This week I welcomed the newest member of the Written Undead into the hot seat to find out what makes her tick.
Born in Colorado, she moved with her family when she was very young and grew up in central Pennsylvania. Her love of books started from an early age, reading the Little House on the Prairie books and Goosebumps, and graduating into Harry Potter and eventually Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. Her favourite reads span the spectrum of genres, everything from Stephen King’s The Stand to Mark Tufo’s Zombie Fallout series to Brian Parker’s Easytown Series. She also loves to read romance of many types.
J.B. is married with three kids and loves all things coffee, chocolate, and would gladly eat bacon with every meal. She reads every day and if something happens to prevent that, she tends to get cranky. She firmly believes there is no such thing as too many tattoos and hopes to sell lots of books so she can continue with her collection of body art. As an evening manager at her local grocery store, her goal is to be writing full-time within the year.
GJ: Can you tell me about Zombie Instinct and how it differs to the main pack of zombie apocalypse books?
JB: I think the thing that sets Zombie Instinct apart from other work, is the main character. Molly Everett is one of those characters that surprise you at every turn. She’s kind of a bitch but has a good soul and really strives to do the right thing, even when that goes against what makes the most sense for her survival.
GJ: How many books have you written?
JB: At present, I have 9 novels, 2 co-authored novellas, 1 anthology, 1 short story, and the short story I participated in for Brian Parker’s Easytown collaboration, High Tech/Low Life.
GJ: Can you tell me about your journey to publishing your first novel?
JB: It sounds super cliché but I had a dream about the main character in Steel Corps, Bea “Mic” Michaels. I’d always been interested in writing and previous to that book, I’d dabbled in some short stories and really terrible poetry. After I had that dream, I had had to write it. I had this crappy old laptop and I’d sit at my kitchen table and work on it while my kids were playing or napping. Writing an 80k+ word novel with two infants and a toddler running around was interesting, to say the least. I met an author through a mutual friend and I told her about this book I was writing and she helped me with editing and getting it published. Of course I find out later that the formatting was wrong, the editing was terrible, and my cover was trash, but it’s a learning curve.
GJ: How do you balance other work commitments, family life and writing?
JB: It’s difficult, to say the least. With three kids, a husband, and a job, it’s really hard to find the time and motivation sometimes. I try to work in the morning, after the kids go to school and while my husband is at work. If I can manage to focus, I can get 2-3k words down in a hour or two. Some days I have four or five hours that I can dedicate to writing, other days it’s less than an hour. My husband is hugely supportive and helps juggle things so I have more time to work.
GJ: If you had to bug out of your house because of an impending zombie apocalypse and could only take three items with you to help you survive then what would they be and why?
JB: My pocket knife, my pistol, and backpack. The knife, for defence and survival outside, the pistol because it’s a .357 and even if I run out of ammo, it makes a great club. A backpack to carry food and things I manage to scavenge.
Imagine waking up with the hangover of all time as someone pounds on your door telling you to get out quick. You have to evacuate to where? From what? That’s the premise of this story as it unfolds in sleepy Cornwall. Their terrifying flight to safety is not guaranteed. Behold the undead risen.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review of IN THE END series
GJ: What does a typical writing day look like for you?
JB: I drop the kids off at school, set up my laptop at the kitchen table, grab more coffee and tell Alexa to play my music. On a good day, I can write until noon or so. After that I have to do housework, pick up the kids, and go to work.
GJ: What inspires you to write about zombies?
JB: I’ve loved the genre for a long time. I’m a HUGE Tufo fan. Not to mention Gamboa, and Brian Parker. I credit Mark Tufo’s Timmothy series for inspiration for Zombie Instinct. I loved the idea of a self-aware zombie, but I didn’t want the character to be a psycho like Tim is. If you’ve read those books, you know what I’m talking about. I really like to write characters that have a moral struggle against right vs wrong. Molly is all of that.
GJ: Do you write in any other genres?
JB: Yes. I have a five book military thriller series, Steel Corps. I’ve started but not complete a science fiction novel, and I’m currently working on a multi-book romance series set in Wyoming that I’m co-authoring with Samantha A. Cole. Sam and I wrote two novellas together a few years ago and it’s really great to get back to work with her.
GJ: What do you consider has been your most effective marketing activity so far?
JB: Facebook groups. When you can find a good one that isn’t just all authors posting links anyway. Interacting with readers seems to drive sales more than ads do.
GJ: What can we expect from you this year and next year?
JB: I’ll be focused entirely on the Antelope Rock Series I’m doing with Samantha A. Cole. Book 1, Wannabe in Wyoming releases on May 27th. We’re already about 10k words into book 2. We have titles and basic plot lines for about fifteen books so far.
GJ: Thank you J.B. for taking the time to chat with me.
When humanity faces an undead nightmare, one man’s party turns into a race to survive.
Logan has always taken things a little too seriously. So when his New Year’s Eve attempt to unwind descends into chaos, he’s the first to realize it’s no joke. After Logan and his friends miss the evacuation transport, he’s given a choice: lead the group to safety or watch all of his friends come back from the dead…
When Logan discovers the military and government have no interest in saving them, making it to sanctuary alive may be their only hope. And after he learns his party of survivors might hold the key to a cure, the fate of humanity rests on his shoulders. But saving his species could mean sacrificing himself…
Can Logan stave off the end of the world or will one wrong decision doom humankind?
In The End is a fast-paced post-apocalyptic zombie thriller. If you like nightmarish settings, reluctant heroes, and action-packed adventures, then you’ll love GJ Stevens’ spine-chilling novel.
Buy In The End to fight for survival today!