November 20, 2012

Top 10 with Author Melanie Karsak {Plus an Epic Give@way}

"To label this a zombie book would be a false pretense . . . this is so much more than that. What you start out with and what you end up with are very different, and those twists and turns in the middle will make your heart beat faster over and over again."-- Colossal Pop 

It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead. 

Though Layla reluctantly returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she could never have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla's help if they are to survive the zombie apocalypse that's upon them. But that is not the only problem. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.

1.       fav song/singer?

Tori Amos is my all-time favorite artist.  Her lyrics are so poetic . . . even when they sound like random association, and she is really a master pianist.  I discovered her back in the 90s when I, and everyone else, was really “angsty” (this is why Nirvana follows Tori on my list of favorites), but I find her music still resonates.  From her works, my favorite song changes with my mood, but recently I find myself listening to “Suede” as I work on a new Steampunk novel. 

2. fav season?

Now that I live in Florida, seasons seem pretty irrelevant.  We have four seasons here: hot, extremely hot, mostly hot, often hot.  I am, however, originally from Pennsylvania.  I love spring.  I really love seeing the earth becoming green again after a long winter, and spring flowers are the best!

3. worst vacation?

My husband and I, both students at the time, were dirt poor when we got married.  We did without a honeymoon for several years, but one spring we decided we’d had enough of snow, snow, and more snow.  In April, we drove, for just a weekend, about ten hours south to Virginia Beach for a little fun in the sun.  When we got there, the jet-stream dropped, and Virginia Beach had the worst snow storm they’d seen in a decade.  We sat in our oceanfront hotel room and watched it snow on the beach.  Awesome. 

4. guilty pleasure?

Well, I am guilty of so much, it is hard to pick just one thing . . . I have two guilty pleasures.  One of my guilty pleasures is edible.  When Pandora opened the box, inside she must have found a lox bagel platter from my local deli, Bagel Box, in Viera, Florida.  That bagel platter is worth upsetting the heavens.  A bagel platter may seem mundane, but that is, of course, because you have not had this particular bagel platter.  The bagel has homemade cream cheese, capers, red onion, lox, and fresh cut tomatoes on a freshly baked salt bagel.  Toasted.  With a giant pickle.  It is so good that every time I finish my bagel I feel sad.  When I die, if there is an afterlife, they will have an unlimited supply of lox platters from Bagel Box.  My second guilty pleasure is watching The Walking Dead with feverish obsession.  The-Walking-Dead.  Enough said.

5. fav book and/or author?

My favorite author is the late Marion Zimmer Bradley.  Bradley’s Mists of Avalon changed who I was and inspired me as a writer.  When I grew up, I wanted to be Marion Zimmer Bradley.  The novel, and it’s a huge one, tells the King Arthur story from the perspective of the women in the legend.  It also provides a look into the matriarchal religious practices of Medieval England, something no other author had done as effectively as Bradley.  I noticed recently that since Bradley’s death, Mists is not even stocked in the big box bookstores.  That is truly sad.  It is a profound coming-of-age tale all young women should read.

6. one item you cannot live without?

Coffee.  I am a mom of two children under three years of age, I have a full-time job, a part-time job, and I am a writer and blogger.  I also have a husband who likes me to pay attention to him.  If I did not have caffeine, I think I might fall down dead.

7. hobby?

Writing is a calling, so I guess that makes my hobby painting.  I am not half bad with acrylics and a canvas, but I never have enough time to work on paintings.  I love to paint, but usually that creative energy gets re-routed to writing.

8. fav movie/actor/actress?

Like everyone else in the world, I love movies.  My taste in film is very eclectic.  I loved what Francis Ford Coppola did with Wharton’s The Age of Innocence.  That was a cinematic masterpiece.  I also love Snatchbecause it makes me laugh and because Brad Pitt was still hot back then.  I don’t get tired of watching Pulp Fiction, The Last of the Mohicans, or Wall-E.  If it has great characters and a message, I enjoy it.  I was most recently obsessed with LOST, and was so sad when that TV show ended.  Most of my favorite actors/actresses are from that TV show.  Nestor Carbonell is my TV dreamboat.

9. fav food?

See number 4.  I love food.  Seriously.  But the best food, besides my lox platter, I ever ate was at this little French restaurant in the middle of freaking nowhere, otherwise known as Frostburg, MD.  The restaurant is called Au Petit Paris.  Hands down, my dinner there was the best meal I have ever eaten.  The sauces were to die for.  It was like steak ambrosia.  Because I like food, I have eaten at great restaurants all over the US (Angeli’s on Decatur in New Orleans has awesome pizza) but French cuisine in Frostburg, MD rules all . . . sorry, lox platter. 

10. who would you like to meet? (dead or alive?)

I want to say Sigmund Freud, but I think he would be condescending.  I think William Shakespeare is the better pick because 1) I feel like he probably liked (ie, did not condescend to) women, 2) so I can come back and prove he was the real playwright of his works, not an amalgam of other writers nor a random bastard child of Elizabeth I , 3) because his insight into the human psyche pre-dates Freud—suck that Freud--, and 4) because I can think of no better person to learn from about the art of writing. 
Your poor vacation!! That is just horrible.

Giveaway time!!!!
You can win this awesome prize pack (an XL tshirt and a signed paperback) The pic above shows the back of the tshirt. The front is the cover of the book.
You must have a US addy.
Fill out the form and spread the word.
Giveaway ends Nov 27th!


  1. I love your list! Reading about the bagels and lox makes me absolutely crave the platter. Yum!

  2. It is truly amazing! Thanks, Susan :)