1. Why did you decide to write a Dystopian novel?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I wrote a lot when I was a teen, but college and marriage and kids all happened and somewhere along the way I got sidetracked. I read The Hunger Games in 2011, which led me to revisit the old classic, 1984. Then inspiration struck. The first book I wrote was a YA dystopian and it’s still saved on my computer (along with the sequel). It’s not ready to be published and I’m not sure if it ever will be, but I love it because it proved I could create a whole new world, which is my favorite thing to do!
2. Do you have any favorite dystopian literature? Authors?
I will always love 1984. It was required reading in high school and definitely my first look into a dystopian world, and I was awed by it. After that I read Brave New World, but at the time I couldn’t find any other books to read in the genre. Of course, this was back when the internet was mostly used for online chatrooms, so it wasn’t like I could just Google it or anything. (I’m showing my age, I know!)
Of the recent dystopian novels I’ve read, I of course have to say The Hunger Games. It’s a fantastic story that’s well-told, and the world created in it feels so real. Plus, I buy it! I totally believe something like that could happen because people are inherently bad. I also love the Shatter Me series. There’s nothing like a dystopian future with a hint of the X-men to get the nerd in me excited!
3. Do you foresee any part of your book becoming reality? If so explain.
Well, my book is a zombie tale, so no. I love zombies, but it’s an impossible scenario. I don’t think there could ever be a virus that would kill a person but cause their body to reanimate and become a flesh-eating monster. But the survival aspect of it intrigues me, which is why I love zombie stories so much. It brings people together who would never meet otherwise and forces them to either get along or die. It shows what a person is made of.
4. Was there a particular event or idea in the real world that inspired your writing?
I’ve always loved zombies, and with the recent popularity of The Walking Dead it seemed like the right time to get a zombie story out there. When I started writing Broken World I didn’t plan on making it a zombie book, because all I’d heard from agents and editors was how there is no market for zombie books. But after writing one chapter I changed my mind because a zombie story was what I wanted to write, and I’m so glad I did! I love the series and I’m thrilled by the fantastic feedback I’ve gotten from it. You always hope the people are going to respond well to your book, but I still never expected it to do as well as it has. Broken World has been in the top 100 in dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction for over three months now, and book two, Shattered World, is right up there with it!
5. When writing your book, did you seek to only tell a good story or to get across a specific message?
I have no problem with authors who want to use their books as a platform, but that’s not me. Writing is something I love and my stories are just that: stories. I had a reviewer take offence at the way I portray rednecks, insinuating that it somehow reflected how I felt about people from Kentucky (which is where my characters are from). To me that is just silly. I created a character and that’s how she saw the world, not me. My character and I have very little in common.
6. What was the inspiration for your book?
I was very inspired by TWD, as a lot of reviewers have pointed out. But my story is very different than a lot of zombie books out there. It starts when the virus first rears its ugly head and follows the characters on a journey as the world falls down around them. The zombies don’t even show up until halfway through the book. The first half was definitely inspired by The Stand, which is a great post-apocalyptic book and one of my favorites, and the second half is more TWD.
7. What other genres do you read?
I will read anything that keeps my interest, but I do lean more toward post-apocalyptic/dystopian stories. I tend to get bored when reading contemporary, especially a romance, unless there’s something very special about the story to hold my attention. Books where the only plot is whether or not the characters are going to get together lose my interest very fast.
8. Have you or would you like to write in another genre? Which one?
I’ll write anything that grabs my attention. My first book, Collision, is a New Adult romantic mystery. It’s a bit twisted, but has a sweet love story as well. The List, my New Adult contemporary Romance comes out next May from Lyrical Press, and there will be two follow-up books with that. I like the story and had a good time writing it, but I’ll admit that it isn’t as enjoyable as writing my zombie or post-apocalyptic books.
9. Are you particularly fond of any one of you characters?
I love all my characters, but I’ll admit that my favorite is Axl. He’s inspired by Daryl Dixon from TWD, and writing him was so much fun. I love a complex character who has a lot of potential for growth, which is exactly what Daryl is, and why I wrote Axl. His brother Angus is such a fun character to shape too. There’s nothing like that character you just love to hate!
10. Is there one book, in any genre, that has had a lasting impact on your life? Title. How did it affect you?
There are a lot of books I love, but I can’t say there’s one that really made a difference. I’ve bounced around a lot over the years when it came to what I read. In high school it was mostly classics, then historical fiction. Of course, that was back when YA didn’t have much to offer. I went through a period where I read a lot of crime/mystery books, then gravitated back to YA when it started to grow and expand. Now that I’ve taken the step and written things of my own, I’d say those are the books that have really affected me.
Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She grew up in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California.
Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story – especially if zombies are involved – as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes who can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.
Be sure to check out her bestselling BROKEN WORLD series, which is a top 100 book in dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction on Amazon.
Broken World blurb:
When a deadly virus sweeps the country, Vivian Thomas sets out for California in hopes of seeing the daughter she gave up for adoption. Then her car breaks down and she’s faced with a choice. Give up, or accept a ride from redneck brothers, Angus and Axl. Vivian knows the offer has more to do with her double D’s than kindness, but she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to reach her daughter.
The virus is spreading, and by the time the group makes it to California, most of the population has been wiped out. When the dead start coming back, Vivian and the others realize that no electricity or running water are the least of their concerns. Now Vivian has to figure out how to be a mother under the most frightening circumstances, cope with Angus’s aggressive mood swings, and sort out her growing attraction to his brooding younger brother, Axl.
While searching for a safe place to go, they pick up a pompous billionaire who may be the answer to all their problems. Trusting him means going into the middle of the Mojave Desert and possibly risking their lives, but with the streets overrun and nowhere else to turn, it seems he might be their only chance for survival.