Hi everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome Evelyn Shepherd to the blog. Evelyn is the author of the fabulous Meteora trilogy, a wonderful zombie series with a great menage relationship and lots of thrills that I am totally loving. Today she is here to talk to us more about the latest book, I Am Alive, and the series as a whole. Evelyn has also brought a copy to give away to one lucky reader.
Ok, so to start us off, can you give my readers a quick overview of the series and where are we are so far with the first two books?
Sure! The Meteora Trilogy is a zombie series, with a ménage twist! The series follows three men (Sawyer, Jesse, and Topher) as they struggle to survive the zombie apocalypse and remain together. In the first book we’re introduced the end of the world through Sawyer’s POV. We start off right at the beginning with a massive meteor shower. In the 2nd novel, we get to see things through Jesse’s POV. It’s six months into the apocalypse, and while the boys have established somewhat of a life, nothing can really last when the undead are walking.
I think what originally drew me to the first book, I Am Here, was the two combination of genres that you don’t see too often: zombies and ménage. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the series and how you came up with this combination?
Well, I always wanted to write a zombie novel. I love them. Love the movies, the shows, and the books. It started off as a short story idea. I just thought to myself, what would I do if the zombie apocalypse happened while I was at work in the mall? Then I created Sawyer and Jesse. I originally had no intention of creating a threesome, but when I wrote Topher, I realized there was a lot of chemistry between all three men. And WHAM! The ménage just happened.
One of things I love about these books is the intense action and suspense. These zombies are scary and the book doesn’t skip on the gore. There is real life and death going on here. Are you a big horror fan? How did you decide how far to go along the scary scale with these?
I’m a huge horror fan. I love horror movies. I love scary books and anything zombie-related. So when I decided I was going to write a zombie novel, I knew I was going to do the genre justice. I just don’t think you can have a proper zombie story and not show the true grit and gore of the world. This is a dark world. Humans are pushed to the brink. The living dead have risen. If it was real life, we wouldn’t see the scenes fade to black. I wanted to show that. I wanted to make it feel as real as possible, and make the horror for the characters, real for the readers.
It wasn’t a hard decision to write about the violence and gore. Besides, I’m a huge fan of writing action scenes.
One of my favorite things about reading paranormal stories (especially ones with a post-apocalyptic bent like this one) is the way the author can create a new world with new rules. You have some pretty scary, vicious zombies. Can you tell us more about how you created your zombies and decided how they would behave?
Well I knew I wanted to do classic zombie. My Infected are your general zombies. I based them off most traditional zombie lore. I had in mind the kind of zombies I’d see in a Ramiro film. My Mutated, though, those are a different story. I wanted something more. I wanted to add another layer to the story. I actually took a little while to come up with them. I thought about some of the things I’d seen in horror and considered some of the things I find terrifying. Then I just mashed it together and came up with the Mutated.
I particularly like how the first book is in Sawyer’s point of view and in the second story we are in Jesse’s. The books fit very well with the individual characters. What made you decide to switch POVs across the books? And can we expect Topher to be our POV character for the third book?
Book 3 will be in Topher’s POV. I hadn’t planned on doing it originally. It was all going to be in Sawyer’s POV. When I started the first story, I started it with just him in mind. But when I went to sit down and work on the 2nd book, I knew the story just wouldn’t be right if it was in Sawyer’s POV. There would be so much of the plot missed because he was telling the story.
I went through a few outline drafts before it dawned on me that Jesse needed to tell the story. He was the one that would see most of the action. He was the one that would guide everyone through the story. So it was his turn to talk. The first book, we get to feel the raw fear of the new awakening with Sawyer. Now that the dust has settled, it’s time for Jesse to step up and lead the group. In the third book, we’ll get to glimpse into Topher’s mind and see how it all ends. It’ll be his chance to reveal to the readers what truly has happened and where the fate of the planet lies.
Speaking of the third book, do you have any hints for us about what to expect in the third (and final?) installment? Will we learn what caused the zombie apocalypse? When do you expect the third book to be released?
It is the final book. I don’t know when it’ll be released, mostly because the 2nd book took me about 2 years to finish. There’s a lot of research I have to do and I have to get in the right headspace. I have completed the outline for the final book though, so I hope to work on it soon.
All I’ll say is that everything does come out in the third book. We learn what caused the apocalypse and what will happen after everything. I’m excited, because I don’t think anyone will see it coming… or I hope not!
Is there anything else you are working on you would like to tell my readers about?
Right now I’m just working on finishing the series I have going. I have the next Meteora novel outlined and have been going through outlines for the 4th book in the Theo Borne Series.
If folks want to learn more about you or your work, where can they find you?
The best places to find me are either on twitter (@eveeshepherd), tumblr (sheblindedmewithfantasy.tumblr.com), or on my website (evelynshepherd.com). I love hearing from people, so please drop a message in any of those! I always respond!
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today!
Thank you! I had a lot of fun!
The street was dead, but the ravenous moans echoed around us, bouncing from trees and homes. I raised my gun and briskly crossed the street toward the church. We passed an opening in the woods, which led to a field of withered crops and dried grass. In a mass exodus, the Infected came flooding out.
“Your right!” I shouted and swung my shotgun around, pulling the trigger. An Infected’s head exploded.
Topher stumbled back, flipping his gun in his hand and using it as a club to knock away another Infected. He turned the weapon around and pulled the trigger, unloading a bullet into the Infected’s face.
There were more heading our way, too many to kill. I could make out the church in the distance, but it was still too far away. I pumped my shotgun and fired off another shot, taking out a third Infected, and then grabbed Topher’s arm and ran. My heart lodged in my throat, and blood roared in my ears.
We closed in on the church. I heard them behind us, coming in fast. I let go of Topher and sprinted up the steps of the church, wrenching the door open. “Get in!”
He bolted inside, and I followed, pulling the door closed. I dropped my gun and grabbed a table pressed to the wall, then flipped it over so the legs stuck up. I grabbed ahold of the leg and slammed my foot on it at an angle, snapping the wood after a few hard kicks. I jammed the broken leg between the handles and snatched my gun back up. “That’ll buy us a few minutes.”
“Jesus, where did they all come from?” Topher ran his trembling hand through his hair.
“I don’t know, but we need to keep focused.” I’ll have to tell General Faust when we get back.
Topher nodded, still looking unsure, and walked deeper into the church. The foyer opened to a long, carpeted hall with two doors on the right and one on the left. The door on the left was wide-open and empty. Baby toys were scattered over the floor. When I opened the first door on the right, something smacked into the front door of the church and began to rattle it.
I ignored the Infected outside and checked the office. It looked ransacked but otherwise empty; the same with the second room. Topher walked into the sanctuary, and I followed behind. The air didn’t reek of death, but that didn’t mean much.
“Don’t move.” I froze, taking a second to register the familiar voice and the gun pointed at my head. A second later, the pistol lowered. “Shit, Jesse?” Sawyer said. “What the hell are you guys doing here?”
Jesse, Sawyer, and Topher have found the closest thing to happiness they can in the survivalist town of Salvation. Six months after the meteor shower that thrust the world into a zombie apocalypse, the trio is finally finding their place. Jesse serves as a guard for Salvation—he eliminates all threats on the makeshift city, going out day after day to kill Infected and Mutated. Topher tirelessly struggles to find a cure for the infection and assists at the hospital, and Sawyer excels as a scavenger who brings back supplies.
But their bliss shatters one day when Sawyer fails to return.
Now Jesse will test his limits as he and Topher set out to bring Sawyer back. Jesse will have to make a decision on the fate of their family when they find the third member of their relationship. Nothing will ever be the same, and the weight of world begins to press down on Jesse. He soon realizes that he’s fighting more than the Infected; if he doesn’t get control soon, the war raging inside Jesse will consume him.
He’ll have to decide what lengths he’s willing to go in order to protect the men he loves.
Evelyn has brought a copy of I Am Alive to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, June 15th at 11:59 pm EST.
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