Never Say Die is a Zombie Time Loop Story. It features Cassie, who instead of dying gets to go back in time and try to prevent the zombie apocalypse. The problem is, she doesn’t get it right the first time, or the second, or even the third. Instead she watches people she loves become infected and/or killed. It’s good incentive to research the cause so she can get it right in the end.
Is there anything you want to make sure potential readers know?
Cassie is a normal teenager. She doesn’t have a special power to go back in time. She isn’t especially good at fighting and killing zombies, although she does have a lot of practice! Instead, she’s a girl who just won’t give up and because she won’t, she’s given the chance to fix things.
What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
Come back when you get a real publisher. That was two years ago. I don’t know if I’d get the same response today, but I might. It was from an Independent book store. Although I was Martin Sisters first book back in 2011, they have many titles now and I wonder if I would get the same response. On the other hand, I’m still not available in the Canadian book chain. I’m hopefully that is going to change soon!
How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
The worst review I got (two stars) was also a lovely review. The reviewer pointed out that I had great description; I just put it in the wrong place. So, I took the good and considered the bad. Mostly, I took the good. When I get an all bad review, I usually try not to consider it at all. If it is a well thought out, detailed review, the reviewer usually has SOMETHING nice to say.
When are you going to write your autobiography?
Never! My life is horribly boring. I like it that way. It’s busy. I’m by no means lazing around with leisure time, but it’s a lot of: go to work, spend time with family, sleep, go to work… Not the stuff of novels.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
Yes. In my Cargon series, where the protagonists are essentially creating a new world for themselves, I named them Eve and Adam. In Never Say Die, Cassandra has seen the future and many people don’t listen to her warnings, just like Cassandra of Troy. On the other hand, the names in Thickness of Blood weren’t specifically chosen to relate anything…
What about the titles of your novels?
Again, I try to include some meaning. Honour and Privilege are the root of the society in Cargon. Duty and Sacrifice come naturally to Eve but not her fellow elite. Country and Sovereignty can give you a hint about the third book. Thickness of Blood is about blood relationship and adoptive relationships and how sometimes you can find a stronger bond from a stranger than your own mother. Never Say Die is a time loop because Cassie never gives up. She literally won’t die.
What's your favorite fruit?
Toss up! I love lychee fruit and pineapple. I also adore that both are available canned so I can have them year round! Yum!! The best thing about Lychee, is eating it while camping and throwing the pits in the fire. They pop!
Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory?
Yes! I’m an environmental scientist focusing on native plants. In the beginning of my career, I spent a lot of time counting seeds, for germination tests and field tests. My mind wanders best when my hands and the ‘right’ side of my brain are busy. Counting, Sudoku puzzles, crochet are perfect for that. I’ve moved up enough in the company that I have to give those precious, mindless jobs to others. I miss it.
Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?
All the time. I started writing fanfiction again in 2010 after reading Twilight and seeing the last book through the eyes of the child. It was revolutionary to me and I HAD to write it. Likewise, I have an invented character for the Harry Potter series, a girl who just happens to be at Hogwarts during that time, and every time I read it now, I think, “what would Laurel be doing during this part?” In my books, it’s a little different. I use different POV characters in Cargon, so I see that story through many eyes. The same is true of Thickness of Blood. Never Say Die, however, is written exclusively through Cassie’s point of view, so I don’t really see that story from any other perspectives.
Do you admire your own work?
Hmm, I don’t know if I admire it, but I definitely enjoy revisiting it. Even my fanfiction is perversely enjoyable to reread. I often go back to stories I remember reading and enjoying, like eating my favourite dessert or watching the Princess Bride. I know where all the good parts are and they still make me smile, or laugh, or cry. In that way, I suppose I do admire what I’ve accomplished.
Are you jealous of other writers?
God, yes. I wish I could blog like that writer. I wonder why I can’t get fans like that writer. I think my book is better than his or hers but I can’t get sales. Even when I’m on top, I’m always judging myself by those around me, their success and my failure. I’ve had to give up twitter because of it. I still have a twitter account (@kimmydonn) but I am never reading my timeline.
If you could travel to the past in a time machine, what advice would you give to the 6-year-old you?
I’d tell her how to stop the zombie apocalypse. Wait, that’s Cassie. I’d tell her that junior high school is going to suck. The boys are never going to like you and that’s okay. Don’t join the cross country running club. Your thighs will never been slender again.