Guest Post & Giveaway! Girl Z by Christine Verstraete #zOctober2014

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Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie
by Christine Verstraete
Publication date: August 1st 2013
Category: YA
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Zombies

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Life can suck when you’re sixteen. It can suck even worse when you’re not- quite- dead.

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager’s biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.

Becca’s life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he’s becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.

The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for. Then she meets Gabe, a good-looking part-Z like her, and fears falling for him. After all, how can he, who shows hardly any Z symptoms, be interested in someone like her?

But time is running out… Becca needs his help as she and her cousin Carm search for their missing mothers and fight off hungry Zs.

Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late..

~Guest Post~

About GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie:

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager’s biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.

Becca’s life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he’s becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.
The Z infection, however, has mutated, affecting younger persons like her, or those treated early enough, differently. Now she must cope with weird physical changes and habits no girl wants to be noticed for. But time is running out… Becca needs his help as she and her cousin Carm search for their missing mothers and fight off hungry Zs. Most of all, she needs to find something, anything, to stop this deadly transformation before it is forever too late…

Writing GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie was fun in that I wanted to come up with a different way to show zombies – not as the usual brain and flesh-eating monsters, but with one foot in life, and one foot in death, if you will. Becca is a 16 with the angst and problems you’d expect, but also with a fierce devotion to her family and a drive to see them safe. She fears the unknown, the future, but continues to fight to have “some” kind of life through bullying, moments of self-hate and doubt, basically much of the stuff teenagers (and even adults) can face. But she’s a survivor.

I also have been working on another book, finishing up details. It’s an adult zombie book with more zombies, more gore, history and a real life crime. Details to come! Be sure to friend me on Facebook and Twitter, and visit the blog!

Seven Things I Learned While Writing About Zombies:

1. The last 10,000, the last 5,000, the last, 2,000 or so words are the hardest to write.

2. It’s nice when you can wake up and have the conclusion come to you in a dream. Yes, it did for book two. But I still had to “flesh” it out and I thought up a few more things I wanted to add.

3. You are never done. See number 2.

4. A story has to be more than just zombies biting and chasing, people fighting, people fighting zombies, the couple escaping, etc. Like in the movies, there has to be more to the plot than just fighting or escaping which gets boring after awhile if nothing else is going on. The character(s) need a goal – and it should be more than the above.

5. Romance or not? Some hate the romantic sub-plot, some don’t mind. I rather like it. It adds a different dimension to the character, and in this case, an unexpected twist on a character not known to have had any romantic relationships. I also prefer my romantic scenes off-scene. I don’t need a play-by-play. I like to suggest and leave it up to the reader to fill in the blanks.

6. Gory is easier to write than to watch. I admit it – I cringe at some of The Walking Dead scenes. I close my eyes watching some horror movies and during some horror scenes. (Okay, admit it; don’t you?) Yet writing or reading it doesn’t bother me. I guess maybe because you have to fill in the images yourself and it’s not in full blown, blood-splashing, splattering Technicolor.

7. It is amazing how many ways you can think to kill-jab-stab etc. a zombie.

~About the Author~

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Christine (C.A.) Verstraete enjoys writing nonfiction, as well as fiction of all lengths. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies including: Athena’s Daughters, Silence in the Library; Feast of the Dead: Hors D’Oeuvres; Darlings of Decay; 100 Doors to Madness; Timeshares, Steampunk’d, and Hot & Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance, DAW Books; and The Corner Cafe: A Tasty Collection of Short Stories.

Christine enjoys writing horror and “horror lite,” stories with a touch of the macabre. Her recent book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, received a 2014 Lovey Award for Best Paranormal and Sci Fi book at the Love is Murder Mystery Conference; and was the 2013 Halloween Book Festival Young Adult Winner.

She also is author of a nonfiction book on miniatures collecting, In Miniature Style II, and a children’s mystery, Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery.

Christine’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

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Wife, homeschooling mom, YA author of paranormal, dark fantasy, and horror, huge fan of the Oxford comma, book blogger, crafter, baker of sweet things, lover of the culinary arts, self-appointed zombie slayer.