Thursday, November 22, 2012

Interview: Barely Alive by Bonnie R. Paulson

Barely Alive
***This is a MATURE YA themed series. There are adult themes and strong language.***

In twelve weeks, seventeen-year-old Paul Ledger will be dead. At least he hopes so.

Paul is trapped in the worst cult the United States has ever seen. Infected with a zombie virus, symptoms culminate in a dead body but thriving mind over a course of twelve weeks. If he doesn’t earn the final death he longs for, he’ll be chained in a basement facility, moaning for human flesh for eternity.

Sent out to kidnap girls for food, toys, or whatever the boss wants, Paul nabs Heather McCain. He’s not a fan of humans as a general rule, but even his graying skin and insatiable hunger for her flesh don’t stop her from reaching out to him. Give him the second chance he doesn’t know he needs.

Overcome by his cravings, Paul bites her delectable skin. Amazingly, she doesn’t develop the zombie-like side effects. When the boss discovers Heather’s immunity, he gives Paul an ultimatum – deliver up Heather and her family to continue the research or watch as Paul’s brother suffers the zombie fate.

Paul has a chance to endure his short zombie existence knowing his brother is safe. But he’ll have to sacrifice Heather to do it.

Falling Apart

*This is book #2 in the Barely Alive series. This series is sequential and should not be read out of order.*
** This is ADULT THEMED and for MATURE YA audiences. Language and content is - again - mature.**

Days slip through Paul’s graying fingers. Humanity faces the end. His brother has the virus and is dying, too.

Paul’s hopes ride on Heather’s genetic code. Her immunity leaves her unchanged and untouchable. What would she see in the zombie he was becoming anyway?

Dominic’s army of infected grows, capturing the south and leaving little alive in its wake.

While Paul and his friends work on the vaccine, protecting the north becomes protecting the world. Heather is taken hostage and Paul races toward Dominic to save his heart.

With his time “alive” shortened, Paul must do more than protect the uninfected. He has to get his brother and Heather back to Sandpoint before the zombies find them. Paul needs to survive the upcoming war before he finds himself defecting to the other side and leaving Heather to Dominic’s mercy.

He has three days to get the cure or he might as well find a fire to call home.

Mostly Dead

*This is book #3 in the Barely Alive series. This series is sequential and should not be read out of order.*
** This is ADULT THEMED and for MATURE YA audiences. Language and content is - again - mature.**

Time is running out and Paul’s original wish for death looms.

As his skin grays and hunger becomes uncontrollable, the world burns.

Heather and Paul have fallen for each other, but with life and death barricading them apart, and the potential cure disappearing into time, they have no hope.

Paul’s hunger is all-consuming. He has to walk into the flames, join Dominic, or eat everyone he loves.

Can he save anyone, if not himself?

Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and give every romance the genetic strength to survive. Bonnie has discovered a dark and twisty turn in her writing that she hopes you enjoy as much as she has enjoyed uncovering it. Dirt biking with her family in the Northwest keeps her sane.

Twitter: @bonnierpaulson
Goodreads: Bonnie R. Paulson

Amazon links:

Barnes and Noble links

First, thank you so much for having me. These questions are simply awesome and I had a blast answering! Thank you!

1. What's your favorite part of a book? My answer is kind of weird. I like the covers and the blurbs. You know, that moment right before you open the story and start to read. It reminds me of a first date – I haven’t been disappointed or thrilled or surprised yet, but the possibility is there to fall in love or be kissed or be saved. That’s my favorite. The right before.

2. When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning? Not to the literal meaning of the name. It’s off the wall how I name them. I stare at a blank page and think of the story. I like normal-sounding names because easy to say is easier to remember – at least for me. My characters tend to pick their names. I’ll go five minutes just saying names, tasting them, and when I find one that fits, the story starts to flow.
3. How do you get started with writing a story (as in, how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it)? Mine always start as a title. Which makes it hard when publishers change your titles. I write around the title, actually can’t write unless I have it named. The Barely Alive series was named before I knew what the story was about.
4. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing? Well, I think what this ultimately means is the writer has found a “lull” in the story. I don’t believe in writer’s block, I believe in lost vision. When this happens to me, I go back about 10 pages in my story and start reading. Once I start getting bored, I stop there, delete after that and rewrite. If I’m bored, my readers would be too.
5. How long did it take you to publish your first book, after you started trying? My first book was traditionally published 7 months after I started writing. After that it has gone a last faster. My rejection pile is unreal!!!
6. How did you come up with the title? Barely Alive came about because a zombie who might be able to return to human wouldn’t be able to be completely dead… hence, Barely Alive, Falling Apart, and Mostly Dead – pretty much suggesting that as the story progresses, Paul’s chances grow slimmer and slimmer at living.
7. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Sometimes the person we see as the bad guy, might actually turn out to be good.
8. What books have most influenced your life most? Anything by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. She changed the face of romance and gave us heroines who can do and save! My fave is Ashes in the Wind.
9. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Rebecca Zanetti. Awesome writer.
10. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Jill Cooper – craziness on every page and a pace you can barely breathe through. Shelley
Martin – paranormal opportunities you can’t see working out but love when they do.
11. What are your current projects? I’m finalizing the edits on Dictating Desire – a romantic suspense, as well as starting a new contemporary romance series and finishing up my apocalyptic series – oh! And Dominic’s story too – Viral Intent. Just a short but that guy is creepy! (he’s the bad guy in Barely Alive)
12. Can you share a little of your current work with us? Here is a paragraph from Viral Intent.
“I don’t have extra.” He chewed the inside of his lip. Please. Please don’t demand it. Please.
His mother stepped close to him and traced his arm with her blood red nail. Lips painted to match drew tight. Lipstick bled through the tiny cracks and gave her the look of a creepy clown up close. She looked at him from under her thin lashes. “You’ll get me money, Dominic. Or you know what I’ll do.”
13. Do you have any advice for other writers? Keep writing!!!


  1. Thank you so much for having me! I know you're in Canada, but Happy Thanksgiving! : )

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  3. I love that you love the covers and blurbs the most - i find that the anticipation is often the best part of the book :)


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