Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Guest Author Post: Ellie Heller: How I came to write a Zombie Lesbian Romance *Giveaway**

Honestly, I can’t take any credit for the idea, I was following a submissions call. Ruby Green, my editor over at Noble Romance, came up with the idea for a series about lesbians and zombies, and oh music should be an element and the plot should feature a college in some capacity. Thus the guidelines for Lesbians vs Zombies, the Musical Review, were born.

I’ve known Ruby for a good ten years, through various online writing groups. When she got the go ahead from Noble Romance to create the series, she posted the call for submissions in a couple of places. I was in the middle of selling a house, packing it up and moving across three states. I read the call, thought ‘sounds like fun, but not my thing’ and moved on.

Ruby poked and prodded and said go take another look and think about it. One thing I think she may have noticed, even though I hadn’t, was I often had lesbian secondary characters in my stories. I’m fully admitting it though; Ginny’s Capture didn’t start as a lesbian romance.

When I first started drafting out what became Ginny’s Capture it was a male/female romance, to be specific a paranormal romance, because that’s what I write. Even then, it was a zombie story. The first scene which came to mind involved a roving gang of half intelligent,not quite fully ‘turned’ zombies, trying to raid a coffin-makers warehouse and the government agent and love interest who were attempting to thwart them.

But then I stalled out.

So with Ruby poking me, I took another look at the story and thought, hmm, maybe there’s a reason the story stalled out. Ginny really wasn’t as interested in Frank as I thought she was.

Of course it wasn’t that simple. Shifting my focus to make this a lesbian romance and make them main characters required my rewriting the love interest – I could not, and did not, simply change the name. I needed to create a new female character who had her own agenda, personality and flaws and was the match Ginny’d been waiting for. And then I had to rework the timeline and background and, um, add a sex scene. I’ve written sex scenes before but between two females, that was a bit tougher. The hardest part – the pronouns! Seriously trying to make everything clear and not all ‘she…’, ‘she…’,‘she…’,‘she…’, was far more difficult than I thought it would be.

In the end, I think I managed okay.

Funny thing is, it wasn’t until after I was all done and the story was in the queue to be published that I realized how hard it is to find places that review f/f stories. Plenty of places will take m/m or any combination of ménage so long as there’s an ‘m’ in there somewhere. Very few places will review a f/f story. Which is why I’m so glad this blog is around getting the word out on some great f/f stories.Katiebabs helps so many writers who would otherwise never have their voice get heard.

I learned a lot writing this story. Will I write another f/f romance? Likely, but given I’m neck deep in edits for a series, it may be a while before it comes to fruition. However, I will continue to have strong lesbian secondary characters because that’s just how I write.

Synopsis: Two years ago, Deidra Montague royally screwed up with Guinevere. Now, Dee secretly works for the fae council, breaking up potential zombie swarms, while Ginny—a mortal—attends grad school, preparing for a career helping survivors of zombie attacks.

Even apart, Dee still watches over Ginny. How could she not, after learning that the woman she betrayed has been blessed as her mate?

Now, students from Ginny's school are dropping out in alarming numbers and turning up infected with the zombie virus. When Dee finds out, she decides it's time to extract her mate from the mounting peril. Only she arrives to find Ginny in the thick of things, trying to solve the problem herself. Just like old times.

With drugged-up zombies everywhere, casket sales on the rise, and saccharine bubblegum pop music constantly playing in the background, Dee decides it's time to lay her heart on the line. Because she's the only one who's going to capture Ginny.

You can find Ellie at her website at Ellie Writes 2 or on Twitter: @elliewrites2

Contest Time!

Ellie has some wonderful prizes up for grabs! One person who leaves a comment here by Friday 3/23 will win a copy of Ginny's Capture, a $10 Itunes Gift Card and/or A LvZ t-shirt (Lesbians vs Zombies) and/or a 'hunting' themed outdoor thermometer. This is only open to US/CA residents.


Anonymous said...

(Commented previously, but it didn't appear. If that's because it's in a moderation queue, I apologize for the double-post!)

Jasper of SFFic, a blog on SF/F starring queer women (Google "SFFic Wordpress" if you're interested--I don't want to be spammy with links!), posting in for the giveaway.

And do you know about the Lesbrary? Lots of reviewers there for lesfic of all types.

Ellie Heller said...

I think I've been in touch, will try them again, thanks Jasper!

Kristin said...

I will be honest that I have never read a f/f book and I am new on the whole zombie scene but this one actually does sound good. I also like the cover of the book as well. It doesn't have the typical romance cover of half naked people. Not that I am apposed to seeing ripped abs but it's nice to see a change in the norm.
booksniffersanonymous at gmail dot com
Book Sniffers Anonymous

Ellie Heller said...

Thanks Kristin! Glad it interested you.

Danika @The Lesbrary said...

Lesbians and zombies are two of my favourite things!

Ellie Heller said...

Thanks Danika! I'm pretty fond of them too.

Cara said...

I don't normally find zombies appealing at all, but for some reason I find myself intrigued by a premise of fae and zombies. Ellie, what inspired you to put those two things together?

Melanie said...

This sounds like a pretty interesting story. I do enjoy zombies and a good romance. This will be added to my TBR pile that seems to be growing by the day.

Ellie Heller said...

@Cara I can't seem to *not* write paranormal so when I started out with the idea for this story long ago my how idea on how zombies came to be is based on fae magic. Can't say more, there's a story in the works on that. :-)

@Melanie - If you like zombies and a good romance, I think you'll like this as well as several others in the LvZ series. :-)