Ahoy me hearties! Hale and well met!
As the wintry blast of the North wind sets our sails flying and shivers our timbers down to the bone, we make our way to Port to drop anchor and welcome popular Author Natalie Carlisle aboard!
Natalie is the author of the exciting and original novel ‘Dead Friends Walking’, and has added an entertaining sequel to the series titled ’Dead Friends Running’ .
ANOTHER ROAD TRIP…ANOTHER JOURNEY INTO A FRESH HELL
In the gripping sequel to Natalie Carlisle’s first novel in the series, Dee Forester and Melissa Frank rush off to Pennsylvania hoping to save their best friend who has received the same treatment for the zombie virus as a friend who ended up dead. They have no way of knowing that they are on a trajectory with a danger that could permanently end their young lives: another zombie attack.
“His back pack was discarded nearby. The woman—Margeaux—mirrored Zac’s stance at the passenger’s side. I spotted Missy hurrying around, holding her cell phone to her ear, talking. Her long blonde hair was half-fallen from her elastic band, the loose strands blowing in the humid breeze. The dog was near them, just sitting there, and suddenly I got really mad. In a nutshell, it was all that damn dog’s fault, and if Jason was dead, I knew with certainty I’d never like dogs again. I wouldn’t be afraid of them this time—I would hate them. Then I remembered Duke. Jason’s dog. And his younger brother and sister—the twins. Oh, no. Were they in the truck too? Before I knew it, I was running. I stumbled a little bit, but trudged downward. Missy hurried over to me, meeting me halfway. “Help is on the way.” She was out of breath.
“Is he…Is he…” I had trouble speaking.
“I don’t know,” she answered, glancing toward the truck. It dawned on me she might not have realized it was Jason. So I told her. “I know,” she nodded. “God, I hope he’s okay.”
Two friends rush off to Pennsylvania when they find out their friend who was treated for the virus ends up dead. They hope to find a way to save their best friend, who just received the same treatment in a hospital of NJ, but in their attempt they end up trying to survive another zombie attack.
1. Which of your characters, Dee Forester or Melissa Frink, do you relate to the most?
Definitely Dee. When creating her character, I used a lot of my own characteristics.
2. What inspired this series? Are you a Walking Dead aficionado?
I am not a Walking Dead fan actually. I only watched the show for a couple episodes the first season. I enjoyed the episodes I watched but I just never got into the craze. My best friend actually inspired this series. She is a big horror fan. She wanted me to write a horror story and when I asked what she wanted, we came up with Dead Friends.
3. Book one of the ‘Dead Friends’ series opens with a sense of urgency and tension that continues throughout the novel. How did you keep the tension going in the sequel,’ Dead Friends Running’.
Dee and Melissa care a lot about their friends and that makes keeping the tension and urgency going easy. In the first book they were trying to rescue Spencer and in the second book they are still trying to save him. That type of urgency to protect and rescue your friends never really leaves until your friends are safe.
4. Who first encouraged you to write an entire novel?
My grandmother. She was sick with cancer and was always a huge fan of my writing. When she started chemo I wanted to give her something to read, so I started writing and when she loved it, I just kept with it.
5. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are featured locales in this series. What is it about these states that caused you to pick them as settings for your story?
I lived in both states. I am familiar with them. I remember hiking certain trails and thinking of these scenes in the book, and didn’t want to use any other place.
6. Who do you read? What novels are among your favorites?
Currently I am reading Sharkwater Beach by Author Tim Meyer. I really enjoy his Sunfall series too that he co-wrote with Authors Chad Scanlon and Pete Draper. My favorite all time books are Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine.
7. Tell us a little about yourself? What’s something about you that not many people know?
I enjoy writing and drawing. I love old movies. I have a dog her name is Hanna Harper, she’s an almost four year old Belgian Malinois that I adopted from someone a year ago. I taught her all the tricks she knows, and I am proud of that. My favorite state to visit is Vermont. I love the view of the mountains. I was born in Pennsylvania near the mountains but grew up in New Jersey by the shore. I am not a fan of the beach. I hate the feel of sand. When I was younger I had a terrible fear of Lady Bugs. Not many people know that.
8. What has your experience been like as an author so far? Can you share some insights, bruises and highlights?
There have been a lot of ups and downs, for sure. Writing novels isn’t easy. I am not one for outlining so creating the story has its challenges down the road. I have learned a lot along the way, and still have so much to learn! The first novel I wrote that I submitted to the publishing company I learned was actually only half a novel. They sent it back to me and told me to finish the book. I had left too much hanging. I wrote 30,000 more words in the following month and then resubmitted. Tell-Tale Publishing offered me a contract after that. It was the first publishing company I ever submitted a manuscript to.
9.Your characters are well developed and lively. Do you feel that you have the reins when writing or do the characters themselves hijack the story?
I start off with the reins, but the characters definitely hijack the story about half way.
10.What other projects do you have in the works right now?
I have a couple projects open, but not sure where I am going with them yet. Obviously I would like to finish the third book in Dead Friends at some point, as well as the last in the trilogy of my Shapeshifting series.
11. What is one of your favorite quotes from, ’Dead Friends Running’ and why?
“I couldn’t help but silently note that coming here was a very, very dumb idea.”
I just think it sums up the entire second book, and makes Dee seem real.
12. What other genres are you interested in writing in?
I would like to try my hand at adult fiction.
As we all rise from the Captain’s table and bid farewell to our guest, Natalie Carlisle, we glance around warily. The skies are darkening and a storm is brewing, and all wise men fear the dead creatures that Natalie Carlisle so chillingly portrays in her intriguing zombie tales.
Till next we meet on The Whimsical Herald, avast ye and stay wary, me hearties! We thank our fair guest, Natalie Carlisle, for joining us and bid her fair winds as she continues to weave enthralling tales!
Patricia Mattern, Mistress of Madness, The Whimsical Herald
Mistress of Madness
Well, do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?
Lewis Carroll, in 1897, proposed this answer, "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is 'never' put with the wrong end in front!" (raven, spelled backward, is nevar aka never...or as we like to say here at TT...never more!)