A little while ago we reviewed the book Dead Tropics, an action packed Zombie survival story with a female lead character that takes place in the exotic setting of Cairns, Australia. The author, Sue Edge, has kindly accepted to answer a couple of questions.
Bricks of the Dead: Dead Tropics is clearly oriented towards a feminine audience – it did not prevent me from enjoying it though – do you think that post apocalyptic stories for women is a genre that is under represented?
Sue Edge: Oh, Dead Tropics is aimed at parents in general. Parents can relate to that constant feeling of fear for your kids’ safety. Setting the story in a zombie environment really allowed me to tap into that fear. How do you keep your kids safe when danger is present everywhere?
I think women are definitely under represented in the zombie genre, much more so than the broader PA genre. Until the last couple of years, they were pretty much non-existent! And that was frustrating because I think male writers don’t tend to write about things that I, as a woman, want to read about. I love the guns, the violence and gore but I also want to know the little details. How does the virus spread? What happens to the families and people who aren’t armed to the teeth?
I compared Lori to Sarah Connor in my review, do you think it’s fair? Perhaps you could explain to us what in your opinion makes a good female lead character?
That’s really flattering! I guess there is a similarity. Lori and Sarah are both ordinary women who really tap into their inner kickass princess to protect the people they love. What makes Sarah, and, I hope, Lori, so memorable is firstly, their vulnerability and secondly, their growth. We can relate to them and cheer them on when they overcomes all obstacles.
Lori is tough (and she gets tougher along the way) but that does not stop her from developing feelings for a fellow survivor. Romance and Zombies is an unusual mix, how did you came up with this story twist?
It wasn’t my intention when I started writing the book! But the characters of Mike and Lori seemed to have a mind of their own! I think being thrown together in intense situations, learning to depend on each other and coming to admire each other’s strengths, creates a situation where characters can fall for each other quickly. Even in less than ideal circumstances like zombies.
How much of yourself have you put into Lori?
A fair bit. She is small like me, for one thing, and the snarky things she says are the kind of things I would say. We are both protective mums who would fight off zombies or any kind of threat to our kids. But Lori is probably a lot more effective with a machete than I could ever hope to be!
Your book features some very young children and without spoiling the story let’s just say that they are not spared from the effects of the zombie apocalypse. I have always considered that hurting kids was one of the rare taboos of the genre, would you agree?
Is that why there are so few children featured in zombie books? Oops:)
I don’t know if I’d say it was a taboo as such. It’s just a subject that is hard to write about and hard to read! I have to admit, I had a hard time writing some of those scenes, even sobbed my way through one of them! But families would suffer in a zombie outbreak so I couldn’t really avoid dealing with it.
Have you considered writing a sequel to Dead Tropics?
I am finishing off the sequel as we speak! Poor old Lori barely had time to catch her breath before I threw her back in the thick of things!
You are signed with Permuted for 2 books, do you have any ideas of where your second book will take you?
Dead Tropics 2 is set in another Australian coastal town, just a few days after the first story ended. I think you will find it just as much of a rollercoaster ride as the first one, with Lori and company finding themselves fighting their way through an infested town, outrunning bombs, being hunted through mine tunnels. And yes, there will be a few tears too. I’m lucky I’m a touch typist because I just wrote a scene that I couldn’t see for all the tears!
But, spoiler alert, there’s a happy ending for Lori and all the favorite characters.
You can pick up Dead Tropics here on amazon.com!