything (even if she did tell my mom to put me back where she got me when I was born) and promptly began to read.
I was totally captivated by the story. It had magic, different worlds, shape-shifters, a heroine (Jill) close enough to my age that I could imagine myself adventuring in her place, and … it had giants who ate people. And the flesh-eating giants of Harfang were what stood out to me more than any of the other very cool elements of the book.
The Silver Chair led to other books. Trips to the library resulted in Lisa and I bringing home piles of books, as many as the limit at the time would allow. I quickly found the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, another great fantasy series. My favorite parts involved the Cauldron Born, deathless warriors created by tossing corpses into the Black Cauldron. Deathless, tireless, pitiless, the Cauldron Born stalked the heroes relentlessly throughout their adventures. Deliciously creepy!
I moved onto vampires and werewolves. My copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula was well-worn within no time. Grimm’s Fairy Tales were also a favorite (my parents had one of those complete sets of the classics bound in green leather with gold lettering), especially whenever there was a bad guy or critter that ate human flesh. The Cyclops in The Odyssey, the Morlocks in The Time Machine (the movie with George Pal remains a favorite and I can’t hear a siren without thinking of the Morlock’s dinner bell), ghouls, just to name a few, all made me very happy. Not because I wanted to eat human flesh, mind you, but because something about the concept of something that looked even vaguely human and ate living human flesh was about the most horrific thing I could imagine.
I enjoyed other books too. For instance, another childhood favorite was The Red Room Riddle, by Scott Corbett, about two boys who accept the offer of a strange kid to meet the ghosts in his house. The entire book was spooky, but the bit where a mural depicting the infamous Slaughter of the Innocents comes to life, with Roman soldiers slaughtering infants. We’re talking gruesome to the max, the stuff of nightmares, even though the soldiers didn’t actually eat the babies. Er … and I did read books that weren’t morbid: E.S. Nesbitt’s fantasy novels: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books; Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series, plus many more.
But I really really really loved the stuff with nasty human-flesh eaters. My first “date” movie was the original Dawn of the Dead (yeah, I know that carbon-dates me, but I’m okay with that). So it’s not too surprising that I am now in the middle of writing a series being touted as “Buffy meets The Walking Dead” and loving every minute of it! I do have to wonder, however, how C.S. Lewis would react if he knew one of his faith-based books started my love of zombies. Then again, Lazarus and Jesus did rise from the dead…
CODE WORD 3: DYING
For full details of the tour and terms and conditions visit:
Plague Town by Dana Fredsti is published by Titan Books, 20th April, £7.99.