Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Gal's 62 Days of Horror Day 1: Among the Stacks: Alessia Giacomi


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Alessia.  Welcome to The Gal.  I am honored to have you here for The Gal's first day of my 62 Days of Horror.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

A. Giacomi:
I'm a proud Canadian geeky writer.  I've been writing since high school and haven't stopped since.  I love scary stories, quirky stories, and creepy cute stories, which is why I write some of my own.  The Zombie Girl Saga is my debut into the author world.  Did I mention I love anything to do with zombies?  He he.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
 What are five things most people don't know about you?

A. Giacomi:
Hmmm let's see... I'm a mombie (a mom who never sleeps lol), I don't like clowns or dolls or spiders, I love nail polish, it's an addiction!  I'm part Italian and speak it fluently, and lastly, I don't eat garlic!  Just kidding, I eat a lot of it, like I said, part Italian. :)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

A. Giacomi:
The first book I remember reading was one I read over and over again, like most kids do, so I remember it vividly.  It was called Alexandra & the Vanishing Unicorns.  It was about children who stopped believing in magic thus making magical creatures vanish.  I didn't realize it then, but the book shaped my imagination and my need to create worlds with words and drawings in order to keep the "magic" alive.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

A. Giacomi:
I'm currently reading too many things!  Haha book addict problems, but the two I'm most focused on are Kindra Sowder's Follow the Ashes and Stephen Kozeniewski's Hunter of the Dead.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn't expect you to have liked?

A. Giacomi:
I think people know how much I love my traditional horror movie monsters and I think they'd expect me to hate The Twilight Saga.  Although I had my issues with some of it, I actually really enjoyed it!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

A. Giacomi:
I started with journals in elementary school, but I got bored of writing things that were true so I started to write my dreams down instead, they were far more interesting.  I still do it now, most of my stories come from dreams, or nightmares.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

A. Giacomi:
I wish I had a space dedicated to write, but really I write wherever and whenever I have time.  With too busy kiddos around the house, when they snooze I attack my keyboard!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirky or processes that you go through when you write?

A. Giacomi:
I always start with casting!  It's funny but I can't start writing until I've played director.  I take celebrity pics and paste them alongside my character's traits.  This way I can imagine them as a film playing out in my head.  It makes the writing flow a lot easier.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

A. Giacomi:
Time mostly, writing is a very consuming and introverted craft.  My time to write is at night, if I can stay awake lol.  Any parent out there will understand, they don't need to be an author to know the struggle is real some nights.  The nights I have insomnia though?  Yeah I get loads done!  lol

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the most satisfying thing you've written so far?

A. Giacomi:
The Zombie Girl Saga is fully complete now, all the books will be out by January 2017.  It's a series that I've played around with since high school so it's really exciting to see it sitting online for purchase.  It's something teenage me would have never thought possible, but there it is!  So that's exciting.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

A. Giacomi:
That's hard, I've read a lot and I think every author I've ever read peeks through the pages of my writing.  On the scary story side of things I'm inspired by Anne RiceStephen KingR.L. StoneEdgar Allan PoeSeth Grahame-Smith, just to list a few.  On the classic side of things I'm a big Austen and Shakespeare fan, I think a lot of their plots bleed into what I write.  The whole Romeo & Juliet vibe in Zombie Girl is not accidental, the whole Mr. Darcy thing in Zombie Agent is also not an accident.  I still wish I came up with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. *shakes fist at Seth Grahame-Smith*

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

A. Giacomi:
I think strong characters is key, people have to love them or hate them passionately or they won't keep reading.  I hope people love and hate my characters at the same time, I know I do!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Alessia Giacomi:
I love characters that are sassy, you will always find a sassy spirit in my books.  The sassy pants always wins people over with the way they wear their hearts on their sleeve, it's endearing.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

A. Giacomi:
I think I'm most like Cameron in my Zombie Girl Saga, I wish I was Eve.  She's strong, unafraid, a realist and spontaneous.  Cameron is shy, worries far too much, sort of has his head in the clouds, but he's loyal and loving, and optimistic to a fault.  Yep so basically I'm a puppy and so is Cam!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

A. Giacomi:
Now I know mom always said "don't judge a book by its cover" but I do!  It's part of what draws someone in.  If the book looks great it's likely that I'll pick it up and see what it's about.  I'm very lucky and have had a lot of say in my covers, I've also been very lucky to work with people who get me!  I wanted Zombie Girl to scream innocence, I wanted Zombie Agent to scream confidence, and I wanted Zombie Experiment to scream uncertainty and fear.  I think people will "feel" what the books are about before they even read the synopsis.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

A. Giacomi:
Marketing is hard!  I have learned that it's really hard to make a name in the industry.  Writing is the easy part, but finding people who love what you love and are willing to support it?  HARD!  Especially when there is so much out there.  My hope is that people get to know me first, and if they  like me, most likely they'll like my books, my books are an extension of me, my sense of humor and my geekery lol

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

A. Giacomi:
Eve, my protagonist from The Zombie Girl Saga, goes through a lot in the series, as if becoming a zombie isn't bad enough!  Her mother is sick with cancer and that was hard to write, it comes from my own experience with my father who passed away from cancer.  The feelings are real, it's just made up people feeling them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

A. Giacomi:
This is the zombie's story.  It's not humans against zombies, it's Eve against herself.  I've always felt very sympathetic towards zombies - they were, after all, human at one point.  I wanted to tell the story of a girl desperately clinging to her humanity.  It's not without a bit of gore, or fright, but as much as there is action in the story, there is a lot of heart.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

A. Giacomi:
I think titles are just as important as cover art.  You have a second to catch someone's eye, sometimes only a "word" to grab someone's attention and give them a feel for your book.  I didn't have much trouble choosing titles because I tried to base the titles off of what Eve will go through in the story.  The first one is called Zombie "Girl" because she is only 19 at the start of the series, she has much to learn and will evolve, just as the titles evolve.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

A. Giacomi:
A novel, I like giving the story the time it needs to develop.  Sometimes the story takes me places I didn't expect.  I sometimes begin writing a short story and soon find I like the characters too much to let them go, so short stories are very difficult, to me they feel like unfinished works, mini mysteries almost.  Don't get me wrong, it's still fun to write short stories, I even have a couple out now.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

A. Giacomi:
The Zombie Girl Saga follows Eve, a small town girl seeking adventure.  She definitely gets a lot more adventure than she bargained for when she is infected with an ancient virus, causing a strange hunger and super-human side effects.
            The Zombie Girl Saga is targeted towards YA readers, but I like to think there is something in it for everyone.  There are scary, romantic, philosophical, and mythological elements.  I thin people will be pleasantly surprised by how much the series offers to fans of any genres.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

A. Giacomi:
Nothing was deleted or edited out, instead something was added.  The end of the final book (due out in January) gives us a glimpse into a fifth installment I contemplated.  I may still do it someday, but it just doesn't seem like the time right now.  I still decided to add a bit at the end, just to remind everyone that stories never truly finish.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your "trunk"?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

A. Giacomi:
I am an artist as well as an author, but my art has been on the back burner for quite some time.  I would love to get some pieces together for a show or even just for enjoyment, but time doesn't allow for it right now.  I also have a poetry book that needs editing; once that's done I'm going to see how to get it out there.  I'm nicknamed the Poetic Zombie for a reason, I write poetry often, it's about time I get some out there!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

A. Giacomi:
I'm currently working on a Paranormal Romance and another YA Series, and hopefully some children's books.  There aren't enough creepy cute children's books out there!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (You know, STaLKeR links.)

A. Giacomi:
Goodreads ** Amazon ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Pinterest ** Blog

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Alessia, I love how excited you get when you talk about your writing and the way you "talk".  I am definitely going to have to check this series out.  The covers are awesome. 
            You and I have a lot in common so we'll definitely have to connect!! :)
            I really appreciate you stopping by today.  Before you go, do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

A. Giacomi:
Just that I do hope they check out The Zombie Girl Saga and connect with me on Social Media.  I'm always looking for people to fangirl or geek out with!


About the author:
A. Giacomi is a wife, and mother to one small human child.  She is a Canadian born writer, educator, and artist.  She is a zombie enthusiast, lover of all things Tim Burton, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Marvel, Star Wars and generally just loves films, essentially she's a fangirl with many geeky tendencies.  She is also the author of The Zombie Girl Saga, a four part series from the zombie's perspective.  Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl is A. Giacomo's debut novel.  You can watch the latest updates about her and her writing on her blog.

About the books:
Eve used to be an ordinary girl, from an ordinary town, with ordinary dreams, but her dreams rapidly turn into nightmares when one grave mistake leaves her a little less than human and a lot less average.
            Eve's not quite the same girl she used to be.  She desperately clings to her humanity as new desires, new abilities, and new urges take over with each passing day.
            Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl is a tale that takes you on an emotional and terrifying journey as Eve struggles to cope with her new life and find a cure for her strange illness before time runs out.  She desperately clings to her humanity as she tries to control the monster she knows is lurking inside her.
            Turns out living was the easy part.

In the second installment of The Zombie Girl Saga, Eve teams up with CSIS to find out more about the Azrael Virus coursing through her veins.  As she learns about the dangers of the virus, she also learnt that there are some advantages to being less than human.  Eve is quickly thrown into fieldwork to stop the spread of a virus that is spreading silently on a global level.
            She might be the only hope the world has, but she's running out of time.






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1 comment:

taniekitty said...

Great interview! I like the part "I don't eat garlic! Just kidding, I eat a lot of it, like I said, part Italian." Lol! Her series sounds interesting.