I am super excited to have Melanie Karsak, author of The Harvesting, here today. I read and reviewed The Harvesting late last year and absolutely loved it. Without further ado.....
As I understand it, The Harvesting, is a trilogy of books. Is a trilogy in order due to so much story to tell?
Yes, I have an over-arching narrative I am trying to accomplish. I want the reader to see Layla and the other survivors from day one until the “problem” of the story resolves itself. There was just too much story to tell in just one novel!
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I am a planner. I have to know the narrative arch of every story before I begin writing. I actually draw out the arch on a notepad before I begin writing. I usually have the entire story written in my head before I actually start typing. Occasionally I vary from my original plan if I come up with something better or if the characters get a mind of their own (this happens more often than sounds sane to admit). And sometimes I have to revise, but I always know what my characters want, what their goal is in a novel. This helps me stay focused.
What was the most important aspect when writing your non-zombie characters?
I try to keep them real. There are a lot of characters roaming around in “The Harvesting.” I wanted to make each person unique. I wanted them to react the way real people would react, and that is with a wide range of emotion, skills, and personalities.
For those that don't know, the last chapter is from a different point of view. Could you explain why you chose to show that in this book?
I wanted to show the z-day event from the perspective of a character who will be important in the rest of the series. My idea was to help the reader get to know Cricket and Vella before they appear in “The Shadow Aspect.”
How has it been for you to see the fan reaction for The Harvesting?
People really seem to like the book. Almost everyone who reads it seems to enjoy it. It seems like the introduction of “other” supernatural creatures about 100 pages in either makes it or breaks it for the reader. Some readers get turned off at that point, and that’s fine. Reading is an individual experience. This is not a horror novel. It is a dark fantasy novel. If someone wants a pure zombie romp, this isn’t it. This might be why some people are confused the supernatural element further reveals itself. But if you like a tale of the undead with fantastical elements, you will like it (maybe even love it!)
A couple of quick ones:
What is your favourite food?
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.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I like to write in the morning when my energy is the strongest, but most of the time I am awake until the wee hours of the morning as well. I have a full-time job and a family, so I don’t sleep much. I need there to be more of me! Too much to do!
Do you listen to music while writing?
For some projects, yes, and for other projects, I need dead silence. “The Harvesting” series didn’t have a lot of background music, but the Steampunk series I am working on has a lot of music playing in the background.
What’s your favorite season/weather?
I live in Florida, so it’s pretty much summer all year round. Having spent most of my life in the north, I despise cold weather. When it gets below 50 degree, I am very unhappy.
People who are rude to small children in public places. I hate the younger version of myself who used to frown at parents in restaurants. Shame on you, younger self. Enjoy that big plate of karma.
I appreciate your time and really loved the book. Are there any parting thoughts you’d like to leave our reader’s with?
Stay in touch! If you liked the book, feel free to drop me an email or stop by my facebook page. I try to have giveaways and other fun stuff from time to time. I also have a new series coming out with an awesome new female protagonist I think readers will love!
Thank you so much for having me!
Thank you Melanie!
Melanie Karsak, steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Visit the author at her blog to learn more about upcoming projects, book signings, and other neato things. A Walking Dead fan, check out her blog for recaps!
Title: The Harvesting (Book 1 of The Harvesting Series)
Author: Melanie Karsak
Published: Sept 18, 2012
Publisher: Steampunk Press
Cover Artist: Michael Hall Photography
When mankind finally consumes itself, can any spark of humanity survive? Layla fights to keep those she loves alive when the zombie apocalypse unfolds, but she soon learns that zombies are not the only problem. With mankind silenced, those beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power. Layla must learn who to trust, fast, if she hopes to save what is left of our kind.
10 swag packs (as seen in the picture attached) which includes a t-shirt, an autographed hard copy of the novel, a bumper sticker, and postcards (US Shipping Only)
10 ecopies of the novel (open internationally)