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Waking up Dead by Emma Shortt‏

As a kid Emma wanted to be an astronaut, or maybe Captain Janeway. Because she didn't really think her career choices through very well she ended up in an everyday geek job, crunching numbers and sighing over syntax. It seemed a long way from the stars, and in an effort to escape Emma decided to get serious about her other passion. Writing.

Several years later and Emma has yet to walk on the moon or sit in the Captain's chair, but she is still writing. She scribbles stories in all sorts of genres, contemporary, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, historical, sci-fi...if she hasn't tried it yet she will before long. The only common theme is the romance. A hopeless romantic, everything Emma writes has a love story in there somewhere.

She lives on the west coast of England with her very Greek husband and teenage kiddos. Apart from all things geek reading is her main hobby and she likes nothing better than getting home from a hard day at work and curling up with a book, though sometimes she gets home and writes one instead.


You know your life has hit rock bottom when you’re living off cooked rats and showering once every few months—if you’re lucky. But for Jackson Hart things are about to get a whole lot worse. When her best friend, Tye, disappears hunting for food, kick-ass Jackson’s ‘head south to safety’ plan looks like it’s dead before it’s even begun. But then she meets ex-mechanic Luke Granger, who takes her to his bunker, feeds her with non-rat based food, and offers her protection against the zombie hordes—not that she needs it. She knows how to use a machete and isn’t afraid to.

Jackson was tempted to stay in the city with her rescuer. Food, shampoo and the possibility of finally getting laid, what more could she ask for? But the flesh eaters are getting smarter and the bunker is compromised, so Jackson and Luke have no choice but to make the journey south.

Luke and Jackson team up to find other humans in a road-trip romance for the ages. They travel for thousands of miles with zombies shadowing their every move. They must utilize every resource at their disposal…and then some. On the way, they discover that even if flesh eating zombies are knocking down their door, there’s always time for sex and even love.

Q) What inspired you to write this story? 
I have a very weird relationship with zombies. In truth I have a phobia of them. I know that sounds really weird, but they both intrigue and terrify me, and have featured very heavily in my nightmares over the years.

So, I wanted to write a zombie book, thinking that it might help with my phobia. I sat down with the vague idea of a kick ass heroine and zombies as awful as I could possibly make them. Once that idea solidified everything else did. It would be a romance, the hero would be called Luke, and I would explore their journey as they tried to find safety from the zombie hordes.

The thing about this story is that it came out exactly how I imagined it to be. Not all my books do, sometimes I feel the final product does not match the story I had envisioned and I can’t work out why. But with Waking up Dead? As soon as it was finished it felt right.

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
It took my about three months all in, which is quite a long time for me. I once wrote a book in a week, though I became quite ill afterwards! Thing is, I tend to become quite obsessive when I start a story and type away until it’s done, almost like it all has to come out before it disappears!

Waking up Dead was different though, both in terms of the way I had to write it and the content of the story. It’s the first in a four book series (End of Days Love) and events that occur in this book overlap with the other books. So after the initial obsessive start I had to slow down and start plotting things out. I found that quite challenging.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? 
I love the fact that I can breathe life in to the stories that exist only in my mind. I have a random thought, or an idea, and then it’s a story, and if I’m very lucky (and work very hard) it then becomes a book.

I’m still freaked out by that, the idea that people read something I thought up. It’s amazingly, profoundly wonderful.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
I’m not a huge fan of the pressure, and I should point out that the pressure is completely self imposed! I give myself ridiculously painful deadlines and have to fit those around my day job, kidlets and everything else that I do.

I also find negative reviews tricky. I’m there ranting at the screen…how can you say that, oh my God you totally didn’t get that at all…what do you mean you don’t like the heroine… But I am reminded of something one of my fav authors said. To paraphrase it was something along the lines of: once you have sent it out into the world it is no longer your book. I try to remember that!

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Oooohhhh… I think it would probably be Karen Nyberg. She’s not, strictly speaking, famous, but she should be. It always baffles me that scientists and inventors aren’t more revered in our society…but that’s a rant for a different day!

So Karen, well right now she is on the International Space Station, and that there is my reason. Growing up I wanted to be an astronaut soooo badly. Unfortunately my math wasn’t up to scratch despite my best efforts. To be up there, experiencing that, would be the fulfillment of a dream that is never going to leave me. As a side note I would totally want to wear my Star Trek outfit.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
Oh wow I don’t even need to look to tell you! It’s a ham sandwich. I made it for my oldest teen’s lunch about two weeks ago and she still hasn’t eaten it! I’m refusing to make her another until she removes it from the fridge…so it’ll probably still be there come Christmas.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have an Entangled Indulgence book, The Seduction Game, out in Jan. It’s quite a sweet story, I loved writing it and I’m super excited to be a member of the Indulgence crew!

For those that prefer their romance to be very steamy, my Club Smex series (contemporary erotic romance) releases at the rate of a book a month from the end of November into the New Year. I’m sooo in love with the covers which are up on my website. I also have the second book in my Alpha Collection, Seduced by the Very British Lord, out in Jan (Jan is going to be a busy month!)

Apart from that I am working on the second book in the End of Days Love series, Waking up Alive, a new contemporary romance series and a stand alone science fiction novel, as yet untitled.