TDWS: Tell us a little about you. Hobbies, schooling, favorite teams , etc.
Dana: Let's see... schooling? I graduated from Clairemont High in San Diego, which is actually the location of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Cameron Crowe was undercover there my junior year and I knew a lot of the people he turned into characters. I'm not a sports fan, but I am a loyal Padre/Charger fan nonetheless. Just don't ask me to watch the games! As far as hobbies, I'm an avid reader (and luckily a fast one since my writing cuts into my reading time), love to surf although I don't get out much since I moved to Northern California (big waves, cooooold water and... Great Whites right off the coast!), and I will walk miles and miles if I have the time. I collect beach glass (imagine me hunkered over a big old pile of it like Smaug with his gold horde)... swordfight with my boyfriend, and am big into wine. Wine enthusiast or wino? Depends on who you're talking to. Oh yeah, and zombies. Love me my zombie movies, books and games. They've been my monster of choice since I saw the original Dawn of the Dead on my very first movie date.
TDWS: What inspired you to become a writer?
Dana: I've always loved to write, ever since I was old enough to string words together. My mom and sister have always encouraged me to read and to write, and although I had a slight deviation in my career path when I decided I wanted to be an actress, the writing just was and is more appealing. I like working in my pajamas.
TDWS: Why write a zombie book?
Dana: Several reasons. 1. I love zombies. They're my favorite monster and I'd already had three short stories in the genre published. 2. I was asked by Lori Perkins if I wanted to write a series that she summarized as "Buffy. but with zombies. And different." Heck, yeah!
TDWS: What is the title of your most current book and what is it about?
Dana: Plague Town: An Ashley Parker Novel. I'm going to cheat and use the publisher's blurb to describe it:
Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down.
A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse. Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a 'Wild-Card' -- immune to the virus -- and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak.
It's Buffy meets the Walking Dead in a rapid-fire zombie adventure!
TDWS: Would you put your book more in the action, comedy, or horror category? Is there another category you would add?
Dana: I'd say it fits into all three categories you listed pretty much equally. The second book, Plague Nation, is going to be a bit darker, but there will be plenty of action, humor and horror in it as well. As far as another category, it has some elements of paranormal romance/urban fantasy, but the romance is not the main element of the story.
TDWS: What sets your book apart from the thousands of zombie books out there?
Dana: Hmmm... I didn't realize there were thousands of zombie books out there, actually. That's good news for me as a reader because I'm always looking for more in that genre. As for what sets Plague Town apart, it does have more humor than a lot of them and it has a strong female protagonist. That's still relatively rare in the zombie genre. Also, my heroine and a few of the other characters are immune to the zombie virus (although not immune to getting dismembered and eaten alive if they're not careful) and what I call "wild cards." Their senses/agility/strength are enhanced by the virus. We're not talking super hero type powers, mind you. Just "better/faster/stronger" than your average person.
TDWS: What if anything do you want the reader to take from your book?
Dana: I want them to be entertained. I'm not going for metaphors or social issues. I'm going for pure entertainment. To quote a review at Onemetal.com:
Ultimately Plague Town is Dana Fredsti's love-letter to film and sci-fi geekdom, easy to pick-up, and fun to read. If you are looking for examinations of the human condition, or the fragile nature of civilisation: forget it, as you will be disappointed. If you are looking for an unabashed fun read that races along at a cracking pace, then this is for you.
TDWS: Where is your book available?
Dana: Barnes and Noble (both brick and mortar and online), Amazon (available in paperback and Kindle), various local indie bookstores such as Borderlands in San Francisco, Dark Delicacies in Burbank, Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego and Newport Beach. I strongly encourage people to buy from indie booksellers whenever possible, but I'm not going to complain wherever they choose to buy it.
TDWS: Where can you be contacted?
I am delighted to hear from readers!